With Wellington now but a distant memory, the Sydney leg of the Sevens World Series takes on new significance.
There have been 3 different champions in the 3 tournaments so far – Fiji in Dubai, South Africa in Cape Town and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand.
South Africa have a 2-point advantage over Fiji on top of the World Rugby Sevens Series Log standings.
The Blitzbokke have collected 54 points in the 1st 3 Rounds, and are followed by Fiji (52), New Zealand (47) and England (41).
With only 7 Series tournaments left before the teams head to the Olympic Games, a lot of talk, understandably, are on Rio.
Ed Jenkins, who returns to captain the Australia squad having become a father last week, said: “Going into the Olympics there are only 7 tournaments left so you want to find some form soon.
Toulon (0) 21 / 29 (17) Sharks (Final Score)
Toulon and the Cell C Sharks did battle in a Super Rugby 2016 warm-up match at
Stade Mayol, Toulon, France at 21:45 SA Time (20:45 French Time, 19:45 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 on TV in SA.
We have 3 NEW SuperBru Pools for all to join!
- The RBS 6 Nations 2016 starts on 6 February 2016, so hurry up and do not delay to register for it!
- The Varsity Cup 2016 starts on 8 February 2016, register for it too, whilst the iron is hot!
- The Super Rugby 2016 starts on 26 February, we are well within time, but do not delay and register for it!
This year we will do it a bit differently and open 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.
I found the article below on a website called rugby betting. The article is actually not about betting. It put the racial policy of SA rugby within context of the World Rugby rule book. Interesting perspectives. I thought the rugby-talk readers might enjoy this.
The World Rugby (formerly known as the IRB) rule book on racial discrimination reads as follows:
In terms of By-Law 3 of the IRB rules and regulations, the IRB is compelled to prevent any form of racial discrimination in rugby. IRB Regulation 20 also stipulates that any action which may be construed as racial discrimination will be regarded as misconduct. In terms of By-Law 7, not only is a country’s international team bound to this; the provincial rugby unions resorting under a country’s board must adhere to these principles as well. In terms of By-Law 9.4(r) the IRB may institute disciplinary steps against any rugby body that violates these rules.
Latest news on the Wellington Sevens Final is that referee Matt O’Brein has now apologized for his officiating during the Final. Too little too late, one feels. On the positive side it can only be good for the game if referee’s man up after the match. I also like Neil Powell’s handling of the situation, in terms of his communication with the referee, players and media.
The article below was published on stuff.co.nz earlier today.
In a recent article published on stuff.co.nz, sport scribe Mark Reason ripped into referee Matt O’Brien’s officiating during the Wellington Sevens Final between South Africa and New Zealand.
The article below was published on stuff.co.nz yesterday.
New Zealand won the Wellington leg of the Sevens championship, after a nail biting finish, beating South Africa 24 / 21 in the Final.
OPINION: Brendan Venter, the former Springbok centre and current technical director of Saracens, has called for an investigation. And it is not cricket in Mumbai or tennis in St Petersburg that Venter is concerned about, but rugby in Wellington, the home of the New Zealand Rugby Union.
The Springboks are outraged by both the refereeing of their Pool match and their Final against New Zealand at the Wellington Sevens and while it may go against the grain to feel empathy with a South African rugby supporter, they have a point. Continue reading
The Cell C Sharks received a timely boost with confirmation that seasoned Springbok loose forward Keegan Daniel is returning to Durban.
Daniel, who has spent 2 seasons with Kubota in Japan, will be playing for the Sharks in the 2016 Super Rugby season.
With 199 caps for the Sharks, 59 of those as captain, he also led the team to Currie Cup glory in 2013.
Daniel, 30, played the last of his 5 Tests for the Springboks against Argentina at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, in August 2012.
Always a fierce competitor, he will bring strong leadership and experience to the team environment – which will greatly benefit the youngsters in the Sharks squad.
Die Afrikaanse Naweekpers het verskeie rugbyartikels geplaas en ons bespreek so klompie daarvan onder EEN Artikel.
(To our Non-Afrikaans readership, our apologies that you won’t be able to understand this article, however a very large contingent of our readers are Afrikaans, so we unashamedly accommodate them in this article. The News basically relates to Heyneke Meyer and Frans Ludeke possibly heading to Japan for coaching positions, Francois Hougaard being made available for Super Rugby duties at the Bulls during March to May and suggestions of Referee favouratism and blunders against the Blitzbokke in the Final at the Wellington Sevens Tournament this weekend).
