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Cheeky Watson

Cheeky Watson

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Thursday that they had assumed administrative control of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.

This effectively sidelines EPRU President Cheeky Watson, who has stubbornly clung to power of the bankrupt union for the past year – despite several attempts to unseat him.

Monde Tabata, an independent member of the SARU executive committee, has been appointed to the role of administrator.

According to SARU’s statement the decision to action the intention of the SARU executive council was taken after “consultation” with Watson, and with the co-operation of the EPRU.

A letter formally advising the EPRU of the intention was delivered to the union on Monday.

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Toyota CheetahsThe Toyota Cheetahs will play a friendly game against Japanese club Toyota Verblitz later this year.

The game, to be played on Friday 23 July in Japan, will serve as preparation for the Japan Top League and Currie Cup competitions.

The match will further strengthen the friendship ties between the 2 teams – who share the same sponsor.

At the end of the 2014 season and after losing a number of players because of limited funding, Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd established a programme whereby players could play in Japan during the Currie Cup season and return to play for the Toyota Cheetahs’ Super Rugby franchise at the conclusion of the Japanese league.

By having Toyota as a sponsor it enabled Free State Rugby to engage freely with Verblitz, a Toyota owned club in Japan.

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EP KingsEastern Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd, the professional arm of the EP Kings, have been provisionally liquidated.

However, EP Rugby said this will not impact on the EP Kings’ preparations for the Currie Cup competition, which is due to get underway with a qualifying tournament next month.

The liquidation hearing – brought by South African Rugby Players Association on behalf of 18 players and another 18 players through an independent lawyer against EP Rugby – was held at the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday.

EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, through their legal counsel had initially opposed the liquidation order on 2 February and were provided the opportunity to file the necessary opposing documents.

A judgement was delivered in favour of SARPA and the other players for provisional liquidation to be implemented against EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

This means that the company will now be placed under provisional liquidation and a liquidator will be appointed shortly to oversee the process.

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Cheeky Watson

Cheeky Watson

Embattled Eastern Province Rugby Union President Cheeky Watson has had the first set of legal documents served on him.

The players organisation, MyPlayers, confirmed that an Application for Liquidation was brought – through their trade union SARPA – against the EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

This move comes after lengthy consultations with the various stakeholders concerned as well as the exploration of all legal options available.

It follows in the wake of confirmation that EP Rugby last week reached an agreement with 18 players (who did not receive Super Rugby contracts) over outstanding salaries.

EP Rugby needs to come up with 5 Million Rand by Sunday 31 January, or they will also face a Liquidation Application from the lawyer of the aforementioned players – Craig Jessop, a labour lawyer working for the firm Brown Braude and Vlok.

This move forced MyPlayers and SARPA’s hand.

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ABSA BankBMWThe South African Springboks have been stung by the loss of 2 key Sponsors, namely ABSA Bank and BMW!

 

ABSA Bank:

The Springboks are set to lose their jersey sponsor after ABSA Bank decided not to renew its contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

According to the Sunday Times, the slow pace of transformation is one of the reasons for the decision.

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Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

No 8 Warren Whiteley has credited coach Johan Ackermann for the revival in Lions rugby.

This season, Ackermann coached the Xerox Golden Lions to an ABSA Currie Cup title while they also had an adequate Super Rugby campaign as the Emirates Lions, winning 9 of their 16 games.

Not only have the Lions showed a revival in form, but they have also done so by employing an enterprising game style.

“This all started when Johan Ackermann took over as head coach and encouraged the players to play for each other and the jersey,” Whiteley told MyPlayers.co.za. “He put the pride back into Lions rugby, which had a major influence on the team. We enjoyed a strong finish to Super Rugby last year, and we did well during this year’s tournament. We’re also doing well in the Currie Cup. This is all reward for the hard work we’ve put in to ensure the Lions excel as a unit… as a family.”

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Nollis Marais

Nollis Marais

Vodacom Bulls coach Nollis Marais on Monday announced his management team for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season, with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd also confirming the management teams for the rest of the Blue Bulls teams for next year.

