A bright sunshiny but chilly day greeted the Springboks when they arrived in Dublin on Sunday, where they kick off the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour against Ireland this weekend.
The South Africans left Johannesburg last night and travelled via London Heathrow to the Irish capital for their first visit to this part of the world in two years.
Eben Etzebeth stayed behind in South Africa and will join the squad on Tuesday following a family bereavement, while there will be more clarity on Ruan Pienaar’s fitness situation in the week.
Eben Etzebeth isn’t your average 22-year-old. South Africa’s young lock is viewed as absolutely pivotal to the team’s future.
That’s not a status which is simply handed out either. In his 27 caps so far, Etzebeth has seamlessly fitted into Test rugby.
We seem to live in an age of young locks beginning to dominate Test rugby; Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury, Sam Carter, with Pieter-Steph du Toit to come.
There’s little now at the international level that Etzebeth hasn’t experienced, including a prolonged lay-off through injury.
The Springboks made three changes to their starting XV, with two of them effecting the line-out structures – which already appeared weak in Pretoria last week.
The line-out has long been a strength of the Boks, and a lot of this dominance in the set pieces can be attributed to the maestro that is Victor Matfield.
The veteran lock was sorely missed last weekend when the Boks’ line-out struggled, in albeit poor conditions, against the Argentineans at Loftus Versfeld.
Schoolboy rugby in South Africa is taken very seriously, with high competitive standards. Rugby fans travelling through South Africa during rugby season should make time to see the stars of the future in action. The live entertainment and social scene at the main schoolboy derby matches will also appeal to non-rugby fans.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been given a massive boost with the news that he should be able to pick as close to his strongest side for this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.
Team doctor Craig Roberts cleared props Frans Malherbe, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and lock Eben Etzebeth for action and crucially also gave captain Jean de Villiers the all-clear to play this weekend after spending the last few months on the sidelines with injury.
There has been a late change to the DHL Western Province team for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).
At lock, Springbok squad member Eben Etzebeth will start on the bench, with youngster Jean Kleyn making his Absa Currie Cup debut in the No 4 jersey.
“We have monitored Eben’s workload at Springbok training this week, so we thought it would be prudent to start with him amongst the replacements on Friday,” explained DHL WP coach Allister Coetzee.
Two members of the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship squad, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe, have been released to play in the opening round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division for DHL Western Province on Friday evening.
Both players are returning from long-term injuries and will be allowed some game time for WP to ease them back into the game.
Etzebeth’s last game was in November 2013, for the Springboks against France in Paris, where he picked up a foot injury. Malherbe has been out for more than three months with concussion.
“Following medical assessments and consultation between our medical team and those of the various provinces, it was decided to release Eben and Frans for this weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
Springbok and WP lock Eben Etzebeth has returned to full training ahead of the Currie Cup and Rugby Championship.
Etzebeth has not seen a single minute of competitive action in 2014 after first a foot, and later a toe injury, kept him out of the Stormers’ entire Super Rugby campaign.
After a long and arduous process he is finally nearing a return to fitness, but it remains to be seen if Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer opts to draft him into the Bok set-up immediately or allows him to get some game time under his belt with Western Province.
Want to know more about the Etzebeth legend?
Apologies to our foreign readers as the first story was printed in Afrikaans. If you scroll down you would find another in English.
These articles were written quite a while ago and is left just as it was published, so excuse the time frames. The author of the Terminator from Parow is Jaco Kirsten, who writes for the website meneer.tv
For those readers not familiar with the legend of the Etzebeths, enjoy these stories, those of us who grew up in Cape Town, roll back the years and take a trip down memory lane.
Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will not feature in this year’s Super Rugby tournament after suffering another injury.
The Springbok lock has been sidelined with an ankle injury since late last year, but was looking forward to returning to action during the latter rounds of Super Rugby.
However, an official injury report released by the Stormers on Monday revealed another injury to Etzebeth.
He has a broken toe, which will keep him out of action for another 2-3 weeks.
Cell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.
Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.
Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.
While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.
