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Player Movements

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SpringboksThe Junior Springbok rugby squad arrived in Italy on Thursday afternoon for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship and immediately settled in at their tournament base in Parma.

Conditioning coach, Dr Warren Adams, took the squad of 28 players for an active recovery session which consisted of a good stretch followed by a swim in the pool.

The squad left South Africa yesterday and arrived here via a domestic flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then the overnight haul from the City of Gold to Frankfurt in Germany.

That was followed by a 90 minute airplane journey to Milan, from where the South Africans travelled by bus to their tournament destination.

Hanro Liebenberg and his squad are in a good condition after attending an intensive training camp of almost 2 months at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.

South Africa play their opening fixture next Tuesday evening in Calvisano against the hosts, Italy in what is expected to be a fiercely contested clash.

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named Jurgen Visser at fullback in his team to play the Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Friday. Visser will replace Jesse Kriel who has been named on the bench for this match, the 1st of 2 on Australian soil for the Vodacom Bulls in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Visser joined the squad on Monday in place of injured Jan Serfontein and with Kriel recovering from a knee contusion, Ludeke opted for the 30 times capped fullback to start. This will be a 1st start at fullback for Visser since the opening week in February against the DHL Stormers.

Serfontein has been replaced by Burger Odendaal in the midfield.

In the pack, there is a return for Adriaan Strauss, who was rested last weekend, with Callie Visagie moving to the bench, as well as a 1st start on tour for Grant Hattingh, who replaces Victor Matfield at lock. Matfield is rested according to the SARU agreement.

Dean Greyling rotates with Trevor Nyakane at loosehead prop and Arno Botha swops places with Jacques du Plessis at the side of the scrum in the other change to the pack.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Big-spending French giants Toulon are finding the going tough in luring Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth to France after this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Reports late last year indicated that Etzebeth could join Toulon as a replacement for compatriot Bakkies Botha, who is set to leave the reigning European champions.

The problem though for Toulon is that Etzebeth is still contracted to Western Province until the end of the 2016 season – and the union is reluctant to let him go.

Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal has confirmed their interest in Etzebeth, but admitted that they are finding the going tough to attain Etzebeth’s services, with Western Province believed to be upset over the matter.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Experienced DHL Stormers and Springbok flank Schalk Burger will be rested from this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Toyota Cheetahs.

Burger has been a star performer for the Stormers since returning from Japan in early March.

However, he will have this week off as part of the franchises agreement with the South African Rugby Union – to keep key Springboks ‘fresh’ for the World Cup.

The Stormers will host the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday, having lost by 17 / 25 in Bloemfontein the last time these 2 sides met on 2 May.

Burger’s intended replacement, Michael Rhodes, is not yet fit to be considered for selection.

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Robbie Coetzee

Robbie Coetzee

Emirates Lions’ hooker Robbie Coetzee has been suspended for 3 matches after he was found guilty for performing a dangerous spear tackle on Cheetahs replacement wing Rayno Benjamin.

The ruling means the burly forward will play no further part in this year’s campaign if his side fails to make this year’s playoffs as they only have 2 games remaining.

Coetzee has been found guilty under Law 10.4 (j): Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and / or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

Elapsed time in match when incident occurred: 49th minute.

“I considered all the evidence before me including the video footage, Citing Commissioner’s report, medical information for the Cheetahs’ player, Rayno Benjamin, who was involved in the incident and the submissions made for the player by his legal representative, Frikkie Erasmus and Lions Defence Coach, JP Ferreira,” Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner said.

“After taking further facts into consideration, such as the player’s unsuccessful attempt to hold on to his opponent in the tackle, I found the incident to have a lower end entry point. A 4 week suspension is indicated for such offending.

“The need for a deterrent in the circumstances of this incident is in my view served by imposing a further week’s suspension.”

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Will Skelton

Will Skelton

Tolu Latu

Tolu Latu

The Waratahs have formally appealed against the bans slapped on 2 of their players and the new hearing will take place on Thursday.

The judicial hearing held on Monday 25 May found Will Skelton and Silatolu (Tolu) Latu guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j): Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and / or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

Skelton was given 2 weeks and Latu handed 4, for spear tackling Crusaders’ lock Sam Whitelock.

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Sefanaia Naivalu

Sefanaia Naivalu

has recovered from a concussion and is available for selection as the Melbourne Rebels head to Durban to tackle the Sharks in Round 16.

Toby Smith (back) has also recovered from his injury to be available for selection this week.

Tighthead prop Tim Metcher has injured his knee in the Connect Dewar Shield and is undergoing further tests, while Tamati Ellison is suffering from a groin niggle.

Metcher and Ellison will know after further assessment of their injuries if they are available to play.

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MontpellierMontpellier, coached by former Springbok and Sharks mentor Jake White, have announced that 19 players will leave the club at the end of the season, including former All Black Rene Ranger and ex-Springbok Wynand Olivier.

Rene Ranger is set to return to New Zealand with the Blues in next season’s Super Rugby.

There is already a large South African contingent at Montpellier.

Shaun Sowerby is White’s assistant coach, while Pat Cilliers (prop) and Robert Ebersohn (centre) already ply their trade there.

Other South Africans soon to join include Jacobie Adriaanse (Llanelli Scarlets, prop), Schalk van der Merwe (Lions, prop), Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers, flyhalf), Jacques du Plessis (Bulls, loose forward / lock), Cameron Wright (Sharks, scrumhalf / flyhalf) and Wiaan Liebenberg (Bulls, loose forward).

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Lood de Jager

Lood de Jager

The Toyota Cheetahs could be boosted by the return of several key players for their Super Rugby clash against the DHL Stormers on Saturday.

Lock Lood de Jager (elbow), scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius (shoulder), flyhalf Joe Pietersen (shoulder) and flank Tienie Burger (concussion) could all return to action in the clash at Newlands (17:05 SA Time).

No 8 Willie Britz, who injured his elbow in last weekend’s 40 / 17 defeat to the Lions, could also be ready to face the Stormers.

However, confirmation about the players’ availability will only be known later in the week.

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

With Quade Cooper almost certain to honour his agreement with Toulon, Reds coach Richard Graham has revealed the Australian team may seek a new flyhalf from abroad.

Toulon, showing a picture of the Wallaby flyhalf wearing a Toulon jersey and shaking the hand of club president Mourad Boudjellal, only for the Australian and Queensland Rugby Unions to insist they were still in negotiations with the player and nothing was set in stone.

But according to weekend reports, Cooper will indeed be joining the French club after this year’s World Cup, with the deal to be formalised in public within the next fortnight.

On Monday, Graham was sticking to the official line that Cooper’s future in Brisbane was still uncertain but admitted that the club were exploring options for his replacement, including the possibility of bringing in a foreigner.

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Sam Whitelock

Sam Whitelock

Kieran Read

Kieran Read

The Crusaders’ fast-fading hope of reaching the Super Rugby play-offs were dealt another cruel blow.

It was revealed that 5 of the team’s All Blacks have been ruled out of the encounter with the tournament’s runaway leaders, the Hurricanes, in Nelson on Friday.

Top of that list is lock Sam Whitelock, who has the recipient of a brutal double spear tackle by 2 Waratahs players – lock Will Skelton and hooker Silatolu Latu.

The duo were handed 2 and 4-week bans on Monday, following their combined actions.

Whitelock has been ruled out of the trip to Nelson due to concussion.

Captain Kieran Read has already been ruled out of the match with the same affliction.

The Crusaders will also be without fullback Israel Dagg (calf), flyhalf Colin Slade (quadricep) and prop Joe Moody (foot).

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Stephan Lewies & Willem Alberts

Stephan Lewies & Willem Alberts

The Cell C Sharks have paid a dear price for snapping a 6-match losing streak with a hard-fought a 21 / 14 over the Reds last Friday.

Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Francois Steyn, Stefan Ungerer and Dale Chadwick were the latest additions to an injury list that already includes names like Cobus Reinach (fractured hand), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee) and Pat Lambie (neck vertebrae).

The Sharks started training in Durban on Monday – after a tour that saw them lose to the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Waratahs, before beating the Reds.

With games against the Melbourne Rebels (this coming Friday 29 May) and the Stormers on 13 June to come, with a BYE sandwiched in between, the last thing they needed was more injuries.