Die nuutste aanduidings is dat beide Heyneke Meyer en die voormalige Vodacom Bulls afrigter, Frans Ludeke, nou in lyn is vir afrigtersposte in Japan.
Verder blyk dit ‘n feitlik uitgemaakte saak dat Francois Hougaard gedurende Maart tot Mei nie deel van die Blitzbokke groep sal uitmaak nie maar ‘n bedeling met die Vodacom Bulls gesluit het wat hom vir ongeveer 8 Super Rugby wedstryde gedurende Maart tot Mei beskikbaar sal stel.
Die laaste aspek wat bespreek word is aantuigings dat die Skeidsregter in die Finaal van die Wellington Sewestoernooi in Nieu-Seeland, seker blatante en ooglopende foute begaan het, om sodoende die Blitzbokke te laat verloor ten gunste van Nieu Seeland, wie op tuisbodem die kroon gevat het in die naweek se toernooi.
Just how the revised Super Rugby format will go down with the South African rugby public is unclear, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.
The new-look tournament gets underway in less than a month, with the Blues and the Highlanders kicking things off in Auckland on Friday 26 February 2016.
From a South African perspective, the road ahead looks a tough one and if local bookmakers are to be believed there is no standout side from within these borders that looks set to challenge for the title.
Outside of the tournament changes, the majority of the South African franchises have also undergone major alterations with only 2wo sides – the Cell C Sharks and Emirates Lions – heading into 2016 with the same coaches that did the business in 2015.
The Southern Kings, obviously, were not a part of the 2015 competition but they also have a new man at the helm.
Here, we look at the 6 men tasked with bringing success to their respective franchises:
On Thursday reports started surfacing that renewed questions are being asked why Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby (SARU), is still ensconsed in the position as CEO of SA Rugby.
Of course, this is not new news to Rugby-Talk.com as we have featured a number of articles, over a number of years, relating to the allegations against Jurie Roux, by the University of Stellenbosh, where Roux was employed prior to his appointment as CEO of SA Rugby and the matter has been discussed at lenght in our comments section on various news aricles.
A lot of “Tap-dancing” is now being done by SARU and SARU President Oregan Hoskins regarding the matter, the latest of which claims that SARU was never aware of investigations against Jurie Roux, at the time of his employment in 2010 and that they also did not even interview Mr Roux at the time of his employment as CEO, as that was supposedly handled by an outsourced entity.
To put it mildly, it is my considered opinion that the matter of the investigations against Jurie Roux has been in the public domain for years, and SARU President Hoskins’ blanket denials about being aware of the investigations simply does not wash… in fact in the past Oregan Hoskins has come out in open and positive support for Jurie Roux, regarding these claims and investigations.
Now that the heat is turned up about the matter, we see this ludicrous distancing from Mr Roux and his appointment and suddenly “Discussing the Matter by the SARU Exco” is envisaged to take place.
The stern question now remains, how can SA Rugby ever have allowed and now still allow Jurie Roux to act in the position of CEO of SA Rugby?
The 3rd leg of the 2015 / 2016 season (1st tournament of 2016) took place in Wellington, New Zealand on 30 & 31 January 2016.
Defending champions New Zealand won the Final, once again against South Africa’s Blitzbokke, by 24 / 21 after trailing till deep into the dying seconds of the match.
It was an epic Final, with New Zealand’s never say die attitude, winning it in the end for them. It was the 2nd time on the weekend that South Africa could not close out a game against New Zealand where they were well in front and deservingly so, near the end.
Hosts and defending champions New Zeland won all 3 of their matches on Day 1 of the HSBC Wellington Sevens to march into the quarterfinals after dramatically beating South Africa’s Blitzbokke 19 / 14 in the last match of the day.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders Fiji and Australia also maintained 100% records with impressive displays at the Westpac Stadium, as the 3rd Round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continued to entertain.
Former Springbok backline coach Ricardo Loubscher is set to pursue his career further overseas this season.
Loubscher, who served as the Springbok backline coach between 2012 and 2015, ended his association with the South African Rugby Union when his contract expired at the end of last year.
Since then there has been no communication on any future possible plans for him from SARU’s side and without any coaching alternative currently at his disposal, Loubscher has been forced to look outside South Africa for employment.
Embattled Eastern Province Rugby Union President Cheeky Watson has had the first set of legal documents served on him.
The players organisation, MyPlayers, confirmed that an Application for Liquidation was brought – through their trade union SARPA – against the EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.
This move comes after lengthy consultations with the various stakeholders concerned as well as the exploration of all legal options available.
It follows in the wake of confirmation that EP Rugby last week reached an agreement with 18 players (who did not receive Super Rugby contracts) over outstanding salaries.
EP Rugby needs to come up with 5 Million Rand by Sunday 31 January, or they will also face a Liquidation Application from the lawyer of the aforementioned players – Craig Jessop, a labour lawyer working for the firm Brown Braude and Vlok.
This move forced MyPlayers and SARPA’s hand.
The Toyota Cheetahs know they have an uphill battle in this year’s Vodacom Super Rucompetition, but they have approached their mammoth task with a renewed amount of energy and are hoping they will reap the rewards for their efforts.
Since Franco Smith took over the team in the last 2 games of last season the side has shown some exceptional touches on attack, but their defence at times and their set piece play has often let them down, ensuring that a lot of the good work they do on the field is reduced because of poor defence.
Smith has worked hard on this with the team through the off-season and believes it is one of the biggest priorities for the team to address before the season gets under way.
While he admits the team is still a work-in-progress, the former Springbok playmaker is hopeful that strides made in physical conditioning and the work the management have put in with the side in the off-season will begin to bear fruit when the serious games begin next month.
DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck has named a 30-man squad for their pre-season friendly against the South Western Districts Eagles in George on Saturday.
Following their successful pre-season match against the Eagles at Outeniqua Park in 2015, Fleck said that the team are keen to return to George where they always enjoy good support.
“We are really looking forward to the game, there was a huge crowd there last year and the people were fantastic. We have always enjoyed playing in George, especially as there are a lot of Stormers fans there.
Warren Whiteley will be captaining the Emirates Lions for the 3rd consecutive Super Rugby season when he again takes the reigns for 2016.
The experienced Whiteley welcomed the responsibility of the captaincy bestowed upon him. “It is a big honour to again lead the Lions in the Super Rugby competition. I take the task very seriously while I also enjoy making decisions on and off the field.
“While I think nothing has changed it becomes easier. Also because we’ve got such a great core of leaders around me,” Whitely said.
As the Vodacom Bulls preparations for Super Rugby 2016 gains momentum we focus on some team news.
Rudy Paige has been named as Vice-Captain for the season.
Handré Pollard’s shoulder injury has been confirmed and he will miss the opening weeks of Super Rugby.
Deon Stegmann needs to undergo an operation due to an ankle injury and projections are that he will be out for 9 weeks.
In addition it is believed that Derick Hougaard, also affectionately known as “Liefling”, is going to attempt to make the Bulls team, after years in the wilderness, but he is not in the current Bulls Super Rugby plans… yet.
Former South African Schools lock Philip du Preez is 1 of 3 new signings by the Southern Kings.
The Southern Kings, who will return to Super Rugby next month after a 3-year absence, confirmed the singing of the young up and coming lock, Philip du Preez (22), versatile backline player Jurgen Visser (26) and seasoned hooker Martin Bezuidenhout (26).
Kings Chief Operating Officer Charl Crous also confirmed that Sharks player Jaco van Tonder (24) has joined the team on trial this week.
SANZAR is about to introduce a radical new bonus point system to this year’s Super Rugby competition, with teams no longer getting the bonus point for scoring 4 tries.
The radical proposal, which mirrors a system being used in the French top 14, will now see teams needing to score at least 3 more tries than the opposition to score a bonus point.
The change, which is set to be announced on Thursday in Australia, is a tweak to still encourage teams to play attractive rugby in lopsided contests, and give both sides something to play for, while not taking their foot off the pedal if they have established a good lead in their respective games.
Thus if a team scores 4 tries, they will need to limit the opposition to 1 try if they want the bonus point. If the opposition scores twice, then the team will need to score 5 tries in order to claim the bonus point in the competition.
One of the exciting announcements to emerge from the launch of the 2016 season of the Varsity Cup on Monday was that in 2017 3 universities will join the existing 13 universities currently taking part in Varsity Rugby.
“When Varsity Cup began in 2008, 8 universities were competing,” said Varsity Cup chairperson, Jurie Roux.
“Then in 2011 we added the Varsity Shield and it grew by 5. Next year there will be 16 universities taking part in Varsity Rugby. The competition is becoming more and more inclusive and to have increased the university participation by 100% in under 10 years is phenomenal.”
The Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield competitions are managed by a board of members who will hold a meeting in May 2016 to decide upon a qualification process, whereafter the three additional universities will be announced.
The 3 new teams will join the Varsity Shield, while 1 Varsity Shield team will be promoted to the Varsity Cup, joining the 8 existing teams.
“We are extremely excited about this next chapter of Varsity Rugby,” said Varsity Cup CEO Duitser Bosman.
“The inclusion of 9 teams in Varsity Cup will allow each team to play 4 home and 4 away matches. In addition to that, each team can look forward to 1 bye week in the competition – a luxury they weren’t afforded in the past.”
Previously the teams’ 7 matches were split between 4 home matches and 3 away, or 3 home matches and 4 away – alternating from season to season.
The inclusion of 7 Varsity Shield teams in 2017 will allow each team to play 6 matches.
Promotion and relegation matches will be played again in 2018 for the 2019 season.
The 2016 Varsity Rugby season kicks off on 1 February 2016 with the 1st Round of Varsity Shield matches taking place.
Rugby World Cup-winning former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar explained the new Varsity Cup innovations is an attempt at getting the coaches to change their mindset and take more risks.
Speaking at the launch of the 2016 Varsity Cup and Shield competitions, Pienaar gave an insight into the reasoning behind the bonus point system, which could lead to a maximum of 9 points being awarded for a try.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has taken a swipe at the SANZAR brains trust over their proposed Super Rugby innovations.
He called the proposed changes to the Super Rugby bonus point system “bizarre” and suggested there was a lack of consultation with franchises on the matter.
The SANZAR initiative, that is expected to formally unveiled early next week, also include a number of minor law variations for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
While some of the expected law innovations still require World Rugby approval, the biggest innovation – a change to the try-scoring bonus points – is what has caused the biggest stir.
The SANZAR change will see the bonus point awarded to teams who score 4 tries or more in a game scrapped and replaced by 1 for teams that score 3 tries more than their opponents.
Blackadder called the proposed change “bizarre” and queried the lack of consultation with franchises on the matter.
The mooted change, widely reported by media in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, is a copy of the system used in the French Top 14 league and aimed at keeping lopsided games alive for longer periods.
On Tuesday SA Rugby announced a new structure to the 2016 Coca-Cola Youth Weeks, with the junior tournaments being hosted concurrently in Paarl and the Under 18 tournaments in Durban. In the past all the tournaments were hosted at different venues.
The Under 13 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Under 16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week will be hosted simultaneously at Paarl Gymnasium from 4 to 8 July, and the Coca-Cola Academy Week and Under 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week will be hosted between 11 and 16 July at Kearsney College in Durban.
The Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) Week, meanwhile, will be hosted at the Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) in Pretoria from 27 to 30 June.
“The new structure of our Youth Weeks will have several benefits, the biggest of which is that we will be able to ensure that the Mobi-Unit coaches, the national selectors, our High Performance staff and the SA Rugby Academy Coaches will be able to attend all the tournaments,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
The Southern Kings have confirmed a number of new signings following a week of intensive training with the SA Rugby Mobi Unit.
Chief Operating Officer, Charl Crous, confirmed that Pumas flanker, Chris Cloete, (24) and Sharks Lock John-Charles (JC) Astle (25) had been secured on loan for the season.
Following initial trials, Crous also confirmed the Southern Kings have also retained the talent of SWD utility back Leighton Eksteen (21) who has played at Scrumhalf, Flyhalf and Fullback, as well as SWD’s Luzuko Vulindlu (28) who has played at Centre and Wing. Both have been secured on loan from SWD for the season.
Sharks Centre Lukhanyo Am (22) has also secured a position in the squad on loan.
