The Eastern Province Kings’ injury list just keeps on growing as a further 6 players have been added to the ‘already injured’ list.
Knee injuries seems to be common among the EP Kings players – 5 players have already undergone surgery and will be out for a number of weeks – and lock Steven Sykes has now added his name to that list.
Aidon Davis (6 months), Gary van Aswegen (2 weeks), George Whitehead (2 months), Cameron Lindsay (9 months) and Luke Watson (pre-season) have all already had knee surgery and a call on Sykes’ availability for the final Round clash with DHL Western Province will be decided later in the week.
Other than Sykes, there are a further 5 players who emerged with injuries following their 27 / 48 defeat at the hands of the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Martin Ferreira (dead leg), Tom Botha (elbow), Dwayne Kelly (hamstring strain), Tim Whitehead (AC joint) and Luther Obi (ankle sprain) will all be treated and monitored during the week.
World Cup chiefs have banned Fiji prop Manasa Saulo for 10 weeks for stamping on the head of Wales’ player Luke Charteris.
The ban is the toughest handed out yet for an offence at the Rugby World Cup. Saulo jumped on Wales replacement Charteris during Fiji’s 23 / 13 defeat in Cardiff on Thursday.
Rugby World Cup said the offence was considered at the “top end” of the danger scale and that judicial officer Adam Casselden of Australia had considered a 4 month ban.
“However, taking into account mitigating factors including his early admission, disciplinary record, good character and remorse and the absence of any off-field aggravating factors, the player was suspended for a period of 10 weeks,” said a statement.
Springbok midfielder Jan Serfontein was sitting at home watching the England vs Wales Rugby World Cup clash this past weekend when his phone rang, changing his life altogether.
Serfontein got a call from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer telling him to ready himself for a trip to join the national team in the wake of Jean de Villiers’ injury.
Arriving late on Monday Serfontein joined the Springbok camp and depending on the injury report may well have to play this coming weekend against Scotland at St James’ Park in the Pool B showdown.
“I was surprised to get the call,” Serfontein admitted, “I was watching the Wales-England game and I got a call from coach Heyneke saying that Jean is injured and that he was considering picking me and he would only confirm it on Sunday.
“I couldn’t sleep the night and got the news on Sunday, but I’m happy to be here now and will do everything I can to contribute.”
Jean de Villiers successfully completed the 1irst step on his return to playing.
He underwent surgery on his broken jaw in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The Springbok captain was forced out of the Rugby World Cup, following an impact to his jaw in the match against Samoa last Saturday.
The 109-Test centre plans to continue playing, although he announced his international retirement following his exit.
“Jean had surgery in Cape Town this morning and the operation went well,” said Springbok team doctor, Craig Roberts.
“The fractured jaw was plated and his wisdom teeth were removed.”
De Villiers is currently recuperating at home and a decision on returning to England to support the Springbok team will be made in due course.
Fit-again Springbok centre Juan de Jongh returns to captain DHL Western Province in their crunch match against the Xerox Golden Lions.
De Jongh has been out of action since suffering an MCL injury against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in mid-August and his return to fitness is a massive boost for the defending champions ahead of the 2015 play-offs.
De Jongh will start at inside centre ahead of Huw Jones, as the WP coaching staff intends to control his game time upon his return to action.
In other changes to the line-up from the side that beat the Steval Pumas, Cheslin Kolbe, Nic Groom, Chris Cloete, Jean Kleyn and Steven Kitshoff all return to the starting 15.
Vodacom Blue Bulls hooker Bandise Maku will play in his 50th ABSA Currie Cup match for his team when they face EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The former Springbok hooker made his Blue Bulls debut way back in 2006 and after stints with the Xerox Golden Lions and Eastern Province, now reaches this milestone in his 73th career Currie Cup appearance.
Maku started in last weekend’s win over the Cell C Sharks, with coach Nollis Marais changing 1 in the pack that fronted up in Durban. RG Snyman starts at lock in his 1st run-on for the senior side, swopping places with Marvin Orie, who will play off the bench. In another change, Corniel Els is on the bench for Jaco Visagie, with the latter out with an ankle sprain.
