Loftus & Ellis Park get Bok bonuses
NEWS: The South African Rugby Union on Wednesday revealed the full fixture list for the Springboks in 2023 – including the World Cup.
The Boks will kick off a bumper 2023 season against Australia in Pretoria in July in the opening round of the shortened Rugby Championship and will face Argentina in Johannesburg in their final match on home soil before the build-up to their World Cup defence starts.
In August, the Boks will travel to Argentina to take on the Pumas before facing Wales and the All Blacks in World Cup warm-up matches in Cardiff and London in the final build-up to the global showpiece in France, which kicks off on the second weekend in September.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s charges will kick off the international season on Saturday, July 8, with their opening Rugby Championship Test against Australia at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, before travelling to New Zealand to face the All Blacks on Saturday, July 15.
They will return to South Africa to wrap up their campaign against Los Pumas at Ellis Park in Johannesburg two weeks later, on Saturday, July 29.
This will mark the first time since 2016 that the Boks host Australia in Pretoria, and the first time since 2013 that they take on Argentina in Johannesburg – with South Africa having won both those fixtures, by 18-10 and 73-13 respectively.
The away match against Argentina is scheduled for Saturday, August 5 before they take on Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, August 19, and a second Test against New Zealand at Twickenham on Friday, August 25.
South Africa will launch their World Cup title defence on Sunday, September 10, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland in Paris (September 23) and Tonga in Marseille (October 1).
The World Cup quarterfinals will be played on the weekend of October 14/15, with the semifinals on October 20/21 and the final on Saturday, October 28.
“Loftus Versfeld and Ellis Park are iconic stadiums, and we thoroughly enjoy the fanatic support from the home crowds at these venues, so we are thrilled to start off what is a vital season for the team at these stadiums,” said Nienaber.
“These Rugby Championship matches are going to be crucial as we look to get our World Cup season off to a good start and playing against New Zealand away and Australia and Argentina on the highveld will be ideal for our preparation.
“All three sides will enter the international spectacle in France among a handful of teams that will be considered potential contenders for the title, so we are expecting a thorough test throughout the campaign.”
SARU Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus added that the match against the Pumas in Argentina ties in nicely with their RWC preparations.
“Playing against Argentina in South America is unique as they have a very passionate home crowd that brings the best out of their team,” Erasmus said.
“That environment will serve as good preparation for our team with an eye on the World Cup, especially after getting a taste of the atmosphere we can expect at the international extravaganza in our match against France in Marseille last November.”
Nienaber said the national coaches have been hard at work with their planning for the international season where they will look to build on an encouraging 2022 season.
“The coaches have hit the ground running this year and we’ll continue to put in the hard yards as we attempt to ensure that we leave no stone unturned before the World Cup.
“We are on course in terms of finalising our planning for the season and we are excited about returning to the training field,” added the Springbok coach.”
An announcement on the venues of the Tests in New Zealand and Argentina, as well as the Boks’ training camps will be made in due course.
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— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) February 1, 2023
Springbok 2023 fixtures:
Saturday, July 8 – v Australia (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, July 15 – v New Zealand (venue TBC)
Saturday, July 29 – v Argentina (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
RWC warm-up fixtures:
Saturday, August 5 – v Argentina (venue TBC)
Saturday, August 19 – v Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
Friday, August 25 – SA v New Zealand (Twickenham, London)
RWC pool fixtures:
Sunday, September 10 – v Scotland (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)
Sunday, September 17 – v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
Saturday, September 23 – v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday, October 1 – v Tonga (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)
Weekend of October 14/15 – Quarterfinals
Weekend of October 21/22 – Semifinals
Saturday, October 28 – Final