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Waisake Naholo

Waisake Naholo

New Zealand All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo, on the comeback trail from a broken leg, is again under an injury cloud and in doubt for their final Pool C match against Tonga on Friday.

The try-scoring specialist is in need of game time after being sidelined for 3 months and the All Blacks will wait until the last minute before naming their team on Wednesday to decide if he will be fit enough to play.

Naholo missed the All Blacks 1st 2 games as he completed his recovery from a leg fracture.

He then exploded onto the Rugby World Cup stage with a sensational try, with his 1st touch of the ball in the 3rd game against Georgia which the All Blacks won 43 / 10 to confirm their quarterfinal berth.

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World RugbyEngland have dropped 2 places to 8th in the World Rugby rankings after their World Cup defeat to Australia at Twickenham.

Only once before, in 2009, have England been as low as 8 on the list. There were times in 2003 and 2004 when they were the No 1 team in the world.

If Scotland were to register 2 more victories at the Rugby World Cup, they could move up and push England even lower. Never, since the rankings began in 2003, have England been outside the top 8. Only 4 other teams – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and France – have maintained a top-8 place since the rankings began.

8 Teams have moved up 1 place in the rankings, which are based on results and the level of opposition.

Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result – whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of this event.

4 Nations have dropped down: Wales by 1 place from 2 to 3, Ireland by 1 from 4 to 5, England by 2 from 6 to 8, and Samoa by 4 from 11 to 15.

The 8 risers, all by 1 place, are Australia to 2nd, South Africa to 4th, France to 6th, Argentina to 7th, Japan to 11th, Tonga to 12th, Italy to 13th and Georgia to 14th.

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GeorgiaNew ZealandGeorgia (10) 10 / 43 (22) All Blacks (Final Score)

Georgia and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff at 21:00 SA Time (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT, 23:00 Gerorgia Time, Saturday 08:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.


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Waisake Naholo

Waisake Naholo

All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo will make his eagerly-awaited World Cup debut against Georgia in Cardiff on Friday.

Naholo, who made his 1st Test appearance for the All Blacks against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in July, cracked his fibula in that match and team bosses feared he would have to miss the World Cup.

However, thanks to a traditional herbal remedy, the 24-year-old Fiji-born flyer has made a recovery that has astounded the specialists.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Waisake back on the track, he’s been jumping out of his skin at training and I’m sure he can’t wait for game day,” Hanson said.

Hansen has made 10 changes to the starting line-up that defeated Namibia on 24 September with Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino and Julian Savea making a 3rd start.

4 Players were not considered for selection due to injury – Ma’a Nonu (shoulder), Colin Slade (hamstring), Liam Messam (calf) and Beauden Barrett (whiplash).

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NamibiaNew ZealandNamibia (6) 14 / 58 (34) All Blacks (Final Score)

Namibia and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at

Olympic Park, London, England at 21:00 SA Time (21:00 NAM Time, 20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT, Friday 06:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.


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New ZealandArgentinaAll Blacks (12) 26 / 16 (13) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Argentinian Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at

Wembley Stadium, London, England at 17:45 SA Time (16:45 BST, 15:45 GMT, 12:45 ARG Time, Monday 01:45 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.


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Rugby World Cup 2015A popular topic of debate heading into the Rugby World Cup is that of eligibility, particularly that resulting from the residency method. We take a look at the foreign-born players in each squad, where they were born and how they are eligible.

An interesting fact – only Argentina can claim that all 31 players in their squad are native to their country. The other 19 teams all have players born abroad, including significant numbers in some of rugby’s most powerful nations.

All told, Rugby World Cup 2015 will have a grand total of 33 countries involved in the tournament. Players born in various African countries –  Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe join the participating Namibia and South Africa. Zimbabwe has players representing 4 countries, more than any other non-competitor.

Spain is another country not present at the Rugby World Cup who have players representing multiple countries while other countries include Belgium, Israel, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands are also all represented.

Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa lead the way in terms of players representing others at the Rugby World Cup.

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World RugbySouth Africa moved up to 3rd place in the World Rankings without even kicking a ball.

