Springbok utility back Frans Steyn is set to join Montpellier in the French Top 14 and reunite with his World Cup winning coach Jake White.
Steyn is one of many recruits from South Africa and Australia in a completely revamped Montpellier outfit under the guidance of coach White.
White, who had coaching roles at the Sharks and Brumbies as well as the South African national side, has confirmed 20 new signings for Montpellier – with a number of them from places where he used to ply his trade.
The 28-year-old Steyn is no foreigner to France having had a spell at Racing Metro from 2009 – 2012.
His versatility at flyhalf, centre and fullback should be particularly useful to Montpellier, given the many departures announced this off-season for the French club.
The French scene is notorious for big-money signings a look is taken into the major comings and goings in the Top 14 for the season ahead.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel named Quintin Geldenhuys as captain in a much changed side, with respect to the last Six Nations campaign.
Italy will host Scotland in a Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Turin on Saturday.
With habitual captain Sergio Parisse sidelined with flu-like symptoms, 2nd row forward Geldenhuys has been handed the captain’s armband with Fiji-born Samuel Vunisa stepping into Parisse’s No 8 position.
Brunel has caused a minor surprise in the centres.
Coach Vern Cotter has rung the changes to the Scotland team to start against Italy on Saturday.
The Scots will head to Turin’s Stadio Olimpico for the 2nd of their 4 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.
The match is the 1st of a double-header against the Italians, with the return leg at Murrayfield the following Saturday (29 August).
In all there are 11 new faces taking the field, with the 7 inbound forwards making up an almost entirely new pack, 4 new backs, and 3 starting debuts for John Hardie (back row), Rory Hughes (wing) and Stuart McInally (hooker).
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre made 12 changes to his starting line-up for the 2nd of 2 World Cup warm-up games.
France host England at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The French lost 14 / 19 to Stuart Lancaster’s men at Twickenham last Saturday and Saint-Andre is keen to cast an eye over all of his players before cutting back his squad from 36 to 31 on Sunday.
Notably, he has linked up Frederic Michalak with Sebastien Tillous-Borde at halfback, giving both Toulon veterans a chance to state their claims for World Cup squad slots.
The International Rugby Players Association announced the appointments of Jonathan Sexton and Richie McCaw their Presidents.
Sexton and McCaw are the inaugural Presidents for the North and South respectively.
As 2 of the most recognised and respected players from around the world, both are seen as ideally placed to oversee and represent the collective voice of their fellow players from around the globe.
Both players are passionate about making a difference on issues of international importance to the players and the game.
Sexton and McCaw will take an active part on various IRPA Player Advisory Groups and will use their expert opinion and stature to build on the collaborative relationship with World Rugby, the international Governing Body.
3 Rugby players, including former All Blacks wing Zac Guildford, showed their prowess off the field when they chased and apprehended an alleged shoplifter.
Guildford and Hawke’s Bay team-mates Ryan Tongia and Chris Eaton were at a restaurant in Napier when they saw a man run out of a nearby clothing store.
Guildford said that former NRL player Tongia chased the alleged thief 3 blocks down the road.
Rugby World Cup winning All Black flyhalf Stephen Donald is returning to New Zealand having signed a contract with Waikato for the NPC season.
Donald had been linked with a move to Toulon in France but is expected to be available for Waikato when they take on Bay of Plenty on 30 August in Tauranga.
It will be the 31-year-old’s 1st outing in New Zealand since he came off the bench to kick what turned out to be winning penalty in the All Blacks’ 8 / 7 win over France at the 2011 Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park.
Donald was famously called into the squad while fishing, after the All Blacks were hit by an injury crisis at flyhalf during the tournament.
Springbok loose forward Ryan Kankowski has been hit hard in the pocket, after he was ordered to pay R 322 500.00 to his former agent.
Kankowski was ordered to pay the amount to his previous management team, In Touch Sports, in an arbitration hearing that concluded on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old, capped 20 times for the Springboks, was also ordered to pay back interest on the amount from May 2010 until final settlement, plus legal fees.
The case was 1st heard in the High Court in Durban, but was later referred to arbitration by agreement between the parties.
With Japan’s national coach, Eddie Jones, linked to the DHL Stormers job for 2016, Japan’s new Super Rugby franchise appears to be beset by problems.
Super Rugby will be expanded to 18 teams from next year, with teams from Japan and Argentina as well as South Africa’s Southern Kings set to join the competition.
Japan coach Jones was initially chosen to coach the Japanese Super Rugby team as well, but he has confirmed he is in talks with the Stormers, with the Cape franchise reportedly eager to sign the former Wallabies coach.
Jones denied that he had signed a deal with the DHL Stormers but admitted that he has had discussions with the franchise.
The Steval Pumas have made 3 changes to the side that will face the EP Kings in their ABSA Currie Cup clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Prop Corné Fourie will start his 1st match of the season for the Pumas, scrumming down at loosehead prop, with Khwezi Mona shifting to tighthead prop in place of De-Jay Terblanche.
Jason-Colin Fraser earns a starting berth at No 8 in place of Lambert Groenewald, while lock Rudi Matthee will feature in the run-on side for Giant Mtyanda, who shifts to the bench.
The Pumas will be looking to bounce back from their 44 / 27 defeat to the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.
In the corresponding fixture in 2013 the Pumas suffered a narrow defeat to the Eastern Cape side.
Loose forward Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht has returned to the starting line-up for the Eastern Province Kings’ clash against the Steval Pumas on Friday.
Engelbrecht, who made a name for himself in the Southern Kings’ 2013 Super Rugby season with hard hits and bulldozing runs, replaces flank Stefan Willemse on the side of the scrum.
The 30-year-old has been a welcome return to the EP side (on loan) after he departed for the Bulls at the end of 2013.
Willemse has been included on the bench, but Janse van Rensburg said the flank had a slight niggle, which they believe will clear up for Friday’s game.
Wing Sergeal Petersen is set to make his Toyota Free State Cheetahs Currie Cup debut for the showdown against ORC Griquas on Friday.
Petersen, who has now signed a full-time deal in Bloemfontein, has not featured yet for the Free State outfit in this years’ Currie Cup but will occupy the right wing position on Friday.
The 21-year-old has already made 5 Super Rugby appearnces for the Toyota Cheetahs and holds 3 Vodacom Cup caps for Free State, while he was on loan from the EP Kings.
Petersen’s inclusion sees Clayton Blommetjies move to fullback in place of the injured Adriaan Coertzen. Coertzen has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
The only other forced change to the starting line-up is Gerhard Olivier coming in at openside flank for the injured Boom Prinsloo (broken jaw).
Has the world gone mad? The Vodacom Blue Bulls will be playing an expansive game and DHL Western Province will kick for territory.
That is what is on the cards when South Africa’s biggest derby, the north-south Currie Cup showdown between the Blue Bulls and WP, take place at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Province have made it clear they want to build ‘scoreboard pressure’, building up a healthy lead before looking for tries and bonus points.
One gets the feeling the WP brains trust believe the Blue Bulls can’t chase a game once they are behind.
Both WP coach John Dobson and new captain Nizaam Carr said they will not be lured into a helter-skelter contest and will back their structures to wear the Blue Bulls down.
Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam are the only 2 All Blacks regulars named in New Zealand’s initial rugby sevens squad on Wednesday to begin preparations for next year’s Rio Olympics.
Williams had been widely expected to make himself available for the sevens team for Rio after his switch back from rugby league late last year.
Messam, a former sevens player before he made the All Blacks, had also said he was keen on trying to win Olympic gold in Rio with Gordon Tietjens’ sevens side.
“We know what Liam can do and he will certainly give us some new options up front,” Tietjens said in a statement.
“He’s a hugely experienced sevens player having won 2 Commonwealth Games gold medals and been part of sevens World Series winning New Zealand teams.
“Sonny Bill Williams is a great athlete and has shown he can adapt very easily to the demands of rugby.
“I see him adjusting very well to the fast pace of sevens. He’ll be a great attacking weapon with his speed, strength and uncanny ability to offload.”
Glasgow Warriors have signed winger Junior Bulumakau from the British Army on a 1 year contract.
The 24-year-old, who has been training with the Warriors for the last couple of months, played in the 28 / 10 defeat to Clermont in the pre-season fixture in France last Friday and scored a spectacular try from the halfway line.
Junior was born in Fiji and moved to Scotland at the age of 10 with his parents. He has served as an infantryman with The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland since February 2010, deploying on overseas training exercises to Kenya and Cyprus.
He has played for Heriot’s in the BT Premiership, while in May he scored a try for the British Army and was named man of the match in their 36 / 18 win over the Royal Navy in front of 80 000 supporters at Twickenham.
He becomes the 2nd winger to join the club ahead of the new campaign, along with Taqele Naiyaravoro from the Waratahs, while Scotland 7s wingers Mark Robertson and Nyle Godsmark are training with the squad.
We have just surpassed the 16 Million Page Impressions mark, since we started counting on 31 October 2009!
It feels like just the other day when we hit 12 Million Pages…
And so the marker fly by one at a time each next one faster than the one before.
What more can I say but to just bask in the glory of our Rugby Community right here on Rugby-Talk!
OK, that was just a quick heads up, back to writing more rugby news…
Regular England captain Chris Robshaw was restored to the side for the World Cup hosts’ 2nd warm-up match.