Marais will take charge of his 1st season of Super Rugby with former Springboks loose forward Anton Leonard as his forwards coach and former Vodacom Blue Bulls backline coach David Manual as the backline coach.

Former Springbok Tim Dlulane continue in his role as team manager, as is baggage master, Elias Bennet. The technical team to assist the coaches are John-William Meyer and Divan Strydom, who will also act as kicking coaches. SARU Mobi-Unit member Louis Koen will assist them in this regard when needed.

Gary Botha (scrums and break down) and Pine Pienaar (defence) will be involved with both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup sides, as well as the junior sides in this capacity.

Dr. Herman Rossouw is the new team doctor for senior teams. Wernich Smith, Pieter du Plessis, Sanell Morgan, Khuliso Netshivhagani and Karabo Morokane will be utilised as physiotherapists for all the teams and Elzanne van Coller as masseuse.

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Steval Pumas signings

The Steval Pumas have signed a total of 13 new players in a bid to become a stronger and more competitive team in the 2016 season.

MJ Mentz has also been reappointed the head coach of team on a 2 year term and will be assisted by Marius van Rensburg (operations Manager), Luzahn Louw (physiotherapist), Robin Arkell (strength and conditioning), Tobias van Niekerk (conditioning) and Ernst Kruger (assistant performance analyst).

 

The Pumas’ new contracted players:

Stephan Greeff (ORC Griquas), Nardus van der Walt (ORC Griquas), Francois Brummer (ORC Griquas), Hugo Kloppers (ORC Griquas), Tyler Fischer (Cell C Sharks), Marné Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Chris Cloete (DHL Western Province), Emil Temperman (UP-TUKS), Lambert Groenewald (Xerox  Golden Lions), Ruben Johannes (SA Sevens), Dylan Petersen (UJ) and Deon Helberg (Xerox Golden Lions). Marlo van Niekerk is on loan from the EP Kings.

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Xerox Golden LionsDHL WPGolden Lions (22) 32 / 24 (10) WP (Final Score)

The Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province did battle in the FINAL of the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup at

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg at 13:45 SA Time (11:45 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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Xerox Golden LionsDHL WPIt once was the biggest game in South Africa, the highlight of the year – to determine the most supreme team in the country.

On Saturday the FINAL of the ABSA Currie Cup, still the premier domestic competition, will compete for a place in the spotlight with the BIGGEST game in Rugby Union – a World Cup showdown between South Africa and New Zealand.

However, the Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province will play like, and the winners celebrate as if, they are involved in a Rugby World Cup Final.

The build-up may have been low-key – in comparison with other finals – but there is no doubt that the game will be every bit as intense and entertaining as any Final that has gone before.

Province coach John Dobson was keen to take on the underdog tag – pointing to the Lions’ 62 / 32 win 3 weeks ago and their unbeaten run as reasons why pundits are likely to bank on the home team.

However, he feels the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, in last week’s Semifinal Round, gave other teams a glimpse of how to bring the Emirates Airline Park-based team down to earth.

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann was not keen to take the ‘favourites’ tag offered to him by Dobson.

The wily Golden Lions mentor feels Western Province have a real chance of retaining their title.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province will field an unchanged line-up in Saturday’s ABSA Currie Cup FINAL against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg.

Coach John Dobson has wisely not tampered with the match-22 that beat the Vodacom Blue Bulls by 23 / 18 in last weekend’s semifinal, with outside centre Johnny Kotze (knock to the knee) cleared to take part in the final.

Kotze will start in his 1st-ever ABSA Currie Cup Final and he is 1 of 7 players doing so, whilst a total of 12 players in the matchday squad will be wearing Province colours in a final for the 1st time.

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Xerox Golden LionsThe Xerox Golden Lions side to take on DHL Western Province in the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup Final shows 3 changes to the starting line-up at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday 24 October 2015 at 13:45 SA Time.

Robbie Coetzee starts at hooker with Malcolm Marx moving to the bench, Kwagga Smith will wear the No 7 jersey while Stephan de Witt takes up a seat on the bench and in the last change Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Stokkies Hanekom will swop places with the latter moving to the bench.

