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Internationals

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Commonwealth Games 2014The Commonwealth Games is underway and the first Rugby games of these games are on Saturday 26 July 2014.

All games are played at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.

Day 1 mostly sees the easier Pool games for the sides, each team playing 3 Matches on Day 1.

South Africa’s Blitzbokke play Trinidad & Tobago, Cook Islands and Kenya on Day 1.

All eyes are focussed on New Zealand though, as they have absolutely dominated Sevens Rugby at the Commonwealth Games over the years and are of course the Number 1 world side in the regular IRB Sevens Circuit, Known as the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Herewith then the Fixtures and Results:

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Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union through to 2016

Nine All Blacks have re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union, six of which re-committing through to 2016.

All Blacks and Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith, who has played 29 tests since making his debut in 2012, has re-signed with to 2016.

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Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau is set to be recalled to the All Blacks for the Rugby Championship

Dan Carter and Charles Piutau will be named in the All Blacks’Rugby Championship squad on Monday, but their return to fitness has provided the selectors with some tough decisions.

Who to leave out of the 31-player squad in order to include them? The most vulnerable might be two Crusaders who will be playing alongside Carter in the Super Rugby semifinal against the Sharks in Christchurch today – Colin Slade and Ryan Crotty. Both have been consistent performers this year.

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Glasgow 2014Some four years of hard work, of highs and of lows, have led to this weekend. Today (Friday 25 July) marks the eve of the rugby sevens tournament at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

During the past 1,460 days, a full-time sevens programme has been implemented, beginning at the outset of season 2011-12, the abbreviated national team’s most successful head coach, Stephen Gemmell, was reinstated in January 2013 and the Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival was transported along the M8 to Scotstoun Stadium, where the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s has taken place for the past three years.

It was in the host city, only two months ago that Scotland 7s matched their best ever finish in a HSBC Sevens World Series event, finishing in fourth place

Now, it is the belief of many that Gemmell has picked the best ever 12-man squad to pull-on Scotland’s short game jersey and that this is a squad who can make sevens history.

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South AfricaThe Sharks’ advancement to the Super Rugby semi-finals has meant the Springbok squad announcement for the upcoming Rugby Championship will be slightly delayed.

The SA Rugby Union on Wednesday announced that there are lingering injury concerns over certain players which will see the 30-man Springbok squad only be announced on Saturday 2  August.

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Juan Smith

Juan Smith

Juan Smith has moved closer to a possible recall for the Springboks after his French club Toulon released him along side Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha for the Rugby Championship.

This comes as SARU announced that a 30-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Rugby Championship will only be announced on Saturday 2 August.

This is due to the Sharks still being involved in Super Rugby and lingering injury concerns over certain players.

In April 2012, Smith announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from rugby due to the ongoing battle with his Achilles injury.

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Cricket BallSri-Lanka and South Africa battle each other in the 2nd 5-Day Cricket Test at Colombo in Sri-Lanka from 24 to 28 July 2014. Play starts early for SA viewers, as Sri-Lanka is a few hours ahead of South Africa in the time zones, so it is daly from about 06:00 SA Time every day.

South Africa won the 1st Test and lead the Test Series by 1 / 0 after also taking the ODI Series by 2 – 1, their first ever ODI Series win in Sri-Lanka.

The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.

Sri-Lanka won the toss and elected to bat.

Sri-Lanka started Day 1 well and at the Close of play on Day 1 were on 305 / 5 after 86 Overs.

It was a slow Day initially on Day 2, both from bat and ball, but the Day started heating up after about 30 Overs done for the Day. Sri-Lanka were all out for 421 in their 1st Innings. South Africa started terribly in their 1st Innings, losing 2 wickets with just 13 on the board. South Africa ended with 98 /  after 52 Overs at Stumps, Day 2.

On Day 3 South African wickets keep falling at regular intervals, reaching 234 / 7 after 111 Overs at Tea of Day 3. South Africa were eventually all out for 282 from 134.5 Overs, trailing by 139 rins at the Innings break.

