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RedsThe Reds have confirmed a 37-man senior squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season, with 8 fresh faces in total joining the ranks at Ballymore.

In addition to the high-profile signings of Kane Douglas, Ayumu Goromaru, Cadeyrn Neville and NRL winger Eto Nabuli – the Reds also spent the off-season promoting from within the ranks of Queensland Rugby’s pathways with flyhalf Sam Greene and outside backs Junior Laloifi and Izaia Perese earning contracts following their performances in Queensland Premier Rugby and the National Rugby Championship (NRC). They are joined by Australian Under 20 lock Lukhan Tui, who grew up in Sydney.

In all, 20 players were retained from the 2015 Super Rugby squad, 11 of which were off contract and re-signed with the Reds, including Liam Gill, Greg Holmes, James Slipper and Rob Simmons.

In addition to that, the Reds have further progressed the careers of 8 members of its Elite Development Squad, promoting them to the Reds Senior Squad for the 2016 season.

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Vodacom BullsThe Vodacom Bulls are hard at work in preparation for the Vodacom Super Rugby season next year, with some new faces amongst the regular squad members.

New Vodacom Bulls player Lizo Gqoboka has settled in well amongst his team mates and is working hard with the rest of the Vodacom Super Rugby squad assembled in Pretoria. Winger Luther Obi will join the squad on Wednesday as the Bulls step up preparations at Loftus Versfeld for next year’s extended Vodacom Super Rugby competition, where the Vodacom Bulls are working hard to achieve success in 2016.

A number of injured players will join the fray as they complete rehabilitation, while those playing club rugby in Japan will return during the course of January 2016. The 5 returning from Japan are Grant Hattingh, Handré Pollard, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson and Jesse Kriel.

The injured players (with date of return in brackets) are Deon Stegmann, Jannes Kirsten, Nick de Jager and Travis Ismaiel (all December), Irne Herbst, Morné Mellett, Jaco Visagie, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Hanro Liebenberg, Piet van Zyl, Dries Swanepoel and Warrick Gelant (January) and Callie Visagie (February).

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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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USA RugbyThere were no surprises when the 31-man United States of America (USA Eagles) squad for the Rugby World Cup in England was announced on Tuesday.

Captain Chris Wyles will lead the USA in Pool B where they face Japan, Samoa, Scotland, and South Africa.

The USA team will feature 20 Rugby World Cup debutants.

The squad selected for the Rugby World Cup is the same as the 1 chosen for the 3 World Cup warm-up matches, which included a 3rd-consecutive victory over Canada.

Additionally, 13 players have professional contracts overseas.

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IrelandIreland’s 2014 Player of the Year Andrew Trimble has been omitted from coach Joe Schmidt’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup, announced on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old had missed this years’ Six Nations through injury but had returned to action this year and was available for the global showpiece.

Trimble has played just once for Ireland in the past 12 months, in a 35 / 12 victory over Wales in a World Cup warm-up match on 8 August, but a flare-up of his toe injury meant he played only 33 minutes of that game.

Wings Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald, who were injured during Saturday’s Dublin defeat by Wales, are included the squad.

Trimble, Gordan D’Arcy, Kieran Marmion were notably the most high profile players to miss out on the plane.

D’Arcy’s omission could signal the end of his illustrious international career.

The squad is made up of 17 Forwards and 14 Backs and will be captained by Paul O’Connell who is the most capped player in the Ireland group with 103 caps.

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Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland named prop Samson Lee in his 31-man squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Lee has not played since rupturing his Achilles tendon in March.

Flyhalf Gareth Anscombe was left out in favour of Matthew Morgan.

Wales are in Pool A with hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

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The South African Springboks squad, to take on the world’s best in England, at the 2015 Rugby World Cup was officially announced at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 GMT), live on SuperSport 1 on TV in South Africa.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is on a hiding to nothing, no matter which squad he would have selected, whether it be from lobbyists saying that there are not enough players of colour in the side OR whether he is accused of player bias OR choosing old favourites… OR not choosing players on merit.

I urge everybody to accept his selection prerogatives, even though you or me would have done it differently, and to get behind this Springbok side for the Rugby World Cup, where they will be representing their country to the best of their abilities.

