SANZAR have announced the draw for the 2014 Rugby Championship which will start on the 16th of August when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney.
The 2014 Super Rugby season ends on August the 2nd and then the Southern Hemisphere’s best players will get the weekend of August the 9th off and then the Rugby Championship starts a week later on the 16th.
The New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed their Test schedule for 2014 which starts with a four match tour of New Zealand by England.
England will tour New Zealand for the first time since 2008 and along with three Test matches they will also play a midweek match against the Crusaders.
With The Rugby Championship now done and dusted, the Springbok players involved look set to be returning to their Provincial Unions and respective overseas Clubs to continue plying their trade.
This of course leaves Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer a worried man and wishing he was in the fortunate situation which the All Blacks coach finds himself, where the All Black players will rest some more before the November Internationals start (of course there is still the matter of a Bledisloe Cup encounter between the All Blacks and Wallabies to consider on 18 October).
All Black coach Steve Hansen has rightly commended Springbok captain Jean de Villiers for the way in which he handled the substitute mishap of Dane Coles in their Rugby Championship Test at Ellis Park on Saturday.
On the field there was some confusion and discussion well after the All Blacks had brought replacement hooker Dane Coles on for Andrew Hore in the 2nd half.
Pumas (10) 17 / 54 (25) Wallabies (Final Score)
The Argentinian Pumas and Australian Wallabies did battle in The Rugby Championship at
Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario at 00:40 Sunday SA Time (19:40 ARG Time, 22:40 GMT, 09:40 Sunday EDT Aus Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
Springboks (15) 27 / 38 (21) All Blacks (Final Score)
The South African Springboks and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in The Rugby Championship at
Ellis Park, Johannesburg at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.
This important Test match is turning out to be the final of The Rugby Championship of 2013, however it is not a winner-takes-all final, but rather a terms-and-conditions-apply final.
A draw or a win for the All Blacks and the trophy is theirs. The Springboks on the other hand need to do a lot more. They need 4 tries, they need to prevent the All Blacks from scoring 4 tries and they need to beat the All Blacks by more than 7 points to win the trophy. If the Springboks just win the match without scoring 4 tries they will finish second, 1 Log point behind the All Blacks. All the All Blacks need is 1 solitary Log point, to secure this year’s Rugby Championship.
The Springboks have a great record at Ellis Park, when facing the All Blacks and recorded a massive win here under the coaching of Jake White in 2004 of 40 / 26.
For the Springboks to take the title will be a tall order, but not an impossible one. This could turn out to be the clash of the year.
With the Pumas hosting the Wallabies this weekend it is still all to play for for both sides to avoid the wooden spoon in The Rugby Championship.
These two teams are facing their own demons this season as the Pumas have recorded no wins and the Wallabies only one win in this year’s competition. The Pumas will be backing themselves for a win against a struggling Wallaby team who also aeem to be full of internal politics about pay disputes.
The losing team in this clash will finish at the bottom of the Log. This clash will be an interesting one as both teams want to prove a point.
Australia scrumhalf Will Genia’s yo-yo season took an upward turn when he was recalled for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Argentina.
Genia comes in for Nic White in the only change to the starting line-up from that beaten 28-8 by South Africa in Cape Town last weekend.
World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, affectionally also known as “Ted”, could find himself in hot water once again for disparaging remarks he has made about match officials.
The former All Blacks boss who is now a technical advisor for the Pumas, had some choice words to say about the standards of refereeing in the Rugby Championship, saying that referees and the judicial panel have been “totally inconsistent” and are “a weakness in the game.”
Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach has made only 2 changes to the All Blacks starting 15 for their important Test match and a fitting finale to The Rugby Championship, against the Springboks of South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
As expected, Richie McCaw returns to captain the side and fill the openside flanker role, with Sam Cane dropping to the bench. Richie will play in his 120th Test match and has never had the opportunity to play in a Test at Ellis Park.
The injured prop, Owen Franks, has failed to recover from a groin strain and has been replaced by Charlie Faumuina at tighthead prop, with Ben Franks coming onto the bench.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira will play in his 50th Test for the Springboks when they take on New Zealand at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, in the final round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The 28-year-old Mtawarira, who made his Test debut on 14 June 2008 against Wales in Pretoria, will become the 27th Springbok to reach 50 Test caps, following hot on the heels of his fellow front rankers, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, as well as Morné Steyn.
The recall of veteran midfielder Felipe Contepomi is one of two changes to the Argentina team ahead of their final Rugby Championship match of the year.
The Pumas, still seeking their first win after two years in the competition, will face Australia at the Gigante de Arroyito, in Rosario, on Saturday.
It may come as a surprise to Springbok fans, but coach Heyneke Meyer has lamented the fact that his team has fallen behind the All Blacks in terms of their kicking game, with the Boks being far too wayward in their kicking this season.
While the Boks have made massive strides at the breakdown under consultant Richie Gray and currently lead the Castle Lager Rugby Championship standings for turnovers won in the competition, they have fallen behind in terms of their kicking game – something that has always been a strength.
The All Blacks ex coach, Laurie Mains says Ellis Park is a daunting task for the All Blacks this weekend and leading Sports Scientist Tim Noakes says that the Jet Lag factor could catch up to the All Blacks this weekend.
Australia’s Rugby Championship campaign is being threatened by a pay row involving one of the key players in the team.
Media reports suggest Ben Mowen is considering walking out over a payment dispute with the Australian Rugby Union – just a fortnight after captaining the team against Argentina.
The 28-year-old is understood to be frustrated because he’s not receiving a top-up contract from the ARU, despite being a regular starter for the Wallabies.
With the Wallabies having arguably their worst season ever, flyhalf Quade Cooper has voiced his concerns regarding the team.
After losing against the Springboks in their match on Saturday, Cooper told the guys to come together and support the coach.
The All Blacks are flying Chiefs prop Ben Afeaki over to South Africa for their match against the Springboks this coming weekend.
Afeaki will be standing in for injured Owen Franks.
The Springboks were dealt a big blow when burly lock Flip van der Merwe was banned for one week and will miss the Rugby Championship decider at Ellis Park on Saturday.
A SANZAR judicial hearing found Flip van der Merwe guilty of contravening Law 10.4(e): Dangerous Tackling, which also constituted a breach of Law 10.4 (a): Striking.
The Bok lock was cited after South Africa’s 28-8 demolition of Australia in Cape Town at the weekend.
The All Blacks headed to South Africa on Monday banking on the return of talismanic captain Richie McCaw to put the seal on another successful season.
Although New Zealand require just a single bonus point to retain their Rugby Championship title, they are determined to seal it by beating arch rivals South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.
And the All Blacks are confident they will have McCaw in their arsenal.