Springboks change eight for Cardiff Test. The last test for 2014

Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks and Lwazi Mvovo are back in the Springbok starting line-up for Saturday’s Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The changes in the back three were required because Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen, who started in last weekend’s victory over Italy in Padova, are not available this week. The two changes to the front row are rotational.

Adriaan Strauss, who started at hooker in the victories over England and Italy, moves to the bench, where he will be joined by Trevor Nyakane and Damian de Allende in the only other changes to the match-23.

“This tour has been a good test of our depth and we’re looking forward to see what the team can do on Saturday,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“We will face a fired-up Welsh side this weekend. They played very well against New Zealand and it will be a tough end to our season, but we want to finish on a high and the focus this week has been on ensuring we keep on building on what we’ve done thus far this year.

“All the players coming into the team have been part of our squad for most of the season. They know our plans and structures and now it’s about execution on Saturday.”

Injuries and the non-availability of overseas-based players for matches outside the Test window have meant that only three players, Le Roux, Du Plessis and Duane Vermeulen, have played in all 12 Tests for the Springboks in 2014.

In 2013, a total of 10 players featured in each of the 12 Tests. Le Roux is the only player who has played in every Springbok encounter over the last two seasons, while Du Plessis has missed only one match.

It has also been confirmed today that scrumhalf Rudy Paige has picked up a medial knee ligament injury during training on Tuesday which will rule him out of action for approximately three to four weeks.

A replacement for Paige in the Springboks’ touring squad will be named at a later stage.

The Springbok team to face Wales in Cardiff is:

Position Name Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux 24 35
14 Cornal Hendricks 10 25
13 Jan Serfontein 19 10
12 Jean de Villiers (captain) 105 135
11 Lwazi Mvovo 9 15
10 Pat Lambie 39 100
9 Cobus Reinach 5 10
8 Duane Vermeulen 28 10
7 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje 6 0
6 Marcell Coetzee 25 30
5 Victor Matfield (vice-captain) 120 35
4 Eben Etzebeth 32 0
3 Coenie Oosthuizen 20 15
2 Bismarck du Plessis 69 45
1 Tendai Mtawarira 63 10
16 Adriaan Strauss 43 25
17 Trevor Nyakane 12 5
18 Julian Redelinghuys 1 0
19 Lood de Jager 8 10
20 Nizaam Carr 1 0
21 Francois Hougaard 34 25
22 Handré Pollard 8 65
23 Damian de Allende 2 0

Stats and facts:

· The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 574 Test caps (211 in the backline and 363 in the forwards), while there are a further 109 caps worth of experience on the bench.

· South Africa and Wales have played each other 29 times since 1906, with the Springboks winning 27, losing one (1999) and one was drawn (1970). The Springboks have scored 808 points and 101 tries and conceded 428 points and 36 tries for an average score of 28-15.

· South Africa and Wales last met on 21 June 2014 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. The Springboks won narrowly by 31-30.

· Jean de Villiers will extend the record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 90 Tests in this position and will captain South Africa for the 34th time, placing him third behind John Smit (83) and Gary Teichmann (36). If he scores a try he will become the sole record holder for most tries against Wales, a record he currently shares with Joost van der Westhuizen (6).

· Victor Matfield will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok in history (120 Tests). He will also extend his record of 120 Tests as a lock. It will be his 13th Test against Wales, which is also a record.

· If he scores a try Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker.

· It will be Heyneke Meyer’s 37th Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over in 2012. Of the previous 36 Tests South Africa have won 26, lost eight and drawn twice.

· The referee is John Lacey of Ireland. It will be his second Test involving South Africa. His first Test with the Springboks was in August 2014 against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, which South Africa won by 13-6 after an unusually heavy downpour during the match.

· Springbok Test match records in Cardiff:

o Most points – 23 by Percy Montgomery (1t, 3c, 4p) against Wales on 6 November, 2004.

o Most tries – three by Joost van der Westhuizen against Wales on 15 December, 1996.

o Most conversions – three by Percy Montgomery against Wales on 13 November, 2010.

o Most penalty goals – five by Morne Steyn against Wales on 13 November, 2010.

o Most drop goals – two by Percy Montgomery against New Zealand on 14 November, 1999.

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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