Force to play three games in South African spring tour

Thu, Jul 4, 2024, 5:45 AM
by Ben Somerford

The Western Force will tour South Africa in September and October where the side will play three matches against the Toyota Cheetahs, Emerging Ireland and the DHL Western Province XV as part of a spring tour.

The spring tour offers Force players further playing opportunities to develop their rugby and team cohesion following the conclusion of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

The games against the Toyota Cheetahs and Emerging Ireland will be played in Bloemfontein as part of the Toyota Challenge with prizemoney up for grabs, with approximately $AU25,000 per match. Broadcast and streaming arrangements will be confirmed closer to the games.

The clash with the DHL WP XV will be a friendly played in Stellenbosch, 45 minutes outside of Cape Town.

The Force will come up against strong opposition in the Toyota Cheetahs, whom the Force took on across four games in August and September last year, having won South Africa’s Currie Cup last year and made the Round of 16 of the 2023-24 EPCR Challenge Cup.

The Emerging Ireland squad will consist of the next generation of Irish national team players, having competed in a similar series in South Africa in 2022, helping bring through the likes of Jack Crowley, Calvin Nash and Joe McCarthy.

The DHL WP XV will feature players from the wider DHL Stormers squad.

Force general manager of rugby Chris Goodman said the spring tour would provide invaluable opportunities for the playing squad and coaches.

“We’ve identified the need for more playing opportunities for our squad after the 14-game Super Rugby season, so we’re thrilled to lock in three games in South Africa against strong opposition,” Goodman said.

“We believe this spring tour will help develop team cohesion and connections within the playing squad. Players will also be exposed to different opposition and different conditions making it an invaluable experience.”

The Force squad will re-enter training after a July break, with a view to the selected travelling party flying out for South Africa in late September. 

Western Force spring tour matches:

Wednesday 2 October: Cheetahs v Western Force, Bloemfontein

Saturday 5 October: Emerging Ireland v Western Force, Bloemfontein

Saturday 12 October: DHL WP XV v Western Force, Stellenbosch