NZ, SA to meet in Soweto

2010-07-02 07:26

Wellington - All Blacks coach Graham Henry has inadvertently revealed New Zealand and South Africa will play their Tri-Nations rugby match on August 21 at the Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

South African officials have yet to announce their decision to move the match from Ellis Park in Johannesburg to the 95 000-seat Soweto venue of this month's football World Cup final.

Henry let slip the information Friday in an interview with the website. He confirmed the venue for the match in answer to a question then recognized his error and sought advice from the All Blacks' media manager.

"Yeah, that's official isn't it," Henry said, before turning to media manager Joe Locke and asking "am I allowed to say that Joe?

"I've just said it, haven't I? It's been speculated ... no, I'm not allowed to say that. No, it's only speculated we're playing in a stadium that holds 97 000. Gee, that would be great, wouldn't it? I can't wait."

The South African Rugby Union was expected to announce the move in Johannesburg on Wednesday.


  • BOKTHETALK - 2010-07-02 07:51

    That will be AMAZING. 90000+ Bok supporters giving the all blacks an earfull. I cant wait for that, im going for sure!!!

  • Tombok - 2010-07-02 07:58

    That would be Brilliant !! it's about time.. Ellis park is out-dated, cold and in a run down suburb. 1995 Rugby world cup Final days are over... Its time for bigger, more beautiful stadiums. Yeah !! Super Size Me !!

  • steven - 2010-07-02 07:59

    OOOOps. He was not allowed to tell. PS, I knew this about a month ago already

  • Drol - 2010-07-02 08:01

    i am surprised they agreed to it...being in vuvuzela world... i am wouldnt be surprised if a condition would be that none of those irratating things were to be admitted. me personally would prefer not not to heat it at rugby games

  • RAF - 2010-07-02 08:05

    make the tickest affordable & fill the staduim.

  • Quinton - 2010-07-02 08:07

    i'm from Cape Town & been to Johannesburg two weeks ago . . .is soccer city really in Soweto? it certainly did not look like Soweto to me when i was there...the other thing to consider is the fact that soccer city is right next to where the Rand Easter show is being you wanna tell me that the Rand Easter show is being held in Soweto?

  • herman - 2010-07-02 08:08


  • BULLS NUMBER 1 - 2010-07-02 08:11

    Holy Moly!!!! When can I buy my ticket!!!!!

  • Didier - 2010-07-02 08:11

    STROKED!!! But pity i'm in Durban. So please make Springbok play in Moses Mabhida Stadium as well?

  • chris - 2010-07-02 08:15

    This is just the start people. All these big games will start to move to the new stadiums it will be the only way they will make some kind of money, if not these SWC stadiums will coast the government a fortune. I will be surprised if any of the big rugby stadiums will ever see an international rugby game again. I bet in 5 years time places like kings park and newlands will be no more……

  • Gerhard - 2010-07-02 08:21

    That will be awesome!!! 97000 Springbok supporters in 1 staduim? Danm thats a frighting thought!!! We will see alot more games in the more "footbal" friendly staduims. But it's great to see. If the Lions start to perfomr better, I believe they will get more respect for their venue! Ellis Park is prob one of the greatest venue in Rugby history, and Its a bit sad to see how it's team is letting the venue down! But thats my opinion, sure alot of people can find reason not to agree with me...

  • Lamb - 2010-07-02 08:23


  • shaun - 2010-07-02 08:27

    Makes sense as the facility is world class and the game needs to be spread. Just hope the Boks and Stormers will make use of the Cape Town Stadium as well as the ficilities are world class

  • bokke bokke - 2010-07-02 08:27

    Ek kan nie wag om McCaw se speech te hoor as hulle hulle grootste pak kry voor 90000 groen geverfde Bokke nie,ons sal almal as hulle daar speel moet begin liplees,dit gaan n Mo#rse nice game wees.Ek is bly dat hulle daardie concrete museum veruil vir die pragtige Soccer city.

  • Alan - 2010-07-02 08:28

    How cool is that!!!!!! Best move ever to play games in Soweto!! Lets keep this Nation Building going!!! I was at the Bulls/Crusaders game there - there is no way you could top the atmosphere of Soweto - it absolutely ROCKS!!!!!!!!

  • Sand - 2010-07-02 08:30

    They is FANTASTIC - can't wait to go to Soccer City again - the stadium is awesome. Just arrange the park and ride like you for the SWC.More people can enjoy the game now !!!!!

  • John - 2010-07-02 08:33

    @Steven You are so freaking awesome man!

  • Shaike - 2010-07-02 08:36

    its gonna be a crazy atmosphere. im sure its going to be some sought of record here in S.A for a rugby attandance. The question is are the vuvuzelas gonna be allowed? seems the rugby community is loving them for now.

