Boks to face England twice at altitude
SA Rugby have scheduled two of next year’s Springboks’ June Tests against England at altitude in an effort to give the home team every chance of series victory.
The three Tests will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg‚ the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein and Newlands in Cape Town on June 9‚ 16 and 23 respectively.
Under Eddie Jones England have become a formidable team‚ winning 22 of their 23 Tests since the start of 2016 and risen to number two in the world rankings.
The Boks have gone the other way and before this weekend’s match against Wales had dropped to number five in the world with 11 losses in 24 Tests in the same period.
The Springboks are also likely to be under a new coach next June‚ with Allister Coetzee expected to be axed after SA Rugby’s executive council meets on December 13‚ to end two years of under-performance by the national team.
It will be England’s first visit to South Africa in six years. England last visited in 2012 when the Springboks won the first two of the three Tests‚ while the final encounter ended in a draw in Heyneke Meyer’s first series in charge.
England have not won a Test in South Africa since the two teams clashed in Bloemfontein in 2000.
Out of the 13 previous Tests between the Springboks and England in South Africa‚ the visitors have won three‚ while one ended in a draw.
“Under Eddie Jones the English have reestablished themselves as one of the powerhouses of World Rugby – they have only lost one Test in the last two seasons‚” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“Our history against England goes back more than a century and we are looking forward to welcoming them back to South Africa next year in what promises to be a tough tour.
“In 2012‚ they played in Johannesburg‚ but it’s been 10 years since they last visited Bloemfontein‚ while the Test in Cape Town will be England’s first visit to the Mother City since 1998.”