3 Finals will take place on Saturday.

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Rasta Rasivhenge

Rasta Rasivhenge

Rasta Rasivhenge will referee his 1st ABSA Currie Cup Final between the Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province on Saturday in Johannesburg, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed on Monday.

Kick-Off time at Emirates Airline Park, the home of the Golden Lions, is at 13:45 SA Time. The match will be televised live on SuperSport 1, while the broadcaster will also show the finals of the Under 19A and Under 21A competitions live on SuperSport 2.

Sindile Ngcese will be in charge of the Under 19A final between Eastern Province and the Blue Bulls (09:30 SA Time), while his SARU colleague Cwengile Jadezweni will officiate the Under 21A decider between Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs (11:15 SA Time).

Rasivhenge will be assisted by Stuart Berry and Jason Jaftha on the sidelines, while Marius Jonker will perform the TMO duties.

Xerox Golden LionsFree State CheetahsGolden Lions (13) 43 / 33 (16) FS Cheetahs (Final Score)

The Xerox Golden Lions and Toyota Free State Cheetahs did battle in a semifinal of the ABSA Currie Cup at

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg at 13:45 SA Time (11:45 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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ABSA Currie CupWith just 2 knockout Rounds left until the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup champions are crowned this year, the 4 remaining teams in the country’s oldest and most prestigious domestic rugby competition have it all to play for in the 2 Semifinals this weekend.

DHL Western Province, the 2014 champions, travel to Pretoria for their clash on Friday evening against the Vodacom Blue Bulls. The Blue Bulls, who finished 2nd on the Log, will host their 1st ABSA Currie Cup Semifinal since 2008, with the match starting at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

The in-form Xerox Golden Lions, meanwhile, have so far swept aside every challenge before them this season and they are currently on a 10-match unbeaten run in the competition. They are playing in the 2nd Semifinal at home in Johannesburg at Emirates Airline Park against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs. This Saturday fixture kick-off is at 13:45 SA Time (11:45 GMT).

The clash in Pretoria will mark the 3rd time that the 2 great North vs South rivals meet this season, and they currently share the spoils between them with a home victory each. Last year, the Cape side defeated their rivals 31 / 23 in the Semifinal at Newlands.

Western Province eventually went on to lift the coveted ABSA Currie Cup trophy in front of their home crowd, after former coach Allister Coetzee’s charges edged the Golden Lions 19 / 16 in the 2014 final.

The Xerox Golden Lions scored a runaway 73 / 31 victory over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in their round-robin meeting last month in Bloemfontein and they should be fresh and rejuvenated after fielding a new-look side for last weekend’s last league fixture against the ORC Griquas.

However, the Free State Cheetahs will approach the meeting with the Golden Lions knowing that previous form will count for nothing in the knockout phase. They managed to escape defeat against the Cell C Sharks last Saturday thanks to a gritty fightback in Bloemfontein and this week they will have to show that fighting spirit from the start against the team that have so far have thrived on their high-tempo, fast attacking style of play.

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Jaco Kriel

Jaco Kriel

Xerox Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has brought back his rested stars for their semifinal clash against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.

Jaco Kriel will again lead the team, which has a strong leadership group with Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronjé and Howard Mnisi all back on duty.

Prop Jacques van Rooyen and flank Steph de Wit are back in the starting 15 after playing off the bench last weekend against ORC Griquas.

A number of players who started against Griquas will be on the bench this Saturday. They include centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, hooker Robbie Coetzee, flyhalf Jaco van der Walt, wing Sampie Mastriet, lock Fabian Booysen and the impact specialist Kwagga Smith.

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Niel Marais

Niel Marais

Niel Marais will start at flyhalf for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in their semifinal clash against the unbeaten Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The 23-year-old replaces Sias Ebersohn, who drops down to the bench. The swop at flyhalf is the only change to the starting 15 that drew 34 / 34 with the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein last week.

Hoooker Torsten van Jaarsveld is back after doing duty for Namibia in the Rugby World Cup and will be replacing Neil Rautenbach on the bench. Prop Maks van Dyk was declared fit and will be replacing Teunis Nieuwoudt on the bench.