At the back, Dries Swanepoel is back at centre, replacing Jan Serfontein who received a Rugby World Cup call-up for the Springboks.
His place on the bench will be filled by William Small-Smith.
Following injury Italian captain Sergio Parisse has returned to the Azzurri squad, ahead of their Rugby World Cup encounter with Ireland.
Parisse had a very welcome arrival at Italy’s hotel on Tuesday, when – after a wait of over 2 weeks – the team’s illustrious long-time captain finally joined up with Jacques Brunel’s squad.
While Italy played France and Canada, the 32-year-old No 8 was back home in Paris recuperating and then training under the auspices of his club side, Stade Francais, following surgery earlier in September.
On Monday he was finally given the all clear to join up with the Azzurri, and less than 24 hours later he jumped on Eurostar to whizz to London.
However, there was less good news for Leonardo Ghiraldini, the man who has led the team in Parisse’s absence, but who limped off midway through the 2nd half of Italy’s 23 / 18 win over Canada at Elland Road in Leeds last Saturday.
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).
The Brumbies have agreed to 2-year deals with 1 of Australia’s best young talents in flyhalf Nick Jooste and experienced campaigner Andrew Smith, who will return to the nation’s capital in 2016.
At the tender age of 18, Australian Schoolboy and Perth Spirit player, Jooste has already amassed quite the rugby CV, even though he is still a high school student. The Western Australian native has represented his state at Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 levels and also represented the Western Force A side against Singapore.
He was recently selected in the Australian Schools Barbarians side that took on Samoa and New Zealand.
The young flyhalf has been a member of the Hale School’s last 3 Brother Redmond Cup winning seasons, as well as captaining the side in their most recent title. Over his 3 years in the Hale 1st 15 Jooste has tallied in excess of 450 points, scoring more than 25 tries.
In 2015 Jooste has joined the Perth Spirit in the National Rugby Championship and has turned heads with his kicking game, and vision around the field.
There seems to have been so many injuries already in this tournament which is barely halfway through the group stages. One feels sorry for the players who have had their World Cup short and wish them all a speedy recovery, it just shows what an attritional game Rugby Union is.
We could theorize all day on the possible reasons for all of these injuries: too many games, players bulking up, laws not being sufficient or those that are there not sufficiently enforced, players possibly carrying injuries into the tournament. The harsh reality for those who have been ruled out is that the game involves high speed collisions of big men and they have been reduced to being spectators for the rest of the tournament as well as having to undergo a period of rehabilitation, for some this involves surgery.
Scotland lock Grant Gilchrist has been ruled out of the national team’s Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign with a groin injury.
Gilchrist sustained the soft tissue damage in the 19th minute of the national team’s 39 / 16 win over USA on Sunday, with the recovery period expected to extend beyond the competition.
Gilchrist’s replacement will be announced in due course.
South Africa’s convincing win against Samoa on Saturday evening, to put their Rugby World Cup path back on track after the shock loss to Japan the week before has come at a considerable cost, with the news that Captain Jean de Villiers has broken the other side of his jaw and will therefore head home back to South Africa and out of the tournament.
As a result of the injury, Jean de Villiers has subsequently announced his retirement from Test rugby.
The silver lining for Jean is the fact that the last time he was injured against Samoa in the Rugby World Cup of 2007, South Africa went on to win the prized title.
Jean de Villiers’ tournament ending injury:
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby World Cup after suffering a fracture to his jaw.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer described this latest injury to De Villiers as a massive setback.
Jan Serfontein has been called up and will join the squad in Newcastle on Monday. An announcement on the captaincy for the match against Scotland will be made on Wednesday.
Rugby World Cup disciplinary chiefs on Wednesday banned Argentina’s Mariano Galarza for 9 weeks, excluding him from the rest of the tournament, after an incident with New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick.
Galarza was found guilty of making “contact with the eye or eye area” of Retallick during the Pumas 26 / 16 defeat by the world champion All Blacks at Wembley on Sunday.
The giant Argentine, 28, denied the charge. He did not get the maximum sentence because of his good disciplinary record up to now.
English Premiership side Worcester Warriors have captured the signing of Springbok Wynand Olivier as their latest import.
