Bok reserves to tackle England Saxons

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That’s the incentive for the men who’ll run out for South Africa ‘A’ in the two-match series against England’s next-best, the Saxons, in June.

The majority of the players for the SA ‘A’ side are likely to be drawn from the larger Bok training squad that will get together in the week ahead of the three-Test series against Ireland.

The new Bok coach - to be named next Tuesday and expected to be Allister Coetzee - will not take charge of the SA ‘A’ side. But the Bok squad and the SA ‘A’ squad will train alongside each other ahead of the June internationals. A coach and management team will be named closer to the time.

The matches against the Saxons will be played in Bloemfontein’s Toyota Stadium on Friday, June 10, and Outeniqua Park in George on Friday, June 17. The Boks’ Tests against Ireland will be in Cape Town (June 11), Johannesburg (June 18) and Port Elizabeth (June 25).

It will be the first time since 2003 that the SA ‘A’ team will be in action in South Africa. On that occasion they drew 30-30 against Argentina in Wellington.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said yesterday the decision to invite the Saxons to South Africa would provide the opportunity for a larger group of players than normal to line up against elite international opposition.

“The Saxons’ tour will coincide with Ireland’s three-Test series against the Springboks and all players not involved with the Boks, will get the opportunity to take on top-ranked opposition during the same time, thereby exposing even more of our top players to international rugby,” said Roux.

“Providing international opposition for a bigger group of our players is important as we aim to improve the experience and depth of our player base. The Saxons’ tour will do just that.”

Meanwhile, Sanzaar and the Argentine Rugby Union have confirmed that the Rugby Championship match between Argentina and Australia later this season will be played at Twickenham in London on October 8, rather than in Argentina. The match will mark the first in the history of the Rugby Championship to be played outside of the four core territories.

The Rugby Championship will be contested from August 20 to October 8. The Boks will face Argentina first up in Nelspruit before heading to Salta for the return match and then turn their attention to Australia (Brisbane) and New Zealand (Christchurch). The home matches against Australia and New Zealand will be played in Pretoria and Durban respectively. - The Star

Original source: Bok reserves to tackle England Saxons

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