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Matfield to break cap record

Stand-in captain Victor Matfield will become South Africa's record Test cap holder when he leads the side out on his 103rd appearance against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Bulls lock will surpass the previous best held by Percy Montgomery and injured skipper John Smit as part of a side that includes just the one change from the line-up that defeated Ireland in Dublin last weekend.

Francois Steyn comes straight into the starting XV at centre at the expense of Zane Kirchner after joining up with the squad from Racing Metro on Monday.

He partners Jean de Villiers in midfield, with the former Munster man having trained on Tuesday despite concerns over a groin strain he is carrying.

The loose forward position on the bench has yet to be decided with one of the candidates, Willem Alberts, struggling with a calf strain.

Of the change in the centre, coach Peter de Villiers said: "At this stage with the World Cup around the corner, there are many things you consider.

"What we saw of Zane was what we expected of him, they were not tested a lot (by Ireland) but we were happy with his performance.

"But Frans understands the defensive roles more as he has played there more and when a guy like that comes back they normally instil confidence in the players around them."

South Africa team: G Aplon; B Basson, F Steyn, J de Villiers, B Habana; M Steyn, R Pienaar; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, B Botha, V Matfield (capt), D Stegmann, J Smith, P Spies.

Replacements: C Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, F van der Merwe, AN Other, F Hougaard, Z Kirchner, P Lambie.


From Belfast Telegraph