SA Rugby

South AfricaIf South Africa are to win this year’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship, then quick ball from the breakdown is non-negotiable.

The Boks have made it clear that they want to speed up their play during this year’s competition, not slow it down as they have in the past.

The biggest problem is that their catalyst, their general in exercising their play in this regard, talisman Fourie du Preez, is injured and unavailable, bringing a heavy burden on the three halfbacks in the squad to produce the goods.

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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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South AfricaDamian de Allende will make his Springbok debut next to returning national captain Jean de Villiers when South Africa open their Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Kick-Off is at 17:00 SA Time.

De Villiers is one of three returning Springboks who played no part in the Castle Lager Incoming Series because of injury. The others are Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth, who have both been selected on the bench.

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Daniel Hourcade

Argentina coach, Daniel Hourcade

Argentina have retained just two players from their last starting line-up when they named a near full-strength side for their opening match of the Rugby Championship against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Injured winger Juan Imhoff is the only major absentee from the squad named on Thursday by new coach Daniel Hourcade, who had rested most of his first-choice selections for the June Tests against Ireland and Scotland.

Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and winger Manuel Montero are the only players retained from the side that lost 21-19 to Scotland in Cordoba in their last Test on 20 June.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made just one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup meeting with the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands (kick-off 14:05 SA Time).

The only change to the DHL WP line-up sees Stephan Coetzee named in the No.2 jersey, in his first start at this level, with the injured Tiaan Liebenberg (back) dropping out this week.

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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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Xerox Golden LionsGolden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has opted for consistency in naming his side to play the EP Kings in a Currie Cup Premier division match this weekend

Ackermann has made just one enforced change in the run on 15, where youngster Jaco vd Walt starts at Fly Half in place of injured Springbok Marnitz Boshoff.

On the bench Ackermann has included Sevens Bok Kwagga Smith who, if he gets onto the field will make his Currie Cup debut.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014Canada will face former champions England in the final of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 on Sunday at the Stade Jean Bouin after they enjoyed contrasting semi-final victories in the French capital.

England booked their place in a sixth Women’s Rugby World Cup final after an emphatic 40-7 victory over first-time semi-finalists Ireland, the Red Roses finally producing the all-round performance they had been craving.

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Patrick Lambie

Patrick Lambie

Cell C Sharks Coach Brad Macleod-Henderson has stuck largely with the same team that defeated Griquas for this Friday night’s ABSA Currie Cup clash against the Pumas at Growthpoint Kings Park.

“We’ve taken a lot of confidence out of our away win last week and we’re very excited about being back home, it’s fantastic to play at Growthpoint Kings Park,” he explains.

The big news is the surprise availability of Pat Lambie who has been released to the Cell C Sharks to get some game time under the belt (much like the case of Eben Etzebeth who represented Western Province last weekend). He will play off the bench with Fred Zeilinga looking to put in the same kind of dominant performance he delivered last week.

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Oregan Hoskin

Oregan Hoskin

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has reportedly broken a confidentiality clause after CEO Jurie Roux was shown a forensic report which implicates him in fraud.

According to reports, this comes after SARU president Oregan Hoskins promised not to show the report, which belongs to the University of Stellenbosch, to any party.

The university had requested the forensic investigation after suspicious transactions between the Maties Rugby Club and the university were found.

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Frans Ludeke

Coach under siege: Frans Ludeke

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named fit-again flank Jacques du Plessis in his starting line-up to face DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

This round two match in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division will see two new faces in the Blue Bulls starting pack that lost their season opener against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.

Du Plessis comes in at flank after recovering from a broken jaw sustained in a pre-season match, with Jono Ross moving to no 8 and replacing Jacques Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench with Wiaan Liebenberg dropping out of the match 22.

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CheetahsIs there something brewing in the corridors of the Free State Rugby Union?

Remember that one of the reasons Adriaan Strauss gave for taking the offer at the Bulls was due to the fact that he and the board of the Free State Rugby could not come to an agreement regarding an independent audit.

