Owing to adverse pitch conditions, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the IRB have jointly made the decision to move the remainder of the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship matches scheduled for Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
With the surface at Danie Craven Stadium having cut up significantly after two rounds of three matches in the flagship age grade competition and bad weather hitting the Cape Town area, the decision was agreed by all stakeholders following an inspection of the surface.
The iconic Newlands Stadium will now host both semi-finals and the fifth place semi-final on Sunday, June 17, and the third place play-off and the tournament final on Friday, June 22. Kick-off times and broadcast arrangements remain the same.
Cape Town Stadium will host the June 12 final round of pool matches (Ireland v Italy, South Africa v England and France v Australia) previously scheduled for Danie Craven Stadium. Matches at the University of Western Cape Stadium in Cape Town remain as scheduled.
IRB Junior World Championship Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias said: “With pitch conditions having deteriorated and little time for it to recover sufficiently between rounds and three matchdays left to play at Danie Craven Stadium, including the semi-finals and the Championship final, all stakeholders, including the venue, agreed that it is in the best interests of the teams and the Championship to switch venues.
“The Danie Craven Stadium has been an outstanding and welcoming host and I would like to thank all of their staff for their hospitality and dedication to staging fantastic matchdays.
“It is a shame to move, but unfortunately the pitch could not withstand the demand placed upon it given the poor weather conditions.
“Newlands and Cape Town Stadium are world class venues and I would like to thank SARU and Western Province for making them available.
“I am sure that it will be a fantastic host enjoyed by teams and fans. This tournament has been wonderful so far and I have no doubt that it will progress to be remembered as a resounding success and an exceptional event.”
SARU has confirmed that fans who bought tickets for the remaining matches at Danie Craven Stadium will be able to swap them for tickets at other venues.
Andy Marinos, the SARU General Manager for Commercial and Marketing, confirmed fans can purchase tickets for the remaining matches at UWC, Newlands and Cape Town Stadium from any Computicket outlet or Money Market counters, as well as online.
Marinos explained: “We are obviously disappointed that we had to move matches from Danie Craven Stadium because of the deteriorating pitch conditions. SARU wants to thank the Maties Rugby Club and the University of Stellenbosch for their hard work the past few months.
“We are approaching the business end of the competition and there is still a lot of great rugby action to see, so I would like to urge fans to buy their tickets as admission for the semi final and finals will be snapped up quickly.”
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