AUDIO: Tendai v Tadhg - going Beast mode

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:18

LISTEN as veteran South African prop Tendai Mtawarira talks about taking on one of the stars of the British and Irish Lions.

The Springboks meet Ireland on Saturday, when they open their year-end tour in Dublin.

They follow that up with Tests against France in Paris, Italy in Padova and Wales in Cardiff.
 
The Boks and Irish last met in June 2016 in South Africa, when the Springboks rallied back from a loss in Cape Town to win a thrilling series 2-1.

The last time they met in Dublin, November 2014, the men from the Emerald Isle came away with a 29-15 win. In the last decade, Ireland has on four of their six encounters with the Boks in Dublin.

Coach Allister Coetzee will also be looking for his first win away from home, since he took over as head coach of the Boks last year.

And how well the Bok pack stands up to the powerful Irish forward will go a long way towards determining the outcome of the match.

The most intriguing sideshow to the main drama is when veteran Bok prop Tendai Mtawarira goes up against Irish folk hero Tadhg Furlong.

The latter was key to the B&I Lions' success in New Zealand this year, when they came from behind to share the series with the All Blacks one-all.

Mtawarira spoke of his respect for Furlong, but added that he is up for the challenge.

"I watched Furlong in the British and Irish Lions series [against New Zealand in June and July]," Mtawarira told a media briefing.

"He did very well and I have huge respect for him.

"He's made his mark and is the best tighthead up north. I'm looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.

"He is solid at set piece time. He also gets around the park and gets through some work."

Bok scrum coach Matt Proudfoot said the 'intelligence' with which Ireland play is another massive challenge.

"They are very intelligent in terms of what they present to you," he said.

"With them it's just not about brute force amongst their forwards but they always present you with different challenges.
 
"We have to be alert and sharp in how we confront them, so therefore you have to be well-prepared in all aspects.

"We have made good strides as a pack this year and on Saturday we will be looking to continue to evolve as a pack.
 
"They are well-coached team and have a system that work for them and for Irish rugby.

"They are well-conditioned and in great shape to challenge us," added Proudfoot.