Scotland get first crack at World Champion Boks
NEWS: Scotland is set to be the first opponents of new world champions, South Africa, with Tests in the Republic on July 4 and 11.
Although SA Rugby has not confirmed who they will host in a mid-year series, a source told AFP that “Scotland is coming for two matches during July”.
South Africa have won 22 Tests and lost five against Scotland and the last meeting, in Edinburgh a year ago, ended 26-20 in favour of the Springboks.
Traditionally, mid-year visitors to South Africa play three Tests, but Scotland cannot do so as they face New Zealand in Dunedin on July 18.
It is understood SA Rugby want to play another team on July 18, as they seek to cash in on the popularity of the team that beat England 32-12 this month in the World Cup Final.
“The Springboks can fill any stadium in South Africa twice over right now and, ideally, it would be another Six Nations team,” the source said.
All the six nations drawcards have arranged July 4 and 11 Tests – with England facing Japan, Wales meeting New Zealand, Ireland playing Australia and France tackling Argentina.
But none of the four touring teams has announced a July 18 opponent, creating the possibility that one of them could play a one-off Test in South Africa.
* Meanwhile the All Blacks and Argentina will join Japan as Scotland’s opponents in the 2020 year-end Tests at Murrayfield.
Scottish Rugby confirmed that Gregor Townsend’s side will open the campaign against the Pumas on the weekend of November 6, followed by the previously announced fixture against the Brave Blossoms a week later.
The Scots will finish the series against the world’s No.2 ranked side, New Zealand, over the weekend of November 20.
Murrayfield is already a 67,000 sell-out for 2020 Calcutta Cup match against England on February 8 in the Six Nations and coach Townsend is relishing the challenges in the year ahead.
“Representing your country is the pinnacle of the sport and in 2020 we will have opportunities to pit ourselves against some of the world’s leading teams,” he said.
“To host Argentina, Japan and New Zealand at Murrayfield following our games against England and France in the Six Nations provides fantastic competitive challenges which we look forward to seeing our players embrace.”
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