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History

Eric Anderson

Former All Black Eric Anderson in 2006

Former All Black front-rower Eric Anderson has died.

Prop Anderson, who was 83, played 10 matches for the All Blacks on the tour of Australia and South Africa, scoring two tries against Western Australia.

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Sir Gordon Tietjens

Sir Gordon Tietjens is New Zealand’s legendary sevens coach with training techniques to scare the fittest players.

He’s one of the most decorated coaches at the Commonwealth Games, but where did it all begin for New Zealand’s long-time Sevens coach?

“From where he was, from a fancy-free, practical joking, happy go lucky player to where he is now. It’s bloody legendary.”

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Dan Carter & Richie McCaw & Keven Mealamu

BACK SEAT: Where the All Blacks sit on the team bus is one of the great traditions around the team that continues to survive. Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Keven Mealamu wave to fans from the team bus.

New ZealandIt’s a place that has been central to the All Blacks’ domination of world rugby, a place where tactics have been spawned, standards set and discipline dished out.

It’s the back seat of the team bus, where seats are filled according to seniority, and positions are treasured.

It’s a ritual that has survived the test of time, though there have been tinkerings along the way, especially to accommodate the demands of the professional era.

Respected Hawke’s Bay rugby administrator Dr Tom Johnson, a former All Blacks trialist, has co-authored Legends In Black, interviewing some of the greats of the Kiwi game to try to unravel some of the secrets of the team’s culture and remarkable success.

They didn’t hold back when he confronted them regarding the seating arrangements on the team bus down the years.

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WaratahsBrumbiesIt’S the biggest Down Under derby in 12 years — but is the Waratahs vs Brumbies rivalry the biggest in Australian rugby full stop?

NSW vs Queensland has long been the marquee match-up for Aussie outfits, and with 140 years of tradition to back it up it’s little wonder.

But the battle between the Tahs and their “little brother” from down the road in the ACT might have trumped it in recent times.

Wallaby hooker Stephen Moore has the unique experience of playing the Waratahs both as a Reds player (from 2003-08) and now with the Brumbies.

Way back in 2009, when he had just arrived in Canberra, Moore observed of the Tahs-Brumbies enmity that: “it’s equally as big as the Queensland-NSW rivalry.”

And Wallabies great Stephen Larkham, a Brumbies legend as a player and well on his way to becoming one as a coach, reckons it’s gone even beyond equal status.

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Kevin Skinner

All Black Kevin Skinner in 1953

Kevin Skinner, the All Black prop and heavyweight boxer, has died. He was 86.

Skinner made his name for Otago and was selected for the 1949 All Black tour of South Africa as a 21-year-old.

He was labelled one of the side’s successes, making up a hard-as-nails front row alongside Johnny Simpson and hooker Has Catley.

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Eben Etzebeth

His parents might call him Eben, but I’d like to call him Ysterbeth!

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.

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Mt Everest

The Sharks have their own Mt. Everest to climb

If one were to ask people who the first person was to climb Mt. Everest, their answers would invariably be Sir Edmund Hillary.

While technically correct, and the reason I say technically is because Hillary was the first to successfully climb to the summit, there were 8 other expeditions before him. The 1922 British Mount Everest expedition was the first mountaineering expedition with the express aim of making the first ascent of Mount Everest.

Between 1922 and 1953 there were 8 expeditions that tried and failed. The term failed is used lightly I might add, climbers succumbed from illnesses ranging from malaria to altitude sickness, and those were the lucky ones. Death was the common reason for the majority of the failures.

Why am I writing about the ascent of Mt. Everest on a rugby site you might ask, well simply put, Jake White and his Sharks are currently standing at the foot of their own Mt. Everest and tomorrow evening when Steve Walsh blows his whistle to signal the kick off between them and the Highlanders, they will take their first steps on a journey that will hopefully end with them planting the South African flag on the summit in three weeks time.

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New Zealand Women

New Zealand celebrate a fourth consecutive WRWC title following victory over England in the 2010 final

With just over two weeks to go before Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, we take a look back at how previous tournaments unfolded and at the Springbok squad and preparations.

Women’s rugby has experienced phenomenal growth in recent times and the number of women and girls playing the game currently stands at 1.5 million, a quarter of the overall total.

Much of that growth over the past five years has been driven by Olympic inclusion, the inception of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and ongoing work between national unions and Olympic Committees.

However, many countries have deep roots in the women’s 15-a-side game, which has already seen seven world tournaments, four sanctioned by the IRB and three ‘unofficial World Cups’.

Here we provide a brief history of the Women’s Rugby World Cup movement.

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Bakkies Botha

Springbok hard man, Bakkies Botha, showing his romantic side

Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has spoken about life in France, the final 18 months of his career and what he has planned after rugby.

After his successful run with the Springboks in June against the World XV and Wales, the My Players website caught up with the 35-year-old during his off time in the South African bush.

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Gerrie Sonnekus

Gerrie Sonnekus

Two men were arrested on Tuesday for the robbery and attack on three fishermen, including former Springbok Gerrie Sonnekus, in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape police said.

“After following leads, Port Alfred detectives in collaboration with crime intelligence officers, arrested two men aged 34 in Nemato Township in the early hours of Tuesday morning,” police spokesperson Luvuyo Mjekula said.

“Police are looking to make more arrests as two more suspects are still at large.”

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Tinus Linee

Tinus Linee

Former Springbok Tinus Linee’s motor neuron condition has stabilised thanks to his recent use of a ventilator, said his wife Diana on Monday.

