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Players from John Dube High School in KwaZulu Natal and Grey College from Free State were crowned provincial champions at the first McDonald’s U/14 Schools League soccer festival held at the VeldenVlei Sports Complex in Richards Bay this past weekend.

John Dube high school went head-to-head with other 11 schools from Kwazulu Natal, while Name of Grey College from Free State competed with 5 other schools. Both schools displayed tremendous skill during games and in the end, it was their remarkable energy and teamwork that secured them a place to represent their provinces at the 2016 McDonald’s U/14 Schools League national finals which will be held in Gauteng from 29 September to 01 October.

“McDonald’s has been developing dreams of children in schools for the past 7 years and we are continuing with our commitment to the contribution of football development at grassroots level. This year, we are excited about the soccer festivals as they allow children to showcase their football talent amongst their peers, parents and communities” said McDonald’s South Africa Corporate Affairs Director, Sechaba Motsieloa.

During the festival, 50 schools coaches from both KwaZulu Natal and Free State schools also underwent a one-day coaching training facilitated in partnership with KNVB adding to the 400 coaches trained in the past two years.

The McDonald’s U/14 Schools League soccer festival in KZN was the first of four in the new league format. The festival was a fun day filled with activities ranging from face-painting, jumping castles and entertainment from Ronald McDonald and DJ Arch Junior.

Springbok preparations for the key showdown with Argentina in Match 1 of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday, 20 August, are moving into high gear. The 31-man squad for the first two Tests of the campaign, against the Pumas, will be named on Saturday with a rehabilitation and conditioning camp already in progress in Stellenbosch.

They’ve got their hands on a ticket for the match with prices set at R100, R150, R200, R300 and R400, R450 (and single tickets at R500) and available from Computicket outlets, online (www.computicket.com) or their kiosks at Shoprite and Checkers stores nationwide.

The picture attached shows a group of players urging supporters to join them for the Mbombela clash. Sitting in front are Oupa Mohoje and Jesse Kriel, in the middle from left are Beast Mtawarira, Vincent Koch, Coenie Oosthuizen and Bongi Mbonambi, and standing at the back are Lood de Jager and Trevor Nyakane. Please credit Carl Fourie / Gallo Images.

SA Rugby has announced the appointments of Abubakar ‘Boebie’ Saban and Vanessa Doble in the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Head of Legal and Compliance respectively.

Doble joins SA Rugby having practised as an attorney in a private law firm and was founder of I-Logix (Pty) Ltd, a consultancy based in Cape Town. She has an LLM in Commercial Law (specialising in Shipping Law) and a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town.

Doble will also act as Company Secretary and lead a newly structured legal department as part of an internal restructuring.

Saban qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001, before joining BP Southern Africa in the risk and assurance department. In 2006 he started his own consultancy company, providing business support across the private and public sectors. His experience also includes a six-year period as CFO of South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS). Continue reading

Media are advised that the match times in the U19 International Series on Friday, 12 August, and Saturday, 20 August, have been changed to allow for the games to be broadcast live on SuperSport.

The tournament, which features three rounds of matches on 12, 16 and 20 August respectively, will see the SA Schools and SA Schools A teams, England, Wales, France and Italy go head-to-head.

All the matches in the two opening rounds will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (channel 201), while the final round of games on 20 August will be broadcast on Channel 198, a SuperSport Pop-Up channel.

The revised fixtures are as follows: Continue reading

August is derby month and this year Premier Interschools is bringing one of the biggest and most famous ones on Saturday the 6th of August to your local screens. Paarl Boys High versus Paarl Gimnasium. The Galpille against the Bloedworse, South vs North. This is the time of year when the town of Paarl is divided into the two camps for a whole week. A rivalry that exists for more than 100 years culminates in the main rugby match between the two schools at the Faure Street Stadium at 16h00 on Saturday. This will be the 99th time these two teams lock horns for Interschools that started with the first match in 1915 when masters, schoolboys and old boys all played together. This was the format up to 1927 after which was decided that the Interschools matches should only comprise of schoolboys. The current format as we know today officially started in 1929.

The Interschools was only interrupted for one year in 1928 when for some reason lost in the midst of time, the derby did not take place.

Paarl Gim has dominated the contest since 2000 having won eleven of the sixteen matches with Paarl Boys winning four and one draw in 2010. This however does not indicate the intensity of these games as the average winning margin in 99 games is a measly five points. There are no easily won Interschools games. Each point gained is precious and defence is usually rock solid. There have been three matches that ended in 0-0 draws, the last one in 1986. This shows the commitment and pressure that can build in these games. Overall Paarl Gim has won 49, Paarl Boys 38 with 11 draws since 1915, indicating that before 2000 and Gim’s two winning streaks, the contest have been very close indeed. Continue reading

The Eastern Province Kings will play in the Currie Cup First Division, if a proposal by SA Rugby is approved by members of the General Council.

The proposal has been circulated to the 13 provincial unions. They have until close of business on Tuesday to provide their response.

