Springbok team for first Lions Test

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South African Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has named a squad of 22 players with a combined total of 707 caps for the first Test of the Castle South Africa 2009 Lions Series this Saturday, June 20 at the Absa Stadium Durban. John Smit, a world cup winning captain and the most experienced member of the team, will lead the Springboks out in their first duel against the British & Irish Lions since 1997.

Free State Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brüssow will make his first Test start after earning his first cap as from the bench against England in November 2008 and flanker Juan Smith needs one try to become the sole record holder for the most tries as a Springbok flanker and Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis needs one try to become the sole record holder for the most tries as a Springbok hooker. Blue Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn is the only uncapped player in the squad of 22.

The Springbok team for the first Test against the British & Irish Lions is (Test caps in brackets):
15. Frans Steyn (27)
14. JP Pietersen (24)
13. Adi Jacobs (21)
12. Jean de Villiers (46)
11. Bryan Habana (46)
10. Ruan Pienaar (27)
9. Fourie du Preez (43)
8. Pierre Spies (19)
7. Juan Smith (54)
6. Heinrich Brüssow (1)
5. Victor Matfield (80)
4. Bakkies Botha (55)
3. John Smit (81) – captain
2. Bismarck du Plessis (21)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (10)
 
Replacements:
16. Gurthrö Steenkamp (20)
17. Deon Carstens (7)
18. Andries Bekker (13)
19. Danie Rossouw (36)
20. Ricky Januarie (34)
21. Jaque Fourie (42)
22. Morné Steyn (uncapped)

The Test will be the 44th encounter between the Springboks and the Lions since 1891. South Africa has won 21, the Lions 16 and 6 Tests have been drawn.

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