According to Volksblad, the breakdown in negotiations is said to have surrounded a clause involving an independent investigation into Cheetahs rugby.

While Strauss had advocated that a fresh perspective was required to move the team forward, the move was refused by the Cheetahs.

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Derick Minnie

“Cheers vir eers!” Derick Minnie op pad vorentoe Saterdag teen die Bloubulle op Ellispark.

Niemand wil dit hard sê nie, maar almal weet dit: Suid-Afrikaanse rugby is in die #2%$.

Vir diegene wat onlangs uit ’n diep slaap uit ontwaak het, hier is die feite: Net een Suid-Afrikaanse span kon dit tot in ’n Super Rugby semi-finaal maak. En daar het hulle ook in die pomp geduik. Die ander klomp – die Bulle, Stormers, Leeus en Cheetahs het redelik swak gedoen.

Hoe kan ’n land soos Suid-Afrika, wat meer spelers as Nieu-Seeland en Australië saam het, so sleg uit die bus uit bliksem?

Om daardie vraag te beantwoord, moet ons teruggaan tot ons terugkeer tot internasionale rugby in 1992.

Dan sal ons sien dat ons intussen nooit pasaangeërs was nie. Nie met taktiek nie en nie met afrigting nie.

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Craig Roberts

Dr Craig Roberts

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been given a massive boost with the news that he should be able to pick as close to his strongest side for this weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

Team doctor Craig Roberts cleared props Frans Malherbe, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and lock Eben Etzebeth for action and crucially also gave captain Jean de Villiers the all-clear to play this weekend after spending the last few months on the sidelines with injury.

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Panic StationThe Vodacom Blue Bulls are already in crisis mode – and it’s only the first round of the Absa Currie Cup season.

Coach Frans Ludeke called in the players to Loftus Versfeld on Sunday night for an emergency meeting – following their humiliating 41-13 opening loss to the Xerox Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday – where players were read the riot act.

Following a disappointing Vodacom Super Rugby season, and this start to a much-vaunted Currie Cup campaign, the players were told to either shape up or ship out as Ludeke vented his anger after the loss.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

The question to be asked is: How does Heyneke Meyer compare with South Africa’s most successful coaches?

For this exercise, I decided to take two former coaches – the World Cup-winner, Jake White and Nick Mallett, who is currently the co-holder of the record for most consecutive Test victories – to draw a comparison with Meyer’s first two years in the hotseat.

The cold statistics will tell us only part of the story, but it is certainly important that we take them into account – or at least use it as a starting point.

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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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WP RugbyTiaan Liebenberg’s back problem has flared up again but that blow to DHL Western Province’s build-up to Saturday’s north/south Absa Currie Cup showdown with the Vodacom Blue Bulls has been offset by the news that as many as six top players will be returning to action this week.

Scarra Ntubeni is among those that will be assessed on Monday, and he will be an obvious replacement for Liebenberg at hooker should he be declared fit. Liebenberg is to undergo a scan to assess the severity of his injury but he will definitely miss the Bulls game.

The other players coming back into the system are Rynhardt Elstadt, who has been out since the early stages of Super Rugby, Brok Harris, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute and Ruan Botha. The latter should come in at No 5 lock, with Manuel Carizza moving to the front of the lineout as Eben Etzebeth will be the with the Boks this week.

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Jimmy Stonehouse

Jimmy Stonehouse

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has praised his team’s intensity in their surprise 28-21 victory over the Free State Cheetahs at the Mbombela Stadium after a long time out of the Currie Cup Premier Division.

The Pumas were playing their first game in the top flight since 2011, but they out-scored the Cheetahs by three tries to two and were worthy winners on the opening weekend of Currie Cup action.

“It was our first game up in the Premier Division and the players were obviously a bit tense, but the intensity was brilliant and the guys refused to lay down,” Stonehouse said.

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Brad Macleod-Henderson

Brad Macleod-Henderson

Cell C Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson is happy with his side’s victory over Griquas in round one of this year’s Currie Cup competition with the Durban-based outfit besting the Peacock Blues 31-24 in closely contested affair in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors enjoyed a comfortable lead of 18-3 at half-time after Griquas centre Jonathan Francke was shown a Red Card in the seventh minute for a dangerous tackle.

It left the Sharks with one man over on attack as well as defence but, in the end, they had to work hard to best a motivated home side.

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Rory Arnold

Brumbies recruit Rory Arnold, the tallest player in Super Rugby.

If you thought NSW Watarahs and Australian Wallabies battering ram Will Skelton was big, meet ACT Brumbies recruit Rory Arnold, the tallest player in Super Rugby.

The 208cm, 130kg lock created huge headlines last year after being involved in an alleged biting incident in South Africa, but Arnold is determined to make a big impact at the Brumbies for the right reasons.

While man mountain Skelton weighs in at 140kg, at 203cm he can’t match Arnold, who is equal in height with former South African player Andries Bekker. They are the tallest players in Super Rugby’s 19-year history.

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World Club 7'sThomond Park showcased an action packed day of world-class rugby at the inaugural Limerick World Club 7′s with the Munster 7′s team topping their group. Supporters were treated to 18 matches of fast paced 7′s rugby from top northern and southern hemisphere clubs as the three pools were completed on day one of the event.

Munster, debuting in the World Club 7′s, put on a great show for the home crowd beating San Francisco and a strong Moscow Saracens side in their opening two games with Luke O’Dea and Ronan O’Mahony the standout performers. The home side then faced off against Fijian side Daveta in the final game of the day and produced a wonder display which included two tries from Darren Sweetman to beat the Fijian side 17-5 and top Pool C.

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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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EP KingsDHL WPEP Kings (11) 16 / 35 (10) WP (Final Score)

The Eastern Province Kings and DHL Western Province did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division at

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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


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WP RugbyThere has been a late change to the DHL Western Province team for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).

At lock, Springbok squad member Eben Etzebeth will start on the bench, with youngster Jean Kleyn making his Absa Currie Cup debut in the No 4 jersey.

“We have monitored Eben’s workload at Springbok training this week, so we thought it would be prudent to start with him amongst the replacements on Friday,” explained DHL WP coach Allister Coetzee.

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Golden LionsThe Xerox Golden Lions will run out in navy blue jerseys as they kick-off their Absa Currie Cup campaign against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The match, which will mark the Golden Lions Rugby Union’s 125th anniversary, will see the Xerox Golden Lions forgo their standard white jersey with the red strip in order to commemorate this special occasion.

The jersey will be unveiled at a 125-year celebration banquet, to be held at Ellis Park this evening. Guests will include past and present players, staff and administrators as well as supporters and sponsors who have all been involved in building the GLRU legacy.

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Blue Bulls LogoVodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named 21-year old Burger Odendaal at inside centre for his side’s opening match of the 2014 Absa Currie Cup season against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Odendaal, who was schooled at Monument High in Krugersdorp and represented Golden Lions at the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week in 2011, will make his Absa Currie Cup debut for the team, having already played for the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Under-19, Under-21 and Vodacom Cup level from 2012.

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Recent Comments

  • Hondo 19 Aug 2014, 23:33 SAST - @ nortierd: Lambie would have been so much better in both Kalahari desert's conditions that of the North Pole :wink:...
  • grootblousmile 19 Aug 2014, 21:57 SAST - The contents of this article has not made me feel any better about or towards Vet Fransie... hy moet maar...
  • grootblousmile 19 Aug 2014, 21:55 SAST - 81 @ IAAS: Lively debate is fine, in fact it HAS to be there... but there are limits. So, you're...
  • IAAS 19 Aug 2014, 21:43 SAST - “We are training at a far greater intensity and players are now better conditioned for matches,” said Coetzee in Bellville...
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