The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have picked up promising former Western Province Under 21 and UCT loose forward, Vincent Jobo, for their Absa Currie Cup campaign and a good showing may even lead to a Vodacom Super Rugby stint for the player nicknamed “The Animal.”
Jobo had an impressive Varsity Cup last year and is one of the rising stars of Cape Rugby. The decision to move to Bloemfontein for the Currie Cup is an excellent one for him as the former King Edward VII schoolboy has fought his way through the ranks and is now being rewarded for his form.
Highly-rated former SA Schools and SA Under 20 hooker Bongi Mbonambi will join Western Province Rugby at the start of the 2015 season.
Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield says winning the 2014 Currie Cup is “non-negotiable” for the Capetonians.
Wakefield was left upset after the Stormers finished the Super Rugby season in a lowly 11th position – their worst effort since finishing 10th in 2009.
He didn’t get what he wanted from the last game of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, which was for his DHL Stormers team to buck the trend of failure in marquee matches, but typically that did not place a massive dent in Schalk Burger’s good humour afterwards.
“I’m not going to see you guys for a while. It would be nice to have you staying over with us in Japan sometime. Get an excuse to come and write about the South Africans playing in Japan and we will be happy to host you,” was the Stormers captain’s grinning parting statement as he left the Newlands boardroom following the post-match press conference after the defeat to the Sharks.
Rugby, or particularly junior rugby, is alive and well in the Western Cape. It is no surprise that they rule the roost in the under age groups, it’s a phenomena that we have come to expect and sometimes take for granted.
The challenge for the men in the board rooms of WP Rugby Union is how to hang onto all the talent. They are lambasted on an annual basis for those that they “let slip away” and credit for those they managed to secure is few and far between. Are we, as supporters, always fair in our criticism of our respective unions? How can anybody be 100% sure that a player will make the step up.
Tim Swiel is a good case in point, when news broke that he signed at the Sharks social network went into overdrive with unhappy Western Province supporters taking shots at Allister Coetzee, Rob Wagner and Thelo Wakefield. This was a kid who showed immense talent while playing for Bishops and then went on to help Western Province win the Under 21 Currie Cup.
Yet, hardly 6 months later he is being lambasted on rugby sites by Shark supporters who blame him for their loss against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein a week ago. Jake White, after losing Pat Lambie to injury in March, placed his faith in young Swiel, but that seems to also now be misplaced. Swiel has been dropped from the match 23 a week after he was the starting fly half.
The Eastern Province Kings are reportedly interested in luring Western Province lock Tazz Fuzani to Port Elizabeth.
Fuzani, 23, made a promising debut for WP in last year’s Currie Cup, but appears to have fallen out of favour with WP / Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.
News from the Bulls camp, prior to joining Super Rugby action again after the June Test break has not been so good!
Jacques du Plessis, Blindside flank of the Bulls broke his jaw in the warm-up match over the weekend against namibia and is set to miss the rest of the Bulls Super Rugby campaign.
In addition, the Bulls have confirmed that lock Paul Willemse, has signed a 2-year deal with French Club, Grenoble and they have also confirmed that the Bulls kicking consultant, Vlok Cilliers will join the WP as from July 2014.
Western Province and the Stormers look likely to lose the services of props Pat Cilliers and Brok Harris.
According to reports, Cilliers is heading to French club Montpellier, while Welsh club Newport are believed to be hunting the signature of Harris.
Western Province and the Stormers are reportedly hunting the services of Bulls kicking consultant Vlok Cilliers.
Cilliers, a former flyhalf who played one Test for the Boks in 1996, started working as the Bulls’ kicking coach in 2004.
Western Province flyhalf Gary van Aswegen is set to join the Eastern Province Kings for a trial period.
Van Aswegen joined up with the Port Elizabeth-based team on Tuesday.
The trial period will be for one month, but if all goes well, the 24-year-old could represent the EP Kings in this year’s Currie Cup.
DHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls have both announced that they will be playing against Saracens, at Allianz Park, London, England.
In the case of WP, they will play Saracens at the end of the Currie Cup season in 2014, whereas the Blue Bulls will play Saracens late January 2015.
DHL Stormers and WP player Deon Fourie has signed a 2 year deal with newly promoted French club Lyon.
Western Province Vodacom Cup coach John Dobson is in England to learn skills from rugby league side Wigan and union team Northampton.
Dobson paid for the two-week trip himself but has informed the union’s Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, about it.
The Steval Pumas, Cell C Sharks XV, GWK Griquas and Toyota Free State XV will host the four Vodacom Cup quarter-finals after the pool phase of the competition came to an exciting conclusion this weekend.
It was an exciting end to the competition in 2014, with a total of 75 tries scored in the eight pool matches at an average of just over nine per match, or one try every eight or so minutes.
While the North Section went pretty much as expected and the Steval Pumas managed the become the only team to go through their pool matches unbeaten, the last round in the South Section saw the log getting a proper overhaul following upsets in Durban and George on Friday evening.
The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) is open to again discuss a possible move away from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium.
This comes after the union suspended talks in February this year after it was upset when then-Mayoral Committee Member Grant Pascoe said talks ‘were taking place behind closed doors’ to secure WP as the anchor tenant for the stadium.
Gert, may I wish you all the best in your new position. I am sure you are the man who can restore pride and dignity to WP Rugby but please don’t let “diplomacy” trip you up at the first step and derail everything before it even starts.
A Big Broom Sweeps Cleanest
Please use the opportunity to sweep the stage clean and start afresh much like the Sharks have done to great success. This is not an attack on the coaches as people who are all ‘good guys’ but it is important we recognize their limitations and the dire situation in which WP Rugby finds itself.
Exciting Maties flyhalf Robert du Preez has signed a contract with Western Province Rugby, which will see last year’s SA Under-20 pivot play his rugby in Cape Town until 2016 at least.
The vastly-experienced Gert Smal will join Western Province Rugby as the new Director of Rugby, with effect from April 1, 2014.
A new era is set to dawn on Western Province with John Dobson likely to be named Currie Cup coach, according to reports.
The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) will hold a press conference on Monday, where Gert Smal is expected to be appointed as Director of Rugby.
Gert Smal is set to be installed as the Western Province director of rugby as the union prepares to overhaul the much maligned Stormers management team.
According to reports, it is understood that Smal, who is a big favourite of Wakefield and was first sounded out about the role last August, could be announced in his new position as early as next week, with Wakefield now assured of the ratification of his proposal by the board, who he says support him 100%.
Top-14 outfit Grenoble are confident that they will have Stormers and Springbok wing Gio Aplon on their books for next season, club sources have said on Wednesday.
The Boland Rugby Union and Western Province Rugby Football Union have announced a brand new club rugby competition, the Community Challenge Club Rugby Competition.
A total of eight clubs – four clubs each from the Boland and Western Province premier leagues – will form part of the inaugural Community Challenge, which kicks off on March 1, 2014. The finals will take place on March 29, 2014.
Western Province and Stormers forward Michael Rhodes was cleared of further sanctions on Thursday, after being cited for a dangerous tackle in the Currie Cup Final against the Sharks in Cape Town last season.
The City of Cape Town is eager to have the Western Province Rugby Union as the anchor tenant of the Cape Town Stadium.
Western Province and Stormers forward Michael Rhodes will appear before a South African Rugby Union (SARU) judicial committee on Thursday for a dangerous tackle in last year’s Currie Cup final against The Sharks at Newlands.