Springboks bomb squad - Rassie Erasmus
Eben Etzebeth in the quarter-finals. Images via Twitter: @springboks/ @piersmorgan

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Most capped Springboks player

Springboks lock, Eben Etzebeth is currently the most capped player on the squad with many more games in the chamber

13-02-24 20:21
Springboks bomb squad - Rassie Erasmus
Eben Etzebeth in the quarter-finals. Images via Twitter: @springboks/ @piersmorgan

When the Springboks return to action in July this year, Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth – who made his debut in June 2012 – will run out for his 120th international cap.

The next Test appearance for the Bok enforcer will take Etzebeth to within touching distance of the only two other legends ahead of him on the all-time list for most Springbok caps, namely Bryan Habana (124) and Victor Matfield (127).

Etzebeth has already enjoyed a remarkable career when it comes to maintaining consistent fitness and form, and also keep in mind that he only recently turned 32 years old.

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The big man could quite feasibly play Test rugby for at least another five years if he is well managed and maintains his remarkable conditioning. Don’t forget Matfield made his final Springbok appearance at the age of 38, while the most-capped international player of all time, Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones, is 37-years-old but has no plans to retire.

Considering that the Springboks generally play 12 to 13 Internationals in a normal Test year, it’s actually not beyond the realms of possibility that Etzebeth could not not only surpass Matfield, but also could become the first South African to play more than 150 Bok matches.

All in all, it’s an incredible prospect for the future, with the powerful lock having already won two World Cups and a British & Irish Lions series with the Springboks.

Etzebeth was the obvious choice as the 2022 SA Rugby Player of the Year – while he is expected to retain this award for 2023 – and fitness and form permitting, there is good reason to believe he will increasingly entrench himself as the greatest Springbok of all time.

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Saturday, 6 July: SA vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: SA vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: SA vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)

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Saturday, 10 August: Australia vs SA (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
Saturday, 17 August: Australia vs SA (Optus Stadium, Perth)
Saturday, 31 August: SA vs New Zealand (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
Saturday, 7 September: SA v New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday, 21 September: Argentina v SA (venue TBC)
Saturday, 28 September: SA v Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)