Lewies, who missed the 1st half of the season through injury, looks set to miss the remaining matches after he dislocated his knee cap in Brisbane at the weekend.

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Robbie Coetzee

Robbie Coetzee

Robbie Coetzee of the Lions has been cited for alleged foul play during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Coetzee is alleged to have contravened 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, in an incident which occurred in the 49th minute of the Super Rugby match between the Cheetahs and Lions at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on 23 May 2015.

The referee for the match, Jaco van Heerden, issued a yellow card for the incident. Upon further review of the match footage, the Citing Commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play.

The citing is to be considered in the first instance by SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC.

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Fourie du Preez

Fourie du Preez

Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will be available and will be considered for the Springbok squad in 2 months’ time.

There have been whispers about whether Du Preez will play for the Springboks, and what his obligations are to his Japanese club. However the team manager of the Springboks Ian Schwartz cleared up any uncertainty over the situation.

Du Preez played no role in the Springbok’s 1st training camp, and is currently not playing any rugby, although, he has been in the country since March.

Schwartz explained that this is due to an agreement with his Japanese club Suntory, that keeps him away from national practices. Only however, until the international season begins in July when he will be free to be selected for the Springboks 1st match against the World XV on 11 July.

Du Preez is in regular contact with Springbok fitness coach Basil Carzis and, according to Schwartz, is “working very hard” to get into top shape.

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Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein

Vodacom Bulls midfielder Jan Serfontein has been ruled out of the remainder of their tour due to grade 1 medial knee ligament injury. Serfontein has already made his way back to South Africa and will be replaced by Jurgen Visser for the Australian leg of the trip.

Jesse Kriel, who limped off on Friday against the Chiefs, has a contusion on his knee, but trained on Monday, Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss confirmed. Trevor Nyakane, who had a bruised hip, also trained.

Lappies Labuschagne though, will only train tomorrow, due to a trachea contusion.

Johan Bardoul

Johan Bardoul

Chiefs’ lock Johan Bardoul is set to watch the remainder of the Super Rugby season from the sideline, as he has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Bardoul has suffered the same injury as his flatmate and fellow lock Michael Allardice, and ruptured the medial ligament in his right knee.

The Chiefs have had a collapse of injuries in the 2nd row, with All Black and World Rugby Player of the Year Brodie Retallick, and Allardice both suffering set-backs.

This saw the Chiefs pull Ross Filipo out of retirement for their game against the Bulls last Friday to cover in the lock department.

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Tolu Latu

Tolu Latu

Will Skelton

Will Skelton

2 Waratahs players were cited and suspended after the niggly Waratahs display on the weekend in their match against the Crusaders. Will Skelton was suspended for 2 weeks and Tolu Latu for 4 weeks.

It appears that the Waratahs will appeal the findings of both Hearings.

 

Will Skelton:

A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Will Skelton of the Waratahs guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (j) Lifting Tackle, after he was cited following a Super Rugby match at the weekend. Skelton has been suspended for 2 weeks up to and including Saturday 6 June 2015.

The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 23 May 2015.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held by Robert Stelzner SC via video conference at 15:30 AEST (17:30 NZ Time, 07:30 SA Time) on 25 May 2015. Mike Mika was the former professional player who attended as a Judicial Technical Adviser.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

Springbok flank Heinrich Brüssow has explained his decision to not extend his contract with the Cheetahs.

Brussow, 28, last week indicated that he won’t be extending his contract with the Cheetahs after this year’s Super Rugby competition.

He will only be available for his Japanese club, the Docomo Red Hurricanes, in 2016 and 2017, and not return to play Super Rugby as he has done in recent years.

“I feel I’m at a stage of my career where I have to look after my own body,” Brüssow said. “That’s why I have signed a 2-year contract in Japan. My new challenge is to take that club to a higher level and I’m going to focus all of my attention on that.”

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Ruan Pienaar

Ruan Pienaar

Zane Kirchner

Zane Kirchner

The latest news from the Barbarians camp is that both Zane Kirchner and Ruan Pienaar have been called up to join the Barbarians for the matches against Ireland and England.

The Barbarians face Ireland at Thomond Park (28 May) and an England XV at Twickenham (31 May).

