Load shedding at Loftus? Bulls charged up to combat blackouts for Boks v Wales

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Loftus Versfeld. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)
Loftus Versfeld. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Load shedding won't leave Loftus in the dark ahead of the Springboks' first Test in front of home fans since August 2019 this weekend.

In fact, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union - the host for Saturday's clash with Wales - won't even be relying on the notoriously unreliable Eskom for its power needs on the day.

Chief executive Edgar Rathbone and stadium manager Hugo Kemp confirmed to Sport24 that the stadium, expecting a capacity crowd of 50 000, will run its entire day of proceedings on generators.

"For the Test match, Loftus Versfeld will be powered entirely by generator. We will not be on the city’s grid for this fixture," said Kemp

"We are aware of the challenges with load shedding, and to avoid any interruptions, we'll be powering the stadium with backup power for this fixture."

Loftus boasts two 1 000kVA units, sufficient for its electricity needs.

READ | STATS | Wales' HORRIFIC record at Loftus

The procurement of diesel for the Test is, fortunately, also not an unexpected expense for the BBRU because of SA Rugby's hosting requirements.

"We have backup electricity generation in place for every Test that we host," said Rathbone.

SA Rugby's scrapping of hosting right fees also means the expense of turning on the generators are cushioned to an extent.

With the nearby Loftus Park office and shopping precinct, one of three venues around the stadium offering live entertainment throughout the day, also boasting emergency backup power, Kirkness Street should resemble normality.

The expected 50 000-strong supporter turnout will break the attendance record for Tests between the Springboks and Wales on South African soil, eclipsing the previous all-time high figure of 43 920 in 2004, which was incidentally at Loftus too.

Jake White's Boks beat the Dragons 53-18 that day.

Gates at Loftus open at 13:00 on Saturday, with kick-off at 17:05. 



South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux


15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar (captain), 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas 

Substitutes: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Owen Watkin

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