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Aviva PremiershipAfter brokering the deal for a new European Cup, starting next season, bosses of Aviva Premiership clubs are understood to be working on plans for a World Club competition.

It has been reported that the English clubs will test the resolve of the IRB by proposing plans to create a new worldwide club tournament for the summer of June 2018 which, as it stands, is currently a designated international rugby window.

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Super RugbyThe Cell C Sharks ground out their sixth win of the Vodacom Super Rugby season to stay at the top of the standings, but for the other three South African teams in action this weekend, the ninth round wasn’t a happy one.

The KwaZulu-Natalians beat a plucky Lions side by 25-12 in front of more than 30,000 people at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday evening. It was a battle of attrition and the visitors from Durban scored the only try of the match.

Earlier on Saturday, the Toyota Cheetahs put up a brave fight, but for a second successive week they fell off the pace in the final 10 minutes as they lost by 52-31 to the Crusaders in Bloemfontein – the team from Canterbury’s first win in the Free State Stadium for seven years.

On Friday morning, the Vodacom Bulls could not put an end to a seven-year drought in Dunedin as they paid the price for making way too many errors with ball in hand and on defence as they went down by 27-20 to the Highlanders.

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Jean de VilliersStormersSquad captain Jean de Villiers, prop Pat Cilliers and lock / flank Jurie van Vuuren are all back on deck this week, and available for selection against the Lions.

Hookers Scarra Ntubeni and Tiaan Liebenberg and wing Kobus van Wyk are not available for selection as yet, whilst flank Schalk Burger and winger Cheslin Kolbe will be given until later in the week to see if they are available.

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Bismarck du PlessisJannie du PlessisCell C SharksThey are strong, generally popular characters of the international rugby landscape and that is never a bad thing … but do brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis take interaction with referees a bit too far?

The voices of the two Sharks front-rankers have been among the most consistently audible to mass audiences this season as far as spirited dialogue with Super Rugby officials is concerned.

Shrinks (and may I cheekily add, at the risk of generalisation, wives and girlfriends?) will tell you that communication is healthy.

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WaratahsIsrael FolauThat’s the question not even the Waratahs have the answer to right now, as the Wallaby star waits to be medically cleared for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby game.

Folau was controversially pulled from the clash with the Western Force on Saturday after the Australian Rugby Union medical staff overruled the Waratahs’ decision to put him on the park after a throat Cartilage injury.

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Owen FarrellEnglandEngland and Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell is in doubt for the rest of season after he was forced to leave the field at half time in the Premiership leaders 28-24 win over second-placed Northampton on Sunday.

Farrell had to be relieved of kicking duties by Argentina’s Marcelo Bosch and didn’t take the field in the second half at Saracens’ home ground in Hendon, north-west London.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will be hoping that Farrell is fit enough for their end of season tour of New Zealand.

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MunsterJames Coughlan, who captained Munster to their 5-22 defeat at the hands of Glasgow Warriors last Saturday, was left infuriated by the display.

Munster’s shock defeat is their first at home in the competition and comes after a quarterfinal victory in the European Cup against Toulouse.

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Vodacom CupWhile the four teams who will contest the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals from the South Section have been decided, the race to get into the playoffs in the North Section is not over yet after the penultimate round of pool action.

And to add some spice, in the final round (in two weeks’ time) four of the top five teams in the North Section take on each other in two highly anticipated clashes. The defending champion Golden Lions (currently fourth on the log) host 2013’s runners-up the Steval Pumas (first), while GWK Griquas (second) have to travel to North West province to take on the Leopards XV (fifth).

The Vodacom Blue Bulls (third) host their neighbours to the north, the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, in Pretoria and a likely win should cement their place in the quarter-finals.

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Fikile MbalulaThe South African Rugby Union will on Monday get a better idea of the government’s new ‘adapt or die’ transformation policy.

Speaking at a general meeting of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee recently Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed that the minimum requirement for the number of blacks in teams have been increased to 60 percent.

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Johan AckermannLionsThe Lions don’t learn from their mistakes they will be doomed to repeat them.

This was the harsh message from coach Johan Ackermann after his side held the Cell C Sharks for 65 minutes, before allowing them a turnover inside the Lions’ own half and watched as the game slipped away from them through an excellent Lwazi Mvovo try to lose 25-12 in their Vodacom Super Rugby match on Saturday.

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Super RugbyEvery time the Cell C Sharks score a win there are mutters in the background that they still have to travel overseas, but the rate they are going they will leave for Australasia needing to do very little to confirm themselves as the winners of the South African conference in Vodacom Super Rugby.

It has been written that the Sharks, in beating the Lions at Ellis Park this past weekend, showed that they are not as commanding away from home as they are at Growthpoint Kings Park. But that should surely be a given in a season where until the past two weeks home ground advantage was so important, and these days a win over the Lions in Johannesburg is not something you just accept as an expected event. You have to work for it.

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Francois SteynHeyneke MeyerJust how will Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer go into any international this year without the boot of Frans Steyn?

The big midfielder underlined his importance with four massive penalties and a conversion for a total of 14 points as the Cell C Sharks returned to the top of the Vodocom Super Rugby table with a 25-12 win over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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Ihaia WestBluesThe Blues have called Hawke’s Bay Magpies and Maori All Blacks first five-eighths Ihaia West into their Super Rugby squad as replacement for the injured Baden Kerr who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

After fracturing a bone at the base of his thumb in a pre-season match against the Hurricanes, 24-year-old Kerr then fractured two fingers playing rugby for his club side Karaka last month and was forced to have surgery, ruling him out of action for at least 12 weeks.

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Nick CumminsWestern ForceNick Cummins is confident his team’s steely new attitude and willingness to work for each other will help them overcome a growing injury toll.

The Force can dare to dream of securing a maiden finals berth after Saturday night’s win over the Waratahs propelled them into fourth spot on the Super Rugby table.

However, their latest triumph came at a major cost, with scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle) and wing Luke Morahan (hamstring) set to miss this weekend’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

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Users: superBul, nortierd, 8 Guests, 9 Bots

Recent Comments

  • nortierd 19 Apr 2014, 21:32 SAST - @Macrobull Lol, he isn't the best ref going around. I particularly enjoyed the part where Faf rucked Rhodes' face and...
  • MacroBull 19 Apr 2014, 21:24 SAST - @ nortierd: geez nortie, how about that scrum where the touch judge could see a penalty 65m away while he...
  • nortierd 19 Apr 2014, 20:55 SAST - MacroBull wrote: jeepers amd we thought berry was on the lions pay roll. .. Today he made it clear he...
  • MacroBull 19 Apr 2014, 20:52 SAST - jeepers amd we thought berry was on the lions pay roll. .. Today he made it clear he will favour...
  • Hondo 19 Apr 2014, 20:38 SAST - What's the point of watching rugby games when its 'scripts' - as Nortierd called it - is already a well...
  • nortierd 19 Apr 2014, 20:18 SAST - @Robzim It seems as if the Protea players lift their game for the IPL, but not for the Proteas. Except...

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