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Bismarck Du Plessis will start at hooker against the All Blacks

Bismarck Du Plessis will start at hooker against the All Blacks

Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen will be given as much time as possible to recover from injury while Bismarck du Plessis will start Saturday’s final round Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

This match will be Springbok captain Jean de Villiers’ 50th appearance in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, the most by any South African.

Vermeulen is recovering from a rib cartilage injury and if he doesn’t recover in time to face New Zealand, Schalk Burger will start in the No 8 jersey with Warren Whiteley coming onto the bench.

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imageTwo injury-enforced changes in the tight-five, rewards for strong form, and a new-look bench are the features of the All Blacks team to take on the Springboks at Ellis Park on Sunday morning (NZT).

Lock Brodie Retallick (concussion) and prop Wyatt Crockett (facial cuts) have been officially ruled out with Jeremy Thrush, in his second start against the Boks, and Joe Moody, in his maiden test start, respectively promoted.

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AXED AGAIN: Kurtley Beale has added to his troubled record of disciplinary problems with the Wallabies.

AXED AGAIN: Kurtley Beale has added to his troubled record of disciplinary problems with the Wallabies.

Kurtley Beale has been axed from the Wallabies line up less than a day after it emerged he was involved in a heated in-flight argument with a staff member.

Beale will miss his first test this year after being overlooked for utility Rob Horne and halfback Nic White, who were the only two backs named on the reserves bench for Australia’s clash with Argentina on Saturday.

Horne was one of the few Wallabies bench players who made an impact in the side’s bitter 28-10 loss to the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday, while Beale struggled to wrest back the game’s momentum as it swung South Africa’s way mid-way through the second half.

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Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter

On the evidence of the Springboks’ four-try bonus point win over the Wallabies at Newlands, the intent of Heyneke Meyer’s men to keep the ball in hand was clear for all and sundry to see.

However, the final result should not be the only brush used to colour our canvas. For 69 minutes, the fact of the matter is that the Springboks employed a multi-phase approach yet enjoyed limited success and, prior to the arrival of the impact players, were potentially on course to lose the match.

While Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha offered an immense physical presence in the forward pack, I believe that Patrick Lambie’s game-management ability at flyhalf ultimately made all the difference.

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BtAcAberdeenScottish Rugby today unveiled the first of at least four BT Sport Academies that will be opened around the country to nurture the best young Scottish talent to become the stars of tomorrow.

Where Caledonia leads today, the Borders, East and West will follow with all being operational by the 2015-16 season.

“The Academies are the cornerstone of our determination to create a new era for Scottish Rugby,” declared chief executive Mark Dodson at the opening of the Caledonia Academy at the University of Aberdeen’s Hillhead campus.

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Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale

Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale is facing an ARU integrity unit investigation after an alleged incident on a team flight in South America.

The ARU on Wednesday night said in a statement the matter had been referred to team management and Beale is facing disciplinary action.

The investigation centres around an alleged incident on the Wallabies’ flight from South Africa to Brazil on Sunday.

Beale isn’t being sent home but it’s not immediately known if the 47 Test star will be available for selection for the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

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stuartlancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster will be England Head Coach until 2020 after the Rugby Football Union decided to extend his contract.

Appointed permanent head coach in March 2012, his tenure in charge of the England team is now set to include the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Lancaster’s coaching team – Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree, Backs Coach Andy Farrell and Attacking Skills Coach Mike Catt – have also been contracted to the end of the 2019-20 season.

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Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson

It’s the game that many of us have been waiting for, perhaps ever since Nigel Owens blew the final whistle at Ellis Park last year to end one of the greatest test matches ever played.

The fact that the Rugby Championship is no longer up for decision matters not one bit. There may be no trophy at stake, but there’s plenty to be gained, and a lot to lose for both teams when they run onto the hallowed turf again on Saturday.

There has certainly been a sense of something really building in Heyneke Meyers Springboks.

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Argentina LogoArgentina have made five changes to their starting line up as they make a last ditch bid to end their three-year Rugby Championship drought.
Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade will take a side to Mendoza missing the 120 Test caps’ worth of experience of veteran back rowers Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Jean Manuel Leguizamon they boasted on the Gold Coast three weeks ago.

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RESPECTFUL RIVALRY: Today's All Blacks flank motor neuron disease suffering Springboks great Joost van der Westhuizen in Johannesburg.

