They may have a UK tour and the visit of the Lions still ahead of them, but the Springboks already know the dates and order of their Tri Nations fixtures for 2009.
After finishing their 2008 Tri Nations campaign just five weeks ago, the World Champions face Wales, Scotland and England next month before welcoming the Lions to South Africa in nine months time.
Then, just three weeks after facing Ian McGeechan’s tourists in the third Test in Johannesburg, the Boks will be back in action against the All Blacks in Bloemfontein on July 25.
In contrast to this year’s tournament, when South Africa played their away fixtures first, the Boks will play their first three games at home. They then have a three-week break before playing their away games on three successive weekends.
Having played Australia twice at home and New Zealand twice away in 2008, the fixtures have been reversed to see the Springboks host the All Blacks on two occasions, with two of the games against the Wallabies taking place on Australian soil.
Tri-Nations Fixtures 2009
July 18 New Zealand vs Australia Auckland
July 25 South Africa vs New Zealand Bloemfontein
Aug 1 South Africa vs New Zealand Durban
Aug 8 South Africa vs Australia Cape Town
Aug 22 Australia vs New Zealand Sydney
Aug 29 Australia vs South Africa Perth
Sept 5 Australia vs South Africa Brisbane
Sept 12 New Zealand vs South Africa Hamilton
Sept 19 New Zealand vs Australia Wellington