Cape Town - Sixteen stats and facts ahead of Saturday's Australia v Springboks Rugby Championship clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Team and milestones:
• The total Test caps in the starting line-up is 481 – of these, 203 caps are in the backline and 278 among the forwards, while the number of caps on the bench is 115. The average caps per player for the match-23 is 26.
• Adriaan Strauss will be captaining the Springboks for the sixth time in his 60th Test.
• Bryan Habana needs one appearance in the Rugby Championship to reach 50 tournament appearances, thereby equalling the Springbok record held by Jean de Villiers. It will also be his 120th Test match in the Green and Gold. He needs one try against Australia for his career record 10th try against the Wallabies.
• Eben Etzebeth will play in his 27th consecutive Test match which will also be his 50th Test in Springbok rugby. At the age of 24 years, 9 months and 12 days he will be the youngest Springbok ever to play in his 50th Test match and he will be the 32nd Springbok to achieve this milestone.
• Tendai Mtawarira will play in his 81st Test match thereby becoming the most capped Springbok prop in history.
• Morné Steyn needs four successful penalty goals to equal Percy Montgomery’s career record of 148 penalty goals in Test matches. He is also co-record holder with four drop goals in his Rugby Championship career, the other players being Dan Carter of New Zealand and fellow Springbok André Pretorius.
• Rugby Championship debuts: Bongi Mbonambi and Franco Mostert could make their tournament debut, should they be used off the bench.
• The following two players will play their first Test match against the Wallabies: Lourens Adriaanse and Faf de Klerk. Should they be used off the bench, it will also be a first against Australia for Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Jaco Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Bongi Mbonambi and Franco Mostert.
Head to head:
• South Africa and Australia will play each other for the 82nd time since their first Test match in 1933. South Africa won 45, lost 35 and one match was drawn for a win percentage of 56% for the Boks.
• The inaugural Tri-Nations Test match between Australia and South Africa was played in Sydney on July 13, 1996. To date 43 matches were played between the two countries of which South Africa won 21, lost 21 and drawn 1. The total points difference is only 13 points in favour of South Africa.
• South Africa’s overall record against Australia in the Tri-Nations / Rugby Championship is: Played 43, Won 21, Lost 21, Drawn 1, Points for 964, Points against 951, Tries for 92, Tries against 94, Average score 22-22.
• The match officials for this match are: Referee – Nigel Owens (Wales); Assistant referees – Wayne Barnes (England) and Pascal Gaüzère (France) with the TMO Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
• It will be Owens’ 14th appearance as referee in Test matches involving South Africa. The Springboks lost five and won eight of the previous Tests when the Welshman was referee.
• Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane has a seating capacity of 52 500. The Springboks’ record at this stadium is: Played 9, Won 2, Lost 7, Points for 172, Points against 239, Tries for 19, Tries against 24. The average score is 19-27.
• The most points scored in a Test match by a Springbok at this stadium is 21, when Derick Hougaard scored a “full house” against Samoa during the 2003 RWC match with one try, five conversions, a penalty goal and a drop goal.
• Morné Steyn holds the Springbok career record for most points at Suncorp Stadium. In three outings he has scored three conversions, six penalty goals and a drop goal for 27 points.