Springboks to host Argentina at an empty Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha

26 July 2021 - 16:36 By REUTERS
A view of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
A view of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

The Springboks will host their two home matches in the Rugby Championship against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha next month, but they are likely to be played in front of empty stands, officials said on Monday.

The fixtures follow directly after the series against the British & Irish Lions and will be played on August 14 and 21 as the world champions compete in the southern hemisphere championship for the first time since winning it in 2019, having skipped last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, there is little prospect that spectators will be allowed to attend matches, but we are pleased to be returning to the Eastern Cape (for the first time since 2018) for these important tests,” SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said.

“Because of all the health and safety and logistical considerations that come with Covid-19 we decided to minimise the risks and reduce the logistical challenges by playing both tests in one city and venue.”

The Boks will travel to Australia and New Zealand later in the competition, where they will play two Test matches each against both opponents.