Habana fourth Springbok to reach 100 test



Bryan Habana will on Saturday become the fourth Springbok and 33rd player overall to play in 100 Tests when South Africa take on Australia in the third round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Patersons Stadium in Perth (kickoff 12h05 SA time).

The 31-year-old Habana, who made his debut for South Africa against England at Twickenham on 20 November 2004, holds the record for the most Test tries in a Springbok jersey. His 56 Test tries places him fourth on the list of all-time international try scorers.

The three-time South African Rugby Player of the Year (2004, 2007 and 2012), who was also named the IRB Rugby Player of the Year in 2007, will lead the Springboks out on Saturday as he follows Percy Montgomery, John Smit and Victor Matfield in amassing 100 Tests in the green and gold.

“This is an unbelievable achievement by Bryan, who is someone every South African can be immensely proud of,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Bryan is a true professional and someone who never gives anything but his best, on the field and off it. For him to reach this magnificent milestone is just reward for years of dedication and hard work.

“Apart from scoring tries and always giving 100% on the field, Bryan is also a humble servant to the game and a true ambassador for his family, his friends and his country. He will go down in history as one of the greatest rugby players of all time.

“He is always looking for improvement – I’ve never seen him play a bad game in the Springbok jersey.”

In total, the starting line-up shows six changes from the team which beat Argentina in Salta recently. Jan Serfontein and Morne Steyn will start in the backline, while Marcell Coetzee, Victor Matfield, Adriaan Strauss and Tendai Mtawarira have been included in the pack.

As a result of these changes, Bismarck du Plessis, Lood de Jager and Damian de Allende shift to the bench, while Trevor Nyakane, Marcel van der Merwe and Pat Lambie will join the uncapped Warren Whiteley on the bench.

“We were always planning in moving our personnel around during the competition,” said Meyer.

“The only new player in the team is Warren, whom I’m very happy for and excited to see what he can do. He covers all three positions in the loose trio and can make an impact later in the game.

“It’s also good to see Pat back in the frame. He’s completed his comeback from a long-term injury and will provide necessary bench cover for flyhalf and fullback.

“Saturday’s Test against Australia will take a massive effort from every member of our squad. We’re not looking at their recent result against New Zealand and we know they will be a tough opponent.

“Similarly, we need to move on from our victories over Argentina, which are now in the past. This is a new challenge and one we have to overcome to stay alive in the competition.”

The Springbok team to face Australia in Perth is:

15 Willie le Roux – 17 Tests, 35 points
14 Cornal Hendricks – 5 Tests, 15 points
13 Jan Serfontein – 12 Tests, 5 points
12 Jean de Villiers (captain) – 98 Tests, 125 points
11 Bryan Habana – 99 Tests, 280 points
10 Morné Steyn – 58 Tests, 670 points
9 Ruan Pienaar – 78 Tests, 135 points
8 Duane Vermeulen – 21 Tests, 10 points
7 Marcell Coetzee – 18 Tests, 20 points
6 Francois Louw – 32 Tests, 25 points
5 Victor Matfield (vice-captain) – 113 Tests, 35 points
4 Eben Etzebeth – 25 Tests, 0 points
3 Jannie du Plessis – 56 Tests, 5 points
2 Adriaan Strauss – 36 Tests, 25 points
1 Tendai Mtawarira – 57 Tests, 10 points
16 Bismarck du Plessis – 62 Tests, 45 points
17 Trevor Nyakane – 5 Tests, 5 points
18 Marcel van der Merwe – 1 Test, 0 points
19 Lood de Jager – 5 Tests, 10 points
20 Warren Whiteley – uncapped
21 Francois Hougaard – 29 Tests, 20 points
22 Pat Lambie – 32 Tests, 68 points
23 Damian de Allende – 2 Tests, 0 points

Some Facts:

• The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 725 Test caps (358 in the backline and 367 in the forwards), while there a further 136 caps worth of experience on the bench.

• South Africa and Australia have played each other 78 times since 1933, with the Springboks winning 44 Tests, losing 33 and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 1,501 points and 179 tries and conceded 1,357 points and 139 tries for an average score of 19-17.

• South Africa and Australia last met on 28 September 2013 at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, when the Springboks won 28-8.

• Bryan Habana will be playing in his 100th Test for South Africa, making him only the fourth Springbok in history to reach this milestone. The others are Victor Matfield (113), John Smit (111) and Percy Montgomery (102).

• Habana will also extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 98 Tests in this position and if he scores a try, will extend his record of 56 Test tries for South Africa as well as his Castle Lager Rugby Championship record of 18 tries and will extend his own SA record of nine career tries against Australia.

• Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 83 Tests in this position. He will also extend his own SA record of 46 Rugby Championship games and will captain South Africa for the 27th time – fourth behind John Smit (83), Gary Teichmann (36) and Francois Pienaar (29).

