Springboks v All Blacks: Southern hemisphere giants to go head-to-head at Twickenham ahead of Rugby World Cup

Colin Newboult

New Zealand perform the Haka during the 2022 Castle Lager Rugby Championship match between South Africa and New Zealand held at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 13 August 2022 ©Shaun Roy/Sports Inc

The Springboks and All Blacks will complete their Rugby World Cup preparations when they face off at the ‘home of rugby’, Twickenham Stadium.

Just two weeks before the global tournament starts in France, where New Zealand face hosts Les Bleus in the opener, the dominant forces in the game will go head-to-head.

Both nations have won the World Cup three times, with the Springboks the current holders after beating England 32-12 in the final in Japan.

A vital fixture

Jacques Nienaber, the Bok head coach, said: “We’re excited to play this vital fixture before the Rugby World Cup at the iconic Twickenham Stadium.

“There is a large contingent of passionate expats and Springbok supporters in London, and we have no doubt they will come out in numbers and give us a lift before we attempt to defend our World Cup crown.”

The match will kick off at 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT) on Friday, August 25, almost eight years after they played each other in the World Cup semi-final at the same stadium.

SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus added: “The Springboks and All Blacks share one of the greatest rivalries in rugby, and to face them at Twickenham will be an exciting experience for the players and our fans. I have no doubt it is going to be an epic encounter.”

Following the end of the 2023 Rugby Championship campaign, the Boks will play two warm-up as they face Wales before taking on the All Blacks.

South Africa and New Zealand are currently third and fourth in the world rankings, and will no doubt be among the favourites when next year’s global tournament begins.

Titanic battle

“This match will form an important part of our preparations for Rugby World Cup,” All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said.

“Matches against the Springboks are always hard-fought and we are expecting nothing less than a titanic battle on this unique occasion.”

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney is also delighted as they host two of the biggest teams in world rugby in their own backward.

“We are looking forward to welcoming two powerhouses of global rugby. Both nations have sizeable ex-pat communities in London and beyond, who will no doubt contribute to what is set to be an electric atmosphere at Twickenham Stadium,” Sweeney said.

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