Tendai Mtawarira (centre) will become the first Springbok prop to notch up 100 caps on Saturday. Photo: ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said the entire Bok team was extremely proud of Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, who will make his 100th Test appearance for South Africa on Saturday. The Boks and England tackle each other in the second of three Incoming Series matches at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

“He doesn’t want to make a big thing out of it and wants us all to focus on the match and not be distracted,” Kolisi explained when he referred to the century of caps that Mtawarira will reach on Saturday. “It is a huge milestone for a player to reach 100 Tests and the team and staff are all very proud of Beast,” added Kolisi, who also celebrates his 27th birthday on Saturday.

Looking towards Saturday’s big clash in the Free State capital, Kolisi said the Boks are bracing for a huge onslaught from England. The Springboks are leading the series 1-0 after last Saturday’s 42-39 triumph in Johannesburg, and they know they have to improve a lot, but according to Kolisi there will be no excuses come Saturday.

“The coaches have worked extremely hard to prepare us for this Test match while the players also put in huge shifts on the training pitch,” said Kolisi. “We know England are a very strong side and you can imagine how hard they would have worked this week on their readiness for Saturday.”

Former Springbok Andre Venter presented the Springboks with their match day jerseys on Friday afternoon. The 47-year-old Venter made 66 appearances for the Springboks and also played in the 1999 Rugby World Cup, when South Africa finished third. Saturday’s match in front of a near capacity crowd starts at 5.05pm and will be televised live on SuperSport 1. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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