Argentina Rugby

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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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Dawie Theron

Dawie Theron

The Northern Hemisphere has had a distinct advantage going into the annual Junior World Championship, but that may soon evaporate.

South African Under 20 coach, Dawie Theron, said discussions are underway to organise a four-nations Rugby Championship style tournament for juniors.

The reason is that when the Six Nations teams – England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy – get into the play-offs of the IRB JWC they have the experience of a tough competition to fall back on.

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The Rugby ChampionshipWhistleThe International Rugby Board has named the Match Officials for SANZAR’s The Rugby Championship in August and September. A new face amongst them is John Lacey of Ireland.

Lacey has become increasingly prominent this year and last Friday refereed the Test in Cordoba between Argentina and Scotland.

He is an e at -player – a wing or fullback for Munster and Ireland A. His debut for Munster was in 1995 against Transvaal. He played till 2007 when he retired and then became a referee. In 2008 he was refereeing club rugby in the Amlin Cup and the Magners League. In 2009 the IRB chose him as an international assistant referee. In 2010 he replaced injured Greg Gardner at the Junior World Championship where he refereed a semifinal. The next year he was on the international panel as a referee. Now he is going to Loftus Versfeld to referee a Test between the Springboks and the Pumas.

The last Championship matches are on 4 October 2014, the Bledisloe Cup match a fortnight later.

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ScotlandArgentinaGrant Gilchrist will captain an inexperienced Scotland side against Argentina in Cordoba on Friday.

The 23-year-old Edinburgh lock will be playing in his seventh international, having scored a try in last Saturday’s 19-17 win over Canada.

Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Peter Horne also keep their places as 13 new faces joined the tour party this week.

Scrum-half Grayson Hart, lock Jonny Gray and back-row forward Kieran Low all make their first starts.

With scrum-half Greig Laidlaw among those returning home after victories against USA and Canada, Gilchrist becomes Scotland’s youngest captain since Gregor Townsend led the team against Australia 18 years ago.

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IRBThere was little change in the International Rugby Board’s rankings after the weekend’s matches, according to the IRB website.

Full IRB World Rankings

New Zealand, who beat England 28-27 in Dunedin to secure the three-match series, remain at the top with 93.81 ratings points.

The Springboks, who beat Wales 38-16 in Durban, stay in 2nd position on 89.34, while Australia – who were 6-0 victors over France in Melbourne – stay in 3rd position (86.92) ahead of England (85.68).

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Brett Gosper

Brett Gosper

IRBIRB chief executive Brett Gosper has revealed that while an IRB committee is working on it a global season is unlikely to happen before 2019.

Super Rugby and Rugby Championship organisers SANZAR have requested that the IRB move the current June Test window to July in order to allow their Super Rugby tournament to run without a break for internationals.

July does not currenly fit in with the European season as the climax of the Northern Hemisphere tournaments take place in May and the June Internationals follow on.

Moving the mid-year internationals to July would therefore not work for Northern Hemisphere teams as the players would not get sufficient rest and the season would have a “dead” month in June.

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TVWe’ve already seen the matches of Round 2 of the 2014 Junior World Championships on TV on Friday 6 June, but Saturdat 7 June sees the proper start of the June Internationals, with 4 of those international Tests broadcast live on TV in South Africa.

These Fixtures will of course also be handled as Live Game Articles right here on your favourite rugby website, Rugby-Talk.

The action is kicked off at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 08:40 BST, 07:35 GMT) between the All Blacks vs England, followed by the Wallabies vs France at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 France Time & GMT).

The Springboks vs the World XV side follows at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT).

At 20:40 SA Time (15:40 ARG Time, 19:40 BST, 18:40 GMT) we see Argentina vs Ireland.

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Manuel Carizza

Manuel Carizza

Argentinian lock Manuel Carizza looks set to make a return to Super Rugby after an injury-enforced lay-off from the game.

The towering second-row forward tore wrist ligaments early in the season when playing in the Stormers’ second game of the 2014 season.

He looked in fine nick at Monday’s training session at City Park, and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said he’ll be considered for the run-on XV for Saturday’s derby against the table-topping Sharks in Durban.

Wing Kobus van Wyk, one of the four try-scorers against the Cheetahs last weekend, has another wrist injury and he will possibly be sidelined for three weeks.

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Greg PetersSuper RugbyThe newest addition to Vodacom Super Rugby in 2016 will not be a team of “mercenaries” put together with a big budget.

That’s the word of Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters, who said the 18th team that will go out to tender to join the Southern Hemisphere competition will need to be sustainable, and have the support of the market it bases itself in.

So far Sanzar has received interest from Spain, Singapore, Japan and the USA, but it is doubtful if any of these countries could put together a team that could be competitive over 17 weeks of the competition in 2016.

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EnglandIrelandScotlandWalesThe reluctance of the Home Unions to come to the party is what is preventing a more acceptable global season to be implemented.

It has long been suggested that the selfish nature of Home Union officials – those from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland – has been at the heart of the troubled and scattered international and domestic calendars.

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Dawie TheronSouth Africa Under-20 completed a 3-0 series win over Argentina after clinching a 41-36 victory in their final encounter on Saturday afternoon at City Park.

The Junior Springboks led 24-5 at halftime. The three matches were part of the two sides’ preparations for the 2014 Junior World Championship, to be staged during June in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Dawie TheronJunior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has again reshuffled his starting line-up for the third and final match against Argentina Under-20 on Saturday at City Park in Crawford, Cape Town.

The South Africa Under-20’s have already clinched the three-match series between the two countries after posting comprehensive 78-31 and 60-14 victories respectively over the visitors.

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South AfricaDawie TheronThe Junior Springboks continued their preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 with a hardworking 60-14 victory over Argentina Under-20 on Tuesday afternoon at Stellenbosch.

Last week, the South Africa Under-20 side won the first of three encounter 78-31 in Saldanha Bay. The third and final clash between the two sides takes place on Saturday at 16h00 at the City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town.

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Super RugbyFollowing last week’s announcement of the new Super Rugby format set to commence in 2016, SANZAR has started its global search for an 18th team.

Then expression of interest (EOI) pack was forwarded to known interested parties on Monday in what signifies the beginning of an exciting chapter that will find the new franchise to join the Kings and a team based in Argentina in the 2016 competition.

The new format is an evolution of the conference structure that was introduced in 2011, allowing for adaptation and expansion to deliver Super Rugby to new markets, fans and audiences as the world’s premier provincial competition.

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Super RugbyWith the announcement of the re-shaping of the Super Rugby, the competition looks likely to expand outside the Southern Hemisphere and could potentially lay the groundwork for a global competition.

The new format already includes a team from Argentina, but there is also talk of including a team from Asia, Europe or even North America in a bid to expand the competition globally.

The reaction from the South African camp is seemingly positive with South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux saying the evolution of the competition ‘ticks all the boxes.’

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Super RugbySuper Rugby is poised to move forward with a four-conference model in 2016 – with two based in South Africa.

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has revealed the announcement of an expanded and restructured model to take to broadcasters is only a fortnight away.

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