Argentina Rugby

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South AfricaJuan Smith will complete a remarkable return to international rugby when he runs out for the Springboks against Argentina in Salta on Saturday, in the Springboks’ second Test of The Rugby Championship (kick-off 21:40 SA Time).

Smith’s inclusion at flank is one of three changes to the starting 15, with a further four changes on the bench.

Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop) and Eben Etzebeth (lock) will start in the tight five, with Tendai Mtawarira and Bakkies Botha moving to the bench. Marcell Coetzee will join them amongst the replacements after coming in as a late substitute for the injured Willem Alberts last weekend.

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Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter

While the atrocious weather conditions played a significant role in a low-scoring affair at Loftus Versfeld, I believe Argentina underlined their notoriety as the most negative side in world rugby in every single area of play.

Not only were they cynical in conceding a plethora of penalties, the way they scrummed, contested the line-outs and mauls, and the number of off-the-ball incidents – in my view the most cowardice of acts – was infuriating to behold.

I would suggest that the underhand tactics employed by the visitors during the match were entirely pre-planned, with talk of embracing a new era and playing “more rugby” a well-rehearsed ruse.

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Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson

I’m not sure I can remember a game from South Africa in which it rained so heavily. We get a fair bit of that in New Zealand, but Pretoria? Is this global warming in action?

And Sydney turned on a bit of a shocker for the first Bledisloe Cup test, contributing to an error-ridden, penalty infested stalemate.

The Springboks will be happy to get out of a tricky game with a win, and they’re the only team to have one of those right now!

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South AfricaThe Springboks have landed in Argentina with no injury concerns, but Meyer will be forced to ponder the likes of fit-again Pat Lambie and Juan Smith.

Having come away from the wet and wild Loftus Versfeld with only an injury before the game to Willem Alberts, Meyer will have a full compliment to pick from when they play Argentina in Salta.

Meyer has now picked up Lions captain Warren Whiteley as cover for Alberts who is staying at home alongside Victor Matfield.

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Jannie du Plessis & Tendai Mtawarira

Jannie du Plessis & Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira

The Springboks missed an ideal opportunity to put the pressure on New Zealand and Australia after the latter two sides drew 12-all in the first game of this year’s Rugby Championship at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

To say the unseasonal Loftus monsoon made constructive rugby extremely difficult is an understatement, but one would like to believe that the Boks should have played the situation much better than Saturday’s 13-6 victory in their opener against Argentina in Pretoria.

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Agustín Creevy

Driven: Agustín Creevy

Argentina captain Agustín Creevy is targeting revenge against South Africa after his men’s narrow defeat in Pretoria.

A far cry from the 73-13 thrashing suffered by Argentina in 2013, Creevy’s team pushed the Springboks all the way in horrendous conditions at Loftus.

Enjoying the upper hand in the scrum, Creevy underlined the dissatisfaction with the result after coming so close to a first ever win over South Africa.

“We are not happy, because we couldn’t get a try [in the dying minutes] and because we lost,” said Creevy.

“We are a group that works hard and will make the sacrifices we need to the revenge in Salta.”

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The Rugby ChampionshipExtra-Time for Bledisloe Cup matches will not be introduced following the 12-12 draw between the Wallabies and All Blacks last Saturday.

SANZAR believes there is no need to change to laws as they stand, and given the rarity of tied results, they have no doubt there will be a clear winner of The Rugby Championship tournament within which the Bledisloe is contested.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is set to use a very different starting line-up when his team face off with Argentina in their Castle Lager Rugby Championship return fixture in Salta on Saturday.

While the Loftus Versfeld monsoon did little to answer questions ahead of the bigger clashes in this year’s Championship, it did at least give the Boks a solid start to the campaign and much food for thought ahead of the traditionally tough return fixture in Argentina.

Following a narrow win last year and a draw in 2012, the Boks know all too well how difficult the Argentinean experience will be for them, and are likely to bolster their squad with a number of senior players when they make their team selection on Wednesday.

The side arrived in Sao Paulo safely en route to Buenos Aires and will get there Monday evening South African time, meaning there will only be time for two training sessions before they transfer to Salta later in the week for the game.

