No Tri-Nations for Durban

2009-10-09 00:00

DURBAN and King’s Park will miss out on the Tri-Nations next year, with the title-holding Springboks playing all three of their home internationals in the tournament at altitude.

The Boks have been handed the toughest of Tri-Nations draws. They start with two Tests in New Zealand, meeting the All Blacks in Auckland and Wellington on successive weekends in July. They then return to Brisbane’s dreaded Suncorp Stadium — where they lost this year — and they will have to make history to beat the Wallabies. Not only have the South Africans never beaten Australia at Suncorp, but they suffered one of their darkest days in 2006 when they went down 49-0 at the massive stadium.

The Boks then return home and have a three-week bye before the New Zealanders arrive. Although the coastal venues of Durban and Cape Town will miss out, the Springboks will have the advantage of playing at altitude in Johannesburg (against the All Blacks) on August 21 before facing the Wallabies twice, in Pretoria and Bloemfontein.

Durban’s King’s Park may still host a Test next year when France and Italy tour and three internationals will be played.

The venues for these Tests have still to be finalised, with a number of centres out of contention because of the Fifa World Cup which starts on June 11. Major sporting events at non-FIFA venues (like King’s Park and Newlands) in hosting cities are prohibited seven days before and after the World Cup.

“We have met with Fifa officials and have asked for modest relaxations in some areas,” said Andy Marinos, acting CEO of SA Rugby.

Springboks’ 2010 fixtures:

Saturday, June 12, South Africa vs France, TBC

Saturday, June 19, South Africa vs Italy, TBC

Saturday, June 26, South Africa vs Italy, TBC

Saturday, July 10, New Zealand vs South Africa, Auckland

Saturday, July 17, New Zealand vs South Africa, Wellington

Saturday, July 24, Australia vs South Africa, Brisbane

Saturday, August 21, South Africa vs New Zealand, Johannesburg

Saturday, August 28, South Africa vs Australia, Pretoria

Saturday, September 4, South Africa vs Australia, Bloemfontein

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