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Player Movements

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MacGyverIn the 1980′s people sat spellbound in front of their television screens watching a show called MacGyver. Every week the hero would somehow find himself in a predicament and escape using sparse items in the process.

It would seem as if Blue Bulls loosehead prop MacGyver Dean Greyling has lived up to his name this week after he was suspended for only one week when he was found guilty of foul play in the Currie Cup match between the Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions on Saturday 9 August in Johannesburg.

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Brad Thorn

Brad Thorn: Still going strong at 39

Leicester Tigers have confirmed the arrival of World Cup-winning former All Black second row Brad Thorn.

39-year-old New Zealander was referred to by Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill as “one of the great all-time rugby players the world has ever seen.” He is expected at the club at the end of September.

Thorn became the first player to win World Cup, Super Rugby and Heineken Cup titles and arrives from the Highlanders having previously represented the Crusaders and Leinster.

“He is a very driven individual,” Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

“He wants to play in the Premiership and he wants to win the Premiership.”

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Francois Steyn

Frans Steyn wil nie n “GELDJAGTER” genoem word nie.

​”Ek is nie ’n kind nie.”

Só het Frans Steyn glo op die laaste krisisvergadering tussen hom en die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) gesê voordat hy opgestaan, uitgeloop en die Springbok-groep vaarwel geroep het.

Dit was nadat meer as een vergadering tussen hom en SARU oor sy terugkeer uit Frankryk skipbreuk gely het.

SARU het aanvanklik in 2012 skriftelik ingestem om Steyn se kontrak met ’n Franse bemarkingsmaatskappy uit te koop sodat hy weer heeltyds vir Suid-Afrika beskikbaar kon wees. SARU het die paaiemente daarvoor stiptelik betaal – tot in Januarie 2013 toe betalings skielik eensydig gestaak is.

 

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Warren Whiteley

Warren Whiteley

New Springbok call-up Warren Whiteley could well find himself playing a bigger part in this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship game than he thought as injury concerns followed the Boks en route to Argentina.

Already gearing themselves up for a tough match in Salta this weekend, the Boks will need to take all the positives out of their performance in the monsoon rain at Loftus and turn it around to ensure a second victory over Los Pumas in a fixture they have traditionally struggled in.

Whiteley was a last minute call-up before the Loftus game when Willem Alberts went down to a hamstring injury, and has been called up as cover for loose forward and no8 – something hat Alberts was also the back-up to.

Whiteley’s prowess in the loose, his natural roving ability and his lineout options he provides the team will weigh heavily on coach Heyneke Meyer’s mind as he uses the short week to plan for the assault that is waiting for the Boks in Salta.

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Free State CheetahsThe Cheetahs have paid the price for a bruising win against the Griquas on Saturday with Luan de Bruin, Elgar Watts and Johannes “Boom” Prinsloo looking set to miss their clash against the Sharks.

The Free State Stadium turned into a minor battlefield on Saturday with medical teams having to stretcher players off on more than one occasion.

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Scarra Ntubeni

Scarra Ntubeni

DHL Western Province has been rocked by the loss of hooker Scarra Ntubeni ahead of their first home Absa Currie Cup match of the season against the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday.

Ntubeni was set to replace Tiaan Liebenberg, who is out with a back injury, in the team that beat the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week. However, according to coach Allister Coetzee, Ntubeni injured a calf in training and has been forced to withdraw from the team at the 11th hour.

“Unfortunately Scarra picked up a calf injury at training on Tuesday and it has subsequently been confirmed that he will be out for a minimum of 14 days,” said Coetzee.

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French Top 14The 2014 / 2015 season of Top 14, France’s premier rugby competition, kicks off tomorrow as reported earlier today here on rugby-talk.com. In this day of professional rugby we have become accustomed to the movement of many players between clubs and in a way rugby has seemed to catch up with football regarding the whole transfer market business. For many years we have been used to the constant speculation of football players changing clubs and the rumours about the exorbitant transfer fees and players salaries abound.

Rugby still has some way to go on the financial front to get anywhere near the world’s biggest sport – for example a £75 million price tag has been thrown about in the move of disgraced striker Louis Suarez from Liverpool to Barcelona. However, in terms of sheer volume of players and coaching staff moving about things are advancing at an ever-increasing rate.

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Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

The Lions have been dealt a huge blow with Springbok flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff ruled out of the entire Currie Cup season with a fractured arm.

The Lions, against all injury odds, put on the performance of the opening round when they defeated the Bulls 41-13 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

However, coach Johan Ackermann will have more injury headaches other than Boshoff who is due to undergo surgery on Monday and is expected to be out for 12 weeks.

Both Anthony Volmink (shoulder) and Lloyd Greeff (knee) are also expected to be out of action for the remainder of the Currie Cup tournament.

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Jacques Du Plessis

Jacques Du Plessis

Blue Bulls loose forward Jacques du Plessis has recovered from his broken jaw and will be available for selection for the remainder of the Currie Cup.

Du Plessis trained on Monday, as a small numbers of players sat out with minor ailments.

Sampie Mastriet (hip contusion) and JJ Engelbrecht (rib contusion) will again train on Tuesday, but prop Dean Greyling will have to pass a fitness test on Thursday is he is to play against Western Province on Saturday in Cape Town.

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Hosea Gear

Hosea Gear

Former All Blacks wing Hosea Gear is quitting northern hemisphere rugby and heading to the Chiefs in a bid to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Gear, 30, has signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs to play in next year’s Super Rugby competition as he makes a bid to return to the international stage and challenges again for a World Cup wing spot.

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Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

The Golden Lions’ comprehensive 41-13 defeat of the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday could prove costly after star flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff left the field with an arm injury.

“We are a bit concerned but we don’t want to jump to conclusions before he’s had his scans,” Lions coach Johan Ackermann said after the match.

“Jaco van der Walt (replacement) is a talented player but obviously Marnitz is also a match winner and it will be a big loss if he is out.”

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AustraliaProp Paddy Ryan and uncapped winger Tom English have been added to the Wallabies Rugby Championship squad, with hamstring injuries set to rule out Laurie Weeks and Joe Tomane for the first two matches against New Zealand.

Both injuries are considered relatively minor, with Weeks and Tomane each expected to be out for two to three weeks.

However, that would be long enough to rule them out of the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup games against New Zealand in Sydney next Saturday and in Auckland the following weekend.

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Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

After much speculation in the media the Highlanders are happy to announce today that Aaron Smith has re-signed with the Highlanders for two more years through to the end of the Super Rugby season in 2016.

Smith said “I love living and playing rugby in Dunedin, it’s my home and I couldn’t think of a better place to be.”

“I love the team and can’t wait to get back out on the field in front of our home fans in 2015”.

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Golden LionsThe Golden Lions have announced the signing of centre Howard Mnisi from Griquas on an 18-month contract.

According to the Lions’ official website, the centre linked up with theGolden Lions squad last week, however his contract was only finalised on Wednesday.

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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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Solomoni Rasolea

Solomoni Rasolea

Utility back Solomoni Rasolea has become the latest player to commit to the Western Force by signing a two-year contract extension.

The 23-year-old’s re-signing continues the Force’s retention run that has already seen Nathan Charles, Dane Haylett-Petty, Rory Walton and Chris Alcock re-commit to the Western Australian club in the past 10 days.

Rasolea has been a regular face in the Force’s match 23 over the past two seasons since joining the Force from the Australian Sevens side.

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Hawies Fourie

Hawies Fourie

Griquas coach Hawies Fourie has rewarded the squad which earned Currie Cup qualification by retaining much of the team for the Sharks clash at GWK Park on Saturday.

The Kimberley-based side regained their status after ending the qualifying round undefeated.

“Now that we are once again part of the Currie Cup, we don’t just want to be a number. We want to be a real contender in the competition and we hope to use the momentum that we got form the qualifiers to achieve just that,” Fourie said.

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Colin Slade

Colin Slade, drafted into the All Blacks squad to replace Dan Carter, who is injured.

Colin Slade has been called into the All Blacks as injury cover for Dan Carter.

Carter fractured the fibula bone in his right leg during last weekend’s Super Rugby final loss to the Waratahs in Sydney and would be sidelined for one month. He would miss at least the first two Bledisloe Cup tests.

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Juan Smith

Juan Smith

Experienced international forward Juan Smith has been drafted into the Springbok squad preparing for The Rugby Championship.

Smith was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007 and boasts 69 Test caps. He will join the squad in Johannesburg as replacement following confirmation that Victor Matfield will miss the opening Test of The Rugby Championship against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday 16 August.

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield is suffering from a small tear in a cartilage after being sent for scans on Tuesday morning after feeling some discomfort in his knee at training on Monday.

He was seen by an orthopaedic specialist in Pretoria and will be unavailable for the Test against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday 16 August.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe

Two members of the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship squad, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe, have been released to play in the opening round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division for DHL Western Province on Friday evening.

Both players are returning from long-term injuries and will be allowed some game time for WP to ease them back into the game.

Etzebeth’s last game was in November 2013, for the Springboks against France in Paris, where he picked up a foot injury. Malherbe has been out for more than three months with concussion.

“Following medical assessments and consultation between our medical team and those of the various provinces, it was decided to release Eben and Frans for this weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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Caylib Oosthuizen

Caylib Oosthuizen

Coenie Oosthuizen

Coenie Oosthuizen

Coenie and Caylib Oosthuizen will not be available for the Cheetahs’ first Currie Cup match against the Pumas on Saturday in Nelspruit.

More scrum worries come in the form of Johannes Roux, who injured his arm against the EP Kings in a a warm match last Friday – he sat out of training on Monday.

It is hoped that Roux will be fit to play on Saturday, with the Free Staters looking thin in the front row.

With both Oosthuizens out and Trevor Nyakane with the Springboks, coach Rory Duncan looks set to blood some youngsters.

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Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks will start the defence of the Absa Currie Cup title they won last year feeling the effects of having gone further than all the other teams in the recently completed Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Apart from the fact that they’ve lost more players to the Springboks than most, plus a few players have headed overseas, the Sharks arrived back in Durban after their Super Rugby semifinal loss to the Crusaders with injuries in areas they can ill afford it.

Both locks, Stephan Lewies and Etienne Oosthuizen, have injuries that make them doubtful starters for Saturday’s domestic competition opener against Griquas in Kimberley. Assistant coach Sean Everitt has given the pair’s chances of playing as 50 / 50, with the problem being that there isn’t too much available back-up now that the strong and abrasive Anton Bresler has headed overseas.

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Dan Carter

Dan Carter

All Black flyhalf Dan Carter will be sidelined for at least half of New Zealand’s Rugby Championship campaign after cracking a fibula in last weekend’s Super Rugby Final.

Carter left the field during the Crusaders’ 32-33 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney after an injury to his lower leg, which the franchise said was a hairline crack to the bone which would need at least four weeks to heal.

“A scan has revealed a small crack in his upper fibula. The size of the crack meant it was not originally picked up by an X-ray and required a scan to locate it,” the Crusaders said.

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Ryan Kankowski

Ryan Kankowski

Ryan Kankowski’s former agent has launched a lawsuit against the Sharks player for a claim of R 340 000.00 in commission allegedly due.

In 2010, Touch Sports Management launched a High Court action in Durban against the No 8 to recover the money it claimed he owed.

However, nothing came out of it with the matter being postponed indefinitely. Now it has come out that the parties have agreed to take the arbitration route, according to Touch Sports Management lawyer Riaan Venter.

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Tatafu Polota-Nau

Tatafu Polota-Nau

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie will be sweating over the availability of Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.

The burly, all-action No 2 is the major casualty of the Tahs’ historic Super Rugby crown.

Polota-Nau limped off just after half-time in the Waratahs’ tense 33-32 win over the Crusaders in the Super Rugby Final in Sydney at the weekend.

Tahs coach Michael Cheika suspected the hooker had a medial ligament tear, which could rule him out of the Bledisloe Cup / Rugby Championship opener in a fortnight.

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Jacques Potgieter

Ripping in: Waratahs forward Jacques Potgieter crashes into a teammate at training during the week.

The day the Waratahs wrapped up the minor premiership was the day Jacques Potgieter decided to tell his old club he was not interested.

The Bulls were having a chronic case of the Joni Mitchells – “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. They had let Potgieter go after two seasons and watched him go from strength to damaging strength with a team that appreciated his skill set.

Now they wanted him back. Immediately. For three years.

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Brok Harris

Juan ‘Brok’ Harris

Stormers and Western Province prop Brok Harris’s departure to Newport Gwent Dragons has been confirmed.

The Welsh club confirmed on their official website that the 29-year-old has penned a 3-year deal.

The experienced front row forward has made over 90 appearances for the Stormers since making his debut in 2007 and boasts more than 100 appearances for Western Province.

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BathBath Rugby are looking to sign Will Genia from Queensland Reds, having already snared Sam Burgess from National Rugby League club South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It was reported in June that Bath had been linked with Genia, but now the reporting is that the club has made “an audacious bid” to sign the Wallabies scrum-half and is “now in talks… to lure him to England after next year’s World Cup”.

Bath owner Bruce Craig said in June that he had “already signed some players for post-World Cup going into what we consider our 150th year, which is the 2015-16 season”, but he did not name names.

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CJ van der Linde

CJ van der Linde

Former Springbok prop CJ van der Linde may end off his career by joining the legion of South Africans at Heineken Cup champions Toulon.

While it was widely reported that Van der Linde had joined up with the EP Kings for the upcoming Absa Currie Cup season, French newspaper Midi Olympique now reports that the journeyman has signed a two-year contract with Toulon to play in the European season.

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Conrad Hoffmann

Brumbies scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann has returned to play for the Sharks in this year’s Currie Cup, the Durban team announced via their official website.

The 26-year-old played for the Sharks between 2011 and 2012 after joining from Western Province.

His career was hampered by injuries before getting a lifeline at the Brumbies this year. However, a lack of game time at the Australian side has seen Hoffmann return to the Sharks ahead of the Currie Cup season.

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