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Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

New Springbok call-up Warren Whiteley could well find himself playing a bigger part in this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship game than he thought as injury concerns followed the Boks en route to Argentina.

Already gearing themselves up for a tough match in Salta this weekend, the Boks will need to take all the positives out of their performance in the monsoon rain at Loftus and turn it around to ensure a second victory over Los Pumas in a fixture they have traditionally struggled in.

Whiteley was a last minute call-up before the Loftus game when Willem Alberts went down to a hamstring injury, and has been called up as cover for loose forward and no8 – something hat Alberts was also the back-up to.

Whiteley’s prowess in the loose, his natural roving ability and his lineout options he provides the team will weigh heavily on coach Heyneke Meyer’s mind as he uses the short week to plan for the assault that is waiting for the Boks in Salta.

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Nick Mallett

Nick Mallett

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett believes the Boks didn’t adapt to the adverse weather conditions well enough in their Test against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.

Heavy rain an hail made for very tough playing conditions and the Boks struggled to a nervy 13-6 victory.

Mallett, speaking on SuperSport after the match, admitted the conditions made things tough, but felt the Boks could have done better in adapting their strategy.

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IRBThere has been no change in the Top 12 of the IRB world rankings following the opening round of The Rugby Championship.

Despite seeing their 17-Test win streak end in Sydney thanks to a 12-12 draw with the Wallabies, New Zealand continue to lead the way on 93.42 points.

The Wallabies, courageous in their efforts – and perhaps a little unlucky – remain in third position on 87.32.

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South AfricaContrary to the expected dry conditions on the Highveld, the Springboks had to adapt to hail and torrential rain in their narrow 13-6 Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.

“We really wanted to play exciting rugby. We picked an exciting backline as we thought we would have an open, running game on the Highveld,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said after the nail-biting match.

“I am very proud of the team. That game could have gone either way. A lot of the Argentineans play in Europe, where they are used to the conditions, and they forced us into a kicking battle.”

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SuperBruHello Rugby-Talkers,

We have created 2 brand new SuperBru Pools for the next two big tournaments envolving South African sides.

The ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division starts this Friday, 8 August 2014 and the pool we have created is known as Rugby-Talk Currie Cup 2014.

The Rugby Championship, between the Springboks, All Blacks, Wallabies and Pumas start on 16 August 2014 and the pool we have created is known as Rugby-Talk TRC 2014.

It is always nice and adds spice to rugby-enjoyment when one has a vested right in the results of games. The rivalry between Rugby-Talk.com subscribers makes for great fun and excitement between members of out friendly community, so hurry up and join in the fun!

The 2 Pools have both been upgraded to SuperPools at SuperBru itself, giving us extended features, such as the 2 new SuperBru Widgets on the Righthand Sidebar of Rugby-Talk.com, for easy access to these pools and an abbreviated Leaderboard.

Here are the complete details:

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South AfricaIf South Africa are to win this year’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship, then quick ball from the breakdown is non-negotiable.

The Boks have made it clear that they want to speed up their play during this year’s competition, not slow it down as they have in the past.

The biggest problem is that their catalyst, their general in exercising their play in this regard, talisman Fourie du Preez, is injured and unavailable, bringing a heavy burden on the three halfbacks in the squad to produce the goods.

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Daniel Hourcade

Argentina coach, Daniel Hourcade

Argentina have retained just two players from their last starting line-up when they named a near full-strength side for their opening match of the Rugby Championship against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Injured winger Juan Imhoff is the only major absentee from the squad named on Thursday by new coach Daniel Hourcade, who had rested most of his first-choice selections for the June Tests against Ireland and Scotland.

Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and winger Manuel Montero are the only players retained from the side that lost 21-19 to Scotland in Cordoba in their last Test on 20 June.

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Craig Roberts

Dr Craig Roberts

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been given a massive boost with the news that he should be able to pick as close to his strongest side for this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

Team doctor Craig Roberts cleared props Frans Malherbe, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and lock Eben Etzebeth for action and crucially also gave captain Jean de Villiers the all-clear to play this weekend after spending the last few months on the sidelines with injury.

