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Then and now: Newlands Rugby Stadium

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Newlands Stadium is South Africa’s oldest rugby ground and the second-oldest rugby stadium in the world. The Western Province Rugby and Football Union purchased the grounds in 1888. To this day, Newlands holds a special place in the hearts of all South African rugby fans as the pioneering ground for the sport.



The first match at Newlands took place on 31 May 1890 between Stellenbosch and the Villagers rugby teams. A total of 2400 spectators watched the historic game, launching the long and eventful legacy of Newlands. In 1891, the stadium hosted South Africa’s first rugby test when the British Lions toured South Africa.


Newlands Stadium remained a grass patch with no permanent seating for spectators until 1919, when the first concrete stands were built. Over the decades, Newlands expanded to accommodate more spectators. It can currently seat 51 900 rugby fans.



The historic stadium became the headquarters of SA Rugby in the 1970s and a further 10 253 seats were built in the 1980s. This constant development continued until the 1995 Rugby World Cup when the opening match of the tournament kicked off at Newlands. In this match, South Africa beat the reigning world champions, Australia, and set the tone for the rest of the fairytale tournament which saw Springboks lift the trophy for the first time.    


Newlands Stadium is often regarded as one of the best in the world thanks to its near-field seating arrangements, majestic view of Devil’s Peak and the mountain range, as well as the eclectic atmosphere that the fans always create, both inside and outside the stadium. Regardless of who you support, Newlands always delivers lively matches with a vibrant crowd.

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Take a look at the historical pictures of Kronendal in Hout Bay.

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Author: Seeff

Submitted 10 Sep 18 / Views 286