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JP Petersen. Screen grab Supersport

JP Petersen. Screen grab Supersport

Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, on Saturday hailed the resilience of his team and lauded the impact of senior players after South Africa clinched the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland with a 19-13 win at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The win secured a 2-1 victory in the series, after Ireland won the opening test in Cape Town and the Springboks edged them in Johannesburg.

“We started the series with a loss and we were 19-3 down in Johannesburg. And here today we were really put to the test, so I am very pleased in the result and series win,” Coetzee said.

“The resilience and character of the team really came through. We fought in the trenches and played test rugby out there today. It was not attractive, but we needed to win,” Coetzee said.

The coach hailed the attitude of the team.

“The attitude cannot be faulted,” he said. “The performance of senior players was great. What was also pleasing was the way the new players adapted to test match rugby. There are many instinctive players in the team, but they learned valuable lessons from the step-up to test rugby.

“This is all part of the building process for this team and the foundation looks solid,” the coach said. Continue reading

Springbok fullback Willie le Roux was cited for allegedly breaching Law 10.4 (i), tackling a player in the air, during the test match between South Africa and Ireland in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Le Roux was cited by commissioner James Absaloms of Kenya for making contact with Ireland fullback Tiernan O’Halloran in the 11th minute of the match as they both leapt in the air for a high ball, causing the Irish player to somersault and land heavily on his upper body and head. Le Roux was given a temporary suspension (yellow card) for the offence by referee Glen Jackson. South Africa won the Test 19-13.

The hearing will take place at the Southern Sun Garden Court hotel in Port Elizabeth and be heard by Judicial Officer, Terry Willis, of Australia.

The DHL Western Province Under-19 team will get their season underway with a testing trip to Bloemfontein to face the Toyota Free State Cheetahs U19 side.

The team will be led by flank Nama Xaba in the absence of captain Ernst van Rhyn who is currently with the Junior Springboks in Manchester along with fellow DHL Western Province U19 teammates Zain Davids, Ruben de Villiers, Cobus Wiese and Carlu Sadie as well as coach Nazeem Adams.

Although five of his forwards are currently on national duty at the World Rugby U20 Championship, coach Chris October, who is standing in for Adams, is confident that his team will give a good account of themselves at Old Greys in Bloemfontein in a match that kicks off at 13h00 on Saturday.

“We are raring to go and very excited about the challenge that lies ahead. We have a well balanced team with plenty of talent and we cannot wait to get our campaign underway,” he said. Continue reading

Club rugby stars Christo van Wyk and Dennis Cox are both in line to make their DHL Western Province debut off the replacements bench in the clash with the Hino Valke in Kempton Park on Friday.

Tygerberg prop Van Wyk and Belhar flyhalf Cox have both made a big impression for their respective clubs, and DHL Western Province coach John Dobson is excited to see what they can do at Barnard Stadium in a match that kicks off at 15h00.

“Both of these players are fully deserving of their call-ups after putting in some exceptional performances for their clubs, so we are excited to see what they can offer us,” said Dobson.

They will be joined on the replacements bench by scrumhalf Jano Vermaak and lock David Ribbans, who are both making their return from injury.

Another player returning from injury is Tim Whitehead, who lines up in midfield alongside Johnny Kotze, whilst the only other change to the backline sees JP Lewis start on the left wing.

In the forward pack Janco Venter returns from national duty with Namibia to take his place at flank alongside Luke Stringer, with Jurie van Vuuren shifting to lock, and Kyle Whyte gets an opportunity to start at loosehead prop.

Dobson said that despite a few disruptions the team is in good spirits as they look to add to their eight victories from nine matches this season. Continue reading

Warren Whiteley (No 8) and Ruan Combrinck (wing) will make their first starts for the Springboks in the deciding third Test against Ireland in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The inclusion of these two players are the only changes to the starting team announced by Springbok coach Allister Coetzee for the third Castle Lager Incoming Series Test against the Irish in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Coetzee also made three changes to the bench.

Whiteley replaces the experienced Duane Vermeulen, who is out with an elbow injury, while Combrinck, man of the match in last week’s win over the Irish in Johannesburg, gets the starting nod over Lwazi Mvovo, who is now on the bench.

An ankle injury has ruled out prop Trevor Nyakane, and his place amongst the reserves is filled by the uncapped Steven Kitshoff. He is joined on the bench by another uncapped player, Jaco Kriel, who comes into the match day squad for the first time during the series. Continue reading

Pic: SA Rugby on Twitter

Pic: SA Rugby on Twitter

Junior Springbok fullback Curwin Bosch has been nominated among five candidates for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

He will go up against Ireland No 8 Max Deegan, Japanese wing Ataata Moeakiola, England flyhalf Harry Mallinder, and New Zealand wing Shaun Stevenson for the prestigious award.

Bosch, who was named Man-of-the-Match in the SA U20s’ final pool match against France, is the top points scorer in the international showpiece being hosted in in Manchester, England. He has already amassed 59 points in four matches for the Junior Springboks, from two tries, 14 conversions and seven penalty goals.

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard was the last South African player to win the award, in 2014, while Springbok centre Jan Serfontein walked away with the spoils in 2012, when the Junior Boks won the tournament on home ground. Continue reading

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 17: Edwill van der Merwe of DHL Western Province during the u20 warm up match between South Africa and Maties at Danie Craven Stadium on May 17, 2016 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Edwill van der Merwe (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Edwill van der Merwe supported the Junior Springboks from the sidelines as a ball boy in the 2012 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa, which the team won, andfour years later he has established himself as one of the key players in the side.

Van der Merwe, who grew up in the small town of Kylemore outside of Stellenbosch, has scored two tries so far in the tournament in Manchester, England – one against England in the semi-final and the other against France in the team’s final pool match. He was also named in World Rugby’s dream team following the semi-final on Monday.

The 20 year-old, who is a first-year sports science student at Stellenbosch University, admits that going down to England in the semi-final was the lowest point in his rugby career. But despite this, he continues to value every moment of participating in the international showpiece.

“I was a ball boy during the 2012 tournament in South Africa and it was an amazing experience,” said Van der Merwe. Continue reading

A number of Springbok squad members spread the message of #LoveRugby on Wednesday morning in Port Elizabeth, where they are preparing for the deciding Test in the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland on Saturday.

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: Francios Louw (L),Leon Daniel Greef (M) and Sia Kolisi (R) during the Ticket Handover with Reach For A Dream in Uitenhage on June 22, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 22: Francios Louw (L),Leon Daniel Greef (M) and Sia Kolisi (R) during the Ticket Handover with Reach For A Dream in Uitenhage on June 22, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

Sikhumbuzo Notshe took to the streets of Port Elizabeth to surprise their fans with a few free tickets to watch Saturday’s deciding Test against Ireland.

Sikhumbuzo Notshe took to the streets of Port Elizabeth to surprise their fans with a few free tickets to watch Saturday’s deciding Test against Ireland. Pic: SA Rugby

Continue reading

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Wednesday called up Leopards flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg to the Junior Springbok squad as injury cover at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, while captain Jeremy Ward has been cited for a dangerous tackle in the semi-final against England.

Janse van Rensburg will depart for Manchester on Wednesday and is set to join the team on Thursday after wing S’busiso Nkosi (thigh) and scrumhalf Embrose Papier (ankle) were forced to return to South Africa.

With sufficient cover at wing and scrumhalf ahead of the bronze playoff match against Argentina at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday, Theron opted to call up Janse van Rensburg.

Theron will name his team to face Argentina on Friday. Continue reading

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