DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup star Devon Williams will make his first start for the DHL Stormers when the team travels to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs in Super Rugby action on Saturday (kick-off 17:05 SA Time).
A Junior Springbok squad bolstered by several players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience was named by SARU in Cape Town on Tuesday for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand from June 2 to 22.
Handré Pollard (flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls), André Esterhuizen (centre, Cell C Sharks), Sergeal Petersen and Aidon Davis (both Southern Kings) as well as Malcolm Marx (hooker, Lions) have all either played Vodacom Super Rugby or have been part of their respective franchise’s Super Rugby training groups.
The squad also sees the return of several players who did duty for the South Africa Under-20’s in France last year, where they claimed the bronze medal.
The Waratahs are unconcerned that injured playmaker Kurtley Beale might not train at all before tackling the Blues at Eden Park on Friday.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has placed Beale in cotton wool this week, giving the midfield provider every chance and all the time he needs to overcome an ankle injury in time to take the field in Super Rugby’s Anzac Day blockbuster on Friday.
The Cheetahs are hoping to have two key players available for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
According to reports, flyhalf Johan Goosen (concussion) and flank Lappies Labuschagné (groin) could be ready to face the Capetonians.
When the next 4 Springboks who are due to head overseas to earn their keep in Euro and Yen depart, it will be the first time since the inception of professional rugby that more Springboks will be playing rugby overseas than in South Africa, it was reported on the weekend.
Vodacom Bulls titness Report after Round 10:
Vodacom Bulls scrumhalf Piet van Zyl picked up a knee injury and will not play against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday, the last tour match of their 2014 overseas tour for the Pretoria team.
Van Zyl left the field against the Waratahs in Sydney last weekend and will be out of action for two weeks, Vodacom Bulls team doctor, Org Strauss, said on Monday.
Following initial consideration by the SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe SC, Flip van der Merwe of the Bulls will appear at a SANZAR Judicial Hearing after being cited for alleged foul play during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
There are suggestions that Pat Lambie could still make a comeback before the play-offs in July.
Holders Toulon look set to be able to call on influential flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and hooker Craig Burden for the European Cup semifinal against Munster.
The pair, out injured for the past two weeks, have reported fit and both turned out for training on Monday.
On the weekend, the battling Stormers had reason to smile again after they returned to winning ways against the Lions.
Allister Coetzee, head coach declared he was happy with the win.
Jean de Villiers revealed he defied instructions from the coach to play defensive when they had a 15-point lead.
Schalk Burger and Oli Kebble will be back this weekend, returning from injury, while Pat Cilliers and Demetri Catrakilis is sidelined with injuries.
High-profile code hopper Benji Marshall is ready to tuck his tail between his legs and run back to Rugby League.
The Australian media reported on Monday that Marshall has asked for an immediate release from the Blues Super Rugby outfit, in order to return to the National Rugby League in Australia.
According to the reports Marshall has asked his manager Martin Tauber to open discussions with NRL clubs.
Chiefs lock Michael Fitzgerald has been suspended for one week after he pleaded guilty on a charge of dangerous tackling in his team’s 10th round Super Rugby match against the Crusaders.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe SC accepted a guilty plea from Fitzgerald for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
Crusaders lock Dominic Bird has been suspended for one week for foul play during his team’s 17-18 tenth round Super Rugby victory over the Chiefs on Saturday.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe SC accepted a guilty plea from Dominic Bird of the Crusaders for contravening Law 10.4 (e) Dangerous Tackling, after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.
Hurricanes prop John Schwalger has been ruled out of Super Rugby for an indefinite period, after being diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs.
He was withdrawn at short notice from the replacement bench for Friday’s 39-20 win by the Canes over the Blues in Wellington.
Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 23-man team to take on the DHL Stormers at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
In the forwards, Robbie Coetzee will start at hooker, in place of Willie Wepener. Jaco Kriel returns to the starting line-up at flank.
Meanwhile, in the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf, Anthony Volmink makes his first Vodacom Super Rugby start of the year at left wing and Chrysander Botha will start at fullback.
The Cell C Sharks backline shows two injury-enforced changes for this Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash against the visiting Cheetahs at Growthpoint KINGS PARK.
Odwa Ndungane’s upper shoulder knock sustained against the Lions in their victory over the Joburg side last week sees him replaced by Tonderai Chavhanga who has been getting game time for the Cell C Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup following his return from injury and makes his debut for the Cell C Sharks at this level.
Tom McCartney has decided to swap Super Rugby for the Pro12 by signing a three-year contract with Irish side Connacht.
McCartney has been a consistent performer for the Blues since he made his Super Rugby debut in 2008 against the Chiefs.
He has since accumulated 64 appearances in the competition.
New Zealand flyhalf Stephen Brett will join second division leaders Lyon on a two year deal from Bayonne next season.
The 28-year-old, who has been capped by the All Blacks at Under-21 level, signed with Bayonne one year ago and has made 20 Top 14 appearances, kicking 15 penalties and a conversion.
Injuries have compelled the Force to make six changes with lock Adam Coleman and scrumhalf Ian Prior making their first appearances in the starting line-up.
Coleman has started on the bench in the Force’s past five matches and earns his first opportunity in the run-on side, packing down alongside Wilhelm Steenkamp.
Chiefs outside back Mils Muliaina has been ruled out for the rest of the Super Rugby season.
The former All Blacks fullback has succumbed to an elbow injury aggravated in their round two match against the Crusaders in February.
Tavis Knoyle has been suspended for four weeks and Sila Puafisi for one at a Rugby Football Union hearing after the match between Gloucester and Bath.
The contentious West Country derby between Gloucester and Bath, which resulted in two red cards and five yellows, has led to the RFU stepping in to deal with the offenders.
Glasgow Warriors have received a timely boost ahead of this Friday’s clash with Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium with Rob Harley and Tyrone Holmes both signing new deals with the club.
The back-row pair have penned new two-year contracts, which will keep them at Scotstoun until at least May 2016.
Fullback Israel Folau is back in the Waratahs team for their Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in Sydney on Saturday.
Folau was sensationally withdrawn from the Waratahs’ team on the eve of their match with the Western Force in Perth last Saturday because the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) was concerned about his throat injury.
South-African born prop Reggie Goodes will make his first start of the season for the Hurricanes against the Blues in Wellington on Friday.
The introduction of the 22-year-old loosehead prop is the only change that Hurricanes head coach Mark Hammett has made to his side for the arrival of the Auckland-based side, and it is injury-inforced.
Vodacom Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe has been passed fit to face the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday and will lead the team for their third tour match to Australasia.
This will be the first of two matches the Vodacom Bulls will play in Australia as part of their Vodacom Super Rugby tour.
Van der Merwe got injured in last weekend’s bonus point loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin, but has recovered sufficiently from his arm injury to lead the team.