The non-Springbok Ben Tameifuna labels one of world’s best scrummagers

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Tonga and Bordeaux-Begles tighthead Ben Tameifuna holds South African props in very high regard, and understandably so.

Every league is littered with South African props, with 120kg+ scrummagers being up there with one of the country’s biggest exports.

Having played in Super Rugby, the Top 14 and on the international stage, Tameifuna would have come up against his fair share of South African props in his time as well.

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But when asked who are the best scrummagers he has faced, the tighthead had one front row in particular that sprung to mind- a Sharks front three comprising Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis.

Speaking as a guest on Le French Rugby Podcast recently, the 145kg prop recalled coming up against that Sharks, and Springboks, front row early in his career. Of course, he would have been pitted against loosehead Mtawarira on that occasion, and many others, but he still would have got a taste of the scrummaging power of the fellow Springbok Jannie du Plessis on the other side of the scrum.

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“Obviously the South Africans, scrumming is in their DNA,” Tameifuna said when asked who the best scrummagers he has faced are.

“I remember my first year at the Chiefs, we played the Sharks in the Super 15 final and the front row was Beast and the du Plessis brothers. The year before that I was in the pub watching a World Cup, to be a year later scrumming against the South Africa front row in the Super 15 final was pretty massive.

“I think the South Africans, they’re made to scrum. They love it. Just look what they did in the quarter-final when they called a free-kick. They’ve been one of the best scrums in the world.

“It must be something in the water there in Africa. They’re built different.”

But when quizzed on who are currently the best props around, the Tongan singled out Ireland and Leinster tighthead Tadhg Furlong for changing what is capable of players in that position today.

“Furlong from Leinster, he’s always been consistent,” he said.

“Props that are still scrumming in the 60th minute as if they’re in the first minute. Those are the players who have taken what a normal prop should look like then to what it should look like now. They’re doing an awesome job in the position.”

Read More: The non-Springbok Ben Tameifuna labels one of world’s best scrummagers 2024-05-15 15:35:33

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