Most capped Test rugby side of all time - by position

A look at the most capped rugby union Test side of all time - by position - with the most experienced ever Springbok XV added in for good measure.

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1. Gethin Jenkins (Wales) - 129

Jenkins was regarded as one of the best looseheads in the game during his career. He made 129 appearances for Wales and added five Test caps to his tally with the British and Irish Lions.

Most capped Springbok: Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira - 117

2. Keven Mealamu (New Zealand) - 132

Mealamu tops an impressive list of hookers that have made over 100 appearances for their nation. The former All Black played his 132nd and final Test in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final against Australia.

Most capped Springbok: John Smit - 111

3. Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy) - 119

Castrogiovanni made a name for himself as one the premier scrummagers in the game and enjoyed a long stint in the Italian national jersey featuring 119 times for his country.

Most capped Springbok: CJ van der Linde - 73

4. Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales) - 138

Alun-Wyn is closing in on Richie McCaw at the top of the all-time list and would've closed in even more had this year's Six Nations not been called off. 

Most capped Springboks: Bakkies Botha/Eben Etzebeth - 85

5. Victor Matfield (South Africa) - 129

A legend of the lineout, Victor Matfield made 129 appearances for the Springboks over a 14-year-long career. He captained the Springboks and won the Rugby World Cup in 2007, while also claiming a series victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2009.

Most capped Springbok: Victor Matfield - 129

6. George Smith (Australia) - 111

The Wallaby legend made 111 appearances between 2000-2013. Smith is the third most capped Wallaby of all time and was named in the Wallaby team of the decade in 2005.

Most capped Springbok: Francois Louw - 76

7. Richie McCaw (New Zealand) - 148

The most capped player of all time Richie McCaw captained the All Blacks for most of his career winning two World Cups, countless Bledisloe Cups and become the first player to win 100 Test matches and has won more games as captain than any other player.

Most capped Springbok: Schalk Burger - 86

8. Sergio Parisse (Italy) - 142

The most capped Italian off all time. Parisse also became the first player to captain his country in 50 Six Nations matches in the final round of the 2019 Six Nations against France.

Most capped Springbok: Duane Vermeulen - 54


9. George Gregan (Australia) - 139

One of the greatest scrumhalves to have graced the game, Gregan is currently the third most capped player of all time turning out 139 times for the Wallabies, winning the World Cup in 1999. During his time with the Wallabies, the side won two Tri-Nations.

Most capped Springbok: Joost van der Westhuizen - 89

10. Ronan O'Gara (Ireland) - 130

O'Gara tops an impressive list of flyhalves who have made over 100 appearances for his country. The Irish international earned 130 Test caps for his country (and two more for the British and Irish Lions).

Most capped Springbok: Morne Steyn - 66

11. Bryan Habana (South Africa) - 124

The most prolific Springbok try-scorer of all time, Habana burst onto the Test scene scoring off the bench at Twickenham and went to score 67 tries in 124 Tests for South Africa, while also winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup, a Tri-Nations and a British & Irish Lions series.

Most capped Springbok: Bryan Habana - 124

12. Florin Vlaicu (Romania) - 124

At the age of 33, Vlaicu has some time to become one of the most capped players of all time has gone on to make 124 appearances for Romania since his debut in 2006.

Most capped Springbok: Jean de Villiers - 109

13. Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland) - 133

Ireland legend O'Driscoll retired from Test rugby in 2014 with 133 Test caps (and 8 for the British & Irish Lions).

Most capped Springbok: Jaque Fourie - 72

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Australia) - 121

Australia's 'Mister Fix It', Ashley-Cooper has scored 39 tries in 121 Tests for the Wallabies and has featured on the wing, fullback and at outside centre for the national side.

Most capped Springbok: JP Pietersen - 70

15. Merab Kvirikashvili (Georgia) - 115

A legend of the game in Georgia, Kvirikashivili began his career as a scrumhalf before moving to fullback. The veteran can also play flyhalf and has broken numerous national records and is his country's leading points scorer.

Most capped Springbok: Percy Montgomery - 102

There you have it. A staggering 1 934 (average 129) combined Test caps in that starting XV.


Only Tests played for a player's country count, not for composite teams like the British & Irish Lions or Barbarians.

Players selected in the position they most often played.

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