DHL Stormers behemoth Eben Etzebeth was named in the national training squad for next week’s camp in Durban, but it now seems unlikely that he will play for the Springboks in the June Test matches.
The big lock was doing his own drills with the fitness trainer as the Stormers trained on Monday as he gets used to putting weight on the ankle that was operated on after last year’s Springbok tour of the UK and France. But after saying at the weekend that Etzebeth had an outside chance of being ready to play against the Sharks on 31 May, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has now ruled out that possibility.
There was welcome news for the Stormers and Springboks on Wednesday when lock Eben Etzebeth was spotted training at Newlands.
Etzebeth, 22, has been out of action since injuring his ankle playing for the Springboks against France in Paris last November.
Lock Eben Etzebeth, who is sidelined with an ankle injury, should be ready to play for the Springboks in June.
The 22-year-old said he is hoping to return to action when the Stormers tackle the Sharks in Durban on 31 May. That would be the Cape side’s third last Super Rugby league match.
This is the third in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
The year was full of spectacular moments and performances as well as disappointing lows and infamous incidents; we name and shame the best and worst in our 2013 Awards.
New Zealand and Wales ruled their respective hemispheres for the second successive year, the All Blacks enjoying a flawless 2013 campaign.
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth is unlikely to feature much for the Stormers next year.
The young star revealed on Thursday that he will undergo surgery for an ankle injury sustained in South Africa’s 19-10 win over France last weekend.
“Going for operation on Monday,” Etzebeth tweeted, adding: “Plus-minus six months out of action.”
The Stormers’ Bok trio of Jean de Villiers, Eben Etzebeth and Duane Vermuelen will only be required to join pre-season training in January.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has explained why he decided to not include lock Pieter-Steph du Toit in his squad to face Scotland on Sunday.
Rugby fans can start voting for their own International Player of the Year and World XV of the Year following the release of a 45-strong shortlist of contenders.
Part of the inaugural Ultimate Rugby IRPA Awards, the Fans’ Player of the Year, and World XV of the Year will be decided by votes cast on Ultimate Rugby’s mobile app, and announced in conjunction with other category winners on November 26.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday confirmed the names of 10 Springboks who were awarded long-term national contracts in August this year, which will see them remain in South Africa until the end of 2015.
Springbok forwards Tendai Mtawarira and Eben Etzebeth will feature for the Barbarians against Fiji at Twickenham on 30 November 2013.
At the weekend they were fierce rivals, but very soon they will team up to don the Green and Gold of South Africa.
This is the verdict on two of the most talented young second row forwards in the world, who were in opposing camps when the Sharks became Currie Cup champions with a 33-19 win over Western Province at Newlands.
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will be given time to recover from illness as the team prepares to face the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.
Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson questioned Jim Hamilton’s sin-binning in the defeat by South Africa. The Springboks moved into a second-half lead shortly after Hamilton had been yellow-carded for a push into the face of Eben Etzebeth.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has kept the changes to a minimum for Friday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Blues at North Harbour Stadium in Albany (kick-off 09h35 SA time).
The Stormers will welcome back a host of injured players including Boks Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana and Elton Jantjies on their overseas tour.
DHL Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will miss the start of his team’s 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, after being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks.
Springbok lock, Eben Etzebeth has been found Not Guilty of the alleged eye gouging he was cited for after the clash between the Springboks and Scotland. The Judicial Officer ruled that the contact was accidental and therefore did not constitute foul play.
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has been cited for allegedly making contact with a the eye of a Scotland player in the Test match played at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Former Springbok and Sharks lock Mark Andrews is worried about current Bok second rower Eben Etzebeth’s commitment at the breakdown area.
Springbok Eben Etzebeth was running at full tilt at the Stormers’ training session in Bellville on Thursday, and is fit to lock the side’s vulnerable scrum in their Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands next week.
This section deals with the locks for the Stormers. As with the Hookers, I think this is one of the stronger areas of the Stormers team, and when Bekker is back, it will make for one of the better lock combinations in the competition.
Golden Lions CEO Manie Reyneke has quit in his position as Chief Executive Officer of the union, the GLRU announced.