And with the 28-year-old Mtawarira set to play his 50th Test, the chants “Beeaassstt” won’t be reserved to when the big man touches the ball but will start when he runs onto the field – on his own.
“It’s extra special with Bissie and Jannie (du Plessis) together there in the frontrow and more so with all three of us reaching the 50-Test mark in the same season,” said Mtawarira this week.
“But I must be honest, there wasn’t much time to think of the 50th Test, all the focus has been on the All Blacks and the final game.”
Since his debut in 2008, Mtawarira’s career faced several disruptions when he twice had to be treated for heart problems and, as a born Zimbabwean, his citizenship was also in the balance.
“With the injury problems I thought at one stage I wouldn’t get to 50, but I remained positive and now I want to go for the 100,” he said.
Mtawarira still remembers the time when he had just arrived in Durban from Zimbabwe and his only transport was a bicycle which he had to use between his place in Morningside and the Sharks Academy at King’s Park – a far cry from the standing he enjoys today.