The Springboks have a colossal task ahead of them as they take on the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semi-final at Twickenham on Saturday. Here are 19 facts you need to know ahead of the clash:
· South Africa and New Zealand have played three Tests in RWC tournaments. The first was in the memorable 1995 tournament when the Springboks won the World Cup in extra time at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. The final score 15-12.
· Four years later in 1999, the two rivals met in Cardiff to contest the third place play-off after New Zealand lost to France in the semi-finals while Australia won the other semi-final in extra time against the Springboks. South Africa won the bronze medal in a close-fought battle 22-18.
· The last time was in 2003 in Melbourne in the quarter-final when the All Blacks had a comfortable 29-9 win.
· Saturday’s Test match will be the 91st between the two countries. South Africa’s record against New Zealand: P: 90; W: 35; L: 52; D: 3; PF: 1 412; PA: 1 745; Win%: 39%.
· The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 701. There are 324 caps in the backline with 377 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 461 caps.
· Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 114 caps in this position. He is the most experienced Springbok backline player with 115 caps and only Victor Matfield (125) has played in more Test matches for South Africa.
· If he scores a try, Bryan Habana will extend his 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.
· Bryan Habana is the new world record holder for most Test tries as a wing. He surpassed the previous record of Daisuke Ohata of Japan (62) during the pool match against the USA.
· Bryan Habana 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. Close on Bryan’s heels is Drew Mitchell of Australia with 14 RWC career tries.
· Bryan Habana also holds the record for most career tries (seven) by a Springbok against New Zealand.
· Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen will be playing in their record 43rd Test as a wing combination in the starting XV.
· Handré Pollard needs three penalty goals to equal Percy Montgomery’s RWC record of 17 career penalty goals.
· Schalk Burger will play in his 78th Test as a flank, South Africa’s most capped Springbok flank. Saturday’s Test will be his 19th RWC Test, the most by a Springbok in RWC tournaments. 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.
· Should Ruan Pienaar be used from the bench he will become South Africa’s most capped substitute. Currently, he shares the record with Ollie le Roux on 43 Test matches as a substitute.
· Should Victor Matfield be used as a substitute he will extend his record as most capped Springbok as well as most capped Springbok against New Zealand – he has played in 26 career Tests against the All Blacks.
· The referee is Jérôme Garcès of France. He debut as an international referee was in 2010 in a match between England and the Barbarians. He served as assistant referee in four Tests during the 2011 RWC. During this tournament he was referee in three Test matches, including the South Africa/Japan Test during the first week. It will be his seventh Test involving South Africa. Of the previous six Tests, South Africa won three and lost three.
· Twickenham Stadium 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 semi-final match of RWC 2015. Twickenham has a seating capacity of 81 605.
· South Africa have played 21 Test matches at this stadium, winning 12 and losing nine. Nineteen matches were against England. The other two were against Australia in the 1999 RWC semi-final and against Wales last Saturday.