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Faf de Klerk and Damian de Allende were included in Springbok starting line-up to face the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday in the final Test of the 2016 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

The two personnel changes are both due to injuries – scrumhalf De Klerk comes into the starting team again as a replacement for Rudy Paige, who suffered a concussion in the victory over the Wallabies in Pretoria, while De Allende replaces Jesse Kriel, who was ruled out of action as a result of his groin injury.

In a positional change in midfield, Juan de Jongh moves from inside to outside centre, with De Allende now wearing the No 12 jersey. The two wings, Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard, will swap jerseys for this Test.

The rest of the match-day squad was kept unchanged from the line-up that defeated the Wallabies by 18-10 last Saturday.

“Unfortunately for Rudy, he will not have completed his gradual return to play protocol by this weekend, which gives Faf another opportunity in the No 9 jersey,” said Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee.He added: “Damian should slot in well next to Juan de Jongh in the midfield as they play together for their Vodacom Super Rugby franchise.”

According to Coetzee, the bench made a very good impact against the Wallabies: “I expect them to do a similar job this coming weekend. Furthermore, our set-piece have functioned very well and I am hoping for the same against a very good defensive lineout and scrum from the All Blacks.

“The All Blacks will be a huge Test, they are number one side in the world and they have great form at the moment. We are playing at home and the boys are looking forward to the encounter against the world’s best team.

“It is important for us to end the campaign with a good performance against a very good All Blacks side. What I would like to see is that that we keep on improving as a team and build on our continuity and converting more of our opportunities into points.”

The match will be the last home Test match for Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss, who will retire from international rugby at the end of the season. New Zealand has already won the 2016 Castle Lager Rugby Championship and a positive result will enable the South Africans to finish in second place.

The Springbok team to face the All Blacks in Durban:

Position Name Franchise / Province / Club Test Caps Test points
15 Pat Lambie Cell C Sharks 52 137
14 Francois Hougaard Worcester Warriors (England) 38 25
13 Juan de Jongh DHL Stormers 18 15
12 Damian de Allende DHL Stormers 19 10
11 Bryan Habana (vice-captain) Toulon (France) 122 330
10 Morne Steyn Stade Francais (France) 65 721
9 Faf de Klerk Emirates Lions 7 0
8 Warren Whiteley Emirates Lions 11 15
7 Oupa Mohoje Toyota Cheetahs 13 0
6 Francois Louw Bath (England) 51 40
5 Pieter-Steph du Toit DHL Stormers 16 15
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Stormers 52 10
3 Vincent Koch DHL Stormers/Steval Pumas 6 0
2 Adriaan Strauss (captain) Vodacom Bulls 62 30
1 Tendai Mtawarira Cell C Sharks 83 10
Replacements:
16 Bongi Mbonambi DHL Stormers 2 0
17 Steven Kitshoff Bordeaux (France) 6 0
18 Julian Redelinghuys Emirates Lions 7 0
19 Lood de Jager Toyota Cheetahs 24 20
20 Willem Alberts Stade Francais (France) 40 35
21 Jaco Kriel Emirates Lions 6 0
22 Lionel Mapoe Emirates Lions 8 0
23 Willie le Roux Canon Eagles (Japan) 38 45

Stats and facts:

Head to head:

  • South Africa and New Zealand square off for the 93rd time since their first Test match in 1921. South Africa won 35, lost 54 and three matches were drawn for a win percentage of 38%.
  • The inaugural Tri-Nations Test between New Zealand and South Africa was played in Christchurch on 20 July, 1996. To date 44 matches in the Tri-Nations and currently Castle Lager Rugby Championship were played between the two countries of which South Africa have won 12 and lost 32.
  • The complete South African record in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship against New Zealand is: Played 44, Won 12, Lost 32, Points for 842, Points against 1 219, Tries for 77, Tries against 122, Average score 19-28.
  • South Africa and New Zealand are the only two Tier 1 countries who hold the record for most consecutive wins – between 1965 and 1969 New Zealand recorded 17 consecutive wins before the Springboks beat them in Pretoria on 25 July, 1970. During 1997/98, South Africa equalled the record with 17 consecutive Test victories before losing to England in December 1998.
  • New Zealand repeated this feat and won 17 consecutive Test matches during 2013/14, this time being stopped by Australia who drew their first Castle Lager Rugby Championship match of 2014 in Sydney 12-12.
  • On 1 August, 2009, Morné Steyn established a new world record by scoring all 31 points against the All Blacks in Durban with a try, conversion and eight penalty goals.
  • The All Blacks will start Saturday’s match with 16 consecutive wins behind them.

Match Officials:

  • The match officials for this match are: Referee – Jérôme Garcès (France); Assistant referees – John Lacey and George Clancy (both Ireland) with the TMO Jim Yuille (Scotland).
  • It will be Garcès’ ninth appearance as referee in Test matches involving South Africa. The Springboks won three and lost five of the previous eight Tests.

Stadium:

  • Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban has a seating capacity of 52 000. The Springbok’s record at this stadium is: Played 31, Won 19, Lost 9, Drawn 3, Points for 749, Points against 508, Tries for 77, Tries against 45. The average score is 24-16.
  • The most points scored in a Test match by a Springbok at this stadium are 31. Morné Steyn scored all the points – a try, a conversion and 8 penalty goals against New Zealand in August, 2009. South Africa won that Test 31-19.
  • The complete Championship record at Growthpoint Kings Park against New Zealand is: Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Points for 99, Points against 98, Tries for 9, Tries against 9. The average score is 25-25.

The team:

  • There is a total of 623 Test caps in the starting line-up are – 321 in the backline and 302among the forwards. The combined Test caps on the bench are 123. The average caps per player for the match-23 is 27.
  • The youngest player in the 23-man squad is Lood de Jager (23y, 9m) while the oldest member of the team is Bryan Habana (33y, 3m).
  • The following players will play in their ninth consecutive match in the starting XV under Allister Coetzee’s reign: Francois Louw, Eben Etzebeth, Adriaan Strauss and Tendai Mtawarira.
  • Bryan Habana is the top try scorer (8) for South Africa against New Zealand while Morné Steyn is the top points scorer with one try, 10 conversions, 31 penalty goals and two drop goals for a total of 124 career points in  12 appearances against the All Blacks.

Milestones and records:

  • Bryan Habana is the Springbok record holder for most career tries (8) against New Zealand.
  • Damian de Allende will play in his 20th Test match.
  • Eben Etzebeth will play in his 30th consecutive Test match, which places him in third place for most consecutive Tests matches in a Springbok career behind Gary Teichmann (39) and John Smit (46).
  • Morné Steyn made his Test debut against the British & Irish Lions at this stadium on 20 June, 2009. His second Test match at this stadium was against the All Blacks on 1 August, 2009. During this match he established a new world record by scoring all 31 points with a try, a conversion and 8 penalty goals. The final score was 31-19.
  • Steyn kicked four successful penalty goals against Australia at Loftus Versfeld last Saturday and is now the new record holder for most career penalty goals in Tests for South Africa (149). He only needs one successful penalty goal for his 150th. He is also now the new record holder with six drop goals in his Castle Lager Rugby Championship career.
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