Jean de Villiers admits he never expected to make it to 100 caps as he prepares for Saturday's clash with the All Blacks.
Jean de Villiers admits he never expected to make it to 100 caps as he prepares for Saturday's clash with the All Blacks in Wellington.
The South Africa skipper will follow in the footsteps of Bryan Habana, who celebrated his own century last weekend against Australia.
However de Villiers is hoping for a better result than his teammate, who was sin-binned in the Springboks' 24-23 loss.
Defeat for South Africa would all but end their hopes of winning the Rugby Championship but a first win over New Zealand since Heyneke Meyer took over would give them a great chance of regaining the title they last won in 2009.
“I went through a lot of hard times but I believe I got through it stronger,” said de Villiers.
“I never imagined I would get to 100. I feel very fortunate in that regard, because I never thought I would get to two.
“To look at the records and to see that John [Smit] and Bryan [Habana] lost their 100th, I won't go down that road.
“Whether it's your first or 100th, you play to win and I'd like to think we will be highly motivated to win and do the Bok jersey proud.”
“When it comes to rugby that's the ultimate challenge to play against the All Blacks. I was fortunate enough to play my 50th against them in Durban and now for my 100th as well against New Zealand.
“I do believe that South Africa-New Zealand test matches are pretty special and down the line we have had some fantastic games.
“Saturday will be no different.”