It means the Springboks have climbed 2 places in the World Rankings since their last match – a win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, last month.

Their rise, despite the team’s inactivity, is the result of Ireland’s dramatic slump – the men from the Emerald Isle having lost to Wales (10 / 16) and England (13 / 21) in the past fortnight.

As a result, Rugby Championship heavyweights New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will go into the Rugby World Cup as the Top 3 nations in the rankings.

Ireland’s rating fell by 0.79 points and resulted in a 3-place drop to 6 for the Six Nations Champions, placing them below the Springboks.

England gained the same amount of points to leapfrog their Pool A opponents Wales into 4th.

Long-time leaders New Zealand remain untouchable – for a fortnight at least – on 92.89 points, with Australia 6.22 points behind in 2nd and South Africa a further 1.52 points back in 3rd.

Australia were unable to make up any ground on their arch rivals, despite being the only one of the 3 in action over the weekend.

Their 47 / 10 win over the USA Eagles in Chicago did not come with any ratings points, given the double-figure difference in rankings positions and rating points between the nations.

Serious injuries to star fullback Leigh Halfpenny and scrumhalf Rhys Webb, made it a day to forget for Wales, who scraped home 23 / 19 against Italy at the Millennium Stadium.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe last leg of the 2014 / 2015 HSBC Sevens World Series took place in London England this Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 May 2015 from 09:00 BST (10:00 SA Time) both days.

All the action was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 on Saturday and on SuperSport 1 (Sunday) on TV in South Africa.

After 8 Rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand battled it out for the 16th World Series title in London.

Following their victory at the Glasgow Sevens last weekend, Fiji headed into the 9th and Final Round of the Series in 1st spot – with Ben Ryan’s side aiming to win their 1st Series title since 2006.

Not since 2010 has a side other than New Zealand won it, but with Fiji on 147 points and South Africa on 142 prior to this tournament, the 4-time defending champions had their work cut out to win a 13th World Series title as they sat 3rd on 139 Log Points, prior to this tournament.

New Zealand fell out of the race for the ultimate World Series title when England beat them in the quarter-final and the same fate befell South Africa’s Blitzbokke as they persihed against Fiji by 7 / 19 in the quarter-finals in London, the same fate which befell them in Glasgow.

Having led the Series since Round 2 the BlitzBokke failed to make the Cup semi-finals for the 1st time all season in Glasgow and now again in London.

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HSBC Sevens World SeriesIt is a tight race to see who takes the Series in Twickenham with Fiji leading the way, and the pools for the London leg have been confirmed.

After their Cup win at the 8th Round of the Series in Glasgow, Fiji are top seeds and head Pool A, while runners-up New Zealand, 3rd-placed England and the 4th semifinalist USA head the remaining pools.

The 2014 / 2015 season carries added significance because the top-ranked sides in the series qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. Following their performances in Glasgow, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand have all confirmed their place in Rio, with just the 4th and final spot still be decided.

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Cricket BallNew Zealand and South Africa battled each other in 1 of the 2 Semi-Final games of the Cricket World Cup, at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.

The match started at 03:00 SA Time (14:00 NZ Time).

As expected, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India made the Semi-Finals.

The Other Semi-Final, between Australia vs India take place on Thursday 26 March at 05:30 SA Time (14:30 Sydney Time) at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

The South African Innnings was interrupted by rain and the game was reduced to a 43 Over per side game.

South Africa reached a total of 281 / 5 in their allotted 43 Overs, with Faf du Plessis (82), AB de Villiers (65 not out) and David Miller (49 off just 18 balls) doing the damage.

New Zealand started like a house on fire, with Brendan McCullum racing to 59 off only 26 balls… till he eventually perished. Kane Williamson perished on 6 runs, off 11 balls. Martin Guptill eventually perished on 34, from 38 balls and then Taylor departed for 30 off 39 balls. At this stage, New Zealand was still just above the required run-rate.

2 More wickets followed but it was not enough for South Africa.

New Zealand won with 1 ball spare, a 6 off the last ball by Grant Elliott, an Ex-South African himself!



