The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have offered Shimlas coach Franco Smith the job as head coach of their Currie Cup side.
Ryno Opperman, chairperson of the Free State Cheetahs Company’s board, confirmed the news.
The 42-year-old Smith was earlier contracted as backline coach of the Free State Cheetahs’ Currie Cup team, but after leading Shimlas to their maiden Varsity Cup title, the Cheetahs want to promote him to head coach.
“A written offer is being drawn up for Franco to serve as Currie Cup head coach from the 2015 competition,” said Opperman.
Western Province back Pat Howard has reportedly signed a deal with English Premiership club Northampton Saints.
While the news is yet to be officially announced, it is reported that Howard will leave the Cape union later this year.
The 23-year-old Howard, who can play wing and centre, is contracted with WP until 31 October.
This means he will in all likelihood be asked to stay until the end of this year’s Currie Cup.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Thursday confirmed the extensions of contracts with Springbok prop Dean Greyling, Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Tian Schoeman and Junior Springbok prop Dayan van der Westhuizen.
All 3 have signed contracts that will keep them Loftus-based till 2017, Xander Janse van Rensburg, High Performance Manager of the BBC confirmed.
The trio are all products of the Blue Bulls youth structures and hails from local Pretoria schools.
Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of Michael Rhodes from the Stormers.
Michael Rhodes, the Stormers and Western Province forward, will join Saracens at the start of next season, adding South African power to the wolf pack.
Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, said: “We have some time ago identified Michael as a player who could make significant contribution to the squad, playing in the second row or the back row, carrying the ball and we are confident we can provide an environment where he will realise his full potential. We’re delighted he will be joining us next season.”
Japanese club Toyota Verblitz is believed to be after the services Cheetahs forwards coach Os du Randt.
According to reports, there’s already been informal talks between the club and Du Randt but no contract has been discussed.
New Zealander Filo Tiatia coached Toyota Verblitz this past season, while Springbok and Sharks flank Jean Deysel also plays for them.
Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen was the star of the annual South African Rugby Union Player of the Year Awards when he walked off with 3 awards, including the main award of the season.
Vermeulen was named SARU Rugby Player of the Year after an extensive voting process, which included the country’s rugby media and the public through SARU’s online and social media platforms.
The 28-year-old Vermeulen, who will captain the DHL Stormers this year, also won the coveted SARPA Players’ Player of the Year and Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year Awards for 2014.
“Duane has been outstanding in 2014 and these awards are just reward for the excellent form he showed last year, as one of the Springboks’ key performers and for the DHL Stormers,” said SARU President, Mr Oregan Hoskins.
Hot on Vermeulen’s heels, with two awards, was young Springbok flyhalf and Junior Springbok captain Handré Pollard.
The 2015 edition of the South African Rugby Annul goes on sale nationwide today after being launched at Sunday’s South African Rugby Union Awards in Johannesburg.
In keeping with tradition, the 44th edition of the ‘bible’ of the game once again features South Africa’s player of the year on the cover, with the newly-crowned Duane Vermeulen following in the footsteps of the likes of Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana and Schalk Burger in recent years.
“Even in this digital age, it’s vitally important to retain a physical document of record for future generations,” said SARU CEO, Jurie Roux. “SARU strives to be a world leader in the game both on and off the field and when it comes to the Annual, we are immensely proud of the quality of the book we continue to produce year in and year out.
“We like to believe that we have an outstanding yearbook but that hasn’t stopped us from raising the bar even further with this new-look, Rugby World Cup-themed edition. We’ve made it a more user-friendly size, refreshed the layout and added a depth to the statistical records that surpasses anything we’ve done before,” Roux added.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Friday confirmed that efforts to keep Vodacom Bulls locks Jacques du Plessis and Flip van der Merwe in Pretoria have been unsuccessful, with both players taking up contracts in France at the end of the domestic 2015 season.
Du Plessis has signed a two year deal with Montpellier and Van der Merwe will join Clermont, also after the completion of the ABSA Currie Cup competition.
The BBC’s High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg said talks with both players have been ongoing for some time.
MJ Mentz has been handed the reigns for the Pumas in their upcoming Vodacom Cup campaign and the coach is looking to keep a similar system going.
