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 IRB Junior World Championship 2012 matches scheduled for the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
With the surface at the 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 June 17, and the third place play-off and IRB Junior World Championship 2012 final on 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 the 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 match days left to play at the Danie Craven Stadium, including the semi-finals and IRB Junior World 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 match days. 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 the 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.
“We are obviously disappointed that we had to move matches from the 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 during the past few months.
“Western Province and the City of Cape Town were also fantastic in their support and efforts to find a solution and SARU wants to thank them for making their venues available at such short notice. 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,” said Marinos.