Rugby

International rugby returns to Soweto

2017-04-26 13:53
Moses Mabhida Stadium (File)

Cape Town - International rugby will return to Soweto’s Orlando Stadium and debut at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in June when the South African ‘A’ team take on the French Barbarians in two exciting encounters.

These matches are being hosted in Durban and Soweto with the assistance of the Gauteng Provincial Government and the eThekwini Municipality - Moses Mabhida Stadium, on the eve of the second and third Tests between the Springboks and France, respectively.

The opening clash in Durban, on Friday June 16, will be the first-ever senior rugby match staged at Moses Mabhida, the iconic stadium which was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

Kick-off is scheduled for 16:45.

The second match, on Friday June 23, will see international rugby return to Orlando Stadium for the first time since the 2010 Super Rugby final, in which the Bulls beat the Stormers in an epic local encounter.

In fact, for two weeks in May 2010, nearly 80 000 rugby supporters flocked to Orlando Stadium for the Bulls’ semi-final against the Crusaders and final against the Stormers, as Loftus Versfeld was not available due to the Soccer World Cup that year.

The main match at Orlando Stadium, which will start at 20:00, will be preceded by a curtain-raiser at 17:00 when the Blue Bulls take on the Golden Lions in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge Gauteng-derby.

“The hosting of these matches at two iconic venues will not only make for superb weekends of top-class international rugby between South Africa and France, but are also hugely exciting as we’ll be playing at non-traditional rugby venues,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“We would not have been able to do this without the assistance of the Gauteng Provincial Government and eThekwini Municipality - Moses Mabhida Stadium and we would like to thank them for their commitment to bringing rugby to new audiences.

“Supporters can look forward to two unique days of international rugby against a French Barbarians team that we understand will be quite strong, and will provide a proper challenge to Johan Ackermann and his SA ‘A’ team.”

More information on ticket prices and other exciting plans around these matches will be announced in due course.      

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