For the Springboks’ match against England in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
– Beast Mtawarira will play in his 100th Test, becoming the first Springbok prop to do so. He joins an elite group of only seven international props who have played in 100 or more Tests – Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones (both Wales, British & Irish Lions), Jason Leonard (England, British & Irish Lions), John Hayes (Ireland, British & Irish Lions), Martin Castrogiovanni and Andrea Lo Cicero (both Italy) and Tony Woodcock (New Zealand).
– Only five other players have reached 100 Test caps for the Springboks – Percy Montgomery (in 2008), John Smit, Victor Matfield (both in 2010), Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers (both in 2014).
– There are 368 caps in the Springbok starting lineup, with 114 in the backline and 254 among the forwards. There are 77 on the bench.
– The average number of caps in the backline is 16 and the forwards 32, while the players on the bench average 10. The average age of the starting 15 is 26.
– This will be the third Test between South Africa and England in Bloemfontein. In June 2000, England, under the captaincy of Martin Johnson, undertook a five-match tour to South Africa. Two Tests were played of which the first was won 18-13 by the Springboks in Pretoria. The second Test, which was the first for England at the Free State Stadium, was won 27-22 by the tourists.
– On that day, all 27 points came from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson, with eight penalty goals (a record for any player against South Africa) and a drop goal. The 27 points is a joint record for any opponent against South Africa. The other two players who achieved this are Rob Andrew of England and Gerald Merceron of France.
– Almost seven years later, on 26 May 2007, South Africa scored their biggest win (58-10) against the English in Bloemfontein. The score of 58 and the winning margin of 48 are still Springbok records against England.
– England’s best performance against South Africa was in 2002 at Twickenham, when they defeated the Springboks 53-3, the second biggest defeat for the Boks in history.
– South Africa are undefeated in five series against England.
– South Africa’s record against England in South Africa: Played 14; won 10; lost 3; drawn 1; points for 404; points against 252; tries for 41; tries against 16 and average score 29-18.
– The overall record of the Springboks against England: Played 39; won 24; lost 13; drawn 2; points for 843; points against 668; tries for 79; tries against 51 and average score 22-17.
– The referee is Romain Poite of France. He was born on 14 September 1975 in Rochefort and made his international debut as a referee on 11 November 2006 in a Test between Morocco and Namibia in Casablanca.
– This Test will be Poite’s 58th and 10th with South Africa involved. The previous nine ended in five wins and four losses for the Boks for a 56% win record.
– The assistant referees are Glen Jackson and Ben O’Keeffe, both of New Zealand. The TMO will be Simon McDowell of Ireland.
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