In the other change to the bench, forward Freddy Ngoza will be making space for back Adriaan Coertzen.

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Jacques du Plessis

Jacques du Plessis

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Jacques du Plessis at lock for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal match against DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Du Plessis was a late withdrawal to the team that out-edged Steval Pumas 25-24 in Nelspruit last weekend, but is ready to take his regular number four spot in the team.

RG Snyman, who replaced Du Plessis for the Pumas match, moves back to the bench for his regular role as impact player, but his replacement in Nelspruit, Jason Jenkins, retains his spot on the bench.

Jenkins will take over from Ruan Steenkamp as the fourth loose forward as Marais opted for more bulk and size coming from the bench.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province head coach John Dobson has announced his team for Friday’s 2015 ABSA Currie Cup semifinal clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Fullback Cheslin Kolbe, winger Seabelo Senatla, centre Johnny Kotze, flanker Rynhardt Elstadt, lock Ruan Botha, prop Steven Kitshoff and hooker Bongi Mbonambi all return to the DHL WP starting 15 this week, hardman Elstadt’s return the big news after missing his team’s last 4 encounters with a thigh problem.

Skipper Juan de Jongh will lead the defending champions into battle in Pretoria, partnering Johnny Kotze in midfield, with Senatla, Dillyn Leyds and Kolbe forming a razor-sharp back 3.

Nic Groom and Robert du Preez will comebine at halfbacks, with experienced scrumhalf Jano Vermaak back on the bench after missing DHL WP’s last 2 matches with a groin strain.

Prop Oli Kebble has shaken off an ankle injury to be named on the bench, where he is joined by lock Chris van Zyl – who, like Kebble, started last Friday’s 45 / 14 win over the EP Kings at DHL Newlands.

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ABSA Currie CupThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday confirmed the kick-off times and match officials for the semi-finals of the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division and the various junior competition playoff fixtures.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls host the DHL Western Province this coming Friday at Loftus Versfeld and the starting time for the 1st Premier Division Semi-final in Pretoria is 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

On Saturday, the Xerox Golden Lions host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the 2nd playoff match at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. Kick-off time is 13:45 SA Time (11:45 GMT).

Referee Marius van der Westhuizen will take charge of the Pretoria encounter while Jaco van Heerden will referee the Johannesburg match.

Both ABSA Currie Cup Semi-finals clashes will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

The 2 ABSA Under 19 A-Division playoff matches are scheduled for this coming Friday, while the 2 playoff matches in the ABSA Under 21 A-Division are scheduled for Saturday.

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John Smit

John Smit

Cell C Sharks CEO, John Smit, has a message for disappointed Sharks fans after the team’s failure to reach the Currie Cup semifinals.

After playing to a 34 / 34 draw to the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein at the weekend, the Durbanites finished 5th on the overall Currie Cup Log, to miss out on a playoff spot.

The Cell C Sharks appeared to have the game in the bag, leading 34 / 20 with 4 minutes remaining, but 2 late converted tries gave the Toyota Free State Cheetahs a draw – and a place in the semifinals at the expense of the Cell C Sharks.

Smit wrote a message to fans on the Cell C Sharks’ official Facebook page.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Toyota Free State Cheetahs clinched a dramatic 34 / 34 draw on Saturday against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein to finish 4th on the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Log, and in doing so, they booked themselves a Semifinal clash against the Xerox Golden Lions next weekend in Johannesburg.

The Free State Cheetahs scored 2 converted tries in the in last 5 minutes at the Free State Stadium, while replacement fullback Neil Marais slotted the vital conversion after the final hooter to draw the 2 teams level in Bloemfontein and at the same time shatter the Cell C Sharks’ playoff hopes. The Free State Cheetahs finished 2 points above the Cel C Sharks on the final Log with 24 points.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls finished 2nd on the Log after they edged the Steval Pumas 25 / 24 in Nelspruit on Friday and they now meet 3rd-placed DHL Western Province in Pretoria in the playoffs. The Blue Bulls versus WP clash is set for this coming Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld.