South Africa: 281 / 5 (43 / 43 Overs)

New Zealand: 299 / 6 (42.5 / 43 Overs, 298 required due to D/L)

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Jack Payne

Jack Payne

Former Wales and Llanelli flyhalf Phil Bennett has questioned Scarlets’ move for Welsh-qualified flanker Jack Payne from Queensland Reds in Australia.

Payne, 20, has arrived in Wales, but any move cannot be made official until passport issues have been resolved.

Scarlets president Bennett would prefer to see local players at Scarlets, but admitted importing Welsh-qualified players from abroad could help Wales.

“There’s a lot of mixed feeling from Llanelli,” he said.  “We’re kind of old fashioned here. People still go back to the great Llanelli days . . .  they all want to be Welsh, Welsh-speaking if they had their way,” joked 66-year-old Bennett.

“But let’s be honest, look at the Australians, the All Blacks and how they’ve milked the situation of getting players from Fiji, Samoa and different places. You’ve got to get and live with the very best in the world.”

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Captains for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament

Captains for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament: Ed Jenkins, Osea Kolinisau, DJ Forbes & Kyle Brown

After climbing into the top four after two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Australia and New Zealand know it’s far too early to rest on their laurels with Olympic qualification also up for grabs this season.

As the 16 captains assemble for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, Australian skipper Ed Jenkins and his New Zealand counterpart DJ Forbes reflect on their respective team’s elevation to the all-important top four after the first two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

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AustraliaAustralia have slipped another place to fifth in the latest World Rugby Rankings with France, Japan, Tonga, Canada and Namibia also falling after defeats.

Australia’s 26-23 loss to Ireland on Saturday has seen the Wallabies slip another place to fifth – equalling their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.

The Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two northern hemisphere nations with Ireland strengthening their hold on third place with the win.

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All BlacksNew Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named his team to play Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday with Dan Carter starting and James Parsons making his international debut.

The matchday 23 for Saturday features 11 players from the 23 which played England last week and Daniel Carter makes his first Test start of the year at first five-eighth in his 102nd Test, with TJ Perenara at halfback.

Two of the locks who played against England, Brodie Retallick (shoulder) and Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder), were not considered for selection, due to injury.

As a result, lock Dominic Bird, who, like Parsons, was called into the All Blacks as injury cover, will start, with Luke Romano coming off the bench. Loose forward Jerome Kaino (knee) was also not considered for selection.

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Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw, does he still have plenty to offer?

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen disagrees Richie McCaw is a fading force but insists neither he, nor his captain, will be afraid to make the right call to end his illustrious career.

On either side of the Tasman, there are growing concerns an ageing McCaw won’t make it to next year’s World Cup.

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Steve Hansen

SOBERING NIGHT IN SYDNEY: Is All Black coach Steve Hansen running out of ideas for his All Blacks?

Love the rain. Give me a stick of dynamite and I would blow the roof off the Millennium Stadium. Wet weather rugby is a whole new ball game. It demands a higher skill level, a flexible tactical mind and it gives the fate of the contest to the forwards.

Suddenly these All Blacks didn’t look half the team that some people had assumed they were.

Don’t tell me the conditions were impossible or that they ruined the spectacle. And don’t tell it to the 39,523 people, it is still hard to believe the size of the crowd, who were jammed into Wellington’s Athletic Park back in 1996.

The conditions that day were far worse than they were in Sydney last weekend, because a howling wind drove the rain, but those All Blacks played the rugby of the gods.

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The past few years has seen Rugby’s world be dominated by one group of Villains that we have come to respect, hate, admire, deride, sledge and applaud. Let’s take a look at these Bad Guys and their alter-egos – whilst not forgetting that most of these guys eventually get their comeuppance. – Enjoy!


15. Ben Smith -Keyser Soze – The usual Suspects
Keyser Soze

Keyser Soze – The Usual Suspects

This is one of those moments where we are lulled into a false sense of security. The guy looks harmless enough and seems to melt into the background when surrounded by other more unsavory types. But it is with the Big reveal that things unfold and the manipulator truly emerges.

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Phil Kearns and David Campese

A youthful Phil Kearns and David Campese showing off the World Cup in 1991.

