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England's rugby jersey

NEW DESIGN: England’s rugby jersey features a pattern of crosses resembling the Victoria Cross.

There’s no sign of a change in design, but the Rugby Football Union has issued an apology over the controversial new jersey England will debut against the All Blacks in London in November.

The jersey, manufactured by Canterbury, has drawn criticism for its use of rubber grips across the chest area in the shape of the hallowed Victoria Cross. They were intended to help deaden the impact of the ball and help with grip.

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John Smit

John Smit, swopping the Sharks jersey for a corporate suit.

It has been a year since John Smit swapped the intensity of the rugby field for the pressure of the boardroom.

For the 16 years Smit played in the front-row, headaches were caused by repeated collisions in the scrum.

Now, they are a mental strain as he prepares for his second year as chief executive of the Sharks.

“It’s been an incredible ride for the last 16 months,” Smit told ESPN. “I’ve learnt a huge amount and I have been thrown into the deep end going from the Saracens bench to being in charge of South Africa’s biggest franchise.”

Smit’s involvement in rugby has never been boring.

His career took in spells at the Sharks, Clermont Auvergne and Saracens alongside 111 caps for South Africa, 83 as captain, and three World Cup campaigns.

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Cell C SharksA top Cell C Sharks executive has been suspended amid reports of maladministration at the union after a forensic investigation of its financial affairs.

According to The Mercury, internal procedures are under way between the Sharks and the official, who has been with the franchise for more than 21 years.

News of maladministration at the Sharks surfaced earlier this year when auditing company KPMG was called upon to investigate matters.

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Rugby-TalkOur 2 previous previous PUB NIGHTS, the past 2 Tuesday nights, we had great FUN!

This week we AGAIN add the TWIST to PUB NIGHT, where we throw the whole website open so that ANYBODY can comment, Registered AND Unregistered Readers.

So, whether Registered or not, take part tonight!

Registered Subscribers, please note that you LOGIN AS PER USUAL and comment as per normal (If you do not Log in, you will have to fill in a name and E-Mail Address), Unregistered Readers who want to take part, simply supply a Blogging Nickname and your E-Mail Address (must be a valid E-Mail Address), tick the I’m Human checkbox (otherwise spam might get in) and join in the fun.

The idea is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?


Here’s how it works:

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Brett Gosper

Man in charge: Brett Gosper

The IRB are looking to close the loophole which could see players switch nationalities according to chief executive Brett Gosper.

With rugby becoming an Olympic sport in 2016, a loophole was opened up for those players who had previously played international rugby for one country and wished to change allegiances in Sevens, which would then have carried over into the 15-man game.

Players with passports for another country and who hadn’t played international rugby in the previous 18 months, simply needed to take part in an Olympic Sevens tournament, including qualifiers, to become eligible for the XVs side of their new country.

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Taniela Tupou

The “Tongan Thor”, Taniela Tupou

‘Tongan Thor’ Taniela Tupou has urged his “haters” to calm down after he confirmed his sensational defection from New Zealand to Australia.

The 18-year-old will join an Australian Super Rugby team next year after rejecting a landmark offer from the New Zealand Rugby Union, which for the first time in history bid top-up money to a sign a schoolboy.

Tupou, the hottest teenage prospect in world rugby, officially ended New Zealand’s hopes of retaining his services on Monday, telling the Daily Telegraph: “I will be coming to Australia, it is the best thing for my family”.

Watch the video of Tupou in action below

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OLD RULES: Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has attacked rugby’s antiquated revenue-sharing system.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has attacked rugby’s antiquated governance and revenue-sharing system as the island powerhouse announced a major sponsorship aimed at taking them to a new level at next year’s World Cup.

Tuilaepa also doubles as chairman of the Samoan Rugby Union, traditionally a cash-strapped organisation with its top players at the mercy of rich clubs and rival countries.

Samoa revealed on Monday a new deal with Australian-based company Cromwell Property Group that should ensure a well-resourced squad for next year’s tournament in England.

The base sponsorship is “significant” but also includes major incentives – $250,000 for reaching the semifinals, $500,000 for making the final and $1m for winning the tournament.

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Rapport Transformation Agenda

SA Rugby transformation Agenda

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has confirmed its plans to ensure that half the Springbok team is made up of players of colour by 2019.

