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Pumas

PumasCorné Steenkamp has put his retirement on hold and will lead the Pumas in a pre-season friendly against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Steenkamp  initially announced last year that he would call it a day after almost 150 first class game for the Pumas.

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EdinburghCarl BezuidenhoutEdinburgh Rugby have recruited 2013 Currie Cup (First Division) and Vodacom Cup winning stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout on an extended trial until the end of the season.

The 27 year-old began training with the squad at Murrayfield Stadium this morning (Monday 30 December) two months after the Pumas’ unbeaten Currie Cup First Division triumph, in which he ended the season as tournament top points’ scorer.

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The Rugby ChampionshipSANZAR have announced the draw for the 2014 Rugby Championship which will start on the 16th of August when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney.

The 2014 Super Rugby season ends on August the 2nd and then the Southern Hemisphere’s best players will get the weekend of August the 9th off and then the Rugby Championship starts a week later on the 16th.

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ItalyArgentinaItalian coach Jacques Brunel has made three changes to his starting team for their third and final year-end Test, against Argentina in Rome on Saturday.  There is also a positional switch in the backline.

In the Argentina camp, player release has forced Argentina into 5 changes for their closing tour match against Italy on Saturday from the team beaten 40-6 by Wales last weekend.

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TVFor the Springboks this is the last weekend of competative rugby in 2013, bar of course the 9 Springboks who have been chosen to represent the Barbarians next weekend.

So, apart from some HSBC Sevens action and a weekend without the Springboks next weekend, the Southern Hemisphere season is fast approaching it’s end.

Just imagine all the Northern Hemisphere rugby and all the cricket we’ll have to get by on in December and Juanuary!

So, this weekend I’m stuck in front of the TVand watching every game I possibly can.

5 Tests will be broadcast live on TV in South Africa this weekend, 1 on Friday, 3 on Saturday and the last 1 on Sunday.

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MTN LionsThe Lions have finalised their warm-up matches ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament, however there are rumours of demands and coaching demands by the Pumas, who form part of the Lions Super Rugby franchise.

These rumours want us to believe that the Pumas are insisting that their coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, has to be involved in coaching at the MTN Lions. With Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann’s coaching contract already extended and with him the designated figure to take the head coach role for the MTN Lions, this spat could easily turn ugly if the parties do not reach some compromise and consensus.

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End Of Year ToursEngland’s Wayne Barnes will referee the Boks’ final end of year Test against France in Paris on Saturday.

Barnes will be the Boks’ third northern hemisphere referee in as many matches on their tour after Ireland’s Alain Rolland took control of their 24-15 win over Wales in Cardiff, while France’s Jérôme Garcès was the man in the middle in their 28-0 victory over Scotland in Edinburgh last Sunday.

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WalesCardiff Blues centre Cory Allen is in line to make his Test debut this weekend after being named on Thursday in the starting side to play Argentina.

At the other end of the spectrum, prop Gethin Jenkins will become only the fourth player to win 100 Wales caps after Stephen Jones, Gareth Thomas and Martyn Williams when he takes the field at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

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EnglandArgentinaEngland (24) 31 / 12 (6) Pumas (Final Score)

England and the Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Twickenham, London at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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Meanwhile, other Internationals in progress at the same time, here are the scores:

Italy (10) 20 / 50 (19) Wallabies (Final Score)

Scotland (11) 42 / 17 (3) Japan (Final Score)

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ArgentinaArgentina have made five changes from the team crushed 54-17 by Australia in The Rugby Championship last month for their opening tour match against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

New coach Daniel Hourcade named a side on Tuesday with three changes in the backs and two in the forwards plus a positional switch with Julio Farias Cabello moving from lock to openside flanker.

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ArgentinaJuan Manuel LeguizamonArgentina captain Juan Manuel Leguizamon has denied there are splits in the Pumas camp ahead of this weekend’s Twickenham Test against England.

There were reports that ‘player power’ had led to the recent resignation of coach Santiago Phelan and his replacement by Daniel Hourcade.

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ABSA Currie CupHere we are, the final week of the 2013 Currie Cup season. This has been one of those seasons where we look back and say that there was never a dull moment. Some new young talent came to the party and showed us that there is still a great big future for SA Rugby.

As always every rugby supporter in South Africa has picked his or her team to support on Saturday. This is what makes the Currie Cup such a great competition. There are only two teams left and the whole of the nation has a team to support between the two. It is also in this time that people go a little crazy driving down the streets waving flags, hooting at each other, drinking and having a braai together.

So lets get to business. On Friday we will see the Pumas host the Griquas in the 2nd and last Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation game. The Pumas showed last weekend that they can cause an upset here and maybe get back into the Premier Division for 2014.

In the main event of the weekend, we see a Currie Cup Final with a familiar sight for for a second time when Western Province and The Sharks go into battle. This should be yet another epic Currie Cup Final, as most people will agree that the best two teams of this year’s Currie Cup is in the final.

Newlands Stadium in Cape Town is sold out for the occasion!

So folks, hold on to your seats… IT”S GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE!

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ABSA Currie CupSo, we find ourselves close to the end of yet another great Currie Cup season, but don’t get sad because there are still 5 big Currie Cup clashes left – 2 Promotion / Relegation matches, 2 semi-finals and the BIG Currie Cup final.

Our starter for the weekend will be a Promotion / Relegation match on Friday evening between GWK Griquas and Steval Pumas in Kimberley. This will be followed by two main courses on Saturday. The one course will be served Newlands style with a side of “big hits”, whilst the second course will be served Kings Park style with a side of “open and running rugby”. Desert will be a choice between pure bliss or extreme sadness, depending on main course selection.

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