An SA Select XV will take on English Premiership side Bristol Bears as part of a planned series of midweek matches for South Africa during the year-end tour to Europe in November.
The Boks will kick off their tour against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, 5 November, and this will be followed by Tests against France in Marseille at Stade Velodrome a week later.
Italy await on 19 November, with the venue yet to be confirmed by the hosts, while the tour will conclude against England at Twickenham in London on 26 November.
Negotiations are also currently under way to arrange two more midweek games for an SA Select XV team during the tour, following confirmation that a fixture against Bristol at Ashton Gate stadium will be hosted on Thursday, 17 November.
The match against Bristol is set to kick off at 7:45pm, while the kick-off times of the other matches are yet to be announced.
These matches will complete the international season for the Boks which already features the current home series against Wales and the Rugby Championship.
“Our traditional year-end tour is taking shape, and the fact that we have confirmed one of the SA Select XV games already is great news,” said Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.
“The SA Select XV games will provide us with a chance to cast our net wider to build squad depth and give players as much game time as possible as the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France draws nearer.
“We only have a limited number of matches left before we kick off our Rugby World Cup campaign in September next year, and we need to use every opportunity we can to give the players game time to develop our player combinations and build squad depth.
“We have an enlarged squad of 42 players with us at the moment and hopefully we will have an opportunity to see what most of these players can do at international level as they look to throw their names in the hat for next year’s international extravaganza.”
He added: “We have constantly alluded to ensuring that we can take a squad to the World Cup with a reasonable amount of Test caps, and although the planned mid-week games are not Tests, it will be vital in keeping the players in tune with our structures and systems and giving them the chance to tour with us and play overseas. That is the only way once can build that type of experience.
“While we know the Test matches will be very tough, I have no doubt the Bristol Bears will provide challenging competition for our SA Select XV team, especially given their track record of having finished top of the Gallagher Premiership table during the 2020-21 season and winning the European Challenge Cup in October 2020. So, we are under no illusions about the challenge they will present.”
Springbok year-end tour fixtures:
Boks vs Ireland (Saturday, 5 November, Dublin, Aviva Stadium)
Boks vs France (Saturday, 12 November, Marseille, Stade Vélodrome)
SA Select XV vs Bristol Bears (Thursday, 17 November, Bristol, Ashton Gate)
Boks vs Italy (Saturday, 19 November, TBC)
Boks vs England (Saturday, 26 November, London, Twickenham)