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SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, will take charge of the Barbarians for the first time when the famous club returns to action later this season.

Just days after the Springboks recorded a superb first win in New Zealand in nine years when they beat the All Blacks by 36-34 in Wellington last weekend in a Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test match, Erasmus has a confirmed Twickenham date with the Barbarians when they take on Argentina in the Killik Cup match on Saturday, 1 December.

The Barbarians side pulled off a record-breaking win over England earlier this year when the famous invitational side won 63-45.

“It’s a terrific honour to be invited to coach the Barbarians later this year and it should be a great occasion at Twickenham,” said Erasmus.

“The Barbarians are renowned for bringing together great individuals and the challenge for coaches is moulding them into a team that plays wonderful rugby, which they certainly showed earlier this year against England.

“There’s a lot of important games for South Africa between now and then but the chance to work with a new group and take on Argentina once more will be a great end to the year.”

The Pumas, who won the last fixture between the sides in 2015, made history of their own last weekend with a 23-19 win over the Wallabies in Australia — their first there in 35 years.

Erasmus will coach a squad full of international greats and three Springboks have already accepted invitations to line up against the Pumas – Handré Pollard (flyhalf), Eben Etzebeth (lock) and Tendai Mtawarira (prop) will join the Baa-baas in London after South Africa’s November internationals against England, France, Scotland and Wales.

They will be joined by Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia, who will be in Europe with Australia for their Tests against Wales, Italy and England. More big name acquisitions will be announced in due course.

SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, and Springbok captain Siya Kolisi lauded the self-belief and courage of the team after the South Africans scored an epic victory over the All Blacks on Saturday morning (SA time) in Wellington.

The Boks rallied back from 12-0 down to beat the world champions by 36-34 in front of a capacity crowd at the Westpac Stadium in the Kiwi capital. It was the most points the All Blacks have ever conceded in New Zealand and South Africa’s first win in New Zealand since 2009.

Erasmus said the players deserve special praise for their courage on defence and execution of the game plan. The home team dominated possession and territory and forced the Boks to make more than 200 tackles during the game.

“The boys showed guts and I’m so glad for them,” said Erasmus.

“We will take this win over the best team in the world and enjoy it, but we will keep our feet firmly on the ground. We will not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a lot of work to do and the All Blacks will be fuming when they come to Pretoria (on 6 October).”

Kolisi said the win was special, given the many in game challenges the team had to face during the match. Both starting centres, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am, left the field with shoulder injuries, while Willie le Roux (fullback) spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after he was yellow carded.

“We kept our focus and we really had belief,” said Kolisi.

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Springbok captain Siya Kolisi spoke of the great rivalry between the Springboks and the All Blacks on Friday in Wellington and how the South Africans aim to improve every time they run out in a Test.

Even though the New Zealanders have ruled recent meetings between the two countries, Kolisi described each fixture between the two sides as something special.

The two sides meet on Saturday at 19h35 (09h35 SA time) at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The All Blacks will clinch the Castle Lager Rugby Championship if they record a bonus-point victory. The match will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

Looking forward to Saturday’s huge battle, Kolisi said it’s important that the Boks grab their chances against the New Zealanders.

“We want to make sure we improve every week and with every outing,” said Kolisi.

“We have to limit the individual mistakes and make sure we perform over the 80 minutes because they will punish you for those errors.

“There’s no better Test for you as a player, than to play against the best in the world. I know the guys are excited for this game and we are going to give it our best shot on Saturday. Playing the All Blacks is always something special. ”

Kolisi and his Springbok team mates completed their match preparations with the captains run on Friday morning at the Westpac Stadium, under clear skies and bright sunshine.

Handré Pollard will start at flyhalf for the Springboks on Saturday when they take on the All Blacks in Wellington, while Malcolm Marx and Lukhanyo Am are also back in the starting line-up for the Boks’ final away match in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, announced his Springbok match-23 on Thursday afternoon in the New Zealand capital, with three changes and one positional switched confirmed in the starting line-up.

Three of those changes are in the backline, while Erasmus also made some tweaks to the bench.

Pollard comes into the starting line-up and Elton Jantjies is set to play off the bench. Jesse Kriel is picked on the right wing as a result of the injury to Makazole Mapimpi, who has returned to South Africa to undergo further scans on his right knee.

As a result, Am takes Kriel’s position at outside centre and partners Damian de Allende in a new-look midfield combination.

The only change to the pack sees Marx rotating starting places with Bongi Mbonambi in the No 2 jersey and amongst the reserves, Ross Cronje swaps places with Embrose Papier as the backup scrumhalf.

Erasmus emphasised that the Springboks will have to reduce the amount of costly errors against New Zealand.

“We have to deliver a much improved performance against the All Blacks,” said Erasmus.

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VIBRANT AND COLOURFUL MARATHON PROMISES GREAT SPECTATOR ACTION: Sanlam Cape Town Marathon promises nailbiting action on both the course and the sidelines

Cape Town, 13 September 2018 – With Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label-status marathon less than two weeks away, Capetonians have added reason to celebrate the start of spring. This year’s iconic African city marathon, which weaves its way along the Atlantic Seaboard, and through the CBD and Southern Suburbs, before looping back into town, will play host to over 10 000 marathoners. It will feature runners from as far afield as Australia, with South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu and Nolene Conrad also competing for this year’s title in an elite athlete field.

“What makes this year’s marathon so unique, aside from it being a beautiful and fast race, is the growing spectator and charitable interest in the event,” says Olympian and race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer. “We have over 50 charities represented, with some runners doing the full course in fancy dress as a means of bringing attention to their charitable cause.”

Nineteen spectator zones have been carefully set up along the route, some of which will be co-hosted by local charities. These offer prime visibility of all the colourful action on the route, and enable supporters to also enjoy live musical entertainment, food and drinks, as well as a chance to meet local celebrities.

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Captain Chris van Zyl will make his first start for DHL Western Province this season against Xerox Golden Lions at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday.

Having played off the replacements bench in the last game against the iCollege Pumas, lock Van Zyl takes over the captaincy for the Currie Cup clash in Johannesburg which kicks off at 15h00 on Saturday.

Van Zyl will partner JD Schickerling in the second row, with Ernst van Rhyn shifting to blindside flank and Kobus van Dyk at openside. Salmaan Moerat and Chris Massyn will provide cover on the replacements bench.

There is one change to the front row as Michael Kumbirai comes back into the starting line-up at tighthead and Carlu Sadie makes his first appearance of the season among the replacements.

The only change to the backline sees Dan Kriel back at inside centre, with scrumhalf Paul de Wet getting an opportunity on the replacements bench.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that it will take an 80-minute performance to challenge the Xerox Golden Lions at Emirates Airline Park.

“We know that we will have to be accurate in all areas and sustain our effort until the final whistle if we are to come away with a win this weekend.

“Our preparations have gone well following our bye last week, but the key will be putting those plans into action on Saturday,” he said.

DHL Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Dan du Plessis.

The unprecedented demand for tickets to the HSBC Cape Town Sevens was underlined once more when 34,428 registrations for 163,424 tickets were received for the two-day event at by yesterday’s closing deadline.

SA Rugby thanked the public for their support as the second phase of the ticket allocation kicked in on Thursday. Interest for the event was widespread with individuals from 35 countries signing up during the two-week registration window.

SA Rugby again warned the public against buying tickets from online agencies. There are no official re-selling agencies; they have no official access to tickets and they charge significantly above cover price for tickets which they do not have and frequently do not deliver.

No fewer than 19,950 registrations were received for the loyalty programme – which is aimed at devoted fans who have attended the South African leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and George and plan to do so again – while there were 14,478 registrations for the ticket lottery.

“We’re very grateful for the massive response and the positive way in which supporters embraced this new ticketing registration system,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby’s CEO on Thursday.