According to those Wallabies who have played there, nothing is particularly forbidding about the graveyard of Eden Park. It’s not the sound of a hostile crowd, or the reverberation of the grandstand above the visitors’ dressing room.

The spookiest part for those in gold jumpers is the number: how many years it has been since Australia last beat the All Blacks at the famous Auckland ground.

Twenty-eight years… Boo!

Alan Jones coached the Wallabies in 1986, and he knew in the opening 20 minutes of the third and deciding Test of the series that his Wallabies were about to carve out their own slice of Bledisloe Cup history.

“I knew they would throw the kitchen sink at us,” Jones recalls. “I picked up that vibe by my contacts around the pubs and so on.”

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IRBThere has been no change in the Top 12 of the IRB world rankings following the opening round of The Rugby Championship.

Despite seeing their 17-Test win streak end in Sydney thanks to a 12-12 draw with the Wallabies, New Zealand continue to lead the way on 93.42 points.

The Wallabies, courageous in their efforts – and perhaps a little unlucky – remain in third position on 87.32.

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New Zealand haka 1916

New Zealand side perform the haka before taking on South Africa in Richmond, Surrey, reportedly in April 1916. No further details of the match exist, with the All Blacks’ last official Test coming in August 1914.

Rugby Union did not shut down completely with the declaration of war in August 1914.

Australia and New Zealand were, as dominions of the British Empire, included in Britain’s declaration on 4 August, but inevitably the matter was less urgent.

The machinery of military recruitment clicked into action and the Wellington Rugby Union cancelled its programme of second, third and fourth grade matches on the following Saturday to enable players to attend volunteer parades. But war caught both countries in mid-season and with the All Blacks part way through a tour of Australia.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014There will be a new name on the Women’s Rugby World Cup as New Zealand are the high profile absentee in the final four of the competition.

In the last round of the pool stages in Marcoussis, England’s draw with Canada saw both into the semi-finals where they will be joined by Australia and Ireland.

New Zealand, who have triumphed in the past four World Cups, won their last game of the pools but they went into their game against the USA already knowing they were out of the competition.

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Cyprus players celebrate a victory over Austria in the European Nations Cup. It was their 21st in a row and they have won two more since.

When the All Blacks take the field against the Wallabies on Saturday, they’ll know they stand 80 minutes away from a landmark 18 successive wins.

If they come out on top, they’ll leapfrog the All Blacks of the late 1960s and the 1997-98 Springboks to further their reputation as one of the greatest teams in rugby history.

It’s an impressive feat, and would be a record for a tier one nation, but it won’t strictly be a world record.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014Defending champions New Zealand got their World Cup defence off to a strong start on day one of the tournament while wins for hosts France, Canada, Australia, England and Ireland mean the competition is set for more classic match-ups before the 17 August final.

The seventh Women’s Rugby World Cup saw sell-out crowds watch six top-quality matches at FFR headquarters in the French capital.

Ireland beat their Pool B rivals USA in a match that could be crucial for the progress of the girls in green, while Australia and England impressed in their pool openers.

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Glasgow 2014There is a palpable level of excitement in the country ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow this year. Driving up the road over the weekend one was reminded by overhead sign boards long before reaching Glasgow of the need to plan ahead  and potential difficulties in travelling as a result of the Games.

The online search engine Google has the theme of the games on its page, there is a lot of coverage in the media both online, in print and of course in audio and visual. Radio schedules have already been changed on some stations providing coverage already ahead of the Games which are due to get kick started with the opening ceremony tonight. In advertising it’s radio coverage the national broadcaster has even made a pledge to bring all the action of Scotland’s medal winning events live to the public. Colleagues have members of their family involved on a voluntary basis as ambassadors for Glasgow 2014 with some having already been helping out in the Athletes Village for the last two weeks.

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IRBThere was little change in the International Rugby Board’s rankings after the weekend’s matches, according to the IRB website.

Full IRB World Rankings

New Zealand, who beat England 28-27 in Dunedin to secure the three-match series, remain at the top with 93.81 ratings points.

The Springboks, who beat Wales 38-16 in Durban, stay in 2nd position on 89.34, while Australia – who were 6-0 victors over France in Melbourne – stay in 3rd position (86.92) ahead of England (85.68).

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Dawie Theron

Dawie Theron

The Junior Springboks finished top of pool C at the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand on Tuesday, beating a spirited Samoa 21-8 in Pukekohe. Samoa had a 8-7 lead at the break.

The South Africans scored three tries, two of them in the second half, as they battled poor playing conditions and a very committed Samoan team to finish as the top qualifier at the tournament.

It was a frustrating evening for the Junior Boks, who lacked the sharpness and edge that highlighted their play against New Zealand on Friday. They could not execute on a number of occasions, but finished strongly.

The South Africans were held over the line on three occasions, lost the ball over the line twice and had two penalties to the poles drifted wide.

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IRB JWC 2014The IRB Junior World Championships are underway in New Zealand.

Rugby-Talk will update the Results and Logs on a regular basis.

The Tournament started on 2 June 2014 and will run till 20 June 2014.

The Big winner in Round 2, on Friday 6 June was South Africa’s Junior Springboks, who beat the Junior All Blacks in their backyard, by 33 / 24. The Junior Springboks scored 4 tries to boot, earning them a vital bonus point going forward, whilst the Junior All Blacks earned no Log Points at all, making it an uphill battle for them to even reach the semi-finals, as only one 2nd placed team in all Pools will go through to the semi-finals with the 3 respective Pool winners.

Day 3 of the tournament is on Tuesday 10 June.

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New ZealandSouth AfricaJunior All Blacks (17) 24 / 33 (14) Junior Springboks (Final Score)

New Zealand Under 20 and South Africa Under 20 did battle in the 2014 Junior World Championships at

QBE Stadium, Albany, Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.


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Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

Jesse & Dan Kriel with Dawie Theron

Powerfully built twins Jesse and Dan Kriel will play alongside each other in the midfield for the Baby Boks against the New Zealand Under 20’s.

Injury to four players has forced Theron to reshuffle his match 23 after the Junior Boks scored a convincing 61-5 win over Scotland.

Midfielders Rohan Janse van Rensburg (ankle), Andre Esterhuizen (head blow) and flank Jacques Vermeulen (ankle) were all ruled out of selection because of injuries sustained against the Scots.

On Thursday, Golden Lions hooker Malcolm Marx was also ruled out of action for several weeks after he had suffered a knee injury during a training session.

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IRB JWC 2014The IRB Junior World Championships are underway in New Zealand.

Rugby-Talk will update the Fixtures and Results on a regular basis.

The Tournament started on 2 June 2014 and will run till 20 June 2014.

As expected, the “Big Guns” all started with wins on the 1st day of the Tournament.

Day 2 of the tournament is on Friday 6 June.

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EnglandAn under-strength England squad arrived in New Zealand Thursday, with coach Stuart Lancaster rejecting suggestions his weakened side faces a “Tour from Hell” against the world champion All Blacks.

Lancaster had to leave up to a dozen top players behind for the Premiership Final between Saracens and Northampton, meaning they will be unavailable for the opening match of the three-Test series.

“It’s not ideal when you come to play the world champions in their own back yard and you don’t have your best side available,” he told reporters in Auckland.

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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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Recent Comments

  • Bullscot 6 Oct 2015, 15:53 SAST - Should be a very even contest, hope it's a good one. Looks like the World Cup weather honeymoon is over,...
  • nortie 6 Oct 2015, 15:44 SAST - Stormersboy wrote: Some would say that this IS the best team available. Would be a brave man making this comment...
  • grootblousmile 6 Oct 2015, 15:36 SAST - 5 @ Stormersboy: Hahaha You sounds like that British car program on Discovery channel, Top Gear!! Some say, this is...
  • Stormersboy 6 Oct 2015, 14:27 SAST - Some would say that this IS the best team available.
  • rugby_only 6 Oct 2015, 11:43 SAST - I was disappointed in Veldsman when he missed Hoopers shoulder charge. In a big match like this NZ & Aus...
  • rugby_only 6 Oct 2015, 11:39 SAST - @ dWeePer: The krokke will show up against a better team. We have lagged in developing young players - now...

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