Rapport on Sunday revealed SARU’s Transformation Strategic Plan, which aims to bring all of South Africa’s representative rugby teams, along with domestic teams in line with national targets in five years.

Of the Springbok team currently competing in the Rugby Championship, 19% of the players are non-white, while only 12% are black African. Zimbabwean-born prop Tendai Mtawarira was the only black African player to start in the defeat to Australia in Perth, with Trevor Nyakane warming the bench.

But SARU wants to make sure that by 2019 at least half the Springbok side consists of players of colour, with 60% of those required to be black African.

SARU also set a mandate for Bok coach Heyneke Meyer to select at least five black players in his squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England as well as include seven players of colour in his match-day squad in the lead-up to the tournament.

According to Beeld, all 14 of South Africa’s provincial unions approved the new strategic plan on August 13 this year.

SARU has already shared the plan with SASCOC and the sports ministry. The next step is for SARU’s general council to approve the plan.

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Rose Kupa

ROSE KUPA: Expected a ‘harsher rap’.

The streaker who disrupted Napier’s first All Blacks test in almost two decades sparked security concerns and soured an otherwise “outstanding” event the city’s leaders hope to repeat.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen labelled 25-year-old streaker Rose Kupa’s antics “a pain in the backside” after Saturday’s test match, while Israel Dagg laughed off the slap on the bum Kupa gave him as she dashed past.

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Brett Williams

British Royal Marine Brett Williams who was beaten to death at Kings Park Stadium.

The fiancée of British Royal Marine Brett Williams, who was beaten to death at King’s Park Stadium last year, said on Thursday she would not attend the resumption of the murder trial because none of the four accused had shown remorse or shame.

Brothers Blayne, 24, and Kyle Shepard, 26, and friends Andries van der Merwe, 24, and Dustin van Wyk, 24, are due back in court on Monday.

The accused, who are out on bail of R5 000 each, have all pleaded not guilty to charges of murder as well as assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, crimen injuria and public violence.

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There weren’t many dry eyes at Villareal’s El Madrigal stadium.

In beautiful scenes in Spain, La Liga club Villareal has helped a 13-year-old cancer patient realise his dream of running out on the field for them.

The young man, Gohan, has an aggressive form of cancer and told his nurses of his desire to play for the club one day.

Watch the awesome video here

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South AfricaA schools rugby coach who breached South African Rugby Union (SARU) rules governing underage rugby has been suspended and the points his school took for the match were overturned, following a SARU disciplinary hearing.

The charge was the first brought to SARU under new regulations that were introduced to protect players under the age of 18 at the start of last season.

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John Dobson

John Dobson

Western Province Under-21 coach John Dobson is upset at the punishments dished out to two Blue Bulls players after WP lock JD Schickerling broke his neck in an Under-21 game in Pretoria last weekend.

Schickerling was injured just after catching a ball from a kick-off when Bulls lock Irne Herbst’s shoulder collided with Schickerling’s head in their clash at Loftus Versfeld. Afterwards, the other Bulls lock, Marvin Orie, grabbed the WP player in a headclamp before hurling him to the ground.

Schickerling suffered a fractured cervical spine at the C5/C6 level during the match and narrowly escaped paralysis.

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Marvin Orie

Marvin Orie

Blue Bulls Under 21 lock Marvin Orie has received a one-week suspension on Wednesday for a dangerous tackle in the team’s Absa Under 21 Competition match against Western Province.

Orie was cited on Sunday for tackling Western Province lock JD Schickerling around the neck in the third minute of the clash and pulling him backwards until both players fell to the ground.

Schickerling suffered a fractured cervical spine at the C5/C6 level during the match.

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Rugby-TalkOur previous PUB NIGHT, last Tuesday, we had great FUN!

This week we add another TWIST to PUB NIGHT, we are throwing the whole website open so that ANYBODY can comment, Registered AND Unregistered Readers.

So, whether Registered or not, take part tonight!

Registered Subscribers Login as per usual and comment as per normal, Unregistered Readers who want to take part, simply supply a Blogging Nickname and your E-Mail Address (must be a valid E-Mail Address) and join in the fun.

The idea is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evening with an evening of music, comedy and fun.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!

Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?


Here’s how it works:

Continue reading

Rugby-Talk.comSpring has sprung:

It is 1 September 2014… and yes, 2 thirds of the year has flown by already… in the blink of an eye!

