All Blacks and Springboks to renew rivalry in 2023
For rugby fans, the All Blacks versus Springboks rivalry is one of the most intense and fiercely contested matchups in the sport.
South Africa's absence from New Zealand shores since 2019 makes it the longest time without a Test match here since the end of South Africa's international ban in 1992.
The last Test played was the 16-16 draw at SKY Stadium in Wellington.
The 102-year rivals have played five Tests since. The first was their Rugby World Cup opener in Yokohama in 2019, the All Blacks winning 23-13 – the only loss the Springboks suffered in their World Cup triumph.
The Covid-19 pandemic knocked out their planned Tests in 2020 while the 2021 Rugby Championship was staged at Australian venues, the teams sharing their two matches, New Zealand winning the first, the 100th Test between the sides, 19-17 in Townsville and losing the second in Robina 29-31.
Both their Investec Rugby Championship Tests were played in South Africa last year. The first in Mbombela was a 10-26 loss for New Zealand before they turned their effort around in a week to win 35-23 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
While only one Rugby Championship Test is scheduled this year, at Mt Smart Stadium on Matariki weekend, the teams will play a historic non-World Cup Test at Twickenham as part of their tournament preparation on August 25.
Depending on how they finish in their groups, they could meet for a third time at the World Cup in either the quarter or semifinals.
The sides have met five times in World Cup games, but the 2019 All Blacks win was the first time they had met in pool play.
In 1995 their first Cup contest was the celebrated final won by South Africa in extra time from a Joel Stransky dropped goal.
In both 1999 and 2003, they played off for third and fourth. The South Africans won the first at Twickenham, 22-18, while the All Blacks won the second in Sydney, 29-9.
Their remaining game was the 2015 semifinal at Twickenham, won by New Zealand 20-18.
Since the first meeting in 1921, they have played 103 Tests, New Zealand has won 61 Tests, and South Africa 38 with four drawn. In 45 Tests played in New Zealand, the home team has won 32 times with three draws, while in 52 Tests played in South Africa, the home team has won 26, one more than the All Blacks, with one drawn.
New Zealanders have dominated the individual scoring between the countries.
First five-eighths Dan Carter has the most points with 255, with Andrew Mehrtens second highest with 209. Handré Pollard is the best of the Springboks with 149 points, Morne Steyn has 139, and Percy Montgomery has 103, one more than Beauden Barrett.
All Blacks fullback Christian Cullen is the leading try scorer with 10 tries, with wing Joe Rokocoko one behind. Wing Bryan Habana is the best of the South Africans on eight tries. In their Test matches, the All Blacks have scored 234 tries and the Springboks 160.
The only area of point scoring where the South Africans have the advantage is in dropped goals, with 30 to 2.
While the All Blacks' overall win percentage against all countries is 76.80, South Africa is the only country to hold New Zealand below 60 per cent, and that win percentage is 59.22.
All Blacks v Springboks 2023 schedule
Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship: Saturday 15 July, 7.05pm NZT. Sign up to Team All Blacks for TICKETS.
Rugby World Cup Warm-Up: Friday 25 August, 7.30pm BST (Saturday 26 August, 6.30am NZT). Get TICKETS HERE.
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Watch one of the fiercest rivalries in rugby between two global powerhouses at Twickenham on Friday 25 August 🏟️
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