Speaking at a Youth Day benefit in her husband’s honour at the Daljosaphat Stadium between Wellington and Paarl, Diana Linee said Tinus’s mind was “still positive” about the illness. But for the use of his hands, however, Linee, the 44-year-old former Stormers and Springbok centre, remained completely paralysed.

“He can only scratch his cheek,” she said.

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HughMcLeodScottish Rugby is immensely saddened to learn of the death on Monday night of the former Hawick, Scotland and Lions internationalist Hughie McLeod. He was 81.

Hugh Ferns McLeod was a pioneer, ahead of his time. His achievements as a player were the stuff of legend but, arguably, it was the manner in which he moulded future success in Hawick that marked him as a truly special character.

Hugh drove himself very hard as a player. He set high standards and expected the same of others. Into retirement he still followed a fitness regime which might have proved – no, would have proved too onerous for younger folk. Whether it was cycling, swimming up in Edinburgh or walking, Hughie loved to be active.

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David Malan & Ben Robinson - Abie Malan Jersey - smallBenn Robinson could finally relax.

The Waratahs and Wallabies prop had been on edge for weeks, carrying around a precious piece of Australian and South African rugby history believed lost for decades.

It had brought him to a hotel lobby in Cape Town, where David Malan was waiting to receive the missing Springboks jersey his father, Abie Malan, had worn to captain South Africa against the Wallabies 51 years earlier.

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Frank OliverFormer All Blacks captain Frank Oliver has died at the age of 65, his old provincial club Manawatu said on Tuesday, describing him as “a truly great rugby man”.

Oliver played for the All Blacks 43 times from 1976-81, including 17 Tests, captaining the New Zealanders to a series win over Australia in 1978. His son Anton Oliver was also an All Blacks captain.

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melroseMelrose Rugby Club has confirmed four invitational teams that will appear at this year’s Melrose 7s on Saturday 12 April at The Greenyards.

Scottish professional side, Glasgow Warriors will be joined by French Top 14 outfit Clermont Auvergne, Trinidad and Tobago and USA Tigers.

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Super RugbyWith the Super Rugby season less than 6 days away, here is a bit of history on the Competition.

Super Rugby is run by SANZAR and consists of franchise teams from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, 5 teams each, devided into 3 Conferences.

Super Rugby is the Southern Hemisphere’s prime Franchise tournament and part of the reason why the Southern Hemisphere currently dominate world rugby, with the New Zealand All Blacks 1st on the IRB World Rankings, the Springboks from South Africa comfortably in 2nd spot and the Wallabies from Australia in 3rd spot.

Super Rugby gets underway in South Africa first in 2014, on 15 February 2014 and a week later the Antipodion sides join in.

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New ZealandSouth AfricaThe 1994 Springbok team is regarded as the worst Springbok side visiting New Zealand. They were unable to win a single test –losing the first two and drawing the 3rd test- and losing one provincial match out of 11 against Otago (12-19).

In total they lost 3 matches and drew one out of 14 matches. Compared to the 1965 Springboks probably a better overall result; excluding the fact that they couldn’t win a test match. It was nonetheless a disappointing result considering the fact that this team also completed tours -with the same coach, Ian McIntosh- through Australia and Argentina in 1993. They won one test in Australia and both test matches in Argentina with reasonable good margins. In addition they played two test matches against England at the start of the 1994 season losing the first one 15-32 at Loftus Versfeld and winning the second one 27-9 at Newlands in Cape Town. From that backdrop there was understandingly an expectation that SA rugby and particular the Springboks will shed the impact of the isolation years and begin to adjust to the requirements of the international rugby if not win test matches.

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New ZealandSouth AfricaAll Blacks 11 / 5 Springboks (Eden Park, Auckland 1 September 1956)


Ron Hemi:
“The fourth test was the hardest game I ever played in, and this was at a time when I considered myself to be at peak physical fitness. South Africa made a big mistake in the selection of their first five-eighth and fullback. Bill Clark and Ross Brown were able to box in Howe and kill play close in, preventing the South African outside backs from operating. And a more determined fullback than Viviers would have prevented Jones’s try. The New Zealand tactics of bursting around the rucks, the ball being kept at close range in front of the forwards, was the winning formula.”

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RBS Six Nations ChampionshipEnglandIrelandWalesScotlandFranceItalyFrom time to time Rugby-Talk is approached by rugby enthusiasts, who read our content, who enquire whether they can write guest articles for publication.

My response is the same every time… send it along, if it is good, we will publish it. More aptly, I also invite these people to register and become part of our wonderful website, to join in the comments with us and should we see value in their style and knowledge, there will be no hesitation to make them fullyfledged authors here on Rugby-Talk.

I hope this is an inspiration to more people to contribute…

Here is a wonderful piece on the history of the Six Nations:

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  • BrumbiesBoy 30 Jul 2014, 15:03 SAST - I'm surprised you guys haven't mentioned (the late?) Jimmy Smith-Belton; a late friend of mine was convinced that he had...
  • Stormersboy 30 Jul 2014, 14:58 SAST - @ Pietman: We used to call him Willie Do*s.
  • Lion4ever 30 Jul 2014, 14:41 SAST - A living cricket legend, who in my mind ranks up there with the Bradman's, Lloyds, Tendulkar's and Lara's of the...
  • Pietman 30 Jul 2014, 13:38 SAST - @ robzim: Remember Roos awarded a try at Newlands when Hottie Louw played for the Bulls and dotted the ball...
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