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Jean de Villiers

South AfricaContrary to the expected dry conditions on the Highveld, the Springboks had to adapt to hail and torrential rain in their narrow 13-6 Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.

“We really wanted to play exciting rugby. We picked an exciting backline as we thought we would have an open, running game on the Highveld,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said after the nail-biting match.

“I am very proud of the team. That game could have gone either way. A lot of the Argentineans play in Europe, where they are used to the conditions, and they forced us into a kicking battle.”

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Juan Smith

Juan Smith

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has praised the move to bring veteran flank Juan Smith back into the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship, calling it an ‘unbelievable’ story.

It was reported that Smith – who was told by more than one doctor that his rugby career was over – was included as cover for the injured Victor Matfield in the Bok squad this week ahead of next weekend’s opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

After getting a second chance at Toulon, Smith turned the opportunity into gold with the way he used his new lease on life to craft his way into the Toulon squad and was an integral part in their success in Europe this year.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

The prognosis on Springbok captain Jean de Villiers’ fitness ahead of next weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina took a positive lift with the news that the player himself feels he will be fit and ready for the opening game.

Much has been made of the fitness of De Villiers and whether or not he should have been released to play in the Absa Currie Cup this weekend, especially after three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Given that Victor Matfield has been ruled out of action for next week as well with injury, the Boks suddenly needed to contemplate a backup plan for De Villiers if he is injured and a new captain has to be found.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

South AfricaSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers has recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of the June Tests and is back in the national squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

De Villiers is one of six players returning from injury after missing the entire or a part of the Castle Lager Incoming Series.

The others are Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Frans Malherbe (prop), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Patrick Lambie (flyhalf / fullback) and Damian de Allende (centre).

De Allende, who was forced to withdraw from the squad in June because of a knee ligament injury, and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach are the only two uncapped players in the 30-man Springbok squad.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers’s good nature in terms of positional flexibility may be exploited once again in a few weeks’ time.

The first-choice Springbok captain, who missed the entire June window period due to a knee injury, is an estimated four weeks away from a return to full fitness, which gives him a reasonable chance of being ready – albeit rather undercooked in match sharpness – for the Castle Rugby Championship opener against  Argentina at Loftus on 16 August.

His status was confirmed as the Stormers on Monday issued an update on various sidelined players, some of whom will be available for consideration for Saturday’s Super Rugby derby against the Bulls at Newlands.

Both De Villiers and franchise colleague Damian de Allende, another midfielder who had cracked the Bok squad nod a few weeks ago only to be quickly struck down by wretchedly inconvenient injury himself, remain a few weeks out from renewed activity.

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Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated in the game between Wallabies vs Springboks, The Rugby Championship, Brisbane, 7 September 013

Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated in the game between Wallabies vs Springboks, The Rugby Championship, Brisbane, 7 September 2013

The June Internationals are close at hand and Heyneke Meyer has already showed his hand to a certain extent by selecting a Springbok Training Group, which currently excludes players plying their trade in the UK and Europe.

The recent injury to Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers, now determines that a  “Stand-in” Springbok captain will have to be selected and coupled to this the Springbok midfield positions are bound to be re-constituted.

Injuries to key players, specially flyhalf, as well as the 3-match suspension of Adriaan Strauss at hooker will see some juggling around of the match-day 23 and some very clear thinking will be required by Heyneke Meyer to address these issues.

We take a look at the Springbok Captaincy candidates as well as midfield combination and look at hooker options to function as back-up to Bismarck du Plessis.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will miss the Castle Lager Incoming Series next month after he was ruled out for approximately eight weeks with a knee injury.

After experiencing some discomfort in his left knee on Saturday morning, De Villiers was pulled out of the DHL Stormers’ Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Toyota Cheetahs.

De Villiers underwent a scope in Cape Town on Sunday morning and the prognosis is that he will be out of action for almost two months. He will hopefully be back by the start of Castle Lager Rugby Championship in August.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

DHL StormersVice-captain Schalk Burger and captain Jean de Villiers are both back in the DHL Stormers team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands, kick-off 17:05 SA Time.

Tickets for this weekend can be bought online at TicketPros, or from selected Spar stores or PostNet outlets/stores. Ticket prices start at R50 for standing and R80 for seating.

Burger missed last weekend’s 24-8 win over the Force, whilst De Villiers returns after a two-week lay-off.

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Jean de VilliersThe DHL Stormers, fresh off their 24-8 win over the Force at the weekend, were further boosted on Monday with some good news in the injury department.

The Men from the Cape will host the Cheetahs in Cape Town this coming Saturday and the likes of Oli Kebble, Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers and Sailosi Tagicakibau will be considered for selection once again.

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Allister CoetzeeJean de VilliersSchalk BurgerDHL StormersOn the weekend, the battling Stormers had reason to smile again after they returned to winning ways against the Lions.

Allister Coetzee, head coach declared he was happy with the win.

Jean de Villiers revealed he defied instructions from the coach to play defensive when they had a 15-point lead.

Schalk Burger and Oli Kebble will be back this weekend, returning from injury, while Pat Cilliers and Demetri Catrakilis is sidelined with injuries.

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Jean de VilliersStormersSquad captain Jean de Villiers, prop Pat Cilliers and lock / flank Jurie van Vuuren are all back on deck this week, and available for selection against the Lions.

