SA Rugby has officially announced the Springboks’ home calendar for 2024, which includes two Tests against Ireland and a clash with the All Blacks in Cape Town.
Old foes New Zealand – presently ranked number three in the world – are back for Tests in Johannesburg and Cape Town, while the burgeoning rivalry with Ireland, world number two, sparks the season to life in spectacular fashion in Pretoria and Durban.
The Boks’ July Test schedule will conclude with a clash against emerging nation, Portugal. It will be the first time South Africa take on Os Lobos (the Wolves) in an international match, with the venue set to be confirmed in due course.
Rugby fans will also be able to enjoy a reprise of the 2022 Mbombela Test-week experience when Argentina make a return to the Lowveld for the first time in eight years to conclude the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in September.
Ticket sales for the Tests will open in the New Year from the service provider of the hosting union.
The Springboks’ home Test schedule for 2024 is:
Saturday, 6 July: SA vs. Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: SA vs. Ireland (Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: SA vs. Portugal (venue TBC)
Saturday, 31 August: SA vs. New Zealand (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Saturday, 7 September: SA vs. New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday, 28 September: SA vs. Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)
The Springboks re-emerge from what will have been a 252-day pause between matches when they take on Ireland at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. A week later the teams reconvene at Kings Park as the reigning Six Nations champions make their first visit to South Africa in eight years.
The Springboks won that 2016 series, 2-1, but since then Ireland have won all three meetings between the teams (and five of the last seven) – most recently in a 13-8 victory in Marseille in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup.
A week later, on 20 July, the Springboks will play their maiden Test against Portugal, who contributed to memorable matches at the Rugby World Cup with a thrilling draw against Georgia before beating Fiji 24-23 in their final pool match.
Fellow RWC finalists, New Zealand, return for a two-Test series in August and September as part of the Rugby Championship. The Springboks will be aiming for a third successive victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 2009 when the teams meet at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 31 August.
A week later the show moves on to Cape Town where the All Blacks will play at the DHL Stadium for the first time. The teams’ last meeting in the Mother City was a 25-24 defeat for the Boks at Newlands in 2017.
The home Test season concludes at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit for the visit of Argentina’s Pumas and the Boks’ fifth to the Lowveld venue. They beat the Pumas 30-23 at the ground in 2016 and have a 100% record on the outskirts of Nelspruit with wins over Scotland, Wales, and New Zealand on their other appearances.
The Springboks’ away Test schedule includes two matches against the Wallabies in Australia in August, and an away match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in September, as well as engagements in Europe in November 2024.
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