Stuart Lancaster has announced England’s extended training squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The 50-man group will meet up at Pennyhill Park on Monday 22 June to begin preparing for the tournament, which starts against Fiji, at Twickenham, on Friday 18 September.
England will also face France home and away and Ireland at Twickenham as part of the QBE Internationals as they build towards the World Cup.
Five eye-catching inclusions are Luke Cowan-Dickie, Maro Itoje, Sam Burgess, Elliot Daly and Henry Slade, all of whom featured in an 18 / 9 victory for England Saxons over Ireland Wolfhounds back in January.
Calum Clark and Ed Slater bring the tally of uncapped players to 7. Each of them will be vying for a Test debut.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has favoured experience as he named Montpellier flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc and Toulon veteran Frederic Michalak in his 36-man squad for the World Cup.
Trinh-Duc, 28, and Michalak, 32, were given the nod ahead of Clermont flyhalf Camille Lopez, 26, for the 18 September to 31 October tournament in England.
“We really chose experience,” said Saint-Andre, whose side bid to overturn a record of just 15 wins for 2 draws and 20 defeats in the past 3 years.
“Both in terms of Francois Trinh-Duc, who has returned to form for his club and knows a World Cup (2011) as has Remi Tales, who knows our systems well and the France team,” the France coach continued.
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.”
England rugby union player Manu Tuilagi will not play in the World Cup after admitting assaulting police officers, head coach Stuart Lancaster has said.
The Leicester Tigers centre, 23, was fined £ 6 205.00 when he appeared before magistrates.
He had been charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, assault by beating and causing criminal damage, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Lancaster said he would not be considered for England until January.
Back in the Emirates Lions starting line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies at Emirates Airline Park, Elton Jantjies is enjoying one of his better seasons on South African soil.
The Johannesburg side are very much in playoff contention and Jantjies has become coach Johan Ackermann’s 1st choice pivot along the way.
A few rugby minds have now started wondering whether or not Jantjies has done enough to work his way into Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s World Cup plans. The smart money remains on the flyhalf slot going to either Handré Pollard or Patrick Lambie and while Jantjies has not ruled out any possibilities he chooses instead to let his performances do the talking.
“I can talk a big game but if my performances on the field don’t match up, there is no point in me saying that I want to go to the World Cup and be the 1st-choice flyhalf,” Jantjies said.
All Black legend Dan Carter insists he’s not assured of a spot in New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup squad.
Carter, 33, is regaining his form in this year’s Super Rugby competition, despite his Crusaders team not being the most consistent.
However, in their most recent match the Crusaders smashed the Reds 58 / 17 in Christchurch and Carter showed signs that he is returning to his past form.
“It feels like my form has been getting better as the season has gone on and really enjoying getting a bit of game time,” Carter said.
“I’ve almost played twice as many games as I played last year so that’s encouraging as long as my form is heading in the right direction then I’m happy with that.”
Carter said there are no guarantees that he’ll make the World Cup touring party.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has revealed he has targeted the beginning of July to be back on the field.
If he achieves his aim, it will be an exceptional recovery from a total knee reconstruction after the painful injury he suffered in the match against Wales at the end of last season.
Since then De Villiers has been working tirelessly at rehabilitating the knee in order to meet the deadline, with things going a lot better than initially expected.
The Bok captain is already running again and hopes next month to resume team training before getting onto the field in early July.
Speaking at the Supersport Networking lunch at the Johannesburg Country Club, De Villiers was an optimistic man, and said if all goes to plan he will be fit and on the field again long before the final Rugby World Cup squad was picked.
“The recovery has gone very well. These days whenever I meet someone it’s always the 1st question,” De Villiers said.
It has emerged that a contractual dispute with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) is the reason behind Vodacom Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe making himself unavailable for Springbok selection.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer earlier this week said Van der Merwe was “unavailable for international rugby at the moment”.
The reasons behind Van der Merwe’s unavailability were described as “personal”.
However, Van der Merwe and SARU are at loggerheads because the player feels he was done an injustice when Springbok contacts were awarded.
