Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth became just the seventh Springbok to play 100 Tests earlier this year. Photo: SA Rugby website

Etzebeth well on track to be most-capped Springbok of all-time!

Eben Etzebeth will become the fifth-most capped Springbok on Saturday, but is well on his way to surpassing all-time leader Victor Matfield.

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth became just the seventh Springbok to play 100 Tests earlier this year. Photo: SA Rugby website

When the Springboks head into battle against England this Saturday, Etzebeth – who made his debut in June 2012 – will run out for his 110th international cap.

This weekend’s Test appearance will see Etzebeth move ahead of Jean de Villiers to become the fifth-most capped Springbok of all time.

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Other legends ahead of him on the all-time list for most Springbok caps include John Smit (111), Beast Mtawarira (117), Bryan Habana (124) and Victor Matfield (127).

Etzebeth has already enjoyed a remarkable career when it comes to maintaining consistent fitness and form, and by the end of next year, it would be fully expected that he will have surpassed both Smit and Mtawarira.

Also keep in mind that Etzebeth has only just turned 31 years old. He could quite feasibly play Test rugby for another five years if he is well managed and maintains his remarkable conditioning.

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Considering that the Springboks generally play 12 to 13 Internationals in a normal Test year, it’s actually not beyond the realms of possibility that Etzebeth could not not only surpass Matfield, but also could become the first South Africa to play more than 150 Bok matches.

All in all, it’s an incredible prospect for the future, with Etzebeth also increasingly entrenching himself as quite possibly the greatest Springbok of all time.

Springboks v England record ahead of Saturday’s Test: Played 44; Won 26; Lost 16; Drawn 2; Points for: 945, Points against: 756; Tries scored 86, Tries conceded 57; Highest score 58-10; Biggest win 48 points. Win % 59%.

Milestones:

  • Siya Kolisi is the second most capped Springbok captain having led the side in 44 Test matches.
  • Eben Etzebeth is the second most capped Springbok lock with 109 Tests.

Miscellaneous:

  • The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 708.
  • There are 322 caps in the backline, with 387 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 197 caps.
  • The average caps per player in the backline are 46, the forwards 48, while the players on the bench average 24.

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Etzebeth will start his 104th Test on Saturday

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Canan Moodie.

England – TBA

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