England play France in Paris on Saturday.
The Harlequins flank was 1 of 14 changes made by coach Stuart Lancaster to his starting side – with only try-scoring wing Jonny May retained from the 15 that ran out to defeat France 19 / 14 at Twickenham last weekend.
Robshaw will form a back row alongside veteran James Haskell and Billy Vunipola.
It is the same loose forward trio which started the final match of last season’s Six Nations against France, with 12 of that 15 – which won 55 / 35 at Twickenham 5 months ago, a result that still wasn’t good enough for England to clinch the title – lining up in Paris.
There was no place in the matchday 23 for either former Rugby League star Sam Burgess or fellow centre Henry Slade, who both impressed on their Test debuts against France last weekend.
Instead Lancaster has reverted back to his tried and trusted centre partnership of Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph, leaving open the question of who will provide midfield cover in a Rugby World Cup squad that must be named by 31 August.
SANZAR has issued All Blacks’ team management with a breach notice following an incident that occurred during the Test between the All Blacks and the Wallabies played at Eden Park on Saturday 15 August 2015.
Under tournament rules, water carriers are not permitted within the playing enclosure while the match is in progress. Liam Messam, who was acting as a water carrier for the All Blacks, entered the field of play during the 29th minute which constituted a breach of technical zone protocol.
All Blacks’ team management accepted responsibility for this breach and has been issued a fine of A$ 2 000.00.
All Black prop Charlie Faumuina’s Rugby World Cup hopes suffered another setback after he was knocked out cold in training on Tuesday.
Faumuina was released to play for his NPC side Auckland after he was given the all clear to resume training returning from neck surgery.
Faumuina damaged his neck in the later stages of the Super Rugby series and had surgery in June in a late bid to be fit for the Rugby World Cup.
There were several options – 1 which gave him a shot at the World Cup or another which would take him out of rugby for 6 months and park his tournament ambitions alongside the injured Aaron Cruden and Patrick Tuipulotu.
There were no great surprises as Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade named his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad on Sunday.
Star players Juan Imhoff, Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Fernandez Lobbe and Marcelo Bosch all took their places in the final squad.
Hourcade ditched 7 players from the squad that participated in The Rugby Championship, ending their campaign last week with a 1st ever victory over South Africa.
Racing Metro lock Manuel Carizza and Saracens prop Juan Figallo were amongst those to miss out.
Tonga President Epi Taione has named the Rugby World Cup squad which is filled with a mix of youth and experience.
Tonga line-up in Pool C alongside Georgia, Namibia, Argentina and current William Webb Ellis trophy holders New Zealand.
In a side which sees Pacific Nations Cup debutantes Telusa Veainu, Viliami Tahitu’a and Sosefo Ma’ake joining the campaign, there is also the addition of familiar names, including Gloucester duo David Halaifonua and Sione Kalamafoni, along with Samisoni Fisilau, Aleki Lutui, Paula Ngauomo, Will Helu, and Siale Piutau.
Tonga have named only 30 players in the squad with the 31st expected to be named at a later stage. The word on the street is that Rugby League star Andrew Fifita could cross-codes to fill that last spot.
Japan coach Eddie Jones has dismissed speculation that he has penned a deal with the DHL Stormers but said he was in talks with the Cape side.
Jones, like any professional in the sporting world, is weighing up his options before his contract comes to an end in Japan.
The Australian has a contract with the ‘Brave Blossoms’ until the end of 2015 but he was thought keen to remain in Japan, which will host the 2019 World Cup, to coach the national side as well as the new Super Rugby expansion team.
However, reports from Cape Town on Monday said that the 55-year-old had already put pen-to-paper on a 2-year deal worth R 5 000 000.00 ($ 385 563.00) per year with the Stormers.
As the Kings franchise looks forward to a significant period in its history, EP Rugby chief executive Charl Crous has announced a 3-year clothing sponsorship deal with BLK South Africa, beginning in 2016.
The sponsorship will coincide with the Southern Kings’ return to Super Rugby in 2016 and both parties are excited about the journey which lies ahead for rugby in the Eastern Cape region.
The Xerox Golden Lions medical group have released a report ahead of the team’s match against the Cell C Sharks in Durban this Saturday.
There is just 1 new injury to report, following last weekend’s win over the Steval Pumas.
Centre Harold Vorster has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the match.
Head coach Johan Ackermann sees the injury as a big blow but believes Vorster will be able to make an impact upon his return to play during the 2016 season.
The Steval Pumas face an injury crisis ahead of Friday’s Currie Cup Round 3 clash with the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Pumas physio Luzahn Louw revealed that a number of players are doubtful for this weekend’s match – following their 27 / 44 loss to the Golden Lions this past weekend.
