- Ask Steven
South Africa's familiar front-rowJohn GriffithsSeptember 1, 2014
How many times have the Springboks Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis started as South Africa's Test front-row - what's the South African record? PA Johnson, South Africa
The trio had to wait until 2010 before they first started a Test for South Africa as a front-row unit. Former captain John Smit, who played hooker and tight-head in Tests, was rested for the 2010 autumn tour of the Northern Hemisphere and Mtawarira and the Du Plessis brothers packed down together for the first time against Ireland in a 23-21 win in Dublin.
Their appearance as a unit against Argentina in Pretoria in the opening match of this year's Rugby Championship was their 14th start together, equalling the previous Springbok record set by Os du Randt, John Smit and Eddie Andrews between 2004 and 2006.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.