The “Ghost Squad” has already been discussed ad-nauseam, the announced squad is exactly the same and feature the inclusion of fringe players like Zane Kirchner, Rudy Paige, Siya Kolisi and Morné Steyn.

Injured or previously injured players like Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jannie du Plessis is also be included in the squad.

A number of players are hugely unlucky not to be selected, they include Heinrich Brüssow, Steven Kitshoff, Marcel van der Merwe, Vincent Koch, Marcell Coetzee, Jan Serfontein, Frans Steyn, Cornal Hendricks, Cobus Reinach and Francois Hougaard.

Here is the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad for 2015, which is now official:

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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess was included in England’s final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup announced on Thursday just 10 months after changing codes from rugby league.

Burgess, the man-of-the-match in South Sydney Rabbitohs’ win in the Australian National Rugby League Grand Final, was included after playing just 70 minutes of Test rugby union – his debut in a 19 / 14 win over France at Twickenham a fortnight ago seeing him sin-binned for 10 minutes.

The 26-year-old edged out the more experienced Luther Burrell for a place among England coach Stuart Lancaster’s centres even though Burgess spent much of last season playing as a back-row forward for Bath.

Henry Slade, who also impressed on his debut against France at Twickenham, was also included in midfield alongside Burgess – although Jonathan Joseph and Brad Barritt appear to be England’s 1st-choice centres.

Ben Morgan, only recently returned from a broken leg, was included among the back-row forwards with Harlequins veteran Nick Easter missing out while Sale flyhalf Danny Cipriani, as was widely forecast, also failed to make it to the final squad.

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NamibiaSaracens loose forward Jacques Burger will captain Namibia in the upcoming Rugby World Cup in England after the squad was named on Thursday.

The veteran flank will lead a squad where 14 of the 31 players selected have previous Rugby World Cup experience.

Burger is amongst 4 members of the squad that will be appearing in their 3rd World Cup, with prop Johnnie Redelinghuys, loose forward Tinus du Plessis and scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies also part of the Namibian teams that participated in France 2007 and New Zealand 2011.

Redelinghuys is Namibia highest capped player of all time with 46 Test matches to his credit.

9 Players, Raoul Larson, Rohan Kitshoff, PJ van Lill, Theuns Kotzé, Darryl de La Harpe, Danie van Wyk, Conrad Marais, David Philander and Chrysander Botha also did duty in New Zealand in 2011.

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Canada2 Players with links to the Western Cape have been included in Canada’s squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Former Glasgow Warriors winger DTH vd Merwe, who has now moved to Llanelli Scarlets in Wales, made the squad announced by coach Kieran Crowley. DTH vd Merwe was born in Worcester and represented Boland at Under 16 level before he emigrated to Canada with his parents. He has played for Canada on numerous occasions and will be 1 of their stalwarts with this being his 3rd World Cup.

Another player, who has spent time in the Western Cape and should be familiar to the Newlands faithful, Jebb Sinclair has also made the squad. Sinclair, who is a backrow player but can also play in the 2nd row, played for the Stormers and Western Province in 2012 and is another veteran of Canadian Rugby. He played in the 2011 World Cup as well.

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Philippe Saint-Andre

Philippe Saint-Andre

Experienced flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc will miss the Rugby World Cup which gets underway in England next month.

He was surprisingly omitted from the France squad announced by coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Sunday.

The 28-year-old who played an influential role for France at the 2011 Rugby World Cup when they lost 7 / 8 to the New Zealand All Blacks in the Final – lost out to unpredictable veteran Frederic Michalak (who played in Saturday’s win over England) and Remi Tales.

Trinh-Duc, capped 50 times since being blooded by Marc Lievremont in 2008, found it difficult to impose himself under Saint-Andre and a serious injury last season ruled him out of contention for this season’s Six Nations.

He was given a chance to prove himself worthy of a spot in the 1st game against England a week ago – a 19 / 14 defeat at Twickenham – but evidently failed to convince Saint-Andre and his coaching staff.

