Springbok Etzebeth Springboks

The Springbok team celebrate a try. Photo: BackpagePix

Where Springboks will play first Tests as world champions in 2024

The Springboks will play one Test on the highveld, and another on the coast, when they first return to action next year.

Springbok Etzebeth Springboks

The Springbok team celebrate a try. Photo: BackpagePix

When the Springboks return to action next year, a blockbuster battle lies in wait against a top team they faced at the World Cup. During the early stages of the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks suffered an agonising defeat to Ireland in a huge pool game, but ultimately it turned out to be their only defeat of the tournament.

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Interestingly, and as previously reported by TheSouthAfrican, the Springboks are set to play Ireland in the July international window next year.

The series is expected to be at least a two-match series, with Ireland coming to South Africa after aiming to defend their Six Nations title.

According to leading rugby writer Hendrik Cronje, these two Tests will be played in Pretoria and Durban.

The Boks will of course hope to use altitude as an advantage when they play at altitude at Loftus (a venue where they have a 77% win record), while they’ll be hoping for a good return at Kings Park (where they only have a 62% win record).

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Irish fans can already register interest in travel packages to South Africa, despite the schedule not yet being publicly fixed.

It’s sure to be an incredible battle, and a wonderful set of fixtures to look forward to as Ireland take on a team that ultimately displaced them from No 1 in the world rankings during the recent global showpiece.

The Springboks finish the year as the No 1 team in the world

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that New Zealand’s 12-11 defeat in the final of Men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 cost the All Blacks second place in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings.

The Kiwis lost 1.76 points and their new rating of 89.80 points sees them swap places with Ireland.

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South Africa remain at number one but with an improved rating of 94.54 points, meaning their advantage at the top will increase to 1.75 points.

Having gained an almost identical amount of points for their 26-23 bronze final victory over Argentina, England close the gap on the top four but will still be fifth, 2.27 points behind France.

Argentina will remain in seventh place, fractionally ahead of Wales, with a reduced rating of 80.68 points.

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How the rankings look

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