The Springboks play host to the Wallabies this coming Saturday in the first round of an abridged Rugby Championship campaign; but before things get underway, there are some important stats and facts you need to know ahead of kick-off.
– Ten Test matches have taken place against Australia at Ellis Park, with the first on 12 August, 1933 and the last on 30 August, 2008. The score in the last match was a record 53-8, the Boks’ biggest win against Australia ever.
– Australia have only one win at this stadium, when John Thornett’s Wallabies scored a narrow win of 11-9 on 24 August, 1963.
Head to Head at Ellis Park:
– Played 10; Won 9; Lost 1; Drawn 0; Points for 276; Points against 121; Tries for 40; Tries against 11; Wins 90%
– The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 488. There are 94 caps in the backline and 394 amongst the forwards while the bench have a further 128 caps.
– The average number of caps per player in the backline is 13, and 49 per forward. The players on the bench average 16 caps. The average age of the starting fifteen is 27.
– Eben Etzebeth will become the third most capped lock, winning his 76th Test, surpassing Mark Andrews’ 75 Test matches. Victor Matfield (127) and Bakkies Botha (85) are the most capped Springbok locks. It will also be Eben’s 12th Test match as captain.
– The longest period between Test caps for this selection belongs to Marcell Coetzee. His last Test match for the Springboks was on 8 August 2015 against Argentina in Durban, almost four years ago.
– Should the Wallabies score a try in this Test match, it will be the 800th Test try conceded by South Africa in the history of Springbok Rugby.
Milestones and Records:
– The Springboks need three tries to reach 200 Test tries against Australia. It will be the first time ever that have South Africa scored 200 tries against a single country (Note: this statistic does not include the 17 tries that the Springboks scored in three matches against New South Wales in 1921. Australia regard those matches as Test matches, South Africa does not).
– Elton Jantjies needs 13 points to reach 50 career points against Australia.
– Rynhardt Elstadt and Herschel Jantjies will make their Springbok debuts, while Lizo Gqoboka could also join them should he be used as a substitute.
– Warrick Gelant and Sbu Nkosi will face the Wallabies for the first time as will Marvin Orie if he is used as a substitute.
– Tendai Mtawarira will become the second most capped Springbok in the Rugby Championship, making his 51st appearance. Bryan Habana holds the records with 53 appearances.
– The referee is Paul Williams of New Zealand. This will be his 10th Test match as a referee, but his first involving South Africa.
– The Assistant Referees are Matthew Carley and Karl Dickson, both from England, while Rowan Kitt, also from England, will be the TMO.
Springboks – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (c), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds.
Wallabies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lukhan Salakai-Loto, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Kurtley Beale.