16 Springbok facts and stats

For the third-place play-off against Argentina at London's Olympic Stadium on Friday night.

  • South Africa and Argentina have only met once before at a World Cup tournament, in the semi-finals in 2007. The Boks won 37-13 at Stade de France.
  • Friday’s Test will be the 22nd between the countries. South Africa’s record against Argentina is played: 21; won: 19; lost: one; drawn: one; points for: 779; points against: 410; Win%: 90.
  • The total Test caps for the Springbok starting lineup is 835. There are 342 caps in the backline, 493 among the forwards, and a further 274 on the bench.
  • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 115 caps in this position. He is the most experienced Bok backline player with 116 caps. Only Victor Matfield has played in more Tests (126).
  • If he scores a try, Habana will extend his own record of 64 Test tries for South Africa. He is joint-second on the list for most Test tries, along with Australia's David Campese. Japan's Daisuke Ohata is first with 69 career tries.
  • Habana is the world record holder for most Test tries as a wing. He surpassed the previous record, held by Ohata (62), during the pool match against the USA.
  • Habana is the joint record holder for most career tries (15) in World Cup tournaments, along with New Zealand's Jonah Lomu. Australia's Drew Mitchell has 14. Friday’s Test will be Habana's 18th World Cup match, the most by a Springbok backline player.
  • Habana holds the record for most Tests (11) against Argentina as well as most career tries (seven) by a Springbok against Argentina.
  • Habana and JP Pietersen will be playing in their record 44th Test as a wing combination in the starting XV.
  • Handré Pollard kicked five successful penalty goals in last weekend's semi-final against New Zealand to become the new Springbok record holder with 19 World Cup penalty goals. This surpassed the record of 17 previously held by Percy Montgomery.
  • Schalk Burger will play in his 79th Test as a flank, a Bok record. Friday’s Test will be his 20th World Cup match, the most by a Bok. He is also the Bok record holder for most tries as a flank (14) as well as a forward (16).
  • Victor Matfield will captain the team for the 23rd time, making him the fifth-most capped captain for South Africa. His 127th Test cap for South Africa makes him the sixth-most capped player in the world. Matfield made his Test debut on 30 June 2001 against Italy. Friday’s Test will be 14 years and 122 days later, the longest career span in Springbok rugby.
  • Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (11) in Tests as a hooker. He and brother Jannie will play in their 50th Test together should Jannie be used from the bench.
  • The referee is Ireland's John Lacey, a former rugby player who played wing and fullback for Munster until 2007. His debut as an international referee was in March 2010. He has refereed three matches at this World Cup, including New Zealand vs Tonga.
  • It will be Lacey's third Test involving South Africa. Of the previous two, the Boks won one (against Argentina in 2014) and lost one (against Wales in 2014).
  • South Africa have played one Test at London's Olympic Stadium, against the USA in this tournament, which they won 64-0.

Preview: Springboks vs Argentina

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt