Rassie Erasmus says the Boks will enjoy the occasion of playing at a ‘special’ stadium in what could be the last Test played at Newlands this Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Cape Town.
According to reports over the weekend, the cash-strapped Western Province Rugby Football Union is set to sell Newlands and make the long-expected move to the state-of-the-art Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.
At a press conference held ironically just down the road from Cape Town Stadium on Monday, Erasmus said he had seen the news of the reported move away from a venue that he knows only too well.
‘I’ve coached and played here [in Cape Town], Newlands is a wonderful stadium, and everybody knows how we feel about tradition in South Africa.
‘I’m not sure if it’s true or what’s the reasoning behind it [the move away from Newlands], so I can’t really comment on that, but Newlands is special and we’ll enjoy the occasion whether it is the last Test there or not.’
After playing two Tests in cool but clear conditions at altitude over the past fortnight, the Boks have arrived to find some wet weather in Cape Town at the start of this week, while there are further predictions for inclement conditions on Saturday.
Erasmus said this would factor into their planning, both in terms of selection and game-day tactics, but reiterated that the main focus would be on maintaining the momentum established after back-to-back wins over England.
‘You know Cape Town, sometimes you get there and you get 80 minutes of dry weather,’ said Erasmus. ‘It’s very difficult to predict, but if it does turn out to be wet and rainy, then you’re probably going to see some typical Test match rugby. It would be stupid to try and play a beautiful, running game.’
The Springbok team for the third and final Test against England will be named at 1pm on Thursday.
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