 

 

 

Sri-Lanka: First Innings – 421 (121.4 Overs)

South Africa: First Innings – 282 (134.5 Overs)

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Heyneke Meyer

Is Heyneke Meyer putting too many “old eggs” in one basket?

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer continues his “Dad’s Army” approach by recalling veteran flanker Juan Smith for a training camp ahead of next month’s Rugby Championship.

French club Toulon confirmed three of their South African signings – Smith, lock Bakkies Botha and wing Bryan Habana – would be involved in the Boks camp.

Smith, 32, hasn’t played for the Boks since 2010 as Achilles injuries requiring four surgeries ravaged his career, eventually forcing him to “retire” early last year.

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Glasgow 2014There is a palpable level of excitement in the country ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow this year. Driving up the road over the weekend one was reminded by overhead sign boards long before reaching Glasgow of the need to plan ahead  and potential difficulties in travelling as a result of the Games.

The online search engine Google has the theme of the games on its page, there is a lot of coverage in the media both online, in print and of course in audio and visual. Radio schedules have already been changed on some stations providing coverage already ahead of the Games which are due to get kick started with the opening ceremony tonight. In advertising it’s radio coverage the national broadcaster has even made a pledge to bring all the action of Scotland’s medal winning events live to the public. Colleagues have members of their family involved on a voluntary basis as ambassadors for Glasgow 2014 with some having already been helping out in the Athletes Village for the last two weeks.

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Henry Speight

FRESH FACE: Brumbies winger Henry Speight is the lone new name in the Wallabies squad for The Rugby Championship next month

AustraliaThe Wallabies formalised a tug of war victory over New Zealand rugby today, though from the All Blacks’ perspective ideally Henry Speight will not compromise the world champions’ Bledisloe Cup reign and defence of the Rugby Championship.

One cult figure of Australian rugby replaced another when Ewen McKenzie named a 32-man squad that predictably included the Fijian-born wing – although he cannot be picked for the tests against the All Blacks in Sydney and Auckland next month plus the Springboks in Perth on September 6.

The Hamilton Boys’ High School-educated finisher, who was approached to join the Chiefs in 2012 a year after making his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies, is expected to make his test debut on September 13 against Argentina on the Gold Coast, two days after an IRB-imposed stand down expires.

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana – On standby for Blitzbokke duty

Toulon have released South Africa winger Bryan Habana to play for the Blitzbokke at the Commonwealth Games.

Habana had previously been named in the original squad to compete in Scotland before the club decided to prevent him from participating.

However, Toulon have now announced that the 97-times capped flyer has been released to compete in the tournament before he links up with the Springboks to play in The Rugby Championship.

Schalk Brits is the other big name who won’t be featuring in the competition, after his release was denied by Saracens.

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Juan Smith

Springbok flanker Juan Smith may be set to return to the Green and Gold

Juan Smith is set to complete an extraordinary return to Test rugby after being named in South Africa’s squad for a training camp in August, according to Toulon.

Toulon have announced that Smith, along with Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana, have been selected to attend a South African training camp in August.

Smith, who won the Heineken Cup and Top 14 titles with Toulon last season, has been rejuvenated in France after taking an indefinite break from the sport back in 2012 due to a persistent battle with an Achilles injury.

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Simon Easterby

Going green: Simon Easterby has left Scarlets to become Ireland’s new forwards coach

Simon Easterby has been confirmed as Ireland’s new forwards coach.

The former Ireland captain will replace John Plumtree in head coach Joe Schmidt’s back-room set-up, with the New Zealander returning home for family reasons.

Easterby will assume his new role in October, in time for Ireland’s autumn international Guinness Series of Tests against South Africa, Georgia and Australia.

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The Samsung SlideLiner

The Samsung SlideLiner

Ever wondered what it would be like to cross rugby spectating with Gold Reef City? No? Well neither has anyone else, until Samsung Australia came up with an innovative an novel new way of watching rugby.

Samsung Electronics Australia will launch the SlideLiner, an exciting Samsung innovation to give Australian Rugby fans a money-can’t-buy seat between the grandstand and the pitch during three matches of the 2014 Rugby Championship.

The Samsung SlideLiner is a comfortable, four person ‘couch’ that will sit on tracks beside the pitch, following the action along the field of play as the Qantas Wallabies take on the All Blacks and Springboks in The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship 2014.

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Kevin Skinner

All Black Kevin Skinner in 1953

Kevin Skinner, the All Black prop and heavyweight boxer, has died. He was 86.

Skinner made his name for Otago and was selected for the 1949 All Black tour of South Africa as a 21-year-old.

He was labelled one of the side’s successes, making up a hard-as-nails front row alongside Johnny Simpson and hooker Has Catley.

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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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Aurélien Rougerie

Aurélien Rougerie has been hospitalized

French internationals Benjamin Kayser, Julien Pierre and Aurélien Rougerie have been hospitalised following an attack in Millau.

The Clermont trio were attacked by a dozen individuals “armed with machetes, knives, swords” on Saturday night as the players returned to their hotel, according to the club’s website.

The players have been staying in the southern town in France for a training camp and were returning from a nightclub at the time of the attack. All three were then rushed to hospital.

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Cricket BallSri-Lanka and South Africa battle each other in the 1st 5-Day Cricket Test at Galle International Stadium in Sri-Lanka from 16 to 20 July 2014. Play starts early for SA viewers, as Sri-Lanka is a few hours ahead of South Africa in the time zones, so it is daly from about 06:00 SA Time every day.

South Africa have just won the ODI Series by 2 – 1, their first ever in Sri-Lanka.

The score cards will be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

South Africa started well on Day 1 and then slightly lost their way towards the end of Day 1. At Stumps on Day 1, South Africa were 268 / 5, after 91 overs. On Day 2 South Africa continued their strong form and declared with 9 wickets down on 455 / 9 after 166.2 overs, leaving Sri-Lanka to field 12 uncomfortable overs before the close of play on Day 2 and with Sri-Lanka ending on 30 / 0 (12 Overs).

On Day 3 Sri-Lanka was steadily losing wickets and after 60 Overs bowled in the Sri-Lankan 1st Innings they were 165 / 4 (60 Overs). At close of play on Day 3 they were reeling at 283 / 9 after 100 Overs.

On Day 4 the Sri-Lankans were all out for 292 after 104.5 Overs and South Africa in their 2nd Innings declared at 206 / 6 (50.2 Overs). The Sri-Lankan 2nd Innings is underway, a target of 370 set.

At Stumps, Day 4, Sri-Lanka was 110 / 1 (32 Overs), 260 runs needed to win the game. One now wonders whether the South Adrican captain, Hashim Amla, declared the South African 2nd Innings too early!

On Day 5 the South African bowling attack and specifically the pace attack, obliterated the Sri-Lankans.

South Africa won the Test comfortably, by 153 runs.

 

South Africa:

  • First Innings – 455 / 9 Declared (166.2 Overs)

  • Second Innings – 206 / 6 Declared (50.2 Overs)

Sri-Lanka:

  • First Innings – 292 (104.5 Overs)

  • Second Innings – 216 (71.3 Overs)

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BlitzbokkeSASCOC have confirmed enforced late changes to the rugby sevens squad to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheslin Kolbe, the Western Province and Stormers speedster, has been withdrawn by Western Province due to a knee injury.

Warrick Gelant was due to replace Kolbe but was injured at the weekend and will undergo surgery this week. This sees Mark Richards, a member of the gold-medalling SA sevens team at the World Games in Colombia last year, coming in as a late replacement.

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Flip van der Merwe

Flip van der Merwe

Springbok and Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe is only expected back on the field next year, but he’s already determined to make a positive return going into the next Rugby World Cup.

Van der Merwe suffered a serious knee injury during the second Springbok Test against Wales in June. He’s set to be sidelined for six months, which means he’ll only make his comeback during next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

The 29-year-old will miss the Springboks’ Rugby Championship campaign and end-of-year European tour, as well as the Blue Bulls’ Currie Cup campiagn.

