Rugby

Wales v Springboks – Everything You Need to Know

South Africa Wales

Before the big Cardiff clash gets underway, here’s what you need to know!

The Springboks managed a victory against Scotland in their penultimate games of 2018, but Rassie Erasmus’ men face one final task: taking on Wales in Cardiff. Despite the Welsh trumping Australia a fortnight ago, South Africa is looking like the favourites here; but before things get underway, there are some important stats and fact you need to know!

• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 445 caps. There are 189 caps in the backline and 256 amongst the forwards, with a further 190 on the bench.

• The average caps per player in the backline are 27, the forwards are 32 while the players on the bench average 24. The average age of the starting 15 is 26.

Pieter-Steph du Toit and Steven Kitshoff are the only two players who will have played in every Test match this season.

South Africa’s record against Wales in Cardiff: P: 18; W: 13; L: 4; D: 1; PF: 370; PA: 296; TF: 41; TA: 23; Average score: 21-16; Win%: 72%.

• South Africa’s overall record against Wales is: P: 34; W: 28; L: 5; D: 1; PF: 892; PA: 532; TF: 108; TA: 45; Average score: 26-16. Win%: 84%.

• The top Springbok scorers against Wales are Percy Montgomery (91 points, 18 conversions and 10 penalty goals); Joost van der Westhuizen and Jean de Villiers (6 tries each); and Hansie Brewis, Lionel Wilson and Handré Pollard (1 drop goal each).

• The match records are held as follows: Percy Montgomery (31 points and 9 conversions); Joost van der Westhuizen and Pieter Rossouw (3 tries each); Butch James, Morné Steyn and Handré Pollard (5 penalty goals each); and Hansie Brewis, Lionel Wilson and Handré Pollard (1 drop goal each).

South Africa’s biggest win against Wales (83 points) was on 27 June 1998 at Loftus Versfeld, when the Springboks ran in 15 tries in a 96-13 triumph. On the day, Percy Montgomery scored 31 points with two tries, nine conversions and a penalty goal.

• The Springboks’ biggest loss against Wales was on 26 November 2016 in Cardiff when South Africa lost by 27-13.

• Hansie Brewis (1951), Lionel Wilson (1964) and Handré Pollard (2015) are the only Springboks who have scored a drop goal against Wales. With a successful drop goal against Wales, Handré could become the sole record holder for most drop goals in a career against Wales.

• Should Handré Pollar score 11 or more points in this Test match, he will surpass Butch James in third place for the most points in Tests against Wales. Percy Montgomery and Morné Steyn occupy the first two spots.

• The original ground where the Principality Stadium is now situated, was known as Cardiff Arms Park, where Wales have played their first Test 134 years ago.

• South Africa’s first Test against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park took place on 14 December 1912, when Billy Millar’s Springboks beat Wales 3-0 in front of 26,000 spectators.

• The old stadium at the Arms Park was demolished in 1997 to make way for the Millennium Stadium, which hosted the 1999 Rugby World Cup. The first Test match at this new stadium was between Wales and South Africa on 26 June 1999, when the Springboks ended on the losing side 19-29. It was South Africa’s first loss against Wales since 1906 in ironically the 13th Test between the two countries.

• Subsequently, the Springboks have won eight consecutive games at the stadium now known as the Principality Stadium, but lost the following three with the last one in 2017 by a narrow margin of two points.

•Principality Stadium features a seating capacity of 74,500.

The referee is Luke Pearce of England. This will be his 19th Test as a referee and the first one with the Springboks involved. The assistant referees are Wayne Barnes and Karl Dixon from England while Irishman Simon McDowell is the TMO.

Who do you think will come out victorious on Saturday? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter!

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