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Heinrich Brüssow

Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

Players who failed to make the final 31-man Springbok Rugby World Cup squad have rejoined their respective provinces for ABSA Currie Cup duty.

Out of the original 49 players named prior to this year’s Rugby Championship, 18 will either be available for their South African provinces or jet off to rejoin their overseas clubs.

This means Warren Whiteley (Xerox Golden Lions), Vincent Koch (Steval Pumas), Lionel Mapoe (Xerox Golden Lions), Cornal Hendricks (Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Marcell Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Cobus Reinach (Cell C Sharks), Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Western Province), Oupa Mohoje (Toyota Free State Cheetahs), Franco Mostert (Xerox Golden Lions), Marcel van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Western Province) and Frans Steyn (Cell C Sharks) can be considered for Currie Cup duty from this weekend.

Players like Heinrich Brussow (Docomo Red Hurricanes, Japan), Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs, Japan), Jaque Fourie (Kobelco Steelers) and Heinke van der Merwe (Stade Francais, France) will head for their overseas clubs.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

The Springbok team to face New Zealand’s All Blacks for the 90th time shows 9 changes to the match-23 which did duty against Australia’s Wallabies, for the 2nd match in the condensed Castle Lager Rugby Championship, at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Heinrich Brüssow will make his 1st start for the Springboks since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while Vincent Koch has been included on the bench for what could be his Test debut for South Africa.

JP Pietersen, who was initially picked on the right wing, has since starined his hamstring in training and is replaced on right wing by Cornal Hendricks, with Lionel Mapoe replacing Cornal Hendricks’ place on the bench.

Of the 9 changes, 3 are to the pack, 1 to the backline and 5 are on the bench. The backline is unchanged. Schalk Burger will captain the team from No 8.

Francois Louw will start in the No 7 jersey for the injured Marcell Coetzee in a positional change, with Heinrich Brüssow assuming the openside role (No 6). The only other changes to the starting line-up is at lock, where Lood de Jager takes over from Victor Matfield and on right wing where Cornal Hendricks will do duty.

On the bench, Vincent Koch will be joined by Lionel Mapoe, Trevor Nyakane, Flip van der Merwe and Warren Whiteley, who could make his 1st Test appearance in South Africa, in front of his home crowd in Johannesburg.

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SpringboksSpringbok No 8 and South Africa’s Rugby Player of the Year in 2014, Duane Vermeulen, is in a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup after it was revealed that he has to undergo surgery on a neck injury, but national skipper Jean de Villiers has been cleared to return to the game this weekend.

De Villiers, who had a full knee reconstruction towards the end of 2014, is 1 of 6 injured players who were given the all clear from the Springbok medical team to be considered for selection against the World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday. The others are Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Lionel Mapoe, Schalk Burger and Lood de Jager.

Although Jan Serfontein (hip and knee) is recovering well from his injury, he will not be considered for selection this week. Furthermore, Scarra Ntubeni and Faf de Klerk are over their ankle niggles from late last week and took full part in training on Monday, while Heinrich Brüssow (broken arm) has recovered well, but is still a week or 2 away from playing.

“Our medical team worked very hard on the injured players and it’s a great positive to see the guys return,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Monday.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Two injured players in the Springbok training squad, Frans Steyn and Pieter-Steph du Toit, have been temporarily released from the squad to continue their rehabilitation in Durban for the next few weeks.

Neither of them are expected to be fit for the Springboks’ 1st 2 matches of the season, next Saturday against the World XV in Cape Town and a week later against Australia in Brisbane. Steyn has a pectoral muscle tear, while Du Toit is recovering from a knee injury.

According to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer the decision to send Steyn and Du Toit home was taken with the best interests of the players in mind.

“We’ve discussed the way forward with the players, and all of us agreed that the best way forward at this stage is for them to get full-time rehabilitation at their home province, while our own medical team will keep very close tabs on their progress,” said Meyer.

“Both of them are still firmly in our plans going forward for the season and I really hope they can get back onto the field sooner rather than later. I’m confident the individual attention they will receive in Durban will be a massive benefit to them in the long run.

“We won’t be taking Frans or Pieter-Steph with us to Australia and will reassess their situation when we return from Brisbane.”

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Springboks

With the International Test window just around the corner (11 July), the Rugby news in South Africa is being dominated by Springbok preparations for what lies ahead in 2015… The World XV game, the abbreviated Rugby Championship and 1 further match against Los Pumas and of course the Rugby World Cup from 18 September to 31 October 2015.

Of course, it could also be argued that we do not have anything else to talk about, because South African sides have all been done and dusted with Super Rugby for a couple of weeks already, whilst 2 New Zealand sides are still contesting it… on their ownsome lonesome!

Maybe it is a blessing in disguise though, for overall Springbok preparations, as they now have much more time to get their ducks in a row for the international scene, and to re-introduce the injured and rehabilitating players…

BUT, and it’s a big BUT… the injury list seems almost as long as the list of fighting fit candidates and that is a big concern.

In this article, we focus on what Heyneke Meyer says and feels about his chosen Springbok squad, and we have a good look at the fitness and injury update from the Springbok camp.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

Flank Heinrich Brüssow could be a surprise inclusion when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer names a 40-man squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Despite currently being laid low by an arm injury, Brüssow could be included when Meyer names his squad on Sunday.

Despite being invited to various Bok training camps in recent years, Brüssow has never played a Test under Meyer as coach, with the last of his 20 internationals coming against Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

Springbok flank Heinrich Brüssow has explained his decision to not extend his contract with the Cheetahs.

Brussow, 28, last week indicated that he won’t be extending his contract with the Cheetahs after this year’s Super Rugby competition.

He will only be available for his Japanese club, the Docomo Red Hurricanes, in 2016 and 2017, and not return to play Super Rugby as he has done in recent years.

“I feel I’m at a stage of my career where I have to look after my own body,” Brüssow said. “That’s why I have signed a 2-year contract in Japan. My new challenge is to take that club to a higher level and I’m going to focus all of my attention on that.”

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Cheslin Kolbe

Cheslin Kolbe

Springbok coach, Heyneke Meyer, has announced 2 sets of 44 players to participate in training camps in May and June in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

The squads include a total of 19 uncapped players, including rising stars Jesse Kriel, Vincent Koch, Cheslin Kolbe and Bongi Mbonami.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

The Toyota Cheetahs suffered a massive blow when flank Heinrich Brüssow suffered an arm injury in their defeat to the Reds in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

The openside flank left the field in the 14th minute of the match at the Free State Stadium, and coach Naka Drotske has since confirmed that the Springbok has broken his arm.

More clarity about the severity of the injury will be known on Monday, but Brüssow will in all likelihood sit out the rest of the competition.

Fullback Coenie van Wyk also suffered an ankle injury and according to reports, is likely to be ruled out for about 6 weeks.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has named his team to tackle the Crusaders in their Super Rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA Time).

Heinrich Brussow will start at flank after impressing off the bench against the Sharks last weekend,.

Brussow is 1 of 4 newcomers to the starting team named on Wendesday.

The others are scrumhalf Tian Meyer, flyhalf Joe Pietersen and wing Clayton Blommetjies.

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Lodewyk De Jager

Lodewyk de Jager

The Toyota Cheetahs were dealt a big blow when it was learnt that Springbok lock Lood de Jager will be out of action for between 6 and 8 weeks with an elbow injury.

De Jager was forced off the field in the Cheetahs win over the Cell C Sharks early on in Durban on Saturday and while the good news is that there isn’t a bone fracture, the injury will mean he will miss close to 2 months of Vodacom Super Rugby action.

The injury has been tempered by the fact the Cheetahs have a bye this week, with all players being given most of the week off until they reassemble on Thursday to start preparing for next weekend’s game against the Blues in Bloemfontein.

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Naka Drotské

Naka Drotské

Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has named a powerful team, including all his available Springboks, to face the Griffons in their final Super Rugby pre-season outing on Wednesday.

Fullback Willie le Roux tops the list of Bok stars that will run out at the Old Greys club in Bloemfontein.

Le Roux has overcome an ankle strain he suffered in last Friday’s loss to the Stormers.

Other Boks having a run include wings Cornal Hendricks and Raymond Rhule, flank Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje, lock Lodewyk ‘Lood’ de Jager and prop Coenie Oosthuizen.

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Heinrich Brussow

Heinrich Brussow

The Cheetahs will this week welcome back flank Heinrich Brüssow and centre Johann Sadie from Japan.

The duo play for the Docomo Red Hurricanes and their return to Bloemfontein was dependent on how far the Hurricanes would go in the knockout rounds in Japan.

The Hurricanes this past weekend lost in the semi-finals of the wildcard tournament, which is contested between the sides finishing fifth to 12th in the Japanese league.

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CheetahsSuper Rugby preparations is also underway in Bloemfontein, in anticipation of the 2015 season.

News is that Joe Pietersen who previously played at fullback for the Stormers and then went to France to try things there, is back at the Cheetahs… to exclusively play flyhalf. Pietersen is a product of Grey College in Bloemfontein.

Heinrich Brüssow, who is currently still in Japan with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, before joining the Cheetahs for Super Rugby (as soon as his Japanese Club’s season ends) says that the standards of rugby in Japan has improved markedly.

The Cheetahs start their Super Rugby campaign with an away game against the Sharks in Durban on 14 February.

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Barbarians RugbyJohn Kirwan will give his international recruits the opportunity to stake their claim for Test places when the Barbarians take on Australia next month.

The former World Cup winner takes charge of the famous invitation side for the Killik Cup match at Twickenham on 1 November.

Already recruited are Wallabies wing Nick Cummins, former England prop Matt Stevens and a hard-edged group of South African forwards which include CJ Van der Linde, Heinrich Brussow, Coenie Oosthuizen, Thomas du Toit, Jacques Botes and Michael Rhodes.

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Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

Any hopes of a dramatic return for Heinrich Brüssow have been squashed, meaning the Cheetahs will retain their winning formula for the last match of the season.

The men from Bloemfontein head to Johannesburg on Saturday to take on the resurgent Lions – a team looking to end their season with a three-match winning streak.

However, the Cheetahs will be without star the Springbok flank, Brüssow, who also missed last weekend’s 27-20 win over the Sharks due a groin injury.

“Heins will undergo groin surgery and will not play,” Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said, ahead of his team’s trip to Ellis Park.

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Heinrich Brussow

Heinrich Brussow

CheetahsThe Cheetahs will not able to call on the services of Heinrich Brüssow for their Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Coach Naka Drotské said that the loose forward is still struggling with a groin injury and won’t be risked for the game.

Philip van der Walt (hand) and Jean Cook (shoulder) are ready for action again, while Oupa Mohoje has also returned from the Springboks.

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Nick Mallett

Nick Mallett

Heinrich Brüssow

Heinrich Brüssow

World XV coach Nick Mallett says he was keen to include Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brüssow in his squad to face the Springboks.

The teams clash at Newlands on Saturday in what will be the Boks’ first international outing of the year.

Mallett requested to include the Cheetahs flank in his squad to face the Boks but he was already earmarked for the first Bok training camp of the year, which took place in Durban last week.

Brüssow was not included in Bok coach Heyneke Meyer’s final squad named last Saturday, but because he was part of the Bok training camp earlier in the week, he became ineligible for the World XV side.

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Victor MatfieldSchalk BurgerCornal HendricksSibusiso SitholeLodewyk De JagerTeboho MahojeHeinrich BrussowSouth AfricaWorld champion Springboks Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger as well as two former Blitzbok stars, Cornal Hendricks and S’bura Sithole, are included in a 36-man squad to attend a national training camp in Durban from 25 to 28 May, the South African Rugby Union announced on Monday.

Cell C Sharks back Sithole and Hendricks, the SA Sevens Player of the Year in 2013, are two of eight uncapped players in the squad. The others are the Toyota Cheetahs duo of Lood de Jager (lock) and Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward); Marcel van der Merwe (prop) and Jacques du Plessis (flank/lock) of the Vodacom Bulls; Marnitz Boshoff (flyhalf) of the Lions and the DHL Stormers’ Damian De Allende (centre/wing).

They will join Matfield, Burger and Toyota Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brüssow – who are back in the national set up for the first time since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011 – in a training squad that is missing a number of players due to injury.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was happy with the form of a number of the country’s top players and the uncapped players who have grabbed their chance this season, as well as the re-appearance from retirement and long-term injury of Matfield and Burger.

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Heinrich BrussowHeinrich Brüssow is not just hype, he is the ultimate openside flank.

The 27-year-old Cheetahs star, who played the last of his 20 Tests in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal, returned to Super Rugby for the Cheetahs against the Sharks last week after missing the first half of the season with a fractured toe – suffered while playing for his Japanese club.

And while the Cheetahs lost 8-19, the influence and value of Brüssow was there for all to see.

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Heinrich BrüssowThe Toyota Cheetahs will have to do without Heinrich Brüssow for the opening 6 rounds of their 2014 Super Rugby season after the loose forward tore a ligament in his toe.

The Springbok flank, who was due to return to the Cheetahs to take part in this year’s Super Rugby competition, sustained the injury while playing his first season for Japanese club Docomo Red Hurricanes.

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Cheetahs

This is the forth in the series of Cheetahs 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 LOOSE FORWARDS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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CheetahsThe good performances by the Cheetah looseforwards against the Sharks the past weekend, has given coach Naka Drotskè enough reason to hold back the return of bok flanker Heinrich Brüssow. The Cheetahs loose trio of Frans Viljoen, Lappies Labuschagne and Phillip van der Walt gave a good account of themselves in a losing cause. Boom Prinsloo also made a positive contribution from the replacement bench. Phillip van der Walt played probably his best Super Rugby match to date and he combined well with Lappies in creating a well-crafted try.

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CheetahsNaka Drotske has reason to smile, as it is reported that Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen (back) and Johan Goosen (knee) are progressing well. Willie le Roux (groin), Phillip van der Walt (knee), Lappies Labuschagne (ankle) and Springbok Heinrich Brüssow (shoulder) are all on track for early participation in this years Super Rugby Competition.

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In years past, this was a position the Cheetahs could make their team selections with their eyes closed. With legends like Juan Smith in particular, giving yeoman service.

Long term injuries and player movements has temporarily thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, resulting in Naka having to recall Hendro Scholtz out of retirement to have a fit flanker in the 2012 Currie Cup.

However the emergence of a few young stars has restored order. Marnus Schoeman has started delivering on the hype anticipated when he was still a junior with the Blue Bulls. Lappies Labuschagne and Justin Downey have grown in their positions, which leaves Naka Drotske spoilt for choice.

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