Crous said Sharks hooker, Monde Hadebe (25) would be returning to the Sharks for rehab following a slight back sprain that will see him out of action for between 4 to 5 weeks.
Crous also confirmed hooker Martin Ferreira (26) and lock, Tazz Fuzani (25) had been secured on contract for the Southern Kings season for 2016.
The Cell C Sharks’ 5 missing international players — away in Japan completing their club duties — are expected back in Durban before the end of the month.
New vice-captain Marcell Coetzee, JP Pietersen, Namibian backrower Renaldo Bothma and new signings Willie le Roux and Jacques Potgieter will join the Sharks squad a week before they leave on their pre-season tour of France early in February.
A member of the Sharks management yesterday said that the squad to travel to France would be announced next week and a decision on whether the Japan-based players would be included for the 2 friendlies has still to be made.
The Sharks will play 2-time European champs Toulon on Friday 5 February, before taking on Toulouse 6 days later.
New Cell C Sharks captain Pat Lambie said that it was likely that all the tour members would be given an airing during the 2 games but added that taking on the 2 Top 14 French clubs would be a major challenge.
Head coach Gary Gold said he wanted tough opposition for his young charges ahead of a fresh season.
The DHL Stormers had a very productive defensive session against the Steinhoff UCT Ikey Tigers in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
In sweltering heat on the Markötter field at Paul Roos, the teams played 2 chukkas of 20 minutes each at a high intensity.
In a specialised session designed to test the evolution of their defensive system in the off-season, the DHL Stormers were made to work hard by an Ikeys side renowned for their attacking prowess
A total of 30 DHL Stormers players took to the field as Head Coach Robbie Fleck made wholesale changes at the changeover.
This proved a valuable outing, giving the coaches further opportunity to look at which areas of their defensive game need further attention.
Fleck was very happy with the outcome of what was a demanding session.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Thursday confirmed the release of JJ Engelbrecht to the Ospreys in Wales.
Engelbrecht, who played 65 times in the Vodacom Bulls jersey since joining the team in 2012, was due to link up with his Pretoria team mates upon returning from Japan, where he is playing for Toyota Industries Shuttles.
The Ospreys offer resulted in a release request by Engelbrecht, which has been granted by the BBC with immediate effect.
According to the BBC High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, the decision to release Engelbrecht was based on the depth they have in the midfield, where the likes of Jesse Kriel, Dan Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel will be contesting starting spots.
Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of South African international flanker Schalk Burger for the 2016 / 2017 season.
The world class Springbok loose forward will link-up with the reigning Aviva Premiership champions for the 2016 / 2017 season after signing a 2-year deal with the Allianz Park club.
Renowned as 1 of world rugby’s finest loose forwards, Burger has captained South Africa during his stellar 12-year international career and is a former IRB World Player of the year. He has won 86 caps for the Springboks and holds the record for the most tries (14) for a loose forward for his country.
Burger will link up with Saracens after a spell with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath and Super Rugby’s Stormers.
Robbie Fleck has been appointed interim head coach of the DHL Stormers for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Fleck, who has been an assistant coach for the franchise since 2010, has been acting as the DHL Stormers’ coaching co-ordinator since the departure of coach Eddie Jones to England.
Fleck had a highly successful 2015 season as head coach to the DHL WP Under 21 team, losing only 1 game on the way to securing the ABSA Provincial Under 21 trophy this year.
Commenting on the appointment, WPRFU President Thelo Wakefield said: “WP Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, has done a thorough investigation into all available and interested coaches for the position. Robbie Fleck is a Western Province man through-and-through.
“He understands the environment having had extensive experience as an assistant coach at Super Rugby level and as a former WP, Stormers and Springbok player. In addition, he showed his mettle as a head coach this year, dominating the ABSA Under 21 competition. He deserves his opportunity and we are proud to be able to grow one of our own.”
Vodacom Bulls prop Morné Mellett has retired from rugby with immediate effect due to medical advice.
The prop suffered vertebral artery dissection in July and was ruled out of rugby for the remainder of the year. Recent medical advice suggested that the 26-year old player calls it a day.
