SA Rugby has confirmed the Springboks’ home schedule for the year, with Jacques Nienaber’s men set to host Wales in a three-Test series in July, before welcoming the All Blacks and Argentina in the Rugby Championship in August and September.
Wales are set to return to South Africa for the first time since 2014 as the Boks kick off their 2022 season with three Tests against the Dragons – at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday, 2 July, the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on 9 July and at Cape Town Stadium on 16 July.
The Boks will then launch the home leg of their Rugby Championship campaign three weeks later with back-to-back Tests against the All Blacks – at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on 6 August, and a week later at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 13 August.
The away leg of the Rugby Championship will comprise three Test matches – two against Australia, and one against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
They will depart for Australia for the away leg of the competition to meet the Wallabies on Saturday, 27 August and again a week later, on 3 September (both venues to be confirmed), before their third away match against Argentina at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on 17 September.
The Boks will conclude their Rugby Championship campaign with a home Test against Los Pumas at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, 24 September.
“It’s exciting to announce such a strong list of Springbok fixtures this season after a successful 2021 season for the team, and I have no doubt that Jacques Nienaber, his management team and the players will do their best to build on those achievements this season,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“It is important for us that the team face quality opposition as we gear up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”
Nienaber is equally excited about the season: “It’s a massive honour to represent our country, and the fact that we will be facing such tough competition this season has certainly sparked excitement among the coaches and the players alike.
“We are well under way with our planning for the year, and our knowledge of these teams after facing all of them last season will be vital as we forge ahead in this regard in the next few months.
“Wales, the All Blacks and Australia tested us well last season, and Argentina have proven to be a force to be reckoned with, both at home and away, so although we are expecting a challenging season, we realise the importance of laying a solid foundation as we build up toward next year’s Rugby World Cup.”
The Springboks defeated Wales 23-18 in the opening match of the outgoing tour in Cardiff last year, while they had mixed results against the All Blacks, going down 19-17 in Townsville before registering a 31-29 victory in their final Rugby Championship match on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Nienaber’s charges won both matches against Argentina in the competition – by 32-12 and 29-10 in Nelson Mandela Bay – but went down to Australia last year (28-26 in Gold Coast and 30-17 in Brisbane).
Incoming Series fixtures (kick-off times TBC):
Saturday, 2 July: Springboks vs Wales – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday, 9 July: Springboks vs Wales – Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday, 16 July: Springboks vs Wales – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Rugby Championship fixtures (kick-off times TBC):
Saturday, 6 August: Springboks vs New Zealand – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Saturday, 13 August: Springboks vs New Zealand – Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Saturday, 27 August: Springboks vs Australia – venue TBC
Saturday, 3 September: Springboks vs Australia – venue TBC
Saturday, 17 September: Springboks vs Argentina – Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Saturday, 24 September: Springboks vs Argentina – Kings Park, Durban.