Unlike lock partners Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield and Pieter-Steph du Toit, Van der Merwe apparently did not receive a similar national contract.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is clear – the best 31 players need to go to this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Meyer began his 1st Springbok training camp with a bit of a stutter as no less than 19 of the 44 players invited to the camp couldn’t train with the Bok management. Add to that the Sharks who are overseas on tour, and there wasn’t too much training that could get done.
But despite that, the Bok coach used the time to reveal his World Cup plans to players, tell individuals what he expected of them and will use the remainder of the time to share calls, plays and get down to technical nuances for the players to take home as “homework” before they meet again in the 2nd camp in a few weeks’ time.
The final squad is only set to be selected at the end of August, when the chosen 31 will be revealed to the country for the showpiece tournament in England. But 1 thing is clear, while competition will be tough between players, only the best 31 in Meyer’s mind will be selected, meaning a number of top players may well miss out.
However Meyer has admitted that he hasn’t made up his mind yet, giving players the chance in the remainder of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition as well as the camps, to make an indelible impression on him.
And with that in mind, he may have an idea of the starting line-up, but Meyer believes beyond the starting 15, the other 16 places are still up for grabs.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph believes Lima Sopoaga must continue his rich vein of Super Rugby form backed up with a strong finish to the season to force himself into contention for the All Blacks.
One can argue that Sopoaga has been the most consistent New Zealand flyhalf with his improved confidence and game management.
Colin Slade has been in silky form for the Crusaders, but he crossing hemispheres after the World Cup and so is Dan Carter.
Chiefs playmaker Aaron Cruden will almost certainly miss the World Cup with a serious knee injury and Hurricane Beauden Barrett will be out for 4 weeks.
Barrett’s scans revealed a grade 2 tear of his medial collateral ligament (MCL) which he suffered during the Hurricanes’ match against the Crusaders last Saturday.
The uncapped Sopoaga, if he maintains his form, must be next in line.
This week, there is a lot of news, from various fronts, on the Springboks.
The Rugby Championship game times have been announced, as has the host city for the additional Springbok game against the Pumas in Buenos Aires.
News from this week’s Springbok Training camp is dominated by the amount of injured players at the camp as well as the news today that Flip van der Merwe has made himself unavailable to the Springboks in 2015 and also for the Rugby World Cup. The reports on the injury and rehabilitation of Springbok captain also comes under discussion, with the prognosis and likelyhood of him making the world premier Rugby World Cup competition very positive.
SARU also announced today that Rhino was appointed as equipment supplier of the Springboks.
Matt Giteau said he would love to return to Twickenham with the Wallabies at this year’s World Cup after guiding Toulon to a 3rd straight European title.
Giteau was at flyhalf in an all-star international backline featuring Wales’s Leigh Halfpenny and South Africa’s Bryan Habana as Toulon beat French rivals Clermont 24 / 18 in the European Rugby Chamions Cup Final at Twickenham on Saturday.
Having made his Test debut as a 20-year-old at Twickenham back in 2002, Giteau effectively called time on his 92-cap Australia career when he signed for Toulon after failing to be included in the Wallabies’ squad for the 2011 World Cup.
But he was given a route back into the international arena when the Australia Rugby Union announced last month it was relaxing its hardline stance barring overseas-based players from representing the Wallabies.
“I signed over here knowing I wouldn’t play Test rugby again,” said Giteau after Saturday’s match. “Now the rules have changed, it’s a possibility. I had no idea it was coming, but I’m happy it has.
“It’s very exciting for Australian rugby that they’ve changed that (the eligibility rules). For me in particular, it doesn’t change a great deal until I’m contacted.”
Lions coach Johan Ackermann says centre Lionel Mapoe would be a valuable asset to the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup later this year.
The midfielder has been on song for the Lions in Super Rugby this year and his form has been recognised by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who included him in both Bok training squads named over the weekend.
“If you’re looking for an outside centre with X-factor, then Lionel is definitely your man,” said Ackermann.
“In terms of enterprise, you don’t need to look any further than him and Juan de Jongh (Stormers centre) as your candidates for the No 13 jersey. Lionel’s performances in this (2015) Super Rugby competition have been outstanding and it’s notable how hard he’s worked on his conditioning.
