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Rugby matches back in Soweto


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Andile Zingitwa


Rugby fanatics in the township can now brace themselves for spectacular matches, Thanks to the recent announcement that top flight rugby will return to Orlando Stadium.

Furthermore International rugby stars will be on show in Soweto for as little as R40 when SA ‘A’ take on a French Barbarians team captained by Freddy Michalak next month.


These groundbreaking announcements was made during a joint press briefing by the SA Rugby and Gauteng Provincial Government, who also plan to expose Soweto youngsters to the event by transporting them to the game.


According to these stakeholders top flight rugby will return to the Orlando Stadium for a double-header night of action, which will also see the rising stars of the Xerox Golden Lions take on the Vodacom Blue Bulls in a SuperSport Rugby Challenge match.


In a terse statement released on behalf of the absent MEC for Sport, arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko.


The department stated that it is their firm belief  that meaningful change can only happen when they embrace community based, citizen driven and civil society initiatives which contribute to social cohesion, economic inclusion, non-racialism, non-sexism, peace and harmony among the diverse and cosmopolitan people of Gauteng.




“We have also come to fully appreciate the power of sport in driving economic growth and development by supporting local tourism and boosting our industrialization efforts,” Read the statement.


The department also added that Tickets have been aggressively priced to make what promises to be exciting international rugby as accessible as possible.


The matches will be part of an intense rugby week in Johannesburg with the 3rd Test between the Springboks and France taking place at Emirates Arline Park 24 hours later.


Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby told the media that his organisation was excited to be partnering with the Gauteng Provincial Government in this major initiative to take top flight professional rugby back into Soweto.


“We saw what an impact it had on all our communities the last time we brought major professional rugby to Soweto and this is not a once-off event – we are already in conversation to repeat this idea next year.


“The SA ‘A’ team will put on an incredible display of attacking rugby, I am sure, and will be inspired by playing in a non-traditional rugby venue. It is a thrill for rugby to be returning to Soweto for such a major match and I like to thank provincial government for the imagination they have shown in our conversations.


“We hope the people of Orlando and greater Soweto turn out in their numbers to share what will be a memorable experience. They will have the chance to see the Springbok stars of tomorrow in action as well as some legendary names from French rugby, ”said Alexander.


Jacques Grobbelaar: CEO, of Stadium management said, his organization was priviledged to bring these matches to the townships.

“We are doing what we need to do,” He added.


Did you know?


  • The first meeting in the two–match series takes place at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban a week earlier on 16 June, on the eve of the second test.


  • The main match at Orlando Stadium, which will start at 20h00, will be preceded by a curtain-raiser at 17h00 when the Vodacom Blue Bulls take on the Xerox Golden Lions in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge Gauteng-derby.



  • Prices start at R40 with R60 and R80 options also available.  They will be available through Computicket and at their outlets at Shoprite and Checkers shortly.



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