Rugby

Boks in new four-team event

2012-12-06 18:15
Heyneke Meyer (AFP)

Johannesburg - The Springboks will host Scotland, Samoa and Italy in a four-team tournament next year that will have two rugby Tests on the same day at the same stadium.

Wales and Scotland - again - will tour South Africa for mid-year internationals in 2014.

The South African Rugby Union announced the Springboks' home fixtures up to 2015 on Thursday and also said next season would be the first time the national body owns the Test matches. Previously, South Africa's provincial rugby unions were awarded international games to host at their home grounds and were able to commercialise them.

South Africa will start their 2013 international season on June 8 against Italy at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Scotland will play Samoa at the same stadium earlier the same day.

There will also be double-headers involving the four teams at Kings Park in Durban on June 15 and Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on June 22. Fans will be able to watch both games on each day for the price of one ticket, SARU said.

The Boks were also drawn with Scotland and Samoa in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup.

SARU said it had previously been the only major rugby union not to own its home Tests matches, which were effectively sold to provinces to stage.

South Africa's national rugby body will now take money from ticket sales and "commercial activity" in and around the stadium. The fixtures were subject to terms being agreed between SARU and the host union, however.

"The key benefits will be in allowing us to plough a share of the profits back into all the provincial unions," SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said.

The Mbombela game will be the Springboks' first appearance at the colo-rful giraffe-and zebra-themed stadium built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

In next year's Rugby Championship, South Africa will host Argentina at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Australia at Newlands in Cape Town and world and southern hemisphere champions New Zealand at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg.

Wales will play two Tests in 2014 - in Johannesburg and Nelspruit - while Scotland will play a one-off game in Port Elizabeth.

The fixtures are:

2013 Incoming Tour:

•    Saturday, June 8 (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit): Scotland v Samoa; Springboks v Italy
•    Saturday, June 15 (Kings Park): Samoa v Italy; Springboks v Scotland
•    Saturday, June 22 (Loftus Versfeld): Team 3 v Team 4 ; Team 1 v Team 2

2013 Rugby Championship:


•    Saturday, August 17 (Free State Stadium): Springboks v Argentina
•    Saturday, September 28 (Newlands): Springboks v Australia
•    Saturday, October 5 (Coca-Cola Park): Springboks v New Zealand

2014 Fixtures (dates to be confirmed):

•   Incoming Tour: Springboks v Wales (Johannesburg)
•   Incoming Tour: Springboks v Wales (Nelspruit)
•   Incoming Tour: Springboks v Scotland (Port Elizabeth)
•   Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Pretoria)
•   Rugby Championship: Springboks v Australia (Cape Town)
•   Rugby Championship: Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg)

2015 Fixtures (no Incoming Tour due to Rugby World Cup):


•    Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Cape Town)
•    Rugby Championship: Springboks v Australia (Durban)
•    Rugby Championship: Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg)
 

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