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England to play “best of the rest”

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 18 Apr 2012 at 09:12
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

In news sure to be music to the ears of the traditionalists amongst us, it’s been announced that this year’s England tour will feature – shock horror! – midweek matches against two invitational sides, in addition to three tests.

With the traditional long tours of the past having been sacrificed at the altar of rugby professionalism over the last decade, this is the first time in absolute ages that a touring team to the country will play anything other than test matches and the games pencilled in for the English “dirt trackers” should provide plenty of spectacle for those in outlying parts of the Republic desperate for some big rugby.

Two “South African Barbarian” sides, one representing the south of the country and the other the north, will play against the touring English in Kimberley and Potchefstroom respectively and will comprise players from the 8 first-division Currie Cup teams, rather than players on the fringes of Bok selection as I’d originally hoped.

All in all, this is a pretty exciting development and hopefully the pre-cursor for a return to fuller tours in the future as the staple diet of SANZAR rugby starts to taste more than a little bland after so many years and so many matches against the same opposition.

Here are the fixtures, according to SuperSport:

Saturday, 9 June: South Africa v England (1st test), Mr Price King’s Park, Durban (kick off 17h00)
Wednesday, 13 June: SA Barbarians South v England, GWK Park, Kimberley (kick off 14h30)
Saturday, 16 June: South Africa v England (2nd test), Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg (kick off 17h00)
Tuesday, 19 June: SA Barbarians North v England, Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom (kick off 19h10)
Saturday, 23 June: South Africa v England (3rd test), Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth (kick off 17h00)


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