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Stephen Larkham

Stephen Larkham

Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham turned down the opportunity to help coach the Wallabies on their End Of Year Tour.

The Rugby World Cup winning Wallabies playmaker Larkham has tipped to be the attack coach working as an assistant to Michael Cheika.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika was confirmed as replacement Wallabies coach on Wednesday.

Larkham said that he was honoured to be considered but would prefer to concentrate on preparing for the Brumbies upcoming Super Rugby season.

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Kenya Sevens

Kenya Sevens

Initial Report:

Steroids have been found in supplements given to players on Kenya’s Sevens team, according to a report that calls for disciplinary proceedings against head coach Paul Treu and five members of his staff.

The report by a task force set up by the government to investigate allegations of doping in Kenyan sport says there are “strong suggestions” that Treu of South Africa and his assistants have violated anti-doping rules after introducing the supplements to players.

There was “a concoction they [the coaches] gave players to drink at the beginning and end of training,” Moni Wekesa, the Chairman of the task force that investigated, told The Associated Press on Monday.

The report says the Kenyan players would stop taking the supplement a few days before competing.

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Singapore Sports Hub - National Stadium

Singapore Sports Hub – National Stadium

The maligned pitch at Singapore’s expensive new National Stadium has forced the cancellation of next month’s Maori All Blacks clash with the invitational Asia-Pacific Barbarians, which could have ramifications for the team’s Super Rugby bid.

The Maori All Blacks were scheduled to play the Tana Umaga-coached side at the stadium, the centrepiece of a $1 billion Sports Hub, on November 15 after two matches in Japan.

The New Zealand Rugby Union, however, said on Tuesday the match had been cancelled due to the poor quality of the pitch that has drawn numerous complaints from sporting teams.

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Rugby-TalkIt’s PUB NIGHT again… sneeked up on me a bit… forgot it was freegin Tuesday already!

Tonight no really, really special theme… I mean my Bully Boys are out of the Currie Cup and all…

To be fair though, the 2 best provincial sides are in the Currie Cup Final of 2014, DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions.

The idea with PUB NIGHT is to lighten up our dull Tuesday evenings with music, comedy and fun.

Last week we added some new Functionality to Rugby-Talk.com… commentors can now add Pictures of their own in Comments… but more than that, we can exchange Word & Excel documents, PDF Documents and also Post MP3 songs.

Above the Comment Form, there is now an Upload Line with a Browse Button on the right… to enable you to upload something FROM your PC, Pad, Tablet, Mobile Phone. See the file types allowed in that description.

There is a proviso though… files may not exceed 5Mb!

When you add a file and submit your comment, it’ll naturally take longer to load that comment, as the Attached file must also be uploaded. Normal comments are unaffected.

Rugby takes a backseat tonight as the clan and fellow rugby nutters gather…

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:

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ABSA Currie CupDHL Western Province will host the Xerox Golden Lions in Cape Town in the ABSA Currie Cup final after the teams won their respective semifinals on Saturday to remain the last teams standing in the competition.

DHL Western Province defeated the Vodacom Blue Bulls 31-23 in a physical encounter in Cape Town, while the Xerox Golden Lions delivered a fine performance against the Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg to register a convincing 50-20 victory.

DHL Western Province were quick on their feet throughout the clash and supported this with good decision-making on attack and a solid defensive effort. In stark contrast, the Vodacom Blue Bulls made mistakes at crucial times and missed three penalties, which cost them.

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South AfricaFollowing the elimination of the Cell C Sharks and the Vodacom Blue Bulls from the ABSA Currie Cup and the conclusion of the First Division, 8 more players have been invited to the Springboks’ training camp in Stellenbosch.

The Springbok selectors have invited Lwazi Mvovo, Cobus Reinach, Lourens Adriaanse (all Cell C Sharks), Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Marcel van der Merwe, Bongi Mbonambi (all Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Boela Abrahams, who starred for the Down Touch Griffons in their ABSA Currie Cup First Division final victory on Friday, to join 20 nationally contracted players and 4 others as the team start their preparations for what will be an arduous Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.

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Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams

Dan Carter

Dan Carter

New Zealand welcomed back superstars Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams for next month’s Northern Hemisphere tour, but dropped pivot Colin Slade, despite his heroics against Australia at the weekend.

Flyhalf Carter, the world’s most prolific international points scorer, has not played since breaking his leg in the Super Rugby Final in August, while Williams returns to the All Blacks after two seasons playing Rugby League in Australia.

There is also a return for Aaron Cruden, who has finally been forgiven for his late-night indiscretion in the latter stages of the Rugby Championship.

Coach Steve Hansen also recalled flank Victor Vito at the expense of Steven Luatua, and included promising scrumhalf Augustine Pulu as the only uncapped player in the squad for the four-Test tour.

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USAThe United States has reached an agreement that will allow it to include leading players based in Britain, France and Japan in its team to play New Zealand in a rugby Test in Chicago on 1 November.

Under the agreement, US players in the English Premiership, second-tier IPA Championships, France’s Top 14, Japan’s Top League and Scotland’s Guinness PRO12 will be released for the match at Soldier Field.

The US Eagles’ Test against New Zealand falls outside the International Rugby Board’s window for international matches and clubs are not obliged to release players.

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Grant Gilchrist

Grant Gilchrist

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has named a 33 man squad for the End Of Year Internationals with lock Grant Gilchrist being named as captain.

The honour represents a return for the 24-year-old product of Alloa and Stirling County rugby clubs, who led Scotland twice during the June Internationals, including a 21-19 victory over Argentina in Cordoba.

He will return to the role against the same opposition when the Tests get underway at Murrayfield next month, when Scotland face the Pumas on Saturday 8 November (kick-off 17:30 BST), before facing Rugby Championship winners New Zealand, at the same venue (15 November), followed by Tonga at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock (22 November).

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European Rugby Champions CupWith new names, formats and trophies, the European Champions Cup era got underway over the weekend with a whole host of South Africans in action.

Zane Kirchner and Leinster were made to work hard to come from behind against Ashley Johnson’s Wasps on Sunday, recovering from a 12-point deficit to eventually put their English visitors away. Richardt Strauss played his part coming off the bench as Leinster were given a real scare by Wasps, whose form, exemplified by Johnson, has been good in the early parts of the new season.

European champions Toulon had a winning start at home to the Scarlets earlier on Sunday, with Bryan Habana, Juan Smith and Bakkies Botha all in the XV who were given a real challenge from the visiting Welsh region.

Wynand Olivier was a try scorer in the all-French Pool 4 clash between Montpellier and Toulouse, with Olivier’s side picking up a valuable losing bonus point from the Stade Ernest Wallon. Springbok prop Gurthrö Steenkamp was given the start at loosehead by Toulouse.

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Rory Kockott

Rory Kockott

Scrumhalf Rory Kockott was called into the France squad to face Fiji, Australia and Argentina next month after the South African qualified to play for his adopted nation through residency rules, the French federation said on Sunday.

Castres Olympique player Kockott has been on Philippe Saint-Andre’s radar for some time as the France coach regularly tinkers with his halfback line.

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DHL WPVodacom Blue BullsThe DHL Western Province Under 21 and Under 19 teams and their counterparts from the Vodacom Blue Bulls will contest Saturday’s ABSA Under 21 and ABSA Under 19 Provincial finals at DHL Newlands.

The Blue Bulls teams booked their trip by beating the Cell C Sharks 43-20 (Under 19) and Xerox Golden Lions 23-19 (Under 21) in their semi-finals played at Loftus Versfeld.

The WP Under 21 side had too much class for the Toyota Free State Under 21’s at DHL Newlands, winning 41-17, while the WP Under 19 side won 29-22 against the Free State Under 19’s in Bloemfontein.

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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, offered to coach the Wallabies

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika confirmed on Monday he has been offered the Wallabies coaching job left vacant by the resignation of Ewen McKenzie, saying it was “humbling”.

A smiling Cheika, dressed in a Waratahs tracksuit top and black jeans, confirmed the offer when he spoke to the media out the front of Waratahs headquarters at Moore Park. “It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens,” Cheika said.

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 Leigh Heard

Leigh Heard, Sharks chief operations officer, has been dismissed for gross misconduct.

A disciplinary hearing into allegations of “serious misconduct” by a senior staff member of the KZN Sharks rugby administration has exposed a number of alleged breaches in the financial management of the globally revered sport franchise.

