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John Mitchell

John Mitchell

Former Lions, Western Force and All Blacks coach John Mitchell believes South Africa’s obsession with size is causing rugby players to start doping as early as schoolboy level.

Mitchell, via a column for Vodacom Rugby, has expressed his concern for what he fears is a growing trend in the modern game, with South Africa not excluded.

“In South Africa, doping is an issue that starts at schoolboy level. The game is taken very seriously and players are often put under pressure to perform from parents and coaches alike,” Mitchell wrote.

“Fundamentally, the problem in South Africa is that so much emphasis is placed on the size of players. The perception in this country is that you have to be big in order to become a professional rugby player – it’s no wonder schoolboys want to bulk up.

“Having worked with South African players across all age-group levels, I have found that there’s more of a focus on stationary weight training and getting into a gym than conditioning and basic fundamentals such as catch and pass, which is practiced in New Zealand.”

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EP KingsUnpaid player wages continue to mar the cash-strapped Eastern Province Rugby Union.

The union is facing a deadline from the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) to make player payments by Tuesday.

After problems over payments arose again at the end of October, SARPA issued a written 10-day notice for the Kings to pay outstanding salaries or face action against them.

The cash-strapped union was unable to pay players for several months earlier in the season after a lucrative sponsorship deal failed to materialise.

The union’s president Cheeky Watson reportedly travelled abroad, where he was believed to be looking into delays over a long-touted new sponsorship.

The men from Port Elizabeth had a torrid Currie Cup season, winning only 2 matches to finish 2nd from bottom on the overall Log.

They will also compete as the 6th South African franchise in an expanded Super Rugby season from next season.

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Nollis Marais

Nollis Marais

Vodacom Bulls coach Nollis Marais on Monday announced his management team for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season, with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd also confirming the management teams for the rest of the Blue Bulls teams for next year.

Marais will take charge of his 1st season of Super Rugby with former Springboks loose forward Anton Leonard as his forwards coach and former Vodacom Blue Bulls backline coach David Manual as the backline coach.

Former Springbok Tim Dlulane continue in his role as team manager, as is baggage master, Elias Bennet. The technical team to assist the coaches are John-William Meyer and Divan Strydom, who will also act as kicking coaches. SARU Mobi-Unit member Louis Koen will assist them in this regard when needed.

Gary Botha (scrums and break down) and Pine Pienaar (defence) will be involved with both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup sides, as well as the junior sides in this capacity.

Dr. Herman Rossouw is the new team doctor for senior teams. Wernich Smith, Pieter du Plessis, Sanell Morgan, Khuliso Netshivhagani and Karabo Morokane will be utilised as physiotherapists for all the teams and Elzanne van Coller as masseuse.

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Springboks vs All Blacks

Durban, and not Johannesburg, will host back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners, the New Zealand All Blacks next year.

The South African Rugby Union revealed that the 3-times Rugby World Cup champion All Blacks will play the Springboks in Durban on 8 October in The Rugby Championship encounter between the 2 sides on SA soil.

The Springboks and All Blacks have played each other in Johannesburg 5 times in the last 6 years – with 2011 the exception, when they met in Port Elizabeth.

Durban last hosted a Springboks versus All Blacks Test in 2009, with Newlands completely off the map (for the biggest face-off in the game) since 2008.

The exceptionally large All Black following in Cape Town, which have become increasingly vengeful towards the Springboks (even spitting at players), is the main reason why Newlands will not host the All Blacks in the near future.

Bloemfontein (2009) and Pretoria (2006) have also not seen an All Black Test in years.

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EP KingsEastern Province Rugby has the spotlight on them after Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told the media he will be paying EP Rugby president Cheeky Watson a special visit in the near future.

The reason for the urgent visit stems from a total of R 35 Million Rand the Union received from the National Lotteries Board for the establishment and development of the SARU Kings Academy.

“I will be on my way to the Eastern Cape very soon so that I can personally see where the Academy is and where the black players are that were supposed to be recruited. I expect a report from him (Watson). The Kings are meant to be the homeland of black players and that was the reasoning behind them getting a Super Rugby spot. The last time I was there, all I saw was white players and never saw any of the black players who were supposed to be there,” Mbalula told a media briefing.

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SpringboksThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) has delayed its General Council meeting by a week.

