Home Sport NZ rugby looks to strengthen ties with SA – report

NZ rugby looks to strengthen ties with SA – report

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New Zealand rugby has a clear goal of strengthening ties with their old South African rivals, with the scheduling of a November fixture between the All Blacks A and South Africa A as well as an Under-19 tour to South Africa in October.

New Zealand Rugby is looking to strengthen ties with South Africa. Picture: John Cowpland, www.photosport.nz

Durban – New Zealand rugby has a clear goal of strengthening ties with their old South African rivals, with the scheduling of a November fixture between the All Blacks A and South Africa A as well as an Under-19 tour to South Africa in October.

The absence of the South African teams from Super Rugby has been a major reason cited for the failing physicality of the All Blacks in their series loss to Ireland and during Super Rugby earlier this year, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson was just one coach who has said that South Africa’s confrontational style of play “has been missed.”

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, meanwhile, revealed last month that he was busy organising a full itinerary for South Africa A (basically a back-up Bok team) in November to operate alongside the Springboks on their November tour of Europe which will see them play Ireland, France, Italy and England.

Nienaber’s SA A programme is designed to build player depth ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Nienaber has already confirmed that SA A will play England’s Bristol Bears on November 17 and according to reports from New Zealand, they will also play the All Blacks A, in Montpellier and in the week that the senior Bok side plays Six nations champions France.

According to stuff.co.na, the All Blacks XV will be coached by Blues coach Leon MacDonald and made up of players knocking on the door of the Test fifteen.

Earlier this year, the Baby Blacks swept all before them in an Under-21 Oceanania tournament while the Baby Boks won the Six nations Summer Series, prompting New Zealand to arrange for their juniors to play stiffer opposition in South Africa later this year.

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