Samoa have named an enlarged 58-man playing squad which includes Chiefs back Tim Nanai-Williams who is pushing for his eligibility through the Sevens loophole.
Nanai-Williams has been included but will need to play in at least 2 Rounds of the Sevens World Series for Samoa to be eligible for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and Rugby World Cup in England later this year.
Other notable inclusions in the squad are Newcastle flyer Sinoti Sinoti, Bordeaux’s Peter Saili, Sharks’ Paul Perez, former Stormer and current Wasps wing Sailosi Tagicakibau, Alesana Tuilagi – brother of Manu, former Waratahs wing Alofa Alofa and Hurricanes centre Reynold Lee Lo.
The Chiefs and All Blacks were delivered devastating news in the context of their 2015 campaigns on Monday when it was confirmed Aaron Cruden had ruptured his left anterior cruciate ligament.
The star playmaker will visit a surgeon on Wednesday to arrange a knee re-construction which is expected to keep him sidelined for 6 months.
In a brief statement issued on Monday afternoon, the Chiefs confirmed that Cruden would undergo traditional surgery “given Aaron’s young age and long-term career prospects.”
Cruden’s Super Rugby season is definitely over and his Rugby World Cup has been thrown into doubt as even a best-case recovery within that 6 month window would only see him fit in the final fortnight of the tournament.
The decision of All Blacks flyhalf Colin Slade to head to Europe after the World Cup has made coach Steven Hansen very aware that the exodus of New Zealand players is not yet over.
Slade is the 10th All Black so far to announce he is heading offshore at the end of the year, to join French club Pau.
Still to confirm their post-World Cup futures are Julian Savea, Sam Cane and Ryan Crotty and, coupled with expected retirements and the impact of the Olympics, coach Steve Hansen is bracing for a difficult 12 months following the World Cup in England.
Cashed-up European clubs, who once targeted players in the twilight of their careers, assisting the All Blacks into an easy rollover of talent, are now creating a talent drain by luring up-and-coming stars.
He has been keeping a low public profile during the 1st half of Super Rugby’s ordinary season … and it is probably just as well.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer must be scratching his head worriedly already over how to construct his national side for the 1st assignment of the 2015 Test season, against Australia in Brisbane on 18 July as part of a condensed Rugby Championship.
Presently several Boks are either injured, suspended or undergoing rest periods (the sudden pulling of Duane Vermeulen from the Stormers’ overseas tour after only 1 match has tongues wagging despite official statements that it was “always planned”), whilst other staple characters have suffered form dips in line with the general struggles of their sides in the local conference and overall.
It is difficult to envisage any SA team actually winning Super Rugby at this point – not the ideal state of affairs in a World Cup year, even if it is not always proved to be relevant — just as it is hazardous to predict which franchise will eventually top the ho-hum domestic pile.
It is true that a few additional players like overseas-based Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Francois Louw and a rehabilitating Pieter-Steph du Toit should brighten the Bok equation, fitness permitting, nearer the Test roster itself, and 1 or 2 outsiders like Stormers tighthead strongman Vincent Koch and some surprise-package Lions personnel have stuck up their hands.
Yet a look at the last Springbok line-up for a Test – the unpalatable 12 / 6 loss to Wales in Cardiff on 29 November9 last year – gives you an idea of Meyer’s quandary; things look considerably more unsettled than he would like.
World Rugby has announced the 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015 as well as the 7 Assistant Referees and 4 Television Match Officials who will also officiate in matches at the game’s showcase tournament, which starts on 18 September 2015.
France will provide 3 referees in the form of Jérôme Garcès, Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere. New Zealand, South Africa, England and Ireland will provide 2 each with 1 from the Welsh Rugby Union.
The Rugby World Cup runs from 18 September to 31 October 2015.
There will be 48 matches in the tournament.
The selection was made after a comprehensive review of refereeing performances by the World Rugby Match Official Selection Committee.
Chairman of the selection panel John Jeffrey said: “I want to congratulate all 12 Referees, the 7 AR’s and 4 TMO’s, who through very hard work and determination, have made it onto the panel for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The individual match appointments will be announced in due course.
The full list of Referees with their union and number of tests in brackets is:
- Wayne Barnes (RFU, 57)
- George Clancy (IRFU, 38)
- JP Doyle (RFU, 12)
- Jérôme Garcès (FFR, 22)
- Pascal Gauzere (FFR, 17)
- Glen Jackson (NZR, 10)
- Craig Joubert (SARU, 55)
- John Lacey (IRFU, 13)
- Nigel Owens (WRU, 60)
- Jaco Peyper (SARU, 20)
- Romain Poite (FFR, 39)
- Chris Pollock (NZR, 18)
3-Times capped Springbok Jano Vermaak is returning home to South Africa with a World Cup dream.
The 30-year-old, who has been a shining star for the revitalised French giants Toulouse in the Top 14, spoke from the city in the southwest of France.
He was quite open about his goals, although there remains some uncertainty about which team he will use as – hopefully – as a springboard to a World Cup spot.
“I am coming back to South Africa with the goal of giving myself a chance of possibly getting into the World Cup squad,” the 30-year-old scrumhalf said.
“At this stage I do not yet know which team I will be playing for in South Africa,” Vermaak said, adding: “I have a few options, but we’ll make that call in the next month or so.”
He said he simply can’t wait to be back in SA and will arrive after the completion of the French Top 14 season in May, or June if Toulouse make the play-offs.
That will give him 3 or 4 weeks of Super Rugby to have a crack at a World Cup spot.
Argentina flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez has left European champions Toulon to get ready for his wedding in May and to prepare for the World Cup.
Sanchez joined the French and European champions in October as an injury replacement for Frederic Michalak.
But after the latter returned to action on Saturday in the 34 / 24 defeat at home to Toulouse, Sanchez was no longer available for Top 14 action.
He could have continued to turn out for Toulon in the European Cup – the champions hosts Wasps in the quarterfinals next weekend – but he said he preferred to return home.
England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans CBE has announced that she has decided to resign her position with the England Rugby World Cup organising body due to personal reasons.
Debbie has been at the helm of the Rugby World Cup Organising Committee since October 2012, and leaves with a highly experienced event delivery Executive team in place, with plans for the tournament in excellent shape. All aspects of tournament preparations are on or ahead of schedule, with over 1.9 million tickets sold to date.
The England Rugby 2015 Executive team will now report to Stephen Brown as the new Managing Director, working alongside ER2015 Chairman Andy Cosslett and the England Rugby 2015 Board to oversee the final stage of successful delivery of the tournament.
England centre Manu Tuilagi is set to miss the rest of the Aviva Premiership season because of a groin injury but should be fit for the World Cup, his Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill said.
The 23-year-old, who has won 25 caps and scored 11 tries for England, is still recovering from the injury he sustained in October.
England’s World Cup campaign begins against Fiji on 18 September, but they play France at home and away in August before hosting Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.
The Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, the 2 annual European competitions, will kick off mid-November 2015 – due to the Rugby World Cup.
The 1st 2 Rounds of both continental competitions will be played from 12 to 15 November, at a time usually devoted to the year-end Tests.
The End-Of-Year internationals between the Northern and Southern hemispheres will not take place because of the Rugby World Cup, hosted in England from 18 September to 31 October 2015.
The tournaments will then revert to their customary dates in December and January, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals set for April and the finals on the weekend of 13 – 14 May 2016.
The Springbok trio of Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Patrick Lambie are all expected to be rested for the Cell C Sharks’ showdown with the Western Force, in line with the agreement with SA Rugby over player management.
The 3 have earned the break after influential performances during the competition, and the good news that Frans Steyn was cleared to play means he may well take over the flyhalf position from Lambie, although the coaches may not want to break up his midfield partnership with JP Pietersen.
If the pair remain at No 12 and No 13 respectively, either Fred Zeilinga or Lionel Cronje will step into the number No 10 jersey, after solid performances for the Sharks XV in their Vodacom Cup clash on Saturday.
“It’s a huge boost that we will have Frans available, it provides massive stability to the team, especially due to the changes we will have with the resting of the Springboks,” said assistant coach Paul Anthony.
New Zealand and South Africa battled each other in 1 of the 2 Semi-Final games of the Cricket World Cup, at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.
The match started at 03:00 SA Time (14:00 NZ Time).