A 47-page report described as “highly sensitive” and leaked to the Tribune this week details a litany of apparent unethical financial practice, spanning more than a decade.

Claims of irregular payments for “deserving” staff members, gifts and bonuses, free luxury stadium suites, inflated bonuses, free cars, nepotism, poor accounting and large unauthorised handouts were all part of the mix.

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Ewen McKenzieThe Australian Rugby Union revealed that Ewen McKenzie has resigned as Wallaby coach.

McKenzie announced his resignation after the Qantas Wallabies were gallant in defeat, going down 29-28 to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 18 October.

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver paid tribute to McKenzie who has led Australia in 22 Tests since starting in the role in August 2013.

“I did not ask Ewen to resign, but understand his decision. He informed me this morning of his intention to resign, regardless of tonight’s result.”

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AustraliaNew ZealandWallabies (15) 28 / 29 (12) All Blacks (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in a Bledisloe Cup match at

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane at 11:00 SA Time (19:00 AEST, 22:00 NZ Time, 09:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

*******************

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This week Fox HQ brings you the best of 2014, from bloopers to tries and much more.

 

 

Ryno Barnes

Ryno Barnes

Griquas hooker Ryno Barnes on Friday was cleared of wrongdoing after receiving a red card in their Absa Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls last weekend for allegedly verbally abusing the referee.

Barnes appeared before a SARU disciplinary committee in Kimberley on Thursday after being cited for breaching Law 10.4 (m) and (s).

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Beauden Barrett

Beauden Barrett

The All Blacks were given a big scare ahead of their Test against the Wallabies on Saturday.

First-choice flyhalf Beauden Barrett is under a slight injury cloud, following a training ground mishap.

The No 10 limped out of training with his left thigh iced and Colin Slade running the final few minutes of the session.

There is no indication when a call will be made on Barritt’s fitness.

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WhistleRound nine of the National Rugby Championships (NRC) in Australia took place earlier with the first game providing us with what was quite possibly the worst ever decision on a rugby field, and the first ever ‘Own Try’ in rugby.

The Sydney Stars versus North Harbour Rays clash gave Mitch Lewis a chance to bag some meat and get on the scoresheet, but he never would have guessed it would be against his own team.

In football (or soccer) own goals aren’t unsual, as defenders occasionally slot the ball into the back of their own net. In rugby however, no such thing exists, because when a player grounds the ball over his own tryline, it’s a 5m scrum if carried over, or a 22m drop-out if not.

All that changed in Australia a while ago however, as a bizarre call resulted in the TMO and Referee awarding what is quite possibly the first ever own try in rugby! Seriously.

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Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has admitted that they are wary of a backlash from the troubled Wallabies who have lost their last two matches.

The Wallabies situation has been compounded by an off-field scandal involving star backliner Kurtley Beale and a text message scandal that saw a Wallaby back room staffer resign.

There has also been speculation in the media that Australian coach Ewen McKenzie could be replaced if the Wallabies suffer a thumping at the hands of the All Blacks.

The All Blacks want to get back on track after they lost their first Test in 23 matches when they were edged by South Africa’s Springboks two weeks ago.

Hansen’s All Blacks have now lost just two matches since their won the Rugby World Cup in 2011 so the pressure on Australia to win is much greater than the New Zealanders.

“When a team is under siege as they are at the moment then one of two things can happen,” Hansen said.

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Handré Pollard

Handré Pollard

Handré Pollard will play at inside centre when the Vodacom Blue Bulls take on DHL Western Province in the semi-finals of the Absa Currie Cup in Cape Town on Saturday.

Pollard will replace injured Burger Odendaal for the match at DHL Newlands in one of two backline changes made by coach Frans Ludeke. In the other, Rudy Paige will start at scrumhalf, with Piet van Zyl playing off the bench.

Pollard came off the bench in the final Absa Currie Cup league match against GWK Griquas last weekend and his place amongst the reserves will be taken by Sampie Mastriet.

In the pack, Ludeke rotated Marcel van der Merwe and Werner Kruger, with the latter starting at Newlands.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has recalled all his big guns for Saturday’s 2014 Absa Currie Cup semifinal against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17:00 SA Time).

Flanker Rynhardt Elstadt is the only starting survivor from last week’s experimental line-up that took on a full-strength Sharks team at DHL Newlands.

Amongst the players recalled by coach Coetzee this week are skipper and centre Juan de Jongh (the team’s leading try-scorer this season), vice-captain and tighthead prop Pat Cilliers, the fit-again pairing of fullback Cheslin Kolbe and lock Jean Kleyn and SA Sevens speedster Seabelo Senatla.

Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis will play his 50th match for DHL WP this weekend, with Nic Groom partnering him at halfback.

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks have named a strong lineup for the Currie Cup Premier Division Semi-Final against the Xerox Golden Lions on the weekend.

“We weren’t happy with our first half performance against Western Province but it was great to see us come out in the second half and play some nice rugby and get quite a few points on the board. Hopefully the continuity continues against the Golden Lions. It’s going to be a huge task going up to Ellis Park, but a challenge we’re looking forward to. We will have to play for the full 80 minutes, defensively we need to be strong and our set-piece needs to function well.

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Mourad Boudjellal

Mourad Boudjellal

Mourad Boudjellal is planning to take the IRB to court over payments to players on international duty in a groundbreaking move.

The outspoken Toulon president had already made his feelings clear erlier this season when he complained about having to pay the likes of Bryan Habana, Juán Martín Fernández-Lobbe and Bakkies Botha while they were away at the Rugby Championship.

And he has now revealed that he has the support of Premiership bosses in England ahead of a legal battle with the game’s governing body, who he has accused of an ‘abuse of power’.

“We’re in the process of speaking to our lawyers in Paris to see if we go to commercial or administrative court,” he told Var Matin.

“The IRB rules have no provisions for unions to pay the clubs for their internationals. Yet the IRB is made up of the unions.

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SpringboksFour additional players, Trevor Nyakane, Lood de Jager, Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje and Lizo Gqoboka, have been invited to the Springboks’ training camp in Stellenbosch next week.

The three Toyota Free State Cheetahs forwards and the EP Kings prop are not nationally contracted but as their teams did not qualify for the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division semi-finals, their unions had been requested to release them for the training camp.

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Jacques-Louis Potgieter

Jacques-Louis Potgieter

Vodacom Blue Bulls pivot Jacques-Louis Potgieter is confident his team has the right game plan to win playoffs as they prepare for their Absa Currie Cup semifinal against DHL Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

Potgieter believes the momentum the Bulls have built up, coupled with their game plan will be enough to get his side over the semifinal hurdle against their old rivals.

The Bulls will head down to Cape Town as massive underdogs this weekend, having lost both their league games against Province this year and having very little to counter the Cape side’s expansive game when the teams have met.

But the turnaround came precisely after the Bulls lost their game against Province at Loftus Versfeld and despite a stutter against the Sharks, the Bulls have been steadily building after a poor start to the season to find themselves sneaking into the semifinals and now believe they can go the whole way.

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Robbie Fleck

Robbie Fleck

Western Province backline coach Robbie Fleck says they are well aware of the threat Handré Pollard could pose in their Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands on Saturday.

Pollard, who starred at flyhalf for the Springboks in the recent Rugby Championship, is allowed to play in the Currie Cup because he is not a contracted Bok.

“Handre is playing with a lot of confidence and brings his team-mates into play. We’ll have to be aware of that,” Fleck said. “He is an exceptional player having a stellar season.”

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GriffonsValkeThere will be a lot more than prize money and bragging rights at stake for the Down Touch Griffons and Valke in the Absa Currie Cup First Division final in Welkom on Friday as the teams meet in the final for the first time in the competition’s history.

The Down Touch Griffons have won the title only once since the competition’s inception in 2000, and that was against the Leopards in 2008, while the Valke, Vodacom Cup champions in 2006, will make history if they were to emerge victorious as it would mark their maiden First Division title.

The winner will walk away with R1,054m, while the runner up will receive a cheque of R527000 for their efforts this season. The First Division final will be preceded by the Absa Under-19 B Division final between the Valke and Boland and the Absa Under-21 B Division final between the EP Kings and SWD respectively.

In the main game, the teams will be careful to underestimate one another as they will enter the final with a win a piece in their round-robin matches this season. In their first meeting in July, the Down Touch Griffons registered a 29-20 victory against the Valke in Welkom, while the Valke won the second match 36-27 in Kempton Park last month.

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