Cape Town - Western Province will travel to France next week for a two-match tour as part of the preparations for their Currie Cup title defence.
Coach John Dobson's team will face French teams RC Narbonne and Montpellier in the space of five days, in order to get some crucial game-time together as a unit before their domestic campaign kicks off on August 25.
The defending Currie Cup champions were invited by Montpellier, for a trip which is seen as the beginning of a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship, with potential commercial opportunities and projects between the two teams anticipated in the future.
A 29-man squad will depart Cape Town on Tuesday, August 7 and face Narbonne on Saturday, August 11 before taking on Top 14 side Montpellier on Thursday, August 16.
They will be based in the town of Millau, which is 100km outside of Montpellier.
Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, said that this trip presents a unique opportunity to make gains both on and off the field.
"We feel there is enormous potential for commercial opportunities between our respective pre-eminent teams and that Montpellier hosting the reigning Currie Cup champions is a very special opportunity for both sides to take advantage of,” Zacks said.
"The faithful can be found all over the world and taking our brand to new territories forms part of our strategic plan, so it is particularly exciting for us to take Western Province to France as we continue to strive to become a leading rugby franchise with global appeal.
"Our team is very happy about the two matches and want to get the most value possible out of the trip before the first game of our Currie Cup campaign, while also giving our players invaluable experience of a different rugby culture both on and off the field.”
The squad for the tour will be announced on Monday, August 6.