Never can a nightmare have turned good as quickly as Adam Ashe’s. He spent almost the entire season fighting a recurring hamstring injury and though he did recover in time to win the chance to go training at the Canterbury International High Performance unit in Christchurch, New Zealand, everything was in reality geared to trying to make an impression next season.
He has not had to wait that long for his chance. Even though he had hardly played any rugby during the Scottish season and had managed only 36 minutes of pro play as a replacement for Glasgow, he has been propelled from the fringes of the game to centre stage as the starting No 8 against South Africa.
The magnitude of the step up is huge. For example, among the Springbok back row is Schalk Burger. Ashe was just ten when Burger started playing for South Africa in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, scarcely any older when Burger won the World Player of the Year award. No wonder that, with his strong ball carrying and kamikaze tackling style, Burger was one of teenage Ashe’s heroes.
Adam Ashe, the 20-year-old Glasgow Warriors No 8, will become the seventh new cap of Scotland’s summer tour when he takes to the field against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Ashe, a product of the Hillfoots and Stirling County clubs, was preparing for club training at Lincoln University in Christchurch one week ago, having been domiciled for a couple of months in New Zealand’s South Island as recipient of the John Macphail Scholarship.
Others have graduated to full international honours and have cited the “invaluable” experience the scholarship has bequeathed them, for example, John Barclay, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray and Kevin Bryce.
The match is played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST, 15:00 GMT.
Scotland head to South Africa this week on the final leg of what has been an arduous tour which has seen them play games in the USA, Canada and Argentina.
They set out with two squads selected for the tour, one which contained players for the North America leg and one for the Southern Hemisphere leg with some players there for the whole tour. There have been various changes made on the way though and now the Glasgow Warriors trio of Tyrone Holmes, Adam Ashe and Euan Murray have been added to the squad for the final test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Maybe it’s fitting that the South African leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament of 2013 / 2014 takes place a couple of days after the passing of the world’s biggest ever statesman, Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) at the stadium named in his honor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
It is the last sevens action in the HSBC Sevens World series of 2013.
The South African Blitzbokke will be eager to tribute this tournament to Madiba.
We bring you all you need to know about the 16 teams who will be vying for top honours in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
The South African Blitzbokke and the other 15 international teams participating in this weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens arrived at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Monday evening.
The 16 teams arrived on two flights from Johannesburg, with the second flight about half an hour after the first flight.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament marks the last leg of the 2013 part of the 2013 / 2014 HSBC Sevens World series, to be resumed well into 2014.
The HSBC Sevens World Series was in South Africa this weekend, with the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament, the last Sevens tournament on the circuit for 2012.
New Zealand took the spoils after beating the South African Blitzbokke 12 / 5 in the Semi-final and thumping France 47 / 12 in the Final.
It was a better weekend for the men from South Africa though, getting through the pool stages unbeaten, also winning the Quarter final against the USA, but then stumbling against New Zealand, by only 7 points. South Africa demolished Argentina in the 3rd Place play-off, beating them by 35 / 0.
Port Elizabeth – Alex Goode and Thomas Waldrom will make their first starts for England in the third and final Test against South Africa after coach Stuart Lancaster named a side containing six changes on Thursday.
There may be an upside in that the depth of his squad will now be tested in a dead-rubber test, but Heyneke Meyer’s plans to use the final match against England at Nelson Mandela Stadium as a build-up or dress-rehearsal for The Rugby Championship look set to be disrupted.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is confident his side can bounce back to winning ways in Saturday’s third and final Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
Whilst the backline has a familiar ring to it, there a couple of surprises in the pack and on the bench.
This is the 2nd last warm-up game the Lions will play prior to the start of Super Rugby 2012, the next being a warm-up against the Cheetahs this weekend.
The Third Tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011 / 2012, known as the Nelson Mandela BaySouth Africa Rugby Sevens tournament played on 9 and 10 December 2011.
This week the tournament was in OUR back yard, the first games started at 11:37 on 9 December 2011, SA Time. We only had a lively general Discussion Article and not a Live Article with Score Updates as the games proceed.
This was exactly that, the Discussion Article, here you will find all the scores.
While rugby supporters in the Eastern Cape are eagerly awaiting the first SA Sevens tournament to be staged in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium next month, the South African Rugby Union has urged those fans without tickets to book their seats so that they don’t miss out on the most exciting rugby event to be staged in the region.
The Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens will take place on 9-10 December and fans can enjoy the action for as little as R80 on the first day and R100 on the final day.
No matter which way you paint this, SA Rugby lacks leadership. Continue reading