Springbok milestone watch
Cape Town - Victor Matfield will become only the third player to play 100 Tests for South Africa as the Springboks and Wallabies take each other on for the 70th time since their first encounter in 1933 at Newlands.
Of the past 69 Tests South Africa won 40, lost 28 and drawn one for a win percentage of 58%.
South Africa’s Vodacom Tri-Nations record against Australia is: Played 32; Won 17; Lost 14; Drawn 1. South Africa scored 62 tries and conceded 69.
Only four Tests between the two rivals were played at this venue previously with South Africa triumphant on all four occasions. South Africa scored 117 and conceded 56 points for an average score of 29-14 at Loftus Versfeld.
Victor Matfield will play his 100th Test, only the third Springbok to achieve this milestone.
This Test will also be his 41st Vodacom Tri-Nations Test, the joint second most capped player with George Smith of Australia. George Gregan is heading the list with 48 caps. He will also become the most capped Springbok against Australia in his 21st test against the Aussies.
John Smit will play in his 75th Test as captain. Should John score a try, he will equal the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a hooker. The current record is jointly held by James Dalton and Bismarck du Plessis with five career tries. John will be playing in his 27th Vodacom Tri-Nations Test as captain, the most capped captain in the tournament.
Bryan Habana needs one try to become South Africa’s most prolific try scorer in Tests. Bryan currently shares the record with Joost van der Westhuizen with 38 Test tries. He needs two tries to equal Breyton Paulse’s career record of seven tries against Australia. Bryan is the most capped Springbok wing.
Jaque Fourie will play in his 50th Test as centre, the first Springbok centre to achieve this milestone. He is also the top try scorer for the Springboks as a centre with 25 career tries.
Frans Steyn needs one drop goal to become the sole Springbok record holder for most career drop goals against Australia. The current record is two, jointly held by Percy Montgomery, André Pretorius and Steyn.
Morné Steyn is one of only eight players who scored more than 100 career points in the Vodacom Tri-Nations (134 in 10 appearances). Dan Carter tops the list with 426 points in 30 appearances. Morné needs one drop goal to equal André Pretorius’ tournament record of four career drop goals.
Should CJ van der Linde score a try, he will equal the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a prop. The current record is jointly held by Chris Koch and Os du Randt with five career tries.
Should Pierre Spies score a try, he will become the sole Springbok record holder for most tries in Tests as an eighthman. The current record of six career tries is jointly held by Gary Teichmann, Joe van Niekerk, Bob Skinstad and Spies.
The career record of tries scored in the Vodacom Tri-Nations is 16 by Christian Cullen. The most career tries by a Springbok are seven scored by Breyton Paulse, Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana. The most career tries for an Australian player in the tournament are nine by Stirling Mortlock.
Alain Rolland of Ireland will officiate as referee in his 12th Test match involving South Africa. Only Paddy O’Brien from New Zealand has officiated in 12 Tests involving South Africa.
Other notable record holders are:
Butch James: Most capped Springbok flyhalf – 34.
John Smit: Most capped Springbok hooker – 85, most capped Springbok forward – 100.
Victor Matfield: Most capped Springbok lock – 99.
Schalk Burger: Most tries in Tests as a flank – 12, also most capped Springbok flank – 59.
The Springbok team is:
15 Frans Steyn – 37 caps
14 JP Pietersen – 34 caps
13 Jaque Fourie – 60 caps
12 Jean de Villiers – 61 caps
11 Bryan Habana – 64 caps
10 Morné Steyn – 19 caps
9 Francois Hougaard – 3 caps
8 Pierre Spies – 35 caps
7 Juan Smith – 63 caps
6 Schalk Burger – 61 caps
5 Victor Matfield – 99 caps
4 Flip van der Merwe – 4 caps
3 Jannie du Plessis – 18 caps
2 John Smit (Captain) – 100 caps
1 Gurthrö Steenkamp – 29 caps
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle – 15 caps
17 CJ van der Linde – 63 caps
18 Danie Rossouw – 52 caps
19 Ryan Kankowski – 15 caps
20 Ricky Januarie – 47 caps
21 Butch James – 39 caps
22 Juan de Jongh – 6 caps