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Jano Vermaak

Jano Vermaak

Springbok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak has signed a 2-and-a-half-year deal with Western Province Rugby and will be available for selection from 1 July, once he has completed his current club commitments in France.

The 30-year-old will make the move back to South Africa from French giants, Toulouse; joining Nic Groom, Louis Schreuder and Godlen Masimla as the senior scrumhalf options for the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province.

The quicksilver Vermaak has won 3 Test caps for the Springboks, making his debut against Italy on 8 June 2013, before also featuring against the Wallabies and the All Blacks later that season.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

Long-serving DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has chosen not to extend his contract at Western Province Rugby and will, instead, take up an opportunity abroad at the end of this year.

Coetzee, 51, will join Japanese club, Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers, having decided to put pen to paper this week.

“I have always said that I would make an announcement once I had made a decision about my future and my decision has now been made and communicated properly,” said Coetzee on the official DHL Stormers website.

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Thelo WakefieldThe Western Province Rugby Union wants to persuade the South African Rugby Union to hand Newlands the Springboks / All Blacks Rugby Championship Test next year.

This comes after SANZAR on Monday issued a release revealing that the Springboks will tackle the All Blacks at a South African venue to be decided on Saturday, 25 July.

It will be part of a curtailed, single-round Rugby Championship for the first time since its inception in 2012, a situation brought about by the priority given to next year’s World Cup in England and Wales from September.

The Boks play both the defending champion All Blacks and Argentina (Saturday, 8 August) at home, with their only overseas obligation being against Australia in Brisbane (Saturday, 18 July).

WP president Thelo Wakefield said that they will send a letter to SARU president Oregan Hoskins to consider handing the All Blacks Test to Newlands.

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Anton van Zyl

Veteran lock Anton van Zyl

Former DHL Western Province captain Anton van Zyl is set for a shock return to the team after an absence of four years as the Absa Currie Cup log leaders seek a way to protect their stocks ahead of the play-off phase of the competition.

Van Zyl, known as Worms by his friends, finished off a stint with Stade de Francais a few months ago and is back living in Cape Town. He last played for WP in the 2010 Currie Cup final, and last played for the Stormers in the 2011 season.

He attended a Province training session on Tuesday as the Cape side prepares for the clash with the Cell C Sharks this weekend, and according to WP sources, is in the reckoning to play in the game.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger still has unfinished business with the Stormers and Boks

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.

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Newlands Rugby StadiumCape Town StadiumThe 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.

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Gert SmalDHL WPGert 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%.

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DHL WPDHL-StormersDeon FourieNot only were WP Rugby’s professional players awarded individual trophies based on their performances throughout the 2013 season, but the Western Province Rugby Football Union also recognised all club, junior, female and referees’ performances within the union this past year.

The event was well attended on the night with the DHL WP Absa Currie Cup team present – ahead of this weekend’s semifinal against the Golden Lions – along with other key sponsors, players (seniors, juniors and club players), administrators and the local rugby media.

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Yesterday speculation was rife that Newlands and possibly Kings Park would not be used in future for rugby events, and more specifically for Test Rugby.

This follows from New Safety Regulations governing Sports events, in the process of being passed into law.

As often happens, only part of the story was reported, by overzealous journalism.

Here’s the happy sequel to the story….

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