In Cape Town, DHL Western Province finished their league commitments with a bonus-point 45 / 14 win over the Eastern Province Kings. Runaway Log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, completed the round-robin phase unbeaten with 10 wins after their much changed side defeated the ORC Griquas 29 / 19 in Johannesburg.

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Steval PumasVodacom Blue BullsSteval Pumas (7) 24 / 25 (13) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup at

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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(We have given score updates of the DHL Western Province vs EP Kings clash, which took place at the same time!)

DHL WP 45 / 14 EP Kings (Final Score)

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Robert du Preez snr

Robert du Preez snr

Leopards coach Robert du Preez has been linked with a coaching role at the Cell C Sharks.

A newspaper report on Wednesday indicated that the former Springbok scrumhalf will coach the Cell C Sharks during next year’s Currie Cup competition, while also assisting Gary Gold during Super Rugby in 2016.

The report indicated that Du Preez, 52, will start his job in Durban on 1 November.

The Cell C Sharks did not respond when contacted about official confirmation on the matter.

Du Preez has now taken the Leopards to the ABSA Currie Cup First Division title, when they beat the SWD Eagles on Thursday evening (today).

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ABSA Currie CupThe final Round, Round 10, of league fixtures in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division takes place this weekend and all eyes will be on the Free State Rugby Stadium in Bloemfontein, where the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and the Cell C Sharks will battle it out for the remaining Semifinal spot.

Unbeaten Log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, are already assured of a home Semifinal, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province are also through to the Semifinals.

However, with only 2 points separating the Free State Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks on the Log standings, the 2 teams have everything to play for in what is effectively a Quarterfinal in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

The Free State Cheetahs currently have 21 points and the Cell C Sharks 19, and both teams know that a victory will book a meeting with the competition’s in-form and most prolific team this season, the Golden Lions, in Johannesburg. The losing team, meanwhile, will crash out of the competition.

DHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls also have a lot to play for. Both teams are in action on Friday and their respective matches in Cape Town and Nelspruit kick off at the same time at 18:00 SA Time.

The Blue Bulls, 2nd on the Log with 34 points, face the Steval Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium and the Pretoria side knows that a win, even without a bonus point, will be enough to guarantee them a home Semifinal in the capital. Steval Pumas stalwart Marius Coetzer will deservedly earn his 100th cap when he takes to the field from the bench, while skipper Stefan Watermeyer will earn his 50th cap.

Western Province, in turn, face an injury-hit EP Kings side at DHL Newlands and the Capetonians will run out knowing that a bonus-point win is a must if they want to keep alive their slim hope of hosting a playoff match. However, for that to happen they must hope for a Blue Bulls defeat in Nelspruit.

Meanwhile, the free-scoring Golden Lions will round off their league commitments with a home clash against the bottom-of-the-log ORC Griquas in a 16:00 SA Time kick-off at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Interestingly, the Nel-brothers, Ruhan of ORC Griquas and Jacques of the Golden Lions, will line up opposite each other, with both playing in the No 13 jersey for their respective teams. Ruhan, a Springbok Sevens international, plays outside centre for Griquas after playing on the wing against the Cell C Sharks last weekend. The brothers played together for the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup, but this will be the 1st time they will play against each other.

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EP KingsHigh-level discussions between Eastern Province Rugby, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the South African Rugby Players’ Association (SARPA) took place in Port Elizabeth on Thursday to review the current and future financial stability of the union.

The talks stemmed from concerns over the recent delayed payments to EP Kings players.

SARU President, Mr Oregan Hoskins, SARU GM Operations and Finance, Basil Haddad, and SARPA CEO Piet Heymans met EP Rugby officials.

Mr Hoskins said he had full confidence in the current leadership under EP Rugby President Cheeky Watson.

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Xerox Golden LionsThe Van der Walt brothers, Jaco and Gerdus will run out together for the Xerox Golden Lions in their match-up against the ORC Griquas at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday 10 October 2015.

