Tickets went on sale today for one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in this year’s global rugby calendar, with the champions of the Southern and Northern hemispheres going head-to-head at Newlands in Cape Town on June 12 (kickoff 14h00).
The Vodacom Tri-Nation champion Springboks will host France, the newly crowned Six Nations Grand Slammers, in a Test that is likely to be used as a benchmark for just how far Marc Lievremont’s men have come after dominating the European season.
The match completes a French weekend in Cape Town – coming less than 24 hours after the French soccer team play Uruguay in a FIFA 2010 match at Cape Town stadium. Approaching 1 000 seats have already been pre-ordered by French supporters for Newlands with the influx of French visitors into the city likely to increase demand for Test match.
“France produced some outstanding rugby during the Six Nations and are definitely a major threat for the Rugby World Cup title next year,” said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.
“In recent years they have had more success against the Boks than any other nation and a good performance against them is vital, considering that the next time we meet them won’t be until the Rugby World Cup at the earliest. “Marc Lievremont has put together a big and physical side who play at the pace of the Vodacom Tri-Nations teams and we’ll have to be at our very best if we want to beat them.
“We’re also appealing for our supporters to turn out in numbers as we don’t want a repeat of the Lions series, where our fans were out-numbered by fans from overseas.”
France have lost only one of their last seven Tests against the Springboks, which includes a 36-26 victory in Cape Town when the teams last met in South Africa in 2006.
French club teams also provide both of the finalists in this year’s Heineken Cup and Lievremont has the widest and deepest professional playing pool on which to draw of any European nation. “There are a couple of big ‘ifs’ involved but if the seedings go to form the next time we meet could well be in Rugby World Cup, which gives this Test extra meaning,” said De Villiers.
Tickets are priced at R400, R300 (Grandstand ramp seating) and R100 (Danie Craven standing). They are available from Computicket today (May 4) and from the Newlands ticket office on Tuesday (June 8) should tickets still be available.