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Rugby | Springboks

Boks to open RWC campaign in Brighton



South Africa will open their Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign against the top qualifier from Asia at Brighton Community Stadium in the southern coastal city of Brighton, the International Rugby Board announced on Thursday.

The announcement of the pool draw was made at a function at Twickenham in London earlier on Thursday.

The Springboks will play their pool matches in Brighton, Birmingham, Newcastle and London. South Africa are in Pool B alongside Scotland, Samoa, Asia 1 and Americas 2.

"Playing in parts of the UK that we normally don't see, such as Brighton, Birmingham and Newcastle, is exciting," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"In the end however, the games still have to be won and it doesn't matter where we play, we have to ensure we get more points on the scoreboard than our opponents.

"The Rugby World Cup is still more than two years away and a lot of rugby will be played between now and then, but we now have an opportunity to put all our planning into place for that tournament."

There are 871 days until the Springboks start their quest to win the Webb Ellis Cup for an unprecedented third time in England in 2015 on Saturday, September 19, at the home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.

Following their opening match, the Springboks will move north, to the central English city of Birmingham, where they will face Samoa at Villa Park, home of the English Premiership soccer team Aston Villa, on Saturday, September 26.

The Springboks' third match, against Scotland on Saturday, October 3, is scheduled for the historic St James' Park in Newcastle in the far north east of England, where Newcastle United play their Premiership home matches.

For their final pool match, the Springboks will move from St James' Park, in use since 1880, to the brand new Olympic Stadium in London, built specifically for the Olympic Games last year. This match, against the second qualifier from the Americas, will take place on Wednesday, October 7.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for Twickenham in London and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on the weekend of October 17 and 18.

Both semifinals will be played at Twickenham on October 24 and 25, while the third-place playoff will take place on October 30 at the Olympic Stadium.

The Rugby World Cup final will be held at Twickenham on Saturday, October 31.

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