Another midweek game has been added to South Africa’s schedule for their November tour to Europe, with the SA Select XV set to face Munster in the first of two non-Test matches in an exciting year-end expedition.
Though the venue for the match has not yet been announced, it will be the first time in the professional era that Munster face a South African touring side, with the last encounter between the teams taking place back in 1970.
“Munster are a giant force in Ireland, and they will offer the SA Select XV exactly the type of test we need to build combinations and player depth as we prepare for the Rugby World Cup next year,” said Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, who was a member of Munster’s coaching staff between 2016 and 2018.
“We have been working with a large squad this year so that we can give an expanded group of players a chance to stake a claim for places in the Rugby World Cup and beyond, and by facing top opposition such as a Munster and Bristol, I have no doubt we will get some of the answers we need with the international extravaganza about a year away,” he added.
The Springboks will play four Tests on the tour – against Ireland, France, Italy and England – while the SA Select XV will line up against Irish giants Munster and the Bristol Bears in important midweek games.
While they would need to work out the specifics about how to manage the team effectively between the midweek matches and the Tests, Nienaber felt the opportunity to play these games would benefit the coaches and players.
“We haven’t had a proper rugby tour with midweek games in several years, so we are very excited about this opportunity,” he said.
“We will obviously have to be creative in how we split our management staff and players so that the Test team and SA Select XV will have everything they need to be as prepared as possible for their respective matches, but the benefits of this tour are going to be massive in the development of our coaches and players.”
Springbok year-end tour fixtures
Saturday, 5 November – South Africa vs Ireland (Dublin)
Thursday, 10 November – SA Select XV vs Munster (venue TBC)
Saturday, 12 November – South Africa v France (Marseille)
Thursday, 17 November – SA Select XV v Bristol Bears (Bristol)
Saturday, 19 November – South Africa v Italy (Genoa)
Saturday, 26 November – South Africa v England (London )