16 stats and facts: England v Springboks

Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)

Cape Town - Sixteen stats and facts ahead of the Springboks' opening end of year tour Test against England at Twickenham.

Test caps

• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 415. There are 122 caps in the backline and 293 among the forwards, with a further 120 caps on the bench.

• The average caps per player in the backline is 17, the forwards 37 and those on the bench average 15. The average age of the starting XV is 26 years.

Eben Etzebeth is the most experienced player in the squad and the most capped player in the team against England with six appearances against the Roses.

Malcolm Marx and Damian Willemse are the only two players who have never played in a Test match against England.


• The first Test match on this famous ground took place on January 15, 1910 when England hosted Wales before a crowd of 18 000. At the time the seating capacity was 20 000.

• Today, Twickenham is regarded as the largest dedicated rugby union stadium in the world, with a seating capacity of 82 000.

• The first Springbok Test match against England on this ground was on January 4, 1913. The Springboks emerged victorious 9-3 in front of 29 000 spectators.

• To date, South Africa have played in 20 Test matches against England at Twickenham. The record is: P: 20; W: 11; L: 9; PF: 335; PA: 361; TF: 32; TA: 33; Average score: 17-18; Win%: 55%.

• The top Springbok scorers against England at Twickenham are Pat Lambie (36 points), Chester Williams, Willem Alberts and Bryan Habana (two tries each), Lambie (eight penalty goals) and Andre Pretorius (four drop goals)

• The match records are held by André Pretorius (20 points and four drop goals), Chester Williams (two tries), and Braam van Straaten (four penalty goals).

Overall record against England

• South Africa’s overall record against England is: P: 41; W: 25; L: 14; D: 2; PF: 876; PA: 705; TF: 82; TA: 54; Average score: 21-17. Win%: 61%.

• South Africa’s biggest win against England (48 points) was in 2007 in Bloemfontein when the Springboks ran in seven tries to register a comprehensive win of 58-10.

• The Springboks’ biggest loss to England was on 23 November, 2002 at Twickenham when the home team ran out winners 53-3. On that occasion, Jannes Labuschagne was red carded in the 23rd minute for a late tackle on Jonny Wilkinson.

Approaching milestones

Handré Pollard needs seven points to reach 300 career points for South Africa.

Match officials

• The referee is Australian Angus Gardner. To date, Gardner has refereed in 17 Test matches, five of which involving South Africa, with the Springboks winning two of those.

• The two assistant referees are Jérôme Garcès (France) and Ben Whitehouse (Wales), while Irishman Olly Hodges is the TMO.

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