Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Compiled by Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Springboks v Ireland in Durban: All the stats, facts and milestones

The most experienced Bok team ever will run out in Durban on Saturday.

The Springboks will set a unique record and a number of players will reach milestones when they clash with Ireland in the second Test of their series in Durban on Saturday, with kick-off at 5pm.

The Boks will go into the match on the back of a 27-20 win against the Irish in Pretoria last Saturday, which snapped a three-game losing run going back to 2017.

Bok boss Rassie Erasmus has picked the same matchday-23 for the second Test.

Here are some of record and milestone marks that will be reached.

Most experienced Bok team

The starting team selected by Erasmus is the most experienced ever. With a total of 990 combined Test caps it surpasses the 987 caps amassed by the starting team in the Rugby World Cup final in France last year.

There are 419 caps in the backline, with 571 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 190 caps.

The average caps per player in the backline is 59, the forwards 71, while the players on the bench average 23.

These numbers would be higher if Steven Kitshoff (83 Tests), Lood de Jager (66 Tests) and Damian Willemse (39 Tests) were fit and included in the matchday-23.

Player milestones

The centre pairing of Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende will set a new record of playing the most Test matches together in the midfield (30), which surpasses the previous record set by Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie of 29 Tests.

Frans Malherbe will start at tighthead prop for the 59th time, which moves him one clear of Jannie du Plessis into third on the list for the most starts at prop, behind Tendai Mtawarira (102) and Os du Randt (75).

Cheslin Kolbe needs four points to reach 100 points in Tests for South Africa.

Kwagga Smith is only seven Test caps away from earning his 50th Test cap after this match.

Willie le Roux needs only five Test caps after Saturday’s match to join the select club of Springbok centurions.

Springbok record against Ireland

The teams have played each other 29 times, with the Boks winning 19 times. They have lost on nine occasions, while one match was drawn.

In total, the Boks have scored 557 points and conceded 432. The South Africans have scored 75 tries and let in 41.

The highest score achieved was 38 in the 38-0 win by the Boks in Dublin in 1912. The average score between the teams is 19-15 in favour of the Boks.

Springbok team to face Ireland in Durban:

15 – Willie le Roux (Bulls) – 94 caps, 75 pts (15t)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) – 32 caps, 96 points (15t, 3c, 5p)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 70 caps, 80 points (16t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 80 caps, 55 points (11t)
11 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls) – 16 caps, 70 points (14t)
10 – Handré Pollard (Leicester Tigers) – 70 caps, 708 points (7t, 98c, 154p, 5dg)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 57 caps, 50 points (5t, 5c, 5pg)
8 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 42 caps, 35 pts (7t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 79 caps, 40 points (8t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (capt, Racing 92) – 84 caps, 50 points (10t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 75 caps, 15 points (3t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Sharks) – 121 caps, 30 points (6t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (Stormers) – 71 caps, 5 points (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks) – 70 caps, 70 points (14t)
1 – Ox Nche (Sharks) – 29 caps, 0 pts


16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 66 caps, 85 points (17t)
17 – Gerhard Steenekamp (Bulls) – 2 caps, 0 points
18 – Vincent Koch (Sharks) – 51 caps, 0 points
19 – Salmaan Moerat (Stormers) – 5 caps, 0 points
20 – RG Snyman (Leinster) – 35 caps, 10 points (2t)
21 – Marco van Staden (Bulls) – 19 caps, 0 pts
22 – Grant Williams (Sharks) – 10 caps, 10 points (2t)
23 – Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Stormers) – 2 caps, 7 points (2c, 1p)

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