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The Rugby ChampionshipOne of the great rugby tournaments starts again soon, as the third ever Rugby Championship gets underway next week. The competition has only been around officially since 2012 following the acceptance of Argentina into the Tri-Nations series, that featured three powerhouses of world rugby in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

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ArgentinaA fresh-looking Argentina will leave for South Africa on Wednesday for their 16 August Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Pretoria under new coach Daniel Hourcade and led by a new captain in hooker Agustin Creevy.

Hourcade, who took charge last November right after the last Rugby Championship in which the Pumas lost all six of their matches, has dispensed with all but a handful of the 2007 World Cup semi-finalists and many 2011 quarter-finalists.

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New ZealandStar flyhalf Dan Carter has been returned to the All Blacks squad for this season’s Rugby Championships against Australia, South Africa and Argentina at the expense of his Crusaders’ teammate Colin Slade.

Carter, the world’s leading points-scorer in tests with 1,440, missed New Zealand’s June test matches against England while on a seven-months “sabbatical” from rugby during which he toured the world, attending events such as this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

The 32-year-old returned to the Crusaders squad for its most-recent matches in Super Rugby, including Saturday’s semifinal against the Sharks, but has been playing at inside center to allow Slade to continue at flyhalf.

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Tana Umaga

Tana Umaga

Former All Black and rugby legend Tana Umaga is open to coaching the Singapore Super Rugby franchise if they win the bid to be one of the expansion teams in 2016.

The Counties Manukau coach has been involved with the Asian country for a few years now, he will coach the Asia Pacific Dragons in there in a game against the Maori All Blacks later this year.

Singapore is currently in a battle with Japan to be one of the teams included in Super Rugby when it increases to an 18-team competition in 2016.

Umaga would be a worthy candidate with his ability to lure players through his name and presence, as such he is already being touted as a front-runner to coach the team.

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Jurie Roux

Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU

The South African Rugby Union find themselves at a crossroads in the Super Rugby saga. It is now time that they show some backbone!

In various media statements about the expansion of Super Rugby to Asia, a few important facts were lost in the hype.

Before we get too excited about the new ‘world’ we are going to enter into (the expansion to Asia), we should rather look at the facts.

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French Rugby

French rugby is just one bad November away from falling out of the top 10 rankings

After years of selling itself as a global game when it never really was, rugby is poised to take grip in territories it has always dreamed of conquering writes Gregor Paul in the Herold on Sunday.

The All Blacks are scheduled to play in Chicago this year, Samoa in 2015 and probably Singapore in 2016. Super Rugby is also heading to Argentina and probably Singapore.

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Super Rugby trophy

Super Rugby trophy

Tenders from Japan and Singapore will vie for a licence to enter the Super Rugby competition in 2016, governing body SANZAR has confirmed.

A decision is slated to be reached in September / October.

“We are now able to confirm that two parties from Asia will compete for the opportunity to join an expanded Super Rugby competition in 2016,” SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said.

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Singapore Sports Hub - National Stadium

Singapore Sports Hub – National Stadium

Singapore has emerged as the leading candidate to host the 18th Super Rugby team when the tournament expands in 2016.

SANZAR confirmed last week that the two leading locations for the 18th team that will play in the South African group are Singapore and Japan.

According to reports South Africa have flexed their muscle and pushed Singapore into the lead as the location is far more accesible than Japan.

South African teams will have to travel to Singapore or Japan to play some of their matches and currently there are no direct flights from South Africa to Japan.

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Recent Comments

  • ufo 20 Aug 2014, 23:27 SAST - and little ol' ignorant me here always believed new zealanders were such welcoming, hospitable, dignified and friendly people...who respected and...
  • grootblousmile 20 Aug 2014, 21:12 SAST - 9 @ Pietman: Hey, I'm not a maplotter! Come to think of it, a lot of the yards here in...
  • MacroBok 20 Aug 2014, 20:20 SAST - Congrats Juan, hope Guthro can follow up the solid games he had in June.
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:13 SAST - hahaha - Where is pops now? LMFAO. Kaplan: Peyper was right 2014-08-20 16:21 Cape Town - Retired South African referee...
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:05 SAST - @ Jeraldjay: I don't think HM in his wildest dreams expected Juan to make it back. At this level. HM's...
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:00 SAST - Ryan Crotty is a skilfull player and won't let the side down. I think he will complement Smith at 13...

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