South Africa v Wales: Record-breaking Matfield leads Boks

Victor Matfield will become the most-capped Test player in the history of South African rugby.
Victor Matfield will win his 112th cap for the Springboks when he leads South Africa against Wales.

Victor Matfield will become the most capped Test player in the history of South African rugby when he leads the Springboks against Wales on Saturday.

The lock, 37, will win his 112th cap at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

The Springboks have made two changes to the side which beat Wales 38-16 in Durban last weekend.

Tendai Mtawarira returns at loose-head prop while Flip van der Merwe will partner Matfield in the second row in place of Bakkies Botha.

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said he is expecting another tough challenge from Wales, who are due to announce their line-up on Thursday.

"They've had another week together and will be keen to lift their game on Saturday, but at the same time we were not happy with certain aspects of our game and we've worked hard to rectify that," he said.

"This is their last match of the season, so we're expecting them to come out firing. But we also want to make a step up and ensure we keep on improving as the season progresses."

Meyer praised Matfield, who made his Test debut in 2001 and came out of retirement this season having hung up his boots in 2011.

"This is a fantastic accolade for Victor," said Meyer.

"He has been a terrific servant of the game in South Africa and has led his country with distinction since returning to the Green and Gold.

"I don't think anyone can doubt that he deserves his place in the team and he's also been a great interim captain, with Jean de Villiers out injured."

The only other change to the team is among the replacements where Wynand Olivier comes in for the injured Johan Goosen to provide midfield cover.

"I've always preferred to stick with a winning combination and the changes to the team were both part of our planning," said Meyer.

"Bakkies is fit for selection, but we decided to manage his workload this week and I know Flip, who has been outstanding in the last two seasons, will slot back in easily. The same goes for 'Beast' [Mtawarira], who upped the tempo with his work rate last weekend."

South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Bryan Habana;Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Flip van der Merwe, Victor Matfield (capt), Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Schalk Burger, Ruan Pienaar, Wynand Olivier, Lwazi Mvovo.

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