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Springboks to return to Soweto in 2012

Updated: November 17, 2011, 16:53


JOHANNESBURG(AP) The Springboks will return to Soweto next year when they play world champion New Zealand in The Rugby Championship at FNB Stadium, the venue that hosted the 2010 football World Cup final.

In fixtures released by the South African Rugby Union on Thursday, the Boks will face the All Blacks at the FNB on Oct. 6 in the newly branded southern hemisphere competition, which now includes Argentina alongside South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

New Zealand beat South Africa at the FNB last year, the first time the Springboks had ever played in the famous Johannesburg township.

The All Blacks won that game 29-22 off a last-minute try by Israel Dagg, spoiling former Springboks' skipper John Smit's 100th test. Over 90,000 people attended the game, the biggest rugby crowd in South Africa for more than 50 years.

In other Rugby Championship fixtures in South Africa, the Boks will play newcomers Argentina at Newlands in Cape Town on Aug. 18 and Australia at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld on Sept. 29.

SARU also announced the Springboks will face England in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth in their three-test series in June, the first time a team will tour South Africa for a three-match contest since New Zealand in 1996.

Those South Africa-England tests will be played on successive weekends at Kings Park, Ellis Park and Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth, another new stadium built for last year's FIFA World Cup.

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2012 Springboks Home Schedule

June 9 vs. England, Durban

June 16 vs. England, Johannesburg

June 23 vs. England, Port Elizabeth

Aug. 18 vs. Argentina, Cape Town

Sept. 29 vs. Australia, Pretoria

Oct. 6 vs. New Zealand, Soweto

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