Hookers Scarra Ntubeni and Tiaan Liebenberg and wing Kobus van Wyk are not available for selection as yet, whilst flank Schalk Burger and winger Cheslin Kolbe will be given until later in the week to see if they are available.

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DHL StormersHead coach Allister Coetzee has announced a team showing seven changes for the DHL Stormers’ final Vodacom Super Rugby tour match on Saturday – against the Reds in Brisbane (kick-off 10:40 SA Time).

Springbok centre Juan de Jongh has been restored to the starting line-up, following his return from injury via the bench last weekend, whilst WP Under-21 star Jurie van Vuuren will make his first Super Rugby start after being named to partner Michael Rhodes at lock.

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StormersJean de VilliersFollowing their horror start to the season at Ellis Park last week, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is expecting a major response from his side at Newlands on Friday.

De Villiers was furious with the way his charges capitulated against the Lions last week, and he admitted that their were some harsh words said behind closed doors when they reflected on what went wrong against the Lions.

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South AfricaJean de VilliersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.

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Jean de VilliersStormersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers is expecting another long Super Rugby season with the Stormers without much rest or rotation.

The experienced centre has recently returned from a month’s break after a 2013 season which saw him play almost every possible fixture for the Springboks, Stormers and Western Province, and he expects more of the same this year.

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Stormers

This is the 7th 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 MIDFIELD in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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2013The 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.

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South AfricaHeyneke MeyerThe Springboks have made South Africans proud in 2013, with 10 wins from 12 Tests, the only blight on their record 2 losses against the world’s No 1 side, the All Blacks from New Zealand. South Africa beat France on the weekend by 19 / 10 at Stade de France in Paris, capping off an undefeated tour.

But let’s put those 2 losses into some perspective… in New Zealand the Springboks were on the wrong side of poor reffereeing by Romain Poite, the French referee in charge of that match, resulting in the fact that the Springboks had to play 48 minutes without Bismarck du Plessis. In those circumstances, the Springboks were still highly competative and probably the most pleasing part was that the Springbok forwards dominated large parts of the game. The Springboks lost that one though, as the slow All Black poison came through for the home side in the end.

In South Africa it was do or die for the Springboks… go out and score 4 tries against the All Blacks and win by more than 7 was the challenge in The Rugby Championship, a tall order indeed! The Springboks managed their 4 tries but once again the slow poison of New Zealand worked in their fafour and they came back from behind in the last quarter to score their fourth and ultimately their fifth try, to also beat the Springboks.

So, well done to the All Blacks… and while we’re at it, well done on an All Black season of 14 wins from 14 Tests, what an enviable record, New Zealand certainly deserve the No 1 world crown at this juncture in time!

The positive side of the coin however for the Springboks is that South Africans, and the world in general, now realistically give the Springboks a chance against the All Blacks in every Test match, even away from home. Having looked at results on the End Of Year Tours by both the Springboks and All Blacks, it can also be argued that the Springboks had a slightly better tour north compared to the All Blacks, specially with the All Blacks only managing a last gasp win against Ireland with a try long after the hooter had sounded for full time on Sunday night. The Springboks also only conceded 1 solitary and fortunate try on the whole of the tour up north, whilst the All Blacks conceded far more.

Looking to the future of Springbok rugby, Heyneke Meyer said after the weekend’s Test against France that Jean de villiers will stay Springbok captain in 2014 and the total message out of the Springbok camp is that the Springboks will now aspire to the No 1 ranking spot in world rugby, from 2014 and thereafter.

That certainly implies that Heyneke Meyer wants to and needs to beat the All Blacks… but it does not stop there, seeing as the Springboks want to go to No 1, notwithstanding  how or what the All Blacks do.

The Springboks certainly have improved their chances in 2013 to aspire to a World Cup win in 2015, in fact they are fast becomming joint favourites with the All Blacks in the race to this title.

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Bismarck du PlessisEben EtzebethFrancois LouwJean de VilliersWillie le RouxRugby 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.

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DHL WPJean de VilliersJean de Villiers will start at outside centre for defending champions DHL Western Province in Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal meeting with the MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 14:30).

National captain De Villiers replaces Michael van der Spuy in the only change to the WP line-up that defeated the Sharks by 17-13 in Durban last Saturday – a result which sealed a top-of-the-log finish for the reigning champions.

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Jean de VilliersJuan de Jongh’s status as a doubtful starter for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal against the MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands has increased the likelihood of Springbok captain Jean de Villiers moving away from his usual inside centre position in the DHL Western Province team for the game.

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Recent Comments

  • grootblousmile 20 Aug 2014, 21:12 SAST - 9 @ Pietman: Hey, I'm not a maplotter! Come to think of it, a lot of the yards here in...
  • MacroBok 20 Aug 2014, 20:20 SAST - Congrats Juan, hope Guthro can follow up the solid games he had in June.
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:13 SAST - hahaha - Where is pops now? LMFAO. Kaplan: Peyper was right 2014-08-20 16:21 Cape Town - Retired South African referee...
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:05 SAST - @ Jeraldjay: I don't think HM in his wildest dreams expected Juan to make it back. At this level. HM's...
  • IAAS 20 Aug 2014, 20:00 SAST - Ryan Crotty is a skilfull player and won't let the side down. I think he will complement Smith at 13...
  • Jeraldjay 20 Aug 2014, 19:57 SAST - Juan is one of my all time favourite Boks. IMO this is our best possible loose forward combo, with Albert's...

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