Twickenham set to host blockbuster fixture between the All Blacks and South Africa next summer – with talk of England playing one of their warm-up games away from their home stadium
- Twickenham will host a match between New Zealand and South Africa next year
- The match would be a warm-up game ahead of the 2023 World Cup in France
- England are considering playing one of their warm-ups away from Twickenham
Twickenham is set to host a blockbuster series of fixtures next summer ahead of the 2023 World Cup — including an historic encounter between New Zealand and South Africa.
England are planning four warm-up matches before the next global showpiece tournament and there is speculation that they will take one of them away from their familiar home — as they did for the game against Italy in Newcastle in 2019.
Sources have indicated that Eddie Jones’ national team will be involved in a box-office double-header at Twickenham, which will also involve the two leading southern superpowers going head-to-head. Whether the fixture would constitute part of an abbreviated Rugby Championship, or a one-off ‘friendly’ is unclear.
New Zealand and South Africa are set to play a blockbuster match at Twickenham next year
What is clear is that it would fill the stadium in south-west London to its 82,000 capacity and generate considerable revenue for the respective unions, at a time when they are recovering from the impact of the Covid pandemic.
There is a precedent of sorts, as Argentina took on Australia at Twickenham in 2016, at the end of the Rugby Championship. And the All Blacks in particular have become accustomed to playing in neutral venues, from Tokyo to Chicago.
New Zealand and South Africa could face each other in the quarter-finals of the World Cup — if one of them is unable to finish top of their pool, in keeping with tradition. If they both qualify as pool winners, they wouldn’t be able to cross paths until the final.
Speculation is rife that England will play one of their warm-up games away from Twickenham