Cape Town - Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira will make his
100th Test appearance for South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday
in the second Test against England,
becoming only the sixth Springbok to reach this special milestone.
the Toyota Stadium is at 17:05.
The 32-year-old Mtawarira is the first Springbok prop to reach a century of Test caps
and he joins an elite group of only seven props who have made 100 or more Test
Mtawarira will anchor the
Springbok scrum in his milestone Test alongside hooker Bongi Mbonambi and Frans
Malherbe, who makes a return to the front row after a lengthy absence due to
Malherbe’s inclusion is one of
only two changes in the starting team that beat England 42-39 last weekend in
Johannesburg. He replaces his Stormers team mate Wilco Louw. The other
change sees Pieter-Steph du Toit returning to the starting fifteen in the No 7
jersey, with Jean-Luc du Preez moving to the bench.
Mtawarira made his Springbok
debut exactly 10 years against Wales, on June 14, 2008 in Pretoria at the age of
22. The following year he was an instrumental figure in the Springbok tight
five as he helped to steer the South Africans to a memorable 2-1 series win
over the British & Irish Lions.
Since then, the soft-spoken front
rower has established himself as a mainstay for the Sharks - he has 146 Super Rugby caps to his name - and the Springboks. Apart from his 99
Tests, Mtawarira has also played in three tour matches for the Springboks to
date, with two Test tries to his name.
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby
Director of Rugby, paid tribute to Mtawarira, whom he described as a great
servant to Springbok rugby and a very good professional.
“Much like a typical front rower,
‘Beast’ is not someone who likes the spotlight,” said Erasmus.
“However, his contribution to
Springbok rugby during the past decade has been enormous and I want to
congratulate him on reaching 100 Test caps for South Africa.
“It is a special achievement and
while he deserves the accolades, I know he will be totally focussed on the most
important job, and that is to face an extremely determined England side on
Saturday in Bloem.”
Erasmus added that an improved
performance will be needed from the Springboks when the two sides meet again at
the Toyota Stadium.
“England is a powerful side and I
know Eddie Jones will have his team super prepared for Saturday,” said Erasmus.
“They will no doubt want to
bounce back to level the series, so it’s going to be another huge Test of our
resolve and character.”
15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Warrick Gelant
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona