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ABSA Currie CupIt was a weekend of home wins in the Currie Cup Qualifiers as the Down Touch Griffons, ORC Griquas and the Leopards came out tops in their respective matches.

The Griffons pipped the SWD Eagles 25 / 21 in a nail-biting encounter at HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom, while Griquas defeated the Boland Cavaliers 48 / 17 at Griquas Park and the Leopards smashed the Hino Valke 53 / 7 at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom.

The Leopards’ victory marked their 2nd successive bonus-point win and earned them the status as the only unbeaten team in the competition after 2 Rounds.

The Potchefstroom team is now 4 points ahead of the Griquas at the top of the log table with 10 points.

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All BlacksThe All Blacks selectors gave their 1st hint of World Cup thinking, naming 5 new faces in an enlarged 41-man squad.

Coach Steve Hansen has named 33 new All Blacks since they won the last World Cup in 2011 with the latest additions being Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor, Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst and fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder, Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and wing Waisake Naholo.

Naholo is the leading try-scorer in Super Rugby this year, touching down twice in the Highlanders 24 / 14 play-off victory over the Chiefs on Saturday to take his total for the year to 11.

Milner-Skudder is a cousin of Buff Milner and a nephew of George Skudder, both former All Blacks.

There is also a recall for 3-Test hooker Hika Elliot who has not been required for international duty since June 2012.

A final group of 31 to defend their world crown will be named at the end of August following The Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa, Australia and Argentina as well as a 1-off Test with Samoa and an extra clash with Australia.

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Marcell Coetzee

Marcell Coetzee

The tide of South Africans heading abroad continues as Marcell Coetzee is one of the latest to ink a deal in Japan, utilising the grace period after the World Cup.

The Springbok will join Honda Heat and feature in the Japanese league from 1 November 2015 to 31 January 2016. The good news for South African fans though is that he will return to Durban after his contract in time the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Honda Heat have also strengthened their side with the signing of Wallaby wing Digby Ioane from the French club Stade Francais.

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Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams

Liam Messam

Liam Messam

The Chiefs will be without a host of players next season including captain Liam Messam who will play Sevens in a bid to make the Olympics.

Messam and star centre Sonny Bill Williams will be part of a large group of players that will not be around next season, and coach Dave Rennie admitted that his captain will be a massive loss to the side.

“Not just his playing ability but his leadership – he’s very charismatic, incredibly passionate – he’ll be very difficult to replace.

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Dan Pryor

Dan Pryor

Dan Pryor’s Super Rugby season is likely over after the versatile forward suffered a dislocated elbow in his side’s Qualifier triumph over the Chiefs.

Pryor came from the field in the 61st minute and the Highlanders confirmed via social media on Sunday morning that the 27-year-old had suffered the injury.

Head coach Jamie Joseph confirmed that Pryor will definitely miss next week’s Semi-Final against the Waratahs.

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Queensland Rugby Union has advised Quade Cooper that they are withdrawing their contract offer and will not attempt to retain him for the 2016 season and beyond.

It is understood that when Cooper travelled overseas in April he signed a pre-commitment to join French side Toulon at the conclusion of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. However, he had previously – and then continued to – demonstrate a genuineness on wanting to remain with the Reds and the Wallabies.

Since that time, his management has been in negotiation with QRU and Australian Rugby Union (ARU). However, due to events over the last few weeks, QRU CEO Jim Carmichael said the organisation was no longer willing to participate in what has been an ongoing process with Cooper’s management.

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Sir John Kirwan

Sir John Kirwan

Tana Umaga

Tana Umaga

Sir John Kirwan:

Blues rugby legend Sir John Kirwan has resigned his role as head coach of the organisation.

Kirwan, who has been head coach for 3 years, has announced that he will not seek reappointment for a further term as coach and will step aside, effective immediately.

While Kirwan had put up a proposal to the Blues board for his continued involvement, he said that he had reconsidered over the past few days after talking with his family, colleagues and friends.

“I had a chance to take a breath and reflect about the situation, my future and above all my love of this Blues club and the players,” Kirwan said.

“People who know me well know that I do not walk away from a challenge and that was what was driving me because I know what has been set-up in terms of organisational structure in the last 2 years.

“However I always said that if I didn’t bring about the results that the players, the club and the fans wanted, then I would step aside.”

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SpringboksThe South African Rugby Union Sevens Academy team followed their Roma Sevens triumph a week ago with another title after winning the Geneva Sevens competition this past weekend.

The win capped off a memorable 2-week tour of Europe for the South Africans, who remained undefeated after both tournaments.

The win in Switzerland was memorable for SARU Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman and head coach Paul Delport, as the team contested the final with only 8 players due to injuries. Despite this they had more than enough gas in the tank, beating Roma Seven 44 / 0 in the last match of the day at the Centre Sportif du Bout-du-Monde.

Earlier in the day they also had the better of Welsh side, Forces Exiles, in a tight 19 / 15 win, whilst they secured good wins on day 1 of the event, beating Roma Seven 19 / 0, Switzers 59 / 0, Monaco 33 / 0 and French team Lyon 40 / 0.

Regular Blitzbok Ruhan Nel was named player of the tournament.

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Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit

DHL Western Province Director of Rugby Gert Smal has confirmed their interest in signing Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit from the Cell C Sharks.

Smal confirmed to EWN Sport that a discussion between him and Du Toit had taken place.

Smal said the Sharks had agreed to the discussion taking place.

The WP boss said the discussion went well and he now hopes Du Toit “makes the right decision to come to Cape Town.”

Du Toit, 22, signed a 2-year contract extension at the Sharks in July 2013 which runs until 30 June this year.

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Hencus van Wyk

Hencus van Wyk

Blue Bulls prop Hencus van Wyk is reportedly off to Japan later this year.

According japonrugby.net, Van Wyk has been signed by the Munakata Sanix Blues, who he will join ahead of the 2015 / 2016 season.

It is unsure whether Van Wyk will be allowed to return to play Super Rugby for the Bulls – as is the case with many South African players plying their trade in Japan.

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Maks van Dyk

Maks van Dyk

Tighthead prop Maks van Dyk has completed his move to the EP Kings, where he hopes to make an impact in the Currie Cup and Super Rugby.

Van Dyk has been based at Griquas since last year, which saw him play Super Rugby for the Cheetahs in 2014 and 2015.

It’s been a notable rise for the former Junior Springbok front-rower, who was part of the South African squad that lifted the Under 20 World Championship trophy at Newlands in 2012.

From Durban (where he was based at the Sharks between 2011 and 2013) to Kimberley to Bloemfontein, the 23-year-old has a new home in Port Elizabeth, where he has signed a 2-year contract with the Kings.

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EnglandAustraliaThe Wallabies will play England in a blockbuster 3-Test series in Australia in June 2016, the Australian Rugby Union announced on Friday.

It will be 1st time in the century-old rivalry between Australia and England that the 2 nations will meet in a 3-Test series. The teams last met on 3 occasions in the same year in 2010, although just 2 matches were played on Aussie soil as part of England’s inbound tour.

Michael Cheika’s men will play their old rivals for the Cook Cup in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver said: “With a rivalry that dates back to 1909, it is remarkable that Australia and England have never before played a 3-match series and the history of this occasion is sure to add to the anticipation for the tour.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has no plans to retire after this year’s Rugby World Cup.

De Villiers suffered a horrific knee injury in the Springboks’ final Test against Wales in Cardiff late last year and underwent intensive rehabilitation to recover in time for this year’s World Cup.

He appears to have made a remarkable recovery and on Wednesday confirmed that he would be able to return to the playing field in a month’s time.

The Bok skipper also said he had no intentions of calling it quits after the World Cup.

“I didn’t go through 10 months of rehabilitation just to play 10 more games,” De Villiers was quoted as saying.

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Pierre Spies

Pierre Spies

Springbok Pierre Spies has revealed that he was regarded as surplus to requirements at the Bulls, which is why he is heading to France.

The South African revolution sweeping Montpellier continued with confirmation that experienced Bok No 8, Spies, will join the Top 14 club in February.

The 30-year-old Spies, capped 53 times by his country, becomes the 9th player from South Africa to have joined the southern French team, coached by Jake White, who led the rainbow nation to World Cup success in 2007.

Released by the Bulls, Spies will 1st travel to play in Japan before joining Montpellier.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

DHL Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen met with Director of Rugby Gert Smal on Monday morning, to sort out the events that transpired in France last week.
Vermeulen visited French Top 14 club Toulon late last week and was unveiled to the local media as their new signing – a move which certainly caught Western Province Rugby by surprise.

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New ZealandEnglandNew Zealand (11) 21 / 16 (10) England (Final Score)

New Zealand Under 20 and England Under 20 did battle in the Final of the World Rugby

Under 20 Chamionship at Stadio Giovanni Zine, Cremora at 20:30 SA Time

(20:30 Italy Time, 18:30 GMT). This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

Scorers:

New Zealand:

  • Penalties – Otere Black (3)
  • Drop Goals – 0
  • Tries – Vince Tavae-Aso (1), Akira Ioane (1)
  • Conversions – Otere Black (1)

England:

  • Penalties – Rory Jennings (3)
  • Drop Goals – 0
  • Tries – Matt Clark (1)
  • Conversions – Rory Jennings (1)

 


 

South AfricaFranceJnr Springboks (28) 31 / 18 (8) France (Final Score)

The South African Junior Springboks and France Under 20 did battle in the 3rd Place play-off match

of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship at Stadio Giovanni Zini, Cremora at 18:35 SA Time

(18:35 Italy Time, 16:35 GMT). This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

Scorers:

Jnr Springboks:

  • Penalties – Brandon Thompson (1)
  • Drop Goals – 0
  • Tries – Thomas du Toit (1), Jason Jenkins (1), Dan du Preez (2)
  • Conversions – Brandon Thompson (4)

France:

  • Penalties – Lucas Meret (1)
  • Drop Goals – 0
  • Tries – Arthur Bonneval (1), Julien Delannoy (1), Lucas Blanc (1)
  • Conversions – 0

Super RugbyIt is the Top 6 Qualifying Round of Super Rugby 2015 this weekend.

There are only 2 matches in the Round, 1 in New Zealand and 1 in South Africa.

3rd Placed on the Combined Log, the DHL Stormers (albeit 3rd only by reason of the Conference Syystem), hosts 6th on the Log, the Brumbies. In the other match 4th on the Log, the Highlanders, hosts 5th on the Log, the Chiefs.

The 2 Franchises who finished in the No1 and No 2 spots on the Combined Log, the Hurricanes and Waratahs respectively, have lovely rest weekends, as they only meet the winners of this Round’s matches next weekend in the Semi-Finals.

The action is kicked off by the Highlanders vs Chiefs who do battle in Dunedin at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST, 07:35 GMT)

Much later in the day, in Cape Town, South Africa, the DHL Stormers host the Brumbies at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, Sunday 01:05 AEST, Sunday 03:05 NZ Time).

After this Round of Top 6 Qualifying matches, only 4 teams will remain and there will be 2 Semi-Final matches next weekend, followed by a Final match for the ultimate winner a week later.

The Highlanders vs Chiefs game should be an absolute cracker, with both teams getting some injured players back into the fold. It is extremely difficult to pick a winner for this game and the different pundits differ on the winner of the match, with probable the bigger percentage backing the Chiefs for an away win. I differ from that though, and I think if there is ONE YEAR where the Highlanders could make it to the Semi-Finals, it is this year, at home, at Forsyth Barr stadium.

Both teams sport great backlines but I am of the opinion that the Highlanders might have a slightly more abrasive forwards pack and possibly also a better scrumhalf and flyhalf, both of whom have come on in leaps and bounds in 2015, namely Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga.

I predict the Highlanders to squeek a win, in a very entertaining match.

As far as the other match is concerned, do we give home ground advantage enough weight to speculate that the DHL Stormers will overcome the Brumbies in Cape Town… even though their regular league game was only a 21 / 20 win for the Stormers and with Christian Lealiifano missing an absolute peach of a conversion attempt, from right in front, OR do we say that the Brumbies will win the game in the absense of Duane Vermeulen and likely also Schalk Burger, both with some injury concerns?

The South African scribes and pundits all patriotically pick the Stormers for a win, but I am hesitant to do so and think this game’s result is a perfect 50 / 50 guess, so may the best team take it!

Meanwhile 9 Teams are already lounging around, no longer part of the race to the finish line.

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BrumbiesThe Brumbies have named an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby Qualifier against the DHL Stormers at DHL Newlands.

David Pocock has been named at flanker despite leaving the field with concussion concerns in the 37 / 24 loss to the Crusaders at GIO Stadium.

“He’s on track to play,” head coach Stephen Larkham said.

“But every day he’s got to tick a box, so he could fall back a day and miss the game.”

The match against the Stormers would be Pocock’s 1st ever Super Rugby Finals appearance. In 2013 in his 1st season with the Brumbies, Pocock missed the side’s run to the final following a season-ending knee injury.

Also under an injury cloud for the Brumbies is Matt Toomua who has been named as a replacement. Last week the 24-year-old played 28 minutes from the bench in just his 2nd game in 8 matches following 2 separate ankle injuries.

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HighlandersHighlanders head coach Jamie Joseph welcomes back Malakai Fekitoa and 2 key forwards and Saturday’s Qualifier against the Chiefs in Dunedin.

Co-captain Nasi Manu and the experienced Mark Reddish make a timely return from injury to bolster the Highlanders pack.

The versatile Dan Pryor, who has played in all 3 back-row positions this season, moves to openside flank to replace the injured John Hardie. In the front row, Daniel Lienert-Brown makes way for Brendon Edmonds.

Fekitoa, who has been under an injury cloud over the last few weeks, has been named to start at centre, re-uniting with the explosive back 3 of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne.

The game will be played in front of a capacity crowd under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium in what will be Dunedin’s first Super Rugby Finals Series match since 1999.

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ChiefsThe Chiefs have announced their team to play the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday as the Super Rugby Finals Series gets underway at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Newly re-signed hooker Hika Elliot and flanker Sam Cane will return to the side, having been rested last week. The match will represent Elliot’s 100th Super Rugby cap after signing a 2-year extension to remain with the club earlier this week while Cane also committed to at least another 2 seasons.

Michael Fitzgerald moves to the blindside while captain Liam Messam takes over No 8 duties. Brad Weber starts at scrumhalf and Andrew Horrell gets the nod at flyhalf.

Cousins Tim Nanai-Williams and Sonny Bill Williams will pair up in the midfield with Charlie Ngatai out due to concussion. Damian McKenzie starts at fullback with Tom Marshall ruled out with a knee injury.

Kayne Hammington gets the opportunity to make his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs off the bench with the 24-year-old scrumhalf being granted approval to play in the wake of a season-ending injury to starting scrumhalf, Augustine Pulu.

He is joined by new reserves Michael Leitch, Marty McKenzie and Seta Tamanivalu.

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Demetri Catrakilis

Demetri Catrakilis

DHL Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis will be ready for their Super Rugby qualifier against the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday.

Catrakilis suffered concussion in his side’s 19 / 19 home draw against the Emirates Lions on 6 June when he attempted to tackle loose forward Jaco Kriel.

The Stormers pivot was rested for last weekend’s 34 / 12 loss to the Cell C Sharks in Durban, with Kurt Coleman taking his place.

But Catrakilis is raring to go for this Saturday’s clash, coach Allister Coetzee confirmed.

“Dim is fine – he passed his test with flying colours, he’s cleared,” Coetzee told the Stormers’ official website.

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Vodacom Blue BullsThe Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed the rest of the Vodacom Blue Bulls coaching staff, following the appointment of Nollis Marais as head coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls for the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup season.

Marais will also take charge of the forwards and he will be assisted by David Manuel as back-line coach.

Manuel, who was backline coach to the UP-Tuks Varsity Cup as well as the Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup and Under 21 teams respectively since 2012, was named backline coach to the Varsity Cup Dream Team earlier this year. He was Head Coach of the Blue Bulls / Tuks Rugby Academy since 2007 till 2012.

The 35-year old matriculated at Waterkloof High School and as a player, represented the Blue Bulls and SA Schools, as well as representing the Vodacom Blue Bulls up to Vodacom Cup level. He also played SA Under 19 and Under 21 and represented Griquas and Free State at senior provincial level as well.

Also confirmed are the appointment of coaches to the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21 and Under 19 teams, with Hendré Marnitz and Hayden Groepes being appointed in those roles respectively.

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Springboks

The departure shortly from the Stormers of superstar No 8 Duane Vermeulen on a three-year deal to Toulon arguably confirms for the first time a grim reality: an overseas-based group of players would now make up the bulk of a full-strength Springbok team.

Vermeulen is the cherry on top, in many ways, of a fresh wave of once staunchly SA-based players quitting the domestic landscape either following this season’s Super Rugby competition – only the Stormers retain an interest in it – or later in the year after the Currie Cup and RWC 2015 have run their courses.

He is one of the most precious elements of the current Bok mix, and if you consider him foreign-based henceforth – along with several other seasoned internationals on their bikes imminently – then it is quite feasible to argue that the cream of coach Heyneke Meyer’s intended first-choice Test XV will suddenly be drawn from foreign climes.

Before, it was just a sprinkling, with men like France-based Bryan Habana, English-stationed Francois Louw and JP Pietersen from Japan bolstering a Bok side still made up very strongly of “home” elements.

But that trend is set for a pretty violent change.

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Bismarck du Plessis

Bismarck du Plessis

Jannie du Plessis

Jannie du Plessis

Jake White

Jake White

World Cup winning coach Jake White has formally welcomed the Du Plessis brothers, Jannie and Bismarck, to his French club Montpellier.

The Top 14 outfit on Wednesday confirmed the signing of the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie, from the Cell C Sharks.

In a brief statement on the club website Montpellier said the 2 Du Plessis brother had signed for 3 years.

The 2, who won the World Cup with White as coach in 2007, will head to France after this year’s edition of the World Cup – in England in September and October.

White welcomed the signing of the Springbok duo.

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Jerry Collins funeral

Jerry Collins funeral

 

All Black legend Jonah Lomu paid tribute to Jerry Collins’ last act of heroism as thousands mourned the ex-New Zealand flank who was killed in a car crash in France.

All Black Chris Masoe had told the funeral service in Wellington that Collins’ dying act was to protect his 3-month-old daughter Ayla in the June 5 crash which killed the player and his partner Alana Madill.

“What they say about how they found him, he was protecting his baby. That’s just typical Jerry. When you talk about putting your body on the line, he did that,” Lomu said.

Masoe said Collins, who was in the back of the car when a bus ploughed into it on a motorway near Beziers, sheltered his daughter with his arms and body when he realised the danger.

“You made it possible for her to have a chance. That is the man you are,” Masoe said.

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ItalyItaly’s World Cup preparations are back on track after players and the national federation (FIR) reached an agreement over bonuses.

A training camp scheduled to start on Monday 15 June had been called off as the row over World Cup bonuses and other issues escalated.

Both sides accused the other of cancelling the training camp, although Italy’s players refused to leave their base in the northern town of Villabassa, where they were due to remain in camp until 3 July.

“The agreement will be sealed quickly in order to swiftly reconvene the World Cup preparation camp,” the FIR said in a statement.

A meeting at the Calvisano base of FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi allowed the “basis for a collective agreement to participate at the World Cup while respecting the meritocratic principles proposed by the federation and the requests, not just those economic, put forward by the players,” the statement said.

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Paul Strdgeon

Paul Strdgeon

The Welsh Rugby Union have acquired the services of highly respected and experienced fitness expert Paul Stridgeon as consultant Head of Physical Performance.

Stridgeon linked up with the national squad on Monday 15 June as Wales’ World Cup preparations commenced with initial conditioning training.

The 34 year-old will oversee the WRU’s Physical Performance department on a tournament-by-tournament basis combining that role with his Head of Strength and Conditioning position at European Champions Toulon.

Stridgeon, a former freestyle wrestler who represented England at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, joined Toulon in 2014 after 6 years as England Rugby National Fitness Coach.

He already has a close working relationship with a number of the Wales management team and players having toured with the British and Irish Lions as fitness coach in 2009 and 2013. His relationship with head coach Warren Gatland stretches further back to their time together at Wasps where they won both European and domestic titles.

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Zack Holmes

Zack Holmes

Western Force flyhalf Zack Holmes has signed a 2-year deal with La Rochelle, the Top 14 club announced on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Perth-born Holmes, an Australian Sevens international who previously played with Force’s Super Rugby rivals Brumbies, will replace South African playmaker Peter Grant who was released with a season to run on his contract for family reasons.

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Sam Cane

Sam Cane

The Chiefs have re-signed Sam Cane, keeping the All Blacks flanker in Hamilton for at least the next 2 years.

