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Portugal to face Springboks in rugby heartland for historic test

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Friday Jan 26, 2024

Rugby World Cup surprise package Portugal will continue their ascension up the ranks of international rugby when they travel to face back-to-back World Champions South Africa in June.

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Facing the Springboks for the first time on July 20th, the Portuguese will take to the historic Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

For the Boks, the Test match with Portugal is sandwiched between back-to-back tests with the one team who beat them at the World Cup in Ireland and the team they beat in the final, New Zealand.

Speaking on the team’s excitement about returning to Bloemfontein, SA Rugby director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said, “We are delighted that we will be returning to Bloemfontein for this historic match, and we are determined to continue make our passionate supporters proud.

“With the venue now confirmed we can go full steam ahead with our planning for the home Tests from an operational perspective.

“There’s no doubt it has added to the excitement for the season ahead, especially after capping off the 2023 season by defending the Rugby World Cup title.”

For Erasmus, the test in Bloemfontein will be a homecoming of sorts as he returns to the city where he spent the bulk of his playing career as well as his university and early coaching days.

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In full the Springboks’ home Test schedule for 2024 is:
Saturday, 6 July: SA vs. Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: SA vs. Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: SA vs. Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)
Saturday, 31 August: SA vs. New Zealand (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
Saturday, 7 September: SA vs. New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday, 28 September: SA vs. Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)

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