Springboks expect more of the same
The Springboks might boast a great record at the venue for tonight’s Test against France at the Stade de France in Paris (right), but clashes between the two rivals haven’t always been smooth rides.
The Boks’ first Test at the picturesque stadium was memorable, with South Africa beating their hosts 44-21 in front of approximately 77 000 fans in the 1999 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.
On that occasion, flyhalf Jannie de Beer scored 34 points through two conversions, five penalty goals and a world record of five drop goals.
To date, South Africa have played eight Tests at the Stade de France, boasting a record of six wins against two defeats.
Of those eight Tests, however, only four were played against France, with the Boks winning two and losing two.
South Africa, meanwhile, also carry the national team’s fond memories of their biggest win against France (42 points) in 1997 at the Parc des Princes, also in Paris, where the Springboks ran in seven tries to secure a 52-10 victory.
On that day, wing Pieter Rossouw scored four tries, becoming only the second Bok to achieve the feat in a Test match.
While the Boks have won their last six Tests against France, South Africa hold an overall win record of 60% in the 43 matches played between the two teams, winning 26, losing 11 and drawing six.
There have been poor days too, with their biggest defeat against France coming in Marseilles in 2002 when South Africa lost 3010, with centre Jean de Villiers and lock Bakkies Botha making their debuts.
The total Test caps in the Springbok starting line-up is 444, and the average age of the starting 15 is 26 years.
There are 191 caps in the backline, with 253 among the forwards and another 149 on the bench.
The average caps per player in the backline is 27, while among the forwards the average is 32 and on the bench it is 19.