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The ever-present second-rows

John GriffithsJuly 2, 2014
Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha former a fearsome combination in South Africa's second-row © Getty Images
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How many times have Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield started together in Tests for South Africa, what is the world record for lock pairings and which English pair have most second-row starts in combination? Peter Anderson, England

South Africa's Test at King's Park, Durban against Wales on June 14 was the pair's 63rd Test start together for South Africa - the ongoing world record. It was their first pairing since the 2011 Tri-Nations. Both were involved in the subsequent RWC campaign in New Zealand, but they did not start a match together in that tournament.

England's record was established between 1956 and 1961 by the Oxbridge pairing of John Currie and David Marques. Currie (then at Oxford) and Marques (Cambridge) made their debuts against Wales in a narrow Twickenham defeat, but played 22 successive Tests together until January 1961 when Currie had to withdraw from the match at Cardiff with a high temperature and heavy cold. He was succeeded in the England second-row by Ray French.

Currie returned in 1962 - replacing his former colleague.

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.

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Writer Bio

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.

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