Springboks Wales

The Springboks line up for the anthem. Image: SA Rugby website

Who will be the referee for Springboks v Wales?

An Irish referee will take charge of the Springboks’ season-opening Test against Wales at Twickenham this Saturday.

Springboks Wales

The Springboks line up for the anthem. Image: SA Rugby website

The world champion Springboks are set to return to action this Saturday, and although the team won’t be at full strength, there is still plenty of interest in how they are shaping up.

Several newcomers will have an opportunity to impress, with four uncapped players named in the matchday 23. Kick off is at 15:00 (SA time).

As ever, there will also be a focus on the officiating at a neutral venue, with Irish referee Chris Busby set to take charge of proceedings.

The TMO will be a fellow countryman of Busby’s, Mark Patton. Interestingly, World Rugby has also just announced an expansion of the TMO’s powers for this weekend’s clash.

Under the revised protocol, the TMO will now have the additional power to highlight clear and obvious infringements in the final passage of play (from the last restart) to the referee, including knock-ons and forward passes.

Previously, whereby the TMO can only intervene on infringements within the final two phases. All other aspects of the existing protocol will apply.

World Rugby will use the trial to guide the future of the TMO process, which will be decided by the World Rugby Council in November.

Springboks v Wales: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 14.00 (15.00 SA time; 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christophe Ridley (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Leal (RFU)
TMO: Mark Patton (IRFU)


South Africa: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 23 Damian de Allende.

Wales: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Mason Grady, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 James Botham, 6 Taine Plumtree, 5 Ben Carter, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Keiron Assiratti, 19 James Ratti, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Eddie James, 23 Jacob Beetham.

Stats and facts:

Springbok record against Wales

Played 41; Won 33; Lost 7; Drawn 1; Points for: 1 071; Points against; 658; Tries scored: 126; Tries conceded: 54; Highest score: 96-13; Biggest win: 83 points; Win %: 80%.


  • Pieter-Steph du Toit will lead the Springboks for the second time in his illustrious career – the first time was against Wales in Washington in 2018 when he became the 60th Springbok captain.
  • Four of the last six matches between the Springboks and Wales were decided by five points or less.
  • The Springboks have won five of their last 10 Test matches against Wales – the last of which was a Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Cardiff in August last year, which the Boks won 52-16. The Springboks’ eight tries in that match saw them rack up a record number of points against Wales on Welsh soil.
  • The match marks a significant career milestone for Vincent Koch as he earns his 50th Test cap.
  • The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 637.
  • There are 183 caps in the backline, with 454 caps among the forwards. On the bench there are a further 227
  • The average caps per player in the backline is 26, the forwards 56, while the players on the bench average 28.