  • Steve - 2010-07-02 08:37

    Awesome ill bring my Vuvuzela =====<()

  • Morwa - 2010-07-02 08:38

    @Chris & Dol, why do you always have to be so negative? why are you allowing yourself to live you lifes with this hatred against people who have never done anything to you. Just as much as not all whites are racists not all blacks are rapists, murderers etc...please get over this race thing, lets use logic on our comments and stop this nonsense...grow up please...

  • MC - 2010-07-02 08:40

    @chris. Sure, you bet all the big games will be on the new stadiums as these stadiums are absolutely fantastic. The sooner WP, Natal and Lions rugby unions conceed this and move to the new stadiums, the better. How can you even think about going to for example Newlands once you've been at the new CT stadium?

  • Kosie - 2010-07-02 08:40

    Hope the price of tickets will come down. Bring it on. 90 000 supporters in green an gold. What a boytjie

  • Chakalaka - 2010-07-02 08:40

    Brilliant!!! Even though Ellis (glad to see not referred to as Coca-Cola Park!) holds a special place for me from going there as a lightie - it is in a kak area!! Moving to Soccer City (perhaps name change now?) could result in the revitalization so dearly needed for rugby on the highveld! Who knows - maybe this could light a spark in the lions (if their games move their as well). 90000+ Lions fans roaring down on a Bulls - lions Super14/15/16 final at Rugby (Soccer) City!! Now there's a thought!

  • Pad - 2010-07-02 08:44

    Ah , so this means I can watch on TV with the volume turned off.

  • Bulls fan forever - 2010-07-02 08:45

    This is great news. Just please for the love of the game don't allow any vuvuzelas into the ground. It's a soccer thing not a rugby thing.

  • shaun - 2010-07-02 08:45

    @chris, i hope u r wrong, im a season ticket holder at the shark tank, and have had the privelage to go 2 a few world cup games at the moses mabida stadium. And while it is an amazing stadium and one the city of durban can be proud of, i tell u with hand on my heart for viewing perposes it is very average compared to Kings Park, Ellis Park or loftus. I cant comment on soccer city thogh, but if moses mabida is anything to go by you will need binoculars whereever you sit in the stadium, you are never close to the action, i sat in the second row from the front for Germany v Aus and must have being almost 40 metres from the touch line. People behind the goals must have being 60 metres from them. Great Football stadium but not a rugga stadium

  • Kay - 2010-07-02 08:45

    @Quinton. . . what do you think Soweto looks like?

  • It is Here - 2010-07-02 08:46

    Why is this a surprise to anybody? The writing was on the wall when the Bulls went to Orlando. The SWC stadiums need to be used now & have taken SA sporting / stadium infrastructure to one of the best in the world. To be honest, its a good thing, commercially & to get more spectators into the games / concerts. A few requests from my side please!: NO VUVUZELAS, ONLY INTERNATIONAL + S14 SEMI'S or FINAL MATCHES. Currie Cup Final - maybe? Let's take the positiveness forward & become the envy of world entertainment & sport! Boks forever!

  • Lew - 2010-07-02 08:48

    Hopefully someone will go and do some basic maths.....realizing that if they get 95000 people, that it won't be necessary to charge R450-R900 per ticket!! Make it more affordable now! Cheapest for a family of four: Tickets - R1800, Food & Drinks - R500, Transport - R200. That's R2500 for an afternoon outing. For some, no problem what so ever, for others, impossible! Lets hope the "officials'" wallets stay out of the calculation....

  • Mike - 2010-07-02 08:48

    Will SARU spot the golden opportunity to reduce the cost of tickets and hence fill the stadium, while still taking the same total amount? (win-win for eveyone) Or will they and be greedy, fleece the public and end up with a half full stadium in which case no-one wins....!

  • boksupporter - 2010-07-02 08:49

    I'm a pround WP and Stormers supporter but after attending a couple world cup games I really think its time to move on from Newlands the Greenpoint Stadium is on another level, Newlands is outdated, even though it has history so did Cardiff Arms Park and Lansdowne road but people need to move on or continue playing sport in stadiums that are well past there sell by date.

  • Kobus - 2010-07-02 08:51

    Off to the shop to buy my vuvuzela, I will be blowing off the ears of the All Blacks.

  • Warren - 2010-07-02 08:52

    Way to go! Ellis Park isnt in Sa anymore anyway - it is in a Province of Nigeria!. I would love to see this match at Soccer City. I live in the North, and it is more accessible to me and more can watch. Great Idea

  • Raka13 - 2010-07-02 08:52

    I agree RAF, make the tickets affordable, the atmosphere will be dull if the stadium is half. Also, they can use the SWC stadiums for international games and the old stadiums for S15 and Currie Cup. Our rugby stadiums are never fully packed, only with semi's and finals. It is time that the unions put an effort in to fill the stadiums every week, even if smaller unions play the big 5/6.

