For the World Cup match against Samoa at Villa Park in Birmingham on Saturday:
- This Test will be the ninth between the Springboks and Samoa since their first 20 years ago in Johannesburg. The Boks are still unbeaten against Samoa with an average score of 48-12. The closest Samoa have come to a victory was in the 2007 World Cup in Albany, when the Boks won 13-5.
- In the very first match between the countries in April 1995, the Springboks won with a 52-point margin (60-8). Twelve years later this record-winning margin was repeated in France during the 2007 World Cup.
- The two countries had four encounters in World Cup tournaments with the Springboks’ biggest win in 2007 in France (59-7). In this Test Bryan Habana crossed the tryline four times – a Bok World Cup record shared with Chester Williams who scored four tries, also against Samoa, in 1995. Both players were on the left wing.
- The total Test caps for the Springbok starting lineup is 891 – a Bok record yet again. The previous most experienced side (851 caps) played against Japan last week. Willem Alberts (33 caps) was a late withdrawal and was substituted with Pieter-Steph du Toit (four caps). There are 400 caps in the backline with 491 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 191 caps.
- The following players will make their World Cup debut: Willie le Roux, Damien De Allende and Duane Vermeulen. Schalk Brits and Frans Malherbe could also debut from the bench.
- Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 110 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his own record of 59 Test tries for South Africa. Habana also holds the Bok record for most career tries (10) in World Cup tournaments. Former All Blacks wing Jonah Lomu is the World Cup record holder with 15 career tries.
- In the 2007 World Cup, Bryan Habana scored four tries against Samoa – should he repeat that feat in this match he will be the new world record holder for most career tries as a wing. The current world record holder is Daisuke Ohata from Japan with 62 tries in the wing position. He could also extend his record of seven career tries against Samoa.
- Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre with 93 caps in this position and will captain the team for the 37th time. De Villiers would then be the second most-capped Bok captain behind John Smit (83).
- Ruan Pienaar is co-holder of the World Cup record for most conversions (six) in a Test. Should he be used from the bench, he will be just one Test behind Ollie le Roux’s record (43) for the most-capped substitute.
- Schalk Burger is the most-capped Springbok flank (74). He is also the Bok record holder for most tries as a flank (12) as well as a forward (14).
- Victor Matfield will become the most-capped Springbok against Samoa with five Test caps while he will also play in his record 125th Test for South Africa.
- Jannie du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira will play in their 38th Test as props in the starting lineup.
- Duane Vermeulen will play in his 30th Test. All his Tests were from the No 8 position and he will now be the third most-capped No 8 behind Pierre Spies (48) and Gary Teichmann (42).
- The referee is Wayne Barnes of England. It will be his 11th Test involving South Africa. Of the previous 10 the Boks have won seven and lost three. His last appearance was in August 2014 against New Zealand in Johannesburg which the Boks won 27-25.
- The venue is Villa Park in Birmingham, home to Aston Villa Football Club since 1897. It has a capacity of just more than 42,500 seats. Apart from football, the stadium is also used for concerts, boxing matches as well as international rugby league and rugby union matches.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images