Keegan is at 8

August 15, 2012
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Springbok centre Frans Steyn will on Saturday play in his 50th Test for South Africa when they take on Argentina in the opening round of The Castle Rugby Championship at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.

The 25-year-old Steyn, who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2006, will become the 23rdplayer to reach 50 Test caps for South Africa. He is back at inside centre after missing the third England Test in June because of his own wedding.

Apart from Steyn’s return, two Springboks who have yet to feature this year are also back. They are lock Andries Bekker and Lwazi Mvovo. Mvovo takes over from the injured JP Pietersen at right wing while Bekker replaces Juandré Kruger in the middle row for his first Test in more than two years. Keegan Daniel will start his first Test for South Africa and comes in at No 8 for the injured Pierre Spies.

In the only other changes from the team that played England in Port Elizabeth, Willem Alberts returns to flank in the place of Jacques Potgieter, who is on the bench, while Zane Kirchner is back at fullback for Gio Aplon.

In total there are five changes from the team that started in Port Elizabeth. The Springbok team has a combined total of 432 Test caps for this Test – 157 amongst the forwards and 275 for the backs.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to stick with combinations for the Test against Argentina – the front row and loose forwards are from The Sharks, the locks play together for the DHL Stormers and the halfbacks are from the Vodacom Bulls.

“We’ve now been together for the June Tests and have had a good week to prepare, but we are still rather new as a team and it’s good that the players know each other,” said Meyer.

“Andries was always in our plans and it was a setback to lose him in June, while Lwazi has been impressive this year and I know he can fill the huge boots of JP. We’re still a young team when it comes to experience, but this is Test rugby and there is no place to hide.

“The players have been working very hard on the training field and we now need to translate that to the Test. Argentina will be fired up as they are making their debut in The Castle Rugby Championship and we know they will be a tough opponent on Saturday.”

There are two players on the bench that will be making their debut should they get game time – prop Pat Cilliers and utility back JJ Engelbrecht. Pat Lambie is also back on the bench after missing the Test in Port Elizabeth because of an ankle injury.

“We decided to go for these two because of their utility value – Pat Cilliers can scrum on both sides and JJ covers outside centre and wing, which JP Pietersen used to do for us,” said Meyer.

The Springbok team to face Argentina in Cape Town is:

Position Name Province Test Caps
15 Zane Kirchner Vodacom Blue Bulls 15
14 Lwazi Mvovo The Sharks 4
13 Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 75
12 Frans Steyn The Sharks 49
11 Bryan Habana DHL Western Province 77
10 Morné Steyn Vodacom Blue Bulls 37
9 Francois Hougaard Vodacom Blue Bulls 18
8 Keegan Daniel The Sharks 3
7 Willem Alberts The Sharks 11
6 Marcell Coetzee The Sharks 3
5 Andries Bekker DHL Western Province 24
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province 3
3 Jannie du Plessis The Sharks 33
2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain) The Sharks 45
1 Tendai Mtawarira The Sharks 35
Bench
16 Adriaan Strauss Toyota FS Cheetahs 12
17 Pat Cilliers MTN Golden Lions 0
18 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Blue Bulls 14
19 Jacques Potgieter Vodacom Blue Bulls 1
20 Ruan Pienaar Ulster, N.Ireland 54
21 Pat Lambie The Sharks 13
22 JJ Engelbrecht Vodacom Blue Bulls 0

Record watch:

