Two of our team members pick their No 1 for the SARugbymag.co.za Fans' World XV.
It's amazing to think that just six years ago, Mtawarira was a loose forward. The big unit from Zimbabwe has lost none of his athleticism since making the switch to prop, but has made massive improvements in his scrummaging.
The Boks were the best scrummaging side in the world in 2013 and one of the standouts in that pack was Mtawarira. The determined No 1 also made some big gains from the base of the ruck, and got through a mountain of defensive work.
Just as Phil Vickery underestimated him in that first Test of the 2009 British & Irish Lions series in South Africa (and paid the price when Mtawarira scrummed him into the Kings Park turf), today's opposition teams still consider Mtawarira the least of their concerns in a Bok front row that includes the Du Plessis brothers. The Beast continues to defy the odds, and ominously, continues to improve.
In 2013, Woodcock racked up his 100th Test against the Wallabies in Wellington and showed that he is the world's premier loosehead.
The 32-year-old's work in the scrum was superb throughout last year, and while he isn’t the flashiest front ranker, he hits rucks harder than anyone and is near-impossible to stop close to the line.
Woodcock is one of those hard-working, experienced players who you’ll want to help settle your World XV and his World Cup-winning temperament is something that you won’t find easily.
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