The Springboks will host the All Blacks in two Rugby Championship Tests later this year, SA Rugby has confirmed.
The rugby governing body on Tuesday announced the Springboks’ home Test schedule for 2022, with Wales also visiting South Africa for three Tests in July.
The Boks will play two home Rugby Championship Tests against New Zealand – at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit (6 August) and Ellis Park in Johannesburg (13 (August) – and one against Argentina at Kings Park in Durban (24 September).
It will be the first time since 2018 that the All Blacks visit these shores.
Siya Kolisi’s charges will also travel for two away Rugby Championship Tests against Australia at yet to be determined venues (27 August and 3 September) and one away encounter against Argentina in Buenos Aires (17 September).
The Welsh, meanwhile, are set to return to South Africa for the first time since 2014 as the Boks kick off their season with three Tests against the Dragons – at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria (2 July), Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein (9 July) and Cape Town Stadium (16 July).
“It’s exciting to announce such a strong list of Springbok fixtures this season after a successful 2021 season for the team, and I have no doubt that Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach), his management team and the players will do their best to build on those achievements this season,” SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said in a statement.
“Pending the return of crowds to our Tests and with the Covid-19 pandemic still presenting challenges throughout the world, we understand the fluid nature of match schedules, but it is important for us that the team face quality opposition as we gear up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”
Nienaber added that he was excited about the season ahead: “It’s a massive honour to represent our country, and the fact that we will be facing such tough competition this season has certainly sparked excitement among the coaches and the players alike.
“We are well underway with our planning for the year, and our knowledge of these teams after facing all of them last season will be vital as we forge ahead in this regard in the next few months.
“Wales, the All Blacks and Australia tested us well last season, and Argentina have proven to be a force to be reckoned with, both at home and away, so although we are expecting a challenging season, we realise the importance of laying a solid foundation as we build up toward next year’s Rugby World Cup.”