Local rugby supporters finally have a reason to smile.
The plan by the SA Rugby Union (SARU) to stem the enormous exodus of top players heading overseas, by way of joint contracts with its unions is gaining some momentum.
Rugby World Cup tough guys Damian de Allende, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe are among the list of about 20 players with whom SARU has already signed contracts.
The full list of names has not been made available, but it was confirmed that Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Handré Pollard, Pat Lambie and Jan Serfontein had also been contracted and could look forward to competitive salaries in line with those of Springboks playing overseas.
Argentina’s new Super Rugby franchise will be called Los Jaguares (Jaguars).
The team will play be in the 2nd African conference, alongside the Cell C Sharks, Emirates Lions and Southern Kings.
To play Test rugby for Argentina, players have to be contracted by the UAR and be available to play Super Rugby.
The Jaguars’ 1st match will be against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday 26 February 2016.
South Africa’s provincial rugby unions are reportedly at loggerheads over whether Heyneke Meyer should remain as Springbok coach.
Meyer’s position has been a hot talking point in recent weeks after the Springboks’ failure to win the Rugby World Cup in England.
Initial media reports indicated that Meyer would remain in his position until the next Rugby World Cup in 2019, but more recently it was reported that he could face the axe.
Meyer’s fate will be decided at a SARU general council meeting in Cape Town on 11 December.
The 29 members of SARU’s general council consist of the 14 provincial union Presidents and CEOs, as well as SARU president Oregan Hoskins.
Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss has been named as captain of the Vodacom Bulls for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season, the team annnounced on Monday. Another international star, Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard, will be vice-captain for the season.
Strauss, a Super Rugby centurion (118 appearances) is no stranger to a leadership role at this level, having captained the Toyota Cheetahs for a number of seasons and according to the Vodacom Bulls Super Rugby coach, Nollis Marais, is a perfect fit for his team.
“Adriaan ticks all the boxes. He has vast experience at Super Rugby level, has played 54 Tests for the Springboks, where he is part of the leadership group and represents what we stand for as Bulls. His leadership style is great, as is his ability to rally players around him. He is also one of the top hookers in world rugby and even opponents will look up to his presence on the field,” Marais explained.
All Black greats united to pay tribute to Jonah Lomu with a powerful haka, as thousands of fans packed a memorial service at New Zealand rugby’s spiritual home, Eden Park.
A grim-faced Buck Shelford led more than 20 former internationals in a “Ka Mate” haka while the legendary wing’s casket was carried into a hearse.
Former teammates including Tana Umaga, Justin Marshall and John Kirwan joined the emotional tribute on the same turf that Lomu once dominated as a player.
“Jonah, you were a freak on the field and a gentle, caring giant off it,” former All Blacks coach John Hart said.
Cell C Sharks director of rugby, Gary Gold, believes Robert du Preez (snr) will give his team an extra edge on attack in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
Former Springbok scrumhalf Du Preez is no stranger to Sharks rugby, having been a key member during the successes of the famous ‘Team of the 90s’ and he not only brings new ideas and experience, but the passion for the team, having represented the Sharks in 63 matches between 1992 and 1998 – during which 3 Currie Cup titles were won.
He will share the skills and attack coaching duties with Sean Everitt.
New Zealand’s Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders have confirmed that Fijian Rugby World Cup winger Nemani Nadolo will not be extending his contract with the Christchurch team next season.
Nadolo has agreed to play his rugby in France for French club Montpellier after the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Fijian winger Nadolo was raised in Brisbane Australia and has had playing stints in the UK, France, Australia and Japan but his career only really took off when he joined the Crusaders.
Nadolo is now 1 of the hottest wingers in World Rugby but it was not long ago that he was with the Waratahs and was unable to make the match day team.
The winger left Sydney and played for Bourgoin between 2010 and 2011 before joining Japan’s NEC Green Rocket where he was brought to the attention of Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder.
Japan is looking to cash in on the rugby fever that swept the nation in recent weeks by unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Rugby World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru.
However, fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the golden-coloured figure – crouching with its fingers clasped together in the player’s trademark kick routine – will have to be quick.