They will line up alongside the likes of Joe Rokocoko, George Smith, Adam Jones, Alex Cuthbert, Gio Aplon and Thomas Waldrom for the famous invitation club that celebrates the 125th anniversary of its foundation this year.

World Cup-winning Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar has also been called up to complete the Barbarians squad to face Ireland and England this week.

Apart from Pienaar, who became available after his Irish province Ulster suffered a dramatic 14 / 16 defeat to Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 semifinals at the weekend, Barbarians head coach Robbie Deans also added other high-profile names like England international wing Ugo Monye, also with All Blacks forwards Brad Thorn and Jason Eaton.

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George Smith

George Smith

Australian legend George Smith will get a taste of Champions Cup next season after agreeing a switch from Lyon to Wasps.

The 34-year-old flank, part of the Wallabies side that beat the British & Irish Lions in 2001 and reached the 2003 World Cup final, retired from international rugby with 111 caps after 1 final appearance against the Lions in 2013.

He played for the Brumbies for 11 years before switching to Europe and then Japan. He played for Toulon in the old Heineken Cup in 2010 / 2011, helping them reach the quarterfinals, and the following season played for Stade Francais Paris in the Challenge Cup, reaching the semifinals.

He made 24 appearances for Lyon last season, but couldn’t stop them from losing their Top 14 status. He will join a Wasps team that retained its Champions Cup place and will get his 1st taste of Premiership rugby, battling for a place with James Haskell, Ashley Johnson, Nathan Hughes, Guy Thompson, Sam Jones and Thomas Young.

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Hanro Liebenberg

Hanro Liebenberg

Vodacom Blue Bulls No 8 Hanro Liebenberg will lead the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy next month, SARU confirmed on Wednesday.

Liebenberg will skipper the 28-man squad during the 3-week tournament from 2 to 20 June. He led the Junior Springboks to a thrilling win over the Varsity Cup Dream Team last month and also captained them when they clinched a 2 – 0 series win over the Argentina Under 20 side in Rosario last Saturday.

The squad, which was chosen by the national selectors, consists of 16 forwards and 12 backs, and includes 6 players who featured in last year’s tournament in New Zealand. Last year England edged the young South Africans by a single point in a memorable final at Eden Park in Auckland.

Jean-Luc du Preez (flank), Thomas du Toit (prop, both Cell C Sharks), Joseph Dweba (hooker, Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Abongile Nonkontwana (lock, Vodacom Blue Bulls), Jacques Vermeulen (No 8, DHL Western Province) and Warrick Gelant (fullback, Vodacom Blue Bulls) are the players who will represent the Junior Springboks for a 2nd successive year.

The Junior Springbok squad shows 4 changes from the touring group that returned from Argentina on Monday evening.

Lock RG Snyman (Vodacom Blue Bulls) got the nod to travel to Italy after he sat out the Los Pumitas series because of an ankle injury. WP centre EW Viljoen and Blue Bulls flyhalf Tinus de Beer, who also did not tour Argentina, were both selected for the Italian job.

The Du Preez twins, Dan and Jean-Luc, who were selected for the 2014 tournament, are also members of the 28-man squad. Dan, however, withdrew days before the team left for New Zealand last year because of a shoulder injury.

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Emirates LionsEmirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his team to face the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday evening.

Ackermann has opted to rotate several players for this local derby.

In the forwards, Ackermann has chosen to start Jacques van Rooyen and Ruan Dreyer in the front row. Andries Ferreira will partner with Martin Muller in the lock pairing, while Warwick Tecklenburg returns to the starting side at flank.

In the backline, Courtnall Skosan returns to start at left wing which results in Ruan Combrinck shifting back to right wing. Howard Mnisi comes into the starting side and links up with Lionel Mapoe in the midfield, as Mapoe shifts back to outside centre.

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DHL StormersDHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has announced his team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Melbourne Rebels at DHL Newlands (kick-off 19:10 SA Time), with SA Sevens star Seabelo Senatla named to start.

Senatla will start in the No 14 jersey – with Johnny Kotze missing out – in 1 of just 3 changes from the starting 15 that beat the Brumbies at DHL Newlands a fortnight ago.

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “It’s great to welcome Seabelo back from SA Sevens duty, as he did for us last season (before also going on to play in the ABSA Currie Cup).

