Francois Pienaar’s World Champions won that Test 40-21.
It would be 21 years and 12 Test matches later before Italy could win their first and only Test match against South Africa. That Test match took place in Florence on 19 November 2016, and was narrowly won by two points, the score 18-20.
The Test on Friday will feature 10 Springbok players who were involved in that first and only loss in Florence.
The complete record between South Africa and Italy is as follows:
P 14, W 13, L 1, D 0, PF 652, PA 171, TF 89, TA 14, Win% 93%
Notable team records for South Africa against Italy are:
- The third most points by the Springboks in a Test match: 101 – 19 June 1999 in Durban.
- The second highest winning margin in a Test match: 101 – 19 June 1999 in Durban.
- The second most tries in a Test match: 15 – 19 June 1999 in Durban.
- The most conversions in a Test match: 13 – 19 June 1999 in Durban.
Individual match records against Italy are:
- Most points in a Test match: 29 (2t, 8c, 1p) by Gaffie du Toit – 12 June 1999 in Port Elizabeth.
- Most tries in a Test match: 5 by Stefan Terblanche – 19 June 1999 in Durban.
- Most conversions in a Test match: 8 by Gaffie du Toit – 12 June 1999 in Port Elizabeth, and 19 June 1999 in Durban.
- Most penalty goals in a Test match: 4 by Joel Stransky – 12 November 1995 in Rome, and by Percy Montgomery – 30 June 2001 in Port Elizabeth.
- The total test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 646.
- There are 200 caps in the backline with 446 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 277 caps.
- The average caps per player in the backline is 29, the forwards 56 while the players on the bench average 35.
- The average age of the starting XV is 28.
Milestones and record watch:
- Handré Pollard needs four points to reach 400 career points in Test matches.
- Pollard is the Springbok record holder for most penalty goals (23) in RWC tournaments.
- Pollard needs 11 points to surpass Percy Montgomery’s Springbok record of 111 points in Rugby World Cup tournaments.
- The referee is Wayne Barnes of England. This will be his 87th Test match as a referee, the second most experienced referee after Nigel Owens of Wales. South Africa have been refereed by him in 13 Test matches of which 10 were won.
- The assistant referees are Romain Poite and Alexandre Ruiz, both from France, while Rowan Kitt from England, will be the TMO.