1 September is Spring Day in the Southern Hemisphere, a time for regeneration, rejuvination, renewal and a general litf in the mood after yet another winter has come and gone.

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George Smith

George Smith: the picture that sparked a thousand and more discussions.

We all remember it: the vision of a glazed and vacant George Smith staggering from the turf at ANZ Stadium, led by a medic at each elbow, after a sickening clash of heads with British & Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard handed him a one-way ticket to cuckoo-land.

We remember it was upsetting to see the great warrior reduced to a helpless lump.

We remember how sad it seemed that his comeback in the third Test- billed as a fairy-tale finale – had apparently been curtailed so quickly.

And we remember, of course, the hapless call to return him to the action that sparked the concussion debate that – more than one year on – continues to envelop the Australian sporting fraternity.

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Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas says he struggled when his wife left him.

Gareth Thomas, the former rugby international, has spoken for the first time of the agonising pain of his wife leaving him after he came out as gay.

The ex-Wales captain told how he made several suicide attempts after confessing to his wife Jemma in 2006 that he had been secretly homosexual throughout their five-year marriage.

In a new book Thomas says that the night his wife left him, he dressed in his best grey suit issued by the Welsh Rugby Union and headed to the swimming pool of his home set upon drowning himself.

He explained in an interview on Saturday how he had fought to become one of the toughest players on the pitch in an attempt to hide his sexuality, which had been clear to him from the age of 16.

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The SPCA has visited Mondeor High School.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has visited Mondeor High School after reports of two chickens being kicked to death by five matric pupils at the school, the Johannesburg SPCA chief inspector said on Friday.

“We went there yesterday (Thursday) and met with the principal.

The principal says they identified the kids involved but they wanted to meet with the respective parents first,” chief inspector Ronald Ramalata said.

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SuperBru LogoRound 2 of The Rugby Championship and Round 3 of the Currie Cup is done and dusted!

No real surprises with the results, except the huge margin the All Blacks smashed the Wallabies by, and the fact that the Bokke hardly scraped their way to a 2 point win.

The Springboks have struggled in Argentina the past three years, but most pundits thought the Bokke would at least still be closer to a 10 point margin better than the Pumas, even on a bad day.

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Ben Cummins

The Broncos remonstrate with Ben Cummins after the controversial call.

The NRL’s refereeing crisis went from bad to worse on Friday night, after a ridiculous sin-binning of Brisbane backrower Matt Gillett for an offside call that Phil Gould labelled “the greatest clanger I’ve ever seen”.

After Benji Marshall restarted from a penalty and sprinted towards the Brisbane defence where he was tackled by Justin Hodges, referee Ben Cummins called Gillett offside — even though he had retired almost 30m back after Marshall’s quick tap.

Watch the video here.

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Could this be a thing of the past?

A health expert has called for rugby to be more closely regulated in schools and for scrums and tackles to be removed from the game at that level.

Allyson Pollock, of Queen Mary University of London, told the Sunday Times that schoolboy rugby players have a one-in-six chance of serious injury every season.

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Warren Gatland

WALES COACH: Warren Gatland.

Warren Gatland’s role in helping to broker peace in Welsh rugby’s civil war has included the adoption of a rule preventing players who ply their trade overseas being available for the national team.

After months of bickering, Wales’ national body and its four regions have agreed to terms, signing a £60 million (NZ$118m) deal for six years.

With finances approved, it is hoped the clubs and country will be able to stop the player drain to competitions like the lucrative French club scene.

The Times reported that equally important in the attempt to plug the talent drain was a new ruling, dubbed “Gatland’s Law”, under which players plying their trade outside Wales would be unavailable for selection for the national team.

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Mark Boucher

Mark Boucher received a signed jersey from the Vodacom Blue Bulls and will address the team later this week before they take on Western Province over the weekend to explain the synergies of working with the Team and SANParks to combat the rhino atrocities recently witnessed.

The Castle Lager Boucher Legacy NPC (non-profit company) “Our Rhino in safe hands” programme has joined forces with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd in an effort to combat the scourge of rhino poaching.

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DHL WPVodacom Blue BullsDHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls have decided to dedicate Saturday’s ABSA Currie Cup fourth-round match to two rugby heroes who are involved in a battle of their own, Tinus Linee and Joost van der Westhuizen, both of whom are suffering from MND.

As the world continues to highlight the plight of those affected by Neuromuscular Disease via the social media phenomenon that is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Province and the Blue Bulls have decided to highlight the bravery of both Linee and Van der Westhuizen through Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld.

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IRBThe International Rugby Board will become World Rugby from 19 November 2014 as part of a major rebranding programme.

The new brand, including a new logo, will be launched at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in London on November 17-18.

Global Rugby participation has boomed by more than two million to 6.6 million players over the past four years, driven by the commercial success of Rugby World Cup, the IRB’s development strategies and record investment, strong and vibrant Unions and Rugby’s re-inclusion in the Olympic Games.

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A huge brawl broke out at the end of a game in the league formerly known as the Lingerie Football League with fists, helmets and insults flying freely.

Eastern Conference rivals the Atlanta Steam and Jacksonville Breeze had fought out a tense conference championship game and emotions boiled over at the end of the game as teams lined up for the end-of-game handshakes.

Watch the video here… below.

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Mickey Rourke & Gareth Thomas

It seems unlikely Mickey Rourke and Gareth Thomas would be mistaken for one another.

Three years after he first told the press he was in discussions to play former rugby player Gareth Thomas in a film, Hollywood star Mickey Rourke has said that the project remains a possibility.

In early 2011 Rourke, who turns 62 next month, explained he had been inspired by Thomas’ decision to come out as gay while at the top of his sport.

He said he would need to train for “nine to eleven months” adding: “I am a good enough actor and I can look fit enough to play the game and that’s what it’s all about.

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Todd Reed

Todd Reed, ball boy at the US Open.

This is not a rugby, or even cricket related article, but an interesting human interest story nonetheless, and for those who enjoy tennis as well.

For the 35 000 tennis fans streaming daily into Flushing Meadows, there are several US Open traditions that stand the test of time: swallowing the sticker shock over a $7 bottle of water, cheering for rival Eastern Europeans in a fifth-set showdown — and watching eager teenage ball boys take to the court in earnest.

But on Court 14 during a late-afternoon slugfest on opening day, the ball boy jumping up to catch the crosscourt winner wasn’t some 16-year-old string bean, but a tattooed rookie three times his age.

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Rugby-TalkWe have a number of subscribers with serious music appreciation, even the WP Moffies form Cape Town, seem to know some cool music!

So, for a Tuesday evening’s pleasure, we will discuss music… and comedy!

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan gathers…

Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!


Here’s how it works:

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Aviva Premiership

The Aviva Premiership is threatening to continue with their league schedule

Premiership Rugby has threatened to continue with their league programme during next year’s Rugby World Cup unless a deal can be reached with the RFU.

Tensions have been running high between Premiership Rugby and the RFU in recent months.

Premiership Rugby are upset after the RFU failed to consult them over the bid for the Rugby World Cup.

They are now seeking a compensation deal of £14 million from the RFU as they will have to shut down the league while the Rugby World Cup is taking place in England.

With the global showpiece scheduled to take place between September and October, England’s Premiership clubs will have no matchday income for five months – as the tournament finishes at the end of May – and according to projections each top tier club are set to lose £1.2 million.

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Emily Scarratt

Feminine side: Emily Scarratt receives the England Women’s Player of the Year award in 2013.

The hostility Emily Scarratt suffered for wanting to play rugby as a teenager was made to look even more absurd when she sealed England’s World Cup triumph last Sunday with a superb individual try.

Like the rest of her team-mates, Scarratt is only too aware of the cliches surrounding women’s rugby.

‘Leave it to the men,’ the dinosaurs say. ‘The rugby field is no place for girls’.

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Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost van der Westhuizen


The Springboks have accepted the challenge:

WATCH: Springbok video here:


Former Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen has become the latest celebrity to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, to raise funds for motor neuron disease, according to the Times Live website.

WATCH: Joost take the Ice Bucket Challenge:

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Glenwood in action

Too hot for Hilton College to handle: Glenwood in action

KwaZulu-Natal rivals Glenwood and Hilton College will no longer meet on the rugby field.

According to saschoolsports.co.za, this follows the one-sided nature of the matches between the schools this season. Glenwood’s 1st XV won 67-7, their U16s 52-0, U15s 52-0 and U14s 61-3.

“After careful consideration [we have] decided to discontinue all rugby fixtures against Glenwood High School for the foreseeable future,” said Hilton headmaster Peter Ducasse in a statement.

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