CONFIRMED: Nelspruit to host Boks versus All Blacks
BREAKING: The Springboks are scheduled to face Wales in three Test matches in the Incoming Series in July, before hosting the All Blacks and Argentina in the Rugby Championship in August and September, SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.
The away leg of the Rugby Championship will comprise of three Test matches – two against Australia, and one against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Wales are set to return to South Africa for the first time since 2014 as the Boks kick off their 2022 season with three Tests against the Dragons – at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday, July 2, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein (July 9) and Cape Town Stadium (July 16).
The Boks will then launch the home leg of their Rugby Championship campaign three weeks later with back-to-back home Tests against the All Blacks – at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on August 6, and a week later at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, on August 13.
They will then depart for Australia for the away leg of the competition where they will meet the Wallabies on Saturday August 27 and again a week later, on September 3 (both venues to be confirmed), before their third away match against Argentina at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on September 17.
The Boks will conclude their Rugby Championship campaign with a home Test against Los Pumas at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, September 24.
“It’s exciting to announce such a strong list of Springbok fixtures this season after a successful 2021 season for the team, and I have no doubt that Jacques Nienaber [Springbok coach], his management team and the players will do their best to build on those achievements this season,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“Pending the return of crowds to our Tests and with the COVID-19 pandemic still presenting challenges throughout the world, we understand the fluid nature of match schedules, but it is important for us that the team face quality opposition as we gear up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”
Nienaber was equally excited about the season and said: “It’s a massive honour to represent our country, and the fact that we will be facing such tough competition this season has certainly sparked excitement among the coaches and the players alike.
“We are well underway with our planning for the year, and our knowledge of these teams after facing all of them last season will be vital as we forge ahead in this regard in the next few months.
“Wales, the All Blacks and Australia tested us well last season, and Argentina have proven to be a force to be reckoned with, both at home and away, so although we are expecting a challenging season, we realise the importance of laying a solid foundation as we build up toward next year’s Rugby World Cup.”
The Springboks defeated Wales 23-18 in the opening match of the Outgoing Tour in Cardiff last year, while they had mixed results against the All Blacks, going down 19-17 in Townsville before registering a 31-29 victory in their final Rugby Championship match on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Nienaber’s charges won both matches against Argentina in the competition – by 32-12 and 29-10 in Nelson Mandela Bay – but they went down to Australia last year (28-26 in Gold Coast and 30-17 in Brisbane).
Incoming Series fixtures (kick-off times TBC):
Saturday, July 2: Springboks v Wales – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday, July 9: Springboks v Wales – Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday, July 16: Springboks v Wales – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Rugby Championship fixtures (kick-off times TBC):
Saturday, August 6: Springboks v New Zealand – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Saturday, August 13: Springboks v New Zealand – Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Saturday, August 27: Springboks v Australia – venue TBC
Saturday, September 3: Springboks v Australia – venue TBC
Saturday, September 17: Springboks v Argentina – Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Saturday, September 24: Springboks v Argentina – Kings Park, Durban