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Boks to target rookies in All Blacks pack

By Dillion Davie | Jul 31, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ANY weekend when the Springboks take on the All Blacks is a big weekend in rugby, but tomorrow's game in Durban has a few other distinctions.

When John Smit takes the field tomorrow as captain and tighthead prop, this 86th Test match will mark both an extension of his record as the most capped SA forward, but also bring him a new accolade as the most-capped international captain in history. His record of 60 matches as captain move him past England's Will Carling and Australia's George Gregan.

Last weekend's victory also pushed the Boks into first place on the IRB rankings, pipping New Zealand to the post by a mere 0.20 points.

Milestones will also be earned for flying wing Bryan Habana and powerhouse centre Jean de Villiers, who both earn their 50th Bok caps tomorrow.

The men in black will look to come out firing. Coming in at tighthead in place of a injured Neemia Tialata is young Crusaders prop Owen Franks, who makes his run-on debut.

Franks is potentially the weak point in the All Blacks pack and Beast Mtawarira, playing in front of his home crowd, will look for the upper hand over him at scrum time.

The New Zealand side in general are relatively green in crucial positions, with rookie lock Isaac Ross set to struggle again against the line-out dominance of Victor Matfield and his men, while flyhalf Stephen Donald is the weak link that the Bok backline will target.

The match will be live on SS1 and delayed on SABC 2 .


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