As Eben Etzebeth prepares to make his 100th Test appearance, SARugbymag.co.za takes a look back at the Springbok centurions who have come before him.
Affectionately known as ‘Beast’, the popular loosehead prop lived up to his nickname during a decorated Springbok career.
Tendai Mtawarira played an average of almost 11 Tests a year over 11 years in the green and gold, a career that would have been longer had the government not decided that the Zimbabwe-born behemoth wasn’t eligible to play for the Springboks in 2010 until he became a citizen.
Making his Test debut in 2008, Mtawarira established himself as an international force in the 2009 British & Irish Lions series.
Scrumming against Phil Vickery in the first Test, he dominated his more experienced opponent, leading to the Englishman being substituted after 45 minutes, and a Man of the Match award for the Springbok prop. The Bok forwards coach at the time, Gary Gold, described it as the most complete domination of an international tighthead prop he had ever seen.
Mtawarira is the 17th most capped international forward of all time and the fifth most capped prop of all time. He played for the Boks against the Barbarians in 2010 and 2016, as well as against World XVs in 2014 and 2015, and twice for the Barbarians. He also holds the record for the most Super Rugby appearances by a South African with 160 for the Sharks.
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