Cape Town - The Springboks will play all four of their 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup pool fixtures in England at 16:45 (17:45 SA time) following an announcement by Rugby World Cup Limited and England Rugby 2015 Limited on Friday that amendments had been made to the match times.
These changes, which were agreed to by international broadcasters, will see all the initial 17:00 matches move forward by 15 minutes to 16:45. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham switch from 17:00 to 16:00. Changes to the match order of three fixtures were also made.
The times of the two quarter-finals at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff were also altered.
The most significant change to the Springbok match schedule was an adjustment to their opening fixture on September 19, 2015, against the top Asian qualifier at the Brighton Community Stadium. It moves from a 20:00 kick off to 16:45. This allowed for a universal match time across all the team’s round-robin matches.
The purpose of the earlier kick-off times was to allow for a stronger global broadcast platform for rugby’s showcase event, while simultaneously easing things for fans attending the matches.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer welcomed the changes to the match schedule and said it would assist the team in their preparations for the international spectacle.
“These changes will suit us well because all our pool matches will be at the same time, while the final stages will be only 45 minutes earlier, so this will simplify our preparation,” said Meyer. “On the initial match schedule our opening match was at 20:00, which would have required us to make adjustments to our training times following that match. But the new match schedule eliminates that challenge.”
The Springboks will take on Samoa on September 26 at Villa Park in Birmingham, Scotland on October 3 at St James’ Park in Newcastle and the USA on October 7 at the Olympic Stadium in London in their other three pool fixtures.
The Springboks’ RWC 2015 Pool B schedule:
Saturday, 19 Sept, 16:45 v Asia 1 - Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
Saturday, 26 Sept, 16:45 v Samoa - Villa Park, Birmingham
Saturday, 3 Oct, 16:45 v Scotland - St James’ Park, Newcastle
Wednesday, 7 Oct, 16:45 v USA - Olympic Stadium, London
QF1: Saturday, 17 October, 16:00 - W Pool B vs RU Pool A - Twickenham, London
QF2: Saturday, 17 October, 20:00 - W Pool C vs RU Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
QF3: Sunday, 18 October, 13:00 - W Pool D vs RU Pool C - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
QF4: Sunday, 18 October, 16:00 - W Pool A vs RU Pool B - Twickenham, London
Saturday, 24 October, 16:00 - W QF1 vs W QF2 - Twickenham, London
Sunday, 25 October, 16:00 - W QF3 vs W QF4 - Twickenham, London
Friday, 30 October, 20:00 - Olympic Stadium, London
Saturday, 31 October, 16:00 - Twickenham, London