For the first time in Springbok Rugby history, South Africa will meet Japan in a Test match. Here are some interesting facts and stats:
Japan have qualified for all previous tournaments since 1987, while South Africa’s inaugural tournament was in 1995.
– In the previous seven tournaments Japan played 24 RWC matches with only one win, against Zimbabwe in 1991, and two draws.
– South Africa have played in 29 RWC matches, with 25 wins for a win percentage of 86.2%. This is the highest winning percentage of all 20 teams involved in this tournament.
– The total number Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 880, the most experienced Springbok side ever. The previous most experienced side (836 caps) played in the RWC quarter-final against Australia in 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.
– There are 392 caps in the backline with 488 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 243 caps.
– The following players will make their RWC debut: Lood de Jager, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel and Lwazi Mvovo, while Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Handré Pollard and Adriaan Strauss may also make their RWC debut if they get game-time off the bench.
– Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 109 caps in this position. If he scores a try he will extend his own record of 59 Test tries for South Africa. Bryan also holds the Springbok record for most career tries (10) in RWC tournaments.
– In the RWC of 2007 Bryan scored four tries against Samoa – should he repeat that feat against Japan he will be the new world record holder for most career tries as a wing. The current world record holder is Daisuke Ohata from Japan with 62 tries in the wing position.
– Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 92 caps in this position and will captain South Africa for the 36th time. Together with Gary Teichmann, he will be the second most capped Springbok captain.
– Ruan Pienaar is co-holder of the RWC record for most conversions (6) in a test match.
– Schalk Burger is South Africa’s most capped Springbok flank (73) and this match against Japan will be his 80th Test. He is also the Springbok record holder for most tries as a flank (12) as well as a forward (14).
– Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (9) in tests as a hooker.
– The front row of Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck and Tendai Mtawarira will appear in their record 19th test starting line-up.
– Jannie and Bismarck will play their 46th Test match together.
– Jannie and Tendai will play in their 37th Test as props in the starting line-up.
– The referee is Jerome Garcès of France. It will be his sixth Test involving South Africa. Of the previous five South Africa have won three and lost two. His last appearance was in July 2015 against New Zealand in Johannesburg which the Boks lost 20-27.
– The venue is the Brighton Community Stadium, which was constructed at a cost of £93m. The Stadium was officially opened on 30 July, 2011 and has a capacity of 30 750 seats.