As expected, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India made the Semi-Finals.
The Other Semi-Final, between Australia vs India take place on Thursday 26 March at 05:30 SA Time (14:30 Sydney Time) at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.
The South African Innnings was interrupted by rain and the game was reduced to a 43 Over per side game.
South Africa reached a total of 281 / 5 in their allotted 43 Overs, with Faf du Plessis (82), AB de Villiers (65 not out) and David Miller (49 off just 18 balls) doing the damage.
New Zealand started like a house on fire, with Brendan McCullum racing to 59 off only 26 balls… till he eventually perished. Kane Williamson perished on 6 runs, off 11 balls. Martin Guptill eventually perished on 34, from 38 balls and then Taylor departed for 30 off 39 balls. At this stage, New Zealand was still just above the required run-rate.
2 More wickets followed but it was not enough for South Africa.
New Zealand won with 1 ball spare, a 6 off the last ball by Grant Elliott, an Ex-South African himself!
South Africa: 281 / 5 (43 / 43 Overs)
New Zealand: 299 / 6 (42.5 / 43 Overs, 298 required due to D/L)
The Vodacom Bulls fully support the South African Rugby Union’s plan to rest key Springboks, but there won’t be a mass withdrawal of players at any stage.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the next 5 weeks will see the Bulls rotate the players in a calculated move that is in line with the SARU plan.
In a meeting between SARU, the national body’s CEO, Jurie Roux, Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, the various franchise CEOs and coaching representatives it was agreed that franchise coaches – as far as possible – would rest key Springboks at various stages in the season.
Two principles were identified as being ideal:
- That players should not play more than 5 consecutive weeks.
- That certain Springbok players should have a number of weeks of rest during the tournament (2 to 4 weeks depending on each player’s personal needs and position and the franchise’s playing resources). Bye weeks are not considered as a rest week (although they do trigger a restart of the count of consecutive weeks), while injury weeks are ‘invisible’ (i.e. a player injured for 2 weeks during the 1st 7 weeks of the tournament would be regarded as having played 5 consecutive weeks at the end of week 7).
However, the Sharks have already bucked the system – with coach Gary Gold having said his outfit is in a different position to other SA outfits.
The Bulls have opted to take a different stance.
Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says Duane Vermeulen should be the Springbok captain at this year’s Rugby World Cup if Jean de Villiers fails to recover in time.
De Villiers, the current Springbok leader, is in a race against time to be fit for the 18 September to 31 October event.
De Villiers suffered an horrific knee injury in South Africa’s final Test of last year – against Wales in Cardiff – and it remains uncertain if he’ll recover sufficiently for the tournament in England and Wales.
“Duane should lead the Springboks at the World Cup if Jean de Villiers is not ready,” Mallett said.
A record number of tickets will be sold for this year’s Rugby Union World Cup in England, the head of the sport’s ruling body said.
The tournament will be the most viewed, best-attended World Cup ever, according to World Rugby.
“With 6 months to go, World Cup 2015 is in record-breaking shape and we are confident of a very special event that will capture the imagination on and off the field,” said World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The event has captured the imagination like no other and demand for tickets has been unprecedented,” he added.
The understanding reached between SARU and the participating franchises in Vodacom Super Rugby are as follows:
At a pre-season meeting between SARU’s CEO, the Springbok Coach and Rugby Department staff, with union CEOs and coaching representatives the desirability of managing the playing time of an identified group of Springbok players was agreed.
Two principles were identified as being ideal:
- That players should not play more than 5 consecutive weeks.
- That certain Springbok players should have a number of weeks of rest during the tournament (2 to 4 weeks depending on each player’s personal needs and position and the franchise’s playing resources).
Note: BYE weeks are not considered as a rest week (although they do trigger a restart of the count of consecutive weeks) while injury weeks are ‘invisible’ (i.e. a player injured for 2 weeks during the 1st 7 weeks of the tournament would be regarded as having played 5 consecutive weeks at the end of week 7).
If there was ever a good time for Stormers coach Allister Coetzee to rest captain Duane Vermeulen it is now.
