• 16 Springbok stats and facts

    For the Test against Italy at Stadio Euganeo in Padova on Saturday.

    • The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 610 Test caps (332 in the backline and 278 in the forwards), while there are a further 190 caps worth of experience on the bench.
    • South Africa and Italy have played each other 11 times since 1995, with the Springboks winning all 11 Tests. The Boks have scored 577 points and 79 tries and conceded 139 points and 12 tries for an average score of 52-13.
    • South Africa and Italy last met on 8 June 2013 at Kings Park in Durban. The Springboks won 44-10 and outscored Italy by five tries to one.
    • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 89 Tests in this position and will captain South Africa for the 33rd time, placing him third behind John Smit (83) and Gary Teichmann (36).
    • Victor Matfield will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok in history (119 Tests). He will also extend his record of 119 Tests as a lock and will also extend his record as the oldest Springbok ever at 37 years and 188 days.
    • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 104 Tests in this position. If he scores a try, he will extend his record of 56 Test tries for South Africa.
    • Matfield and Habana will share the record for the most Tests against Italy when they play the Azzurri for the sixth time – they previously shared this record with Ruan Pienaar and André Venter.
    • If he goes on and scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker.
    • If he goes on and scores a try, Gurthrö Steenkamp will extend his record of six tries for South Africa as a prop.
    • Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen, Jannie du Plessis and Bismarck du Plessis have played in all 11 Tests for the Springboks in 2014. Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks and Tendai Mtawarira have both missed only one Test in 2014.
    • Johan Goosen will start at fullback for the first time in a Test. Trevor Nyakane will be in the starting lineup for the first time after 11 appearances from the bench. Coenie Oosthuizen will start at tighthead for the first time since France in November 2013. Oosthuizen started at loosehead against Scotland earlier this year.
    • Julian Redelinghuys and Nizaam Carr will both make their debuts for South Africa if they come off the bench, becoming Springboks No 865 and 866. Ten new Springboks have been created to date in 2014.
    • It will be the fifth time that a Springbok team has three centurions in the starting lineup – Matfield (119), Habana (105) and De Villiers (104). The four previous times were against Australia and New Zealand in the Rugby Championship and against Ireland and England.
    • It will be Heyneke Meyer’s 36th Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over in 2012. Of the previous 35 Tests South Africa have won 25, lost eight and drawn twice.
    • The referee is Jerome Garces of France. It will be his fourth Test involving South Africa. Of the previous three Tests the Springboks have won two and lost one. His last Test involving South Africa was in September this year against New Zealand in Wellington in the Rugby Championship – a match the Boks lost 14-10.
    • This will be the Springbok’s first-ever Test match at Stadio Euganio, Padova.

    Preview: Italy vs Springboks

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    Simon Borchardt