WATCH: IOL Sports rugby writers make their predictions for Springboks vs England
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England and South Africa will contest their 44th Test match at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm). Here, we crunch some numbers ahead of their encounter.
Of the 43 matches played between the nations thus far, the Boks have won 26 matches and drawn two for a 60.4% win ratio. Twenty-two games have been played in England, and these fixtures tend to be close affairs with South Africa marrowly leading the win column 11-10.
In all, the Boks have scored 919 points against the Old Enemy to the English’s 729 with the average score between the rugby powerhouses 21-17 in our favour.
Since the first Test played between the two nations in 1906, the longest winning streak is nine consecutive victories, also held by the Boks and set during the period of 2006 to 2012. South Africa’s biggest victory over England was in Bloemfontein in 2007, when they crushed the visitors 58-10, while the disastrous match in 2002 at Twickenham, when Jannes Labuschagne was red carded in the 22th minute, resulted in SA’s biggest loss, 53-3.
The last time the Boks played England was a glorious day for the country, as the men in Green and Gold beat their more fancied opponents in the 2019 Rugby World Cup 32-12 in Japan. The previous four encounters before that against Saturday’s hosts ended 12-11 England (Twickenham); 25-10 England (Newlands); 23-12 South Africa (Bloemfontein); and 42-39 South Africa (Johannesburg).
There will be a handful of personal milestones to achieve for Handre Pollard, Frans Steyn, Makazole Mapimpi and Bongi Mbonambi.
A good day off the kicking tee will see Pollard reach 600 career points if he can score 14 points against the English, while Steyn can reach 150 points by slotting over a penalty. Mapimpi needs one more try to reach 20, having already dotted down 19 times in 24 Tests, while Mbonambi needs to cross the whitewash to claim his 10th Test try.
The total caps in the Springbok starting XV is 705, with a further 329 caps on the bench.