“He’s keen and excited to get stuck back in, as he said when he arrived back in the country, and Seabelo knows what we expect from him and why we have selected him – after all, he is quality player and he trained well today.

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James Hanson

James Hanson

Reds hooker James Hanson will leave the club at the conclusion of the 2015 Super Rugby season, after signing with the Melbourne Rebels.

Hanson made his Reds debut in 2010 and has played 80 games for the Brisbane based side. He has also played 9 Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut for Australia in 2012.

A product of Brisbane’s St. Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace and Premier Grade club University of Queensland, Hanson progressed through the Queensland pathway after 1st representing the state at Schoolboys level in 2005. He joined the Reds in 2008 as a member of their academy squad and made his Super Rugby debut 2 years later.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “James and Saia Fainga’a have jostled for the starting role over the last couple of seasons. ”

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Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau has been told by the New Zealand Rugby Union that he cannot play for the Blues next year.

The 23-year-old, has accepted a deal with Pro12 club Ulster midway through the 2016 year, and he wanted to play for the Blues before he left.

If Piutau was allowed to continue playing in Auckland next year he would be available for more than 10 of the Blues Super Rugby games in the 2016 season before his obligations at Ulster began.

However NZRU has denied the opportunity for the 23-year-old to continue playing for the Blues next year, applying its regulation that Super Rugby players must available for All Blacks Test duty.

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Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira

Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira

The Cell C Sharks will end their 4 match tour of New Zealand and Australia on Friday when they take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with singular purpose in mind.

Both sides have not enjoyed the kinds of seasons their players, coaches and supporters expected at the start of the season, but for some bad luck and a host of injuries in key positions, perhaps their respective campaigns might have been different.

“You look at the players in their team – Slipper, Horwell, Genia, Turner, O’Connor – these are really good rugby players, highly experienced internationals and this is a team going through a similar season to us,” explains Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold.

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Seabelo Senatla

Seabelo Senatla

Sevens superstar Seabelo Senatla is ready to pull on a Stormers jersey and says that, physically, there is nothing stopping him from turning out against the Melbourne Rebels at Newlands on Saturday.

The Blitzbokke arrived at Cape Town International airport on Tuesday after a disappointing end to their World Series season in London, but the attention was firmly on Senatla and his Super Rugby availability.

“Ja, physically I can play, there is nothing actually stopping me,” this year’s leading try scorer on the World Series circuit said.

On Monday the Stormers were investigating whether or not they would be shown any leniency from SANZAR with regards to the rule that uninjured players have to have been fielded at least 4 times by their franchise if they are to be allowed to play in the tournament playoffs. If that rule does indeed stand, then Senatla will have to play some part in Saturday’s match and the other 3 remaining fixtures to be able to feature in the playoffs, should the Stormers qualify.

But it is not that simple, and as keen as Senatla is to play, questions over his fitness will be answered by the Stormers medical experts.

Senatla is due to undergo a medical on Wednesday, and he is recovering from a hematoma on his thigh muscle.

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Willem Alberts

Willem Alberts

The Cell C Sharks appear resigned to the fact that loose forward Willem Alberts will be leaving them after the 2015 Rugby World Cup to play in France, judging by comments coach Gary Gold made when quizzed about their latest signing, Waratahs loose forward Jacques Potgieter.

Potgieter, a similarly abrasive forward to Alberts, will join the Sharks in early 2016 ahead of next year’s expanded Super Rugby tournament.

“We think 1 or 2 of our players are going to move after the World Cup and Jacques is a big character, a strong ball carrier and hard-hitting defender. We hope he has the same impact for us as he has had for the Waratahs. His aspiration is to play more for the Springboks and he’s not going to achieve that if he’s not based in South Africa,” Gold said.

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Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit

The Cell C Sharks appear to be winning the battle to retain the services of Cape bred Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has told Durban media that he is committed to the union that he says gave him his big break in rugby.

It has been an open secret for a while now that the Springbok lock, currently out injured, was in negotiations with the DHL Stormers. Until quite recently the Western Province union appeared to be winning the battle, with informed sources confirming that Du Toit, who is from Swartland farming stock, was nearly certain to make the move down the coast next season.