The 23-year-old has been 1 of the stand-out players for the Chiefs this season and this was recognised when he won 3 trophies at the recent 2015 Chiefs Awards.

Cane, who has become a pivotal part of the Chiefs team, collected the Player of the Year voted for by the fans, the Chiefs Player of the Year voted for by the coaches and the Players Player of the Year.

Head coach Dave Rennie is rapt that Cane has committed for another couple of years.

“He’s an outstanding player but more importantly a quality young man, held in high regard by all. His work ethic, leadership and community mindedness continues to have a positive influence on our club.”

Reporoa-born Cane is a highly motivated loose forward who has 1 of the highest and most efficient tackle rates in this year’s Super Rugby competition.

But he says he has plenty of room for improvement.

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TappeHenning

Scottish Rugby Referee Commissioner: Tappe Henning

Scottish Rugby Referee Commissioner Tappe Henning has recently signed a permanent deal to continue the work he started at the tail end of 2013. Spending 5 minutes in his company is more than enough to suggest that the personable South African is really making a difference to a facet of rugby that he harbours a clear passion for.

Having brought through the likes of Craig Joubert, who officiated in the 2011 World Cup final, Tappe’s reputation for spotting refereeing talent precedes him and now he wants to put Scotland back on the arbitrary map.

Tappe Henning said: “The real purpose of me coming to Scotland was to implement a high performance structure for referees so that we can train, educate and coach Scottish referees to Tier 1 Test level.

“The concerns were raised when there were no Scottish match officials at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the situation has repeated itself now in 2015, which is worrying coming from a country which has always traditionally had a lot of them.

“In short, we needed a professional structure with support for referees in all aspects of it and getting pathways introduced to identify future referees to deliver top quality match officials for international rugby.”

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Jimmy Stonehouse

Jimmy Stonehouse

Former Steval Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse, 1 of the country’s most undervalued coaches, is rumoured to have thrown his name into the hat for vacant coaching positions at the Cell C Sharks, Vodacom Bulls and Southern Kings.

4 Of South Africa’s franchises will be looking to fill their vacant head coach positions before the start of the revamped and extended Super Rugby tournament in 2016.

Stonehouse took up a coaching job with Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus earlier this year after he declined 2 previous offers from abroad with the hope of landing a job with a South African franchise.

The Bulls head coach position opened up over the weekend when Frans Ludeke resigned after 8 years in charge of South Africa’s most successful Super Rugby franchise.

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Duane Vermeulen

DHL Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen has not improved significantly enough to feature in the 1st Round of Super Rugby playoffs.

The Stormers host the Brumbies at DHL Newlands on Saturday and the burly Springbok will not be considered.

Should the Stormers beat the Brumbies at Newlands, they would travel to Sydney to face the Waratahs in the semifinals.

Vermeulen, who has missed the Stormers’ last 2 games with a bulging neck disc that at one stage threatened his World Cup prospects, is making “good progress” on the road to recovery.

However, coach Allister Coetzee said that the improvement is “not enough” for this week.

“Hopefully, going forward, there is still an opportunity for him,” Coetzee told a media scrum at the team’s training base.

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Recent Comments

  • BrumbiesBoy 1 Jul 2015, 13:29 SAST - @ nortie: :Approve: I sure hope Cane managed to get hold of some, he deserves it.
  • grootblousmile 1 Jul 2015, 13:28 SAST - I see Peyper's going to ref the Test between Samoa and the All Blacks on 8 July too!
  • nortie 1 Jul 2015, 13:09 SAST - 16 @ BrumbiesBoy: Cake Tin sells out in seconds 01st Jul 2015, 11:39 Share: Cake Tin: Sold out All 36,000...
  • grootblousmile 1 Jul 2015, 12:32 SAST - 2 @ Te Rangatira: That much is true, but if the All Blacks had to wait on injuries to Aaron...
  • grootblousmile 1 Jul 2015, 12:18 SAST - Heyneke is right, he's on a hiding to nothing. If he chooses too small a squad, then the pundits would...
  • BrumbiesBoy 1 Jul 2015, 12:07 SAST - @ grootblousmile: The medication appears to be helping so yes, I'm starting to feel better although I have these flashbacks...

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