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Four of the five Springbok squad members released for Currie Cup duty this weekend will take to the field for their respective provinces in a timely boost as the sides look to build momentum in the competition.

Vodacom Blue Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant, DHL Western Province winger Dillyn Leyds, and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs duo of Francois Venter (centre) and Oupa Mohoje (flank) have all been handed starts as the Currie Cup – proudly sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis – enters the sixth round.

In a full weekend of action, DHL Western Province will host the Xerox Golden Lions in Cape Town on Friday, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs will take on the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein in a repeat of last year’s final on Saturday, and Tafel Lager Griquas will take on the Steval Pumas in Kimberley on Sunday. The Cell C Sharks have a bye.

The clash between the Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province on Friday evening in Cape Town is expected to be thrilling as both teams have battled to build momentum this season, while they have developed a solid rivalry over the years.

The last time the Johannesburg team defeated DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands was in 2012, but anything can happen on Friday as the Xerox Golden Lions will be desperate to bounce back from two defeats, while the hosts will want to build on their victory at home last week. Continue reading

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and his coaching staff shared their rugby knowledge and experience with more than 60 club and schools coaches at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi visited several young patients in the local Provincial Hospital as part of the Smile Foundation Outreach programme, while several Boks also spent some time reading to Walmer Primary school learners as part of a ‘Boks for Books’ activation.

Coetzee was joined by Matt Proudfoot (scrum coach), Johann van Graan (forwards coach) and Franco Smith (attack and backline coach), and players Curwin Bosch, Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane as well as Andries Coetzee at the event organised by Hilton Adonis, the Coaching and Education Manager of SA Rugby. Continue reading

DHL Western Province U19 coach Nazeem Adams has made four changes for the encounter against Leopards U19 at Brookside on Friday.

There are three changes up front and one in the backline as DHL Western Province U19 look to take their unbeaten run this season to six games.

Hooker Schalk Erasmus and lock BJ Dixon are back in the mix after missing the resounding victory against Eastern Province U19 last week, with Jesse Johnson shifting from lock to blindside flank and Shaine Orderson on the replacements bench.

The only change to the backline sees scrumhalf Labib Kannemeyer come back into the starting line-up after featuring as a replacement last week.

Adams said that he is grateful to be able to keep continuity with combinations as his team look to build on their unbeaten start to the campaign.

“It is vital that we take the momentum we have already created forward and make further improvements to our game. Continue reading

Pic: zimbio

Pic: zimbio

The other change in the pack that started the third Test against France in Johannesburg in June, sees the inclusion of experienced tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen in place of Ruan Dreyer.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee made only one change to the backline, with scrumhalf Ross Cronje resuming the No 9 duties from Francois Hougaard.

Hougaard and Du Preez are joined on the bench by experienced prop Trevor Nyakane, as well as Curwin Bosch, the promising young Cell C Sharks and Junior Springbok flyhalf, who will make his Springbok debut should he run onto the field on Saturday.

“Uzair is a very versatile loose forward and the added advantage is that he is also an excellent option in the lineout,” explained Coetzee.

“Coenie has played consistently well this season for the Cell C Sharks and he performed well for us whenever he came off the bench in the French series, while Trevor has worked extremely hard and deserves his opportunity.”

Coetzee said that Bosch had slotted well into the Springbok environment during his stay of almost two weeks with the squad in Port Elizabeth. The youngster also attended the Boks’ pre-season training camp in April.

Continue reading

Cobus Wiese will make his senior debut for DHL Western Province against the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands on Friday night.

Having featured for the DHL Stormers already this year, the 20-year-old utility forward returns from a shoulder injury to start at flank for the Currie Cup encounter, which kicks off at 19h00 on Friday.

There are just two changes to the starting line-up that did duty in the victory against the Vodacom Blue Bulls last week, with DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson opting for continuity.

The only change to the backline sees Dillyn Leyds come back into the fold on the wing in place of the injured Bjorn Basson.

Dobson said that his team will have to be at their best at DHL Newlands on Friday after a short week of preparation.

“This is another real challenge for this team, but the players have embraced that and we are excited about taking another step forward in our game.

“We are proud of our record at DHL Newlands and would like to continue getting positive results at home,” he said.

DHL Western Province: 15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese (DHL Western Province debut), 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Eddie Zandberg, 20 Steph de Wit, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Dan Kriel.

The Springboks have released Warrick Gelant (fullback), Lizo Gqoboka (prop, both Vodacom Blue Bulls), Oupa Mohoje (flank), Francois Venter (centre, both Toyota Free State Cheetahs) and Dillyn Leyds (wing, DHL Western Province) to their provincial teams for Currie Cup duty, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The five players are members of the Springbok squad who are currently fine-tuning their preparations for the weekend’s opening Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Argentina.

They will be released to their respective Provinces on Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday’s first round fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign starts at 17h05 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Springbok match day squad will be named on Thursday while the 28 man squad that leaves for Salta, Argentina on Wednesday 23 August will be announced next Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

Xerox Golden Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee and centre Rohan Janse Van Rensburg will be allowed to participate in the team’s Currie Cup clash against DHL Western Province on Friday following disciplinary hearings on Monday.

Janse van Rensburg’s citing for a dangerous tackle, was not upheld.

Vodacom Blue Bulls fullback Duncan Matthews will miss his team’s Currie Cup clash against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on Saturday after receiving a one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle.

Matthews was cited for transgressing Law 10.4 (e) in the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ match against DHL Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday, which the Pretoria side lost 45-34. His disciplinary hearing took place on Tuesday morning.

Springbok prop Frans Malherbe will most likely miss the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign because of a neck injury, it was confirmed on Monday.

The front ranker underwent scans on Monday afternoon in Port Elizabeth to determine the severity of the injury after complaining about stiffness in his neck.

“Frans consulted a neurosurgeon in PE who suggested extended rest for the player, with follow up scans to be done in two weeks’ time,” according to Bok team doctor, Dr Konrad von Hagen.

Malherbe is replaced by Ruan Dreyer, the Emirates Lions prop who made his Springbok debut in the third Test match against France in June.

The Springboks kick off their Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday against Argentina in PE. Continue reading

SA Schools coach Lance Sendin reshuffled his pack for their second clash in the U19 International Series against France at Paarl Gymnasium on Tuesday, which will see a new front row and flank combination take to the field.

Sendin made six personnel changes and two positional switches to the SA Schools team – sponsored by Coca-Cola – that went down 30-28 against Wales in Stellenbosch, with props Jordan Clarke and Asenathi Ntlabakanye pairing up with hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha in a new front row.

The new-look loose trio features flankers Mark Snyman and Dylan Richardson, while captain Travis Gordon retains the No 8 jersey. In the backline, meanwhile, centre Yanga Hlalu replaces Rikus Pretorius, while Qamani Kota and Kennedy Mpeku switch places at fullback and winger respectively.

Meanwhile, lock Adrian Alberts has returned home due to concussion, but with sufficient cover among the forwards, Sendin opted to call up Pumas and Hoërskool Nelspruit flyhalf Stephan van der Bank as cover. The injury to Alberts means that the bench will feature 12 players, although only eight replacements may be used during the match. Continue reading

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