The meeting was originally due to take place on 4 December and is understood to have a major influence on whether or not Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s contract is extended following the Springboks semifinal exit at this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The meeting will now take place on 11 December and will follow a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.

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Blue Bulls Men crowned SARU Interprovincial Sevens Champions

The Blue Bulls men’s and women’s teams on Saturday showed their class at the SARU Interprovincial Sevens at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit as they took top honours to round off a fantastic weekend for the Pretoria union.

The Blue Bulls men defeated Western Province 38 / 29 and the women pipped Western Province 24 / 22 in their respective Cup Finals in what was a thrilling tournament.

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Robert du Preez snr

Robert du Preez snr

New Cell C Sharks Assistant Coach, Robert du Preez snr, wants the team to play a brand of rugby that will make their fans proud.

Du Preez, himself a former Sharks scrumhalf, joined the Durban side’s coaching staff this month after a successful stint with the Leopards, who he led to the Currie Cup First Division title this year.

He will be an Assistant Coach during Super Rugby and will head up next year’s Currie Cup tournament.

Under the tutelage of Director of Rugby Gary Gold, the Cell C Sharks had a torrid 2015 season.

After a disappointing Super Rugby campaign in which they finished 11th on the Combined Log, things took a turn for the worse for the Cell C Sharks. They failed to reach the ABSA Currie Cup semifinals, and their 4 victories came against the competition’s also-rans, the EP Kings (2), Steval Pumas and ORC Griquas.

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Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula

Sports minister Fikile Mbabula is expected to brief the media on Thursday on the Springboks’ performance in the Rugby World Cup, as well as on transformation in the national team.

South Africa lost to New Zealand in the one semifinal of the tournament, following blistering wins against Samoa, Scotland and the USA. Those victories came after the Springboks lost in their opening game against Japan.

There has been debate about the racial make-up of the team, especially from the side of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) – who has taken a strong line against coach Heyneke Meyer.

Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Tuesday that Meyer “must rest assured that he is not welcome in rugby by the majority of SA supporters and he should go”.

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Jurie Roux

Jurie Roux, SARU CEO

South African Rugby Union (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux says they had no choice but to move their Sevens World Series event away from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.

Roux was speaking to journalists in Cape Town on Wednesday after the announcement of several new sevens signings for the Springbok Sevens team.

Cape Town will in December host the South African leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 1st time after the event had been held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth since 2011.

Roux said that it was imperative for South Africa to host a successful tournament as World Rugby had insisted that the event be staged at an iconic destination.

“In terms of their criteria, only the tournaments at Twickenham and Hong Kong were successful,” said Roux.

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Gary Gold

Gary Gold

The Cell C Sharks will travel to France in February 2016, on a pre-season tour ahead of the start of their Super Rugby 2016 campaign.

There are 2 games lined-up for the tour, with a visit to Stade Mayol 1st up to take on 2-time European champs Toulon on Friday 5 February before they face Toulouse on Thursday 11 February.

The Sharks believe that these matches against 2 of the best European clubs in recent times, marks an ideal opportunity to fine tune their preparation for Super Rugby.

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BlitzbokkeRugby World Cup Springboks Bryan Habana, Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo are among a host of 15-a-side stars who will be in contention for places in South Africa’s Olympic Sevens squad, the South African Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.

They will be joined by Springbok team mates Juan de Jongh, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks and Oupa Mohoje at a 3-week training camp from Sunday in Stellenbosch as part of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) new Sevens strategy in Olympic year, announced Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

Habana has returned to his French club side Toulon and will join the training camp towards the end of the month. SARU also confirmed that Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski had already signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens team this season.

In addition, provincial 15-a-side stars Cheslin Kolbe, Rayno Benjamin, Warrick Gelant and Jaco Kriel have also been invited to join the camp alongside SARU’s powerful, existing Sevens squad.

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De Kock Steenkamp

De Kock Steenkamp

The Ospreys confirmed that lock De Kock Steenkamp has been released from his contract and will return home to South Africa after undergoing surgery for an ongoing hip problem.

It brings to an end an injury ravaged 14-month spell with the team that has seen the lock restricted to just 2 competitive appearances at the start of this season.

The 28-year-old signed from the Cape Town based DHL Stormers in September 2014 to add his considerable experience and physical presence to a young squad, having earned a reputation as one of the leading line-out operators in Super Rugby.

