While the Springboks racked up a convincing win over the World XV last weekend, but the real start to the Test season begins this weekend in Brisbane against the Wallabies, and here’s 10 things you need to know before kick-off:
• The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 767 Test caps (282 in the backline and 485 in the forwards), while there are a further 124 caps worth of experience on the bench.
• South Africa and Australia have played each other 80 times since 1933, with the Springboks winning 45, losing 34 and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 1,552 points and 184 tries and conceded 1,391 points and 142 tries for an average score of 19-17.
• South Africa and Australia last met on 27 September 2014 at Newlands in Cape Town, when the Boks won by 28-10 with four tries (Jean de Villiers (2), Marcell Coetzee and Patrick Lambie) against one (Adam Ashley-Cooper).
• Victor Matfield will extend his own record as the most capped Springbok in history (currently on 121 Tests). He will also extend his record of 121 Tests as a lock and will be playing against Australia for the 27th time, improving his own South African record.
• Bryan Habana will extend his own record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 105 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his own record of 57 Test tries for South Africa as well as most Test tries against Australia (9).
• If he scores a try, Bismarck du Plessis will extend his record of nine Test tries for South Africa as a hooker. He will also extend his South African record of 39 Tests with his brother Jannie; and 16 Tests with Jannie and Tendai Mtawarira as the starting front row pairing for the Boks.
• Jesse Kriel will be making his Springbok debut and will become Springbok No. 867.
• It will be Heyneke Meyer’s 38th Test in charge of the Springboks since he took over in 2012. Of the previous 37 Tests South Africa have won 26, lost nine and drew twice. He equals Nick Mallett’s number of Tests, with only Peter de Villiers (48) and Jake White (54) having coached in more Tests.
• The referee is Nigel Owens of Wales. It will be his 12th Test involving South Africa. Of the previous 11, South Africa have won seven and lost four. His last appearance was in September 2014 against Australia at Newlands when the Boks won 28-10.
• Springbok Test match records at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane:
- Most points – 21 by Derick Hougaard (1t, 5c, 1p, 1dg) against Samoa on 1 November, 2003.
- Most tries – one by 19 players, the latest by Willie le Roux against Australia on 7 September, 2013.
- Most conversions – five by Derick Hougaard against Samoa on 1 November, 2003.
- Most penalty goals – four by Morne Steyn against Australia on 7 September, 2013.
- Most drop goals – one by Derick Hougaard against Samoa on 1 November, 2003 and one by Morne Steyn against Australia on 5 September, 2009.
Wallabies – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 James Horwill, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Drew Mitchell.
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.