Eastern Cape city to host South Africa-Argentina Tests

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Argentina star Nicolas Sanchez kicks a penalty during a Test victory over Wales in Cardiff this month

World champions South Africa will host Rugby Championship matches against Argentina on August 14 and 21 in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), the national rugby union announced on Monday.

Normally, one of the matches would be played in the South American country, but the Pumas have conceded home advantage because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Springboks were unable to play in the annual southern hemisphere championship that also involves Australia and New Zealand last year because of Covid-19.

That competition produced a stunning result with ill-prepared Argentina defeating New Zealand for the first time after 29 failed attempts.

"Unfortunately, there is little prospect that spectators will be allowed to attend the matches, but we are pleased to be returning to the eastern Cape for these Tests," said SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.

"They mark our return to the Rugby Championship, and we are excited to resume competition with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand after missing out in 2020, when we were due to defend the title."

Argentina last visited the eastern Cape coastal city famous for its windy conditions in 2017 and conceded four tries in a 37-15 loss.

Because of coronavirus travel complications, South Africa will play their home and away matches against Australia and New Zealand in those countries.

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