Jaco will don the No 10 jersey while Gerdus will be at inside centre, partnering with Jacques Nel in midfield.

The side will be lead on the field by No 8 Warren Whiteley, while a host of Under 21 players have been given the opportunity to taste Currie Cup rugby in this last game of the pool stages.

Up front Robbie Coetzee returns after a 2 week lay-off and is joined by Pieter Scholtz at tighthead. The locks are MB Lusaseni and Bobby de Wee (Martin Muller failed his late and final fitness test on Friday after limping off with an injury at Thursday training), while Kwagga Smith and Ruaan Lerm will complete the loose-trio with Warren Whiteley.

Mark Richards and Sampie Mastriet are the wings and Vainon Willis the fullback.

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Cell C SharksCell C Sharks Gary Gold has only made 1 change to his starting 15 which thrashed the ORC Griquas, for his side’s must win game against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.

The single change sees Garth April start at fullback for Odwa Ndungane, who shifts to the right wing in place of Wandile Mjekevu.

On the bench, Monde Hadebe replaces Kyle Cooper and veteran Waylon Murray comes in as cover for the backline.

It is do or die for both teams as the final pool clash between the Cell C Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs is effectively a quarterfinal game for both, chasing a Top 4 finish.

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Franco Smith

Franco Smith

Toyota Free State Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has named his team for their crucial Currie Cup clash against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Smith made changes to his pack from the team that drew 37 / 37 with the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit last weekend.

Loose forward Boom Prinsloo is fit again and replaces Gerhard Olivier in the No 6 jersey, with Olivier moving down to the bench in place of Ruan van Rensburg.

Neill Jordaan also replaces De Wet Kruger at No 8, while Armandt Koster replaces Reniel Hugo at lock, with the latter moving to the bench in the place of Willem Serfontein.

Jacques du Toit is also back at hooker, with Neil Rautenbach on the bench in place of Chase Morison.

BG Uys and Teunis Nieuwoudt also switch places at loosehead prop, with Uys in the starting line-up.

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Deon Stegmann

Deon Stegmann

Vodacom Blue Bulls openside flanker Deon Stegmann returns to the starting line-up to take on the Steval Pumas in the Mbombela Stadium on Friday.

Stegmann was a late withdrawal from the team that beat the EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld last weekend. That prompted the call-up of Clyde Davids to the bench and Jacques du Plessis moving to the flank, but with Stegmann fit again, it is back to the regular starting pack for the match in Nelspruit.

Du Plessis and Marvin Orie will start at lock, with RG Snyman dropping back to the bench in place of Davids.

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Steval PumasThe Steval Pumas have made 6 changes to their starting 15 for their clash with the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Nelspruit on Friday.

2 Of those changes to the team that held the Toyota Free State Cheetahs to a draw last week were injury-enforced with Marnus Schoeman coming in for Jaco Bouwer on the flank and Hoffman Maritz replacing JW Bell at fullback.

There are 2 more changes to the forward pack with hooker Francois du Toit coming in, with Frank Herne moving to the bench and Rudi Mathee replacing Marius Coetzer who also finds himself amongst the replacements.

In the backline there are 2 further changes with Jerome Pretorius moving from wing to outside centre to fill the gap left by Maritz and Bernardo Botha starting on the wing in place of Pretorius.

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Rayno Benjamin

Rayno Benjamin

Toyota Free State Cheetahs utility back Rayno Benjamin has escaped all sanction after he appeared before a SARU Judicial Hearing late on Monday afternoon.

According to the SARU Regulations, a player must appear before a judicial hearing after receiving 2 Yellow Cards in 1 match or 3 overall in a competition.

Benjamin was shown 2 Yellow Cards in their match against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit in Round 9 of the Currie Cup – 1 for a dangerous tackle and another for a team offence, resulting in a Red Card.

He also received a Yellow Card against DHL Western Province earlier in the competition, to take his total tally to 3 in the competition.

His hearing was held late via teleconference before Duty Judicial Officer advocate Rob Stelzner, who decided not to impose any further sanction on the player.

Benjamin was therefore deemed available for selection for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ home fixture against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

 

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