RESPECTFUL RIVALRY: Today’s All Blacks flank motor neuron disease suffering Springboks great Joost van der Westhuizen in Johannesburg.

On a sun-drenched afternoon at Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University, Joost van der Westhuizen’s smile shone brightest.

Confined to a wheelchair, but his fighting spirit there for all to see, the former Springboks captain savoured the chance to meet the All Blacks on Tuesday (NZT Wednesday).

Preparations for this weekend’s test against the Springboks were briefly put aside as the All Blacks took time out from training to pay their respects to one of the world’s greatest halfbacks.

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 Reunited?: Jake White and Eddie Jones


Reunited?: Jake White and Eddie Jones

Jake White could make a quick return to rugby coaching with Japan coach Eddie Jones keen to secure his services with the Brave Blossoms.

It was announced yesterday that White would be parting ways with the Sharks after a single season in Durban.

White and Jones worked together with South Africa during the successful 2007 World Cup campaign when the Australian helped the squad in a consulting role.

And the roles could be reversed this time, with Jones in charge of Japan, and eager to bring in White although he admits the South African will be in high demand.

“He is going to do some consultancy, I just don’t know where,” Jones told Kyodo News.

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Stayig in Durban: Pat Lambie

Stayig in Durban: Pat Lambie

Sharks utility back Pat Lambie has extended his stay with the Durban-based outfit for at least the next three years.

Lambie is amongst a host of young players who have extended their contracts beyond next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Youngsters like Thomas du Toit, Andre Esterhuizen, Cameron Wright, S’bura Sithole and Stephan Lewies have also signed contracts to remain in Durban for the next three years.

Du Toit and Esterhuizen were involved in the Baby Boks’ IRB Junior World Championship campaign where they ended as losing finalists – going down 21-20 to England – with du Toit already boasting Super Rugby experience, just a few months after finishing his school career.

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Jake White

Jake White

The sudden departure of Jake White as Sharks director of rugby has led to informed sources confirming there was growing discord between White and his back-room staff as well as with the players.

While White may not technically have been “fired” by the board of the Sharks, it is believed he was no longer heading a harmonious environment.

It is understood that Gary Gold, the former Springbok assistant coach under Peter de Villiers, could be the front runner to replace White as the Super Rugby coach, while former All Blacks coach John Mitchell could also be in the running.

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Players analyzing data after a match.

Players analyzing data after a match.

I sat with an international coach recently on the morning of a big test match and we talked a bit of rugby.

He mentioned that their analysis had identified a flaw in the opposition’s play that they were hoping to exploit later that evening.

It got me thinking about the massive influence match analysis has in the modern game, and like all technology, how far it has come in a relatively short space of time.

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The khaki brigade

The khaki brigade

WP Rugby has launched an investigation into alleged racist behaviour that occurred during last Saturday’s Rugby Championship match at Newlands.

According to Cape Talk radio, the accusations have been levelled at a group of men dressed in khaki outfits, who used the ‘k-word’ every time a South African player of colour made an error on the field of play.

When confronted by another member of the crowd, they got aggressive and verbally abused him for the remainder of the match. Continue reading

Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

This weekends rugby was dominated by the championship.

Credit again to the best team in the world, The All Blacks for completing yet another win and dominating the important parts of each match to win the trophy.

The were put under some pressure by the Argentinian scrum early on but still found a pathway to success and their superior conditioning allowed them to come right back at the dominant pack in the second half.

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Ma'a Nonu

Ma’a Nonu

All Blacks star Ma’a Nonu has been linked to French club Toulon as the European champions ramp up recruitment ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Respected French newspaper Midi Olympique claims Toulon are close to finalising a two-year deal with the veteran New Zealand midfielder.

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RUGBY RETURN: Sonny Bill Williams will play NPC rugby for Counties Manukau next week, 12 days after his Roosters side was knocked out of the NRL finals series.

RUGBY RETURN: Sonny Bill Williams will play NPC rugby for Counties Manukau next week, 12 days after his Roosters side was knocked out of the NRL finals series.

Sonny Bill Williams has put an end to all the speculation and will make his return to rugby for Counties Manukau next Wednesday.

The Counties Manukau Rugby Union have confirmed Williams will make his much anticipated Steelers’ debut – and return to rugby after a two-year stint for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL – against Auckland in a national provincial championship match in Pukekohe next Wednesday night.

The union will officially announce today that the 29-year-old will play in the Steelers’ final two matches of the season – against Auckland and Tasman – despite his contract with the NPC side only starting next year.

