Now that the Christmas lights are packed away and the new years champagne hangover has subsided, its time to get out those diaries and pencil in the most important dates in any South Africans calendar. The Springboks will play in 12 tests this year. The added bonus sees the return of the so called SA 'A' side which will greatly assist the Springboks in unearthing depth and preparing for the next 18 months leading up to the World Cup.
The incoming tour this year sees Wales head to South African shores for the first time since they last toured in 2014. The Springbok won both games in 2014, 38 - 16 in at Kings Park in Durban and a much closer 31 - 30 in Mbombela. Wales and the Springboks play a similar game, relying heavily on their forwards and a territory based kicking game. The Boks have won the last two clashes but the incoming tour will prove a good test ahead of the Rugby Championship.
Wales will play the Boks 3 times, on the 9th (Pretoria), 16th (Bloemfontein) and 23rd (Cape Town) of July. Whilst the Incoming Tour also sees the return of the SA 'A' side who will play two mid-week tests on the 13th and 20th of July against an unnamed opponent at this stage. These midweek fixtures are probably the biggest benefit of the tour as they will add some playing time for fringe players whilst ensuring the test series is also prioritized for momentum building purposes.
The challenge doesn't get any easier after this as two weeks later the Springboks will start up the Rugby Championship on the 06th of August. They will face back to back fixtures against all of Argentina, the Wallabies and the All Blacks. The Springboks will probably list the tournament as their highest priority, looking to avenge their back to back losses at the hands of the Wallabies whilst also looking to snatch the title from the All Blacks who reclaimed it last year. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the tournament will return to SA shores yet but if all pans out there are rumors that the Boks will face the All Blacks down in Cape Town.
The Springboks will then turn their attention North, where a longer than normal tour awaits them (4 games). First up will be the high flying Irish, who will be all too eager to add a Springbok scalp to hang next to their All Blacks one. This will also be a vital game ahead of the World Cup as the two are lined up to play in the same pool in France. They will then face France who are their possible quarter final opponents. France are an incredible side now and will be even better by the time the Boks touch down in Paris next year.
The Boks will then round off their year against Italy, a side they last beat 49 - 3 in Japan but who have also toppled the Boks in recent times (2016, Florence). Followed by a final fixture against England who will have faced the All Blacks the weekend before and will be looking to get the double over the Boks after beating them at the end of the 2021 season.
There is plenty of rugby to be played this year and a lot of work to do ahead of the challenge that awaits in France at the World Cup. Hopefully fans will be able to see their beloved Springboks play for the first time ever as World Champions, a pleasure not yet enjoyed by the South African public. Keep an eye on our page for a downloadable calendar.
09 July 2022 - SA v Wales
13 July 2022 - SA 'A' v TBC
16 July 2022 - SA v Wales
20 July 2022 - SA 'A' v TBC
23 July 2022 - SA v Wales
(fixtures subject to change)
06 August 2022 - SA v All Blacks
13 August 2022 - SA v ALL Blacks
20 August 2022 - SA v Argentina
03 September 2022 - SA v Argentina
10 September 2022 - SA v Australia
24 September 2022 - SA v Australia
05 November 2022 - SA v Ireland
12 November 2022 - SA v France
19 November 2022 - SA v Italy
26 November 2022 - SA v England