After being unveiled by Goromaru himself on Monday it will be part of the decorations for Tokyo’s Christmas illuminations for a month only and be removed again afterwards.
South African hooker Craig Burden has joined Stade Francais as an injury replacement, the Paris club said on Friday.
The 30-year-old from Durban spent 2 seasons at Toulon before a short spell with Montpellier this year.
Eastern Province rugby clubs plan to call a special general meeting to pass a motion of no-confidence in EPRU president Cheeky Watson.
According to reports, Watson was set to be served a motion of no confidence at the union’s annual general meeting last Friday, but the meeting was controversially postponed.
One club’s president said that in order to pass the motion of no confidence in Watson, 36 of the union’s clubs (20%) need to sign up.
He said that target would be easy to achieve and they would push to have the meeting as soon as possible.
England’s new rugby coach Eddie Jones has been hired as an adviser by Goldman Sachs in Japan in the hope he can reproduce the Midas touch he showed at the Rugby World Cup.
The 55-year-old Australian, who recently led Japan’s Brave Blossoms to 3 victories in 4 games at the Rugby World Cup, will join a 9-member advisory board at the start of next year, a spokesman said Friday.
“(Jones) has achieved the impossible by bringing the Japanese team to a level on par with the best in world rugby,” Goldman Sachs Japan president Masanori Mochida said in a statement.
“Goldman Sachs will benefit from his unrivalled leadership and his ability to bring together a multi-cultural team, set clear goals and pull an entire team toward a shared vision.”
Frankie Horne will captain the SARU Sevens Academy team at the Dubai International tournament, which also includes 2 new Sevens recruits in Tim Agaba and Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi, formerly of the EP Kings.
Agaba and Soyizwapi this week became the latest Sevens recruits when they each agreed to terms with SARU to play Sevens for the next 2 years. Agaba is a talented No 8 while speedster Soyizwapi has already played for the Academy side in Singapore in September.
SARU on Friday announced the 12-man squad for the Dubai tournament, which takes place on 4 & 5 December and will run concurrently with the opening Round of the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Apart from Horne, the Academy side – known as the Samurai Internationals – also includes Springbok Sevens internationals Ruhan Nel, Rosko Specman and Stephan Dippenaar.
The home of Welsh rugby in Cardiff lost its name on Thursday as the ‘Millennium Stadium’ sign was taken down in readiness for its January rebranding as the Principality Stadium.
The steel letters spelling out the stadium’s old name in English and Welsh were removed from the eastern facade of the venue, which sits on the River Taff in the heart of the Welsh capital.
The 74 500-seater arena is to be renamed under a 10-year sponsorship deal with Welsh building society the Principality, which has worked with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) since 1969.
Saracens continued their dominant start to their Aviva Premiership campaign in the 1st match of the day in the Twickenham double header on Saturday (28 November).
They put in a fine performance, scoring 6 tries against Worcester Warriors in the game which was long serving No 8 Ernst Joubert’s final 1 for the club. Joubert got to lead Saracens out onto the field in his 161st game for the club.
Veteran Charlie Hodgson converted 1 of Chris Ashton’s tries to reach a wonderful milestone of 2 500 Premiership points. The try was created by the fancy footwork of South African hooker Schalk Brits who also scored a try of his own.
However, another South African, Worcester Warrior’s prop Nick Schonert will not have fond memories of the Twickenham outing as he was probably left scarred for life with a terrible gash to his face. It is not clear how this happened but it looks like he was on the receiving end of nasty rucking and on Saturday night Schonert tweeted a photo of the gaping wound and alluded to it being caused by 1 of the Saracens player’s boots.
Following the completion of discussions between EPCR, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, Premiership Rugby and PRO12 Rugby to reschedule the six European club matches which were postponed due to the Paris attacks, it has been agreed by all parties that the games will be played on the weekend of 8 – 10 January 2016 in advance of Round 5 of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
EPCR would like to thank the 3 leagues and all the clubs involved for their collaboration and understanding during the rescheduling process.
