Stats and facts for the Springboks’ third World Cup match against the Azzurri at Shizuoka Stadium.
– Friday’s Test match between South Africa and Italy will be the fifteenth, but the first in a Rugby World Cup Tournament.
– The Springboks have a 93% winning record against Italy having won 13 of the 14 previous encounters, scoring 652 points and conceding 171.
– The first Test match between the Azzurri and South Africa took place on the two-match year-end tour in 1995. Francois Pienaar’s World Champions won that Test 40-21.
– Italy’s first and only Test match win against South Africa happened in Florence on 19 November 2016 with the Italians narrowly winning by 20-18.
– The Test on Friday will feature ten Springbok players who were involved in that first and only loss in Florence.
– The total Test caps in the Springboks’ starting lineup is 646. There are 200 caps in the backline with 446 caps among the forwards. There are a further 277 caps on the bench.
– The franchise representation for this squad is DHL Stormers 8; Vodacom Bulls 4; Cell C Sharks 3 and Emirates Lions 1. Seven players are contracted to overseas clubs.
– The average caps per player in the backline is 29, the forwards 56 while the players on the bench average 35. The average age of the starting fifteen is 28.
– Handre Pollard needs four points to reach 400 career points in Test matches.
– Pollard needs eleven points to surpass Percy Montgomery’s Springbok record of 111 points in Rugby World Cup tournaments.
– This will be English referee Wayne Barnes’ 87th Test, the second-most experienced referee after Nigel Owens of Wales. South Africa have been refereed by him in 13 Test matches, of which 10 they won.
Photo: The Official MTN Bozza