Cape Town - 21 stats and facts ahead of Saturday's New Zealand v Springboks Rugby Championship clash in Christchurch.
Team and milestones:
• The total Test caps in the starting line-up is
488 - of this, 210 caps are in the backline with 278 among the forwards.
The combined Test caps of those on the bench is 133. The average caps
per player in the match-23 is 21.
• The youngest player in
the squad is Jesse Kriel (22y, 7m) while the oldest member of the team
is Bryan Habana (33y, 3m).
• The tallest player in the squad
is Eben Etzebeth (2.04m), the shortest is Faf de Klerk (1.72m), the
heaviest is Steven Kitshoff (125kg) and the lightest is Faf de Klerk
• The following players will play in their seventh
consecutive match in the starting XV under Allister Coetzee’s reign: Faf
de Klerk, Francois Louw, Eben Etzebeth, Adriaan Strauss and Tendai
• Bryan Habana is the top try scorer (7) for South
Africa against New Zealand while Morné Steyn is the top points scorer
with 1 try, 10 conversions, 31 penalty goals and 2 drop goals for a
total of 124 career points in 11 appearances against the All Blacks.
• This Test match will be the 800th rugby match that the Springboks will
play against international opposition. It is the 459th Test match for
South Africa. Since the first tour to the British Isles & Ireland in
1906, 341 official non-Test matches were played by the Springboks.
• Bryan Habana will become the most capped Springbok in the tournament
(51 appearances) thereby surpassing Jean de Villiers’ 50 career
appearances. It will also be his 120th Test match as a wing in the Green
and Gold, which is a world record.
• Eben Etzebeth will
play in his 28th consecutive Test match (all in the lock position) and
thereby equaling the record of Victor Matfield for most consecutive Test
appearances as a lock.
• Morné Steyn needs three successful
penalty goals to equal Percy Montgomery’s career record of 148 penalty
goals in Test matches. He is also co-record holder with four drop goals
in his Rugby Championship career, the other players being
Dan Carter of New Zealand and fellow Springbok André Pretorius.
• Possible Test and Rugby Championship debut: Malcolm Marx
could make his Test and Championship debut, should he be used off the
bench. He will then be Springbok #876.
• Faf de Klerk and
Pieter-Steph du Toit will play their first Test match against the All
Blacks. Lourens Adriaanse, Steven Kitshoff, Jaco Kriel, Malcolm Marx and
Franco Mostert could also make their first appearance against New
Zealand should they be required as replacements.
Head to head:
• South Africa and New Zealand will play in their 92nd Test match since their first encounter in 1921. South Africa have won 35, lost 53 and three matches were drawn for a winning percentage of 38%.
• To date, 43 Rugby Championship matches were played between the two countries of which South Africa have won 12 and lost 31 for a winning percentage of 28%.
• The complete South African Rugby Championship record against New Zealand is: Played 43, Won 12, Lost 31, Points for 829, Points against 1 178, Tries for 76, Tries against 116, Average score 19-27.
• The last time South Africa won a Test match in New Zealand was seven years ago when the Springboks won by three points in Hamilton, the final score being 32-29. Since then New Zealand have been unbeaten in 43 Test matches at home against all opposition.
• The highest final score by the two teams was when New Zealand won 55-35 in 1997 in Auckland.
• The highest winning margin by the two rivals was 36 by New Zealand (52-16) in 2003 in Pretoria, while 17 points is still the highest winning margin by the Springboks when Phil Mostert’s team kept the All Blacks scoreless (17-0) in 1928 in Durban.
• The match officials for this match are: Referee - Angus Gardner (Australia); Assistant referees - Pascal Gaüzère (France) and Marius Mitrea (Italy) with the TMO George Ayoub (Australia).
• It will only be Gardner’s second appearance as referee in Test matches involving South Africa. The Springboks won the second Test against Ireland in June with Gardner in charge.
• The inaugural Tri-Nations Test match between New Zealand and South Africa was played on July 20, 1996 at Lancaster Park, Christchurch. On February 22, 2011, Christchurch was struck by an earthquake and the stadium at Lancaster Park (later named Jade Stadium) was damaged to such an extent that no further sporting activities were possible.
• A temporary outdoor sporting venue, AMI Stadium, was built at Rugby League Park to accommodate major sporting events. As a result, Vodacom Super Rugby and Test matches in Christchurch are now played at AMI Stadium. Saturday’s Test match will be the first for the Springboks at this stadium.