Murray and Watson set for Springbok debuts
June 6, 2007
Waylon Murray and Luke Watson will make their debuts in the Springbok jersey when South Africa plays Samoa on Saturday June 9 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
Murray made his first class debut in 2005 and was a member of the SA Under-21 squad in 2006. Watson, who made his first class debut in 2002, captained the SA Schools team in 2001 and was captain of the SA Under-19's in 2002. Amongst his achievements is captaining the SA U 21's in 2004 and being named Vodacom Super 14 Player of the Year, last year.
With only 50 Test caps, this is the most inexperienced Springbok backline since the second Test against Argentina in 1994 and features Derick Hougaard in his first Test since Rugby World Cup in 2003.
Johan Ackermann will become the oldest player in Springbok history to play in a Test (37 years, 6 days). The previous oldest was Boy Morkel, who played his final Test against the All Blacks in 1921 (36 years, 258 days).
John Smit will lead the Springboks for a record 41st time and will be playing in his 45th consecutive Test match. He will also improve on his record of 63 Tests as a hooker.
Percy Montgomery could improve his existing records - 695 points in Tests; 110 conversions in Tests; 119 penalty goals in Tests and he could improve his record 69 Tests as a fullback.
This Test will be Jake White's 40th Test as Head Coach of the Springboks.
The Springboks will play in their 40th Test at this venue since the first Test against the 1928 All Blacks.
Of the previous 39 Tests at Ellis Park, South Africa won 27, lost 10 while two Tests were drawn.
South Africa played against Samoa twice in 1995, at Ellis Park, once in 2002, at Loftus Versfeld, and the last encounter took place during the Rugby World Cup in 2003, in Brisbane.
The Springbok team for Saturday is as follows (existing caps in brackets):
15. Francois Steyn (5)