“It is a choice which has been made – not only after 7 weeks, but also after 3 years of life with the squad,” said Saint-Andre, who also cited Trinh-Duc’s lack of accuracy at place-kicking.

For Michalak, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday during the tournament, it represents his 3rd Rugby World Cup – having 1st made an impression at international level during the 2003 edition in Australia.

Despite concerns over his fitness and form, Saint-Andre has kept faith with the 72-times capped playmaker.

In contrast to the flyhalf position Saint-Andre has selected 3 scrumhalves, in Morgan Parra (who was Lievremont’s favoured No 9 alongside Trinh-Duc for much of his reign), South African-born Rory Kockott and Michalak’s clubmate Sebastien Tillous-Borde.

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Allan Dell

Allan Dell

Head Coach Vern Cotter today confirmed that seven players have been released from the extended Scotland squad for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

The decision follows the national team’s opening two summer Test matches against Ireland and Italy, with this Saturday’s game against the Azzuri at BT Murrayfield the last chance for the players to stake a claim for the final 31-man squad, before it’s announced the following Tuesday (1 September).

Glasgow Warriors’ pair Mike Cusack (prop) and Rory Hughes (wing) have returned to Scotstoun having made their first outings for the national team this summer, and both starting against Italy in Saturday’s 16-12 win in Turin.

Edinburgh Rugby quintet Allan Dell (prop), Dougie Fife (wing), Damien Hoyland (wing), Ben Toolis (lock) and Hamish Watson (back-row) will rejoin the capital club, with Hoyland and Watson also adding to their international honours at the weekend.

Warriors’ hooker Kevin Bryce – who joined the squad last week as precautionary cover – has also returned to his club.

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Fiji topThe elder statesman of Fiji, Seremaia Bai, was the notable omission Friday when Fiji coach John McKee named his 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Fiji are in the so-called pool of death with England, Australia and Wales, and McKee said he had picked a squad which he was confident “will rise to the challenge”.

They go centre stage at the very start of the tournament, playing hosts England in the opening game.

Led by Montpellier flank Akapusi Qera the squad is dominated by overseas professionals with props Lee Roy Atalifo and Peni Ravai the only local amateurs to make the grade.

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Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade

There were no great surprises as Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade named his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad on Sunday.

Star players Juan Imhoff, Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Fernandez Lobbe and Marcelo Bosch all took their places in the final squad.

Hourcade ditched 7 players from the squad that participated in The Rugby Championship, ending their campaign last week with a 1st ever victory over South Africa.

Racing Metro lock Manuel Carizza and Saracens prop Juan Figallo were amongst those to miss out.

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TongaTonga President Epi Taione has named the Rugby World Cup squad which is filled with a mix of youth and experience.

Tonga line-up in Pool C alongside Georgia, Namibia, Argentina and current William Webb Ellis trophy holders New Zealand.

In a side which sees Pacific Nations Cup debutantes Telusa Veainu, Viliami Tahitu’a and Sosefo Ma’ake joining the campaign, there is also the addition of familiar names, including Gloucester duo David Halaifonua and Sione Kalamafoni, along with Samisoni Fisilau, Aleki Lutui, Paula Ngauomo, Will Helu, and Siale Piutau.

Tonga have named only 30 players in the squad with the 31st expected to be named at a later stage. The word on the street is that Rugby League star Andrew Fifita could cross-codes to fill that last spot.

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All BlacksThe All Blacks selectors gave their 1st hint of World Cup thinking, naming 5 new faces in an enlarged 41-man squad.

Coach Steve Hansen has named 33 new All Blacks since they won the last World Cup in 2011 with the latest additions being Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor, Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst and fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder, Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and wing Waisake Naholo.

Naholo is the leading try-scorer in Super Rugby this year, touching down twice in the Highlanders 24 / 14 play-off victory over the Chiefs on Saturday to take his total for the year to 11.

Milner-Skudder is a cousin of Buff Milner and a nephew of George Skudder, both former All Blacks.

There is also a recall for 3-Test hooker Hika Elliot who has not been required for international duty since June 2012.

A final group of 31 to defend their world crown will be named at the end of August following The Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa, Australia and Argentina as well as a 1-off Test with Samoa and an extra clash with Australia.

