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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 17:26 UK

South Africa move Tri-Nations game to Soccer City

Soccer City
Soccer City is the flagship venue for the 2010 football World Cup

South Africa are to move their home Tri-Nations game with New Zealand on 21 August from Ellis Park to Soccer City in Soweto, on the edge of Johannesburg.

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) is expected to announce the change, which they described as "the worst kept secret in rugby", on Wednesday.

The move was inadvertently confirmed by All Blacks coach Graham Henry during an interview with website

The 90,000-seat stadium will host the football World Cup final on 11 July.

When asked about the rumoured change of venue for the match, Henry said: "Yeah, that's official isn't it?", before asking media manager Joe Locke: "Am I allowed to say that Joe?


"I've just said it, haven't I? It's been speculated... no, I'm not allowed to say that. No, it's only speculated we're playing in a stadium that holds 90,000. Gee, that would be great, wouldn't it? I can't wait."

Springbok vice-captain Victor Matfield said on his Twitter feed on Friday: "Will be awesome to play All Blacks at Soccer City. Will be John's 100th game as well."

In facing New Zealand, South Africa captain John Smit will follow World Cup winner and current Springboks kicking coach Percy Montgomery in becoming only the second South African to play 100 Tests.

Originally opened in 1989, Soccer City received a major upgrade to become the flagship venue for the 2010 World Cup - the first football World Cup to be held on African soil.

In 1990, more than 100,000 people rallied at the ground to hear Nelson Mandela, newly released from prison, call for a unified South Africa.

Six years later, the venue hosted the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations final in which South Africa beat Tunisia.

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see also
South Africa 55-11 Italy
26 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand 29-10 Wales
26 Jun 10 |  Welsh
Wales 31-34 South Africa
05 Jun 10 |  Welsh
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
South Africa bids for World Cup
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union

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