The SA Player of the Year was always going to have to miss the 1st game of the Stormers tour against the Highlanders, having played 5 straight games at the start of the season, but having 4 wins under the belt and plenty of loose forward depth at his disposal does make it easier for Coetzee to give him the time off.
The plan was always to give Vermeulen an extended break with the BYE this week followed by a week off in Dunedin, as part of SARU’s request that top Springboks be given regular games off to manage their workload this season ahead of the World Cup.
Coetzee admitted that it may be tougher to rest Vermeulen when there is more pressure on later in the season, but for now he is happy to stick to the plan.
South Africa and Sri Lanka battled each other in a Quarter-Final game of the Cricket World Cup, at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia.
The match started at 05:30 SA Time (14:30 Sydney Time).
As expected, the traditionally BIG Cricket Nations, bar England, made the Quarter-Finals.
It was South Africa vs Sri Lanka in the 1st Quarter-Final, and will be Bangladesh vs India in the 2nd Quarter-Final, Australia vs Pakistan in the 3rd Quarter-Final and New Zealand vs West Indies in the 4th Quarter-Final.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first.
South Africa Bowled and fielded with dicipline, aggression and passion, to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 133, after only 37.2 Overs.
South Africa started their batting innings on a solid footing, only losing the first and only wicket, that of Hashim Amla, with the score already on 40 runs.
The Dinner Break was taken at the fall of the Amla wicket… so it was all to play for, for South Africa after Dinner!
South Africa cruised to victory in 18 Overs, with Quinton de Kock not out on 78 off 57 balls and Faf du Plessis not out on 21 off 31 balls.
South Africa becomes the 1st side to advance to the Semi-Finals.
Sri Lanka: 133 All Out (37.2 Overs)
South Africa: 134 / 1 (18 Overs)
It’s PUB NIGHT again… Tuesdays seem to follow one another quicker and quicker!
The heading suggests we talk about the Cricket World Cup and the Quarter-final between South Africa and Sri Lanka tomorrow moring at 05:30 SA Time. So to put all doubt behind us, yes we are!
I sense that the general expectation is that the Proteas will once again CHOKE… like the Stormers and Sharks do every year!
South Africa’s Proteas have never won a play-off game in the Cricket World Cup, that is the history we face. Tell us, between songs, what you think their chances are this time round.
Will the Top order finally get things right or will they wilt again. Will the bowlers bowl with precision, aggression and finesse and demolish the Sri Lanka batting order?
I guess this makes for a few good discussions!
It is time to bat hard and protect your stumps in the PUB tonight.
Let’s focus on the PUB tonight…. the idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.
Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather and wheel in their old friends…
Read the rules below carefully, or you WILL get burnt!
Just for clarity sake, when someone does not adhere to the Rules of the PUB, EVERYBODY jumps on them and pummels them, right… understood?
Here’s how it works:
Wallabies and Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani has signed a 2-year contract extension with Australian Rugby that will take him through until the end of the 2017 season.
Kuridrani joins Wallabies Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Rob Horne, Sam Carter and Scott Fardy who have committed to the Australian Rugby Union in recent months.
The 23-year-old has quickly established himself as one of the Wallabies rising stars since his maiden Test campaign in 2013, where he has since worn the gold jersey 20 times scoring 4 tries.
Kuridrani is highly respected amongst his peers, having polled strongly with 202 votes in the John Eales medal in his last international season.
However, the Fijian-born flyer still feels the need to improve as a player.
Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will not play in the team’s next Super Rugby match, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on 28 March.
Vermeulen played his 5th consecutive match for the Stormers when they hosted the Chiefs at Newlands this past weekend.
According an agreement between the SA Rugby Union and the Super Rugby franchises, key Springboks will not be allowed to play more than 5 games on the trot in this year’s competition, in order to keep them fresh for the Rugby World Cup later in the year.
This means centre Juan de Jongh will take over the captaincy for the game against the Highlanders, with Schalk Burger likely to be included in the starting team.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday confirmed its interest in bidding for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, following the announcement of the tender process by World Rugby.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU, reaffirmed the union’s commitment to bring the tournament back to South Africa, on the proviso of the approval of SASCOC – SA’s national Olympic Committee – and support of national government.
“We definitely expect to be bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup – as we have for the past 3 tournaments,” said Roux.