16 Teams, split into 2 Sections of 8 each, will contest the 2015 Vodacom Cup, with defending champions GWK Griquas heading up a strong South Section and the Welwitschias from Namibia back in the competition and replacing the Kenyan Tusker Simba XV side who has withdrawn due to financial considerations.
Joining the 5-time champions from Kimberley in the South Section will be winners in 2012, DHL Western Province, as well as the Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Cell C Sharks XV, EP Kings, SWD Eagles and Toyota Free State XV.
The Xerox Golden Lions, runners up last year and champions in 2013, are in the North Section with the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, Down Touch Griffons, Leopards XV, Steval Pumas, Valke, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Welwitschias from Namibia.
Only one more Internatonal Test to be played today, that between Georgia vs Japan at 17:00 SA Time and Georgian Time, the rest of the results are in already!
Some surprising results all around, with the Italian Azzurri holding the Springboks to a limited win, Ireland narrowly beating the Wallabies, Wales containing the All Blacks untill the 69th minute before letting in 3 quick tries and France falling to a spirited Argentinian Pumas side.
The rest of the results, well they are pure wall decorations, for want of a better expletive.
The Weekend’s International Results are as follows:
The Namibian Rugby Union (NRU) has welcomed the inclusion of a Namibian team in next year’s Vodacom Cup competition.
NRU president Bradley Basson, confirmed on Tuesday that the South African Rugby Union has agreed to Namibia’s request to be included in the 16-team competition that will run from early March through to the end of May.
“It is the best thing that could have happened to Namibian rugby in our build-up towards the Rugby World Cup, we have a number of local based players who are not exposed to high level rugby and they will benefit from this,” said Basson from Carcavelos, Portugal where the national team is preparing for a test match against Portugal on Saturday.
Prop forwards Quintin Esterhuyzen and Shaun de Preez have been called up as replacements to join the Namibian team in Carcavelos, Portugal, ahead of Namibia’s final match of their Northern Hemisphere tour.
The pair will join the team later this week as cover after loosehead Jaco Engels injured a hamstring in the match against the French Barbarians.
Engels is undergoing medical treatment and his recovery will be monitored, while the other regular Namibian props Johnnie Redelinghuys and Andrè Schlechter returned home due to personal commitments.
The French Barbarians recovered from an early seven-point deficit to beat Namibia 35-14 in Toulon on Friday.
PJ van Lill scored in the fifth minute and Theuns Kotze converted to get Namibia off to the perfect start, but the Barbarians notched 21 points in 15 minutes without reply thanks to a try from Rodrigo Capo Ortega and two from Jules Plisson.
Alexandre Bias and Florian Fresia also scored tries for the hosts while Plisson added the conversions.
Loose forward Tinus du Plessis will miss Namibia’s match against the French Barbarians this Friday in Toulon after failing to recover from a calf strain.
Du Plessis was injured in training last week in Colwyn Bay, Wales but was included in the starting line-up for the second match on the Namibian Northern Hemisphere Tour – subject to a fitness test.
The 39 test veteran went for a run Tuesday and still had discomfort in his left calf.
It was decided to pull him out of the match 23 and allow him more time to recover ahead of the test against Portugal on the 22 November.
Namibia coach Danie Vermeulen has named an exciting squad for their second match of the November tour to take on the French Barbarians in Toulon on Friday.
Fullback Russell van Wyk and centre JC Greyling will get their first opportunity of the tour, after missing out on Namibia’s 13-17 defeat to Canada in Wales. The starting XV shows 6 changes and one positional switch.
Loose forward Tinus du Plessis has been included in the starting line-up, subject to a fitness test he will undergo on Wednesday, after he injured a calf muscle before the Canada match. If he is unable to play, the back row will be reshuffled with Morné Blom moving from lock to flank, Stefan Neustädt will come in from the bench to partner Tjiuee Uanive at lock, and hooker DG Wiese will be on the bench.
Nine International Test matches as well as the cross-hemisphere club / provincial match between Saracens and DHL Western Province, took place this weekend.
Well, it was not a good weekend for South African interests in these games, as both the Springboks and Western Province were compprehensively beaten in the space of 2 days.
In addition South African neighbours, Namibia, probably put up the best fight amongst the Southern African sides, but still going down to Canada, by 17 / 13.
On Saturday the Springboks came tumbling down to earth after a few weeks ago beating the New Zealand All Blacks, when they fell havily against Ireland, by 29 / 15 and on Sunday the Currie Cup champions, DHL Western Province was outplayed and put to the sword by Saracens in Londen, badly beaten by 6 tries to 3 and a total score of 46 / 22.
It appears that the Northern Hemisphere rugby countries have all crept closer to the Southern Hemisphere rivals, as the Wallabies barely won against Wales and the All Blacks only scraped home against England by a measly 3 points.
