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England confirm midweek fixtures

England's three-Test summer tour of South Africa will include midweek matches in Kimberley and Potchefstroom against SA Barbarians teams.

Stuart Lancaster's squad will tackle the Springboks in their first-ever three-Test series in June, with the matches to be played in Durban (June 9) , Johannesburg (June 16) and Port Elizabeth (June 23).

England will meet an SA Barbarians South team in Kimberley on the afternoon of Wednesday June 13 and an SA Barbarians North team in Potchefstroom, the following Tuesday evening.

The SA Barbarians teams will be selected from the eight teams in the first division of the Currie Cup, South Africa's domestic competition.

"This will be a massive and exciting challenge for us," said Lancaster. "England have never had a three-Test series in South Africa and, with two midweek games against opponents who will be desperate to impress, these five games give us a great opportunity for a wider group of players to put their hat in the ring and gain international experience.

"We were pleased with the progress we made in the RBS 6 Nations and this tour is another important step on the journey towards 2015."

Lancaster is due to name his provisional touring squad on May 8, after the final round of regular season Aviva Premiership matches.

England will warm up for their tour with a traditional fixture against the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 27 and they are scheduled to arrive in South Africa on May 31.

"I think all rugby fans will be excited by the idea of having England on tour in South Africa for five matches over three weeks," said South Africa Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux.

"South Africa has not hosted a three-Test tour against a single nation since the visit of New Zealand in 1996, so this will be a special occasion for all of us."

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