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IrelandIreland have included three South Africans for their three-Test tour to South Africa in June.

Loose forward Christiaan Stander, lock Quinn Roux and hooker Richardt Strauss are the three inclusions named in Joe Schmidt’s touring group.

Roux, 25, is one of only two uncapped players included in the squad, with New Zealand-borne Ulster flank Sean Reidy also set to earn his first international stint.

Roux represented Western Province and the Stormers at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level, before signing with Leinster in 2012, making 21 appearances for the province.

He then switched to Connacht in 2015 and earned six caps for the side.

Loose forward Stander has will be looking to boost his international experience as he has already earned five Test caps for Ireland, having made his first international appearance during their 2016 Six Nations campaign.

He previously represented the Bulls at Super Rugby level.

Strauss, the cousin of Springbok and Bulls hooker Adriaan, has racked up 16 caps for the Irish since joining them in 2012.

Richardt played with Adriaan,  who is tipped to captain the Boks for the June fixtures, for two years at the Cheetahs before heading abroad to join Pro12 finalists Leinster in 2009.

The veteran second row has featured 114 times for Leinster.

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EnglandFormer Stormers and current Exeter Chiefs loose forward Don Armand has been included in England Saxons squad for their short tour of South Africa in June. However, flying Saracens winger Chris Ashton has turned down the opportunity of joining the Saxons squad after he had earlier been omitted from Eddie Jones’ England squad for their tour to Australia.

England Saxons are to be coached by Ali Hepher in their two-Test series against South Africa A, with a 27-man squad being named for the tour.

The squad, compromised of experienced names and emerging talent, will play South Africa’s second team in Bloemfontein on Friday 10 June and Outeniqua Park in George on Friday 17 June (7.10pm local time).

England internationals Kieran Brookes, Dave Attwood, Danny Cipriani, Matt Kvesic, Christian Wade, Luther Burrell and Semesa Rokoduguni bring 69 senior caps to the squad and many of the remaining 20 have represented England in age-grade teams in recent years.

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Cricket BallIndia and South Africa battled each other in the 3rd 5-Day Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India, and theTest was scheduled to run from 25 to 29 November 2015, but took only 3 Days to complete, with India running out comfortable winners.

India won the toss and elected to bat first.

India were on 48 / 0 at morning Drinks and at 85 / 2 at Lunch on Day 1, At afternoon Drinks they had stumbled to 121 / 5 and at Tea on Day 1 they were on 149 / 6.

India were eventually ALL OUT for 215, with a few overs spare in Day 1.

South Africa lost their 1st wicket with only 4 runs in the bag and then lost the 2nd wicket with only 9 runs on the board.

South Africa finished Day 1 at 11 / 2, after 9 overs, still trailing by 204 runs and with 8 wickets remaining in their 1st innings.

Day 2 was a total shambles for South Africa, with them ALL OUT for a measly 79 runs. India then proceeded to really put the boot in and at Tea on Day 2 they were on 108 / 5 after 31 overs, already leading by a mammoth 244 runs and still with 5 wickets remaining.

Late on Day 2, India were eventually ALL OUT in their 2nd innings for 173, after withstanding 46.3 overs.

South Africa started their 2nd innings and at Stumps on Day 2 were already reeling at 32 / 2 after 14 overs.

India wrapped up the South African 2nd innings, for a win by 124 runs, a real humiliating drubbing in all respects.



  • 1st Innings: 215 ALL OUT (78.2 Overs)
  • 2nd Innings: 173 ALL OUT (46.3 Overs)

South Africa:

  • 1st Innings: 79 ALL OUT (31.1 Overs)
  • 2nd Innings: 185 ALL OUT (89.5 Overs)

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Andy Marinos

Andy Marinos

SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.

The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.

Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).

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ABSA BankBMWThe South African Springboks have been stung by the loss of 2 key Sponsors, namely ABSA Bank and BMW!


ABSA Bank:

The Springboks are set to lose their jersey sponsor after ABSA Bank decided not to renew its contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

According to the Sunday Times, the slow pace of transformation is one of the reasons for the decision.

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John Gainsford

John Gainsford

The South African Rugby Union extended its condolences to the family of legendary Springbok centre John Gainsford, who passed away on Wednesday morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

Gainsford established himself as one of the greatest centres of his generation due to his powerful bursts and rock-solid defence.

He earned 33 Test caps and scored 8 tries during his Springbok career between 1960 and 1967, playing in 71 Springbok matches in total (including tour matches). He remained the most capped Springbok centre until as recently as 2001 when his record was finally overtaken by Japie Mulder.

Gainsford was a world-renowned player, who emerged from the Villagers Rugby Club in Cape Town. He made his Springbok debut on 30 April 1960 against Scotland at the young age of 21 and played his last Test at the age of 28.

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Steve Tew

Steve Tew

New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said it was premature to speculate about Japan joining The Rugby Championship.

The sport is currently on a high in the Asian nation after the Brave Blossoms’ exploits at the Rugby World Cup, which included a stunning 34 / 32 win over South Africa, but there are already concerns about its preparations for the expanded Super Rugby competition next year.

