Bok team to face the Wallabies in Durban

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Fourie du Preez and Heinrich Brüssow will return to the Springbok starting line-up for the first time in 21 months, following the announcement of the team to meet Australia in a Castle Tri-Nations Series Test at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

 

The pair missed the entire 2010 season because of injury but were among 13 changes Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was able to make to the starting line-up that lost 40-7 to New Zealand in Wellington on July 30.

 

The starting XV is the most experienced in the history of Springbok rugby with a combined total of 810 caps, comfortably surpassing the previous record of 750 caps among the team that met Australia in Bloemfontein last season.

 

Captain John Smit and looseforward Danie Rossouw are the only survivors in the starting XV from Wellington; another three players in Morne Steyn, Jean Deysel and Gerhard Mostert have been retained among the replacements.

 

The selection also marks the return for the first time in a year of another four players – JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Butch James and Gurthrö Steenkamp – who all missed the end-of-year tour because of injury. John Smit and Danie Rossouw – who also missed the tour – made their return in the previous two rounds of the Castle Tri-Nations Series.

 

“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 Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

 

“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.”

 

Du Preez missed the 2010 international seasonal because of a shoulder operation while Brüssow was ruled out by a knee ligament injury.

 

Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Willem Alberts and uncapped Duane Vermeulen remain in rehabilitation while Andries Bekker has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup because of an ankle tendon injury.

 

“This team has vast experience and a strong leadership core, but that counts for nothing at kick off on Saturday,” said De Villiers. “This Australian team are no respecter of reputations – we saw that last year in Bloemfontein – and we know just how dangerous they can be.

 

“They will be highly motivated and hurting after their last result and they have a good recent record against us. They will know we have just come together and they’ll be looking to exploit that.”

 

Saturday’s test match will be the 73rd Test between South Africa and Australia of which 41 have been won by the Springboks. Australia have won four of the last five.

 

South Africa v Australia, 13 August 2011, Mr Price Kings Park, Durban

 

HISTORICAL RECORD

 

• South Africa’s Test record against Australia is: Played 72; Won 41; Lost 30; Drawn 1; Points for 1 367; Points against 1 278; Tries for 166; Tries against 133; Average score 19-18.

 

• South Africa’s Castle Tri-Nations record against Australia is: Played 35; Won 17; Lost 17; Drawn 1; Points for 768; Points against 825; Tries for 72; Tries against 83. Average score 22-24.

 

• South Africa’s record against Australia at Kings Park: Played 4; Won 2; Lost 2; Points for 72; Points against 74; Tries for 7; Tries against 7; Average score 18-19.

 

MILESTONES

 

• The starting line-up boasts 810 caps, exceeding the previous record of 750 caps, also against Australia in Bloemfontein, 2010.

 

• John Smit will extend his world record of most tests as a captain to 79 and his Tri-Nations record of most tests as a captain to 31. Richie McCaw of New Zealand is second on 27 Tests.

 

• John Smit and Victor Matfield will extend their shared South African career record of 22 caps against Australia.

 

• Victor Matfield will extend his record as the most capped Springbok in the Castle Tri-Nations to 42 appearances.

 

• Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers will extend their record for most Springbok appearances as a centre pairing in the starting line-up in tests to 23.

 

• Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha will extend their world record for most appearances as a lock combination in the starting line-up to 61.

 

• The following players will extend their Springbok records in a position as follows: Victor Matfield – 106th test as lock; John Smit – 90th test as hooker; Bryan Habana – 68th test as wing; Jean de Villiers – 54th test as centre and Butch James – 37th test as flyhalf.

 

The team is:

 

15. Frans Steyn

 

14. JP Pietersen

 

13. Jacque Fourie

 

12. Jean de Villiers

 

11. Bryan Habana

 

10. Butch James

 

9. Fourie du Preez

 

8. Pierre Spies

 

7. Danie Rossouw

 

6. Heinrich Brüssow

 

5. Victor Matfield

 

4. Bakkies Botha

 

3. Jannie du Plessis

 

2. John Smit (Capt)

 

1. Beast Mtawarira.

 

Reserves:

 

16. Bismarck du Plessis

 

17. Guthro Steenkamp

 

18. Gerhard Mostert

 

19. Jean Deysel

 

20. Francois Hougaard

 

21. Morne Steyn

 

22. Gio Aplon

 

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