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By Sports Reporter


Boks book date with Wales ahead of 2023 Rugby World Cup defence

The defending world champions will face Scotland, Romania, Ireland and Tonga in pool play in France.

The Springboks will line up against Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, 19 August 2023, in preparation for their Rugby World Cup defence, which kicks off a few weeks thereafter when they face Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, 10 September.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s men will cross paths with Romania (17 September in Bordeaux), Ireland (23 September in Paris) and Tonga (1 October in Marseille) in their other Rugby World Cup Pool B encounters in France.

With Wales being one of their regular Northern Hemisphere challengers and currently ranked seventh in the world, they will offer Nienaber’s charges a good test to measure themselves going into the global spectacle.

‘Quality opposition’

The Springboks beat Wales 2-1 in the Incoming Series on local soil earlier this year, but apart from a 23-18 victory in their opening match of the 2021 Outgoing Tour in Cardiff and a tightly-fought Rugby World Cup quarter-final win by 19-16 in Yokohama in 2019, South Africa suffered four straight defeats against the Welsh between 2016 and 2018 (three times in Cardiff and once in Washington DC).

Looking at these recent results, Nienaber feels the match in Cardiff would be great preparation for the Springboks.

“Wales have always proven to be tough competition for us and our results against them in the last few years are evidence of the quality of the side they are,” said Nienaber.

“The Rugby World Cup is one of the toughest competitions in the world, and you have to be at your best every week to reach the final, so it’s vital that we test ourselves against quality opposition in the lead-up to the competition.

“With Wales being in the top 10 in the world and holding a good win record against us in Cardiff in the last few seasons, we have no doubt this will be a strong character test and fantastic preparation for us going into the World Cup.”

Euro Tour

The Springboks are currently on a short break, with some players already playing for their respective clubs and franchises. They are set to assemble for the year-end tour at the end of October.

The Boks will face Ireland on Saturday 5 November, France on 12 November, Italy on 19 November and England on 26 November on the tour, while there are also two mid-week fixtures, against Munster (10 November) and the Bristol Bears (17 November).

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