It’s knockout time in the Rugby World Cup, and South Africa begin their play-off stage against Wales in a hope to find a spot in the semi-finals with a notable win.
Before the action gets underway, there’s some important facts and stats that you need to know about the game:
• South Africa and Wales have only played once before against the other in a RWC tournament. That was in 2011 when the Springboks won by 17-16.
• Saturday’s Test match will be the 31st between these two countries in a rivalry that started in 1906 during the first Springbok tour overseas. Of the previous 30 Tests, Wales could only manage two wins while one Test was drawn.
• South Africa’s record against Wales: P: 30; W: 27; L: 2; D: 1; PF: 814; PA: 440; Win%: 90%.
• The most points scored by the Springboks in a match against Wales were 96 (96-13) in 1998 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria. On that occasion the Springboks crossed the try line 15 times. The winning margin of 83 is the fifth highest in Springbok history.
• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 686. There are 317 caps in the backline with 369 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 337 caps.
• Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 113 caps in this position. He is the most experienced Springbok backline player with 114 caps and only Victor Matfield (125) has played in more Test matches for South Africa.
• If he scores a try, Habana will extend his own record of 64 Test tries for South Africa. Currently he is joint second on the list for most Test tries. David Campese of Australia is the other player. First on the list is Daisuke Ohata of Japan on 69 career tries.
• Habana is also the new world record holder for most Test tries as a wing. He surpassed the previous record, held by Daisuke Ohata of Japan (62), during last Wednesday’s match against the USA.
• Bryan is the joint record holder for most career tries (15) in RWC tournaments. He can become sole record holder by scoring just one try. Jonah Lomu of New Zealand is the other player with 15 career tries.
• Habana and JP Pietersen will be playing in their record 42nd Test as a wing combination in the starting XV.
• Schalk Burger will play in his 77th Test as a flank, South Africa’s most capped Springbok flank. Saturday’s Test will be his 18th RWC Test to become the most capped Springbok in RWC. He is also the Springbok record holder for most tries as a flank (14) as well as a forward (16).
• Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (11) in Tests as a hooker.
• Fourie du Preez will play in his 75th Test match.
• The referee is Wayne Barnes of England. He became a professional referee in April, 2005 and at the end of 2014 had already officiated as referee in more than 50 Tests. It will be his 12th Test involving South Africa. Of the previous 11 Tests, South Africa won eight and lost three.
• Twickenham is the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, the second largest stadium in the United Kingdom and fourth largest in Europe. This is the venue for this first quarter-final match of RWC 2015. Twickenham has a seating capacity of 81,605.
• The Springboks have played 20 Test matches at this stadium, winning 11 and losing nine. Except for the RWC semi-final against Australia in 1999, all Tests were against England.
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