Influential Pumas captain Stefan Watermeyer suffered a thigh strain, but should be fit for Friday’s encounter.
His leadership skills helped them upset the Sharks in Round 1.
Vodacom Blue Bulls flanker Deon Stegmann will miss the next 4 weeks of the ABSA Currie Cup after he fractured his cheekbone against ORC Griquas on Friday. The flanker left the field in the 52nd minute of the match.
William Small-Smith, who left the field after a blow to the head, will have a fitness test on Thursday to determine if he will be available for the clash against DHL Western Province on Saturday.
Francois Hougaard, who injured a thumb ligament, will also be given time till Thursday to prove his fitness, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.
Lock Jacques du Plessis, who has a back spasm, will be back on the training field on Tuesday.
The Reds have announced the extension of Richard Graham as head coach for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Graham will work under a new high performance structure that will see him report into an Executive General Manager.
This newly created structure, outlined as the main recommendation from the recent Reds High Performance Review, sees the appointment of former World Cup-winning Wallabies centre Daniel Herbert, a 124-capped Queensland Red, to this Executive General Manager’s role.
All Blacks Performance Analyst Alistair Rogers will become the new assistant coach for the Blues.
Rogers, who has been with the All Blacks for the last 7 years, was named to join new head coach Tana Umaga for the next 2 years at the Blues.
He has had a special focus on opposition analysis and defence with the All Blacks and will take the responsibility for defence at the Blues, joining incumbent forwards coach Glenn Moore.
The former professional player is keen to return to a full-time coaching role, after guiding the Ballina Rugby Club in Ireland for 12 months, a stint as defence coach at Honda in Japan and a spell as Hurricanes assistant defence coach last year.
Glen Fisiiahi is set to make a return to rugby and will be joining the Chiefs for the next 2 years, from Rugby League team, the Warriors.
The 24 year-old former Wesley College Sports Dux and Counties Manukau Under 18 rugby player, who had offers to stay in rugby league said, “I wanted a change and to switch back to union with the Chiefs.”
“I have really enjoyed the league environment but I have rekindled my interest in rugby and want to try a different environment. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my sporting career and a fresh challenge.
DHL Western Province were dealt a cruel blow with the news that captain Juan de Jongh has been ruled out of action for 8 to 10 weeks.
De Jongh suffered a knee injury in the 49th minute of last Saturday’s 9 / 3 win over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.
The Springbok centre – who captained WP to Currie Cup glory last season – suffered a Grade 2 Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear, which could potentially see him only return in time for the Currie Cup play-offs in October.
The Xerox Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls and the DHL Western Province all achieved successive wins in the 2nd Round of the ABSA Currie Cup played over the weekend.
In Durban, the Cell C Sharks opened their account with a win over the Eastern Province Kings, which means the EP Kings, Toyota Free State Cheetahs and the ORC Griquas are still searching for their 1st win after 2 Rounds of Premier Division matches.
At Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg the Xerox Golden Lions survived a bruising battle against the Steval Pumas to win 44 / 27 (halftime 20 / 10) on Friday night. In another Friday evening clash Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Tian Schoeman contributed 21 points to steer his team to a 36 / 12 victory over the ORC Griquas at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Griquas led 12 / 6 at halftime.
DHL Western Province beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 9 / 3 in driving rain on Saturday afternoon to hand new coach, John Dobson, his 1st ABSA Currie Cup win at DHL Newlands in Cape Town. In the late Saturday kick-off the Cell C Sharks fought off a determined challenge from the Eastern Province Kings to claim a 33 / 25 (half-time 18 / 10) victory at Growthpoint Kings Park.
The Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions have both collected the maximum 10 Log Points on offer from their 2 outings and the Gauteng rivals are closely followed by defending champions, Western Province, who have 9 Log Points.
The Scotland medical team issued the following squad update after Saturday’s 28 / 22 loss to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Loose-head prop Ryan Grant left the field of play around the 44th minute having sustained an ankle injury in the lead up to Scotland’s second of three tries.
An x-ray after the game showed no fracture, with the results of a detailed scan later this week expected to give greater insight into the extent of his injury.
Tight-head prop Jon Welsh left the match around the 47th minute for a HIA (head injury assessment), which confirmed his concussion. He is now symptom free and has begun the graduated return-to-play protocol.
Los Pumas (9) 12 / 26 (20) Springboks (Final Score)
The Argentinian Pumas and South African Springboks did battle in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match at
Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires at 21:40 SA Time (16:40 ARG Time, 19:40 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
Sharks (18) 33 / 25 (10) EP Kings (Final Score)
The Cell C Sharks and Eastern Province Kings did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup at
Growthpoint Kings Park at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
WP (0) 9 / 3 (3) FS Cheetahs (Final Score)
DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup at
DHL Newlands at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.