However, an achilles injury sustained within days of his arrival at Llandarcy Academy of Sport meant that he missed last season in its entirety, returning to full training for this pre-season.

Having come through the summer months, Steenkamp then stepped up his involvement with an appearance in the pre-season win over Saracens before making his competitive debut, starting in the PRO12 opener away to Ulster. A 2nd appearance followed off the bench against Munster the following week but he then found himself sidelined once again, after reporting hip instability to the region’s medical team.

After further investigation, the player underwent surgery at the weekend and, having assessed all options both parties have agreed to the early release.

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CheetahsThe Toyota Cheetahs have started their preparations for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament by naming a 51-man pre-season squad.

The squad features a number of players who featured in the ABSA Currie Cup this year, in coach Franco Smith’s debut season in charge.

Springbok Lood de Jager is included in the squad after returning from South Africa’s Rugby World Cup campaign in England.

They will be facing the team from Argentina in their 1st Super Rugby encounter for 2016 on 26 February.

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Nehe Milner-Skudder

Nehe Milner-Skudder

New Zealand and Australia’s World Cup finalists join forces in a superstar Barbarians’ squad when they take on Gloucester and Argentina this month. Add a sprinkling of South Africans to it and you have the Barbarians squad.

Wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, the All Blacks’ opening try scorer in the 34 / 17 win against the Wallabies, is just 1 of 7 All Blacks in the squad.

Milner-Skudder will be joined by Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Charlie Faumuina, as well as fellow wing Waisake Naholo, when the world famous invitation club returns to action at Kingsholm on 17 November before taking on Rugby World Cup semifinalists Argentina in the Killik Cup match at Twickenham Stadium on 21 November.

Tevita Kuridrani – the scorer of Australia’s 2nd final try – has been added to the squad and joins Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and flank Scott Fardy in a 24-man group.

The squad also contains one of the world’s greatest lock partnerships in South Africa’s Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha who are backed up by rising star Lood de Jager.

Barbarians head coach Michael Cheika will have formidable firepower at his disposal with the likes of Fiji’s World Cup star Nemani Nadolo lining up with South Africa’s Pat Lambie and Australia’s Joe Tomane.

There is world class front row potential with Moore and Faumuina alongside South Africa’s Tendai Mtawarira, while flank Fardy was 1 of Australia’s most consistent Rugby World Cup performers.

There are 2 uncapped players in the squad: Cheetahs’ centre Francois Venter and Hurricanes flank Ardie Savea.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

They may not all be “coining it” immediately to the extent that certain foreign-based colleagues are, but Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 players contracted only to domestic franchises are about to reap the benefits of an unusually lengthy off-season.

In a development that ought to see them importantly start a heavy 2016 roster pretty firmly refreshed, both physically and mentally, those players are largely off competitive duty for the next 4 months.

Outside of a Rugby World Cup year, the month of November would normally see them packing bags – no doubt just a little reluctantly – for the obligatory end-of-year European tour in conditions likely to be wetter and colder than those agreeably experienced during the recent, more autumnal Rugby World Cup in those climes.

Instead the beach beckons back home now as relevant Springboks with extended international futures like Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane, Rudy Paige, Pat Lambie and Jesse Kriel wipe rugby from their minds for several weeks, until Super Rugby 2016 pre-season activities with their respective sides.

Even then, blue-chip Springbok players are often shielded to a significant extent from warm-up matches staged in inevitably murderous summer heat and are largely asked to instead hit the ground running when the competition-proper gets underway.

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Steval Pumas signings

The Steval Pumas have signed a total of 13 new players in a bid to become a stronger and more competitive team in the 2016 season.

MJ Mentz has also been reappointed the head coach of team on a 2 year term and will be assisted by Marius van Rensburg (operations Manager), Luzahn Louw (physiotherapist), Robin Arkell (strength and conditioning), Tobias van Niekerk (conditioning) and Ernst Kruger (assistant performance analyst).


The Pumas’ new contracted players:

Stephan Greeff (ORC Griquas), Nardus van der Walt (ORC Griquas), Francois Brummer (ORC Griquas), Hugo Kloppers (ORC Griquas), Tyler Fischer (Cell C Sharks), Marné Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Chris Cloete (DHL Western Province), Emil Temperman (UP-TUKS), Lambert Groenewald (Xerox  Golden Lions), Ruben Johannes (SA Sevens), Dylan Petersen (UJ) and Deon Helberg (Xerox Golden Lions). Marlo van Niekerk is on loan from the EP Kings.

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World RugbyAs well as winning a host of new admirers for their adventurous approach throughout Rugby World Cup 2015, beaten semifinalists Argentina and headline-grabbing Japan have also enjoyed the biggest rise of all the competing nations in the World Rugby Rankings. Both are ranked 3 places higher than where they were when Rugby World Cup 2015 began at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 18 September.Los Pumas have moved up from 8th to 5th thanks to their 2nd place finish behind New Zealand in Pool C and the way that they effortlessly brushed Ireland aside in the quarterfinals.

A disappointing World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign this summer left Japan languishing 13th in the rankings, and at that stage few people would have predicted what they would go on to achieve in England: 3 wins from 4 and a place in tournament folklore.

The Brave Blossoms’ historic 34 / 32 win over South Africa in Brighton may not have been enough to book them a place in the knockout stages but it did help them return to the world’s Top 10.

With points exchanges doubled to reflect the importance Rugby World Cup matches no-one fared better than Japan, going from 72.06 rating points pre-tournament to 77.05 at its conclusion.

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SpringboksThe positons of the Springbok coaching and management team for the 2016 season and beyond will be reviewed by the Executive Council (Exco) of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), SARU announced on Monday.

Jurie Roux, the chief executive officer of SARU, said that the contracts of all of the national team’s coaching, medical and logistical staff expire at the end of the year.

“The Executive Council (Exco) has the power to appoint management and coaching staff with the exception of the position of the Springbok coach, which is ultimately decided by the General Council of SARU,” said Roux.

“That body meets on 4 December when the positon of the Springbok coach for 2016 will be on the agenda. Once all affected individuals have been notified of any decisions a public announcement will be made, which is not expected before 5 December.

“We realise the great public interest in the subject and this is easily one of the most important decisions we take as an organisation. Supporters will understand therefore that we have many factors to consider before any announcements can be made. Those deliberations cannot take place in public out of respect for individuals and our governance structures.”

Media are advised that SARU will make no further comment on the process until any announcements have been made.

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

New DHL Stormers coach Eddie Jones is set to arrive in Cape Town later this week, a team spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

Jones recently signed a deal with the Cape franchise after not renewing his contract as Japan coach.

He coached Japan in impressive fashion at the Rugby World Cup, masterminding a 34 / 32 upset win over the Springboks – a result which will go down as the biggest upset in the tournament’s history.

Japan also beat Samoa (26 / 5) and the USA (28 / 18) at the Rugby World Cup, but finished 3rd in Pool B, behind South Africa and Scotland. It was the 1st time a team had won 3 pool games and did not progress to the quarterfinals.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

’n Basiese kontrak van R 5 miljoen per jaar, aansporings­bonusse uitgesluit.

Dís glo die vergoeding waartoe die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) ingestem het in die nuwe kontrak met Heyneke Meyer, die Springbok-afrigter.

Volgens bronne het Meyer al voor die Wêreldbeker-toernooi ’n kontrak onderteken om die span vir nog 4 seisoene, tot in 2019, af te rig.

Oregan Hoskins, SARU se president en voorsitter van die uitvoerende raad, het Vrydag benadruk dat die finale besluit by die Algemene Raad sal lê. Elke provinsiale rugbyunie word in die Algemene Raad verteenwoordig.

Die kwessie gaan na verwagting vroeg in Desember ter tafel gelê word.

Uit verskillende oorde is verneem Meyer kry aansporingsbonusse vir die verowering van die Wêreldbeker, ’n wenpersentasie van meer as 60% en ’n 2de plek op die wêreldranglys.

Die kontrakkwessie hang al weke lank soos ’n wolk oor Suid-Afrikaanse rugby, met SARU wat dit nog nie onomwonde in die openbaar ontken het nie.

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Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula

South African Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has paid tribute to the Springbok team that defeated Argentina to claim the 3rd place in the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks claimed 3rd spot at the 2015 Rugby World Cup after beating Argentina 24 / 13 in the Bronze Final at London’s Olympic Park stadium on Friday night.

“I take this rare opportunity to salute Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villers for their selfless services and infinite commitment to the men in black green and gold and the people of South Africa,” said Mbalula in a statement released on Saturday.

