Internationals

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Lock Joe Launchbury and centre Jonathan Joseph are set to lead a list of shock English exclusions from the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.  Both men, who starred in England’s Six Nations triumph, face being left out of Warren Gatland’s squad, which will be named at 12:00 BST (13:00 SA Time) on Wednesday.

About 14 Englishmen are expected to be in the 37-39-man party, including prop Kyle Sinckler and centre Ben Te’o.

But England captain Dylan Hartley’s chances are rated as 50-50.

Other stalwarts of Eddie Jones’ side, such as flankers James Haskell and Chris Robshaw, and fly-half George Ford, are also thought to be unlikely to force their way into Gatland’s plans at this stage.

Despite finishing fifth in the Six Nations, Wales are still set for a strong contingent of up to 11 players, with the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, prospective captain Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Davies and George North among those highly likely to be included.

Conversely, winning three of their five matches in the Championship seems unlikely to have helped Scotland’s representatives, with full-back Stuart Hogg the only selection certainty.

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Oli Kebble

Oli Kebble will join the Warriors next season and the South African-born prop says he has ambitions to play international rugby for Scotland.

Oli will join Glasgow Warriors from the Cape Town-based Stormers after his Super Rugby commitments and will qualify for Scotland honours after completing three years of residency under World Rugby’s eligibility criteria.

He could follow in the footsteps of fellow-prop WP Nel who qualified for Scotland during his time with Edinburgh.

Oli said: “That’s definitely a goal of mine. I’d love to play international rugby and to play for Scotland would be a great honour. I know there’s a three-year waiting period and we’ll see how far I come, but it would definitely be a great thing if I could represent Scotland one day.

“For any rugby player, the ultimate goal would be to play international rugby, so I definitely considered that when talking to the Scottish Rugby Union, and that’s why I chose Glasgow in the end.”
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WP Nel

Edinburgh Rugby today announced the re-signing of Scotland international tighthead prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel on a three-year deal.

The highly sought-after front-row’s contract extension will keep him at the capital club until at least May 2020.

Nel joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2012 on a three-year deal, which was subsequently extended, and has made 102 appearances in the black and red since debuting against Munster the same year.

Renowned primarily for his world-class scrummaging, Nel has many strings to his bow and has crossed the whitewash on 15 occasions, scoring 75 points for the capital club.

Nel qualified to play for Scotland through residency in 2015 and went on to make his international debut later that year against Italy in Turin.

He has since been awarded 15 Scotland caps – including appearances in all of the national side’s Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2016 RBS 6 Nations matches – scoring two tries in the process.

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British Lions

Eddie Jones says the British and Irish Lions should name four captains for the tour of New Zealand – one from each of their four national teams.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has said “half-a-dozen players are in contention” to lead his squad.

England’s Dylan Hartley, Ireland’s Rory Best, Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones and Greig Laidlaw of Scotland are among those.

“I would take those four captains and make that the leadership group,” England coach Jones said.

“Then after the warm-up games, whoever was the leading player I would make captain for the first Test,” added the Australian.

“You look at the last Lions tour and Sam Warburton captained the first two and Alun Wyn Jones captained the third, so I think you can separate it.

“It would be different but I would reckon you would get a great result, with those four captains running the team for you and making sure they set the standards on and off the field.”

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Cornell du Preez

Head Coach Vern Cotter has made one change to the starting Scotland side to face England at Twickenham Stadium this Saturday in the RBS 6 Nations (kick-off 4pm UK time, 6pm SA time).

Edinburgh Rugby back-row Hamish Watson returns to the front-line having started the opening two rounds of the Championship. He takes the place of the injured John Hardie (knee), whom he replaced in the 25th minute of the last round’s win over Wales.

Uncapped clubmate Cornell Du Preez takes Watson’s vacated place on the bench and will make his debut if called upon.

The Scots are seeking a first win in English headquarters since 1983 and a first Triple Crown since 1990, while England aim to equal New Zealand’s record of 18-straight Test wins for a tier-one nation.

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Owen Farrell should be fit for England’s Calcutta Cup meeting with Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday despite injuring his leg in training.

The 25-year-old centre left training early on Thursday, but is expected to feature in Friday’s captains’ run.

“He ran into someone at training, simple as that,” said head coach Eddie Jones, who initially joked Farrell had collided with the Australian’s dog.

