|Alec Hepburn||1||Steven Kitshoff|
|Dylan Hartley||2||Malcolm Marx|
|Kyle Sinckler||3||Frans Malherbe|
|Maro Itoje||4||Eben Etzebeth|
|George Kruis||5||Pieter-Steph du Toit|
|Brad Shields||6||Duane Vermeulen|
|Tom Curry||7||Siya Kolisi|
|Mark Wilson||8||Warren Whiteley|
|Ben Youngs||9||Ivan van Zyl|
|Owen Farrell||10||Handre Pollard|
|Jonny May||11||Aphiwe Dyantyi|
|Ben Te’o||12||Damian de Allende|
|Henry Slade||13||Jesse Kriel|
|Jack Nowell||14||Sbu Nkosi|
|Elliot Daly||15||Damian Willemse|
|Jamie George||16||Bongi Mbonambi|
|Ben Moon||17||Thomas du Toit|
|Harry Williams||18||Wilco Louw|
|Charlie Ewels||19||RG Snyman|
|Zach Mercer||20||Lood de Jager|
|Danny Care||21||Embrose Papier|
|George Ford||22||Elton Jantjies|
|Manu Tuilagi||23||Andre Esterhuizen|
The age and experience in the pack stands out in these charts, with England averaging 20.6 caps compared to South Africa’s 36.6, and that’s with Dylan Hartley’s 93 bringing up the average significantly. Take out Hartley and England are averaging 10 caps per player, and there is 10 caps in total in the back row.
It’s the other way around in the backs though, and England’s experienced half-back pairing could be important. The away side’s fresh back three is likely to be tested by Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell.
Overall, there are 413 caps in England’s starting XV, compared to 415 for South Africa.
This is where you can see the size difference between the two packs. Not one Englishman is taller than his opposite man, and only Brad Shields has the upper hand over Duane Vermeulen in terms of weight (although even that I find quite surprising).
England’s pack weighs 875kg, compared to South Africa’s monstrous 916kg, which means on average the away side is over 5kg heavier per man.
Does anything stand out to you in these comparisons?
Source: EnglandRugby.com and RugbyPass.com