Scotland beat Argentina and France romped over Fiji, whilst Italy beat Samoa.
The results of the weekend are as follows:
Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley has released his 23-man roster to face fellow Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier Namibia on Friday at Parc Eirias in the second game of the year-end tour.
Captaining the side for the second consecutive game will be loose-head prop Hubert Buydens, who will be joined by Ray Barkwill and Jason Marshall in the front row. Marshall, along with winger Sean Duke, returns to the Canadian team having recently defeated Leicester Tigers 59-26 on Tuesday night as part of the historic Barbarians RC team.
London Irish forward Jebb Sinclair makes his return to the second row alongside Tyler Hotson, and the trio of Kyle Gilmour, Nanyak Dala and John Moonlight remain as Canada’s loose forwards.
Scrum half Gord McRorie, who scored two tries in last weekend’s 28-23 loss to Championship XV in Worcester, will provide service to the backs through Connor Braid at flyhalf.
In the centres, Canada Sevens stalwarts Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor will inject an exciting level of pace and skill through the midfield. Joining Duke on the wing will be Ospreys’ Jeff Hassler, who has five tries this season for the Ospreys, and DTH van der Merwe of the Glasgow Warriors.
Two former Welsh internationals have been drafted into the Namibian backroom staff as support on their Northern Hemisphere tour.
Former Welsh captain Phil Davies has been appointed as a technical advisor with Wayne Proctor being brought in as a strength and condition consultant.
The pair recently visited Windhoek where they assisted Namibia in their preparations for the international against Germany.
Three new caps have been included in the Namibian national side to face Germany in Windhoek on 29 October.
The side will be captained by Western Province loose forward Rohan Kitshoff, who will make his 17th test appearance for his country.
Coach Danie Vermeulen on Thursday included Free State Cheetahs hooker and captain Torsten van Jaarsveld, Brive’s Tjuee Uanive and JC Greyling from Old Wesley RFC (Dublin, Ireland) in his squad of 23 for the once-off Test match.
Van Jaarsveld and Uanive are in the starting line-up, while Greyling is expected to earn his first cap coming off the bench.
The 27-year-old Van Jaarsveld was outstanding for the Free State Cheetahs this year and will start in his first Test for the Welwitchias.
The International Rugby Board has announced the match official appointments for upcoming November internationals.
Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee at its recent meeting in Dublin and follow a detailed review of recent performances during the June international window, The Rugby Championship and other matches.
South Africa’s Craig Joubert will kick off a busy month of Tests as teams and officials begin the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2015, when he takes charge of the New Zealand v USA fixture at Soldier Field in Chicago on November 1.
Steve Walsh will be the man in the middle for England’s match with the Springboks and Nigel Owens will officiate at Stade de France when Les Bleus take on Australia, as well as refereeing New Zealand’s visit to Twickenham. Wayne Barnes has been appointed to Wales v New Zealand in Cardiff, while Ireland v Australia in Dublin will be refereed by Glen Jackson. Jérôme Garces will be in charge when the Wallabies take on England and will be in Padova on November 22 to referee Italy v South Africa.
Namibia have booked their place in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2015 after beating Kenya 52-17 in the final of the Confédération Africaine de Rugby (CAR) Under 19 Championship in Windhoek.
The victory caps a golden six-week period for Namibian Rugby after the senior team, the Welwitchias, also qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in July.
Captain and fly half Christopher Arries scored the first of eight Namibian tries after just two minutes and with wing Milaan van Wyk crossing twice in the space of seven minutes the tournament hosts built a commanding 35-10 lead at the break.
Kenya are in pole position to make history and qualify for a Rugby World Cup for the first time after maintaining their winning run in the Confederation Africaine de Rugby Africa Cup Division 1A Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifying tournament in Antananarivo on Wednesday.
Kenya, aiming to break Namibia’s recent stranglehold as the Africa Region’s second representative on Rugby’s greatest stage, recorded a bonus point 34-0 win over Madagascar to open up a four-point lead over Zimbabwe at the top of the table with one round remaining on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s 24-20 defeat to Namibia in the opening match of the day means that it is mathematically possible for all three teams to finish top of the table going into Super Sunday when Madagascar play Namibia and Kenya face Zimbabwe.
Namibia have included seven foreign-based professionals in their squad to travel to Madagascar to compete in the final African World Cup qualifiers.
The team will be led by No 8 PJ van Lill and consists of 14 forwards and 12 back line players.
A late addition is wing Danie Dames who plays for Griquas in the Currie Cup.
The Lions’ next scheduled MTN Lions Challenge match against Namibia in Windhoek, has been cancelled.
The fixtures include matches from the “Lions Challenge”, as well as some friendlies against Super Rugby opposition as well as a number of international, American and European club sides.
The full media release from the Lions follows:
Namibia’s Welwitschias have pulled out of this year’s Vodacom Cup competition due to financial constraints.