It’s bye bye to Newlands as Springboks tackle All Blacks in Nelspruit

Newlands. Photo: Gallo Images

SA Rugby have finalised the international programme for the year.

The Springboks will bid an emotional farewell to Newlands in Cape Town in July, and will face the All Blacks in a brand-new venue in September, after SA Rugby confirmed the host stadiums for the Boks’ six home Tests in 2020 on Tuesday.

All three the Rugby Championship matches – against New Zealand, Australia and Argentina – will take place up north, while the three Tests in the Incoming Series – against Scotland and Georgia in a new Test window in July – will be hosted on the coast.

In what will be a final international at the oldest Test venue in the Southern Hemisphere, Newlands in Cape Town will host the Springboks for their first match since their memorable triumph over England in the Rugby World Cup Final in Japan last November.

The two-match series against the Scots kicks off on Saturday, July 4 in Cape Town, with the two sides meeting again a week later at Kings Park in Durban.

That is followed by a historic first home Test for the Springboks against Georgia, at the majestic Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Mandela Day (Saturday, July 18).

The Springboks will also defend their Rugby Championship title, which starts with a match against Argentina at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, August 8.

The away match against the Pumas on August 15 is then followed by a visit to Australasia for the away fixtures against the Wallabies (29 August) and All Blacks (5 September) before the Boks return to South Africa for two home fixtures to complete their 2020 campaign.

Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria will host the Springboks’ clash with the Wallabies on September 19, where the Australians have yet to register a win against the men in green and gold, after which the highly-anticipated Test against the All Black will take place a week at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, on September 26.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said the six home Test matches will offer local supporters across the country an exciting opportunity to watch their Rugby World Cup winning Springbok heroes in action on South African soil.

“The Springboks had a fantastic season last year which resulted in successes in both the Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup and we saw the passion for the Boks from all South Africans upon their return from Japan,” said Roux.

“There is a huge amount of excitement amongst our fans to watch the Springboks live in action again in our own backyard and this year’s home schedule will give them just that, starting with a farewell to Newlands in the first Test against Scotland, a historic clash with Georgia before the defence of the Rugby Championship gets underway and we finish off by taking the All Blacks to the Lowveld for the very first time.”

The Springboks home Test schedule for 2020:

Incoming Series July 4: South Africa vs Scotland – Newlands, Cape Town July 11: South Africa vs Scotland – Kings Park, Durban July 18: South Africa vs Georgia – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Castle Lager Rugby Championship: August 8: South Africa vs Argentina – Airline Park, Johannesburg September 19: South Africa vs Australia – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria September 26: South Africa vs New Zealand – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print