JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sep 11 – The popularity of the resurgent Springboks was demonstrated Monday with public tickets for the October 7 Test against the All Blacks sold within an hour.
Only 22,000 tickets went on sale for the clash of arch rivals South Africa and New Zealand and were snapped up 60 minutes after becoming available nationwide, officials said.
The rest of the 52,000 crowd for the Rugby Championship final-round fixture at Newlands stadium will compromise season-ticket holders and hospitality suite guests.
“The passion of the Newlands faithful for rugby is well known and once again they have proven their loyalty,” Newlands official Paul Zacks said.
“This Test match will be a special occasion and one we are all looking forward to very much.”
South Africa go into their away match against New Zealand in Albany this Saturday having won five Tests and drawn one this season.
Only 27,000 spectators turned up in Pretoria three months ago for a season-opening Test against France after a horror 2016 for South Africa.
Guided by new coach Allister Coetzee, the Springboks lost eight of 12 Tests, a calendar-year record for the team since their 1891 debut.
The most humiliating defeat was away to Italy, a country they thrashed 101-0 in Durban 18 years ago.
But by the time South Africa completed a 3-0 whitewash of France, they had drawn a 55,000 crowd to Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
The Newlands Test will be the first visit of the All Blacks to Cape Town since 2008 when they triumphed 19-0.