South African rugby has strong roots in the Eastern Cape, a region that is now re-emerging as a powerhouse within the national rugby set up. The abundance of top rugby schools in this province suggests that world-class players will continue to emerge from these parts.

Did you know?

Morné Steyn kicked all 18 points when South Africa beat the All Blacks in the inaugural Test match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in 2011.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth is a multi-purpose venue, regularly hosting rugby and soccer events. It is the home ground of the Eastern Province Kings (EP Kings) rugby team, who joined the Super Rugby set up in 2013.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium hosted seven matches during the 2010 FIFA World CupTM, including the third place play-off in which Germany beat Uruguay. The first international rugby match at the stadium was played between South Africa and New Zealand on August 21, 2011 and the South African leg of the IRB Sevens World Series was held at this ground in December 2011.

The stadium has seating for 46 000 spectators and some seats even offer views of the Indian Ocean. The people of Port Elizabeth love their sport and rugby matches played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium are always well attended.

There are great hopes for the Eastern Province Kings, who enjoy excellent support during the domestic competitions they play in: the Vodacom Cup and the Currie Cup.

The lack of a Super Rugby franchise has led to many talented rugby players from the Eastern Cape pursuing careers elsewhere, but this is hopefully now set to change. Some of the big names to come out of this region in recent times include Brent Russell, Ryan Kankowski and the Ndungane twins, Odwa and Akhona.

Rugby fans visiting Port Elizabeth should take the time to attend an Eastern Province Kings' match, to witness upcoming stars in action. You will meet some of the friendliest and most enthusiastic rugby fans in the world and be part of something special.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Eastern Province Rugby Union
Tel: +27 (0)41 408 8902

How to get here

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is less than 10 minutes drive from Port Elizabeth Airport and just a few km from the city centre. You can either hire a car at the airport or catch a taxi.

Best time to visit

Rugby is regularly played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium between February and October.

Around the area

Visit the Blue Flag Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth. The water is warm enough for swimming without a wetsuit most days of the year.

Where to stay

The Beach Hotel in Port Elizabeth is a popular luxury accommodation option. If you are on a budget, Port Elizabeth Backpackers is a more affordable option.

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