But unless injuries strike, Williams won’t make his comeback for the All Blacks until the end of year tour to the United States and Europe.

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The Rugby ChampionshipNow that the excitement of the crazy last 10 minutes at Newlands has subsided, maybe it’s time for a reality check for the Springboks and their supporters – regardless of what happens at Ellis Park this coming week, the All Blacks remain top of the southern hemisphere pile and there is still a lot of work to be done before their position will be properly challenged.

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Scott Fardy  Michael Hooper

Scott Fardy conforts Michael Hooper following the loss

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver recently called for a rotation of Rugby Championship games because he believed playing the All Blacks twice at the start of the tournament had killed off local interest.

After the Wallabies deflated in the final ten minutes in Cape Town, Pulver’s latest brainwave could be pleading to SANZAR that Australia does not play any important Rugby Championship matches away from home, and that the Springboks are barred from using their reserves bench.

These are kooky times, and as the frazzled ARU brain’s trust has made it quite clear, the Wallabies need every bit of help they can get.

Still it is all too late to stop the Mandela Plate, like the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship silverware from remaining for another year thousands of kilometres away from the ARU’s bare trophy cabinet.

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Israel Dagg

FULL GALLOP: All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg finds clear air during their 34-13 win over Argentina to clinch the Rugby Championship for 2014.

Launching pads don’t get much better. With the pressure now off, the All Blacks board a flight to Johannesburg today with strut, swagger and no inhibitions.

Yesterday’s four-try 34-13 win over the Pumas clinched a third successive Rugby Championship title but, more importantly, saw the All Blacks regain their attacking groove.

After two weeks battling New Zealand rain they threw off the shackles in La Plata and now have the freedom to craft a gameplan without worrying about any tournament permutations.

To further enhance their 22-test unbeaten run they will be intent on harnessing that flamboyance for a blockbuster clash of styles rematch with the Springboks.

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Kilimanjaro

Tanzanian porters and guides take in the phenomenal view during the record-setting cricket trek up Kilimanjaro.

A group of international cricketers on Friday set a new record for the highest-ever match with a lung busting effort at the top of Kilimanjaro.

The teams, including English bowling legend Ashley Giles and South African icon Makhaya Ntini, the country’s first black Test player, trekked to the roof of Africa before dawn and played ten overs each of a Twenty20 game before cloud stopped play.

For more photos, see below

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Rugby World Cup 2015Russia will take the narrowest of leads with them to Montevideo in two weeks’ time after they beat Uruguay 22-21 in Saturday’s first leg of the final Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier in Krasnoyarsk. However, while no team likes to lose a game of rugby, Uruguay’s Pablo Lemoine will probably be the more satisfied of the two coaches as his side is still very much in contention at what is effectively half-time. Of course, the fact that the second half will most likely be played on a warm day in front 12,000 home fans will give him cause for optimism after his team held their own in the near-freezing conditions and vociferous Siberian crowd of the first 80 minutes.

But for Russia’s indiscipline and the cultured right boot of fly-half Felipe Berchesi, who slotted seven penalties, the gap would have been more. Two yellow cards, a high penalty count and the spurning of several try-scoring opportunities did nothing for the mood of Russia coach Raphael Saint-Andre but he will know that his team was the more creative on the day and, if they can somehow learn to compete at set pieces and improve their defence at mauls, they too can make the long journey to South America with some confidence.

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ABSA Currie CupIt was a weekend of bonus-point victories in the ABSA Currie Cup as all the winning sides, except for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, bagged 5 Log points from their matches to maintain comfortable log positions with an eye on the playoff stages.

In Friday’s matches DHL Western Province defeated the Steval Pumas 37-23 in Nelspruit and the Vodacom Blue Bulls beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 31-22 in Bloemfontein. On Saturday the Cell C Sharks thumped the EP Kings 53-24 in Durban and the Xerox Golden Lions registered a convincing 46-8 victory against GWK Griquas in Kimberley.

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Heyneke Meyer, SARU President Origen Hoskins, Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers with Salie Fredericks

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, SARU President Origen Hoskins, Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers hand over a Springbok jersey to Salie Fredericks on Friday.

Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), accompanied by a Springbok delegation on Friday visited the recuperating former “Coloured Springboks” captain Salie Fredericks at his house in Gordon’s Bay.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, team manager Ian Schwartz, captain Jean de Villiers and vice-captain Victor Matfield accompanied Mr Hoskins, as they wished Mr Fredericks well with his recovery from surgery.