The Pumas enjoyed a successful year in 2014 as they toppled some of the bigger teams in the Currie Cup through their gritty determination.
“The secret to our success this year will certainly lie in our communication skills and a shared goal,” Mentz said.
The new coach also said the last two years coaching under the mentorship of coach Jimmy Stonehouse was a great stepping-stone in his coaching career.
The way Stonehouse maintained discipline in the squad was a huge encouragement and now Mentz would like to add his way to the existing system.
After seven years at the helm of the Pumas, Jimmy Stonehouse will be leaving Nelspruit to ply his trade in Japan with the Toshiba Brave Lupus.
Stonehouse had been instrumental in the team being promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division in 2010 and again in 2014 while their promotion, and unbeaten run in the 2013 First Division competition, earned Stonehouse the SA Rugby Union’s Coach of the Year award.
He had been approached on three previous occasions by Japanese clubs, which he turned down, the latest being in February 2014 but he feels that it is the right time to move on and take on a new challenge.
A Special General Meeting of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) was held at DHL Newlands on Wednesday 17 December 2014 to give feedback and to discuss the investigation of the feasibility and desirability to relocate to the Cape Town Stadium.
The WPRFU are the owners of the DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium – in turn, the clubs are the stakeholders and owners of the Union – and a decision to remain at DHL Newlands was carried by the clubs on Wednesday 17 December 2014, unanimously and without abstention.
The decision to NOT further consider relocating to the Cape Town Stadium was based on a number of factors, the main considerations being the following:
Former BlitzBokke and Kenya Sevens coach Paul Treu’s role at the Stormers and Western Province may be surprising given his Sevens background, but the departure of Jacques Nienaber has left a hole to be filled.
Treu, who had been coaching the Kenyan Sevens until the recent Port Elizabeth tournament, completed a rapid return to the world of 15-man-rugby when he joined Western Province on Monday.
The long-serving BlitzBokke coach signed up with the Cape side along with Rito Hlungwani and Hanyani Shimange as three big appointments by Director of Rugby Gert Smal ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Western Province also announced the loss of defensive coach Nienaber who joined the High Performance Department at SARU. This is where Treu stepped in.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union is not worried about reports stating that head coach Johan Ackermann is being targeted by a top Japanese club.
It was reported earlier this week that the Lions will struggle to keep Ackermann in South Africa after next year’s Rugby World Cup, with the former Springbok lock reportedly receiving a big-money offer from a Japanese club.
However, the Lions insisted they will not have a fight on their hands to hold on to the services of Ackermann.
Nizaam Carr and Handré Pollard lead the full list of nominees released by SARU on Wednesday for their annual Player of the Year Awards, which will take place on 8 February in Midrand.
Carr and Pollard, both of whom made their Test debuts for the Springboks this season, have both been nominated in three categories.
The 23-year-old Carr has been nominated in for the SARU Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Currie Cup Player of the Year.
Pollard, who is only 20, has been nominated in the categories for SARU Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and SA Under 20 Player of the Year.
Coming off a highly successful 2014 rugby season in all areas, the Lions have announced the final signings of players for the 2015 season
The GLRU has worked hard in maintaining growth potential in junior players and increasing depth where needed.
The Lions have managed to attact six SA Schools players for the Under 19 squad in Nazo Nkala, Barend Smit, Sarel Smith, Kenny van Niekerk and Marco van Vuuren.
In the Under 21 squad there are seven players who took part in the recent Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand. Cyle Brink, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Thabo Mabuza, Malcolm Marx, Ramone Samuels, Victor Sekeketi and Currie Cup player Jaco van der Walt.
In the senior squad the Lions boast seven players who are either capped by the Springboks or were involved this year, as well as BlitzBokke in Albertus “Kwagga” Smith and their captain Warren Whiteley who is both a Springbok and a Sevens Bok.
Five Springboks have been nominated for the prestigious SA Rugby Player of the Year Award for 2014 with one of Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Willie le Roux, Handré Pollard or Duane Vermeulen in line to claim the coveted annual award for the first time in their careers.
The five players, who all played for the Boks this year, have been nominated by the South African rugby media following a stellar year on the field. Springbok rugby fans across the globe will now be given a voice in the selection of the winner, SARU announced on Friday.
