South Africa will play just two home Tests next year during a curtailed build-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with Johannesburg and Pretoria set to host the matches.
There is no June international window in World Cup year and the Rugby Championship has been cut to three fixtures per side, with the Boks to open their campaign against Australia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on July 20.
The Springboks face two-time defending world champions New Zealand a week later in Wellington, the scene of their surprise 36-34 victory against the All Blacks in this year’s Rugby Championship. They then travel to South America to meet Argentina in their final game of the Southern Hemisphere competition,on Aug. 10, before hosting the Pumas in a one-off international at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria the following week.
That is the final test scheduled before the Boks open their World Cup Pool B campaign against New Zealand in Yokohama on Sept. 21.
The Boks also meet Namibia in Toyota on Sep. 28, Italy in Fukuroi on Oct. 4 and Canada in Kobe four days later.
Jurie Roux, the chief executive of SA Rugby, said he was delighted that Springboks fans would be able to see their team in two home Tests next year.
“The extra match against Argentina in Pretoria means Bok fans will have a fantastic opportunity to see Siya Kolisi and his Springbok team in action in a second home international,” Roux said in a statement.
“The match against the Pumas will also give [coach] Rassie Erasmus a final opportunity on home soil to prepare the Springboks before the announcement of the final squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.”
The Springboks’ Confirmed Test Matches for 2019
Jul. 20: South Africa vs. Australia, Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Jul. 27: New Zealand vs. South Africa, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Aug. 10: Argentina vs. South Africa, venue TBC
Aug. 17: South Africa vs. Argentina, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria