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Cobus Reinach

Cobus Reinach

The Cell C Sharks host the Steval Pumas in their return leg ABSA Currie Cup match at Growthpoint Kings Park on Saturday, looking to use a number of factors to their advantage to reverse the 1st Round result.

Although that victory was something of a shock, the Pumas are a tough prospect at home and in the 1st Round, were able to use continuity following their Vodacom Cup success to overcome a new-look Cell C Sharks side, missing many players.

But that was a month ago and the team have been able to build continuity and develop partnerships and combinations and they will be looking for a growth in improvement as well as home ground advantage to see off the visitors from Mpumalanga.

Odwa Ndungane has been ruled out of the match with a rib joint sprain and has been joined on the sidelines by Michael Claassens who suffered a lower back contusion in last week’s clash with the EP Kings.

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Hilton Lobberts

Hilton Lobberts

ORC Griquas coach Hawies Fourie has made several changes to his team as they prepare to face DHL Western Province in a Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Saturday.

Flank Hilton Lobberts is back in the starting team to replace Johan Wessels, after the Springbok was dropped to the bench for last weekend’s clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

RJ Liebenberg moves to No 7 flank, with the loose trio completed by Carel Greeff at No 8.

Fourie also made 2 changes to his front row, with Stephan Kotze coming in at tighthead prop, while Martin Bezuidenhout replaces AJ le Roux at hooker.

In the backline, Springbok Sevens player Ruhan Nel starts at left wing, while Jonathan Francke replaces Michael van der Spuy in midfield.

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EP KingsThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) may have to bail out the Eastern Province Rugby Union to end a player strike.

An ongoing stand-off between EP Rugby and the players, over the non-payment of salaries, has put in jeopardy the Currie Cup match between the Xerox Golden Lions and EP Kings in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The latest controversy follows a similar dispute in July, when New Zealander Carlos Spencer – then a member of the coaching panel – walked away from the team over non-payment of salaries.

The players were eventually paid at the end of July, with some reports claiming that it was the result of a SARU intervention.

Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) President Cheeky Watson responded with a terse “no comment”, when approached over the ongoing financial crisis at the Port Elizabeth-based union.

The South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) confirmed they will meet with the players on Thursday, as the latest stand-off drags into a 3rd day.

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New-ZealandSouth AfricaHeyneke Meyer’s Springbok squad will have the 2nd-most Test caps at this year’s Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.

According to the NZ Herald website, analysis of all 20 of the Rugby World Cup squads has revealed that defending champions and the world’s No 1 side, the All Blacks, have by far the most experience, with the squad combining for 1 484 Test caps – 187 more than the next best side – South Africa.

Led by Richie McCaw (142 caps), Keven Mealamu (126), Tony Woodcock (115) and Dan Carter (106), the defending champions have an added 345 Test caps from their triumph in 2011, where they came into the tournament with the 2nd most caps behind the Springboks.

Victor Matfield (123), Bryan Habana (110) and Jean de Villiers (107) are the 3 Springbok centurions, with Ruan Pienaar next best on 84.

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Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue

Controvertial New Zealand and anti-South African journalist, Chris Rattue, spilled his guts about removal of the Springbok name.

Here’s a muppit who knows sweet blue buggerall about South Africa, using the last of very few brain cells to write tripe of the highest order!

It is not his 1st ever controvertial gig either, the same twerp called the Welsh “Village Idiots” in August 2011, sparking fierce debate about it.

Simple message to this “Village Idiot” – Go concern yourself with yourself, fool!

Here’s what he had to write in the New Zealand Herald:

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Tshidiso Mokhoanatse

Tshidiso Mokhoanatse

The High Court bid to stop the Springboks from competing in the Rugby World Cup was merely meant to draw attention to the need for transformation, the man behind it said on Wednesday.

“The move was tactical. We managed to draw the attention of this country and of the Courts to the need for transformation,” the leader of the Agency for New Agenda (ANA) party, Tshidiso Mokhoanatse, told reporters in Pretoria.

The intention was to move the responsibility for transformation in sport away from the South African Rugby Union and government, to the Courts. He said he had succeeded in this.

He was speaking after he abandoned his bid for an order seeking to prevent the Springboks from going to England and Wales to compete in the World Cup, which starts on 18 September.

Judge Ntendeya Mavundla stood the matter down in the High Court in Pretoria earlier.

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Teboho Mohoje

Teboho Mohoje

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs will play Springbok Teboho Mohojé off the bench when they take on the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Friday.

The Currie Cup Round 5 match in Pretoria will see Mohojé rejoin the Free State Cheetahs after failing to make the cut for the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad.

Free State Cheetahs coach Franco Smith made just 1 change to the starting 15 for the trip to Loftus Versfeld.

Jacques du Toit and Elandre Hugget switch places at hooker, with Huggett starting and Du Toit on the bench.

While Mohoje found a spot on the Free State Cheetahs bench, there was no place in the matchday 22 for the Free State Cheetahs’ other discarded Springbok, wing Cornal Hendricks.

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Tshidiso Mokhoanatse

Tshidiso Mokhoanatse

The man trying to stop the Springboks from leaving South Africa needs to find a lawyer, a judge cautioned him on Wednesday, as he is jumping into waters where there are “fish that bite”.

“You may find that you are traversing an area which is like a pond on the surface. It looks calm, but underneath the waters flow with tremendous force, if you are not familiar with that terrain,” Judge Ntendeya Mavundla cautioned Tshidiso Mokhoanatse.

He was referring to the debate about transformation in sport, and society in general.

The leader of the Agency for New Agenda party was about to jump into the deep end and tackle the case on his own, when Mavundla advised him it would be best to get a “scuba diver” to help him.

Mavundla stood the matter down until 14:00 SA Time for a lawyer from the Bar Council or Law Society to help him.

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Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein

Marcel van der Merwe

Marcel van der Merwe

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Springbok prop Marcel van der Merwe in his starting front-row and added Springbok midfielder Jan Serfontein to his bench for Friday’s ABSA Currie Cup match against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld.

Marais also has Francois Hougaard back in the starting team after the scrumhalf missed last week’s win over the ORC Griquas due to personal reasons. He replaces Ivan van Zyl who moves back to the bench.

Hougaard’s return is the only change in the backline, but Marais made 3 changes in the pack. Van der Merwe comes in for Werner Kruger, who is rested and a fit-again Roelof Smit comes in for Jannes Kirsten at flank, with the latter moving to the bench. In the other change, Dean Greyling will be replaced by Pierre Schoeman. Greyling has a knee strain and with Schoeman fit and ready to go following a long injury lay-off, Marais decided to give Greyling a break.

Under 21 regular Schoeman will make his debut in the competition, but has played for the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup.

Serfontein comes in for Dan Kriel, who will return to the Under 21 team.

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Flip van der Merwe

Flip van der Merwe

Blue Bulls & Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe has been released from his contract at the Vodacom Blue Bulls with immediate effect.

While the Blue Bulls initially decided that Van der Merwe was necessary for their ABSA Currie Cup campaign, his call-up to the Springboks a few weeks ago negated this and they had to find a way to do without him.

The Blue Bulls initially were worried about a lack of experience in the team but their good start to the Currie Cup season, where they are still unbeaten after 4 Rounds has led them to back their youngsters.

When Van der Merwe didn’t make the cut for the Springbok squad to the Rugby World Cup, it was decided to release him from his contract so that he could further his career in France.

Van der Merwe signed with French Top 14 club Clermont Auvergne during this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby season, at the same time as another Bulls lock, Jacques du Plessis, signed with Montpellier.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Tuesday applauded the work done by the national team’s medical, strength and conditioning staff to get the squad fit and ready for the Rugby World Cup.

Each member of the 31-man squad took part in most of the field sessions on Monday and Tuesday in Durban, including Duane Vermeulen, Jean de Villiers, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez and Francois Louw.

The training camp in Durban concludes on Wednesday and the players and management will get together again in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. The squad departs for England on Friday 11 September.

“We’re confident that all of the players will be fit to be considered for selection for our opening match against Japan in Brighton on 19 September,” said Meyer.

 

Duane Vermeulen at training

Duane Vermeulen at training

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Cheeky Watson

Cheeky Watson

EP Kings players and the union’s management are again at loggerheads over apparent delays in player payments.

The cash-strapped union was unable to pay players for several months earlier in the season, but the issue was thought to be resolved last month when EP president Cheeky Watson announced that the players were compensated up until the end of July.

However, similar issues appear to have risen again with regards to August’s salaries, and according to CEO Charl Crous they are working at “resolving the matter”.

There is believed to be a threat of a player strike, although Crous said he received no communication in that regard.

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William Small-Smith

William Small-Smith

Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein

Most coaches wouldn’t see it as a problem, but Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais has a welcome headache this week when he makes his selection for Friday night’s ABSA Currie Cup game against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld.

As 1 of the unluckiest players not to be selected for the Springboks, midfielder Jan Serfontein has returned to Loftus this week to continue in the Currie Cup, and his return coincides with his SA Under 20 midfield partner William Small-Smith also being declared fit from injury.

But it isn’t as if the Blue Bulls are seriously short of midfielders as they continue their unbeaten start to the Currie Cup season either. The current duo of Burger Odendaal and Dries Swanepoel have been exceptional in their play of late and Swanepoel scored twice in the big win over Griquas on the weekend.

So Marais now sits with the headache of how to make 4 go into 3 – with 1 unlucky player likely to lose out on 1 of the 2 starting berths and a place on the bench this weekend when they host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

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World RugbyAs the Rugby World Cup looms, the Springboks this week remain 4th on World Rugby’s official rankings.

Heyneke Meyer’s charges currently boast 85.15 ratings points, trailing Ireland Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland’s 16 / 10 home loss to Wales at the weekend saw them slip to 3rd, with Australia moving into 2nd spot.

Ireland’s defeat cost them 1.7 ratings points, leaving them on 85.19 points, 1.48 adrift of the Wallabies.

The All Blacks (92.89) remain comfortably atop the rankings – a position they have occupied since November 2009.

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Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Steven Kitshoff

Steven Kitshoff

DHL Western Province flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe will miss this Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against ORC Griquas with an AC Joint injury.

The impressive Notshe is not expected to be out for longer than a week, but coach John Dobson does have some loose forward options to replace him.

“Jurie van Vuuren is back to full fitness and someone like Chris Cloete deserves an opportunity, after coming off the bench so far,” coach John Dobson said.

“Chris starting would mean Rynhardt Elstadt moving back to No 7, but we’re comfortable either way in our players.”

In other news, Springbok squad member Steven Kitshoff (loosehead prop) and Barbarians representative Nic Groom (scrumhalf) are both available for selection this week.

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Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

Players who failed to make the final 31-man Springbok Rugby World Cup squad have rejoined their respective provinces for ABSA Currie Cup duty.

Out of the original 49 players named prior to this year’s Rugby Championship, 18 will either be available for their South African provinces or jet off to rejoin their overseas clubs.

This means Warren Whiteley (Xerox Golden Lions), Vincent Koch (Steval Pumas), Lionel Mapoe (Xerox Golden Lions), Cornal Hendricks (Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Marcell Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Cobus Reinach (Cell C Sharks), Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Western Province), Oupa Mohoje (Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Franco Mostert (Xerox Golden Lions), Marcel van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Western Province) and Frans Steyn (Cell C Sharks) can be considered for Currie Cup duty from this weekend.

Players like Heinrich Brussow (Docomo Red Hurricanes, Japan), Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs, Japan), Jaque Fourie (Kobelco Steelers) and Heinke van der Merwe (Stade Francais, France) will head for their overseas clubs.

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Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 squad

Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 squad

With the Springbok Rugby World Cup Squad having been announced on Friday at 18:00 SA Time, this weekend has slowly seen the emergence of the reaction to it.

The general reaction, mine included, is that some players should not be there and some should… but I think it’s fair to say that almost everybody agrees on 85% PLUS of the selected players… call them the “Non-Contestables”, if you will.

It is those final 7 or 8 players which the bickering has featured about as well as the undoubted support for or against the national coach, Heyneke Meyer.

From Government circles, the Minister of Sport & Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has praised the team and announced that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) is on track with their transformation goals.

To counter this, some obscure little piddly widdly Political Party, the Agency for New Agenda Party…. yeah right, who the hell are they, you are also asking, like me.. have brought a High Court Application in the North Gauteng High Court, seeking an urgent order to compel SARU and the Sports Department officials to surrender their passports so they cannot travel.

Heyneke Meyer has had to fend off those who have questioned some of his selections too, mainly the selection of Rudy Paige at scrumhalf, the only uncapped Springbok in the squad and he has had to give reasons for the specific selection.

In recent weeks, the previous Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, has also come out with some scathing critisism against Heyneke Meyer, and De Villiers has gone so far as to join forces with Labour Movement, Cosatu, to get his agenda and points accross as well as to form the backbone of a pressure group for the inclusion of more players of colour. Heyneke Meyer has retorted with a very simple yet eloquent reply, by praising Peter de Villiers.

Lastly, with fears regarding the fitness of a number of previously injured and rehabilitating players included in the squad, most notably Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen, Jannie du Plessis and Coenie Oosthuizen, coach Meyer now assures us that all 31 players will be ready to play when the tournament starts on 18 September.

So here goes, let’s look at all these aspects in more depth:

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Vodacom Blue BullsThe Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Monday confirmed that a number of high profile Springboks have extended their contracts with the Blue Bulls Company for the next couple of seasons.

The likes of Handré Pollard (Oct 2019), Adriaan Strauss (Oct 2019), Jesse Kriel (Oct 2019), Trevor Nyakane (Oct 2018) and Jan Serfontein (Oct 2017) all confirmed their futures with the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls, by signing extensions that will keep them in Pretoria for a considerable time.

“This is a clear indication that frontline players see the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls as the ideal place to continue and build their already impressive careers,” says High Performance Manager at the Blue Bulls Comapany, Xander Janse van Rensburg.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Xerox Golden Lions swopped places with the Vodacom Blue Bulls at the Top of the ABSA Currie Cup standings after their comprehensive 41 / 11 win over the Steval Pumas on Friday in Nelspruit, with flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff contributing 21 points with the boot.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls proved too strong for ORC Griquas in their Premier Division clash on Saturday in Kimberley and although they won their match comfortably by 46 / 32, they slipped to 2nd spot on the Log after the completion of Round 4, on points difference.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the Cell C Sharks scored a close-fought 24 / 20 win over the Eastern Province Kings after they overturned a 7 / 13 halftime deficit in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

DHL Western Province, the defending champions, suffered their 2nd successive away loss when the Toyota Free State Cheetahs pipped them by 28 / 21 in Bloemfontein on Friday evening despite a spirited rally in the 2nd half.

After 4 Rounds it is the Golden Lions now leading the Log thanks to their 30-point win in Nelspruit, closely followed by the Blue Bulls. The neighbours both have the maximum 20 points from 4 matches. Western Province and Free State Cheetahs (both 10 points) are 3rd and 4th, with the Sharks 5th and now just 1 point behind them. The Pumas (8 points), EP Kings (3 points) and Griquas (1 point) complete the standings.

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Springboks

The South African Springboks squad, to take on the world’s best in England, at the 2015 Rugby World Cup was officially announced at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 GMT), live on SuperSport 1 on TV in South Africa.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is on a hiding to nothing, no matter which squad he would have selected, whether it be from lobbyists saying that there are not enough players of colour in the side OR whether he is accused of player bias OR choosing old favourites… OR not choosing players on merit.

I urge everybody to accept his selection prerogatives, even though you or me would have done it differently, and to get behind this Springbok side for the Rugby World Cup, where they will be representing their country to the best of their abilities.

The “Ghost Squad” has already been discussed ad-nauseam, the announced squad is exactly the same and feature the inclusion of fringe players like Zane Kirchner, Rudy Paige, Siya Kolisi and Morné Steyn.

Injured or previously injured players like Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jannie du Plessis is also be included in the squad.

A number of players are hugely unlucky not to be selected, they include Heinrich Brüssow, Steven Kitshoff, Marcel van der Merwe, Vincent Koch, Marcell Coetzee, Jan Serfontein, Frans Steyn, Cornal Hendricks, Cobus Reinach and Francois Hougaard.

Here is the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad for 2015, which is now official:

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ABSA Currie CupABSA Currie Cup Log leaders, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, travel to Kimberley this weekend where they face a potentially difficult away fixture against the ORC Griquas side, while 2nd placed Xerox Golden Lions make the trip to Nelspruit in Mpumalanga to face the Steval Pumas.

The ORC Griquas are still searching for their 1st win in this year’s tournament, but the Blue Bulls travel to the Diamond City with the full knowledge that a visit to Kimberley is always a testing, bruising affair for any visiting team.

After suffering their 1st loss in 3 matches against the Blue Bulls last Saturday in Pretoria, DHL Western Province on Friday face a stern challenge in Bloemfontein against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

In the remaining fixture the Eastern Province Kings will be hoping to continue with their recent improvement when they host the Cell C Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The EP Kings lost by 2 points against the Steval Pumas in Round 3, after giving a good account of themselves specially during a spirited 2nd half display.

Xerox Golden Lions head coach, Johan Ackermann, has made several changes to his team for the Steval Pumas clash. There is however major concern regarding the fitness of their captain, Jaco Kriel, who sustained a quadriceps injury in the captain’s run on Thursday morning.

Wing Kobus van Wyk is back in the DHL Western Province starting line-up for Friday’s ABSA Currie Cup clash against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Kick-off is at 19:10 SA Time. The defending champions will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to the Blue Bulls and Van Wyk’s inclusion is 1 of 3 changes to the starting line-up.

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs, who lost to WP by 6 points in the rain 2 weeks ago, bounced back to form last weekend with a bonus point victory over the ORC Griquas, sending a clear warning to WP that a tough challenge awaits them in Bloemfontein.

The return of lock Giant Mtyanda to the Steval Pumas run-on side is the only change for their clash against the Xerox Golden Lions in Nelspruit on Friday. The Mpumalanga side face a difficult examination against the in-form visitors in this battle which also starts at 19:10 SA Time.

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks will be looking for back-to-back victories when they meet the EP Kings in their 2nd encounter of ABSA Currie Cup matches in Port Elizabeth following their 33 / 25 1st Round win at Growthpoint Kings Park.

They are aware it’s not going to be easy after the EP Kings showed a much-improved performance against the Steval Pumas last weekend and they’re playing at home with its added advantages.

The backline that did duty against the Xerox Golden Lions last weekend has remained in tact following no injury concerns and they have a desire to develop the cohesion further, while amongst the forwards Gerhard Engelbrecht trades places with Thomas du Toit and will gain his 1st start of the campaign after 2 games played off the bench in the only change to the entire starting XV.

On the bench, JC Astle returns from injury while exciting young prospect Garth April is handed his 1st senior jersey in Cell C Sharks colours.

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Francois Hougaard

Francois Hougaard

The Vodacom Blue Bulls will be without Francois Hougaard and Hanro Liebenberg this weekend. Livewire Hougaard will miss Saturday’s ABSA Currie Cup clash against ORC Griquas in Kimberley due to personal commitments, as his sister is getting married and he was given permission to miss the clash while Liebenberg is out injured.

Ivan van Zyl will start at scrumhalf in his run-on debut for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, whilst the return of Springbok Arno Botha at No 8 will offset the loss of Liebenberg, who will be out for at least a month.

Botha has just returned from injury and will be part of a new loose trio that will also feature regular captain, Lappies Labuschagne, and new starter, Jannes Kirsten, who debuted for the team last weekend from the bench. Kirsten replaces the injured Roelof Smit in the last of 3 changes to the starting team from last weekend.

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Xerox Golden LionsXerox Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has selected his team for Friday evening’s clash against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit.

Ackermann has made 4 personnel changes to the starting forward group, which downed the Cell C Sharks 31 / 16 last weekend. In the front row, Jacques van Rooyen will start at loosehead prop, with Ruan Dreyer shifting to tighthead.

Additionally, Martin Muller will start at lock while Fabian Booysen returns to the No 8 berth as a result of the injury to Ruaan Lerm.

As a result of a late quadriceps injury that captain Jaco Kriel sustained during this morning’s captain’s run, Stephan de Wit has also been included in the side at flank. The extent of Kriel’s injury is not known at this stage.

A change in the Xerox Golden Lions backline sees Sampie Mastriet start at wing, shifting Ruan Combrinck out to fullback.

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Chester Williams

Chester Williams

Former Springbok wing Chester Williams has been appointed as the new head coach of the University of the Western Cape’s rugby team.

He replaces former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, whose contract with the university has expired.

De Villiers had coached UWC in the 2nd-tier Varsity Shield competition since 2012.

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BG 'Burrie' Uys

BG ‘Burrie’ Uys

Toyota Free State Free State Cheetahs’ coach Franco Smith has made just 1 change to his team to take on DHL Western Province in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Smith has opted for consistency, sticking with his troops that defeated Griquas 31 / 9 in Kimberly last weekend barring 1 change in the front row.

The change sees BG ‘Burrie’ Uys start at loosehead prop, while Caylib Oosthuizen moves to the bench in place of Maks van Dyk, who has been released to play for the Barbarians against Samoa in London.

Tertius Kruger also slots into the replacements, with the injured Tienie Burger missing out.

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Ian Robertson

Ian Robertson

Ex Springbok centre and fullback, Ian Robertson, a skilled and determined player from what was then Rhodesia, died on Monday 24 August 2015.

He was only 65 but had been ill for a long time in a battle against leukaemia, ironic for such a fit man who helped so many others to fitness.

He played in 5 Tests for South Africa – not many but then there were not many in the 70’s and it was that much harder for a Rhodesian to be selected.

He 1st became a Springbok in 1974 as part of the rebuilding of the team after the trashing by the 1974 British Lions. He was chosen as a centre and played his 1st Test against France in Toulouse and then his 2nd at Parc des Princes in Paris. The Springboks won both, the 1st one 13 / 4, the 2nd 10 / 8.

In each case his centre partner was Johan Oosthuizen. In 1976 the All Blacks came and Robertson played fullback against them in 2 Tests and centre in 1. The Springboks won the series 3 / 1. He also played for a World XV against Cardiff that year.

Robertson was Rhodesia’s Sportsman of the Year in 1976.

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Kobus van Wyk

Kobus van Wyk

Wing Kobus van Wyk is back in the DHL Western Province line-up for Friday evening’s ABSA Currie Cup clash against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

DHL WP, the defending ABSA Currie Cup champions, will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria and Van Wyk’s inclusion is 1 of 3 changes to the starting line-up this time around.

The hard-running Van Wyk comes in for Dillyn Leyds on the right-wing, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla replaces Nic Groom, who is on Barbarians duty in London, and Alistair Vermaak starts at loosehead prop in place of the injured Oli Kebble.

Kebble’s hamstring has not recovered sufficiently from the weekend, whilst exciting talent Masimla will make his 1st ABSA Currie Cup start for DHL Western Province in the absence of both Groom and Jano Vermaak, who injured his finger against the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

Fit-again halfback Louis Schreuder is the new scrumhalf replacement and he will be joined on the bench by ABSA Currie Cup debutant JP Smith – the new prop replacement – and lock Jan de Klerk, who comes in for the injured Chris van Zyl (knee).

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Steval PumasSteval Pumas coach MJ Mentz announced an unchanged 22-man line-up for the 4th Currie Cup match of the season.

The men from Nelspruit will host the high-flying Xerox Golden Lions on Friday – the 2nd time the 2 sides will meet this season in the Currie Cup.

The Golden Lions beat the Pumas 44 / 27 in Johannesburg a fortnight ago.

The sides have not met in Nelspruit since the Pumas’ return to the Currie Cup competition in 2014.

However, Pumas coach MJ Mentz is confident about his team’s chances.

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Gert Smal

Gert Smal

Springbok stars Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende have all committed their long-term rugby futures to DHL Western Province and the DHL Stormers.

Prop Malherbe, lock Etzebeth, flanker Kolisi and centre De Allende are in contention to represent South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, having all been part of the Springbok squad this season after stellar Vodacom Super Rugby campaigns for the DHL Stormers.

Between them, the quartet have featured in 61 Tests, Etzebeth leading the way with 37 Test appearances since his debut against England in 2012, with Malherbe (6 Tests) and Kolisi (11 Tests) making their debuts in 2013 and De Allende (7 Tests) playing his 1st international in 2014.

“Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende have all been developed here at Western Province, coming through our youth structures and going on to play Test rugby for South Africa as standout DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province players,” said WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal.

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Hanro Liebenberg

Hanro Liebenberg

Vodacom Blue Bulls No 8, Hanro Liebenberg, will miss at least the next 6 weeks of the ABSA Currie Cup due to surgery, but Arno Botha has been cleared to play in the competition this weekend.

Liebenberg left the field late in the 1st half after a heavy tackle that saw him limp off, and there were no signs of the rupture in the scan that the Blue Bulls medical personnel did after the game on Saturday night.

But on Sunday Liebenberg didn’t feel well and headed back to the medical personnel, who rushed him to hospital where he was admitted in a serious condition and diagnosed with a ruptured small intestine and bruised colon from the tackle.

There was widespread fear on Monday that the injury could be career-ending as Liebenberg underwent emergency surgery in Pretoria, but the operation was a success, with a 2nd operation scheduled for Wednesday.

The SA Under 20 captain is set to miss most of the rest of the Currie Cup season because of the injury, and will face a slow road to recovery after the rupture released gas into his body that deteriorated his condition fast.

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  • Bullscot 3 Sep 2015, 14:49 SAST - 1 @ MacroPolo: Hi Macro interesting to read that you picked up on this aspect. There has been LOADS of...
  • grootblousmile 3 Sep 2015, 14:46 SAST - Looks like the game will be broadcast on SuperSport 1... but it is after midnight, so I'll have to see...
  • MacroPolo 3 Sep 2015, 14:37 SAST - Here is hoping there is a live game thread :lol:
  • MacroPolo 3 Sep 2015, 14:36 SAST - Geez way to pull a fast one on Naiyarovo. Though admitedly, it takes two to tango. "Hey Taqele, you are...
  • Lion4ever 3 Sep 2015, 13:56 SAST - @ Scrumdown: And we had to contend with a lot fall out from the previous management.
  • Scrumdown 3 Sep 2015, 13:52 SAST - 11 @ Lion4ever: Sureley, as in club games, you must keep pulling players up from the lower teams until you...

Rugby-Talk Currie Cup 2015

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk Currie Cup 2015

Pool Code: binsdeer

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The Pool is now OPEN for new Applications.

Rugby-Talk RWC 2015

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk RWC 2015

Pool Code: bosslire

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The Pool is now OPEN for new Applications.


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