“It is sad to end my career like this, but I have no regrets,” Mellett said on Thursday. “I had a good career with an unbelievable group of guys and was part of the best union in the world since I left school. We have achieved so much together and although I would have wanted to go on and play test rugby in the future, my health and family remains most important. I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank my wife, Claudine, for her unconditional love and support throughout my career and especially now, as well as my brother Leon.” he said.
Mellett represented the Valke at Craven Week in 2006 and 2007 and started playing for the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 19’s in 2007 already.
He represented the Vodacom Bulls in 37 matches in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and 10 times in the ABSA Currie Cup. He also played for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup and represented the Junior Springboks at the 2009 Junior World Championship.
The Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold on Wednesday announced the appointment of Springbok flyhalf, Patrick Lambie, as the Cell C Sharks captain for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament.
Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, Pat is regarded as one of the most talented and level-headed players around. He will no doubt prove to be a great mentor, calming influence and role-model to a relatively young Cell C Sharks squad.
Commenting on his decision, Gold stated: “Pat’s records and performances over the years speak volumes about the calibre of player he is. He is a natural born leader, who has shown on numerous occasions that he possesses all of the qualities needed to be a great captain, especially captaining a team he has supported all his life.
“Both Pat and I are aligned with our vision to take the Cell C Sharks forward and I respect and admire his commitment to Sharks rugby, he has my full support and backing.”
“Pat has earned the respect of his fellow players and management alike and he’s a tough competitor that leads by example. I have no doubt that his presence and commitment shown on the field will inspire and motivate the players around him”, added Gary Gold.
On the day that the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) started sending letters to players informing them that they will NOT be offered contracts by the South African Rugby Union (SARU)-controlled Kings, the 1st player confirmed that he will be taking legal action against the Eastern Province Rugby Union.
Michael van Vuuren issued a statement in which he confirmed he will go the legal route.
SARPA have started sending letters to the players who will not be offered contracts by SARU – believed to be the bulk of the current Kings squad.
SARU has instead opted make use of Sevens and Under 20 players to fill the bulk of the Super Rugby squad, after taking control over from the near bankrupt EPRU last month.
Only a very small number of the current Kings will receive contract offers from SARU.
However, the players on Monday opted for a show of solidarity when they presented a petition to Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) President Cheeky Watson.
The SARPA letters is just the latest shocker in the escalating crisis in the Eastern Cape franchise.
If international coaches were judged on passion for their country rather than results, Heyneke Meyer would rank alongside anyone in rugby union’s history. Never has a badge been gripped so tightly at anthem time. The 48-year-old lived each game as if his life depended on it. When the Springboks won it was all worthwhile; when they lost it was painful to behold.
Sadly, it was those gut-twisting defeats that Meyer could ultimately not escape. Not unlike Stuart Lancaster with England, he will be remembered as an extraordinarily decent man who could not quite generate sufficient on-field success. To be the coach of a Springbok team beaten by Japan at a World Cup is hardly a recipe for securing a shiny new four-year contract.
And so Meyer has stepped off the stressful, unpredictable Bok wagon before he was pushed. On his better days – and South Africa won 67% of their games under his stewardship – the Boks were well-motivated, grimly physical, defensively impressive and tricky to beat. On the debit side he persisted with senior players who were visibly past their best and South Africa’s attacking game was seldom as dangerous as their leading rivals.
Local rugby supporters finally have a reason to smile.
The plan by the SA Rugby Union (SARU) to stem the enormous exodus of top players heading overseas, by way of joint contracts with its unions is gaining some momentum.
Rugby World Cup tough guys Damian de Allende, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe are among the list of about 20 players with whom SARU has already signed contracts.
The full list of names has not been made available, but it was confirmed that Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Handré Pollard, Pat Lambie and Jan Serfontein had also been contracted and could look forward to competitive salaries in line with those of Springboks playing overseas.
South Africa’s provincial rugby unions are reportedly at loggerheads over whether Heyneke Meyer should remain as Springbok coach.
Meyer’s position has been a hot talking point in recent weeks after the Springboks’ failure to win the Rugby World Cup in England.
Initial media reports indicated that Meyer would remain in his position until the next Rugby World Cup in 2019, but more recently it was reported that he could face the axe.
Meyer’s fate will be decided at a SARU general council meeting in Cape Town on 11 December.
The 29 members of SARU’s general council consist of the 14 provincial union Presidents and CEOs, as well as SARU president Oregan Hoskins.