Cape Town - Former Springbok prop Os du Randt believes that Tendai Mtawarira is back to his best despite calls for him to retire.
Mtawarira copped flak in the recently-concluded French series - where he conceded four penalties across three Tests.
Despite the Springboks' whitewash, Mtawarira received criticism with some questioning the 32-year-old's ability to continue in the front row.
Du Randt, who played for the Springboks until the age of 35, says if Mtawarira is backed by his peers then he doesn't need to question his ability at the top level.
"At the end, he is going to take lots of criticism, but if he is backed by his family, team, coaching staff ... then go for it," Du Randt told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.
"He is getting better. I think he has responded to the criticism and he is starting to play the rugby everyone wants him to play. That's good for him and it shows how he was backed from the team and his confidence is back.
"I think he'll like to prove people wrong. I think that should and will be his motivation."
Du Randt feels that if there's a decision over Mtawarira's future, it needs to be decided not by the country or critics, but by himself and Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.
"That's something that the Beast and Allister Coetzee must talk out," said Du Randt.
"If Allister wants him to be involved then he should go 100 percent for it. If Allister doesn't, then Beast gets the opportunity to still play and he still enjoys it - why not keep playing.
"You don't have to play Springbok rugby to play rugby - he can stay with the Sharks or get an offer overseas.
"If it had to end, he had a brilliant career so shouldn't take anything away from him. But again it's his decision and Allister's - if they had a discussion because I know I've been there."Du Randt played 80 Tests for the Springboks between 1994 and 2007.