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Six players are set make their senior DHL Western Province debut in the opening Currie Cup Qualifier against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands on Friday.

Centre Daniel du Plessis, wing Sibahle Maxwane, flyhalf Brandon Thomson and flank Luke Stringer will all get their first taste of senior rugby for DHL Western Province, whilst Meyer Swanepoel and Damian Stevens are also set to debut should they feature off the replacements bench.

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson said that the Vodacom Blue Bulls will present a serious test of his team’s mettle in their first match of the season, which kicks off at 16h15 on Friday, April 8 as a curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the DHL Stormers and the Sunwolves.

“We are very excited to start this competition. You don’t get a much more exciting or harder start than to play our traditional rivals, the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands,” he said. Continue reading

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 31:  Philip Snyman of South Africa breaks away for a try during the 2016 Wellington Sevens cup quarter-final match between Australia and South Africa at Westpac Stadium on January 31, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Philip Snyman (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Springbok Sevens regular Philip Snyman will become the ninth South African to reach the special milestone of 35 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments when the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens kicks off on Friday noon (SA time).

The Springbok Sevens team marks 35 tournaments as a special milestone and since the inception of the World Series in 1999, only Fabian Juries, Marius Schoeman, Mzwandile Stick, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez have reached this landmark.

The versatile Snyman, who has scored 206 points (35 tries, 15 conversions) in the Blitzbok jersey since his debut for the team in Dubai in 2008, is playing in his fifth Hong Kong tournament and said the 35 tournament marker is a significant one for him.

“Every tournament is special and to share this milestone with such an amazing bunch of guys and with this team makes it even more so,” said Snyman, who captained the team earlier this year in the Wellington and Sydney tournaments. Continue reading

The Mutual and Federal Interschool’s gets underway with a mouthwatering clash when old foes Grey High and Paul Roos meet on Saturday the 9th of April.

The visitors from Port Elizabeth will be hoping to replicate their last performance at the Makkotter Field this time round. In 2014 Grey were 26 points down but ended up winning the match.

However, it’s the home team who still dominate, but only narrowly.

Paul Roos have won five of the nine encounters played in the last nine years.

The game will be televised live on SuperSport 6 (channel 206) at 14:05

You can also catch the build-up Premier Interschools Magazine Show from Wednesday April 6 at 18:45 on SuperSport 8 featuring Stefan Dippenaar and Steven Hunt. Continue reading

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 5, 2016 – Brazilian star Neymar should remain at FC Barcelona and he will take over from Lionel Messi as the best player in the world, says Laureus World Sports Academy Member and football legend Cafu.

In an interview with Laureus.com, Cafu said: “I hope that he can continue at Barcelona. Barcelona is a team that supports him, it’s a team that provides him with structure to help him continue to shine.”

Neymar was beaten by Messi for the Ballon d’Or and has not been nominated for this year’s Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, unlike Messi, but Cafu believes it is only a matter of time before he becomes the world’s best. Continue reading

New RBS Six Nations Grand Slam winners England will send a strong Saxons team – effectively the country’s next-best – to face South Africa ‘A’ in a two-match series in June.

The matches will be played in Bloemfontein’s Toyota Stadium on Friday, 10 June, and Outeniqua Park in George on Friday, 17 June.

It will be the first time since 2003 that the SA ‘A’ team will be in action in South Africa. On that occasion they drew 30-30 against Argentina in Wellington.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said the decision to invite the Saxons to South Africa would provide the opportunity for a larger group of players than normal to line up against elite international opposition.

“The Saxons’ tour will coincide with Ireland’s three Test series against the Springboks and all players not involved with the Boks, will get the opportunity to take on top-ranked opposition during the same time, thereby exposing even more of our top players to international rugby,” said Roux. Continue reading

CAPE TOWN. – You know that Novak Djokovic, the number-1 male tennis player in the world, is at his majestic best when he hits a few double-backhand winners down the line early on. You sensed Graeme Smith was in form when you witnessed a splendid off-drive for a boundary in the first two overs.

And you realize the Cape Cobras fast bowler Vernon Philander is rampant when the vociferous leg-before-wicket shouts for a delivery that nipped back into the left-hander and struck him flush on the pads, are heard repeatedly in his first spell.

Philander, though, admits he is not back at his best. He needs more overs and more game time. Justin Ontong, captain of the Cape Cobras for the match against the Sunfoil Dolphins, applauded his excellent holding role in both first and second innings at PPC Newlands during the weekend.

One of the key moments of the match came when he had Vaughn van Jaarsveld caught behind for 29 in his second spell from the Kelvin Grove end. Van Jaarsveld had blasted four boundaries, including two clinical straight drives that whistled past Wayne Parnell, the bowler. Continue reading

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell believes his team has prepared well for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Hong Kong, due to kick off on Friday 8 April in the Hong Kong Stadium.

The Springbok Sevens team arrived in the city on Monday and Powell expressed his excitement with the tournament a couple of days away.

“Preparation wise it was key for us to get the guys fresh again and almost get that desire back to be successful,” said Powell shortly after their arrival.

“It is a tough season in that we only have two and a half weeks between tournaments. The guys are still struggling to get over the jetlag from the previous tournaments before they had to get on the plane to get to Hong Kong.

“We tried something new by resting the guys a bit more, so hopefully we got the balance right between rest and preparing and conditioning them for the tournament.”

The coach feels that a different focus this time around could also aid in a first ever title at this iconic venue. Continue reading

  • Southern Kings record first win of season in Port Elizabeth
  • Emirates Lions collect vital bonus point in Johannesburg thriller

The Vodacom Bulls did just enough to edge the Toyota Cheetahs 23-18 in a hard-fought local Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The home team led 20-10 at halftime and outscored the visitors by three tries to two.

After several gusty performances in their previous matches, the Southern Kings scored their first win of the season when they outlasted the Sunwolves 33-28 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon. A strong scrum and 13 kicking points by flyhalf Louis Fouché tipped the scale in favour of the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after both sides scored four tries each.

Industrious hooker Edgar Marutlulle had another storming performance for the Kings and he was deservedly presented with the Vodacom Player of the Match award afterwards. Continue reading

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Friday named a provisional 36-man training squad as the preparations begin to take shape for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 to 25 June.

Theron invited 56 players to a trials camp in Cape Town this week where they were put through their paces with fitness, skills and medical test to determine if they have what it takes to represent the Junior Springboks at the World Championship.

The trials camp concluded on Friday morning with a high-tempo training session at the City Park Stadium in Crawford. Continue reading

SA Select coach Renfred Dazel on Thursday made six changes to his squad for the Hong Kong Invitational on 7 and 8 April, with senior players Zenay Jordaan, Marithy Pienaar and Jacqueline Kriel back in action among a few new faces.

Jordaan and Pienaar missed the Las Vegas Invitational early in March due to thumb and leg injuries respectively, while Kriel was rested, and they will add leadership and a new dynamic to the squad. Lorinda Brown has retained the captaincy from the Las Vegas Invitational. Continue reading

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