The new company - a joint venture between the South African Rugby Union and Tourvest Destination Management - has secured thousands of tickets for likely Springbok matches and tailored packages to suit a wide range of fans’ pockets and experience choices.
“If you want to secure a ticket for any Springbok match all the way to a potential final at next year’s Rugby World Cup in England, you now can,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, at the official launch of the company at The Springbok Experience rugby museum in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“We’ve taken the worry out of the equation for our supporters by the creation of this new company. Fans that are committed to traveling can buy match tickets and travel packages today all the way to the final. Tickets go on sale to the general public in September.
“The tournament is now just 18 months away and we saw last year what advances the Springbok team has been making under Heyneke Meyer. Last season was our most successful, in terms of winning ratio, since 1992 (bar 1998) and we’re certain the team is going to make a strong challenge. It is going to be a really exciting campaign.”
SA Rugby Travel won the exclusive rights to offer sub-Saharan rugby fans the chance to travel to England in 2015 following a comprehensive tender evaluation and selection process by Rugby Travel and Hospitality (RTH), the company appointed by Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) to manage the global fan travel and hospitality programmes.
Tourvest’s Destination Management division is the single largest ground handler of foreign leisure tourists to the Southern African region and is responsible for managing the travel arrangements of 120 000 overseas holiday-makers to South Africa every year.
It single-handedly looked after 67 000 corporate soccer fans during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and is currently involved with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Bryan Coetzee, Tourvest Director of Sports Travel, said: “We have a plan to cater for every Springbok fan – taking into account that no European experience can ever be ‘cheap’ given the current exchange rates.
“But, having said that, we start off with a package that would suit even the fan who wants to sleep on a friend’s couch and only source a match ticket and flights from us. At the other end of the scale we have guided VIP packages to give our corporate clients a magic carpet ride all the way to the final.
“We have already secured match tickets, airline seats and a range of hotel rooms at all potential Springbok venues to take all the hassle out of the experience for Springbok fans. We’re ready to go.”
Coetzee said that their budget package starts at R16 700 for a “freewheeler” flight and ticket package to the opening match and the Boks’ first game. A trip to the bronze medal match and final will cost from R43 000. The face value cost of adult tickets for the Rugby World Cup final ranges from £150 (R2 700) to £715 (R12 721).
“Considering the costs involved and the fact that at today’s prices a coffee will cost at least R45 in London and a beer R60 and upwards, we think we’re offering great value for money.”
Supporters wishing to purchase packages today can call 021 525 2515 or register their interest on the SA Rugby Travel website at www.sarugbytravel.com
The Springboks’ RWC 2015 Pool B schedule is:
Saturday, September 19, 20:00: v Asia 1 (TBC) - Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
Saturday, September 26, 17:00: v Samoa - Villa Park, Birmingham
Saturday, October 3, 17:00: v Scotland - St James’ Park, Newcastle
Wednesday, October 7, 17:00: v Americas 2 (USA or Uruguay) - Olympic Stadium, London
QF1: Saturday, October 17, 14:00 – W Pool C v RU Pool D – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
QF2: Saturday, October 17, 17:00 – W Pool B v RU Pool A – Twickenham, London
QF3: Sunday, October 18, 14:00 – W Pool D v RU Pool C – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
QF4: Sunday, October 18, 17:00 – W Pool A v RU Pool B – Twickenham, London
Saturday, October 24, 17:00 - W QF1 v W QF2 – Twickenham, London
Sunday, October 25, 17:00 – W QF3 v W QF4 – Twickenham, London
Friday, October 30, 20:00 – Olympic Stadium, London
Saturday, October 31, 17:00 – Twickenham, London
Big Eben next to Big Ben (Twitter)