Cape Town — The Stormers will now be able to play their second United Rugby Championship match at their usual home ground following the cancellation of Justin Bieber’s tour to South Africa.
The URC champions were forced to move their first two matches of the new season – against Connacht next Saturday and Edinburgh on 1 October – to the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, as the Bieber concert was booked for Cape Town Stadium on 28 September.
But on Wednesday, Big Concerts and AEG Presents announced that the Canadian pop star won’t be flying to SA, having battled with Ramsay Hunt syndrome this year, which partly paralysed his face.
Bieber was also unable to complete the North American leg of his “Justice Tour” recently. The 28-year-old was also scheduled to perform at FNB Stadium on 1 October.
“Big Concerts and AEG Presents regret to confirm that Justin Bieber’s Justice Tour South African dates have been cancelled,” the organisers said in a statement to Entertainment on Wednesday.
“All fans that purchased tickets from Ticketmaster will receive a full refund and will be contacted by Ticketmaster directly. Fans do not need to take any action … We wish Justin a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in South Africa in the future.”
Later on Wednesday, the Stormers said that their URC opener against Connacht will still take place in Stellenbosch, but that their second match against Edinburgh will now be held at Cape Town Stadium – where they beat the Bulls in last season’s final.
“The opening of the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship title defence against Connacht on September 24 will still take place at the Danie Craven Stadium, given that logistics, planning and event costs are already at an advanced stage, with the Irish team booked to stay in Stellenbosch,” the Stormers said in a statement.
“With Edinburgh staying in Cape Town, there is enough time to switch the October 1 match to (Cape Town) Stadium and allow for the necessary stadium preparations following the Rugby Cup Sevens, which was successfully hosted at the stadium last weekend.”
The Stormers said that the Heritage Day game against Connacht will begin at 2.30pm, and that there would be a beer tent and big screen available on an adjacent field to enable fans to watch the Springboks in action against Argentina in Durban at 5.05pm.