Fredericks, who was labelled as the “Black Frik du Preez” by some newspapers in his playing days, played more than 200 provincial matches for Western Province in competitions of the former South African Coloured Rugby Football Board, and later the non-racial and anti-apartheid South African Rugby Union.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

The formidable presence of No 8 Duane Vermeulen could be missing from the Springbok arsenal when they play their final Rugby Championship match of the year against the All Blacks at Ellis Park next Saturday.

Vermeulen left the field late in the second half with a rib injury, and with Schalk Burger having already come onto the field for Teboho Mohoje, that meant that a lock, Victor Matfield, had to take up position on the side of the scrum.

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SpringboksSPRINGBOKS

Meyer Praises fit, gutsy Boks

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Saturday applauded the fitness and never-say-die attitude of his team in defeating Australia 28-10 in the Rugby Championship at DHL Newlands.

The Springboks scored three tries in the last ten minutes to seal a bonus point victory.

“We played great rugby at times in the first half, but their defence was great. We became a bit frustrated because of that, but in the second half the fitness levels and impact from the bench was massive for us; I told our conditioning coach Basil Carzis as much afterwards,” Meyer said.

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Richie McCaw

FIRE STILL THERE: During the All Blacks’ last four tests, the captain Richie McCaw proved his leadership qualities stand above all others.

Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University. Two years ago Richie McCaw stood here in the middle of a huddle and gave his team both barrels.

They were hot, jet lagged, exhausted. Training was flat. With a few expletives thrown in, McCaw told them he didn’t care. He motioned to his head; now was the time to be mentally tough.

In this moment McCaw encapsulated his importance. His men, for the record, responded the following day with one of their best performances on South African soil, thumping the Springboks 32-16.

That McCaw is still producing those same speeches when necessary, still passing on the same mental edge, still walking them through the finer details the day before a test, is reassuring.

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Jean de Villiers

Pa Jean de Villiers gister op Nuweland saam met sy spruite Layli (links) en Lana regs).

Van die land se rugbykenners was gister nét so verstom deur die Springbokke se fantastiese eindpoging teen die Wallabies op Nuweland, as die meeste rugbykykers.

 

De Wet Barry:

“Daar was ’n lang tyd dat ons glad nie die bal gehad het nie, waarin ek regtig baie bekommerd was,” het De Wet Barry, ’n voormalige Springbok-senter, gesê.

“Dit was wonderlik dat ons verdediging gehou het en toe ons eers weer die bal kry, het die wedstryd geswaai.”

Volgens Barry was die Bok-agsteman Duan Vermeulen uitstekend tot hy beseer is.

“Hy het uitgetroon op die verdediging en by die afbreekpunte.”

Volgens Barry het Heyneke Meyer boonop dié keer sy plaasvervangers reg aangewend.

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ArgentinaNew ZealandLos Pumas (6) 13 / 34 (20) All Blacks (Final Score)

The Argentinian Pumas and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in The Rugby Championship at

Estadio Único Ciudad de La Plata, Buenos Aires at 00:10 Sunday SA Time (19:10 Saturday ARG Time, 22:10 GMT, 10:10 Sunday NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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South AfricaAustraliaSpringboks (5) 28 / 10 (10) Wallabies (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Australian Wallabies did battle in The Rugby Championship at

Newlands Stadium, Cape Town at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT, 01:00 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Matthew Burke

Matthew Burke

If there was a World Cup without the All Blacks, we would have a great chance of lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen.

I say this because perhaps we may have been a little harsh in our criticism of the Wallabies in relation to our neighbours across the ditch.

The Wallabies are in a predicament, along with South Africa and Argentina. The three of us contest a competition against a side who right now are clearly the best rugby-playing nation.

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AustraliaThe Wallabies have their ammunition for a drought-busting Newlands ambush thanks to derogatory newspaper comments that have made the Springboks wince.

Coach Ewen McKenzie is certain to plaster the back-page of the Cape Times over the Australian dressing room wall on Saturday night after their chief rugby writer claimed the Wallabies didn’t deserve to be on the same field as South Africa.

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Free State CheetahsVodacom Blue BullsFS Cheetahs (9) 22 / 31 (11) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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  • Scrumdown 2 Oct 2014, 12:14 SAST - Geez. England extend their coaches contract and the whole thread becomes a discussion about midgets discussion and some lad that...
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