NEWS ARTICLES
SA Rugby welcomes new global rugby calendar
March 16, 2017
SA Rugby on Thursday welcomed the announcement by World Rugby of agreement on a new global calendar that would “bring continuity” to the South African season, said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

The new calendar ensures an uninterrupted Vodacom Super Rugby season and introduces a number of significant other changes – including the integration of non-Castle Lager Rugby Championship and non-Six Nations teams into the calendar on merit – and has been agreed for the period from 2020-2032.

The November Test window has also been brought forward by a week to extend the rest period for southern hemisphere players while Rugby World Cups will henceforth be cemented within the calendar to kick off one week earlier in the second week in September.

“The agreement to move the June international window back to the first three weeks of July brings continuity and coherence to our domestic calendar,” said Roux.

“The switch between Vodacom Super Rugby and the Castle Lager Incoming Series, and then back to Vodacom Super Rugby, damaged both events. The change will be welcomed by all in the Southern Hemisphere.

“It will allow us to complete Vodacom Super Rugby before engaging in a Test season that will run seamlessly from the Castle Lager Incoming Series to the Castle Lager Rugby Championship without interruption.

“It will also allow touring teams to better prepare between the end of their domestic seasons and the start of southern hemisphere tours.”

Roux said the change to Vodacom Super Rugby would be effective from 2019 – as June tours are not undertaken in Rugby World Cup years – even though the new calendar will only come into operation in 2020.

The new calendar has also been welcomed by players. Rob Nicholl, CEO of the International Rugby Players’ Association, said: “We welcome the agreement of a calendar and appreciate the genuine consideration given to the player welfare needs of the world’s top players throughout the process.

“Rugby has delivered a framework that promotes certainty for the international game moving forward.”

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby chairman, described the agreement as an historic milestone for the global game.

“This process has been complex and there was no silver bullet. Compromise has been achieved by all stakeholders in the spirit of collaboration and I would like to thank my union and professional league colleagues for their full contribution and commitment to reaching an agreement that ultimately benefits the whole game.”

The Springbok Test schedule in the new calendar will be announced in due course.

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The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 26 2017
21:40 - Argentina vs South Africa
Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta
Saturday, September 09 2017
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
NIB Stadium, Perth
Saturday, September 16 2017
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
QBE Stadium, Albany, North Harbour
Saturday, September 30 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday, October 07 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs New Zealand
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Saturday, November 11 2017
00:00 - Ireland vs South Africa
To be confirmed
Saturday, November 18 2017
00:00 - France vs South Africa
To be confirmed
Saturday, November 25 2017
00:00 - Italy vs South Africa
To be confirmed
Saturday, December 02 2017
16:30 - Wales vs South Africa
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

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