London - Fifteen stats and facts ahead of the Rugby World Cup Bronze medal clash between the Springboks and Argentina at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
· Only once before did South Africa and Argentina meet in a RWC tournament. In 2007 they played in one semi-final at Stade de France while France and England contested the other semi-final. South Africa won that match by 37-13.
· Friday’s Test match will be the 22nd between the two countries. South Africa’s record against Argentina: P: 21; W: 19; L: 1; D: 1; PF: 779; PA: 410; Win%: 90%.
· The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 835. There are 342 caps in the backline with 493 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 274 caps.
· Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 115 caps in this position. He is the most experienced Springbok backline player with 116 caps and only Victor Matfield has played in more Test matches.
· If he scores a try, Bryan 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.
· Bryan Habana is the 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, with Jonah Lomu of New Zealand. Drew Mitchell of Australia is next on the list with 14 RWC career tries. Friday’s Test will be his 18th RWC match, the most RWC matches by a Springbok backline player.
· Bryan Habana holds the record for most Test matches (11) against Argentina as well as most career tries (7) by a Springbok against Argentina.
· Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen will be playing in their record 44th Test as a wing combination in the starting XV.
· Handré Pollard kicked five successful penalty goals in the match against New Zealand to become the new Springbok record holder with 19 RWC penalty goals. This surpassed the record of 17 career penalty goals previously held by Percy Montgomery. This Test will be his 20th in the Green and Gold.
· Schalk Burger will play in his 79th Test as a flank, South Africa’s most capped Springbok flank. Friday’s Test will be his 20th 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).
· Victor Matfield will captain the team for the 23rd time, making him the fifth most capped captain for South Africa. His 127th Test cap for South Africa makes him the sixth most capped player in the world. Victor made his Test debut on 30 June, 2001 against Italy. Friday’s Test will be 14 years and 122 days later, the longest career span in Springbok rugby.
· Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (11) in Tests as a hooker. He and brother Jannie will play in their 50th Test together should Jannie be used from the bench.
· The referee is John Lacey of Ireland who is a former rugby player who played on the wing and at fullback for Munster until 2007. His debut as an international referee was in March 2010. During this tournament he was referee in three Test matches, including the New Zealand/Tonga Test. It will be his third Test involving South Africa. Of the previous two Tests, South Africa won one (against Argentina in 2014) and lost one (against Wales in 2014).
· The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the venue for this Bronze final match. South Africa have played one Test at this stadium, against the USA in this tournament winning 64-0.