Eden Park to host 100th Bok-AB Test
CAPE TOWN – Tests between the Springboks and All Blacks are usually not-to-be-missed events.
But next year’s first encounter between the old foes will hold even greater reverence in the minds of rugby lovers.
The New Zealand Rugby Union announced yesterday that the Rugby Championship clash between South Africa and New Zealand also the 100th Test between the two nations – will take place at the All Black fortress Eden Park in Auckland on September 5, 2020. In 10 Tests at the ground, the Boks have won just twice – in 1921 and 1937 – while there was an 18-18 draw in 1994.
The last time the South Africans played there was in 2013, when Bismarck du Plessis was given a controversial yellow card by French referee Romain Poite for what seemed to be a perfectly legitimate tackle on Dan Carter in a 29-15 defeat.
Du Plessis was later sent off in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for making contact with Liam Messam’s throat with his elbow.
Governing body Sanzaar, though, decided that Poite had made a mistake in the Carter incident, and the red card was taken off Du Plessis’ record.
Siya Kolisi and his team will hope for a different outcome in 2020. Yesterday marked a month since the Rugby World Cup final, when the Boks beat England 32-12 in Yokohama, but the 23-13 defeat to the All Blacks in their opening pool match was one that hurt the South Africans.
Kolisi’s men will want to put things right at Eden Park, having enjoyed some success in the last two years against New Zealand, with a win and a draw at the Wellington Regional Stadium.
Both teams will have new head coaches in 2020, with outgoing All Black boss Steve Hansen being confirmed as the new director of rugby at Japanese club Toyota Verblitz yesterday, while Rassie Erasmus is already in the same position at the SA Rugby Union.