Super Rugby

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curriecup

Currie Cup

Although the Currie Cup has been treated like an unwanted stepchild this year, the competition has still produced quality matches and some exceptional players have emerged.

The South African Rugby Union has been marketing and pushing the Springbok brand so exclusively that traditional derby games like the Blue Bulls versus Western Province have been played on Friday afternoons at 17.00!

Who in the world thought it fit to play such a big derby game on a day and at a time like that?

It’s no secret that the Golden Lions repeatedly asked that the deciding pool match between them and the Sharks be moved away from the Friday 17.00 time slot.

SARU wanted nothing of it.

Because the Lions had no big derby match on a Saturday during this year’s Currie Cup competition, the biggest crowd attendance was just on 8,000.

I will let you do the sums.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth could earn substantial amounts during a short stint in England.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee told the media in London on Monday that the Stormers lock was set to sign a short-term deal with a Premiership club in England.

Etzebeth, 25, was earlier linked with a move to Saracens, a club which boasts a rich tradition of fielding South African players.

That move failed to materialise, but according to Netwerk24, the lock enforcer is now being linked to Bristol.

According to the Afrikaans publication, rumours are doing the rounds that Etzebeth could earn up to £40 000 (about R665 200) per game.

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DHL Western ProvinceThe Western Province Rugby Football Union confirmed on Monday that it had applied for, and obtained, an order for the provisional liquidation of Western Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd, in which it is a 75% shareholder.

President Thelo Wakefield and Group CEO Paul Zacks said that the union had retained expert legal and accounting advice and had fully explored all options before applying for liquidation of its commercial trading entity.

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World RugbyRugby administrators worldwide are nearing an agreement on a new rugby union calendar, which will come into effect after the World Cup in 2019.

It has been learned there will be fewer international matches, with summer tours set to be scrapped at least once per four-year cycle.

The Six Nations will not move from its traditional February to March slot.

The British and Irish Lions series and the World Cup will retain their places in the calendar.

The Lions are set to tour in July and August in 2021.

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GlasgowWarriorsbIt was a challenge to keep up with the fast moving events surrounding Scottish rugby last week.

It was announced Gregor Townsend would succeed Vern Cotter as head coach of Scotland and just 24 hours later Dave Rennie was unveiled as the man who will take charge at of the Warriors at the start of next season.

Speaking in the Herald Gregor said: “It all happened very quickly. I was involved in the [Warriors] strip launch, then, one hour later, I was given the Scotland job. I had barely had time to digest that, when I was speaking to Dave Rennie about the succession at Glasgow.

“However, Glasgow will remain my No 1 priority this season. We have a huge season coming up and I want to leave a positive legacy for Dave to work with.

“I have known Dave for four or five years, over which we have kept in touch. I feel there is a great similarity in our approach to coaching, we both look for the same skills sets in players, the clubs have a similar culture in how we want to play rugby and Dave is a good fit for Glasgow.

“We will work together in player recruitment and so on, I expect he will be over here in November once the Super Rugby season is over and we will be working to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“Once it was announced I was leaving, the players opened a sweepstake as to my successor, and one of them guessed. They seem happy at the choice the SRU have made.”

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Former South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

Former South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

Mr Oregan Hoskins announced on Wednesday that he was stepping down as president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) after a decade of service and achievement.

Mr Hoskins advised the membership of SA Rugby at a meeting of the General Council in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“I have enjoyed a remarkable ten and a half years in one of the most high-profile roles in South African sport and have enjoyed some incredible highs,” said Mr Hoskins. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege and I want to thank everyone involved in South African rugby for the fantastic journey we have shared.

“There have also been plenty of challenges to confront but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way – it’s an indication of how much our sport matters in this country.

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Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

Inspirational Emirates Lions captain Warren Whiteley has recovered from the calf strain that kept him out of the Super Rugby semifinal last week, and returns to lead the team in the final against the Hurricanes in Wellington New Zealand on Saturday.

Ruan Ackermann drops to the bench, and is joined by Lourens Erasmus and Ross Cronjé.

Herewith the Lions’ media statement.

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Omar Mouneimne

Omar Mouneimne

As speculated here on rugby-talk recently by one of our French contributors it has been confirmed that Cell C Sharks Defence Coach, Omar Mouneimne is on his way to France.

He has requested an early release from his contract, which was granted, to pursue an offer with French Top 14 side, Stade Francais.

Commenting on his departure, Director of Rugby Gary Gold said: “Omar has worked tremendously hard on our defensive structures over the past few months.  His efforts resulted in us being one of the top defensive teams in the 2016 Super Rugby competition.

“We thank him for his invaluable contribution to the team, in a short space of time, and wish him the very best for this new opportunity he has decided to pursue.”

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Emirates Lions(Updated with BNZ Crusaders playing squad)

The Emirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named an extended squad of 25 players for the quarterfinal clash against the Crusaders, with the big surprise being the possible return to action of inspirational captain Warren Whiteley.

Whiteley, who was originally diagnosed with an injury which would keep him out of Rugby for 6 weeks, and hence miss the entire Super Rugby play-offs, is to undergo a fitness test on Thursday.

Undoubtedly the Lions management, players and all of their supporters will be hoping that he is declared fit to play.

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JaguaresHighlandersJaguares (8) 8 / 34 (24) Highlanders (Final Score)

Los Jaguares and the Highlanders did battle in Super Rugby 2016 at

Velez Sarsfield, Beunos Aires at 23:40 SA Time (21:40 GMT, 18:40 ARG Time, Sunday 09:40 NZ Time).

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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