The decision to play the postponed games on the 2nd weekend in January means that the Round 13 fixtures in the TOP 14 will now be played later in the season, as will the following Round 12 fixtures in the Guinness PRO12: Ulster vs Newport Gwent Dragons, Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors, and Cardiff Blues vs Munster.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 9 match between Bath and Sale Sharks, which was due to be played on Friday 8 January 2016, will also take place later in the season on a date to be announced.
India and South Africa battled each other in the 3rd 5-Day Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India, and theTest was scheduled to run from 25 to 29 November 2015, but took only 3 Days to complete, with India running out comfortable winners.
India won the toss and elected to bat first.
India were on 48 / 0 at morning Drinks and at 85 / 2 at Lunch on Day 1, At afternoon Drinks they had stumbled to 121 / 5 and at Tea on Day 1 they were on 149 / 6.
India were eventually ALL OUT for 215, with a few overs spare in Day 1.
South Africa lost their 1st wicket with only 4 runs in the bag and then lost the 2nd wicket with only 9 runs on the board.
South Africa finished Day 1 at 11 / 2, after 9 overs, still trailing by 204 runs and with 8 wickets remaining in their 1st innings.
Day 2 was a total shambles for South Africa, with them ALL OUT for a measly 79 runs. India then proceeded to really put the boot in and at Tea on Day 2 they were on 108 / 5 after 31 overs, already leading by a mammoth 244 runs and still with 5 wickets remaining.
Late on Day 2, India were eventually ALL OUT in their 2nd innings for 173, after withstanding 46.3 overs.
South Africa started their 2nd innings and at Stumps on Day 2 were already reeling at 32 / 2 after 14 overs.
India wrapped up the South African 2nd innings, for a win by 124 runs, a real humiliating drubbing in all respects.
- 1st Innings: 215 ALL OUT (78.2 Overs)
- 2nd Innings: 173 ALL OUT (46.3 Overs)
- 1st Innings: 79 ALL OUT (31.1 Overs)
- 2nd Innings: 185 ALL OUT (89.5 Overs)
PUMA the official technical and apparel partner of the Vodacom Bulls has unveiled 3 new Super Rugby kits, inspired by the stars.
Nicknamed the Stellar Kit, this season sees the introduction of a signature Black kit – brought to life with an orange and red ombrè effect across the front of the jersey, a traditional Blue kit and a re-appearance of the popular Pink kit. The Vodacom Bulls will take to the field in the specially designed pink kit for one of their home games to show their support of CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) and those persevering in the fight against cancer.
PUMA South Africa’s Marketing Director, Brett Bellinger says there is something for everyone in the new kits which feature a Bull imprinted across the front with reflective material embellishments.
Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae has named 3 new caps in his 12-man squad to compete in the opening leg of the 2015 / 2016 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, in Dubai (Friday 4 & Saturday 5 December).
The squad, which will travel to South Africa for the 2nd leg of the Series following proceedings in Dubai, will include Edinburgh’s Magnus Bradbury; his capital club-mate Nick McLennan; and Scotland Under 20 wing Robbie Nairn.
MacRae said: “The extended Sevens off season, due to the Rugby World Cup, has afforded us time to develop aspects of our play and make gains in our strength and conditioning. The players application has been excellent throughout.
“The mindset has been to improve and build on last years performances, not rest on them. In addition to the core squad members, we have also targeted developing young, Scottish talent who have a lot of potential and a big future ahead in both the abbreviated game and in the 15-a-side set-up.
“The exposure they will have to the international stage, will hopefully provide the platform they need to continue their development and progression in the game, as it has with so many players previously.”
Springboks Francois Hougaard and Juan de Jongh were on Wednesday named in a strong Springbok Sevens (Blitzbokke) 12-man squad for the 1st 2 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments of the new season, in Dubai and Cape Town.
The season kicks off on 4 & 5 December with the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, which is followed a week later by the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens, on 12 & 13 December, at the Cape Town Stadium.
