Ireland, who is hoping to win a series for the first time in South Africa, will be encouraged by their 13-8 group stage victory over the Springboks in Paris at the World Cup in France. Ireland was the only side to overcome the eventual winners. Their matches are scheduled for July 6 in Pretoria and July 13 in Durban.

On July 20, South Africa will play Portugal at a location to be announced. This will be the team's first encounter with Europe and comes after the latter's impressive performance in France.

Portugal's innovative style of play gained them many fans when they drew with Georgia and defeated Fiji.

Tier two countries have made a compelling case for increased opportunities to play against elite teams outside of the World Cup.

Portugal's February schedule also includes a match against England A.

In Johannesburg on August 31 and Cape Town on September 7, the Springboks will play two Rugby Championship games at home against longtime rivals New Zealand, whom they defeated 12-11 in the World Cup final.

They will play their two Rugby Championship matches against Australia in Australia, but they will have one match at home against Argentina in Nelspruit on September 28.


A passionate Irish journalist with a love for cycling, politics and of course Portugal especially their sausage rolls.

Rory Mc Ginn