Cape Town - Eight stats and facts ahead of Saturday's Springboks v Ireland clash at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
· The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 430 Test caps (138 in the backline and 292 in the forwards), while there are a further 94 caps worth of experience on the bench.
· South Africa and Ireland have played each other 23 times since 1906, with the Springboks winning 16 Tests, losing six and one was drawn. The Springboks have scored 452 points and 64 tries and conceded 303 points and 28 tries for an average score of 20-13.
· South Africa and Ireland last met on June 11, 2016 at Newlands in Cape Town. The Springboks lost 20-26 - the first ever defeat to Ireland on South African soil.
· There are three uncapped players on the bench, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert and Ruan Combrinck. The first one to go on will become Springbok #871.
· Tendai Mtawarira is the most experienced player in the side with 76 Tests to his credit. He is just four Tests short of Os du Randt’s record of 80 Tests for South Africa as prop. There are three other players in the side with more than 50 Tests for South Africa, namely JP Pietersen (67), Morne Steyn (60) and Adriaan Strauss (55).
· If he goes on as flyhalf Morne Steyn will extend his own record of 58 Test appearances at flyhalf for the Springboks. He is currently on 694 points and can become only the second player in history to score more than 700 Test points for South Africa. His total appearances for South Africa are as follows: 59 at flyhalf (58 in Tests, one in a tour match), one at fullback and one as a replacement flank, against Scotland in November, 2013.
· The referee is Angus Gardner of Australia. It will be his first Test involving South Africa.
· It will be the 48th Test match at Ellis Park. The Boks have won 32, lost 13 and two were drawn. The average score is 26-16.