Golden Lions players Michael Bondesio and Deon van Rensburg have announced their retirement from professional rugby.
The duo had been struggling with injuries of late and decided to call it a day, the union announced via their official Facebook page.
Scrumhalf Bondesio had not played much this year due to a knee injury, while wing / centre Van Rensburg was laid low by a rib injury.
Graham Mackenzie has been re-elected as president of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union, the Sharks’ official website reports.
The union’s annual general meeting recently took place where the president, deputy president, senior vice-president and junior vice-president roles were all retained, while there was a change among the four additional members.
Mackenzie was re-elected as president for another two-year term, Francois Louis was re-elected deputy president for a further year.
The coaching merry-go-round at the Sharks may have contributed significantly to the drain on the franchise’s financial resources.
This, at least, is the view of John Mitchell, in his recently released autobiography – Mitch: The Real Story.
The former All Black, England assistant, Western Force and Lions coach – in an exclusive interview with rugby365 – explained why he said in his book that he “strongly suspect” the Sharks are running out of money.
High-profile figures like Brendan Venter (now back in an advisory capacity again) and World Cup-winner Jake White have come and gone in quick succession in recent years. They also had to pay John Plumtree, when the New Zealander was shown the exit door before his contract had run its full term.
The most recent acquisition is another former member of a Springbok coach panel, Gary Gold – who will take over as a Director of Rugby in January.
Both parts of Ireland have united to bid for the World Cup in 2023, promising on Friday to rally Catholics and Protestants behind the event.
The Irish Rugby Football Union made the announcement alongside leaders of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom where only the Protestant majority plays rugby.
Underscoring the all-Ireland appeal of their plans, they spoke at a mainly Protestant school in the Northern Ireland city of Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of the island.
World Rugby plans to unveil the winner in mid-2017, with South Africa considered the early favourite.
Matt Todd was the big winner for the Crusaders and Caterbury at their annual awards evening, the flank coming away two prizes including the big one.
Canterbury Rugby and Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach expressed his congratulations to all of the awards recipients and said the evening had been a great celebration of success.
“This is the chance for our players, coaches, staff, sponsors and volunteers, to come together and enjoy an evening of celebration and reflection on the year.
“As is usually the case in sport, there were highs and lows throughout the year, but overall we have finished this year in good heart and with much to be proud of.
“There are a huge number of people who contribute to the success of rugby in this region, and while we couldn’t possibly thank them all individually, this awards evening is a way of us saying a collective thanks to all of those involved as well as acknowledging some outstanding individual achievements.”
The awards evening also marked a significant milestone for Todd Blackadder – 100 games as Crusaders head coach.
Convincing Steve Hansen to extend his contract after the 2015 World Cup would ensure the All Blacks aren’t exposed by the exit of their experienced players, says Mike Eagle.
Eagle, who was New Zealand Rugby’s chairman between 2010 and early 2014, understands supporters may be nervous about the All Blacks coach being reappointed ahead of next year’s global tournament – something that has never happened before – but believed it should be endorsed.
Last month NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said discussions with Hansen, who replaced Graham Henry as head coach in 2012, were well underway and it was up to Hansen to decide if he wanted to sign a new deal.
While he hadn’t been privy to the discussions between Tew and the board, Eagle said it would foolish to wait until after the World Cup to start searching for a new coach if Hansen was prepared to stay.
The second last Tournament in the 2014 calendar year for the HSBC Sevens World Series of 2014 / 2015 is underway in Dubai.
The Emirates Dubai Sevens tournament is played over 2 Days, Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December 2014.
The last Tournament for the year is next weekend, in South Africa, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
On Day 1, the traditional Sevens big sides, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia have easily overcome their opponents in their first games.
Surprise results were Canada beating Wales by 19 / 14 and Scotland beating Samoa 21 / 14.
On Day 2 Fiji and New Zealand advanced to the 3rd place play-off and South Africa and Australia advanced to the Final.
South Africa’s Blitzbokke easily took the Final and the Dubai title by 33 / 7.
