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What the stats say about Rassie's team selection for Ireland Test

STAT ATTACK: After announcing his matchday squad for the first Test against Ireland, it has become clear that Rassie Erasmus is banking on the tried and tested to get his side over the line.

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The stats will back this up.

The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 966, the second most experienced team ever selected by South Africa after the 987-capped side for the World Cup Final last year.

There are 403 caps in the backline, with 563 caps among the forwards.

On the bench, there are a further 182 caps.

The average caps per player in the backline is 57, the forwards 70, while the players on the bench average 22.

The story continues below…

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Bok team to face Ireland 1st Test 2024

Only two players in the forward pack – Ox Nche and Kwagga Smith – have fewer than 69 Test caps.

Only one player in the backline has fewer than 30 Test caps, namely Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Meanwhile, only three players in the team were not members of the RWC-winning squad (Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Salmaan Moerat, Gerhard Steenekamp).

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

The Springboks’ record against Ireland also makes for interesting reading.

Of the 28 Tests played between the two nations, the Springboks have won 18 with nine defeats. There has been one draw.

The Springboks have scored a total of 530 points in those 28 matches and they have conceded 412.

The average score between the sides is 19-15 with the Boks boasting a 64.2 win percentage.

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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