Test milestones

2013-09-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Jannie du Plessis and Morné Steyn will reach the milestone of playing in their 50th Tests for South Africa against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, and Adriaan Strauss and Fourie du Preez have been promoted to the Springbok starting line-up.

It will be the second time in Springbok history that two players will earn their 50th caps in the same Test. On August 1, 2009, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana reached this milestone together against New Zealand in Durban.

Du Plessis and Steyn will become the 25th and 26th Springboks to play in 50 Tests for South Africa. Steyn also needs two points to move to 600 Test points for the Boks, currently on 598 in his 49 Tests.

The last Springbok to play in his 50th Test was Jannie’s brother Bismarck du Plessis, against Argentina in Mendoza last month. Th is means they will become the first set of brothers ever to play in 50 Tests for South Africa.

As part of a planned rotational switch, Strauss and Du Preez — who starts his first Test for the Springboks since the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia in New Zealand — come in for Bismarck du Plessis and Ruan Pienaar, both on the bench for Saturday’s clash.

The rest of the team that played against New Zealand in Auckland are unchanged. “We’re all pleased for Jannie and Morné, who are great ambassadors for South Africa and the Springboks,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“They have endured through difficult times, but have shown a lot of resilience and that is why they have made it to this special milestone. It’s well deserved and a privilege only a very small percentage of Springboks have achieved.”

Regarding the changes to the team, Meyer said: “The players all knew what the plans were for the Rugby Championships and where they stand. We were always going to rotate players where possible and planned to start this Test with Adriaan and Fourie.

“We know we’re in for a big challenge against Australia. The players have been working hard and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our own supporters at Newlands on Saturday. It’s always special to play Tests in South Africa,” added Meyer.

This will be the Springboks’ 50th Test at Newlands since 1891, the first stadium in South Africa to host 50 Tests. In the previous 49 Tests, South Africa have won 33, lost 14 and two were drawn for a winning percentage of 67%. The Springboks scored 938 points (122 tries) with 593 points against them (63 tries) and the average score has been 19-12.

Stats and facts:

• The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 566 Test caps (334 in the backline and 232 in the forwards), while there a further 229 caps worth of experience on the bench.

• South Africa and Australia have played each other 77 times since 1933, with the Springboks winning 43 Tests, losing 33 and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 1473 points and 176 tries and conceded 1349 points and 138 tries

• Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre with 76 Tests in this position.

• Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing with 89 Tests in this position.

• Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf with 48 Tests in this position.

• Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will extend their SA record of playing together in 29 Tests for South Africa.

• The Du Plessis brothers will become the first set of Springbok brothers to both play in 50 Tests for their country and the fifth pair of brothers worldwide.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

The springboks in numbers

566  The number of caps the Springbok starting team boast (334 in the backline and 232 in the forwards)

77 The number of times SA and Australia have played each other. Boks winning 43, losing 33 and drawing one.

76 The number that Jean de Villiers will extend his record to as the most-capped Springbok

centre.

89 The number of Tests that Bryan Habana will extend his record to as the most-capped Springbok wing in this position.

48 The number that Morné Steyn will extend his record to as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf in this position.

29 The number that Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will extend their SA record of playing together for South Africa.

50 The Du Plessis brothers will become the first set of Springbok brothers to both play in 50 Tests for their country and the fifth pair of brothers worldwide.

Test match records at Newlands

Most points: 35 by Percy Montgomery against Namibia in 2007.

Most tries: Three each by Tom van Vollenhoven, Andre Snyman, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith

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