The organisers of the friendly between the Boland Cavaliers and top English Premier outfit, Saracens, early next year will not be able to host the match at the originally planned venue.
Die Burger reports that Boland Rugby Union CEO Piet Bergh said that one of the two matches will now be played at Wellington, and the other at Newlands.
Originally, the matches were scheduled to be played at Worcester, Robertson or elsewhere on the West Coast in order for the union to take the game to the people, but these rugby fields don’t have proper stands.
Saracens, where former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones is the director, were scheduled to be in the Cape in January for two friendlies against Boland, but they will now tackle the Stormers at Newlands on January 24 before taking on the Cavaliers at the Boland Stadium in Wellington on either January 27 or 28.
“Saracens will be here only for 10 days to take part in a training camp. They’ll bring their strongest team and it will obviously be excellent pre-season preparation for us and the Stormers. It can become scorchingly hot that time of year and they probably won’t be used to the torrid heat. But for us as the Boland Rugby Union no costs will be involved and I am confident that there will definitely be a lot of interest in these matches.” said Bergh.
Apart from players such as the fiery All Black lock Chris Jack, former English Rugby League captain Andy Farrell and Scottish flyhalf Gordon Ross, Saracens also boast some seasoned South African Springboks. Cobus Visagie (tighthead prop), Wikus van Heerden (loose forward), Neil de Kock (scrumhalf), and the talented centre Brad Barritt are all members of the Saracens group.
Loss of stalwarts
Bergh said the Cavaliers will have to get along without many of their stalwarts such as Henley du Plessis (eighth man), John Daniels (wing) and the experienced Piet van Zyl (centre). Van Zyl entered into a contract with the Cheetahs. The young front row players Jean Botha as well as WP Nel are also moving to Bloemfontein. Cavaliers lock and eighth man Dries van Schalkwyk concluded a contract with the Blue Bulls.
The Cavaliers latest acquisition from the Falcons, Luvo Sogidashe, will probably be tried on the wing against Saracens. Nico du Plessis and Rito Hlungwane, both of whom had contracts with Western Province this year, will be the Cavaliers’ locks next year.Tweet