Exciting Times for DHL Lifesaving SA Sport  

A youthful Lifesaving South Africa national squad with little international experience showed their class in the water to claim first place overall and pip their Egyptian hosts at the 2022 Lifesaving Africa Championships held in February in Alexandra, Egypt.

The championship event was preceded by the second African Drowning Prevention Conference, as the Egyptian Diving and Lifesaving Federation (EDLF) welcomed its African counterparts under the slogan: ‘Africa United to Stop Drowning’.

With a relatively inexperienced squad the South Africa team dominated the water events, which played a major role in the Proteas finishing the championships with a combined total of 500 points. Hosts Egypt finished second on 468 points and Morocco claimed the bronze spot with 410 points.

The valuable international experience gained from their successful exploits in Egypt will serve this young South African squad well as they look to compete in future events. On a national scale, though, this will add an extra layer of competitiveness when the DHL Lifesaving SA National Champs takes place next month at King’s Beach in Gqberha.

Although a short turnaround since last year’s championships, which happened a few months ago in October, the standard of competition among the competing clubs will be one of the highlights of the annual event as the members of the youthful South Africa squad will be up against several of the streetwise seniors who did not compete in Egypt.

The Treble team look forward to being part of the action on the beach next month, where we will be leveraging DHL’s sponsorship of Lifesaving South Africa by managing a full branding strategy and event production solution for the entire event.

This also includes producing an exclusive print, digital and broadcast media package that will cover all the action, results, and drama of the DHL Lifesaving SA National Champs.

Boks’ home Test schedule for 2022 confirmed

The Springboks are scheduled to play at DHL Stadium when they face Wales in a three-match series in the Castle Lager Incoming Series in July, before hosting the All Blacks and Argentina in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in August and September, SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.

The away leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship will comprise of three Test matches – two against Australia, and one against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Wales are set to return to South Africa for the first time since 2014 as the Boks kick off their 2022 season with three Tests against the Dragons – at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday 2 July, Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein (9 July) and DHL Stadium in Cape Town (16 July).

The Boks will then launch the home leg of their Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign three weeks later with back-to-back home Tests against the All Blacks – at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on 6 August, and a week later at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, on 13 August.

They will then depart for Australia for the away leg of the competition where they will meet the Wallabies on Saturday 27 August and again a week later, on 3 September (both venues to be confirmed), before their third away match against Argentina at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on 17 September.

The Boks will conclude their Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign with a home Test against Los Pumas at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, 24 September.

“It’s exciting to announce such a strong list of Springbok fixtures this season after a successful 2021 season for the team, and I have no doubt that Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach), his management team and the players will do their best to build on those achievements this season,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“Pending the return of crowds to our Tests and with the COVID-19 pandemic still presenting challenges throughout the world, we understand the fluid nature of match schedules, but it is important for us that the team face quality opposition as we gear up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”

Nienaber was equally excited about the season and said: “It’s a massive honour to represent our country, and the fact that we will be facing such tough competition this season has certainly sparked excitement among the coaches and the players alike.

“We are well underway with our planning for the year, and our knowledge of these teams after facing all of them last season will be vital as we forge ahead in this regard in the next few months.

“Wales, the All Blacks and Australia tested us well last season, and Argentina have proven to be a force to be reckoned with, both at home and away, so although we are expecting a challenging season, we realise the importance of laying a solid foundation as we build up toward next year’s Rugby World Cup.”

The Springboks defeated Wales 23-18 in the opening match of the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour in Cardiff last year, while they had mixed results against the All Blacks, going down 19-17 in Townsville before registering a 31-29 victory in their final Castle Lager Rugby Championship match on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Nienaber’s charges won both matches against Argentina in the competition – by 32-12 and 29-10 in Nelson Mandela Bay – but they went down to Australia last year (28-26 in Gold Coast and 30-17 in Brisbane).

Castle Lager Incoming Series fixtures (kick-off times TBC):

Saturday, 2 July: Springboks v Wales – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Saturday, 9 July: Springboks v Wales – Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Saturday, 16 July: Springboks v Wales – DHL Stadium, Cape Town

Castle Lager Rugby Championship fixtures (kick-off times TBC):

Saturday, 6 August: Springboks v New Zealand – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Saturday, 13 August: Springboks v New Zealand – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Saturday, 27 August: Springboks v Australia – venue TBC

Saturday, 3 September: Springboks v Australia – venue TBC

Saturday, 17 September: Springboks v Argentina – Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires

Saturday, 24 September: Springboks v Argentina – Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

(Photo: Alasdair Fraser – Treble Images)