15 Things You Need To Know Before The Springboks Play Italy

There’s some big moments that are set to unfold come Saturday’s Padova clash and here’s your chance to get up to speed with all the need-to-know stats and facts.

The Springboks travel to Italy for the third Test of their November tour, and Heyneke Meyer’s men will be hungry to continue the momentum picked up from the win over England last weekend.

There are some notable milestones taking place in Padova this weekend, as well as some potential records being broken, so let’s have a look at 15 facts you need to know before the big game:

•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 Springboks 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 Growthpoint 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 & 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 Andre 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, Gurthro 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 eleven 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 line-up for the first time after 11 appearances from the bench. Coenie Oosthuizen will start at tight-head for the first time since France in November 2013. Oosthuizen started at loose-head 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 line-up. 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 game that the Springboks lost narrowly by 10-14. 

•This will be the Springbok’s first ever Test match at Stadio Euganio, Padova.

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