“He’s in doubt but we will see. He should be right.”

Victory for England over Scotland would give the defending Six Nations champions a record-equalling 18th consecutive win and put them one win away from a second straight Grand Slam.

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A first win over Wales in 11 years has seen Scotland climb to their highest ever position of fifth in the World Rugby Rankings.

Vern Cotter has achieved what none of his predecessors as head coach could do by steering Scotland to an all-time high of fifth place in the World Rugby Rankings.

Following their first win over Wales since 2006 Scotland have moved above Saturday’s vanquished opponents and South Africa in the rankings, which were first introduced in October 2003, after gaining 1.28 rating points.

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Vodacom Super Rugby 2017

RBS SIX Nations 2017

 

Hi,

We have 2 NEW SuperBru Pools for all to join!

  • The RBS SIX Nations 2017 starts tomorrow (4 February 2017) at 16:25 SA Time, so hurry up and do not delay to register and pick for it!
  • Vodacom Super Rugby 2017 starts in about 2 weeks, so for that too!

As of 2016 we have been doing it a bit differently and opened our Pools up to all readers of Rugby-Talk.com, but we encourage you to register as a subsciber on Rugby-Talk.com anyway, as our banter and commenting about our Pools will mostly take place here on the website and not on the SuperBru banter boards! It is so easy to register and such fun to discuss rugby here.

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R.I.P. Joost van der Westhuizen

 

The South African rugby community was in mourning on Monday following the passing of Joost van der Westhuizen, one of South Africa’s greatest-ever Springbok legends.

Van der Westhuizen passed away after a long and courageous struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease (MND), for the past 6 years. He was 45 and leaves behind 2 children, Jordan (13) and Kylie (10), as well as his father Gustav, mother Mariana, and brothers Pieter and Gustav.

“Joost will be remembered as 1 of the greatest Springboks – not only of his generation, but of all time,” said Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby.

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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) may impose a five-year residency rule on England if World Rugby fails to increase the existing eligibility level.

A player currently becomes eligible when they have lived in a country for three years.

But a campaign led by World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot is seeking to raise the level by a further 24 months.

 RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie says it is “absolutely the route to go down”.

He added: “In an ideal world there would be universality of regulation and there’s a helpful way of dealing with this, and that’s by moving the World Rugby regulation from three to five years.”

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Cornell du Preez gets Scotland call up

Head Coach Vern Cotter today named a 37-man Scotland squad for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Among the group is 37-times capped Gloucester centre Matt Scott who – after missing out on selection in the autumn – has earned a recall thanks to a number of impressive performances for the Kingsholm club, scoring 12 tries in 18 games this season.

Cotter has also named uncapped Edinburgh Rugby forwards Simon Berghan (prop) and Cornell Du Preez (back-row).

Du Preez (25) is a popular figure in the capital, scoring 14 tries in 71 appearances. He became eligible to represent Scotland last year after completing three years of residency in the country.

Berghan (26) joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2013 and is eligible to represent Scotland through his grandfather, Andrew Davidson, from Stirling. The 20st, 6’3” prop has made 24 appearances for the capital club.

Berghan and returning Newcastle Falcons’ tighthead Jon Welsh are among the seven props named in the squad, with the national team awaiting the results of a scan this evening (Wednesday) that will confirm the availability of Edinburgh Rugby’s Willem Nel, who injured his neck in the club’s European Challenge Cup win over Harlequins on Saturday (14 January).

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Eddie Jones has said that Dylan Hartley would continue to captain England if he was fit enough to be selected.

Northampton hooker Hartley is serving a six-week ban for catching Leinster’s Sean O’Brien with a swinging arm in a Champions Cup match in December.

Jones, 56, said last month that the 30-year-old had “let his country down” with the third red card of his career.

But the Australian said on Tuesday that Hartley was “doing everything right” to be England captain for the forthcoming Six Nations.

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Players making contact with an opponent’s head in “reckless tackles” will receive a yellow card at least in changes to rules over high tackles.

Players will be punished even if the tackle starts below the shoulders.

If head contact is accidental – for example, if a ball-carrier slips into a tackle – a penalty will be awarded.

World Rugby says the new rules, which come into effect on 3 January, “aim to change culture in the sport to ensure that the head is a no-go area”.

A reckless tackle occurs when a player “knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway”.

