31 stats and facts: Springboks v France

Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - 31 stats and facts ahead of Saturday's Springboks v France clash at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.


• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 302. There are 106 caps in the backline with 196 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 137 caps.

• The average caps per player in the backline is 15, the forwards 25 while the players on the bench average 17.

• The average age of the starting XV is 26.

• The tallest player in the squad is Eben Etzebeth (2.04m) and the shortest Rudy Paige (1.67m). The heaviest player is Steven Kitshoff (125kg) and the lightest player is Rudy Paige (80kg).

Overall record:

• The Test at Ellis Park will be the 42nd Test match against France. The Springboks and France have played in four Test matches at this venue since 1958. The Springboks lost all four encounters.

• The overall Springbok record for those four Test matches: P 4; W 0, L4; PF: 59; PA: 78; TF: 5; TA: 4; Average score: 15-20. Win%: 0%.

• South Africa’s record against France at home: P: 23; W: 12; L: 6; D: 5; PF: 512; PA: 351; TF: 53; TA: 31; Win%: 52%.

• South Africa’s overall record against France: P: 41; W: 24; L: 11; D: 6; PF: 857; PA: 607; TF: 97; TA: 55; Win%: 59%.

Facts and milestones:

Tendai Mtawarira will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok prop, with 90 caps in this position. He is the third most experienced Springbok forward - only Victor Matfield and John Smit have played in more Test matches for South Africa.

Frans Steyn needs 18 points to reach 150 points in Test rugby.

• Should Steven Kitshoff be used off the bench he will equal the record for most Test matches from the bench (13) before his first start in a Test match. The other two Springboks who co-hold the record are Coenie Oosthuizen (first start against Scotland, 2013) and Siya Kolisi (first start against Samoa, 2015).

Three tries by South Africa will bring up the 100th try in 104 years of Test rugby against France and one penalty goal by South Africa will bring up the 100th penalty goal as well.

Match officials:

• The referee is Angus Gardner of Australia. He was born on August 24, 1984 in Sydney, Australia and made his Test debut as a referee in November 2011 in the match between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

• To date, he has refereed 10 Test matches. This Test will be his third which involve the Springboks. Of the previous two Tests, one was lost and one won.

• The Assistant Referees are Ben O’Keeffe and Glen Jackson, both of New Zealand, while Rowan Kitt of England will again officiate as TMO.

The stadium:

• Ellis Park has a seating capacity of 61 519.

Springbok Test record holders at Ellis Park:

Most points: 28 by Gavin Johnson (3t, 5c, 1p) against Western Samoa, April 13, 1995.

Most tries: Four by Chester Williams against Western Samoa, June 10, 1995 and by Jongi Nokwe against Australia, August 30, 2008.

Most conversions: Nine by Butch James against Argentina, August 9, 2008.

Most penalty goals: Six by Percy Montgomery against France, June 16, 2001 and by Louis Koen against Scotland, June 14, 2003.

Most drop goals: Two by Joel Stransky against New Zealand, June 24, 1995 and by Jannie de Beer against New Zealand, July 19, 1997.

Springbok Test career record holders at Ellis Park:

Most points: 86 by Percy Montgomery (2t, 11c, 18p) in nine Tests.

Most tries: Eight by Chester Williams in five Tests.

Most conversions: 12 by Butch James in three Tests.

Most penalty goals: 18 by Percy Montgomery in nine Tests.

Most drop goals: Two by Joel Stransky (five Tests) and Jannie de Beer (two Tests).

France Test record holders at Ellis Park:

Most points: 27 by Gerald Merceron (1t, 2c, 6p), June 16, 2001.

Most tries: One by four players in four Tests between 1958 and 2001.

Most conversions: Two by Guy Camberabero, July 29, 1967 and by Gerald Merceron, June 16, 2001.

Most penalty goals: Six by Gerald Merceron, June 16, 2001.

Most drop goals: Two by Guy Camberabero, July 29, 1967.

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