Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - 2009 was a special year for the Springboks.
Under the mentorship of coach Peter de Villiers, they secured three straight victories over the All Blacks in that year's Rugby Championship - two at home and one away.
It was a time to savour, and the man who started all three of those matches at scrumhalf for the Boks will lead them out into battle in Saturday's Rugby World Cup semi-final at Twickenham.
At the start of the tournament there were doubts over whether Fourie du Preez would be fit enough to play at all. Now, five games later, he is the team's chief as they gear up for their most important match since 2011's controversial loss to Australia in the tournament quarter-finals.
There is a certain comfort and calm that Du Preez brings to the captaincy, and coach Heyneke Meyer spoke this week about the benefits of having a man who has done it all at the helm.
"Fourie has played the All Blacks quite often... he’s played a lot of Test matches. He was part of 2009 when South Africa beat the All Blacks three times as well," said Meyer.
"Fourie has faced them... he’s faced the best teams in the world, he’s faced the British and Irish Lions.
"He knows what it takes and we as a team know that this must be our best performance, probably ever, if we want to beat them because they are the best team I think that’s ever played the game."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams