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After Lions, Springboks line up Pumas on home soil but with no spectators

By Sam Smith
Handres Pollard attack the Pumas defensive line /Getty

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The Springboks are to play both of their upcoming Test matches against Argentina on home soil – SA Rugby has confirmed.

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The Bok will kick-start the defence of the Rugby Championship title against the Pumas, who have agreed to play their ‘home’ match against Jacques Nienaber’s men in South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The two Tests against Los Pumas will be played on consecutive weekends straight after the Castle Lager Lions Series and are scheduled for 14 and 21 August. The last time the Boks played in Nelson Mandela Bay was on 29 September 2018, when they beat Australia by 23-12 in the penultimate round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

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The kiwi take on the first test of the Lions v Springboks series | Aotearoa Rugby Pod
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The kiwi take on the first test of the Lions v Springboks series | Aotearoa Rugby Pod

“We are very grateful to Argentina for having agreed to play their home match against the Boks in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship here in South Africa,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. “Unfortunately, there is little prospect that spectators will be allowed to attend matches, but we are pleased to be returning to the Eastern Cape for these important Tests.

“They mark our return to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, and we’re excited to resume competition with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand after missing out in 2020, when we were due to defend the title.”

Argentina’s last visit to the Friendly City was in 2017, when the Boks scored four tries in a comprehensive 37-15 win.

“Because of all the health and safety and logistical considerations that come with COVID-19 we decided to minimise the risks and reduce the logistical challenges by playing both Tests in one city and venue,” said Roux. “We will work with the Eastern Province Rugby Union on delivering a safe and enjoyable experience for the teams in a world-class facility.”

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The Springboks have won five and drawn one of their six matches at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Following that two game series, the Boks are set to depart to Australia for two clashes with the Wallabies, in Sydney and Brisbane, before transferring to New Zealand to face the All Blacks in Dunedin and Auckland on four consecutive weekends in September and October.

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