Hougaard has played in 35 Tests for the Springboks and recently joined the Sevens squad on a 1-year contract. He is set to make his World Series debut in Dubai, while DHL Western Province centre and skipper, Juan de Jongh (14 Tests), return to the Springbok Sevens fold for the 1st time since making his 1st and only appearance for the side in Wellington in 2008.
Werner Kok, the newly-crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province) and last season’s top-try scorer on the World Series circuit, Seabelo Senatla, will combine with regular stalwarts Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld and Rayno Benjamin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) to form a potent Blitzbokke backline attack.
The tough-tackling Benjamin is set to make his 30th World Series appearance while skipper Kyle Brown is on course to play in his landmark 50th tournament in his hometown of Cape Town.
The durable Brown, Philip Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Chris Dry will provide the necessary steel upfront and complete a strong selection who will defend their crown in Dubai. The Springbok Sevens are also the current tournament champions in South Africa.
John Mitchell appears the firm favourite to become the DHL Stormers head coach, after meeting with Western Province rugby bosses on Tuesday.
According to reports, Mitchell was in the Mother City to discuss details of what is believed to be a 4-year deal with the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) and the Stormers.
The former All Blacks, Western Force and Golden Lions coach earlier this year turned down a job offer from the DHL Stormers.
In June, Mitchell said: “An approach was made to me and there were negotiations, but unfortunately Gert Smal is only contracted as Western Province Director of Rugby for another 2 years, so there were no guarantees for me beyond that period.
“Had I been offered a 4-year deal, it would have been different. But I have travelled around the world a lot to pursue my career as a coach and didn’t want to uproot my family again for the promise of just 2 years. I didn’t want to commute either, as I believe you have to be fully immersed in a culture to be effective as a coach.”
Allister Coetzee looks set to be named the new Springbok coach in December.
It has reliably been learnt that Heyneke Meyer has lost the support of the majority of South Africa’s provincial unions and will be replaced at the General Council meeting of the South African Rugby Union on 11 December.
SARU has already postponed their General Council meeting by a week, to 11 December. It will be preceeded by a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
Current team manager Ian Schwartz, who is employed as a permanent staff member of SARU, has apparently flown to Japan to speak to former Springbok Assistant Coach and DHL Stormers Head Coach, Allister Coetzee, to take over the national team.
Coetzee has an exit clause in his contract with Kobelco Steelers – the club he coaches in the Japanese Top League.
Former Springbok wing James Small says Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann deserves to be considered for the Springbok head coaching role.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) is set for its next General Council meeting on 11 December and it is at this meeting that the fate of under-fire Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be decided.
The latest mumblings are that Meyer could be offered a 1-year contract extension, but the possibility of Meyer being axed also exists.
New SANZAR CEO Andy Marinos has backed South Africa’s Southern Kings and Japan’s Sunwolves to cause upsets in Super Rugby 2016.
The Southern Kings have at least played a season of Super Rugby before, while the Sunwolves are making their debut as the competition expands to accommodate a side each from Japan and Argentina as well as an extra South African side.
The EP Kings’ serious financial troubles over the past few months have raised questions over their fanchise participation in the competition, but the Sunwolves have not yet named a head coach for the season while they also do not have a full player roster.
But Marinos was a voice of calm on Wednesday morning, backing the Japanese franchise to get their ducks in a row before the tournament begins at the end of February.
All the Lions’ Currie Cup heroes except for Kwagga Smith, who is contracted for National Sevens duty, have been retained for Super Rugby while 9 other stalwarts have strengthened the squad.
Flanker Derick Minnie returns after a long injury lay-off and winger Ruan Combrink and centre Harold Vorster have also been added to the Super Rugby group after missing some Currie Cup action due to injury.
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies, centre Lionel Mapoe and hooker Akker van der Merwe, as well as Warrick Tecklenburg will return from overseas duty.
The new squad members are former Steval Pumas scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, Leopards No 9 Dillon Smit, Leopards lock Robert Kruger and Pumas prop Corné Fourie, who are all full-blooded Lions now.
Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk has signed a contract with the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) which will see him based permanently in Johannesburg. De Klerk, 24, was a shining light for the Emirates Lions during this year’s Super Rugby competition but because he was still contracted to the Steval Pumas, he had to return to Nelspruit for the Currie Cup season. However, the GLRU on Wednesday confirmed that the scrumhalf has signed a deal which means he will also be available for Currie Cup duty.
Steval Pumas fullback JW Bell is the only new face who hasn’t donned the Lions jersey yet.
It looks like the DHL Stormers should soon be in position to unveil their new coach to replace England bound Eddie Jones, with John Mitchell reportedly having met with Western Province officials in Cape Town late on Tuesday.
The former All Black coach is the only person who fits the requirements laid out last week by WP director of rugby Gert Smal last week – namely that the new coach preferably have an overseas slant to his coaching, have coached international rugby, have coached Super Rugby for at least seven seasons and have experience and knowledge of the South African rugby culture.
When asked about the meeting on Wednesday morning, all Mitchell could say was that he’d had fruitful discussions and that WP had been very professional in the way they had formulated their approach. However Mitchell was not at liberty to divulge further details and he has not signed on the dotted line, so negotiations appear to be ongoing.
In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Paris, the SA Rugby Legends Association have joined forces with the large Gauteng-based French community to honour those fallen and to help raise funds to assist the families who lost loved ones in the attacks.
On Saturday 28 November, the Legends will do just that by playing a special match against the French community, comprising Frenchmen who have played rugby at various levels.
The event will take place at the French International School – Lycee Francais Jules Verne – in Morningside from 12:00 SA Time, with the match starting at 14:00 SA Time.
Glasgow Warriors lock Leone Nakarawa was celebrating last night after picking up 2 awards at the Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Awards.
The Fijian international won the Pacific Island Players Association (PIPA) 2015 Fijian Players’ Player of the Year Award as well as the overall Digicel Pacific Island Players’ Player of the Year Award.
The 27-year-old was a stand-out performer for Fiji during the recent 2015 Rugby World Cup, rated by many onlookers and commentators as 1 of the best players of the tournament.
Named in tournament sponsors’ Société Générale’s dream team, Nakarawa scored a try in Fiji’s 47 / 15 victory over Uruguay, as well as appearing in all 10 of Fiji’s Test matches throughout the year.
Prior to the tournament, the 6ft 6″ lock had been named the Man Of The Match for Glasgow’s Pro12 2015 Grand Final in Belfast, as Warriors defeated Munster 31 / 13.
Nakarawa, who joined Glasgow from Saracens in August 2013, has made 46 appearances for Glasgow, scoring 10 points in the process.
Steroid abuse is “off-the-scale” in Welsh grassroots and semi-professional rugby, it has been claimed.
UK Anti-Doping figures reveal players from Wales make up 33% of all sportsmen and women serving drugs bans.
An ex-player, who took drugs, said he is surprised more have not been banned.
But WRU chief Martyn Phillips is not “overly concerned” because the number tested is proportionately higher than in other rugby unions and sports.
The player, who would not be named, said: “It’s totally off-the-scale. I think people are probably blind to it and if the truth came out I think there would be probably a lot more players who are banned from playing.”
The numbers caught are a small percentage of the thousands that play rugby, however 17 Welsh rugby union and league players, from grassroots to semi-pro, are currently banned, with the majority found to have traces of anabolic steroids in their systems.
10 Of those banned are from rugby union and form the majority of the 16 players banned from the sport across the UK.
UK Anti-Doping said the other 7 are among 14 players banned from rugby league.
The Reds have confirmed a 37-man senior squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season, with 8 fresh faces in total joining the ranks at Ballymore.
In addition to the high-profile signings of Kane Douglas, Ayumu Goromaru, Cadeyrn Neville and NRL winger Eto Nabuli – the Reds also spent the off-season promoting from within the ranks of Queensland Rugby’s pathways with flyhalf Sam Greene and outside backs Junior Laloifi and Izaia Perese earning contracts following their performances in Queensland Premier Rugby and the National Rugby Championship (NRC). They are joined by Australian Under 20 lock Lukhan Tui, who grew up in Sydney.
