20 May 2010

First rugby tour set for 2012

8:06 am on 20 May 2010

The first tour of the new International Rugby Board scheduling has been announced with South Africa to host England in a three-Test series in 2012.

The announcement follows a new International Rugby Board directive to introduce longer tours down-under in June and to the northern hemisphere in the November windown.

Apart from the Lions in 1997 and 2009, England's three-Test tour will be the first extended visit by a single nation since New Zealand won a three-match series in South Africa in 1996.

South Africa will play England twice as well as France and Ireland in the six years either side of the 2015 Rugby World Cup as a result of an International Rugby Board's decision to return to 'old-style' touring.

Ireland tour in 2016 and France 2017. England return in 2018, as rugby makes a return to the touring style of the amateur era.

Combinations of Scotland, Wales and Italy will tour in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Inbound Tests are not scheduled for the World Cup years of 2015 and 2019.

There has been no change to the format of the Springboks' end of season tours. They will continue to play a combination of Six Nations teams, playing each country three times in the six years of the IRB Tours Schedule.