If it is approved the Leopards – who finished fourth in the qualifying competition – will replace the EP Kings and join the other qualifiers (Griquas, Boland and the Steval Pumas) in the Currie Cup Premier Division this season.

Eastern Province would join the Down Touch Griffons, South Western Districts, Border, Hino Valke and Windhoek Draught Welwitschias in the First Division.

“We realise the situation is not ideal but unfortunately we had little other option than to make this proposal,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The Currie Cup remains a massively important part of the local rugby landscape and the solution for this year is the best for the competition while allowing the EP Kings to continue their participation.”

The change – if approved – would mean the Currie Cup Premier Division would be contested by the Xerox Golden Lions, DHL Western Province, Vodacom Blue Bulls, Cell C Sharks, Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Griquas, Boland, the Steval Pumas and the Leopards.

SA Rugby confirmed that following the Emirates Lions’ qualification for the Vodacom Super Rugby final on Saturday, their provisional Currie Cup schedule has been revised and the Xerox Golden Lions will have a bye this weekend.

Only 11 745 tickets remained unsold on Monday for the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, which takes place on 10 and 11 December 2016.

SA Rugby advised supporters to buy today to avoid missing out on the two-day Sevens festival that so captivated crowds in 2015.

Computicket confirmed that all publicly available tickets had been sold for Sunday’s play (although hospitality tickets are still available) with just under 12 000 remaining for Saturday, 10 December. Tickets range in price from R150 to R250 for a full day’s play.

SA Rugby said that a small number of tickets may be released for public sales closer to the tournament in the event of the return of unwanted tickets from commercial partners. However, supporters were urged to get their tickets from Computicket now – online or at their Shoprite or Checkers outlets nationwide – to avoid disappointment. Continue reading

The coaching staff for DHL Western Province as well as DHL Western Province U21 and DHL Western Province U19 have been confirmed, with Jerome Paarwater taking over as DHL Western Province U21 coach.

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson will be assisted in the Currie Cup Premier Division campaign, which starts with a trip to Loftus Versfeld to face the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Friday August 5, by Backs Coach Dawie Snyman, Head Defence Coach Paul Treu, Assistant Defence Coach Norman Laker and Forwards Coach Russell Winter.

Paarwater will be assisted by Forwards Coach Hanyani Shimange, Backs Coach Chris Rossouw, Defence Coach Anton Moolman and Fitness and Conditioning Coach Riefaat Jappie, as DHL Western Province U21 look to retain the title they won last year under Robbie Fleck.

Paarwater brings plenty of experience to the role as a coach that has been involved in the structures at Western Province Rugby for over 15 years, and he is excited about the challenge.

“There is so much talent to work with here, and I have two Springboks assisting me, so I am excited about the challenge that lies ahead of us,” said Paarwater.

DHL Western Province U19 retain the same coaching staff that took them to the semifinal last year with Forwards Coach Rito Hlungwani, Defence Coach Chris October and Strength and Conditioning Coach Johan van Wyk assisting Head Coach Nazeem Adams who recently travelled to the World Rugby U20 Championships as Assistant Coach of the Junior Springboks. Continue reading

The Springbok squad to do duty in the first two matches of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship will be named on Saturday 6 August 2016 after the Vodacom Super Rugby final.

In the meantime, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on Sunday invited a selected group of players to attend a four-day fundamentals, rehabilitation and conditioning camp in Stellenbosch, to be held from 1 to 4 August. No Emirates Lions or overseas-based players were considered.

The purpose of the Stellenbosch camp is to give the Springbok management first-hand opportunity to assess the medical and fitness condition of the selected group of players.

“We will use the four days to spend some time on our fundamentals, continued rehabilitation and conditioning of this group of players,” said Coetzee.

“Our management will be working hard during these four days and it will give us a good indication of the progress of those players who have recovered from injury, or those currently battling with niggles.”

Players invited to a Springbok rehabilitation and conditioning camp: Continue reading

More than 60 000 tickets to the 2016 HSBC Cape Town Sevens, to be held on 10 and 11 December, were snapped up by the public on the first day of sales, SA Rugby said on Friday.

Computicket confirmed that 60 703 tickets had been sold by 17h00 on Friday. Sales opened at 09h00 through their website, ticket offices and at Shoprite and Checkers outlets with rugby fans rushing to snap up tickets. Almost 23 000 tickets were sold for Saturday’s action with Sunday sales topping 38 000.

SA Rugby on Friday thanked the rugby-loving public for the support shown so far and again advised that Computicket is the only official ticket service provider for online sales and through their outlets at Checkers and at Shoprite. Tickets are priced at R150 and R250 for a full day’s rugby action.

“It is awesome to see the support from the public and one can almost feel the excitement already,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“There are still tickets available, but they are selling fast so we’d like to urge fans to buy now to avoid disappointment.

“We are aware of aware of other outlets selling tickets at higher prices, but SA Rugby can’t guarantee the validity of those tickets.” Continue reading

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