The Springboks have announced their team to play against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff with Bakkies Botha a shock starter.
Springbok Team – Test caps in brackets:
1 – Beast Mtawarira (7)
2 – Bismarck du Plessis (19)
3 – John Smit (captain) (78)
4 – Bakkies Botha (52)
5 – Victor Matfield (77)
6 – Schalk Burger (46)
7 – Juan Smith (52)
8 – Pierre Spies (16)
9 – Fourie du Preez (42)
10 – Ruan Pienaar (24)
11 – Bryan Habana (43)
12 – Jean de Villiers (43)
13 – Adrian Jacobs (18)
14 – JP Pietersen (21)
15 – Conrad Jantjes (21)
16 – Brian Mujati (9)
17 – Gurthro Steenkamp (18)
18 – Andries Bekker (10)
19 – Ryan Kankowski (4)
20 – Ricky Januarie (31)
21 – Frans Steyn (24)
22 – Jaque Fourie (39)
Points of interest:
The match will be the 23rd Test between South Africa and Wales since 1906. It is the third and final Test in the Prince William Cup, which the Springboks secured when they beat Wales in the first two tests in South Africa in June – 43-17 (Bloemfontein) and 37-21 (Pretoria).
The Springbok starting XV shows five changes to the run-on team in the previous Test against Australia on August 30. Captain John Smit replaces Brian Mujati at tight head, Bakkies Botha returns in the place of Andries Bekker at lock, Ruan Pienaar replaces Butch James at flyhalf, and wings Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen return in the place of Jongi Nokwe and Odwa Ndungane respectively.
Ricky Januarie is the only survivor on the bench from the Australia Test, with Pienaar graduating to the starting XV, flank Danie Rossouw not included in the match 22, Percy Montgomery having retired and Adriaan Strauss (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (prop) and Luke Watson (flank) not in the tour squad of 28.
Sixteen players in the squad of 22 featured in the previous test against Wales in Pretoria in June – eleven in the starting XV – Jantjes, Jacobs, de Villiers, Habana, Januarie, Spies, Smith, Matfield, Botha, Smit and Mtawarira – whilst Bekker, Gurthro Steenkamp, Bismarck du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski and Frans Steyn were on the bench.
13 of the match 22 played in the Test at the Millennium Stadium on November 24, 2007 – Pienaar (fullback), Pietersen, Fourie, Steyn, Habana, Januarie, Kankowski, Smith, Burger, Botha and Smit were in the starting XV whilst Jantjes and du Plessis came on from the bench. Smith, Fourie (2), Pietersen and Kankowski scored tries in the 34-12 victory.
Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha will extend their record as a lock combination in the starting line-up to 43
Jean de Villiers needs two tries against Wales to equal Joost van der Westhuizen’s record of six career tries against Wales
Jaque Fourie needs one try to become the sole record holder for most test tries as a centre (Current record is 19 held with Danie Gerber)
Bismarck du Plessis needs one try to become the sole record holder for most tries as a hooker (Current record is 5 held with James Dalton)
Schalk Burger and Juan Smith each need one try to become the sole record holder for most tries as a flank (Current record is 9 held with Andre Venter)