Stats and facts: SA vs Argentina in Durban

All the stats and facts for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash between the Springboks and Argentina in Durban (17.05).

• There are four players in the starting line-up who will play in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship for the first time – Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, André Esterhuizen and Aphiwe Dyantyi.

• On the bench, there are a further five players who have not played in the tournament before – Thomas du Toit, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Embrose Papier and Damian Willemse.

• The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 438. There are 96 caps in the backline with 342 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 62 caps.

• The average caps per player in the backline are 14, the forwards 43 while the players on the bench average 8. The average age of the starting 15 is 27.

• The first Castle Lager Rugby Championship (previously the Tri-Nations) match at this venue took place on 15 August 1998 against New Zealand. The Test match on Saturday will be the 11th Castle Lager Rugby Championship match in Durban, but only the second against Argentina.

• The first Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Durban was played on 8 August, 2015. On this day, South Africa suffered their first ever defeat in 20 Test matches against the Pumas (25-37). To date, the winning margin of 12 points is Argentina’s best performance against South Africa.

• It was also the first time in Springbok history that a player from the opposition scored three tries in a Test match against the Springboks, when Juan Imhoff, the Argentinian left wing, scored a hat-trick of tries.

• South Africa’s overall record against Argentina: P: 26; W: 23; L: 2; D: 1; PF: 935; PA: 510; TF: 109; TA: 46; Average score: 36-20. Win%: 88%.

• South Africa’s record in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship against Argentina: P: 11; W: 8; L: 2; D: 1; PF: 341; PA: 213; TF: 35; TA: 19; Average score: 31-19. Win%: 73%.

• South Africa’s biggest win against Argentina was in 2013 at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, south of Johannesburg (73-13). The winning margin of 60 is the 10th highest in a Test match by the Springboks.

Approaching milestones:

• Springbok fullback Willie le Roux will celebrate his 29th birthday on Saturday. It will be his 45th Test for South Africa.

• The only two Springbok grandsons of two Springbok grandfathers, Francois Louw and Pieter-Steph du Toit, will be playing together in their 20th Test on Saturday (with either both in the starting team or one on the bench). Their grandfathers are Jan Pickard and Piet du Toit respectively.

• Handré Pollard needs only four points for 250 points in his Test career. He also needs 25 points during this tournament for 100 points in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. He also needs 10 points in this Test to reach 50 career points against Argentina.

• Tendai Mtawarira will become the most capped Springbok against Argentina, surpassing Bryan Habana’s 14 Test caps against the Pumas.

Match officials:

• The referee is Ben O’Keeffe of New Zealand. He was born on 3 January 1989 in Auckland, New Zealand and made his international debut as a referee on 11 June, 2016 in a match between Samoa and Georgia. This Test match will be the 11th of his Test career and the fifth with South Africa involved.

• The Assistant Referees are Angus Gardner of Australia and Andrew Brace of Ireland. The TMO will be Simon McDowell of Ireland.

Photo by SA Rugby

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