Matfield to skipper Springboks

Date published: October 28 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Victor_Matfield_South_Africa_training

South Africa have named a strong side for their Bronze Medal match against Argentina, with Victor Matfield captaining them at Olympic Park on Friday.

The Springboks have made two changes to the starting line-up that lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Matfield replaces Lodewyk de Jager in the number five jersey and Ruan Pienaar steps in for Fourie du Preez at scrum-half.

De Jager drops to the replacements and Rudy Paige fills the bench spot vacated by Pienaar.

Bryan Habana has scored 15 career RWC tries and is tied for the competition record with Jonah Lomu. One more try will give Habana 65 for his test career and will take him into outright second place all-time, overtaking David Campese's 64. The world record is 69 by Daisuke Ohata.

Schalk Burger will extend the team record for most RWC appearances to 20. This will bring him level with George Gregan for joint-third in the history of the competition. Only Jason Leonard (22) and Richie McCaw (21) have made more RWC appearances.

Matfield will play his 127th and last test for the Springboks. He is the most capped player in team history and at 38 is also the oldest player to represent his country in test rugby.

Matfield will captain the Springboks for the 23rd time in his test career and for the second time in a World Cup match. He also skippered the side in the 13-5 victory against Samoa in 2011.

Handré Pollard has scored 79 points at RWC 2015 and is tied for second place with Scotland's Greig Laidlaw. Only Argentina's Nicolás Sánchez has tallied more points (89) in the tournament than Pollard.

In each of the previous two World Cups, a South Africa player finished as the tournament's leading points scorer. In 2007, Percy Montgomery led the way on 105 and in 2011 Morné Steyn topped the list on 62.

Pat Lambie could make his 50th test appearance for the Springboks if he comes off the bench.

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Date: Friday, October 30
Venue: Olympic Park, London
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Television match official: Graham Hughes

COMMENTS