England tour dates confirmed


England will play midweek tour matches in Kimberley and Potchefstroom during their three Test series against the Springboks in June, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed on Monday.

The series is a return to “traditional-style” touring which will see an England midweek team play matches at different venues as well as Tests in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

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England will play midweek tour matches in Kimberley and Potchefstroom during their three Test series against the Springboks in June.

England will meet a South African Barbarians South team in an afternoon match in Kimberley on Wednesday, June 13 and six days later play a SA Barbarians North team in an evening kick-off in Potchefstroom.

Saru CEO, Jurie Roux said he was confident that South African fans would be excited by the prospect of having England tour SA over three weeks.

“South Africa has not hosted a three-Test tour against a single nation since the visit of New Zealand in 1996, so this will be a special occasion for all of us,” Jurie said.

“The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has also agreed to two midweek matches, which gives us the opportunity to take international rugby away from the major metropolitan centres.

“It also presents a chance for players outside of the Springbok and Super Rugby camps to demonstrate their ability against top-flight international opposition.”

Roux added that the teams would be selected from the players of the eight Currie Cup First Division teams.

The England series takes place during a Super Rugby hiatus across the Southern Hemisphere.

New Zealand host Ireland in three Tests and Wales are on tour in Australia at the same time.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said his team were excited by the announcement of an extended tour.

“England have never had a three-Test series in South Africa and, with two midweek games against opponents who will be desperate to impress, these five games gives us a great opportunity for a wider group of players to put their hat in the ring and gain international experience,” Lancaster said.

“We were pleased with the progress we made in the Six Nations and this tour is another important step on the journey towards 1/8Rugby World Cup 3/8 2015.”

England arrive in South Africa on May 31.

Tour dates: Saturday June 9: South Africa v England, King's Park, Durban

Wednesday June 13: SA Barbarians South v England, GWK Park, Kimberley

Saturday June 16: South Africa v England, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Tuesday June 19: SA Barbarians North v England, Olen Park, Potchefstroom

Saturday June 23: South Africa v England, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. – Sapa

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