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Springboks to face All Blacks at Twickenham in ’23

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The Springboks will line up against the New Zealand at Twickenham in England for only the second time ever when they clash in a Rugby World Cup warm-up fixture on Friday, 25 August 2023 – two weeks before the international extravaganza kicks off in France, where South Africa will attempt to defend their crown as world champions.

The match against the All Blacks follows another warm-up fixture for the Boks a week earlier against Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, 19 August 2023, which will offer Jacques Nienaber’s team an ideal opportunity to put the final touches in place for the RWC against top-class opposition.

The Springboks will cross paths with Scotland (10 September in Marseille), Romania (17 September in Bordeaux), Ireland (23 September in Paris) and Tonga (1 October in Marseille) in their Rugby World Cup Pool B encounters in France.

The All Blacks are currently ranked fourth on the world rankings, one spot behind the Boks, while Wales occupy seventh place, and with both teams expected to be among the top sides going into the spectacle, Nienaber and SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus were thrilled about the confirmation of the fixture against New Zealand.

The Boks have faced NZ once before at Twickenham, in 2015 when the All Blacks won a tense Rugby World Cup semi-final by 20-18 before they went on to lift the Webb Ellis Cup a week later at the same venue.

“The Springboks and All Blacks share one of the greatest rivalries in rugby, and to face them at Twickenham will be an exciting experience for the players and our fans,” said Erasmus.

The Springboks and All Blacks before their 2015 RWC semi-final at Twickenham.

The Springboks and All Blacks before their 2015 RWC semi-final at Twickenham.

“The match will take place shortly before we kick off our World Cup campaign, and both this encounter and the Test against Wales will be vital for us to measure ourselves before the competition and to put the final building in blocks in place so that we can enter the showpiece in the desired form.”

Nienaber added: “We are excited to play this vital fixture against one of our main arch-rivals before the Rugby World Cup at the iconic Twickenham Stadium. There is a large contingent of passionate expats and Springbok supporters in London, and we have no doubt they will come out and support us in what we know will be a massive occasion for both teams before the World Cup.”

Adding significance to these matches, the Springboks edged Wales 19-16 in the semi-final of their triumphant 2019 RWC campaign in Japan to book their place in the final against England, a few weeks after South Africa went down 23-13 against the All Blacks in the pool stages. The team from down under eventually finished as bronze medalists.

Commenting on the clash, All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said: “This match will form an important part of our preparations for Rugby World Cup. Matches against the Springboks are always hard-fought and we are expecting nothing less than a titanic battle on this unique occasion.”

Bill Sweeney, CEO of the Rugby Football Union, was thrilled to host the match: “It’s not often we get the chance to host a Friday evening match under the lights at Twickenham and so it’s fitting that we welcome two of the powerhouses of global rugby. Both nations have sizable expat communities in London and beyond, who will only contribute to what is sure to be an electric atmosphere.”

Tickets will go on sale from 10h00 (11h00 SA time) on Thursday, 27 October via Ticketmaster and the RFU. Secure your seats early and be part of this historic match from £55 for adults and £28 for Under-16s (Booking Fees apply). Visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/events or https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/35005D52BE1F72A6. Hospitality packages are available to purchase from £299 per person via www.twickenhamstadium.com.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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Spencer looking to bring innovation to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki

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Former All Blacks and Blues first five-eighths Carlos Spencer hopes to pass on the sort of rugby that marked his career as a backs coach for the Blues women’s side in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.

The 99-time Blues’ pivot played 44 Tests for the All Blacks and 89 games for Auckland during his career spanning the turn of the century. He also played for Northampton and Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Since building his coaching record after completing his rugby-playing career in South Africa in Gauteng, he has coached in the Republic, the United States and the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Now he has taken the chance to join head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu with the Blues.

Spencer, 47, said: “When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to the table. Now, as a coach, I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our Blues wahine.”

Like most of New Zealand, he was caught up in the Black Ferns’ World Cup success, and he anticipates there will be a follow-on effect in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns.

“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

“I’ve known Willie [Walker] for a while. We’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship. He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup, and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.

“I don’t know Linda, but have seen her exploits on the field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was an enforcer on the field,”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said having Spencer on board with the Blues organisation was special, and was an example of harnessing the resources available within the franchise’s region.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Constructive talks between World Rugby, Erasmus

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.

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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team for their brave effort to earn their first win over England at Twickenham since 2014, and their first personal victories in London as they registered a rewarding 27-13 victory on Saturday.

The Boks built up an encouraging 14-3 halftime lead and managed to stretch it to 27-6 in the 57th minute before being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a red card for a dangerous tackle. Despite this, the team hung on as if their lives depended on it to snatch the memorable victory.

The result saw the Boks win two of their four matches on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour – with the two narrow defeats being against the first and second ranked teams in the world in Ireland and France.

“We’ve had a couple of special results as a team, but this was the first win for Siya and I at Twickenham, so it’s very special to us,” said Nienaber.

“The forwards were outstanding and created a good platform for our backs to attack, so all-in-all, it was a fantastic team effort.”

Kolisi echoed lauded the entire team for their efforts to make the victory possible.

“Sometimes we take it for granted what a special environment one is in and the great coaching team we have,” said Kolisi.

“When we got together with most of this coaching team in 2018, we all bought into the plans and the synergy and the way we work together is really special in this group.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Nienaber was delighted with the way some of the young players rose to the occasion and said: “With this match being outside of the international Test window there were a whole lot of players who were not available for selection, but we have a lot of players knocking on the door and it was great to give those guys an opportunity tonight.

“It’s always good to give those players a chance under such pressure in front of a packed Twickenham, which can be pretty hostile, and they stood up today.”

Asked what he had told his players when they were reduced to 14 men, Kolisi said: “We actually said last week there is nothing we haven’t faced together as a group year. We’ve even been in situation when we had a red card, so the players knew what to do.

“Everyone knew they had to work harder to make up for the extra man, and the way the forwards played was great, and everyone did their bit to get the result.”

Wrapping up the tour, Nienaber said: “This was one of the most enjoyable four weeks we’ve had had even though we only got a 50% win record. The way the team, coaches, management and the game drivers made plans and worked tightly together with it was great, and we can take a lot from this going forward.”

The team will make their journey back to South Africa on Sunday and arrive on their home soil on Monday.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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