Tue, Oct 25, 2022, 8:40 AM

Rugby union heavyweights South Africa and New Zealand will meet at Twickenham for a warm-up match ahead of next year's World Cup, it was announced Monday.

The arch-rivals will face each other at English rugby's headquarters in southwest London on August 25, just two weeks before the All Blacks launch the 2023 World Cup against tournament hosts France in Paris.

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New Zealand and South Africa last met at Twickenham in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup, with the All Blacks winning 20-18 before going on to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy.

But it is South Africa who are the reigning world champions after the Springboks pummelled England 32-12 in the 2019 final in Yokohama.

In a joint New Zealand and South Africa statement, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber, said: "We're excited to play this vital fixture before the Rugby World Cup at the iconic Twickenham."

“The match will take place shortly before we kick off our World Cup campaign, and both this encounter and the Test against Wales will be vital for us to measure ourselves before the competition and to put the final building in blocks in place so that we can enter the showpiece in the desired form.

Nienaber, whose side begin their title defence against Scotland in Marseille on September 10, added: "There is a large contingent of passionate expats and Springbok supporters in London, and we have no doubt they will come out in numbers and give us a lift before we attempt to defend our World Cup crown."

All Blacks counterpart Ian Foster said: "This match will form an important part of our preparations for Rugby World Cup.

"Matches against the Springboks are always hard-fought and we are expecting nothing less than a titanic battle on this unique occasion."

“We are looking forward to welcoming two powerhouses of global rugby," Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO commented.

"Both nations have sizable ex-pat communities in London and beyond, who will no doubt contribute to what is set to be an electric atmosphere at Twickenham Stadium.”

On the same weekend, Dave Rennie's Wallabies are scheduled to play hosts France whilst England will take on Fiji