Mon 25 Jul 2022 | 11:58

All Blacks' big move to keep alive Bok rivalry

All Blacks' big move to keep alive Bok rivalry
Mon 25 Jul 2022 | 11:58
All Blacks' big move to keep alive Bok rivalry
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NEWS: New Zealand has made a bold move to start mending some broken bridges with South Africa.

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According to the Stuff website two second-string outfits – an All Blacks XV and South Africa ‘A’ – will go head-to-head in Montpellier in November.

According to the Kiwi website, it is part of New Zealand Rugby’s attempts to stay connected to their greatest rival and mend the impaired relationship that malfunctioned after the Kiwis’ decision to sideline the Republic in the SANZAAR partnership.

The report also stated that a New Zealand Under-19 side will tour South Africa for three or four games in October.

This dramatic about-turn comes after the well-documented reports that the New Zealand game was suffering from the lack of exposure to South African teams.

South Africa joined the now very popular and lucrative United Rugby Championship after NZ Rugby’s decision to walk away from Super Rugby in 2020 – effectively cutting South Africa and Argentina’s Jaguares out of the picture.

The All Blacks XV versus SA ‘A’ game will be part of the two countries’ plans to give players in their wider squads additional international exposure.

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Both countries will be touring Europe as part of their annual year-end ventures to the Northern Hemisphere.

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Two fixtures had previously been announced for New Zealand’s backup squad – against Canada on October 29, and against the Scott Robertson-Ronan O’Gara-coached Barbarians.

A fourth opponent will also be locked in.

The Springboks will play four Tests – against Ireland, France, Italy, and England – while there will also be a midweek game where SA ‘A’ will tackle English club Bristol Bears.

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SA Rugby said in a recent statement that negotiations were also underway to arrange two more midweek games.

The game between SA A and the All Black XV shapes up as the most significant fixture for both countries’ back-up squads.

More importantly, it will start the mending process of the battered relationship between the two Southern Hemisphere rugby giants.

South African bosses have pointedly referenced that Super Rugby’s demise was not their choice.

That is why the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions have joined the URC and will now also feature in the Europe Cup from next season.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

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