The public will also be asked to cast their votes in two other categories, Young Player and the Absa Team of the Year. To cast your vote, CLICK HERE.
Carr and Pollard have also being named in the Young Player category, along with Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla and Jan Serfontein. The Junior Springboks, Springboks, Springbok Sevens, DHL Western Province and Xerox Golden Lions have been nominated as Absa Team of the Year.
Golden Lions players Michael Bondesio and Deon van Rensburg have announced their retirement from professional rugby.
The duo had been struggling with injuries of late and decided to call it a day, the union announced via their official Facebook page.
Scrumhalf Bondesio had not played much this year due to a knee injury, while wing / centre Van Rensburg was laid low by a rib injury.
Ellis Park played host to the annual glittering Golden Lions Rugby Union Player Awards event on Wednesday evening, where several individuals were acknowledged for their achievements during the 2014 season.
The GLRU celebrated the Springbok capping of three players in 2014, namely Warren Whiteley, Julian Redelinghuys and Marnitz Boshoff.
Whiteley, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel and Mark Richards all represented South Africa in Sevens rugby in 2014, with Whiteley and Smith both having been a part of the gold medal-winning Commonwealth Games side.
The GLRU’s SA U20 representatives for 2014 included Cyle Brink, Thabo Mabuza, Ramone Samuels, Malcolm Marx, Jaco van der Walt and Victor Sekekete.
As 2014 draws to an end, and the festive spirit starts to take over, it also brings with it a time to reflect on the year gone by. The Blue Bulls Company today hosted their annual Player Awards at very casual and relaxed event hosted on the Loftus B-Field.
All the contracted players, including the Under 19’s, Under 21’s and senior teams, attended the event. They were also joined by a host of team management, administration staff, sponsors and partners.
Full list of awards:
Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse is pondering his future after a receiving an offer to coach in Japan.
According to reports, Stonehouse has until next Friday to decide if he will accept an offer to coach the Toshiba Brave Lupus.
Should he decide to leave, he would be lost for South African rugby until the middle part of 2017.
Currie Cup runners up, the Golden Lions, have lost one of their sponsors ahead of the 2015 season.
Redefine Properties recently announced it would not be renewing its three-year sponsorship of the team.
Redefine stepped forward to rescue the Golden Lions Rugby Union in 2012 after a previous sponsor said the union was insolvent.
Eastern Province Rugby has confirmed the signing of Blue Bulls flyhalf Tony Jantjies, ahead of the 2015 season.
“We are extremely excited to have signed Tony, whose family hails from the Graaff Reinet area, falling in line with our goal to bring talented players from this region back to the Eastern Cape,” said EP Rugby president, Cheeky Watson.
Watson said he was positive that Jantjies would be a great addition to the Kings family when he joined the team in January next year.
“I have spoken to Carlos Spencer, who worked closely with Tony’s brother Elton, and he is very keen to begin working with Tony,” he said.
Griquas have secured the services of two promising Western Province players for next season.
Centre Michael van der Spuy and hooker Stephan Coetzee – who both showed promise for WP this season – have signed with Griquas until the end of the 2015 season.
It will also be a boost for the men from Kimberley who recently lost the services of hooker Ryno Barnes (Free State) and centres Howards Mnisi (Lions) and Doppies la Grange (retirement).
The nominations for the presidency of the Free State Rugby Union as well as for the directors of the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd. concluded on Tuesday.
No new nominations were received.
Lindsay Mould was therefore re-appointed as president for a term of another three years.
Gideon “Doppies” la Grange has brought the curtain down on his career after a short return stint in the Currie Cup for the Griquas.
The 32-year-old returned to South Africa via Kimberley after playing in Italy for Benetton Treviso in 2013 where he only made nine appearances.
La Grange states the reason for his retirement is that his body was sending him signals.
Nizaam Carr has realised his dream of becoming a Springbok after the No 8 was included in the year-end squad that will travel to the Northern Hemisphere.
His selection is warranted after being the stand-out player in the Stormers’ Super Rugby campaign as well as being pivotal to the success of Western Province winning the Currie Cup.
