Beast, Franks set for Test milestones

Beast Mtawarira (Gallo)
Beast Mtawarira (Gallo)

Cape Town - Front-rowers "Beast" Mtawarira and Owen Franks will further etch their names if rugby folklore should they be selected for Saturday's Round 2 action in the Rugby Championship.

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For Mtawarira, a mainstay in the No 1 loosehead jersey for the Springboks since his first match in 2008, selection for Saturday's clash against Argentina in Mendoza will be his 103rd Test cap, and will see him pass Percy Montgomery on the list of most-capped South Africans.

Mtawarira, 33, will move into sole fifth-place behind retired foursome Victor Matfield (127), Bryan Habana (124), John Smit (111) and Jean de Villiers (109).

The six players are South Africa's only centurions to date, with the next player in line - seemingly unwanted hooker Bismarck du Plessis - some distance away on 79 appearances.

Meanwhile, Franks will make his 100th appearance for the All Blacks, should he crack the tighthead nod for Saturday's clash against the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland.

Not 31 until December 23, Franks has a number of scrummaging years ahead of him.

Franks will become the ninth All Black Test centurion - and just the second prop to do so.

Retired rugby union legend Richie McCaw leads the all-time most capped list with 148.

From a New Zealand point of view, he is followed by hooker Keven Mealamu (132 - retired), prop Tony Woodcock (118 - retired), flyhalf Dan Carter (112 - retired), current All Blacks No 8 and skipper Kieran Read (110), centre Ma'a Nonu (103 - active, but ineligible for national election), fullback Mils Muliaina (100 - retired) and lock Sam Whitelock who celebrated his 100th Test last weekend in Sydney.

All told, Franks will become rugby's 55th Test centurion.

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