  • Ewakka - 2010-07-02 08:52

    Ellis Park is one of the best rugby stadiums in the world. You are much closer to the field and feel part of the game. Soccer City for a few games is OK by me . I surely will lament the day Ellis Park stops being Jo'burgs No1 rugby stadium. John Smit comments in his books that him most springsboks consider Ellis Park their favourite venue. Can't beat that endorsement.

  • monster - 2010-07-02 08:52

    Best news I heard all year!! Will be an awesome atmosphere!! GO BOKKE!!

  • Mlungisi - 2010-07-02 08:53

    Quinton, I agree with you. Soccer City is in Nasrec, not in So Where To. But bringing the Springboks to Soccer City will be great!!

  • The ben johnson - 2010-07-02 08:55

    wha wha whie wha. this is amazing. i predict a big win for the boks.

  • RugbyLover - 2010-07-02 08:55

    Man - I can not wait!!!! Been to 2 games @ Soccer CIty and it was awesome. It would be great to have 90000+ Bok supporters!!!!!

  • Durban Township Boy - 2010-07-02 08:56

    It's about time.I'm proud of those whities who made their way to Soweto during the Super 14 games,go on and enjoy and see that people do live in the townships and nothing to be afraid of.Soweto is within RSA and you're still home.If you don't like the Vuvu,bring ear plugs along and enjoy the game.If you don't go ,those of us who can afford to will go but do support the game even at home,some games will be played in CT,Loftus or DBN,go and enjoy the games.Proudly South African,high five to those SAfricans who embrace change without complaining. The say intelligence is messured by your ability to accept change,the more u r able and willing to accept change,the better.

  • Piet Viljoen - 2010-07-02 08:57

    Why? Why? Why!!! Let us boikot the game

  • straight-talker - 2010-07-02 09:05

    the bigger the better. new big stadium = big loud vuvuzela noise. i love it.

  • Whoop whoop - 2010-07-02 09:06

    Soccer City here we come!!! So when is Lions Rugby union moving to Soweto? Would much rather go even to Orlando stadium than Ellis Park! Sorry Ellis Park, but to much hassle going to you!!!

  • Alistair - 2010-07-02 09:10

    Having watched 3 matches there, I could not help but wonder just how great it would be two watch rugby, especially SA NZ at the stadium. I can just picture the atmosphere there when the haka starts, it would be insane. Just please no vuvuzelas

  • KB - 2010-07-02 09:10

    No problem playing in soccer stadiums, but the only downside is that the spectators are too far removed from the field. Most rugby stadiums have been constucted to allow seating to look down onto the field. There are 20-30m gaps behind the current goal posts before spectators seating. I guess a few of the current rugby stadiums will be demolished and the use of the new soccer stadiums will be the new "home". It is also a justification to ensure these stadiums will survive as without rugby being played there they will be white elephants.... did rugby even have a choice??

  • TNC - 2010-07-02 09:10

    @Quinton - Soccer city is in Soweto.So is Nasrec where the Rand Easter show is held. Soweto is a Region. Lenasia & Eldorado park are also part of Soweto

  • Justin - 2010-07-02 09:19

    I would much rather watch an international at a full Kings Park (Absa Stadium) where you are right near the action, than in a half empty (although beautiful) Moses Mabhida. And there is no way they'll fill Soccer City with a game of rugga. I watched footie at Moses Mabhida the other day, and although probably the most awesome stadium in the world from an arhitectural point of view, the angle of the seating, and the distance from the playing field takes away from the aura. I have to say King Park is the best for atmosphere, as you feel you are on the field with them, never mind the fantastic boxes, the stadium pubs and the after game braais. I suggest our leadership need to start getting every major sporting event here over the next 10 years, or those beautifully expensive stadia will have been a fruitless waste of tax payers money.

  • The Toolman - 2010-07-02 09:21

    I believe that the game tomorrow between the Blue Bulls and Eastern Province is the last game to be played at the Boet Erasmus stadium. Could be a real old sentimental farewell but in the end it was becoming really run down. The new stadium is really state of the art and up to international standards. We need some tests here to.

  • fred - 2010-07-02 09:23

    @ Chris ... why so sceptical? -- time to move on -- we don't all drive 48 Plymonths anymore! --

  • Gaz - 2010-07-02 09:25

    Brilliant News!!! Before long we gonna have the whole of Soweto being massive Bok supporters and show Bafana how to win and fill trophy cabinets. Excellent news for SA rugby!!! Go Bokke lets take the tests in NZ and show the Kiwi's who's Boss!!!