Boks big on caps

South Africa will boast the most experienced Test side in their illustrious history when they take on Australia later today. [more]

Boks big on caps

South Africa will boast the most experienced Test side in their illustrious history when they take on Australia later today.

Peter de Villiers has named a starting XV that share an incredible 810 international caps between them for the Tri Nations clash in Durban.

Second row Victor Matfield, hooker John Smit, wing Bryan Habana, centre Jean de Villiers and fly-half Butch James are all now the most capped in their positions with 106, 90, 68, 54 and 37 Test appearances respectively, while Smit has an international tally of 104 having also featured at prop.

Scrum-half Fourie du Preez and openside flanker Heinrich Brussow both feature for the first time in 21 months having both starred in the 2009 series victory against the Lions.

Skipper Smit and flanker Dannie Rossouw are the only survivors from the humiliating 40-7 defeat to New Zealand last time out, with coach de Villiers selecting all his available star names having left out 21 players for the away leg of the tournament.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

World Cup winning playmaker James has the chance to press his claims for a starting spot at next month’s global gathering as Morne Steyn drops to the bench.

James is the only one of the starting line up not to have featured in the Test series against Britain and Ireland’s elite two years ago as the Boks look to prepare for the World Cup opener with Wales with a morale-boosting win.

Pierre Spies joined Rossouw in coming through a late fitness test with de Villiers confident that his star-studded line up won’t suffer too much from their relative inactivity.

"We still have a number of leading players unavailable through injury but this is the strongest squad we have been able to choose from since 2009," said the Springbok boss.

"It's great to have Fourie and Heinrich back as they were two of the leading players in world rugby when they last played in 2009, and they contributed a lot to Springbok success that season.

"This is the first step back for them, but we're looking to them to have the same impact in due course.

"They might struggle for the first 15 minutes to get into the game but I believe that their natural talent will kick in."

Previous story Wallabies win in Durban
Next story Henson suffers World Cup blow
Download