Boks to play in new tournament

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iol spt dec6 Jean-twickenham Getty Images The Springboks will face their Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B opponents, Scotland and Samoa in 2013. Photo by Tom Shaw.

Johannesburg – The Springboks will face their Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B opponents, Scotland and Samoa in 2013, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) announced on Thursday.

The new tournament will feature double-header Test matches following a decision by the Executive Council (Exco) to overhaul the way Test matches were run in South Africa.

The new-look quadrangular tournament will be between the Springboks, their RWC 2015 opponents, Scotland and Samoa, as well as Italy.

The tournament – which will be played on a log basis over two rounds to determine finalists – will open at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on June 8.

Saru said fans would be able to watch two Test matches for the price of one while Test matches would, for the first time, be solely hosted by the mother body.

The decision was taken by the Exco after consulting the 14 member provinces.

The Exco also announced the Test schedule for the next three seasons, featuring Tests in Nelspruit for the first time.

However, Saru cautioned that all matches were subject to conclusion of commercial terms with planned hosting venues.

“Saru was the only major union in world rugby that didn't properly own its own Test matches,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said in a statement.

“The decision by the Exco now gives ownership to Saru.

“The key benefits will be in allowing us to plough a share of the profits back into all the provincial unions.”

Roux said the existing model had seen Saru effectively 'sell' Springbok Test matches to the major provinces.

The Test-hosting unions paid a rights fee and the amount of which was dependent on the stature of the opponent.

“This is a major change in how rugby is run and will present challenges,” Roux said.

“But the major effect is that it has placed Springbok Tests in the ownership of the mother body, for the benefit of all rugby's stakeholders.”

Springbok fixtures:

Incoming Tour: Saturday, June 8 (Mbombela Stadium): Scotland v Samoa, Springboks v Italy

Saturday, June 15 (Kings Park): Samoa v Italy, Springboks v Scotland

Saturday, June 22 (Loftus Versfeld): Team 3 v Team 4, Team 1 v Team 2

2013 Rugby Championship:

Saturday, August 17 (Free State Stadium): Springboks v Argentina

Saturday, September 28 (Newlands): Springboks v Australia

Saturday, October 5 (Coca-Cola Park): Springboks v New Zealand

2014 Fixtures (dates to be confirmed):

Incoming Tour: Springboks v Wales (Johannesburg), Springboks v Wales (Nelspruit), Springboks v Scotland (Port Elizabeth)

Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Pretoria), Springboks v Australia (Cape Town), Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg)

2015 Fixtures (no Castle Incoming Tour due to Rugby World Cup):

Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Cape Town), Springboks v Australia (Durban), Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg) – Sapa

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