Boks to baptise stadium

DUBLIN - World champions South Africa will provide Ireland's opposition for the first international rugby match to be played in the new national stadium, the Irish Rugby Football Union said yesterday.

DUBLIN - World champions South Africa will provide Ireland's opposition for the first international rugby match to be played in the new national stadium, the Irish Rugby Football Union said yesterday.

The 50000-capacity Aviva Stadium is being built on the site of the old Lansdowne Road ground - the home of Irish rugby and soccer since the 19th century.

The stadium is due to be completed in April next year and the match against the Springboks is set for November 6. Ireland will also play Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina in April.

In recognition of the occasion, the tradition that the home team changes its jersey if there is a colour clash will not be applied.

Saru has agreed that the Boks will not wear their traditional green, allowing the Ireland players to run out in the national jersey.

Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Philip Browne said: "This is the first time we have played a fourth international Test match in November.

"The Aviva stadium promises to become an iconic landmark for Irish sport and we are delighted that world champions South Africa have agreed to be the opposition for the game." - Sapa-AFP

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