However, it is understood that the Sharks then fought quite hard with counter-offers and promises that a concerted effort will be made to get the structures in Durban rugby right, and in an interview with the Natal Mercury on Monday the lock said that while he couldn’t say what would happen in the longer term, he was committed to the Sharks for now.

Du Toit has been out injured for most of the past 2 seasons and appears to feel beholden to the patience and resources that the Sharks have committed to his medical rehabilitation.

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Patrick Tuipulotu

Patrick Tuipulotu

Steven Luatua

Steven Luatua

It is an unlucky 13 for the Blues, with 13 players on the injury list, including 4 players who are unlikely to play again in the final 4 weeks of the Super Rugby regular season.

Joining captain Jerome Kaino and Luke Braid on the long term injured list are All Blacks Steven Luatua and Patrick Tuipulotu.

Luatua, the stand-in captain for Kaino, dislocated his shoulder in the win over the Bulls on Friday and with the associated nerve damage, will not return for the Blues final 3 games. Tuipulotu has a long-term hip injury that has worsened and he, too, is unlikely to make it back in the next 4 weeks.

Both players require further tests prior to any decisions about their prognosis and management.

Joining them on the unavailable list this week is Tony Woodcock with a shoulder injury sustained in a collapsed scrum in the match against the Bulls and Charlie Faumuina who is on All Blacks leave.

Others not considered for this week’s match include Pita Ahki (hamstring), Dan Bowden (groin) and Bryn Hall (foot).

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Brad Weber

Brad Weber

Johan Bardoul

Johan Bardoul

Michael Allardice

Michael Allardice

The Chiefs have announced the re-signing of scrumhalf Brad Weber, loose forward Johan Bardoul and lock Michael Allardice all committing for at least the next 2 Super Rugby seasons.

Head coach Dave Rennie said, “They’re all good men with an excellent work ethic who have made big shifts in their game. We’re rapt these men have committed long term.”

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Tatafu Polota-Nau

Tatafu Polota-Nau

Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who said earlier this month he might retire if he was badly concussed again, will be rested from Super Rugby for another 3 weeks to ensure he has fully recovered from a head knock.

The hard-running No 2 suffered the latest in a long string of concussions in the Waratahs’ win over the Brumbies in Canberra on 1 May and has not played since.

Michael Cheika, both Waratahs and Australia coach this year, said the 29-year-old would not play against the Crusaders this weekend or on the 2-match tour of South Africa that follows the 2014 Super Rugby final re-match.

“There is no point in taking him to South Africa and having doubts over him,” Cheika told reporters on Tuesday.

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Sefanaia Naivalu

Sefanaia Naivalu

Electrifying wing Sefanaia Naivalu is the only injury concern for the Melbourne Rebels as they prepare to face the DHL Stormers on Saturday.

Naivalu, who scored a double last week during the Rebels loss to the Reds in Brisbane, is facing a test before being declared fit to play against the Stormers in Cape Town at Newlands.

The speedster suffered a head knock against the Reds on Friday in Brisbane, and will follow concussion protocols this week.

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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Springbok loose forward Francois Louw is backing his Bath teammate Sam Burgess to make his debut for England on the flank.

Rugby League convert Burgess has impressed since moving to the back row from the centres, and is widely tipped to be included in England’s pre-World Cup training squad – which will be named on Wednesday.

“I don’t think Sam will struggle at international level,” said Louw. “He will hold his own.”

“Stuart Lancaster has his hands full with loose forwards, but it’s not going to be too long before Sam makes his international debut on the flank.”

“Maybe it will be at this year’s World Cup and I’ll see him there.”

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Seabelo Senatla

Seabelo Senatla

The Stormers have returned from their week off with no major injury concerns ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Melbourne Rebels at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).

Johnny Kotze sat out Monday’s afternoon session with a minor niggle, whie fellow wing Kobus van Wyk remains on track for the Lions match on 6 June.

Speaking ahead of the Rebels match, Coetzee told the Stormers’ official website:

“The Rebels have beaten the Crusaders and the Brumbies away this year, so it shows their capacity as a team. We’ve had a good bye, with 3 big games coming up at Newlands, but it’s all about this weekend and getting the victory.

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