All Blacks v Springboks (Gallo)
The All Blacks have confirmed the venues for their 2023 home Rugby Championship clashes and will face the Springboks in Auckland.
The venue, however, is Mt Smart Stadium where South Africa have never played before, on Saturday, 15 July, and not the All Black fortress of Eden Park, where the Springboks last won in 1937.
The last time the Springboks played at Eden Park was under the stewardship of then-coach Heyneke Meyer in a hot-tempered Rugby Championship encounter in 2013, in which the Boks were defeated 29-15.
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It will be the All Blacks’ second clash in a week after taking on Argentina in Mendoza on 8 July.
The All Blacks finish their home season with two matches against Australia, the first on 29 July (venue to be confirmed) and the second on 5 August in Dunedin.
Speaking after the venues were confirmed, All Black coach Ian Foster called the Test against the Springboks “huge”.
“The Rugby Championship is an exciting but tough draw,” said Foster.
“Playing the Argentinians in Argentina is an exciting challenge after not being there since 2019.
“With the challenges of stadium availability in Australasia, we are delighted to play this huge South African Test at Mt Smart. We believe it’s key for the connection with our fans to have this massive game in our backyard and can’t wait.
“The Dunedin Test is also equally important for us because it’s our last chance to play in front of our fans before we head off for an exciting Rugby World Cup,” he added.
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