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Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

South Africa said goodbye to a large swathe of great players in victorious fashion when they defeated Argentina 24 / 13 in the bronze medal final on Friday.

Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana (above) will all be over 35 come Japan 2019, while 38-year-old Victor Matfield, who captained them in the bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, has already announced his retirement for the 2nd time.

All 4 were members of a glorious few years for the Springboks in which they bestrode the world. It began when Jake White’s team won the 2007 World Cup and, under his replacement Peter de Villiers, they won the 2009 Tri-Nations then beat the British & Irish Lions 2 / 1 in a Test series in the same year.

Du Preez, Habana and Matfield were also part of the Blue Bulls team that was coached by Heyneke Meyer and became the 1st South African franchise to win the Super Rugby title, in 2007.

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South AfricaArgentinaSpringboks (16) 24 / 13 (0) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-off at

Olympic Stadium, London, England at 22:00 SA Time (20:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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


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Red Arrows

On 31 October, 9 of the iconic aircraft will treat fans in Twickenham Stadium, as well as the Richmond and Trafalgar Square fanzones, to a special flypast prior to the start of the final between New Zealand and Australia. They will flyover Trafalgar Square 7 minutes before kick-off, then over Twickenham Stadium and the Richmond Fanzone at 15:55 as the teams line up for the anthems.


Full House:

The finalists are set to battle it out for rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd of 80 125. South Africa and Argentina will also go head to head in front of a full house in the Bronze final at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – in front of 56 000 spectators.

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Chiliboy Ralepelle

Chiliboy Ralepelle

The Cell C Sharks have announced the signing of former Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who will join the franchise from the start of the new Super Rugby season.

The announcement was made on Friday on the Cell C Sharks website.

Commenting on his signing, Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold said: “I am pleased to have acquired the services of a hooker with the pedigree of Chiliboy Ralepelle. He is a brilliant player with a strong work ethic and will be an asset to our squad.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

The Western Province Rugby Football Union indicated that they would like to wish former DHL Western Province and DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers well as he embarks on the next phase of his stellar rugby career at top English club, Leicester Tigers.

De Villiers 1st wore the Blue & White hoops of Western Province as an aspiring Under 13 Craven Week player, that after his father, Andre, represented Western Province with distinction in the 1970s.

Jean de Villiers played his final match for the DHL Stormers on 3 May 2014 (against the Highlanders at DHL Newlands), racking up a total of 105 caps since his debut against the Sharks in February 2005.

He also played 50 matches for DHL Western Province, his final appearance coming in the 2013 ABSA Currie Cup Final – having made his debut in the Vodacom Cup in February 2001.

De Villiers would certainly have played more games for WP Rugby had it not been for a catalogue of serious injuries – especially the knee injury he suffered on his Springbok debut in November 2002 – but he will go down as one of this union’s greatest players in the modern era after also amassing 109 Springbok caps (including 37 as captain).

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer named his strongest possible team as a mark of the greatest respect to an outstanding Argentina team as both teams chase the end-of-season reward of a bronze medal at the Olympic Stadium in London on Friday evening.

Victor Matfield replaces Lood de Jager as 1 of only 2 changes to the starting line-up from Saturday’s semifinal against New Zealand. He takes over the over the captaincy from the injured Fourie du Preez, whose place in the No 9 jersey is taken by Ruan Pienaar, with Rudy Paige coming onto the bench.

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Springboks at training thios week

Springboks at training this week

South Africa will be going all out to ensure they end their Rugby World Cup campaign on a high note when they face Argentina in their 3rd-place play-off on Friday.

That was the message from Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard who scored 15 points from 5 penalties in his team’s 18 / 20 semifinal loss to New Zealand last Saturday.

“We still got 1 more game to go and it is another opportunity to represent the Springboks – it is still an amazing honour,” said Pollard.

“We can still go away with the 3rd place but it is not what we came here for.

“Its still not bad so we going to go out on Friday and just give everything we have. It’s the last Test match and we just have to get result.

Flank Willem Alberts, who struggled with injury this year, echoed Pollard’s sentiments.

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Robbie Kempson

Robbie Kempson

Insisting that all Springboks play domestically is the best way to “restore pride” in the national jersey, says former Springbok prop and pundit Robbie Kempson.

Speaking on SuperSport’s “RWC Master Plan” programme which has run during the current Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom, the 1998 Tri-Nations title-winning front-ranker said he backed the decision by Argentinean rugby bosses to make it compulsory for all players wishing to represent the Pumas next season to play for the new Buenos Aires-based franchise in remodelled Super Rugby.

“It will help galvanise a side that will produce for them, going forward.”

But the 37 Test-cap Kempson added that he felt South Africa had “missed a trick” through their policy for the latest Rugby World Cup, which allowed for squad inclusion of 7 players who are exclusively contracted to overseas franchises – Fourie du Preez, Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits.

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Jean de Villiers

Jean de Villiers

Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will continue his playing career in the English Premiership after signing with the Leicester Tigers.

De Villiers was part of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2007 and captain of the 2015 campaign but announced his international retirement after suffering a fractured jaw in the 2nd Round of the tournament. With 109 Test caps he is among the most experienced players in the world game.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Jean brings invaluable experience to the squad. He is among the leading centres in the modern game and has played at the very highest level for a significant period of time.

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Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated in the game between Wallabies vs Springboks, The Rugby Championship, Brisbane, 7 September 2013

Heyneke Meyer emotional and animated during a Test match

We take a look at different views on whether the South African Springboks coach, Heyneke Meyer, should stay on as Springbok coach till the next edition of Rugby World Cup or whether he should be replaced as coach.

Rugby365’s JAN DE KONING and Sport24’s GARRIN LAMBEY are of the opinion that Heyneke Meyer should stay on as coach, whereas Sport24’s Herman Mostert believes Heyneke Meyer should be replaced.

My own opinion is that South Africa lacks quality coaches, who could take the Springboks up a notch or 2 and I do not believe the South African rugby culture, SARU’s stoid stance on rugby and the political environment is at all condusive to appointing a foreign coach, to take the Springboks further and upwards. I therefore believe that Heyneke Meyer should stay on, but I also believe there are a number of things which needs to change, to make the Springboks serious contenders for the World No 1 spot.

Let’s take a look at the different views:

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Fourie du Preez

Fourie du Preez

South Africa captain Fourie du Preez says Saturday’s semifinal defeat by New Zealand is likely to be his last game for his country after he picked up a facial injury.

Du Preez finished the match with a swollen eye and cheekbone and is doubtful for the bronze final on Friday.

Asked about his future, a dejected du Preez said: “I don’t know if that was my last game, I’ll see how the injury goes. That was probably my last game. I have got a broken tooth and I will be getting a check on my cheekbone tomorrow, but they don’t think it’s broken.

Scans taken after the match cleared the No 9 of a fractured cheekbone, but he does have a damaged tooth.

He will also have to wait and see if the swelling goes down before a decision is made if he will play against Argentina at the Olympic Stadium in London this coming Friday.

However, medical opinion is that he should be available.

The Springboks have been given 2 days off, before they will fit in a couple of training sessions – a full session on Wednesday and the captain’s run on Thursday – ahead of Friday’s meaningless encounter.

Team doctor Craig Roberts’s post match medical report had some other good news as well.

Flank Francois Louw, who received 16 stitches to his forehead for a deep cut, is available for selection.

“That won’t keep him out of play, it has healed up and it is fine,” Roberts told a media gathering.

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ArgentinaArgentina have dismissed Springbok suggestions that Friday’s bronze final does not mean anything and are determined to celebrate their attacking style at the tournament by beating their Rugby Championship rivals.

After his side narrowly lost to New Zealand 20 / 18 in Saturday’s 1st semifinal, South African coach Heyneke Meyer said it would be tough mentally to prepare for the clash at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. “It does not mean anything to me. It is like kissing your sister,” he said.

But, despite the disappointment of failing to get past Australia in their semifinal, Argentina captain Agustin Creevy and his squad were excited about trying to secure the 3rd place.

Asked about Meyer’s comments, Creevy said: “I don’t know why he said that. I would rather be 3rd than 4th. We want to be in the Top 3. We need to get over the defeat and start again. The 3rd-place playoff means a lot.”

Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, who scored all of Argentina’s points in the 29 / 15 defeat by the Wallabies, said: “We came here to play the final, but I think we gave it our all. The biggest challenge now is to finish on a high note and get the 3rd place.

“We’ve got a mentally very tough game ahead. This week probably won’t be as pleasant as this past one, but we’ll make a great effort to get the bronze medal.”

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Rugby-Talk RWC 2015

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