In all, 20 players were retained from the 2015 Super Rugby squad, 11 of which were off contract and re-signed with the Reds, including Liam Gill, Greg Holmes, James Slipper and Rob Simmons.
In addition to that, the Reds have further progressed the careers of 8 members of its Elite Development Squad, promoting them to the Reds Senior Squad for the 2016 season.
The Crusaders have announced that Todd Blackadder will step aside as head coach at the conclusion of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
“This will be my 8th season coaching the Crusaders, and every minute in the role has been a privilege, but moving on at the end of the 2016 season is the right thing for me and the right thing for the team,” Blackadder said.
“I have been so fortunate to be able to do my dream job for all of these years, but 8 years is a relatively long time in coaching and I feel that the time is right for someone else to take the reins and lead the team in their own direction in the future.
“One of the important things to come out of our 2015 season review is that distractions were a problem for us last season, so that is why I was keen to make my intentions clear before the season begins to avoid my future becoming a distraction for the team during the 2016 season,” Blackadder said.
Blackadder took over from Robbie Deans as head coach of the Crusaders in 2009. He has coached the team to 4 Super Rugby Semifinals and 2 Finals so far, and the final against the Waratahs in 2014 marked his 100th game in the Crusaders’ top job.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has established an operational implementation task group to oversee the running of the Southern Kings franchise in Vodacom Super Rugby, SARU announced on Monday.
The group will meet in Cape Town on Wednesday to put in place the structures and processes required to take control of the running of the Southern Kings.
“We will be leaning heavily on EPRU personnel in this implementation process in due course and they are providing us with certain documentation to determine the current landscape at the franchise,” said Jurie Roux, SARU CEO.
Eddie Jones will most likely not be coming back to Cape Town to assist the DHL Stormers in their pre-season preparation work, but he will be in Los Angelos this week.
Newly appointed England coach Jones will be addressing a World Rugby workshop on the success of the Japan team at the Rugby World Cup, who won 3 games despite failing to make the play-offs under his guidance.
Jones was unveiled as the new DHL Stormers coach earlier this month, before being made an offer he could not refuse by the English RFU which saw him leave Cape Town after just 2 weeks.
Stormers director of rugby, Gert Smal, claimed that Jones would return to Cape Town in December to assist with the planning for next season, explaining that the experienced coach felt bad for the way things had transpired with the Stormers.
The Vodacom Bulls are hard at work in preparation for the Vodacom Super Rugby season next year, with some new faces amongst the regular squad members.
New Vodacom Bulls player Lizo Gqoboka has settled in well amongst his team mates and is working hard with the rest of the Vodacom Super Rugby squad assembled in Pretoria. Winger Luther Obi will join the squad on Wednesday as the Bulls step up preparations at Loftus Versfeld for next year’s extended Vodacom Super Rugby competition, where the Vodacom Bulls are working hard to achieve success in 2016.
A number of injured players will join the fray as they complete rehabilitation, while those playing club rugby in Japan will return during the course of January 2016. The 5 returning from Japan are Grant Hattingh, Handré Pollard, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson and Jesse Kriel.
The injured players (with date of return in brackets) are Deon Stegmann, Jannes Kirsten, Nick de Jager and Travis Ismaiel (all December), Irne Herbst, Morné Mellett, Jaco Visagie, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Hanro Liebenberg, Piet van Zyl, Dries Swanepoel and Warrick Gelant (January) and Callie Visagie (February).
The Springbok Sevens team (Blitzbokke) scooped the Team of Year Award at the annual SA Sports Awards in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The SA Sports Awards is annually hosted by the Department of Sport and Recreation of South Africa, recognising SA sports individuals and teams for their outstanding sporting contributions on and off the field.
Springbok Sevens pipped the South African Test Cricket team and the SA Lightweight Women’s Rowing team to claim the prestigious award.
Sunday evening’s accolade capped a successful 2014 / 2015 season for the Blitzbokke team. They were the 1st team to qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and finished 2nd to Fiji on the final standings of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.
The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.
Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).