Rugby Championship

Etzebeth relaxed ahead of 50th Test

2016-09-08 13:20
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)

Cape Town - Eben Etzebeth will become the youngest South African to reach 50 Test caps when the Springboks take on the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday. 

Etzebeth, 24, made his Test debut at the age of 20 against England in Durban in 2012 and has since established himself as the Springboks' first-choice No 4.

He becomes the 32nd Springbok to reach the milestone. 

Saturday's clash is massive for the Boks, who have lost two of their five matches under new coach Allister Coetzee. 

But Etzebeth, who will play in his 27th consecutive Test, was as cool as ever as he discussed his milestone and the task awaiting the Boks.

"It's nice to have that record now, but I just try to take it game by game," Etzebeth said.

"I'm enjoying myself. I started playing rugby at six years old. I just enjoy the game. For me, it’s more of a hobby than a profession.

"I’m here in Australia among some friends and I also enjoy my time away from rugby so it’s nice for me.

"Wearing the green and gold jersey is a massive thing for me and for every South African, so that just motivates me."

Etzebeth credited his lock partners, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Lood de Jager, for the work they had put in over the past few months in making the Boks lineout a success. 

"They've really out in a massive effort there," Etzebeth said. 

"But also to our forwards coach, Johan van Graan. It's taken buy-in from the whole team."

Australia, meanwhile, are under pressure themselves, having lost their last six Test matches. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 12:05. 

Teams:

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes (from): 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Drew Mitchell

South Africa

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Lionel Mapoe

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