• Victor Matfield will extend his own record as the most capped Springbok in history (113 Tests). He will also be playing against Australia for the 25th time to become the sole holder of the record he shared with John Smit previously.

• Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 56 Tests in this position. If he scores a try, he will also extend his record of eight Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa. Steyn scored 137 points in his career against Australia, just three points short of Percy Montgomery’s record of 140 points. He will also extend his own career record for most conversions (16), most penalty goals (32) and most drop goals (3) against Australia.

• If he goes on and scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his own record of eight test tries for South Africa as a hooker.

• If he goes on Warren Whiteley will become Springbok No. 863.

• The referee is George Clancy of Ireland and this will be his ninth Test involving South Africa. In the previous eight South Africa have won six and lost two. His last Test was on 7 September 2013 in the corresponding game of last year’s tournament at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane when the Springboks beat the Wallabies 38-12.



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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. @Jacques(Bunny):

    Have to say I am very happy for Warren, hope he gets some game time.

    What I am not to convinced about is Jan pencilled in at 13? Really? How much experience does he have in this position? Swop them around and it will make more sense.

  2. Hope WW gets play too!
    One can only hope that the SunKing is blessed by the same longevity tidings as was Habana.
    Gonna be a great game, but Aus CANNOT handle SA pack coupled with any inkling of creativity from the SA backline.
    In a nutshell…
    As long as Messerschmitt-Willie kits up Aus loses EVERYTIME.

  3. I agree that he does not pass – same as De Jongh! His tackling is also quite ad hoc – after a few phases he plays touch rugby.

  4. This is a shite team , it really should be the one away game the Boks win but this team is not good

    If it weren’t beast and etsebeth I’d say oz by 30 and with Mackenzie coaching it may still happen

    Not good at all. Wtf is pienaar playing scrumhalf?

  5. @cab: Team is selected to play Blue Bulls 10 man rugby…..expect a lot of kicking and playing for field position.

    HM is going back to what he is knowing and I would be very surprised if they do play an expansive game against the Aussies.

    If the Boks get to dominate the forwards of the Aussies then we will win. If the Aussie can match us up front I feel we will get a hiding like we dished out to them last year.

    This Aussie team have some great runners and game breakers, if they fire on the day then I see a high score

  6. @bryce_in_oz:

    To add to that, end of year tour was the last time we had an actual 13 at outside centre.

    We seem to like experimenting with players out of position. We had the Coenie experiment at 3, Lood at 5, Damian at 13, Jan at 13, Marcel at 7.

    So far not too sure which of those were a roaring success.

  7. @Jacques(Bunny):
    Exactly 10 man rugby is horrendous , esp with that pap bok pack.

    Well rain may be our saving grace cos pienaar is making the whole backline look v kak, and it’s not right cos for once, Boks got some serious strike runners and playmakers – but actually it’s not a good side. Still too conservative to beat Nz. They’ll never learn no matter how many times they get hammered by nz in nz – instead if attacking, they’ll go back to 20 mam rugby which works tuis but never away – the wee great one realised that.

  8. @DavidS:

    And with JF out last year… Steyn/JDV/Engelbrecht ran riot against everyone but the AB’s… and the logical back-up would have been the old Bulls combo of Steyn/Serfontein/JJ… but nup… none of that has transpired it’s been a different combo every week…


    RP has actually been pretty good considering the Boks have been gobshite at the breakdown giving him zero protection all game long… cannot remember the last time I saw the T5 (or anyone for that matter) cleaning out on own ball and counter-rucking on opposition ball…

    That there is just the start of their problems… and it has zero to do with the 9…

  9. @cab:

    I hear what you are saying, not too sure I agree 100% though.

    In the recent past the closest we came to beating the ABs in NZ was 2012 when we lost a game we should have won in Dunedin. If Morne kicked his conversions we would have. That day we did not play an expansive game. I do believe playing to our strengths will help us beat them. Playing to their strengths (like Ellis Park last year) will bring us success.

  10. @Craven:

    Hell, I forgot about the Dunedin match. And last year the Boks lost in NZ because of a referee mistake……and played the way they played at Ellis Park, because of the same referee mistake.

    Some very, very small bits of random bad luck cost the Boks 3 wins in 4 matches against the ABs……yet pessimism prevails.

    You blokes focus too much on the individuals. HM is busy building a system.
    Systems – that are independent of individuals – are more resilient and thus more successful than a collection of talented individuals, but they take more time to implement.

    The good work of the the last two years will come to fruition over the next two and will be felt for four or more beyond that.

  11. We today, are the beneficiaries of a System, devised by Messr. Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton over two hundred years ago.

    Through the decades, their System, had not only outlived themselves and a number of other highly talented individuals, but it had also survived some shockingly poor ones.

  12. @bryce_in_oz:
    Breakdown has been utter shite, so has pienaar – we in for a dropkick tomoro – dwaarsdeur die pale

    Always play to strengths, but that team picked for sat ain’t got many

    Beast and etsebeth me vermeulen going to be too little for oz