  • South Africa and Argentina have played against each other in 13 Test matches since 1993, with the Springboks winning all 13.
  • The 13 consecutive Test victories over Argentina is a record for Springbok rugby. This record was equalled during last year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand when South Africa beat Wales 17-16 in Wellington for their 13th consecutive win against Wales.
  • This will be the first Test match for Argentina at DHL Newlands and the Springboks’ 49th. South Africa’s record here is: P 48; W 32; L 14; D 2; Win ratio 67%.
  • The biggest win at DHL Newlands was against Namibia in 2007 when the Springboks recorded the second highest score in South African Test rugby history, winning 105-13.
  • Bryan Habana is South Africa’s most capped Springbok wing with 76 Tests in this position (he has played one Test at centre) and is also most experienced player in the squad with a total of 77 Test caps. He is the Springbok top try scorer with 40 career tries in Tests (all scored as a wing). Bryan is one of 11 players who scored two tries in a Test match against Argentina and needs two tries to equal Jaque Fourie’s Springbok record of nine career tries in The Castle Rugby Championship / Tri-Nations tournament.
  • Morné Steyn will surpass Butch James as South Africa’s most capped flyhalf when he plays on Saturday. It will be his 38th Test cap and 27th consecutive Test. Morné holds the Springbok record for most career tries in Tests as a flyhalf – 7. He is also the Springbok record holder for most career penalty goals in this tournament – 49.
  • Morné needs 12 points to equal Percy Montgomery’s Springbok career record of 210 points in this tournament. He needs one drop goal to become the sole record holder for most career drop goals in the tournament. Currently he shares the record of four career drop goals with André Pretorius.
  • His first penalty goal will be Morné’s 50th career penalty goal in this tournament. He needs five penalty goals to reach 100 career penalty goals and also needs 11 points to reach 50 career points at DHL Newlands.
  • Bismarck du Plessis holds the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a hooker – 6. He is one of nine Springboks who have scored three career tries at DHL Newlands and will play together with his older brother, Jannie du Plessis, in their record 24th Test as brothers.
  • Jean de Villiers is South Africa’s most capped centre with 60 appearances in this position.
  • Frans Steyn is one of only three Springboks who have scored two career drop goals at DHL Newlands and together with Naas Botha the only Springboks who achieved this in one Test match.
  • Springbok career record holders at DHL Newlands are: Percy Montgomery – 108 points, 17 conversions and 23 penalty goals; Nine players have scored three tries; Dawie Snyman, Naas Botha and Frans Steyn – 2 drop goals each.
  • Springbok Test match record holders at DHL Newlands are: Percy Montgomery – 35 points; 12 conversions and 7 penalty goals; Four players have scored three tries each; Morné Steyn also scored seven penalty goals; Naas Botha and Frans Steyn – 2 drop goals each.
  • Ruan Pienaar will become joint second most capped substitute (34 caps) with CJ van der Linde should he take the field on Saturday. Ollie le Roux played in 43 Tests as a substitute.
  • Frans Steyn needs one drop goal to become the sole Springbok record holder for most career drop goals at DHL Newlands – 3.

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12 Comments

  1. avatar Pokkel says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Congrats Keegan! :applause:

    Well deserved after a great season!

    Heyneke can’t be accused of having BB bias anymore. Only 3 Bulls staring and no Bulls in the forward pack.

  2. avatar Pokkel says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Also congrats to Pat Cilliers and JJ for making the bench.

    When did Flip vd Merwe leapfrog Juandre Kruger.

    With Mr. glass-spine starting I would have thought that he would rather chose a 5 lock on the bench.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Not moaning, just mentioning:
    Andre Joubert played with his broken finger,
    did he not? Spies’ finger must be serious.
    Not that I’m complaining.

    Will be very interesting to see Daniel at 8.
    Totally different player than Spies and
    Vermeulen.
    As for the No15 – :sigh:

  4. avatar Craven says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I like this team. Yes, I would have changed some of them for my personal favourites, but all in all I am happy.

    Congrats to Keegan, Pat and JJ for getting a chance to play in this test.

    Pity JP is not playing!

  5. avatar Duiwel says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Don’t give a shit who plays.
    Just don’t lose.

  6. avatar The Year of the Cheetah says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    dont give a shit who plays, just dont play to not lose

  7. avatar DavidS says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:25 pm:

    JP Pietersen also out due to finger break… didn’t see you say anything about that…

    Maybe the fact that Andre Joubert had a job to return to after rugby played a role… seeing as JP Pietersen and Pierre Spies did not and the team doctor ruled them out because this is their profession played a smidgen of a role…

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 5:49 pm:

    Don’t listen to Brenden

    Just win….

  9. avatar DavidS says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    There are better than Potgieter and VD Merwe…

    5/2 split is possible using Lambie and Tiger… JJ was not needed.

    Could have added an another jumper or FR. That Fourie guy at the Stormers sure is an interesting player… a loose forward who can play at hooker…

    Opens up a world of possibilities on the bench.

  10. avatar Kevin Rack says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 5:49 pm: no English 1990′s rugby, too negative and too scared to lose and not brave enough to win.

    Good move with Daniels at 8. See more broken attacking play form the Boks, he is great at getting in the way and slowing the ball down. Alberts back at 7.

    Not sure of Pottie nor Zane.

    I prefer to see a captain closer to the game, like a no9 or in the forwards. Been down the backline you dont have enough time whispering sweet nothings in the refs ear constantly like a miggie. You eventually have to re-act to the miggie.

  11. avatar Timeo says:
    August 16th, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:25 pm:

    Players used to play for fame and glory and one could get a lot of both by playing injured.

    These days there are considerations beyond just fame and glory.

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 16th, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Reply to Timeo @ 3:13 am:

    Not to mention insurance policies…

    HM clearly using this game for a few experiments as well as getting guys like Lambie back into the swing of things… I expect more ‘experiments’ in the next game should they take this (which they should)… not really a balanced 22 yet…

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