A professional Rugby Union competition structure is to be launched in North America for the 1st time next year, as officials aim to capitalise on the increasing popularity of the sport.
A statement from the Professional Rugby Organization (PRO) said the 6-team league will kick off in April 2016 with the blessing of USA Rugby and World Rugby, the sport’s international governing body.
It will be the 1st time the sport has had a professional league in the region, where rugby is barely noticeable in a sporting landscape dominated by American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.
The teams will be based in major metropolitan areas around the northeast United States, the Rocky Mountains and California, a statement said.
Teams from Canada would be added to an expanded competition in 2017.
“As the fastest growing team sport in the USA, it is the time to have a sanctioned professional competition,” USA Rugby chairman Bob Latham said.
Former captain Andy Nicol believes it is “inevitable” that some of Scotland’s Rugby World Cup squad will join Dave Denton in moving from the country.
Denton has joined Bath from Edinburgh after the English Premiership club paid a transfer fee for the 25-year-old.
“That’s what happens at a World Cup,” said Nicol, the former scrumhalf who captained Bath. “You perform well and the big cheque books may open for you. That’s what happens to the Georgians and the Japanese.”
Nicol says Scotland’s run to the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals will have alerted clubs to Scottish players.
“You could get somebody here much cheaper than somebody who is established,” he said.
“It’s inevitable that we lose a few players and Dave Denton is the first.”
Glasgow Warriors have signed Georgian international Shalva Mamukashvili on a deal until the end of the season.
The 25-year-old has 35 caps for his country and featured in all 4 of Georgia’s Rugby World Cup pool games in England.
He played 11 matches for Sale Sharks last season, including 3 European Rugby Champions Cup games.
The experienced hooker goes straight into the Warriors 41-man European squad, replacing Kevin Bryce. Glasgow visit Racing 92 on Saturday and then host Northampton Saints the following weekend, in front of a capacity crowd at Scotstoun.
Mamukashvili joins as cover at hooker, with both Kevin Bryce and Fergus Scott set for lengthy spells on the sidelines, while Fraser Brown is currently recovering from foot surgery.
Bryce and Scott have both undergone shoulder operations, following scans at BMI Ross Hall Hospital, and are expected to remain on the sidelines for several months.
Bath have signed Scotland loose forward David Denton from Edinburgh.
The arrival of Denton helps the Premiership club cover the departure of Sam Burgess, who left to return to rugby league last week.
Denton, 25, has 32 Scotland caps and appeared in 4 Rugby World Cup games earlier this year.
“We’ve been looking to bolster our back row for some time now so we’re very excited that David is joining us,” said Bath head coach Mike Ford.
Born in Zimbabwe, Denton played for Eastern Province in South Africa before moving to Scotland.
“He had an excellent World Cup, especially in the quarterfinal when he managed to outshine one of the best Australian back rows I’ve seen for a long time,” added Ford. “He’s going to fit in very well with the team and the way we play here.”
Denton made 78 appearances for Edinburgh following his arrival in 2010, and can switch between blindside flanker and No 8.
USA Rugby is seeking applicants for the position of head coach for their national team after Mike Tolkin’s contract came to an end.
Following the expiration Tolkin’s contract, a comprehensive review of the USA Eagles program and 2015 Rugby World Cup performance has led to the national governing body of Rugby in the United States opening the application process on a global level.
As the Guinness PRO12 clubs now turn their attention to Europe, Connacht moved to the Top of the table by recording a 5th consecutive league win for the 1st time since 2002 – beating Benetton Treviso 33 / 19 underneath the Friday night lights at the Sportsground.
Robbie Henshaw made his breakthrough at fullback and in his 1st game for Connacht since returning from the Rugby World Cup he was back in the No 15 shirt, dotting down for 1 of his side’s 3 tries as Matt Healy and Tom McCartney notched the others.
Jayden Hayward crossed twice for Treviso and Edoardo Gori grabbed another try at the death but the Italians still slipped to a 14th consecutive Guinness PRO12 defeat.
Unpaid player wages continue to mar the cash-strapped Eastern Province Rugby Union.
The union is facing a deadline from the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) to make player payments by Tuesday.
After problems over payments arose again at the end of October, SARPA issued a written 10-day notice for the Kings to pay outstanding salaries or face action against them.
The cash-strapped union was unable to pay players for several months earlier in the season after a lucrative sponsorship deal failed to materialise.
The union’s president Cheeky Watson reportedly travelled abroad, where he was believed to be looking into delays over a long-touted new sponsorship.
The men from Port Elizabeth had a torrid Currie Cup season, winning only 2 matches to finish 2nd from bottom on the overall Log.
They will also compete as the 6th South African franchise in an expanded Super Rugby season from next season.
Vodacom Bulls coach Nollis Marais on Monday announced his management team for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season, with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd also confirming the management teams for the rest of the Blue Bulls teams for next year.
Marais will take charge of his 1st season of Super Rugby with former Springboks loose forward Anton Leonard as his forwards coach and former Vodacom Blue Bulls backline coach David Manual as the backline coach.
Former Springbok Tim Dlulane continue in his role as team manager, as is baggage master, Elias Bennet. The technical team to assist the coaches are John-William Meyer and Divan Strydom, who will also act as kicking coaches. SARU Mobi-Unit member Louis Koen will assist them in this regard when needed.
Gary Botha (scrums and break down) and Pine Pienaar (defence) will be involved with both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup sides, as well as the junior sides in this capacity.
Dr. Herman Rossouw is the new team doctor for senior teams. Wernich Smith, Pieter du Plessis, Sanell Morgan, Khuliso Netshivhagani and Karabo Morokane will be utilised as physiotherapists for all the teams and Elzanne van Coller as masseuse.
Ed Jenkins will lead an experienced Australian Sevens team in the Oceania regional Olympic qualifying tournament in Auckland this coming weekend – 14 and 15 November.
Interim coach Tim Walsh named an extended 15-man squad that includes veterans Jesse Parahi and Con Foley.
Pama Fou, Greg Jeloudev and Henry Hutchinson offer pace out wide.
Wallaby Henry Speight, recently returned from 2015 Rugby World Cup duty, will also travel with the squad for the trip to New Zealand.
Tom Cusack has been rewarded for a series of powerful performances during the recent Central Coast Sevens with a spot in the squad and star centre Cameron Clark returns after a minor hamstring problem.
Japan’s men have qualified for the Rugby Sevens event in Rio 2016 after coming from behind to beat hosts Hong Kong 24 / 10 in the final of the Asian qualifier.
Hong Kong stunned their rivals by scoring 2 1st half tries to take a deserved 10 / 0 lead into halftime. But Japan responded in style to book their ticket for Rio and ensure the rugby fever sweeping Japan since the Brave Blossoms’ good showing at Rugby World Cup 2015 continued.
Japan swept through the pool stages at the Hong Kong Stadium winning all 4 of their games without conceding a single point (38 / 0 vs Chinese Taipei, 66 / 0 vs Singapore, 47 / 0 vs Korea and China 34 / 0). And Sri Lanka proved no match for them either in the semifinal, succumbing to a 43 / 0 defeat.
However, in a final more evenly contested than many people anticipated, Hong Kong gave Japan a real scare when Alex McQueen scored in the left hand corner to hand his side a 5 / 0 lead. Captain Max Woodward then doubled the advantage when he touched down on the opposite flank a minute before the break.
But Japan never looked back once they drew 1st blood in the 2nd half thanks to some wonderful footwork from Teruya Goto.
After Lemeki Lomano put Japan in front for the 1st time, Kazuhiro Goya and Katsuyki Sahai capitalised on Hong Kong mistakes to score twice in the final 90 seconds.
Durban, and not Johannesburg, will host back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners, the New Zealand All Blacks next year.
The South African Rugby Union revealed that the 3-times Rugby World Cup champion All Blacks will play the Springboks in Durban on 8 October in The Rugby Championship encounter between the 2 sides on SA soil.
The Springboks and All Blacks have played each other in Johannesburg 5 times in the last 6 years – with 2011 the exception, when they met in Port Elizabeth.
Durban last hosted a Springboks versus All Blacks Test in 2009, with Newlands completely off the map (for the biggest face-off in the game) since 2008.
The exceptionally large All Black following in Cape Town, which have become increasingly vengeful towards the Springboks (even spitting at players), is the main reason why Newlands will not host the All Blacks in the near future.
Bloemfontein (2009) and Pretoria (2006) have also not seen an All Black Test in years.
Daniel Hourcade has named a group of 25 players to prepare for their match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on 21 November. Only 4 players come from outside of the squad that took park in the Rugby World Cup – Tomás Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Emiliano Boffelli, and Ramiro Moyano.
Of note is that all but 3 of the group is contracted to the UAR for the 2015 Super Rugby season, giving Southern Hemisphere fans an early glimpse at what the Jaguars side might look like. Exceptions include scrumhalf Ezcurra, loose forwards Leonardo Senatore, and tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi. The latter was called into the Rugby World Cup group in place of Matías Diaz, ruled out with heart problems. Should Diaz by unable to take part in Super Rugby, Orlandi looks the most likely replacement.
Notable absentees are giant lock Tomás Lavanini, currently suspended, and scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli, whose squad place has been taken by Ezcurra. Cubelli’s absence could well be linked to his reported signing with the Brumbies for the Super Rugby season, with the Australian-based franchise said to have inked a 2-year deal with the Pumas star as a replacement for departed playmaker Nic White.
Eastern Province Rugby has the spotlight on them after Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told the media he will be paying EP Rugby president Cheeky Watson a special visit in the near future.
The reason for the urgent visit stems from a total of R 35 Million Rand the Union received from the National Lotteries Board for the establishment and development of the SARU Kings Academy.
“I will be on my way to the Eastern Cape very soon so that I can personally see where the Academy is and where the black players are that were supposed to be recruited. I expect a report from him (Watson). The Kings are meant to be the homeland of black players and that was the reasoning behind them getting a Super Rugby spot. The last time I was there, all I saw was white players and never saw any of the black players who were supposed to be there,” Mbalula told a media briefing.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has delayed its General Council meeting by a week.
The meeting was originally due to take place on 4 December and is understood to have a major influence on whether or not Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s contract is extended following the Springboks semifinal exit at this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The meeting will now take place on 11 December and will follow a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
The Blue Bulls men’s and women’s teams on Saturday showed their class at the SARU Interprovincial Sevens at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit as they took top honours to round off a fantastic weekend for the Pretoria union.
The Blue Bulls men defeated Western Province 38 / 29 and the women pipped Western Province 24 / 22 in their respective Cup Finals in what was a thrilling tournament.
Exeter Chiefs (13) 19 / 6 (3) Leicester Tigers (Final Score)
The Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Sandy Park at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
New Cell C Sharks Assistant Coach, Robert du Preez snr, wants the team to play a brand of rugby that will make their fans proud.
Du Preez, himself a former Sharks scrumhalf, joined the Durban side’s coaching staff this month after a successful stint with the Leopards, who he led to the Currie Cup First Division title this year.
He will be an Assistant Coach during Super Rugby and will head up next year’s Currie Cup tournament.
Under the tutelage of Director of Rugby Gary Gold, the Cell C Sharks had a torrid 2015 season.
After a disappointing Super Rugby campaign in which they finished 11th on the Combined Log, things took a turn for the worse for the Cell C Sharks. They failed to reach the ABSA Currie Cup semifinals, and their 4 victories came against the competition’s also-rans, the EP Kings (2), Steval Pumas and ORC Griquas.
Wales coach Warren Gatland will quit his post after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and return to New Zealand, media reports in his homeland said on Friday.
Gatland, already Wales’ longest-serving coach after taking up the position in 2007, said he wanted to head home and possibly take a break before resuming his career in New Zealand.
“I’m here (Wales) until 2019 and the plan for me then is definitely to come home for a period,” he reportedly told commercial radio.
SANZAR is delighted to reveal that Super Rugby is coming to the Pacific Islands for the 1st time as Fiji is announced to host the Round 15 clash between the Chiefs and the Crusaders.
The match, to be played at Suva’s ANZ Stadium, will see Fiji become the 8th nation to host a Super Rugby fixture, joining Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
SANZAR Interim CEO, Brendan Morris, welcomed the exciting news.
“In 2016, Super Rugby is being delivered to more countries and more fans than ever before. Not only will we see games played in Argentina, Japan and Singapore for the 1st time in history, but we are delighted to partner with the Fijian Government, the Chiefs and event promoter Fortress to deliver the 1st ever match to the Pacific Islands.
Northampton Saints (3) 6 / 12 (6) Saracens (Final Score)
Northampton Saints and Saracens did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Franklin’s Gardens at 17:15 SA Time (15:15 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
India and South Africa battled each other in the 1st 5-Day Test at Mohali, India, and it was supposed to run from 5 to 9 November 2015.
India won the toss and elected to bat 1st.
South Africa made some early inroads and after 35 Overs India was on 97 / 3. Dean Elgar hit again twice in quick succession, with India reeling at 102 / 5.
At Drinks on Day 1 India were on 116 / 5 and 41 Overs had been bowled in the day. At Tea on Day 1 India was on 168 / 7 after 55 Overs. India were ALL OUT for 201, off 68 Overs on Day 1, with 20 or so Overs left in the Day.
South Africa lost their 1st and 2nd wickets with only 9 runs on the board. At Stumps on Day 1, SA was at 28 / 2.
South Africa was bowled out after 68 Overs, for 184, still 17 runs short of India’s 1st Innings.
India started their 2nd Innings in Session 2 of Day 2, and lost their 1st wicket with their score on 9.
At Tea on Day 2 India was on 13 / 2, 7 Overs into their 2nd innings. Quite some time after play resuming a very sharp catch saw the 2nd Indian wicket fall on 95 / 2. India were on 125 / 2 at Stumps on Day 2, having withstood 40 Overs of bowling.
India were eventually all out for 200 runs on Day 3, after 75.3 Overs, setting South Africa a target of 218 for a win.
On Day 3 South Africa never came near the total and fell 108 runs short, all out for a measly 109 runs.
- 1st Innings: 201 All Out (68 Overs)
- 2nd Innings: 200 All Out (75.3 Overs)
- 1st Innings: 184 All Out (68 Overs)
- 2nd Innings: 109 All Out (39.5 Overs)
Harlequins (3) 16 / 14 (7) Sale Sharks (Final Score)
Harlequins and Sale Sharks did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Twickenham Stoop, England at 21:45 SA Time (19:45 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward says English rugby union is a “laughing stock” after Sam Burgess returned to Rugby League.
Burgess was part of the England squad which went out of their home Rugby World Cup in the group stages.
He will now leave Bath and rejoin South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia.
Woodward, who led England to 2003 Rugby World Cup success, said he did not blame Burgess “for this mess” but the English game was at one of its “all-time lows”.
Burgess, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, played 21 games for Bath after joining them just over a year ago, scoring 4 tries.
Having made his England debut in August, he was selected for the Rugby World Cup ahead of Northampton centre Luther Burrell, who had looked to have established himself in the team after playing in all 5 of their Six Nations matches earlier in the year.
Burgess, who had been playing at blindside flanker for his club, was picked at centre for the hosts against Wales in the Rugby World Cup and his selection sparked much debate.
England Rugby Union international Sam Burgess has left Premiership club Bath with immediate effect in order to return to Rugby League side South Sydney Rabbitohs, the BBC reported Thursday.
The 26-year-old Burgess had 2 years left on a 3-year deal with west country side Bath.
Burgess was a member of the England squad that recently became the 1st Rugby World Cup host nation to exit the tournament in the group stages, with coach Stuart Lancaster criticised for what many saw as the overly rapid promotion of the Bath man into the Test side.
It was only last year, after helping South Sydney win the Australian National Rugby League Grand Final, that Burgess changed codes with the express ambition of playing for England at the Rugby World Cup.
The end of his brief spell in union is likely to prove embarrassing for both Bath and Lancaster, whose position as England coach is currently being scrutinised as part of a Rugby Football Union review into England’s woeful Rugby World Cup campaign.
The Reds will need a new captain for the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season as Wallabies Rugby World Cup prop James Slipper will have surgery in the off season.
Slipper has returned to Australia from England and will see surgeon Phil Duke to sort out a shoulder issue that has been troubling him for several seasons.
The new Super Rugby season begins in 14 weeks and the Reds start the new season with a match against the Waratahs in Sydney on 27 February.
Minor shoulder surgery will rule him out of the opening Rounds of the season while a full shoulder reconstruction could keep him out until April or May.
In his absence the Reds captaincy could go to vice-captain and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons or flanker Liam Gill.
The British & Irish Lions have announced that Canterbury will be their Official Apparel Partner for the 2017 tour of New Zealand.
The new deal sees Canterbury hold exclusive rights to manufacturing both the match and training kit alongside a new lifestyle range for the Lions.
John Feehan, British & Irish Lions CEO, said, ”We are delighted to be working with Canterbury as our new Apparel Partner.”
A letter published on the Club Atlético de San Isidro website says that the Club has reached an agreement with Unión Argentina de Rugby (UAR) to be the HOME VENUE for Argentina’s new Super Rugby team for 5 years from 2016.
The new franchise, which will be formally unveiled in the coming weeks, appears likely to play its home games at the Club, which is situated approximately 20 minutes north of Buenos Aires.
“We finally reached an agreement that will allow the UAR to use 1 field at our headquarters to play 8 games between March and June. All parties showed a great willingness to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” the statement said.
Sports minister Fikile Mbabula is expected to brief the media on Thursday on the Springboks’ performance in the Rugby World Cup, as well as on transformation in the national team.
South Africa lost to New Zealand in the one semifinal of the tournament, following blistering wins against Samoa, Scotland and the USA. Those victories came after the Springboks lost in their opening game against Japan.
There has been debate about the racial make-up of the team, especially from the side of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) – who has taken a strong line against coach Heyneke Meyer.
Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Tuesday that Meyer “must rest assured that he is not welcome in rugby by the majority of SA supporters and he should go”.
Wallabies lock Kane Douglas faces surgery on his injured left knee this week after MRI scans confirmed he sustained a ruptured ACL during Australia’s World Cup Final against New Zealand.
The 26-year-old injured his knee when he fell awkwardly just 15 minutes into the decider and took no further part in the match.
South African Rugby Union (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux says they had no choice but to move their Sevens World Series event away from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.
Roux was speaking to journalists in Cape Town on Wednesday after the announcement of several new sevens signings for the Springbok Sevens team.
Cape Town will in December host the South African leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 1st time after the event had been held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth since 2011.
Roux said that it was imperative for South Africa to host a successful tournament as World Rugby had insisted that the event be staged at an iconic destination.
“In terms of their criteria, only the tournaments at Twickenham and Hong Kong were successful,” said Roux.
The Cell C Sharks will travel to France in February 2016, on a pre-season tour ahead of the start of their Super Rugby 2016 campaign.
There are 2 games lined-up for the tour, with a visit to Stade Mayol 1st up to take on 2-time European champs Toulon on Friday 5 February before they face Toulouse on Thursday 11 February.
The Sharks believe that these matches against 2 of the best European clubs in recent times, marks an ideal opportunity to fine tune their preparation for Super Rugby.
Jonny Gray has been named the new club captain of Glasgow Warriors. He takes over from Al Kellock, who retired from rugby at the end of last season.
The news follows yesterday’s announcement that the 21-year-old has penned a new 3-year contract, keeping him in Glasgow until at least May 2018.
Gray captained the club for the 1st time in the win over Connacht at The Sportsground last season, on the way to the club winning the Guinness PRO12 title in May.
The Glasgow-born lock has made 40 appearances for the Warriors and has 19 caps for Scotland.
Rugby World Cup Springboks Bryan Habana, Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo are among a host of 15-a-side stars who will be in contention for places in South Africa’s Olympic Sevens squad, the South African Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.
They will be joined by Springbok team mates Juan de Jongh, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks and Oupa Mohoje at a 3-week training camp from Sunday in Stellenbosch as part of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) new Sevens strategy in Olympic year, announced Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
Habana has returned to his French club side Toulon and will join the training camp towards the end of the month. SARU also confirmed that Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski had already signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens team this season.
In addition, provincial 15-a-side stars Cheslin Kolbe, Rayno Benjamin, Warrick Gelant and Jaco Kriel have also been invited to join the camp alongside SARU’s powerful, existing Sevens squad.
With the Rugby World Cup 2015 now finished and no formal End Of Year Tour schedule (November Internationals) for any of the Southern Hemisphere giants in 2015, there are far fewer high profile games to look forward to, but the games are there nonetheless.
Firstly there are the 2 Barbarians games, the 1st of which is against Gloucester on 17 November, and the 2nd one a very interesting game between the Barbarians and Argentina’s Los Pumas, who gave us all such a wonderful display at the Rugby World Cup, on 21 November.
In addition, this year our TV broadcasters in South Africa are giving us plenty of Prime Time coverage of English Aviva Premiership Club rugby in England, the French Top 14, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup, which we will follow with some good attention, brining maybe not all, but at least the high profile and interesting games to you to savour. There will of course be a whole host of our Southern heros on display in all these competitions.
Then of course there is still the regular HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series of 2015 / 2016, which kicks off in Dubai on 4 & 5 December, followed by Cape Town on 12 & 13 December.
The All Blacks returned home to a frenzy of hakas and hysteria on Wednesday, with even the players stunned as 50 000 fans packed central Auckland to celebrate their Rugby World Cup victory.
“It’s huge to come back and see all this support and everyone turning out, it’s just overwhelming,” the tournament’s breakout star Nehe Milner-Skudder said as the crowd at the city’s Victoria Park roared approval.
The All Blacks arrived from London early Wednesday morning and celebrations began even before they stepped off the plane, with dozens of airport workers performing a haka on the tarmac to welcome them.