“What makes Franco special is that he is a combination of a Victor Matfield and a Bakkies Botha put together. He has got the aggression of a Bakkies, but has all the flair and the skills of a Victor Matfield,” Botha said.
That quote is incredibly special because it was said by a fellow lock and one of the most decorated South African rugby players of all time.
Botha has won a World Cup, Tri-Nations titles, a series against the British & Irish Lions, Super Rugby titles, Currie Cups, the French Top 14 and a European Cup title. He also formed one of the best and longest ever serving lock partnerships with Matfield.
Botha has been watching this year’s Super Rugby tournament and Mostert’s astronomical growth with great interest. He has been following Mostert’s career ever since they once shared a dressing room at the Bulls.
“The first time I met him was at the Bulls and he seemed to be a bit complacent. He left the Bulls for the Lions and his game has just taken off,” Botha told KweséESPN.
“Johan [Ackermann, Lions coach] knows how to work with locks, because he was a lock himself, a Springbok lock. I think for Franco to go to the Lions was a great decision. Now he is playing some great rugby.
“At this stage he is the best lock in South Africa, and one of the best in the world.”
Mostert’s work rate stands out from almost all South African forwards, particularly from the man he has replaced in the Bok starting XV- current SA Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit.
He makes an impact at collisions despite not being a particularly sizeable lock. His cleans, tackles and carries are also highly effective.