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Emirates LionsThe Golden Lions Rugby Union have announced their 33-man squad which will compete as the Emirates Lions in the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

The Emirates Lions will get their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign under way on Friday 13 February as they take on the Hurricanes at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. Tickets start at just R 40.00 and can be purchased online via

Season tickets are also still available for purchase from just R 800.00 and includes tickets to all Vodacom Super Rugby and ABSA Currie Cup home games, as well as the Springboks versus All Blacks Test.

The Emirates Lions boast a strong squad in 2015, with a number of Springboks and Springbok tourists in the squad.

The Springboks are: Marnitz Boshoff, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe, Julian Redelinghuys & Warren Whiteley.

The Springbok tourists (uncapped) are: Ruan Dreyer & Jaco Kriel.

The Lions improved tremendously during 2014, doing well in Super Rugby and reaching the Final of the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division and they will want to continue this good form under the leadership of coach Johan Ackermann.


Emirates Lions Super Rugby squad:

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South AfricaThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Friday named a reduced SA Under-20 training squad of 36 players for the remainder of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) training camp following two trial matches in Stellenbosch this week.

An large group of almost 50 players were selected for the camp as SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron opted to cast his net wide in search of the best players to represent the country at the JWC in Auckland, New Zealand, from May 27 to June 20. This will be the first time the country hosts the tournament.

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FranceCastres flyhalf Remy Tales has been recalled into the 30-strong French squad to prepare for the Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff on 21 February.

The 29-year-old Tales held the number 10 shirt for the November Test matches before picking up a neck injury while playing for his club in the European Cup in mid January.

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This is the 8th and last in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for BACK THREE in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the 8th and last in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We did 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for BACK THREE in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the 7th in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for MIDFIELD in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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This is the 7th in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for MIDFIELD in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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DHL StormersDHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has named a 38-man squad for next week’s pre-season camp in Hermanus.

The DHL Stormers will head to Hermanus for the fourth year in a row as they prepare for the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby season which gets underway in just over a month.

Springboks Tiaan Liebenberg, Frans Malherbe, Pat Cilliers, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Jean de Villiers, Jaco Taute, Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon are all part of the 38-man group, which also includes new signing Manuel Carizza (lock) and utility back Scott van Breda, who is on loan from the Kings.

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LionsThis is the fourth in the series of the Lions Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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ItalySergio ParisseMartin CastrogiovanniCaptain Sergio Parisse and popular prop Martin Castrogiovanni are closing in on a century of caps after the Argentine-born pair were named in Italy coach Jacques Brunel’s 30-man squad for next month’s international tests.

Both Stade Francais No 8 Parisse and Toulon’s Castrogiovanni have 98 caps and could surpass the century landmark during tests against Australia, Argentina and Fiji in November.

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SA RugbySpringbok coach Heyneke Meyer has announced his Springbok squad for the 2013 June Internationals.

The surprise inclusions are Lourens Adriaanse, Trevor Nyakane and Bjorn Basson.

The surprise omissions are Raymond Rhule, Robert Ebersohn, Ryan Kankowski and Elton Jantjies.

Nine uncapped players, six of whom have not been part of the national set-up before, have been included in a 34-man Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series involving Italy, Samoa and Scotland later this month.

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sharksThe Sharks squad to play in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament shows no great surprises, with two players drafted in from outside, a couple of new faces that have been in the system and the familiar faces we all know.

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CheetahsThe Cheetahs have announced their group of 35 players for this year’s Super Rugby tournament. It differs substantially from last year’s squad, with numerous players having pursued careers overseas. Considering that ten of last year’s squad’s names don’t appear, one could be forgiven for expecting a weaker squad but it looks like a good squad overall.

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Tiger MangweniWayne van HeerdenThe Southern Kings have announced a 40-man squad ahead of their Super Rugby debut season, with some experienced players falling by the wayside.

The Eastern Cape franchise will make their Super Rugby entry without stalwarts Tiger Mangweni and Wayne van Heerden who failed to make the cut when the revised squad was announced this week.

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Rugby-Talk RWC 2015

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