Scotland set to be first opponents of world champions Springboks

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Scotland are set to be the first opponents of new world champions South Africa, with Tests in the republic on July 4 and 11.

Although SA Rugby have not confirmed who they will host in a mid-year series, a source told AFP that "Scotland are coming for two matches during July".

South Africa have won 22 Tests and lost five against Scotland and the last meeting, in Edinburgh a year ago, ended 26-20 in favour of the Springboks.

Traditionally, mid-year visitors to South Africa play three Tests, but Scotland cannot do so as they face New Zealand in Dunedin on July 18.

It is understood SA Rugby want to play another team on July 18 as they seek to cash in on the popularity of the team that beat England 32-12 this month in the Rugby World Cup final.

"The Springboks can fill any stadium in South Africa twice over right now and, ideally, it would be another six nations team," the source said.

All the six nations drawcards have arranged July 4 and 11 Tests with England facing Japan, Wales meeting New Zealand, Ireland playing Australia and France tackling Argentina.

But none of the four touring teams have announced a July 18 opponent, creating the possibility that one of them could play a one-off Test in South Africa.