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Matfield to make a record 112th Boks appearance.

VICTOR MATFIELD will become the most-capped Test player in the history of South African rugby when he leads the Springboks against Wales in his 112th Test match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Matfield, 37, made his Test debut in June 2001 against Italy in Port Elizabeth.

He retired after the World Cup in 2011 on 110 caps, but made a highlysuccessful return to the game earlier this year.

Matfield, who is also the mostcapped Vodacom Super Rugby player in South Africa and who will surpass the previous best held by Percy Montgomery and injured skipper John Smit, will captain a Springbok starting line-up which shows two changes from the team which beat Wales by 38-16 in Durban last week.

Both changes are in the pack, where Tendai Mtawarira, nicknamed the Beast, returns at loosehead prop, with Gurthro Steenkamp reverting to the bench, while Flip van der Merwe will partner Matfield in the secondrow in the place of Bakkies Botha, who was fit for selection despite picking up an Achilles injury last weekend.

The only other change to the team is among the backline replacements, where Wynand Olivier replaces the injured Johan Goosen to provide necessary midfield cover.

"This is a fantastic accolade for Victor," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. "He's been a terrific servant of the game in South Africa and has led his country with distinction since returning."

South Africa: W le Roux; C Hendricks, JP Pietersen, J Serfontein, B Habana, M Steyn, F du Preez; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, F van der Merwe, V Matfield (capt), F Louw, D Vermuelen, W Alberts. Reps: S Brits, G Steenkamp, C Oosthuizen, L de Jager, S Burger, R Pienaar, W Olivier, L Mvovo
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jun 19, 2014
Words:287
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