In September 2015, World Rugby’s chief medical officer Martin Raftery said that the game’s rules may have to change to reduce concussions.

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The curtain has come down on the Autumn Internationals and there can now be little doubt that the gap has closed between the north and south. However, the prevailing question is: Have the Northern Hemisphere teams strengthened or have the Southern sides weakened?

In my book, it’s a 60:40 split. Forty per cent is owing to much better cohesion from Northern Hemisphere teams and continuity in terms of selection under the guidance of astute coaches. However, 60 per cent is due to the fact that Southern Hemisphere rugby has waned. Harsh questions have to be asked around competition structures in the south, as well as eligibility of foreign-based players.

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EnglandAustraliaEngland (13) 37 / 21 (16) Wallabies (Final Score)

England and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England, at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 UK Time & GMT, Sunday 01:30 AEDT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 2 & CSN on TV in SA.

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World Rugby Sevens SeriesThe 1st HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament for the 2016 – 2017 season is taking place in Dubai on 2 and 3 December 2016.

On Day 1 (2 December 2016) the usual results followed for the big nations, with the expected top 8 qualifying for the Quarters.

On Day 2 (3 December 2016) Fiji, England, Wales and South Africa (Blitzbokke) advanced to the Semi-Finals for the overall title.

South Africa’s Blitzbokke struck a massive blow by beating New Zealand in the Quarters by a mighty 40 / 0, to advance into the Semis were they will face Wales, whereas Fiji and England square up in the remaining Semi-final.

In the 1st Semi-final, Fiji beat England by 31 / 12.

South Africa comfortably beat Wales in the 2nd Semi-final, by 36 / 5.

The South African Blitzbokke won the title in fine style, beating Fiji in the Final by 26 / 14.

All games were televised LIVE in South Africa on SuperSport 1 and M-Net.

 

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FranceNew ZealandFrance (6) 19 / 24 (10) All Blacks (Final Score)

France and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Stade de France, Paris, France, at 22:00 SA Time (21:00 French Time, 20:00 GMT, Sunday 09:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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WalesSouth AfricaWales (12) 27 / 13 (6) Springboks (Final Score)

Wales and the South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Principality Stadium (Millennium Stadium), Cardiff, Wales, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & 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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EnglandArgentinaEngland (16) 27 / 14 (7) Los Pumas (Final Score)

England and the Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England, at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 UK Time & GMT, 11:30 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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IrelandNew ZealandIreland (6) 9 / 21 (14) All Blacks (Final Score)

Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 GMT & UK Time, Sunday 06:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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ItalySouth AfricaItaly (10) 20 / 18 (12) Springboks (Final Score)

The Italian Azzurri and South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy, at 16:00 SA Time (14:00 GMT, 15:00 Italian Time).

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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Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo has become one of rugby’s biggest cult stars, possibly because he is one of the biggest men in the game. This weekend he will play for Fiji against England at Twickenham in a match reportedly set to net the RFU approximately £10,000,000. Fijian players will receive £400 each, and the Fiji Rugby Union will receive a £75,000 ‘goodwill gesture’. Most fans of the game think this stinks.

However, in a heartfelt letter, Nemani Nadolo says it is not the players complaining about payments:

Over the last 48 hours a number of news reports have suggested the players in the Fijian team have made complaints about the allowance we receive to play for our country and to honour our people this weekend when we face England at Twickenham. I want to tell you all that this is simply not true.

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WalesArgentinaWales (6) 24 / 20 (3) Los Pumas (Final Score)

Wales and the Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT, 14:30 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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wrwc17logoHolders England will face the USA, Italy and either Scotland or Spain in their opening pool at next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Scotland will book their spot at next August’s tournament if they beat Spain in this month’s play-off over two legs.

Ireland are joined in Pool C by fellow 2014 semi-finalists France, Australia and either Fiji, Hong Kong or Japan.

Wales face former winners New Zealand and 2014 runners-up Canada and Fiji, Hong Kong or Japan in Pool A.

New Zealand won four successive World Cups between 1998 and 2010 but were knocked out in the pool stage in France two years ago after suffering a surprise defeat by Ireland.

The winners of the Asia/Oceania qualifier between Fiji, Hong Kong and Japan will join 2013 and 2015 Six Nations champions Ireland, plus top seeds France and Australia in Pool C.

The Asia/Oceania runners-up will play in Pool A alongside Canada, New Zealand and Wales.

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