Australia’s Dean Mumm has heaped praise on fellow lock Victor Matfield, a player who is set to earn his 100th Test cap for South Africa on Saturday.
The Springbok vice-captain will follow in the footsteps of skipper John Smit after he achieved the feat during last week’s 29-22 loss to New Zealand in Johannesburg.
Matfield, who made his international debut in 2001, is among the most revered locks of all time and Mumm said: “It’s been an unbelievable career and it’s certainly not finished.
“He’s picked up most of, if not all, the prizes and treasures you can get along the way and he’s done that with distinction and form all the way throughout.
“His form of late has been very, very good and so we don’t expect anything less.”
He was referring to the way the 33-year-old may be inspired for more when the two sides lock horn in their Tri Nations encounter in Pretoria on Saturday.
Mumm added: “It’s nice for him to be able to play his 100th Test on his home ground.
“I’m sure the people up there at Loftus love Victor.”
Meanwhile, utility back Matt Giteau is expecting both sides to go all out for a victory despite the main prize having already slipped through their grasps.
The All Blacks clinched the title last weekend and the Australians are in pole position for second having beaten the world champions in their one previous meeting last month.
Giteau said: “When you’re playing for your country, you’re going to give everything you can.
“I don’t think either side will go out there (thinking) that the Tri Nations is dead and play a softer style of football.
“There’s a lot at stake ... it’s a game that we desperately want to win so I’m sure the intensity will be right up and no one will be taking it easy on anyone else.”