An emotional Carr said he rushed to the television at 11.30 on Monday morning for the announcement of the squad and, when he saw he had cracked the nod in Heyneke Meyer’s year-end squad, he nearly jumped a hole in floor.
Western Province hooker Tiaan Liebenberg has been forced to retire after being plagued by back injuries for some time now.
The 32-year-old will be returning to Bloemfontein to join up with his family and to get involved with the business.
The hooker was a mere spectator during Western Province’s 19-16 Currie Cup victory over the Lions on Saturday and although the veteran has reached some lofty heights in rugby, he was still sad not to be a part of it.
WP (13) 19 / 16 (0) Golden Lions (Final Score)
DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions doidbattle in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division at
Newlands, Cape Town at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
After the Xerox Golden Lions demolition of the Cell C Sharks scrum in the Currie Cup Semi-Final last weekend and the average performance of DHL Western Province in the scrums against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the other Semi-Final, this week’s hottest debates has raged about what will happen in the scrums in the Final and how the referee, Craig Joubert, will officiate this aspect of the game.
Balie Swart, adviser to SARU and to the Referees on scrumming in South Africa, came under heavy bombardment from DHL Western Province and in particular Gert Smal and Allister Coetzee. They are unhappy that SARU’s man is not impartial, when he declared that the Golden Lions scrum is ahead of all other South African scrumming units.
DHL Western Province has released the team sheets for the Under 19 and Under 21 teams for the ABSA Currie Cup Finals at Newlands, Cape Town against the age group sides of the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
EW Viljoen and Justin Geduld moves down from the senior side to the Under 21 side.
DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has kept the changes to a minimum for Saturday’s 2014 ABSA Currie Cup Final clash against the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17:00 SA Time).
In the only change to the starting XV that beat the Blue Bulls by 31-23 last weekend, fit-again centre Jaco Taute returns in the No 12 jersey to resume his partnership with skipper Juan de Jongh, who will be playing in his 50th match in the Blue & White hoops of DHL Western Province.
Michael van der Spuy reverts to the bench for Saturday’s final, where he is joined by lock Gerbrandt Grobler, who comes into the matchday squad at the expense of prop Oli Kebble, who came off the bench last weekend.
No 8 Nizaam Carr, who left the field in the first half of last week’s semifinal, has been passed fit for the final, with coach Coetzee praising the consistency in selection during the business-end of the 2014 ABSA Currie Cup.
Xerox Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann left his starting line-up unchanged and added Jacques van Rooyen on the substitutes bench for Saturday’s ABSA Currie Cup final against Western Province at Newlands in Cape Town.
The last time Western Province and the Lions met in a Currie Cup final was way back in 1986, when the hosts beat the then Transvaal 22-9 at Newlands.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT).
The Blue Bulls Company have released the team sheets for the Under 19 and Under 21 teams for the ABSA Currie Cup Finals at Newlands, Cape Town against the age group sides of DHL Western Province.
Some of the Blue Bulls senior Currie Cup players have been added to the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21 team, with Jesse Kriel starting at Centre, Jacques du Plessis at Blindside flank and with Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg on the bench.
ABSA Currie Cup Final ticket sales was moving along swiftly ahead of Saturday’s 2014 final at Newlands, with just 1300 seating and 2000 standing room tickets available by close of business on Monday after public sales went live – online, at the box office and at selected PostNet outlets.
Season tickets are not valid for the Final Saturday, but season ticket holders had until 12:00 SA Time on Wednesday 22 October to purchase their seats for the Final which are being held by Western Province Rugby. Scholars’ season tickets are, however, valid for the Final.
DHL Western Province’s injury concerns have improved ahead of their Currie Cup Final against the Xerox Golden Lions at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
Eighthman Nizaam Carr, who cried off with a hip injury midway through the first half of the Semi-Final clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls last Saturday was walking comfortably on Monday afternoon.
Centre / fullback Jaco Taute was running without discomfort after he was forced to miss the Semi-Final because of a rib injury and was tested in a contact session on Tuesday.
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee said it was pleasing to read the team’s latest medical report because the wider training squad had been given a clean bill of health.
“Nemo (Carr) is feeling much better and is walking with ease,” Coetzee said.