Autumn Internationals 2018: England v South Africa Head to Head

Kyle Sinckler


Alec Hepburn1Steven Kitshoff
Dylan Hartley2Malcolm Marx
Kyle Sinckler3Frans Malherbe
Maro Itoje4Eben Etzebeth
George Kruis5Pieter-Steph du Toit
Brad Shields6Duane Vermeulen
Tom Curry7Siya Kolisi
Mark Wilson8Warren Whiteley
Ben Youngs9Ivan van Zyl
Owen Farrell10Handre Pollard
Jonny May11Aphiwe Dyantyi
Ben Te’o12Damian de Allende
Henry Slade13Jesse Kriel
Jack Nowell14Sbu Nkosi
Elliot Daly15Damian Willemse
Jamie George16Bongi Mbonambi
Ben Moon17Thomas du Toit
Harry Williams18Wilco Louw
Charlie Ewels19RG Snyman
Zach Mercer20Lood de Jager
Danny Care21Embrose Papier
George Ford22Elton Jantjies
Manu Tuilagi23Andre Esterhuizen


England Rugby

AveragesEnglandSouth Africa


England Rugby

AveragesEnglandSouth Africa

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.


England Rugby

AveragesEnglandSouth Africa


England Rugby

AveragesEnglandSouth 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: and

16 thoughts on “Autumn Internationals 2018: England v South Africa Head to Head

  1. Even more so, the Boks have put both De Jaeger and Snyman on the bench, so seems like Erasmus Will try to muscle England backwards for the whole game

  2. Could this be why Eddie has opted for Farrell at fly half rather than Ford? Is he expecting the SA pack to dominate and therefore Farrell is a better option for back foot ball? Then up the tempo in the 2nd half with Ford and Care when the heavier SA pack begins to tire? Even I’m clutching at straws now…

        1. Looks like either Vermeulen/Whiteley wil play about 60′ with Snyman/De Jaeger comming in at second row and Du Toit moving to openside. Imo England’s forwards lack the experience (Mercer, Hepburn, Williams, Ewels, …) to really counter it.

  3. Already highlighted, but exp & weight favour SA up front which is where, as is usually the case, the game will be dictated. The scrum is also about technique as well as weight, but SA seem well equipped @ both. England therefore, need their set piece to be super slick & won’t want the ball lingering in their scrum. The line out could be a tussle, but England have to win their throws. Hartley’s throwing might help here. That exp favours England in the backs will likely prove less significant if SA dominate in the fwds. Thus, with England probably & rightly, looking to test SA’s back 3 with bombs, they’ll need to utilise this tactic judiciously & accurately & not just robotically or predictably. The back row will need to effectively target their 1/2back too. The benches are a bit of a mixed bag exp wise, but as already foretold, the Saffers look likely to keep the pressure on with some big’uns for the full 80. Good luck Mr. Gorsky!

    1. I don’t recall South Africa’s Championship form in the lineouts, but I would expect England to gain parity at least in the Lineouts.

    1. Sorry, I meant to add in the article. SA label their 6s and 7s the other way around – Vermeulen will play blindside, but wear No 7.

      I switched them over here for better comparison.


Comments are closed.