The Springboks’ two Rugby Championship Tests against the All Blacks look set to be played on neutral ground following confirmation that New Zealand’s borders will remain closed for international travel until early 2022.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Thursday that her government will only reopen the country to the rest of the world in January.
The Boks were scheduled to play the All Blacks at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on 25 September and Auckland’s Eden Park on 2 October.
That now appears unlikely following Ardern’s announcement, and while there’s been no official confirmation from tournament organisers, the match could likely be moved to Australia.
Wherever the Boks end up playing the All Blacks, the next encounter will be the 100th Test between the nations.
The first Test was played at Carisbrook in Dunedin on 13 August 1921, with the All Blacks winning 13-5. The Kiwis lead the head-to-head count with 59 wins to South Africa’s 36, with four draws.
The Boks open their Rugby Championship campaign with two Tests against Argentina in Gqeberha (14 and 21 August), before heading to Australia for Tests against the Wallabies in Sydney (12 September) and Brisbane (18 September).
Meanwhile, Saturday’s Test between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium kicks off at 17:05.
South Africa
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw (Harlequins, England), 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Morne Steyn
15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8, Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Facundo Isa, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Substitutes: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Carlos Muzzio, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Tomas Lavanini, 20 Matias Alemanno, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere

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