England to host Rugby World Cup champions Springboks

Makazole Mapimpi is the first Springboks player in the history of Springboks to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final.
Picture: REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

England‚ the team the Springboks vanquished in last year’s Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama‚ will host the world champions in the visitors’ final Test of next year.

The clash‚ the teams’ first since that final‚ will be staged on November 20‚ at Twickenham.

The Springboks will play Scotland at Murrayfield a week earlier but their opponents in the opening match of the tour are yet to be confirmed.

The Springboks have not played on an end of year tour since 2018.

While the Springboks have not played since last year’s World Cup which they won 32-12‚ England have gone on to win the Six Nations championship as well as the Autumn Nations Cup.

Next year’s match will be the Springboks’ first trip to Twickenham since 2018‚ when England narrowly edged the Boks by 12-11.

Earlier that year‚ the Springboks had beaten England 2-1 in an incoming series at home‚ the first time Rassie Erasmus took charge of the Boks on home soil.

Although the occasion is almost a full year away‚ Erasmus points to the growing anticipation in both countries for the clash at Twickenham‚ where the Boks last beat England in 2014.

“Any match involving England and the Springboks is always special‚” said Erasmus.

“England are an incredibly proud rugby nation and in Eddie Jones they have an astute coach who will no doubt be working on a plan to outsmart the Springboks for our rematch at Twickenham.

“The history and rivalry between our two countries always make for a great contest and we are looking forward to play the English at their Twickenham fortress where it will require a special performance to match them.”

England head coach Jones is already in expectant mood.

“These will be some good games of rugby and tough Tests for us as we work to improve ourselves as a team.

“South Africa are world champions and we’ll be looking to benchmark ourselves against them.

“We’ve not had the chance to play southern hemisphere teams this year‚ so it will be a good chance to see where we are up to and hopefully some great rugby for our supporters to enjoy.”

Although England have won the Six Nations and the recently completed Nations Cup‚ Jones has come under criticism for the team’s unattractive and at times one dimensional style of play.

Some feel they were fortunate to win both competitions.

Having lost in Paris‚ they edged France on points difference to win the Six Nations‚ while their Nations Cup final against a third string French team controversially went to extra time before England snagged the trophy.

The name of the Springboks’ third opponent‚ for the opening match of their European tour on 6 November next year‚ will be revealed in due course.

Springboks’ 2021 European Tour opponents:

6 November: TBC

13 November: Scotland at Murrayfield‚ Edinburgh

20 November: England at Twickenham‚ London

By LIAM DEL CARME – TimesLIVE

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