South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan Ackermann included four forwards with Test experience – team captain Oupa Mohoje, Nizaam Carr, Stephan Lewies and Vincent Koch – in his starting team for Friday’s first match against the England Saxons in Bloemfontein.
The match – the first of two against the visiting Saxons – kicks off at 19h10 at the Toyota Stadium in the Free State capital and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Ackermann has also included a further two Springboks on the bench, in Coenie Oosthuizen and Piet van Zyl. They will be joined in the SA ‘A’ match-23 by six players who only got their first taste of Vodacom Super Rugby earlier this year, in Leolin Zas, JD Schickerling (both starting), Lizo Gqoboka Jean-Luc du Preez, RG Snyman and Lukhanyo Am (all four on the bench).
The four members of the Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, who were released to the SA ‘A’ squad, will all start on Friday. They are Garth April (flyhalf), Nic Groom (scrumhalf), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank) and Scarra Ntubeni (hooker). Continue reading
Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams said on Wednesday the team had to step up their performance and deliver a full 80 minute effort against Argentina on Saturday to build on their victory against Japan in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester.
The SA U20s registered a morale-boosting 59-19 victory against Japan in their opening match on Tuesday after fighting their way back from a 19-14 halftime deficit.
They face Argentina next on Saturday at 18h00 (19h00 SA Time) at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The South Africans outscored Japan by eight tries to three, while fullback Curwin Bosch was in fine form with the boot and slotted over all the conversions and added a penalty for his individual total of 19 points.
“There are a few areas of our game that require a vast improvement before the Argentina clash, such as our breakdowns and defence, and we have to make sure that we play for the full 80 minutes,” said Adams. Continue reading
SA Rugby on Wednesday announced that Dawie Theron has accepted a contract to coach the Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan and will not be available for a seventh season as coach of the Junior Springboks.
Theron will vacate his position following the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, which kicked off earlier this week.
Theron, who is currently leading the Junior Springboks in his sixth successive World Rugby U20 Championship, will join the club at their summer camp in Hokkaido on 19 July, with his contract running until 31 March 2018.
“I would like to thank Dawie for his immense contribution to South African rugby, not only as a former Springbok player and the Junior Springbok coach over the past few years, but also for the role he played at provincial coaching level,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. Continue reading
The Springboks have released four squad members to the SA “A” side for the first of their two matches match against the England Saxons at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday evening.
Hooker Scarra Ntubeni, flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe, scrumhalf Nic Groom and flyhalf Garth April are all members of the 31 Bok training squad that first got together last week in Stellenbosch. They will join coach Johan Ackermann and his SA “A” side on Tuesday evening in Bloemfontein and will be in action on Friday.
The four players will rejoin the Springbok squad on Saturday in Cape Town, where the Boks are facing Ireland in the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Series. The two remaining encounters between the two sides will be played on consecutive weekends in Johannesburg (18 June) and Port Elizabeth (25 June).
Meanwhile the Springboks continued with their final preparations for the weekend’s big clash with a split session between backs and forwards in Cape Town earlier on Tuesday morning. Continue reading
Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron praised his team’s fighting spirit as they came back from trailing at half-time to comprehensively beat Japan by 59-19 in their opening match of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, on Tuesday.
It was a morale-boosting victory for the South African Under-20s, who found themselves 19-7 down after 31 minutes in the first half, but never backed off to finally outscore Japan by eight tries to three. The score at the break was 19-14.
“The first half was a bit of a shock for the guys and I think they didn’t really expect that, but I told this that this is a World Cup, you have to convert your opportunities into points,” said Theron.
“We probably were a little shell-shocked when they scored those three tries, but I am proud of the way the players fought back. Japan played well and they targeted the rucks, which they did not do last year.
“It was a tough lesson for us, but we adapted quickly. I think we regrouped very well as a team after a hard team talk at half-time and we stuck to our structures, which worked in the end.” Continue reading
The Roma Sevens will not only be an important marker for players to prove their fitness for inclusion in the Springbok Sevens training group for the Olympic Games, but will also cast an eye on the next generation of Blitzboks.
The SA Rugby Sevens Academy team arrived in Italy on Tuesday to play in the tournament at the Acqua Acetosa Stadium in Rome on Friday and Saturday and according to coach Marius Schoeman, will provide important clues with Rio 2016 in mind.
“We have a number of objectives in this tournament and I am excited to see how it will work out for us,” said Schoeman, who will be joined in Rome by Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, before the tournament starts.
“There are a number of contracted Blitzboks, such as Frankie Horne and Werner Kok, who are making comebacks after being injured for a long time and others such as Branco du Preez, Sandile Ncgobo and Siviwe Soyizwapi who are short of game time. Continue reading
The community of Belhar near Bellville in Cape Town came out in their thousands to support the Springboks’ open training session on Monday afternoon. This outing by the Springboks formed part of the national rugby team’s #LoveRugby campaign.
The community watched a full-on Springbok training session, which was also part of the squad’s preparations for their first Castle Lager Incoming Test match against Ireland at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
Bok coach, Allister Coetzee, and his assistant coaches drilled the squad during a strenuous session and afterwards the thousands of excited supporters were treated to some fun games on the field between few young fans and their Bok heroes.
Springbok captain, Adriaan Strauss, said afterwards they were delighted by the huge turnout of local supporters. “We saw once more today what Springbok rugby means to our fans across South Africa. The community made this an unbelievable experience and the Springboks will certainly remember this special reception for a long time. Everyone had a great time and it was wonderful to experience the awesome amount of passion displayed by so many fans, young and old. They again reminded us what a huge honour and privilege it is to represent the Springboks,” said Strauss. Continue reading
Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit returned to training Monday afternoon after getting the all clear from the medical team. The young lock was sidelined last week with a troublesome hamstring.
According to Dr Konrad von Hagen, the Springbok team doctor, Du Toit has made a faster than expected recovery from his hamstring strain.
The team doctor also said flyhalf Elton Jantjies is making good progress with his injured finger, and he expects the pivot to take full contact by Thursday. According to Von Hagen, Jantjies was feeling comfortable with a custom-made brace that would protect the fractured finger on his right hand.
“Elton will take some part in some skills training, but he won’t take contact just yet,” said Dr Von Hagen. “We’ll see how he progresses in the week and his return to action will be done in consultation with the Emirates Lions medical team.
“Pieter-Steph has been recovering well and he has been cleared to take part in our training sessions from Monday.”
Von Hagen also mentioned that prop Trevor Nyakane was cleared to play after undergoing a shoulder scan last week, while centre Lionel Mapoe has recovered from a back spasm.
Meanwhile, centre Jan Serfontein underwent scans in Cape Town, confirming a scaphoid bone fracture in his wrist, which has ruled him of action for four months.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed telecommunications and technology company will partner the Boks for the three-Test series of matches in Cape Town (11 June), Johannesburg (18 June) and Port Elizabeth (25 June).
Blue Label Telecoms’ name and branding will appear on the Springboks’ jersey for the series as well as in a number of on-and off-field areas.
“We are delighted to welcome Blue Label Telecoms to the rugby family,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. “They are one of South Africa’s most innovative and visionary companies and the way they have embraced this opportunity is testimony to that.” Continue reading
Ray Wilson, Absa Pride Rider and owner of Biketique, made good on his promise and donated 10 brand new mountain bikes. The DMA riders also received cycling kit and accessories while Adidas South Africa, in aiming to empower young runners, handed over 35 pairs of running shoes from their road and trail running series, towards the DMA’s newly formed running club.
Today’s handover follows a similar initiative in April, when Absa Pride Riders committed to mentoring several DMA riders, in line with the bank’s ReadytoWork initiative. ReadytoWork is Barclays Africa’s pan-African initiative aimed at helping young people build the skills they need to make the critical transition from education into the world of work. Continue reading