Man Utd reveal South Africa tour dates
Manchester United have confirmed the itinerary for their three-match summer tour of South Africa.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side will begin their 10-day trip in Durban on July 15, where they will take on Orlando Pirates, before heading to Cape Town, where they will tackle South Africa's other top league outfit, the Kaizer Chiefs at Newlands on July 18.
They will then travel to Pretoria for the final game of the Vodacom Challenge for a July 22 meeting between the winners of a match between the Pirates and the Chiefs in Rustenburg two days earlier.
United have already told tour organisers no player involved in the World Cup quarter-finals and beyond will be in the travelling party, which is almost certain to be captained by Ryan Giggs.
Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and John O'Shea are other regular members of the United first-team squad who could be included, along with promising youngsters Giuseppe Rossi and Gerard Pique.
'While several of our regular first-team players will have been involved in World Cup action for their respective countries, we are confident that the Vodacom Challenge will see many familiar faces including Ryan Giggs, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Paul Scholes,' said Sir Bobby Charlton, who was present at the tour launch in Johannesburg this lunchtime.
Organisers view United's arrival as helpful in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup, while Ferguson sees it as a vital part of his preparations towards next season.
The Red Devils non-World Cup contingent are due back for pre-season training on July 3. Once they have returned from South Africa, they will be joined by the rest of their team-mates before completing their summer campaign in the prestigious four-team Amsterdam tournament and a likely Old Trafford friendly with Barcelona.
Vodacom Challenge schedule:
Saturday, July 15 - Orlando Pirates v Manchester United (Durban, 2pm BST).
Tuesday, July 18 - Kaizer Chiefs v Manchester United (Cape Town, 7pm BST).
Thursday, July 20 - Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates (Rustenburg, 7pm BST).
Saturday, July 22 - Manchester United v winners of July 20 game (Pretoria, 2pm BST).