Ntuthuko Mchunu gears up for ’emotional’ Springbok debut

The meteoric rise of Sharks prop Ntuthuko Mchunu is set to reach new heights when he makes his expected Springbok debut off the bench in the second Test against Wales at Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Mchunu, having finished just his second season of senior provincial rugby, was a surprise call-up to the Bok squad for the international season, and he is now set to front up against Wales.

His rugby career is already being compared to Sharks and Bok legend Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, having also made the shift from loose forward to prop, but Mchunu is keen to create his own legacy.

“It’s a massive thing to be called Beast 2.0 as people have been saying, but I just want to create my own legacy. He is someone who has set the bar high for us to reach and I want to do it my way, but I am very grateful for the comparison,” said Mchunu.

“He (Beast) has been a great mentor, more off the field stuff as I have come into the system similar to how he came in.

“So he has been great from a mental point of view and understanding that there is someone out there who has done it before, just to come to if there is anything I need.”

In terms of making his Bok debut, Mchunu is putting all of his focus on the coming game, but admits that a bit of emotion will be let out on Saturday.

“Emotionally it’s been good because it’s a big thing for my family as well. But I am just taking it one day at a time, focusing on each day, and I think the emotion will be let out on Saturday,” explained Mchunu.

“But for now I’m just focusing on every single thing at training and making sure that I sharpen up and am ready to go on Saturday.”

Mchunu now faces a massive prospect of becoming one of the famed Springbok bomb squad members, and he has the daunting task of making a big impact when he hits the field in the second half against Wales.

“It’s a Test match. Everyone who plays against the Springboks fronts up and lifts their game,” he said.

“We have been preparing for this for the past few weeks. They (Wales) will be up for it and we will be ready.”

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