Matfield becomes 52nd Bok captain20 June 2007 (Posted: 13:22)
Springbok lock Victor Matfield will start for the first time as captain when the team faces the All Blacks in a Vodacom Tri-Nations clash at Durban’s ABSA Stadium on June 23. He will become the 52nd Springbok test captain.
Bismarck Du Plessis is the only uncapped player in the 22-man team. Should he play on Saturday, he will become the 787th Springbok and the 61st from KwaZulu Natal. Hooker Gary Botha is in the starting line-up for the first time in a Springbok jersey.
The Springboks will play in their 23rd Test at this venue since the second Test against the 1962 British Lions team of Arthur Smith. Of the previous 22 Tests here, South Africa won 14, lost 5 while three Tests were drawn.
Jannie de Beer holds the record of 22 points in a Test against New Zealand, while Ray Mordt and Marius Joubert are the only Springboks who scored a hat-trick of tries in a Test against them.
South Africa’s Vodacom Tri-Nations record at home is: Played 24; Won 16; Lost 8 with 602 points scored and 584 conceded.
In the only two Vodacom Tri-Nations Tests against New Zealand at ABSA Stadium, South Africa won 24-23 in 1998, but lost 23-30 in 2002.
The Springbok team for Saturday is as follows (existing caps in brackets): 15 Percy Montgomery (84)
14 Ashwin Willemse (15)
13 Jaque Fourie (28)
12 Jean de Villiers (30)
11 JP Pietersen (3)
10 Butch James (17)
9 Ruan Pienaar (9)
8 Pierre Spies (9)
7 Juan Smith (32)
6 Schalk Burger (30)
5 Victor Matfield (57) (C)
4 Bakkies Botha (34)
3 BJ Botha (9)
2 Gary Botha (6)
1 Os du Randt (71)
16 Bismarck du Plessis ( - )
17 CJ van der Linde (36)
18 Johann Muller (13)
19 Danie Rossouw (23)
20 Michael Claassens (6)
21 Wynand Olivier (14)
22 Francois Steyn (7)
Some interesting facts and figures, going into the Test:
Percy Montgomery could improve his existing records – 713 points in Tests; 112 conversions in Tests and 122 penalty goals in Tests. He will play in his record 71st Test as a fullback.
Percy also holds the South African records for most Vodacom Tri-Nations appearances (28), most career points (187), 22 career conversions and 38 career penalty goals.
Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha will improve their record of 28 Test matches as a lock pairing.
Saturday’s referee is Alain Rolland of Ireland. It will be the fifth time that he officiates as referee in a Test involving the Springboks. Of the previous four Tests, South Africa only won one.