The Springboks (rugby side) took on the Proteas in a T20 celebration match, for the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup, at Wanderers, Johannesburg on Friday 5 December 2014.
The Springbok side was made up of current and recent Springboks, whereas the Proteas have chosen a strong T20 National lineup.
The match started at 18:00 SA Time.
The score cards were be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.com.
The Springboks put one over their Cricket counterparts, with 7 balls spare, Willem Alberts, the capatin on the day, bringing the Bokke home with a 4.
The Springboks win by 5 wickets.
Proteas: 181 / 10 (20 Overs)
Springboks: 185 / 5 (18.5 Overs)
Mouritz Botha has been reluctantly released by Saracens to join The Sharks in South Africa, with effect from 1 January 2015.
Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, said: “Mouritz has been a massive part of our squad and our culture for the past five and a half seasons, and we are very sorry to see him leave. However, this is a great opportunity to play for one of the top teams in the Super XV, and we wish him, Natasha and young Joshua well.”
Botha joined Saracens from Bedford Blues in 2009, has played 142 matches for the club and has also been capped 10 times by England.
Thirty Craven Week players, five of whom played for the 2014 SA Schools team, and nine regular Under 19 First XV (or higher) captains from 2014 will form part of an exciting 2015 Western Province Rugby Institute intake.
With the WPRI already having produced the likes of DHL Stormers and / or Springbok stars Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh in recent seasons, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the announcement of the Class of 2015.
Five members of the 2014 SA Schools team – including captain and No 8 Jaco Coetzee – have chosen to join the WPRI in Stellenbosch, along with the 2013 Craven Week Player of the Year, Grant Hermanus, who featured for the cup-winning DHL Western Province Under 19 team in 2014, and another Paarl Gym star, lock Jaco Willemse (a WP representative in the 2014 SA Schools squad).
The 2015 WPRI squad is made of 75% local talent, with the likes of Coetzee (Glenwood), Michael Kumbirai (St Albans College), Eduard Zandberg (Outeniqua) and Eduan Keyter (Affies) – all members of the 2014 SA Schools team – joining from outside the boarders of the Western Cape.
Glasgow Warriors have received a major boost ahead of Sunday’s European Rugby Champions Cup match against Toulouse, with the news that Josh Strauss and Leone Nakarawa have signed new deals with the club.
Both players have signed two-year contracts, keeping them at Scotstoun until at least May 2017 and have committed their futures to the club just a week after Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones penned deals for the same length of time.
South African-born Strauss arrived in Glasgow in September 2012 and the 28-year-old has made 56 appearances for the Guinness PRO12 side. He has scored six tries and has captained the team.
The powerful No 8 has featured regularly for the Warriors and will become eligible to play for Scotland in September 2015.
Ruan Pienaar and Dan Tuohy are poised to return for Ulster in Saturday’s European Champions Cup tie against Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium.
Pienaar has not played for Ulster this season having suffered a knee injury playing for South Africa in September.
Tuohy broke his arm during a Pro12 match against Cardiff 10 weeks ago.
“Dan and Ruan both trained the last two days and if there is no reaction, they might potentially be involved at the weekend,” said Ulster coach Neil Doak.
While delighted at the prospect of the pair being involved in the back-to-back fixtures against Scarlets, which Ulster must win to keep alive slim hopes of qualification from Pool 3, Doak is not expecting too much from his returning internationals.
“It’s good to have them back on the paddock but let’s see how they react and come through. We just have to see how Ruan’s knee reacts.”
“It is a different kettle of fish when you are training on your own, but when you get in a team environment and it is twisting and turning, it is live stuff now.
“Hopefully both of them can get in the mix this weekend. To have those experienced players coming back in, it is good to have.”
Regular Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown is eager to get back into the Blitzboks jersey and ready to play his part for his country after missing the first round the Sevens World Series in October at the Gold Coast through injury.
A serious shoulder injury sustained in the final of the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, in July ruled Brown out of action for several months and forced him to miss the season opener in Australia.
