Wales are set to kick off their summer rugby series with a trip to Twickenham to face the World Cup winners

Wales will take on the back-to-back World Cup champions South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday, 22 June, before their summer tour of Australia.

The match is set to be part of a double header that day at the iconic English stadium. Wales will square off against the Springboks (KO 14:00) in a repeat of the 2015 World Cup quarter-final, a game that the Rainbow Nation won 23-19.

Related: Springboks squad for first alignment camp in 2024 revealed

Following the Welsh game, there will be a Test between Fiji and the Barbarians in the second match of the afternoon (KO 17:15), as the winner looks to lift the Killik Cup.

Twickenham is the destination for the fixture, as the Principality Stadium, the home of Welsh rugby has already been booked out for a number of concerts.

Taylor Swift is set to play the venue on June 18 while the Foo Fighters perform there on June 25.

Wales’ match in London, for the Qatar Airways Cup, will serve as the ideal preparation before Warren Gatland’s side travel down under to face a new-look Wallabies led by Joe Schmidt in two July Test matches.

Wales’s first game will be played on 6 July at the newly-built Allianz Stadium in Sydney, while match two will be played the following week on 13 July at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Gatland reacts as Wales play South Africa and Australia

Speaking about Wales’ summer schedule, head coach Gatland said: “I’m incredibly excited about the fixture list for Wales this summer.

“To have the opportunity for our young squad to test itself against the world champions at a neutral venue is an extremely important experience and something that we will relish. It should also be a great occasion for the fans and something a little bit different for them.”

Australia will be hoping to put in a good performance after that incredible group-stage match where Wales came out victorious with a 40-6 win to kick Australia out of the Rugby World Cup, and Wales narrowly lost 20-19 the last time they faced Australia down under at the Sydney Football Stadium. Both teams will be eager to win the Test so they can get their hands on the James Bevan Trophy.

“We’re also excited for the opportunity we have with our two Tests in Australia in July,” added Gatland.

“We know the Wallabies will be hurting after the Rugby World Cup, but Australia is a tough place to go and play rugby, and we’re expecting a fired-up side led by new head coach Joe Schmidt.”

South Africa are the current holders of the Qatar Airways Cup, having defeated New Zealand last year in their final World Cup warm-up game 35-7.

The London Test will be followed by a challenging two-match series against Ireland in Pretoria (6 July) and Durban (13 July), and their first Test against Portugal a week later in Bloemfontein in the final match of the series.

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus revealed his excitement at the prospect of facing Wales and said it was the perfect launchpad for the 2024 season.

He said: “We are thrilled to return to Twickenham in what will mark our first Test since the Rugby World Cup final in France.

“Playing against Wales, who we have faced there before in an exhilarating 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final, will bring back plenty of other memories as well.

“Most of the matches between the sides dating back to 2008 have been decided by fewer than 10 points, and some of those by fewer than five points.

“They are currently ranked eighth in the world, and they also progressed to the World Cup quarter-final last year, so this will be the ideal preparation for us to switch into gear for the Castle Lager Incoming Series.”

Wales v South Africa tickets

However, in a blow to ticket-buying fans, the Springboks will be without any of their Premiership or Top 14 players and could even be without their URC players depending on how the South African sides perform in that competition, meaning that the side could be devoid of star names due to player release rules. While many Springboks and Welsh internationals may be unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with the URC final scheduled for that date.

Should a Welsh region or South African side qualify for the URC final then both teams will be without those players too. As things stand in the URC table, the Ospreys, Stormers and the Bulls would qualify for the knockout stages of the league creating the possibility that two of these sides may reach the final of the URC and resulting in the current World Champions and Warren Gatland’s side being without important internationals.

The flip side is that it provides a chance for other players to throw their name in the hat for consideration ahead of Ireland’s visit.

Yet it brings into question the importance that both the rugby unions of Wales and South Africa have for the club game if they are willing to compete for viewers on the day of their domestic league final.

Tickets for the double-header will go on general sale from 10am on Friday, February 23, via Ticketmaster, Ticketek, and the RFU.

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