SA rugby confirms World XV match at Ellis Park




The South African Rugby Union has confirmed the match between a World XV and a South African XV on Saturday, 3 June 2006 at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

The SA XV players, most of whom will be the established Springboks, will play in the official Springbok jersey. However, no Test caps will be awarded, as the game will not be an official Test match.

The match will serve as a challenging warm-up against the best players in the world. Players like Rafial Ibanez, Carlos Spencer, Thomas Castaignede, Justin Marshall, Owen Finegan and Bruce Reihana will run out for the World XV and will be coached by well-known international coach Bob Dwyer.

The World XV players, as well as Dwyer, will conduct several training clinics for schools and coaches in the week leading up to the game.

Springbok coach Jake White and national captain John Smit said they welcomed the challenge of playing against a selection of the best players in the world on home soil.

‘The Boks face a tough and demanding 2006 season and in the past warm up matches were played against Tier 2 countries like Uruguay and Samoa. This time I want to try out new combinations and blood new players against the world’s best,’ says Springbok coach Jake White who will coach the SA XV.

The match should result in fast, attractive running rugby that will provide the spectators with a combination of players and the sort of entertainment last seen in 1989, when a World XV played in South Africa.  

Springbok captain Smit said he and his national team-mates are looking forward to the match at Ellis Park, which has been a favourite hunting ground for the Springboks.

‘The players are keen to play in this match for two reasons. Firstly, it is not often that you as a player get the opportunity to play against such calibre opposition as the World XV in front of your home supporters. We will also contribute to the cause of the South African Players Association (SARPA), as they will benefit financially from the game,’ explained Smit.

‘The spectators are guaranteed a day of world class rugby entertainment. The ABSA Currie Cup team of the Golden Lions will be in action in a curtain raiser. We will also line-up first-class hospitality and an exciting entertainment programme, and all of this should provide the rugby fan with a unique and memorable experience,’ added Johan Prinsloo, the MD of SA Rugby.

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