The Springbok Sevens finished fourth at the Gold Coast, a result which coach Neil Powell described as unsatisfactory after errors cost them on the second day’s play.
Brown, who is looking forward to making his return after a lengthy injury-layoff, said he was excited to be back.
The South African Rugby Union received handy compensation from the Welsh Rugby Union for agreeing to play last weekend’s Test in Cardiff.
The Test at Millennium Stadium fell outside World Rugby’s international window, but was played after both rugby union’s agreed to square off.
According to reports, SARU received £750 000 (about R 13 Million) from the WRU for the Test.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Wednesday confirmed the retirement from rugby by Vodacom Bulls prop Frik Kirsten. The former Junior Springbok player suffered a neck injury in March whilst playing his 34th match for the Vodacom Bulls and underwent surgery after that. Although the surgery proved successful, medical advice was for the 26-year old player not to play rugby again.
Kirsten, who studied B.Comm (Accounting) at the University of Pretoria while playing professional rugby, graduated with an honours degree and will now pursue a career in accounting, hoping to become a chartered accountant.
Xander Janse van Rensburg, High Performance Manager at the Blue Bulls Company, said it was sad to lose a player of Kirsten’s ability, but applauded the fact that the player prepared for a career after rugby while still playing.
Ellis Park played host to the annual glittering Golden Lions Rugby Union Player Awards event on Wednesday evening, where several individuals were acknowledged for their achievements during the 2014 season.
The GLRU celebrated the Springbok capping of three players in 2014, namely Warren Whiteley, Julian Redelinghuys and Marnitz Boshoff.
Whiteley, Kwagga Smith, Ruhan Nel and Mark Richards all represented South Africa in Sevens rugby in 2014, with Whiteley and Smith both having been a part of the gold medal-winning Commonwealth Games side.
The GLRU’s SA U20 representatives for 2014 included Cyle Brink, Thabo Mabuza, Ramone Samuels, Malcolm Marx, Jaco van der Walt and Victor Sekekete.
As 2014 draws to an end, and the festive spirit starts to take over, it also brings with it a time to reflect on the year gone by. The Blue Bulls Company today hosted their annual Player Awards at very casual and relaxed event hosted on the Loftus B-Field.
All the contracted players, including the Under 19’s, Under 21’s and senior teams, attended the event. They were also joined by a host of team management, administration staff, sponsors and partners.
Full list of awards:
Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe says there is enough leadership in the team to fill the void left by Jean de Villiers.
The Springbok captain suffered a horrific knee injury in last Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff. He faces an extended period on the sidelines and could even miss next year’s Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.
While losing De Villiers would be a big blow, Van der Merwe feels there are enough leaders in the squad for coach Heyneke Meyer to call on.
“It’s one of Heyneke’s big success stories during his time as coach. He concentrated on establishing a leadership group. of which Jean merely acts as manager,” Van der Merwe says.
Bakkies Botha could extend his stint at French club Toulon by a few months before calling time on his playing career.
The veteran Springbok lock last month announced his retirement from international rugby after representing his country in 85 Tests.
At the time, Botha said he would see out his contract with Toulon until the end of the current European season, before possibly finishing his playing career at a local Currie Cup team in 2015.
However, it appears Botha could extend his stint at Toulon by a few more months.
The Springboks are likely to head to the World Cup next year without a specialist outside centre, but is that such a problem?
Jaque Fourie’s recent retirement from international rugby and captain Jean de Villiers’ horrific knee injury means that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s midfield options will have to be significantly revised next year.
The two formed the most capped centre pairing in Springbok history, and many had their money on seeing them together for one last hurrah in England next year.
A look at the options available shows that outside centres are in seemingly short supply, which means that the Boks may play with two inside centres as they effectively did throughout 2014.
Two time Heineken Cup champions Toulon have accepted the challenge presented to them by the Cell C Sharks CEO, John Smit, to play the Cell C Sharks in a North vs South pre-season friendly.
The date for this clash has been set for Thursday 5 February 2015, at the Stade Mayol in Toulon.
We believe that in order to be the best you need to play the best. This match against the best European Rugby Club in recent history marks an ideal opportunity to fine tune our preparation for an important Vodacom Super Rugby season ahead.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will require surgery on his injured left knee and will be in a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015.
De Villiers left the field in the 58th minute of the Springboks’ final Test of the season, last Saturday against Wales in Cardiff, after twisting his left knee and dislocating his knee cap.
Scans shortly after the match revealed significant ligament damage to the knee. De Villiers returned to South Africa on Monday and was assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon in Cape Town, who advised that the Springbok captain requires surgical reconstruction of the knee.
The Springboks have signalled their intentions to go all out in the forthcoming Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup against the South African cricket team by appointing former Proteas wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher, as head coach.
Furthermore hard-man Willem Alberts, who took two wickets with consecutive balls and hit a quick 10 runs off nine balls at Newlands in January, has been named to captain the Springboks at the Wanderers.
Springbok Management have also confirmed kicking coach and former Bok flyhalf, Louis Koen, will replace the injured Jean de Villiers in the starting XI for Friday’s match at the Wanderers Stadium.
As one of three players to have played in all 12 of South Africa’s Test matches in 2014 it is safe to say No.8 Duane Vermeulen is now an integral part of Heyneke Meyer’s plans for the World Cup.
A stellar year that included a man-of-the-match performance in October’s win over the All Blacks, and culminated in his nomination for World Rugby Player of the Year.
The next goal for Vermeulen will be impressing on the World stage in his first ever World Cup tournament after only making his debut in the Rugby Championship in 2012 at the age of 26.
“It wasn’t always a dream to play for the Springboks – that developed later on, and now I want to play in a World Cup. Hopefully I can stay in the team,” he said,” Vermeulen said.
Former Springbok lock Hannes Strydom says he fought back after six men tried to hijack his vehicle in Pretoria on Monday.
Strydom, 49, was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Little Company of Mary hospital in Groenkloof after surviving the attempted hijacking.
The incident occurred in Aries street in Pretoria’s Waterkloof Ridge suburb.
According to Strydom’s wife, Nikolie, the skull around his left eye socket was fractured after one of the hijackers threw a “rock”.
But the former Springbok and Golden Lions star has since recovered and was moved out of ICU on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s PUB NIGHT!
I attended a funeral today, my late dad’s wife… my Stepmom… but she was way more than that!
My dad used to say, “They are cutting from my forest now”, meaning that his generation was in the firing line and the ones going one by one… well today a slender old tree with a very kind shadow was layed to rest… may she rest in peace.
I think it would be apt to dedicate PUB NIGHT tonight to memories, so that is exactly what we will do!
The End Of Year Tours are a thing of the past and not the brightest end to the season for the Springboks, not a good End Of Year Tour in fact. What was clear though, is that the Southern Hemisphere players are all tired and quite spent after a long season and that the top Northern Hemisphere countries have crept closer to the biggies of the Southern Hemisphere.
What remains for 2014? Only a month left of the year and only 2 HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments to go, the one in Dubai and the one at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Then it is that aweful lull in the Southern Hemisphere season, where we have to make do with only some Northern Hemisphere rugby, some cricket and a heap of news in preparation for Super Rugby 2015.
OK, 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 timer 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:
Once again the four Rugby Championship teams have been and gone but this time they did not have it all their own way on their annual visit to the British Isles as it ended five wins apiece from the 10 Tests.
Ireland beat both South Africa and Australia, Wales downed the former and England the latter, and Scotland defeated Argentina.
Admittedly, the Pumas are not part of rugby union’s traditional southern hemisphere big three, and the incomparable All Blacks sailed through their Tests unbeaten, but even discounting the Scottish win over Argentina the matches against the three giants from the south only ended 5-4 to the visitors.
Former England and Lions great Jeremy Guscott has been out and about during November and here he selects a XV for both the home nations and the Rugby Championship sides.
The International season is done for the Southern Hemisphere and for Springbok rugby for 2014 and the only rugby of real importance left for us southern rugby junkies, are the 2 remaining HSBC Sevens World Series Tournaments in 2014 – the Dubai Sevens this coming weekend and the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens Tournament the week thereafter.
In the meantime the Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby sides are extremely busy with their preparation work, conditioning and getting ready for Super Rugby 2015.
The question is, what has the Springboks learnt from the year of 2014 and from the End Of Year Tour?
Will we see a total change of tack and a move away from the high-ball kick and chase bombs from the Springboks? Very few International Tests remain before the start of the Rugby World Cup 2015 (18 September 2015) in England, however a full season of Super Rugby and the abbreviated Rugby Championship still loom in 2015 before the World Cup starts.
South Africa suffered a big blow when Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was injured during their 12-6 defeat to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.
De Villiers was forced to leave the field in the 58th minute after twisting his left knee and dislocating his knee cap. The dislocation was reduced on the field and he was sent for scans shortly after the match.
“The scans revealed significant ligament damage to the inside of his knee and the supporting muscles,” said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.
“Jean will return to South Africa and see an orthopaedic specialist in Cape Town early in the week. He has had previous surgery on this knee and the further management of the injury is dependent upon the specialist’s recommendations.”
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said losing De Villiers was a massive setback as the team were just beginning to build momentum in a tough encounter against Wales. The home team’s points came via four Leigh Halfpenny penalty goals, while Pat Lambie responded with two penalty goals for the visitors.
“It was a massively disappointing way to end the tour and our season, as we always strive to make our country proud,” said Meyer.
The Australian Rugby Union has issued a formal written warning to David Pocock following his arrest on Sunday.
In a statement published on Monday afternoon, the ARU said, “While we appreciate David has personal views on a range of matters, we’ve made it clear that we expect his priority to be ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete.
“The matter is now subject to legal proceedings and we will now let the legal process take its course.”
Reigning champions New Zealand remained the team to beat less than a year out from the World Cup in England after yet another successful November campaign in Europe.
There’s nothing new in the All Blacks being the yardstick for the global game and their rivals will take some comfort in knowing New Zealand have yet to win the World Cup on foreign soil.
So the fact they were pushed close by both England (24-21) and Wales (34-16) this month before emerging victorious won’t have done the All Blacks any harm, nor will the success of a virtual second-choice side in preserving their unbeaten record against Scotland.
However, all these matches demonstrated how no team goes for the full 80 minutes quite like New Zealand, who have enviable depth.
England found themselves needing two scores in the closing stages against the All Blacks and managed one while Wales conceded 24 points in the final 17 minutes.
A try in both halves from Ben Morgan helped England claim a well-deserved 26-17 victory over Australia at Twickenham.
England displayed excellent composure in defence and made the most of their possession by running in two tries to claim a massive psychological advantage with the World Cup a few months away.
The Wallabies outscored the hosts 14-13 in the second half but failed to overturn a 10-point half-time deficit.
Scrum dominance, allied to fine work at the breakdown led by England captain Chris Robshaw, were the cornerstones of England’s victory.
The win saw England end the November programme with a 50 percent success rate after defeats by both world champions New Zealand (24-21) and South Africa (31-28) were followed by last week’s 28-9 win over Samoa.
Francois Hougaard’s spectacular score in the Springboks’ win over New Zealand in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship has been named as the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Try of the Year 2014, World Rugby announced on Saturday.
Some news titbits from all over, in preparation for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
- Willie Brits, the popular lion-looking Xerox Lion, has made his move back to the Toyota Cheetahs for 2015.
- Ben Afeaki, Chiefs prop, who has ongoing concussion problems will have to decide his future and consider possible retirement.
- The Force will celebrate its 10th Super Rugby season by returning one of the club’s favourite sons, Tai McIsaac, to its coaching staff for the next three years.
- South African-born lock Marco Kotze has become the 11th Queensland-based National Rugby Championship player to be contracted by the Reds.
Wales (3) 12 / 6 (3) Springboks (Final Score)
Wales and the South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at
Millennium stadium, Cardiff, Wales at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 BST & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.