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Springboks

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Dawie TheronSouth AfricaA Junior Springbok squad bolstered by several players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience was named by SARU in Cape Town on Tuesday for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship to be hosted by New Zealand from June 2 to 22.

Handré Pollard (flyhalf, Vodacom Bulls), André Esterhuizen (centre, Cell C Sharks), Sergeal Petersen and Aidon Davis (both Southern Kings) as well as Malcolm Marx (hooker, Lions) have all either played Vodacom Super Rugby or have been part of their respective franchise’s Super Rugby training groups.

The squad also sees the return of several players who did duty for the South Africa Under-20’s in France last year, where they claimed the bronze medal.

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Fikile MbalulaThe South African Rugby Union will on Monday get a better idea of the government’s new ‘adapt or die’ transformation policy.

Speaking at a general meeting of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee recently Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed that the minimum requirement for the number of blacks in teams have been increased to 60 percent.

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Francois SteynHeyneke MeyerJust how will Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer go into any international this year without the boot of Frans Steyn?

The big midfielder underlined his importance with four massive penalties and a conversion for a total of 14 points as the Cell C Sharks returned to the top of the Vodocom Super Rugby table with a 25-12 win over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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Marcell CoetzeeCell C SharksCell C Sharks flank, Marcell Coetzee, knows that he has to stay on top of his game if he hopes to break into the Springbok loose trio this season as competition is ‘insane’.

Coetzee got his international break in 2012, with Bok coach Heyneke Meyer showing great faith in him from the start of his tenure, but the emergence of Francois Louw and Siya Kolisi saw the Sharks flank play a supporting role from the sidelines last year.

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David Malan & Ben Robinson - Abie Malan Jersey - smallBenn Robinson could finally relax.

The Waratahs and Wallabies prop had been on edge for weeks, carrying around a precious piece of Australian and South African rugby history believed lost for decades.

It had brought him to a hotel lobby in Cape Town, where David Malan was waiting to receive the missing Springboks jersey his father, Abie Malan, had worn to captain South Africa against the Wallabies 51 years earlier.

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Heyneke MeyerNick MallettSouth AfricaSpringbok coach Heyneke Meyer will start his international season by going head to head against his friend and former boss Nick Mallett at Newlands on 7 of June.

The South African Rugby Union confirmed that the Springboks will open their international season against a World XV – coached by former Springbok coach and SuperSport rugby expert Mallett before heading into tests against Wales and Scotland in the June international window.

The game will be at Newlands – and not the Cape Town Stadium – as initially reported with tickets going on sale Monday for the clash, priced at R250 and R350.

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Jake WhiteLwazi MvovoIt will raise some eyebrows, but Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White feels his team selection could be a pointer for Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

While some will debate the decision to name young Fred Zeilinga at flyhalf, in the starting XV to face the Waratahs in Durban on Saturday, it is the selection of Lwazi Mvovo at fullback that sparked the most interest.

The Bok wing, Mvovo, who has seven Test caps for South Africa, was shifted to No 15 and SP Marais dropped to the bench.

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South AfricaHarold VersterFree State Rugby Union CEO Harold Verster says the union will next host a Test match in the 2016 season.

Verster wrote a column on the Volksblad website where he explained to fans the situation regarding the union’s hosting of Test matches.

Verster said the union gave up its right to host last year’s Rugby Championship Test between South Africa and Argentina.

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South AfricaThe process to select the SA Under-20 squad to represent South Africa at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand will begin on Sunday when the expanded training group gathers in Stellenbosch for an intensive two-month training camp.

The group, consisting of almost 70 of the country’s most promising Under-20 players, will play trial matches on Monday, 31 March and Wednesday 2 April in Stellenbosch. Following the trials, the squad will be reduced to approximately 40 players to continue with preparations ahead of the JWC 2014.

The Junior World Championship will be held in Auckland from June 2 to 20, 2014.

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Sam WarburtonWalesWales captain Sam Warburton must undergo immediate surgery after dislocating his right shoulder.

Wales have never faced South Africa in the north-eastern city of Nelspruit, but judging by the blank they have drawn everywhere else in the land of the Springboks, they must already be fearing the worst – especially as Sam Warburton, their captain, has been ruled out of this summer’s two-Test tour.

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Rugby World Cup 2015South AfricaSouth African rugby fans need not worry about securing match tickets for Springbok matches at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England following the establishment of SA Rugby Travel, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new company – a joint venture between the South African Rugby Union and Tourvest Destination Management – has secured thousands of tickets for likely Springbok matches and tailored packages to suit a wide range of fans’ pockets and experience choices.

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Victor MatfieldPieter-Steph du ToitFormer Springbok captain Victor Matfield’s role ahead of this year’s international season has taken on vital importance, especially with the season-ending injury to Cell C Sharks player Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Matfield, who starred in the Vodacom Bulls’ win over the Blues a fortnight ago, will now feature even more prominently in Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s plans for the upcoming season, especially with the dearth of five locks around the country at the moment.

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South AfricaHSBC Sevens World SeriesProlific try scorer Seabelo Senatla returns to the South African squad for the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series – in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

However, playmaker Cecil Afrika will miss the trip to the Far East because of a troublesome hamstring.

Steven Hunt replaces Afrika, while Senatla comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who is on Super Rugby duty with the Bulls, for the two changes to the 12-man squad that lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup Final last month.

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South AfricaThe Springboks will face 2013 Six Nations champions Wales in two Tests in Durban and Nelspruit during the Castle Lager Incoming Series in June, followed by a once-off international against Scotland in Port Elizabeth.

The fixtures were confirmed by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday.

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South AfricaThe South African Rugby (SARU) Union announced a group of 76 players on Tuesday for the start of the SA Under-20 preparations for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship tournament to be hosted in Auckland, New Zealand, in June.

SARU also unveiled a comprehensive preparation plan aimed at ensuring the Junior Springboks are battle ready for the 2014 JWC showpiece.

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South AfricaJean de VilliersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.

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Recent Comments

  • Scrumdown 24 Apr 2014, 06:44 SAST - By my reckoning there are 512 days until the start of RWC 2015. More than enough time for the quotas...
  • Scrumdown 24 Apr 2014, 06:40 SAST - 1 @ grootblousmile: I've sat across the table to discuss Rugby matters with him previously. He just lies to one...
  • nortierd 24 Apr 2014, 05:44 SAST - I can't even recall this incident, but reading this, it happened in the 75th minute. That's just plain silly, the...
  • grootblousmile 23 Apr 2014, 22:15 SAST - 3 @ MacroBull: Grant Hattingh covers lock and would move from No 8 to the covering lock position if needs...
  • MacroBull 23 Apr 2014, 21:55 SAST - @ nortierd: Yes people were worried he would have to sit on the bench, but he is lucky to even...
  • smallies 23 Apr 2014, 20:21 SAST - affies is flou die jaar my ou pel frik bosman se my hulle is 0-4 die jaar sover,na 3 puik...


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