South Africa: 2023 fixtures confirmed, mapping the Springboks’ route to the Rugby World Cup Final
SA Rugby confirms the Springboks fixture list for 2023, mapping South Africa’s route to the World Cup Final with their opening test against Eddie Jones’ Australia in Pretoria in July.
The defending champions have confirmed that they will play six fixtures before their World Cup opener against Scotland on September 10 in Marseille.
Wallabies first up
Jacques Nienaber’s charges kick off the 2023 Test season with a home match against Australia on July 8 before travelling to New Zealand to face the All Blacks.
The abbreviated Rugby Championship wraps up on July 29 with a clash with Argentina at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
All the Springboks tests on home soil will take place in Gauteng, at altitude, with the Wallabies visiting Loftus Versveld for the first time since 2016 and the first time they will host Argentina in Johannesburg since 2013. South Africa won both those fixtures defeating Australia 18-10 and Argentina 73-13.
Rugby World Cup
Nienaber’s side then head to Argentina to clash with Los Pumas at a yet-to-be-determined venue in their first of three Rugby World Cup warm-up games.
The Springboks then face Warren Gatland’s Wales at the Principality Stadium on August 19, and six days later, they face the All Blacks at the home of English Rugby, Twickenham.
A clash with Scotland on September 10 in Marseille kicks off the Springboks World Cup title defence, followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland in Paris (September 23) and Tonga in Marseille (October 1).
The quarter-finals of the World Cup take place on the weekend of October 14/15, the semi-finals on 20/21, and the final on October 28 28.
“Loftus Versfeld and Emirates Airline Park are iconic stadiums, and we thoroughly enjoy the fanatic support from the home crowds at these venues, so we are thrilled to start off what is a vital season for the team at these stadiums,” said Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber.
“These Castle Lager Rugby Championship matches are going to be crucial as we look to get our Rugby World Cup season off to a good start, and playing against New Zealand away and Australia and Argentina on the highveld will be ideal for our preparation.
“All three sides will enter the international spectacle in France among a handful of teams that will be considered potential contenders for the title, so we are expecting a thorough test throughout the campaign.”
Nienaber added that the national team’s coaches had been hard at world already this year to prepare for the World Cup.
“The coaches have hit the ground running this year, and we’ll continue to put in the hard yards as we attempt to ensure that we leave no stone unturned before the World Cup.
“We are on course in terms of finalising our planning for the season, and we are excited about returning to the training field,” added the Springbok coach.
The trip to South America
Meanwhile, SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said that the clash with Los Pumas in Argentina would prepare the side well for the atmosphere they will encounter in France.
“Playing against Argentina in South America is unique as they have a very passionate home crowd that brings the best out of their team, so that environment will serve as good preparation for our team with an eye on the Rugby World Cup, especially after getting a taste of the atmosphere we can expect at the international extravaganza in our match against France in Marseille last November,” Erasmus said.
Springboks 2023 fixtures:
The Rugby Championship:
Saturday, July 8 – Springboks vs Australia (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, July 17 – Springboks vs New Zealand (venue TBC)
Saturday, July 29 – Springboks vs Argentina (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
Rugby World Cup warm-up fixtures:
Saturday, August 5 – Springboks v Argentina (venue TBC)
Saturday, August 19 – Springboks vs Wales (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
Friday, August 25 – SA vs New Zealand (Twickenham, London)
Rugby World Cup pool fixtures:
Sunday, September 10 – Springboks v Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)
Saturday, September 23 – Springboks v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday, October 1 – Springboks v Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
Weekend of 14/15 October – Quarter-finals
Weekend of 21/22 October – Semi-finals
Saturday, October 28 – Final
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The article South Africa: 2023 fixtures confirmed, mapping the Springboks’ route to the Rugby World Cup Final appeared first on Planetrugby.com.