12 Springbok stats and facts

For the first Test against Wales at Kings Park on Saturday.

  • The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 707 Test caps (288 in the backline and 419 in the forwards), while there are a further 225 caps worth of experience on the bench.
  • South Africa and Wales have played each other 27 times since 1906, with the Springboks winning 25 Tests, losing once and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 739 points and 92 tries and conceded 382 points and 32 tries for an average score of 27-14.
  • South Africa and Wales last met on 9 November 2013 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The Springboks won 24-15 thanks to tries from Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis and Fourie du Preez against five penalties by Leigh Halfpenny.
  • Victor Matfield will equal John Smit’s record of 111 Tests for South Africa in what will be his 11th Test against Wales, one more than the previous record 10 appearances against the Welsh, held jointly between him and Smit.
  • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 94 Tests in this position and if he scores a try, will extend his record of 53 Test tries for South Africa.
  • Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 52 Tests in this position. If he scores a try, he will also extend his record of eight Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa.
  • If he scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker. Bismarck and his brother Jannie will also be playing together in their 32nd Test, a Springbok record for brothers.
  • Schalk Burger will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flank, with 66 Tests in this position. He also shares the record with Juan Smith for the most Test tries as a flank (11).
  • Gurthrö Steenkamp will be playing in his 50th Test for the Springboks. He will be the 29th Springbok in history to achieve this feat. If he scores a try, he will extend his own record of six tries as a prop for South Africa.
  • Cornal Hendricks is the only new Springbok in the starting team. He will be Springbok No 855. If he goes on, Lood de Jager will become Springbok No 856.
  • Thirteen of the players were involved in the last Test in 2013 (against France). JP Pietersen played on the wing while Steenkamp and Bakkies Botha went on as substitutes. Coenie Oosthuizen played tighthead prop while Ruan Pienaar started at scrumhalf.
  • The referee is Romain Poite of France. This will be his fourth Test involving South Africa. The Springboks have won two and lost one of these encounters. His last game was the Test against New Zealand on 14 September 2013 at Eden Park in Auckland, when the Boks lost 29-15.

Photo: sarugby.co.za

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