The powerful centre joins up with his new teammates immediately ahead of Warriors’ clash with Wasps this Saturday 26 September.
Olivier has represented South Africa 38 times with his last appearance coming in June 2014 in a win over Wales.
Wales centre Cory Allen, who scored 3 of his country’s 8 tries in their Rugby World Cup opener against Uruguay, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament by a hamstring tear on Monday.
The Welsh, already rocked by injuries to key backs Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb in their final warm-up match, had 6 players added to their casualty list during Sunday’s 54 / 9 victory in Cardiff.
Allen pulled up with the injury in the 2nd half and after having scans was replaced in the squad by Tyler Morgan, who joins Scott Williams and Jamie Roberts to restore the number of specialist centres in the squad to 3.
British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies was ruled out of the tournament by a knee injury.
Wales next face England in a Twickenham clash on Saturday, which could go a long way to deciding which teams progress from Pool A, which also includes Australia and Fiji.
French coach Philippe Saint-Andre confirmed on Sunday that wing Yoann Huget is out for the rest of the Rugby World Cup after injuring his knee.
A tearful Huget was forced off during France’s 32 / 10 victory over Italy in their opening Rugby World Cup match on Saturday.
His place was taken by Castres wing Remy Grosso.
He has injured the ligaments in his right knee, Saint-Andre said in an interview.
Eastern Province Kings flank Luke Watson will have an operation for a knee contusion, with a cartilage flap on Wednesday.
The inspirational leader has been a peripheral figure for the past 2 seasons because of injury.
The EP Kings have been struggling to build momentum and Watson’s presence would have been a huge lift for the men from the windy city.
The EP Kings released their latest injury report on Monday.
Wing Siyanda Grey is the only new injury concern after the weekend’s 9 / 20 loss to the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit.
Stefan Watermeyer’s return to the Pumas team over the past 2 weeks has immediately made a positive impact to the team’s fortunes.
They put in a spirited performance against the Cell C Sharks in Durban a fortnight ago, and they managed to squeeze out a victory over the Eastern Province Kings over the weekend.
However, the inspirational captain might be out for this week’s clash against an in-form DHL Western Province at Newlands.
Watermeyer will be rested for the week with a grade 1 tear to his hamstring – he will have a final medical clearance done later this week.
Fullback Hoffmann Maritz will also wait for a medical clearance this week after he sustained a grade 1 tear of his anckle ligament.
The Brumbies have announced the signing of exciting young flanker Michael Wells to the club’s Extended Playing Squad (EPS).
A dynamic loose forward by trade, Wells was selected to the Australian Sevens Program for the 2014 / 2015 Sevens World Series. He has also represented Australian Schoolboys and Australia at the Under 20 level and played for Northern Suburbs in Sydney’s Shute Shield for the past 2 years.
The 22-year was 1st noticed by Super Rugby clubs while playing for the North Harbour Rays in the 2014 National Rugby Championship.
The St. Ignatius Riverview product can play in a number of backrow positions and will link with the Brumbies’ EPS for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Brumbies Director of Rugby Dan McKellar says Wells will be a valuable addition to next season’s squad.
Hooker Tolu Latu has committed to the Waratahs until the end of 2018, signing a 3 year contract extension with the club this month.
Latu, who has played all of his 28 Super Rugby matches with the Waratahs, said he was pleased to be able to continue his career in his home state.
“I’m really happy to be able to stay here with the Waratahs, it’s an exciting time to be at the club,” he said.
“It will be great to play under Daryl as head coach, and I’m really looking forward to working with him and Cam Blades in the coming seasons.
The Waratahs have confirmed the signing of former All Black Zac Guildford for the 2016 Super Rugby season on a short-term contract for 10 months.
Guildford will commence his time with the Waratahs at the conclusion of the New Zealand ITM Cup tournament, where he is contracted to the Hawke’s Bay Magpies.
Head Coach Daryl Gibson said the signing of 26 year-old Guildford would provide an instant solution to the loss of a number of senior players at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
“There were a few reasons we opted to sign Zac, not having 3 of our starting outside backs in Ashley-Cooper, Naiyaravoro, and Betham was a big drain on experience in the backs,” Gibson said.
“We’ve got some excellent young emerging prospects in the squad, like Andrew Kellaway, Henry Clunies-Ross, and Harry Jones – all of whom will be quality players given time – but I felt like I needed a ready-made player who has been proven at Super Rugby level.
Gibson acknowledged that Guildford would face a challenging environment to earn the respect of his teammates at the Waratahs following a tumultuous few years in professional rugby.
The Reds have announced the signature of St.George Illawarra Dragons Fijian winger Eto Nabuli for 2 years.
The 27-year-old grew up playing the 15-man code in Sigatoka, Fiji, but has played Rugby League in Australia for the past 3 years – playing 13 games for the Dragons in 2015.
Nabuli is an imposing figure standing at 1.97m and weighing 108kg. He has experienced a rapid rise in his professional career. In 2013 he was named in the NSW Cup Team of the Year after scoring 29 tries in his 1st season.
In 2014 he made his international Rugby League debut for Fiji and starred for the Panthers in their 2014 NSW Cup Grand Final win over Newcastle. He then signed a 1-year contract with the Dragons to play in the NRL in 2015 – scoring 7 tries in 13 games.
Eben Etzebeth remains the only worry for the Springboks as they head into their opening week of this year’s Rugby World Cup.
While the Springboks have been trying to downplay the extent of the big lock’s calf injury ahead of Saturday’s opening game against Japan in Brighton, Dr Craig Roberts confirmed that he is still on track to make a comeback against the Japanese squad, but that a decision would only be taken later in the week.
Etzebeth remains the only injury worry in the 31-man squad and has had injury problems before, but while the medical team has ruled this a grade 1 injury, and therefore not too serious, the question will remain as to how fit he is at the moment.
Dr Roberts believes he should be ready, but the question remains, if he cannot take part in training on Monday and Tuesday, whether he should be risked in the opening game?
A lot of that will come down to what coach Heyneke Meyer wants, especially after he indicated that there are 1 or 2 players “who need a little bit more work” and therefore might not play this coming week.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse has declared himself unfit for the opening Rugby World Cup clash against France at Twickenham next week.
The 31-year-old Argentine-born No 8, capped 112 times by Italy and their star player, has not fully recovered after undergoing surgery to drain a hematoma last Monday.
He picked up the injury, a swelling of clotted blood, in a muscle in his left leg in Italy’s World Cup warm-up defeat to Wales in Cardiff last weekend.
The Italian federation initially said Parisse would not meet up with the Italy team in Rome on Saturday, but would instead link up “at a later date” in England.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel played down Parisse’s absence, but admitted the experienced Stade Francais player, considered 1 of the world’s best in his position, would be missed.
Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre for the Vodacom Blue Bulls when they take on the Xerox Golden Lions in an ABSA Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Serfontein earns a 1st start in the competition and teams up with Dries Swanepoel in the midfield, swopping places with Burger Odendaal, who moves to the bench.
Prop Dean Greyling is also fit again following a knee strain and he slots back into the starting line-up, replacing Pierre Schoeman, who swings back into Under 21 action. It will be Greyling’s 50th appearance for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the ABSA Currie Cup competition.
Another player returning is Werner Kruger, who will play off the bench and replaces Dayan van der Westhuizen, with the young prop also moving back to the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21’s.
In the 3rd change to the squad that fronted up against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs last weekend, Deon Stegmann returns from a cheekbone injury in place of Jannes Kirsten.
All Blacks international Charles Piutau signed a 1-season contract with English Premiership club Wasps on Thursday after the being left out of his country’s squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Piutau will join Celtic League side Ulster next July, but they aren’t able to include him in their squad for this current campaign as their foreign allocation is full.
And when the 23-year-old missed out on a place in the All-Blacks’ final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup, which gets underway next week, Piutau opted to play for Wasps in 2015 – 2016.
Former Australian international prop Salesi Ma’afu could face jail after French prosecutors on Tuesday requested an 8-month prison sentence and a € 1 500.00 fine for an alleged assault.
The 32-year-old Toulon player, capped 14 times, is believed to have been involved in a heated argument over a parking place on 16 August and to have hit someone who attempted to intervene.
Ma’afu has not sparkled in pre-season friendlies since he joined the 3-time European champions from English side Northampton, and only came on for the last half hour of the opening day defeat to Racing-Metro.
Eastern Province Kings fullback Hansie Graaff was suspended for 1 match, after being found guilty of striking an opponent in their Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last Saturday.
As a result of the sanction he will miss the EP King’s next match against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse is in a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup after undergoing surgery to drain a hematoma.
The charismatic No 8 returned to the National side last weekend in a warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff but sustained a knock to his left leg in the 19 / 23 defeat.
The surgery took place in Paris where the 31-year-old Argentine-born flank had a swelling of clotted blood drained.
Further details on his expected absence would be revealed following tests “in the coming days”.
Hooker Daniel du Plessis suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon whilst playing for the DHL Western Province Under 21 team at DHL Newlands. However, on Monday Du Plessis began to show a steady improvement which is a very positive sign for a full recovery.
Daniel Mills du Plessis – who turned 20 on 24 February 2015 – collapsed on the field during Saturday’s ABSA Provincial Under 21 encounter between DHL WP and the Leopards and he stopped breathing. He was immediately attended to by the DHL Western Province Under 21 medical team and, together with paramedics from ER24, he was resuscitated on the field and further stabilised in the stadium medical room by the stadium specialists.
Once stable, Daniel was immediately transferred by ambulance to the ICU at Vincent Pallotti Hospital. He was put in an induced coma and ventilated on Saturday night. After a steady improvement and excellent specialist care, he has come off the ventilator and is now sitting up and talking.
He still has a recovery period ahead, and the cause of his heart arrest remains unknown, but his steady improvement is a very positive sign for a full recovery.
Warren Whiteley (calf) will not be available for selection for the game against the Blue Bulls on Saturday.
Julian Redelinghuys has a chest injury and will miss training on Monday and Tuesday. He will have to pass a late fitness test on Thursday to play at the weekend.
Martin Muller (ankle) may be available for selection if he passes a fitness test scheduled for Thursday.
Stokkies Hanekom (jaw) should be available for selection but no contact Monday and Tuesday.
Anthony Volmink is out with concussion.
Jaco van der Walt (chest) should be available for selection but no contact Monday and Tuesday.
Springboks Deon Stegmann and Dean Greyling are fit again and will be considered for the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ ABSA Currie Cup match against the Xerox Golden Lions on Saturday.
Stegmann (cheek) missed the last 3 and Greyling (knee) the last match of the team’s campaign.
Utility back and former Springbok Sevens player, Ryan Nell, has also been cleared following a knee operation and will be considered.
Another player returning from injury is Duncan Matthews. The winger had a knee operation earlier in the season and will do selective training this week.
4 Players involved in Saturday’s win over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Marvin Orie (chest), Travis Ismail (ribs) and RG Snyman (contusion) will train Tuesday, while Tian Snyman (calf) will only be back on the field Thursday, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.
DHL Western Province have been boosted by the availability of prop Oli Kebble and flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe as they prepare to face the Cell C Sharks in a Currie Cup clash in Durban on Saturday.
Kebble (hamstring) was sidelined for WP’s last 2 matches, while Notshe (AC joint) missed last weekend’s 33 / 15 win over ORC Griquas at Newlands.
Both players were back at training on Monday will be available for selection this week.
Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who had been sidelined in recent weeks by a finger injury, is also back at training and may be considered.
Following Saturday’s narrow win over Italy, Wales have now been hit by the news and reality that Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb are out of the Rugby Wolrd Cup, their injuries serious enough to keep them out of the tournament in total.
Leigh Halfpenny suffered torn right knee ligaments in a warm-up match against Italy at the weekend.
DHL Western Province look set to lose their 2nd captain this Currie Cup season.
Juan de Jongh is still a long term concern after the knee injury he picked up mid-August against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, and now Nizaam Carr faces a spell on the sidelines too.
The WP No 8 left the field towards the end of the 1st half in his side’s eventual 33 / 15 win over ORC Griquas at Newlands on Saturday, and coach John Dobson confirmed after the match that his skipper was doubt for next weekend’s trip to the Cell C Sharks.
“Very much so,” was his response when asked if Carr was now in doubt for the Sharks game.