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Bloem Challenge side adds WP clash to tour schedule

NEWS: The Western Force have added another fixture to their South African trip later this year.

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The Australian Super Rugby franchise will be involved in the Bloemfontein Challenge in October where they will face the Cheetahs and the Emerging Ireland side.

The Force revealed that after that tournament they will head to Stellenbosch to face a Western Province XV side that “will feature players from the Stormers squad”.

That match has been billed as a friendly.

The 2024 Bloemfontein Challenge will again boast a total prize of ZAR1 million, with ZAR300 000 awarded for each main match.

Jimmy Stoneshouse’s Pumas will also be involved in the competition as well as the Griffons.

The Emerging Ireland squad will consist of the next generation of Irish national team players, having competed in a similar series in South Africa in 2022, helping bring through the likes of Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash and Joe McCarthy.

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Force General Manager of Rugby Chris Goodman said the tour would provide invaluable opportunities for the playing squad and coaches.

“We’ve identified the need for more playing opportunities for our squad after the 14-game Super Rugby season, so we’re thrilled to lock in three games in South Africa against strong opposition,” Goodman said.

“We believe this spring tour will help develop team cohesion and connections within the playing squad. Players will also be exposed to different opposition and different conditions making it an invaluable experience.”

Emerging Ireland Tour fixtures:

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Wednesday, October 2: Emerging Ireland v Pumas
Sunday, October 6: Emerging Ireland v Western Force
Wednesday, October 9: Emerging Ireland v Cheetahs

Western Force tour matches:

Wednesday, October 2: Cheetahs v Western Force, Bloemfontein
Sunday, October 6: Emerging Ireland v Western Force, Bloemfontein
Saturday, October 12: DHL WP XV v Western Force, Stellenbosch (friendly)

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