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Israel Folau & his agent meets with Todd Greenberg

“Welcome to SPECTRE Mr. Bond, if you’ll just sign here and here”

Speculation is rife in Australian rugby as to whether Israel Folau might be returning to the NRL. Folau and his agent was spotted meeting with the Head of the NRL, Todd Greenberg. In what can almost be described as a plot to a spy thriller, photos were snapped and keyboards frantically clicked to rush the story into print.

At the same time, uncertainty remain about the future of Kurtley Beale, and whether he too might be heading to the NRL.

Do the Waratahs need all this speculation about two of their star players only one week shy of hosting a semi final in this year’s Super Rugby Tournament?

ARU boss Bill Pulver says he is “not dissatisfied” with the departures of several high-profile players this year.

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New Zealand Women

New Zealand celebrate a fourth consecutive WRWC title following victory over England in the 2010 final

With just over two weeks to go before Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, we take a look back at how previous tournaments unfolded and at the Springbok squad and preparations.

Women’s rugby has experienced phenomenal growth in recent times and the number of women and girls playing the game currently stands at 1.5 million, a quarter of the overall total.

Much of that growth over the past five years has been driven by Olympic inclusion, the inception of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and ongoing work between national unions and Olympic Committees.

However, many countries have deep roots in the women’s 15-a-side game, which has already seen seven world tournaments, four sanctioned by the IRB and three ‘unofficial World Cups’.

Here we provide a brief history of the Women’s Rugby World Cup movement.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger still has unfinished business with the Stormers and Boks

He didn’t get what he wanted from the last game of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, which was for his DHL Stormers team to buck the trend of failure in marquee matches, but typically that did not place a massive dent in Schalk Burger’s good humour afterwards.

“I’m not going to see you guys for a while. It would be nice to have you staying over with us in Japan sometime. Get an excuse to come and write about the South Africans playing in Japan and we will be happy to host you,” was the Stormers captain’s grinning parting statement as he left the Newlands boardroom following the post-match press conference after the defeat to the Sharks.

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Sonny Bill Williams

The mercurial Sonny Bill Williams is close to returning to Rugby Union

Dual international Sonny Bill Williams will be considered for the New Zealand’s end of year tour if he is fit and in top form.

That is the word from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who said time was a factor less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup. Hansen feels Williams’ return to the All Blacks will depend on his condition when he returns from the Sydney Roosters’ NRL campaign and whether he manages to play some part for Counties Manukau in the ITM Cup.

Hansen admitted that he hoped Williams’ return to Test rugby is sooner rather than later.

“There is no doubt he’s an exceptional rugby player and if he’s available then we’d be foolish not to look at him, but we have to take into account he’s come off a big season,” Hansen told Fairfax Media.

“We have to take a whole lot of things into consideration before we make a decision. What’s right for Sonny? What’s right for the team?”

“Next year’s a bit different because we don’t have the June series and if we can’t use him going into the World Cup then if we can have that opportunity to spend time with him then that would be good.”

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Bakkies Botha

Springbok hard man, Bakkies Botha, showing his romantic side

Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has spoken about life in France, the final 18 months of his career and what he has planned after rugby.

After his successful run with the Springboks in June against the World XV and Wales, the My Players website caught up with the 35-year-old during his off time in the South African bush.

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  • MacroBull 26 Jul 2014, 17:06 SAST - @ Hondo: HM has been one of the more successful coaches for the bokke, apart from continuously being beaten by...
  • MacroBull 26 Jul 2014, 16:59 SAST - @ Hondo: To be fair there were about 14 useless players on the park today.
  • nortierd 26 Jul 2014, 16:59 SAST - Stormersboy wrote: Well done on the best SA season Sharkies, I expect you will be placing greater value on that...
  • nortierd 26 Jul 2014, 16:58 SAST - @ Hondo: He won't be appointed again, he should have taken a job at the Kings, would have stood a...
  • Hondo 26 Jul 2014, 16:54 SAST - @ MacroBull: 393, Sadly that's true, but their own home grown seemed no better judging their defeat by the sharks...
  • Hondo 26 Jul 2014, 16:46 SAST - @ nortierd: 390 Read my 360 posting, JW knows better than to pick 5 useless, token players for a SR...

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