With Japan set to host the next edition of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, World Rugby is keen to consolidate its popularity in a large and potentially lucrative market.

The governing body’s chairman Bernard Lapasset said on a trip to Tokyo this week that Japan should join The Rugby Championship, which currently comprises New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said a more immediate concern for Japanese rugby was fielding a competitive side in the Super Rugby competition in 2016.

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SpringboksStrange as it may seem considering the hype beforehand over “emotional Springbok swansongs” in the bronze playoff match at Rugby World Cup 2015, only 1 member of the squad at the tournament, captain Jean de Villiers, has officially confirmed his Test retirement.

Several younger Springboks spoke beforehand of their desire to beat Argentina – a task duly achieved – as a fitting send-off for senior players bidding farewell to the green-and-gold cause.

Almost 2 weeks on from the end of the Rugby World Cup, however, it is still only the luckless Jean de Villiers, injured again in just the 2nd Rugby World Cup match against Samoa, who has definitely bowed out after 109 appearances since 2002.

Perhaps influenced by the state of flux surrounding embattled coach Heyneke Meyer, the likes of Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana intriguingly haven’t yet pulled the plug publicly on their illustrious Springbok careers.

The majority of “older” Springboks who took part in their hot-and-cold Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign are now exclusively foreign-based and there have been some pleas back home for only locally-stationed players to be chosen for South Africa henceforth – a tricky matter considering the ever-shrinking strength of the Rand against other currencies, which hardly helps keeps the best players rooted here.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

We have received a request by a reader and newly registered blogger here on, Helgaard, to place an ARTICLE here on Rugby-Talk, containing an OPEN LETTER by him to SA Rugby, all supporters and interested parties as well as decision-makers in our country.

The topic of the Letter, follows the trend and main topic of discussion amongst Springbok supporters, namely whether Heyneke Meyer should stay on as coach, or whether he should go.

In his well-worded and well-reasoned letter, Helgaard supports the “Heyneke Must Fall” stance on the matter, and seeing as is “By the people, for the people” we gladly place relevant and requested reader content here on… once if conforms to the necessary literary requirements, of course. I wish more readers would act like Helgaard and send me their contributions, as it could lead to really becoming the official voice of the marginalized supporter out there and depicting the views of the average rugby supporter and not for supporters to be boxed in by the normal way media steers things to suit their own agendas.

Helgaard’s views are his own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

Without further a do… here is Helgaard’s Letter in it’s entirity:




Background to the article

As a dedicated Springbok supporter, I watched my fair share of the 48 games played at the Rugby World Cup 2015, including the 7 Tests in which the Springboks featured. I also watched all of the other 40 Tests played since Heyneke Meyer took over as the Springbok coach.

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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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Cricket BallIndia and South Africa battled each other in the 1st 5-Day Test at Mohali, India, and it was supposed to run from 5 to 9 November 2015.

India won the toss and elected to bat 1st.

South Africa made some early inroads and after 35 Overs India was on 97 / 3. Dean Elgar hit again twice in quick succession, with India reeling at 102 / 5.

At Drinks on Day 1 India were on 116 / 5 and 41 Overs had been bowled in the day. At Tea on Day 1 India was on 168 / 7 after 55 Overs. India were ALL OUT for 201, off 68 Overs on Day 1, with 20 or so Overs left in the Day.

South Africa lost their 1st and 2nd wickets with only 9 runs on the board. At Stumps on Day 1, SA was at 28 / 2.

South Africa was bowled out after 68 Overs, for 184, still 17 runs short of India’s 1st Innings.

India started their 2nd Innings in Session 2 of Day 2, and lost their 1st wicket with their score on 9.

At Tea on Day 2 India was on 13 / 2, 7 Overs into their 2nd innings. Quite some time after play resuming a very sharp catch saw the 2nd Indian wicket fall on 95 / 2. India were on 125 / 2 at Stumps on Day 2, having withstood 40 Overs of bowling.

India were eventually all out for 200 runs on Day 3, after 75.3 Overs, setting South Africa a target of 218 for a win.

On Day 3 South Africa never came near the total and fell 108 runs short, all out for a measly 109 runs.



  • 1st Innings: 201 All Out (68 Overs)
  • 2nd Innings: 200 All Out (75.3 Overs)

South Africa:

  • 1st Innings: 184 All Out (68 Overs)
  • 2nd Innings: 109 All Out (39.5 Overs)

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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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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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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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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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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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World RugbyThe Southern Hemisphere nations consolidated their positions as the Top 4 in world rugby after a weekend of battle that resulted in the Top 2, New Zealand and Australia, moving through to this Saturday’s final of Rugby World Cup 2015.

South Africa, who lost 20 / 18 to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semifinal on Saturday, retain their position as world No 3 ahead of Argentina, who were defeated 29 / 15 by Australia in Sunday’s semifinal.

The Springboks and Pumas will contest the Rugby World Cup bronze final on Friday and the winner is likely to be the world No 3, with the sides separated in the rankings by less than 1 point.

Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result; whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of the event.

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