Ireland v South Africa: All the stats, facts and figures | The Citizen

The Test rugby rivalry between Ireland and South Africa dates back to 1906. And on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin the teams will meet again, for the 27th time.

It will be the first meeting between the teams in five years after Ireland beat the Boks 38-3 on 11 November 2017 at the Aviva. Kick-off on Saturday is 7.30pm.

Here then are a number of interesting and worthwhile bits of information about the rivalry and Saturday’s Test:


The teams have met 26 times before, with the Boks winning 18 and Ireland seven, with one draw. In Ireland the teams have played each other 16 times with the hosts winning six and the Boks nine, with the one draw (8-8 in 1970 at Lansdowne Road).

ALSO READ: Ireland v Springboks: Three key elements to watch for in tour opener

First Test

On 24 November 1906 the Springboks and Ireland clashed for the first time at the Balmoral Showgrounds in Belfast — it would be the only meeting between the teams at the ground. South Africa won 15-12 in front of 15,000 fans.

On Saturday at the bigger and more modern Aviva more than 51,000 will be in attendance.

Wins in Ireland

Ireland’s biggest win against the Boks was that 2017 victory, a stunning 38-3 triumph over Allister Coetzee’s team.

South Africa’s biggest win came in 1912, a 38-0 victory at the old Lansdowne Road. In the modern era (since 1995), the teams have clashed nine times in Dublin, with Ireland winning five and the Boks four.

South Africa players Handre Pollard, Eben Etzebeth and Jesse Kriel after the loss to Ireland in 2017. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile/Gallo Images


Veteran Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray will earn his 100th cap for his country on Saturday. The only other centurion in action is Eben Etzebeth of the Boks.

Siya Kolisi will stay second in thee list of captain’s appearances — 41, while Etzebeth will equal Beast Mtawarira and CJ van der Linde’s appearance record against Ireland — seven.

ALSO READ: Boks and Ireland have moved on since 2017’s thrashing — Rassie


The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 710. The average caps per player in the backline are 30, the forwards 62, while the players on the bench average 39.

Willie le Roux will play in his 80th Test match. He has played 75 as fullback, trailing the most capped fullback Percy Montgomery by 12 Tests in the No 15 jersey.

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