Springboks

The Springboks are back! South Africa set to host Georgia in 2 home Tests

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • The world champion Springboks will play two Tests against Georgia later this year.
  • The matches are slated for the weekends of 2/3 and 9/10 July.
  • The only prior meeting between the nations was at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

The Springboks will make their long-awaited return to international rugby when they host Georgia in two Tests later this year.

It will be the first time Georgia tour these shores, and the first time the two countries duel since their only previous meeting at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia, when the Boks won 46-19.

It will also be the world champions' first Test since beating England in the Rugby World Cup final in Japan on 2 November 2019, while Jacques Nienaber will also be in charge of his first Test as head coach.

SA Rugby said in a statement that the first Test will take place on the weekend of 2/3 July, with the second clash set for a week later (9/10 July).

The exact dates, venues and kick-off times will be confirmed in due course, the governing body added.

Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby's director of rugby, said the series will be adequate preparation for the series against the British & Irish Lions.

"Nothing beats a full-blooded international to test your skill set, readiness and ability under pressure, and we are delighted to have this opportunity before the Lions series," said Erasmus.

"Jacques, his coaching staff and management have been working around the clock to get the team as well prepared as possible, and the Georgia series is a much-needed opportunity after such a long and unforeseen interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic."

Nienaber, who replaced Erasmus as head coach last year, said he was eager to finally get the chance to oversee a Test.

"The confirmation of the Georgian Tests, and the announcement of the British & Irish Lions squad last week have caused a lot of excitement and I am sure it will lift the spirit of the players - we can now accelerate our preparations for our return to Test rugby," said Nienaber.

Lasha Khurtsidze, the Georgian vice-president for High Performance and Development, described the forthcoming series as a result of the growing friendship and co-operation between the rugby authorities in Georgia and South Africa.

"Playing against them is a great honour for us," said Khurtsidze.

"We have only played the Springboks once before, in our first Rugby World Cup appearance in 2003, when we scored the first try. A lot of time has passed since then, they are the current world champions and we have developed as well."

According to Khurtsidze, SA Rugby has over a number of years made an active contribution to the development of Georgian rugby.

"We appreciate the fact that we have a friendly and close relations with SA Rugby. Our Under-20s have been invited to South Africa on numerous occasions to play in very high-level tournaments over there. As a leading tier one rugby nation, this makes South Africa an important contributor to the development of Georgian rugby."

Following the series in South Africa, the Georgians are scheduled to host Scotland and Lelos head coach Levan Maisashvili said he considered the three successive Tests against Tier One nations as a great development opportunity for his team.

"The fact that the world champions intend to play two Test matches against us is a tribute to Georgian rugby and a serious challenge," said Maisashvili.

"We will host Scotland after the series in SA, and so I think this is another amazing opportunity to help us in our development."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
India 217/10 & 64/2
New Zealand 249/10
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
40% - 15057 votes
Cricket
12% - 4649 votes
Football
19% - 7051 votes
Athletics
3% - 987 votes
Boxing
1% - 373 votes
Cycling
2% - 905 votes
Golf
5% - 1912 votes
Motorsport
9% - 3257 votes
Tennis
4% - 1353 votes
Water sports
1% - 344 votes
American sports
1% - 469 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 1258 votes
Vote