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SA Rugby on Monday acknowledged the findings of the Eminent Persons’ Group report on Transformation for 2014/15 and the sanction imposed by Mr Fikile Mbalula, Minister for Sports and Recreation.

SA Rugby, as well as Cricket South Africa, Netball SA and Athletics South Africa, had revoked their privilege of “hosting and bidding for major and mega international tournaments in South Africa as a consequence of…not meeting their own set transformation targets”, said the minister. The decision would be reconsidered at the next reporting of the EPG, which is expected in November.

“We understand and support the Minister’s urgency in addressing the issue of transformation,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“There is no question that we have more work to do and we could be moving faster, but our sport has undergone a major overhaul in how we do business and how we measure ourselves in the past two or three years and we have definitely made great progress.

“Transformation is a key strategic imperative for SA Rugby to remain competitive and to survive in the sports landscape in our country. Continue reading

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux confirmed on Monday that Rassie Erasmus (GM: Rugby) has accepted a new position as director of rugby at Munster in Ireland. He will take up his new position following the Springboks’ home series against Ireland in June.

Erasmus, a former Springbok captain, has led the Rugby Department for the past four years, introducing a number of new structures and innovations.

“I’d like to thank Rassie for the massive contribution he has made in establishing the Rugby Department and ensuring SA Rugby remain leaders on and off the field,” said Roux.

“It will be difficult to replace Rassie, but we’ll make an appointment in due course. The Rugby Department is functioning extremely well with experts at all levels ensuring the department runs smoothly on a daily basis. Continue reading

Cape Town would like to rectify a recent article that appeared on the Kickoff website suggesting that Anssi Jaakkola was set to leave the club at the end of the current Absa Premiership season.

Jaakkola has been a rock in the goals for the Urban Warriors in the past three seasons, earning himself nominations for the Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season in two consecutive years, while staking his claim for yet another nomination this season after producing many stellar performances between the posts. The Finnish shot stopper played an instrumental role in Ajax Cape Town’s unbelievable achievement of reaching the 2015 Nedbank Cup final as well as winning the MTN8 trophy in spectacular fashion. Continue reading

The Emirates Lions proved far too strong for a gallant Southern Kings side in their Vodacom Super Rugby match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening, winning by 45-10 as the Highveld-side moved within a point of leaders DHL Stormers on the Africa conference standings.

In Cape Town, the DHL Stormers survived a second half onslaught from the visiting Reds to clinch a 40-22 home win in the early Saturday afternoon fixture. The Cape side received a blow before kick-off when captain, Frans Malherbe, had to withdraw because of illness. His place in the front row was taken by Vincent Koch, while Springbok midfielder Damian de Allende took over the captaincy.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Rebels put in a strong second half performance to beat the Toyota Cheetahs 36-14 in Melbourne. They scored 26 unanswered points in the second half to clinch a bonus point win, which saw them take pole position on the Australian conference ladder.

In the first match played on Friday morning, rookie flyhalf Garth April succeeded with all five kicks at goal to guide the Cell C Sharks to a hard fought 15-14 win over a 14-man Highlanders at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. The win enabled the Cell C Sharks to snap a winless streak of four matches. Continue reading

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron was confident on Friday that the plans for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in June were falling into place, as his provisional training squad continues to put in the hard yards at their training base in Stellenbosch.

Theron’s training squad has been in Stellenbosch since the beginning of the month, where the focus has been on familiarising themselves with the game plan, and improving their conditioning and fitness.

The Junior Springboks, who secured the bronze medal at the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy, will kick off their 2016 campaign in Manchester, England, against Japan on 7 June at the Academy Stadium, before taking on Argentina on 11 June at the AJ Bell Stadium, and France on 15 June back at the Academy Stadium in the pool stages. Continue reading

SA Rugby has increased its commitment to player welfare and continued its efforts to simultaneously maximise player performance by partnering with leading USA sports science technology company, Kitman Labs.

SA Rugby has reached an agreement with California-based Kitman Labs to provide analytics with the aim to reduce injury incidence and promote player performance, as an enhancement at the elite end of the game.

This is a timely addition, following the success of the ongoing BokSmart Rugby Safety Programme since its official introduction almost seven years ago.

Kitman Labs’ Athlete Optimisation System (AOS) will be rolled out to the Springboks, the Junior Springboks, Springbok Sevens, Women’s Sevens teams, and across its Elite Player Development programmes. Continue reading

WESTERN CAPE CRICKET is mourning the tragic passing of Lukhanya Tshiki, 22-year old brother of the Boland and Cape Cobras’ batsman Cebo Tshiki.

Lukhanya was a student at the CSA/University of Fort Hare Academy where he was studying a diploma course in Marketing Management via MSC College.

He had previously represented Border Schools at the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola under-19 cricket week in 2010 and 2011 while a student at Queen’s College.

He participated in physical fitness tests with other members of the Academy on Monday, April 18, and suddenly collapsed while his group was taking a breather, according to a statement by Cricket South Africa (CSA). Continue reading

Pic: grassrootsrugby.co.za

Pic: grassrootsrugby.co.za

SA Rugby confirmed on Thursday that it had assumed administrative control of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU).

Mr Monde Tabata, an independent member of the SA Rugby Executive Committee, has been appointed to the role of administrator.

The decision to action the intention of the SA Rugby Executive Council was taken after consultation with EP President, Mr Cheeky Watson, and with the union’s co-operation. A letter formally advising EP of the intention was delivered to the union on Monday. Continue reading

Cape Town, 20 April 2016- Having cemented its position as one of the continent’s most prestigious races, organisers of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will aim to take another step forward this year in their attempt to close the gap on the world’s biggest road running events.

Set to be held for the third time since its relaunch in 2014, the annual 42km race takes place in the picturesque Mother City on 18 September 2016, and proudly retains IAAF Silver Label status.

As the only standard marathon race in Africa to be awarded Silver Label status, after receiving worthy recognition from the global governing body for athletics following the 2014 and 2015 events, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will continue to target Gold Label recognition.

Says race ambassador and former Olympic silver medallist Elana Meyer: “We are very pleased with the progress we have made over the last two years, and we are satisfied that we made further advances by hosting another successful event last year. We have a vision and will continue to focus on that by making the required adjustments to ensure we are delivering a world-class event across the board. This will assist in ensuring South African runners have access to a world-class running event organised by globally accredited standards, while offering incentives and mentoring for local runners.” Continue reading

Scrumhalf Nic Groom will play his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby game for the DHL Stormers in the match against the Reds at DHL Newlands.

The 26-year-old takes his place in a DHL Stormers starting line-up which features five changes and a positional switch for the clash with the Reds, which kicks off at 15h00 on Saturday.

Damian de Allende will make his first start of the season at inside centre, and will partner Johnny Kotze in midfield after co-captain Juan de Jongh was ruled out due to a delayed concussion.

Frans Malherbe returns to the starting XV to lead the side in one of four rotational changes to the forward pack.

He is joined by Oli Kebble in the front row, with Vincent Koch and JC Janse van Rensburg named on the replacements bench. Continue reading

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