“The biggest complaint about the event in the past was the ticket purchasing experience – which ended up being concentrated into a 44-minute window last year.

“Those tickets were snapped up by just 7,000 purchasers. This year we’ve been able to get 23,543 individuals to the starting line and we expect considerably more than 7,000 to be ticket holders by the end of the process.”

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The Currie Cup will move closer to the business end of the competition this weekend as three teams enter the second half of their campaigns, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls will play their penultimate pool match.

The unbeaten Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province will go head-to-head in a decisive match with an eye on possible home semi-finals in the competition – sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua. The Cell C Sharks, also undefeated, have bye.

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Tafel Lager Griquas, iCOLLEGE Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls, meanwhile, will be fighting for survival, as defeats this weekend could knock them out of the semi-final race.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls and iCOLLEGE Pumas will kick off the action at Loftus Versfeld on Friday in what is expected to be a hard-fought clash.

The men from Mpumalanga have won only one of their three matches so far, while the hosts will be determined to build on their victory last week to remain in the top four on the standings with only one pool match remaining following this clash. History favours the Pretorians, whose winning run at home against the iCOLLEGE Pumas extends beyond 1997.

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Former Springbok flyhalf Joel Stransky presented the Springboks with their match jerseys in Brisbane on Friday and urged the team “to do something special” when they face Australia on Saturday.

Australia host South Africa at 20h00 (12h00 SA time) at the Suncorp Stadium in the third round of the 2018 Castle Lager Rugby Championship, with both teams determined to bounce back after suffering defeats in the previous round.

Stransky, a key member of the famous 1995 Ruby World Cup team, handed the Springbok players their match jerseys in the customary team ceremony on the eve of a Test match. He is nowadays a match commentator for South African broadcaster SuperSport and a keen cyclist.

The former Springbok flyhalf shared a few words of encouragement with the players and management, before presenting each member of the 23-man squad with their match day jersey.

“It is always special to be invited into the Springbok fold, this is a very special environment,” said Stransky.

“As a former player, it is even more special to join the boys; it’s a special culture and I am really honoured to be here.

“I told them to embrace the moment and to go out and do something special when they play the Wallabies on Saturday evening.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi emphasised that the Boks are determined to bounce back from their disappointing defeat two weekends ago in Mendoza.

“We are excited to play again this weekend and we want to give our best again and really want to win away from home so that we can get back into contention for the competition,” said Kolisi.

The Springboks completed their preparations on Friday with their captain’s run at the Suncorp Stadium. Saturday’s match will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

The Cell C Sharks and Xerox Golden Lions will look to maintain their early dominance in the Currie Cup by stretching their winning runs to three matches in what marks the halfway stage of their pool rounds this weekend.

Both teams won their opening two games with bonus points, although they trail DHL Western Province on the standings on points’ difference, and with the competition – sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis Financial Services – nearing the business end, the men from Durban and Johannesburg will be determined to remain at the top-end of the log for possible home semi-finals. The Capetonians, who are also unbeaten, have a bye this week.

The Cell C Sharks will host the iCOLLEGE Pumas on Friday at Jonsson Kings Park in Durban, where the visitors will look to end a losing run stretching over more than 22 seasons, and to bounce back from a 57-28 defeat against the Capetonians last week.

Interestingly, the men from Mpumalanga have scored more points than the Durbanites, but they will have to tighten up their defence, as they have conceded 37 more points in the same number of matches.

Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez made only two changes to his starting team, with Luke Stringer and Aphelele Fassi earning their first starts, while Springbok hooker Akker van der Merwe makes his first appearance of the season among the replacements.

The iCOLLEGE Pumas made three changes to their side, which sees Marko Janse van Rensburg, Hugo Kloppers, and Ruwellyn Isbel being drafted into the starting team.

In Kimberley, Tafel Lager Griquas will have their sights set on earning their first victory of the season when they host the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday, but they will expect a tough challenge from the visitors who come of back-to-back defeats.

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