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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

Lance Sendin and Sean Erasmus, first team coaches of Hugenote in Wellington and Paarl Boys High respectively, have been appointed as head coaches of the two SA Schools teams for the Under-19 International Series in Cape Town and Paarl from 12 to 20 August, SA Rugby announced on Friday.

Sendin, who was the head coach of the SA Schools A team last season, takes over the head coaching duties of the SA Schools team from Hein Kriek, who is now an assistant coach of the Steval Pumas. Erasmus, meanwhile, takes over the head coaching duties of the SA Schools A team after serving as Kriek’s assistant coach last year.

Sendin and Erasmus will be assisted by Boland U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week assistant coach John Booysen and Bidvest Golden Lions U18 Craven Week assistant coach Mzwakhe Nkosi, as well as specialist coaches of the SA Rugby Mobi-Unit. Continue reading

Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools is a series of 12 matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rugby rivalries, from South Africa’s top rugby schools which are broadcast live on SuperSport from April to August.

Schoolboy rugby has served as one of the cornerstones of domestic rugby dating back more than a century, and true to its slogan “Honouring Heritage. Playing for the Future”, Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools is about History, Heritage and Tradition. The series, now in its third year, is expected to grow even stronger.

The Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools stories are further captured in 12 Preview shows, which preview all the games and provide historical overviews of these traditional schools and highlight other academic, cultural and sporting achievements. Continue reading

The Emirates Lions will tackle defending Vodacom Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, in one of two mouth-watering semi-final clashes on Saturday. The vital clash starts at 15h00 and will be televised live on SuperSport 1.
New Zealand rivals, the Hurricanes and Chiefs, will battle it out in the earlier semi-final, which starts at 09h35 in the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Springbok flank Jaco Kriel will lead the Emirates Lions on their home turf after regular skipper Warren Whiteley was ruled out with a calf injury. The absence of Whiteley means youngster Ruan Ackermann will now start in the No 8 jersey for the Highveld side.

Whiteley sustained the injury in the quarter-final win over the Crusaders last weekend in Johannesburg and his injury-enforced absence is the only change to the starting fifteen.

Meanwhile, replacement scrumhalf Ross Cronjé has not recovered from his injury niggle and his place on the bench is taken by Dillon Smit.

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles will be given until match day to prove his fitness for the other last four encounter against the Chiefs. Coles is battling with a rib injury.
The All Black hooker is bracketed with Ricky Riccitelli in an otherwise unchanged Hurricanes team that defeated the Cell C Sharks in last weekend’s quarter-final.
Leni Apisai will come into the squad on the reserves bench if Coles does not recover in time from his rib injury he sustained against the Durban side.
The Emirates Lions have won eight of their last 10 home matches, while the Highlanders have succeeded in their last three away matches. A thrilling match is expected in Johannesburg.
Emirates Lions v Highlanders Continue reading

The eight SA Rugby Women’s Youth Training Centres (YTCs) will celebrate Women’s Day and the massive strides made in women’s rugby since its inception in South Africa with two exciting tournaments in George and Pretoria next month.

The aim of the tournaments, which were first introduced last season and will be played on 6 and 7 August, is to offer players between the ages of 14 and 18 the opportunity to celebrate their femininity by doing what they love, playing rugby. It will also allow the respective YTCs to measure their progress.

The tournaments – funded by the Department of Sport and Recreation – will be split into North and South Sections, to be played at the Eersterust Rugby Club in Pretoria and PW Botha High School in George respectively, with the U16 and U18 teams in each section participating in separate tournaments at the same venue. Continue reading

Two schools who are not even in the same neighbourhood because of the distance apart but very close in brotherhood will once again take to the rugby field on Saturday 30 July 2016 to continue a rivalry that started in 1929.

Grey High and Grey College both have the same benefactor in Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape Colony from 5 December 1854 to 15 August 1861. He founded Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1855 and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 1856. During Grey’s first tenure as Governor of New Zealand, he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (1848). Grey gave land for the establishment of Auckland Grammar School in Newmarket, Auckland in 1850. The school was officially recognised as an educational establishment in 1868 through the Auckland Grammar School Appropriation Act of the Provincial Government. Auckland Grammar school also became the school in New Zealand that produced the most All Black rugby players, much in the same mould as Grey College has become the rugby factory for Springbok rugby players in South Africa. Continue reading

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