NEWLANDS will host the Springboks in three matches over the next three years, with Australia the opponents over the next two years, and Argentina returning to the Mother City in 2015.
But Newlands was only pencilled in for next year’s Rugby Championship clash between the Boks and the Wallabies on September 28, with the South Africa Rugby Union schedule for the 2014 Test against Australia and the 2015 encounter against Argentina only indicating that Cape Town would be the host city.
That raised the question of whether the Cape Town Stadium would host either the 2014 or 2015 fixtures.
Saru announced yesterday that they would now “own” home Test matches instead of effectively selling them to the provinces, which means that the national body will decide at which venue the matches will be played in each city.
But Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield told the Cape Times yesterday that Newlands would host all three Bok games over the next three years.
“We have to think of our season-ticket holders and suite-holders,” Wakefield said. “There aren’t enough suites at the Cape Town Stadium to accommodate us. Saru will make the decision on the venues, but they are aware of our situation. We are very grateful for the Tests.”
Wakefield added that the WPRU are still in talks with the City of Cape Town about a possible move to the Cape Town Stadium. “We have spoken to the City about the suite-holders, and they are working with us to look at all possibilities, including solutions for Newlands.
“We respect the processes of the City, but we are looking at a three-to-four-year timeline, if the WP General Council decide one day they do want to move.”
Saru also announced that spectators will be able to watch two Test matches for the price of one during the Incoming Tour series next year, with Samoa, Scotland and Italy visiting South Africa in what will be a unique “tournament” format.
“The key benefits will be in allowing us to plough a share of the profits back into all the provincial unions and, that by controlling the ticket office and all commercial activity in the stadium, we will be able to provide an experience for our stakeholders on a par with what we experience when playing overseas,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said with regards to Saru now “owning” the Tests.
SPRINGBOK HOME TESTS
June 8 (Mbombela, Nelspruit): Scotland v Samoa, SA v Italy
June 15 (Kings Park): Samoa v Italy, SA v Scotland
June 22 (Loftus Versfeld): Team 3 v Team 4, Team 1 v Team 2
August 17 (Free State Stadium): SA v Argentina
September 28 (Newlands): SA v Australia
October 5 (Coca-Cola Park): SA v New Zealand
(Dates to be confirmed)
SA v Wales (Johannesburg), SA v Wales (Nelspruit), SA v Scotland (Port Elizabeth)
Rugby Championship: SA v Argentina (Pretoria), SA v Australia (Cape Town), SA v New Zealand (Johannesburg)
Rugby Championship: SA v Argentina (Cape Town), SA v Australia (Durban), SA v New Zealand (Johannesburg)