The Springboks will depart for Australia on Thursday for their remaining four Rugby Championship matches, to be held in Queensland following the announcement of the new match schedule by SANZAAR.
The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent tightening of regulations imposed on travel and quarantine by various state and national governments due to the latest COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia and New Zealand forced a drastic change in the timing of matches, which will now see the remaining four rounds of competition in Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville.
The Springboks will kick off the first leg of their campaign against Australia on Sunday 12 September at the CBUS Super Stadium in Gold Coast, to which Another clash between the teams will follow at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 18 September.
These matches will be followed by back-to-back games against New Zealand on Saturday, September 25 at the QLD Country Bank Stadium in Townsville and on Saturday, October 2 at the CBUS Super Stadium in the Gold Coast.
Initially, the matches were scheduled to take place in Sydney, Brisbane, Dunedin and Auckland, respectively.
Each round will feature a double match of matches between the four participating teams in the same venue, and fans will be able to attend the matches.
“We are pleased that the Championship game schedule has been finalized and we look forward to continuing our campaign in Australia,” said Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber.
“Now we can continue with our planning to ensure that the players are prepared for the next four games from a physical and mental point of view, and we are excited to face our old rivals Australia and New Zealand again after starting the tournament well against Argentina.”
The Springboks and Pumas will travel to Australia together on Thursday afternoon, and both teams will be quarantined for two weeks before heading out onto the field., after which they will normally operate in Australia with no restrictions on their movements.
Despite being in quarantine, the Boks will be able to train as they have in South Africa since the start of the series against the Lions.
“The two-week quarantine period means that we will be on tour for just under six weeks, but we hope to experience a normal life after a year and a half of living under various forms of tight COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa,” Nienaber said.
“This will certainly help to ensure that the players are mentally fresh when they go out on the field, which is essential for them to reach peak form.”
The Springboks had Monday and Tuesday off to rest and recover from the grueling physical and mental schedule of the past two months, which saw them face Georgia, the British & Irish Lions and play two games against Argentina.
THE COMPLETE FIXTURE:
August 14: New Zealand 57-22 Australia (Eden Park, Auckland).
August 14: South Africa 32-12 Argentina (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth).
August 21: Argentina 29-10 South Africa (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth).
Date to be confirmed: Australia vs New Zealand (Optus Stadium, Perth).
September 12: New Zealand vs Argentina (CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast).
September 12: South Africa vs Australia (CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast).
September 18: Argentina vs New Zealand (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane).
September 18: Australia vs South Africa (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane).
September 25: New Zealand vs South Africa (QLD Country Bank Stadium, Townsville).
September 25: Australia vs Argentina (QLD Country Bank Stadium, Townsville).
October 2: South Africa vs New Zealand (CBUS Stadium, Gold Coast).
October 2: Argentina v Australia (CBUS Stadium, Gold Coast).