PICTURE RELEASE: Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula looks on with the Springbok team as SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux (right) and Adv. Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African, sign the Pledge. Photo credit: Gallo Images.
SA Rugby in partnership with ASICS ensures that 100% of replica Springbok supporters’ jerseys are manufactured in South Africa, qualifying rugby to sign the pledge in support of the increase in the uptake of local goods and services as part of the Proudly SA’s Buy Local campaign.
Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron made six changes to his starting team to face Argentina in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester on Saturday to suit the anticipated wet conditions.
These changes include two positional switches in the backline, with Manie Libbok and Curwin Bosch swapping positions between flyhalf and fullback. The backline also shows one personnel change with Franco Naude taking over at inside centre from JT Jackson.
Upfront, props Franco van den Berg and Carlü Sadie replace Kwenzo Blose and Jaco Holtzhausen respectively, and lock Eduard Zandberg comes in for Cobus Wiese.
Theron named a new-look bench with prop Nicolaas Oosthuizen, scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren and wing Edwill van der Merwe earning their first call-ups in the tournament. Continue reading
Ajax Cape Town have promoted promising Gugulethu teenager, Luthando Matheza from the U19 team to the PSL squad. After joining the Ajax youth academy in 2010 at the age of 12, going a full circle to become the latest player to be promoted to Roger De Sa’s squad for the 2016/17 PSL season.
The Gugs-born midfielder signed his first professional contract with the club after making impressive progress through the club’s youth ranks. Luthando will join Masilake Phohlongo, Sergio Kammies and Darren Johnson in the PSL squad, all of whom were recently promoted from the club’s remarkably successful U19 side.
Luthando played an instrumental role in facilitating a historic double cup win in Europe recently, as the Ajax Cape Town U19 side were crowned 2016 NextGen and ESAD Cup champions. He also captained the club’s U17 side in the 2015 Engen Knockout Championships, where the club lifted both the Regional and National competitions. For his brilliant displays in midfield, contributing to goals as well as assists in both tournaments, Luthando was awarded the Player of the Tournament Award in both Engen events.
The 18-year-old left footed playmaker excelled in every age group throughout the prestigious Ajax Cape Town youth ranks, developing beyond expectation, getting on the score sheet regularly and providing ample assists for his teammates – making Roger De Sa’s decision simple. Continue reading
Junior Springbok flanker Zain Davids is relishing every moment of participating in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, which he rates as the highlight of his rugby career so far.
The former Rondebosch Boys’ High School pupil, who started playing rugby on the pavements of Swellendam as a young boy, had a memorable start to the tournament. He was named Man of the Match in the team’s opening clash against Japan, thanks to his powerful bursts up-field and his solid defence.
Davids, who made the switch from centre to flank at school level, was also rewarded for his efforts with two tries and the honour of being named World Rugby’s Dream Team after the opening round of the tournament.
“It was an absolute honour to be named Man of the Match, and it was great to score two tries in the first match,” said Davids.
“But while I will always remember that, we have a long way to go to achieve our objectives of advancing to the final and winning the tournament, and that is my only focus at this point.” Continue reading
The latest SA Rugby initiative to grow the game in South Africa, #LoveRugby, received a welcome boost with the confirmation of six new anthem singers for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland.
Four of the finalists of the recently completed and massively popular talent show on M-Net, The Voice South Africa, will perform the respective national anthems of South Africa and Ireland during the series to be played in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
The Voice SA, which unearthed a number of fresh faces in the music industry, was very successful on DStv and complements the #LoveRugby groundswell, which is also aimed at bringing new faces, voices and fans to play, support and love rugby.
The eventual winner, Richard Stirton, other popular finalists Lana Crowster, Vernon Barnard and Gavin Edwards, as well as young and upcoming Cape Town singer Nathan Hendricks will be assisted by Jamali’s Mariechan over the next three weeks at the Springbok Tests. Continue reading
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has named Faf de Klerk as the only uncapped player in the starting team to face Ireland on Saturday at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, while Elton Jantjies has passed a fitness test and will start the first of three Castle Lager Incoming Series Tests between the two countries on the bench.
Coetzee has included six players in the match-23 who did not feature at the Rugby World Cup last year, ushering in a new era for Bok rugby. They are the Emirates Lions quintet of De Klerk, Jantjies, Warren Whiteley, Julian Redelinghuys and Lionel Mapoe, who will earn his first start for the Boks, as well as DHL Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi, the only other uncapped player in the match-day squad.
De Klerk has been in good form this season for the Emirates Lions in Vodacom Super Rugby and he earns a starting berth alongside experienced flyhalf Pat Lambie, who has played in 50 Tests for the Boks.
The Springbok coach said he is looking forward to seeing De Klerk earning his first Test cap for South Africa and that it was good to know Jantjies has fully recovered from his injury. The Emirates Lions flyhalf passed a fitness test at Thursday’s training session at the Cape Town Stadium.
“I have no doubt Faf will do a fantastic job,” said Coetzee. Continue reading
The publication will be showcased at a number of venues across the country in the 125th year since Test rugby arrived in South Africa.
The Springbok Opus was produced over 48 months as unseen images, never-before-told stories and special photography was commissioned to create the ultimate story of rugby at the southern tip of Africa.
The nationwide tour started at the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum in Cape Town and will make its first stop at the V&A Waterfront in the city before embarking on a national tour to take in publicly accessible events such as exhibitions and shopping centres as well as rugby occasions such as the Coca-Cola Craven Week.
The Springbok Opus tells the full and diverse story of rugby from its first arrival in South Africa in the 1860s, its popularisation among all communities and the development of separate national federations to rugby unity in 1992 and to the professional era. Continue reading
Note to editors: Audio files of Werner Kok (Afrikaans and English) and Frankie Horne (Afrikaans and English) talking about their respective comebacks, are available for download.
Two decorated Springbok Sevens players, Werner Kok and Frankie Horne, are in a race against time to make Team SA’s Rugby Sevens squad that will travel to the Olympic Games in Rio in August and keen to prove their fitness at the Roma Sevens tournament in Italy this weekend.
Kok, the current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year and Horne, the most capped Blitzbok of all time, form part of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy side that will be playing in the Acqua Acetosa Stadium in Rome on Friday and Saturday and want to use this opportunity to prove to Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, that they are combat ready for Rio.
“I am starting all over again this weekend,” said Kok, who injured his knee in the opening tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in December and has not played since. Continue reading
For those still looking for tickets, there are just over 4000 seated tickets still available for the opening match of the Castle Incoming Series between the Springboks and Ireland at DHL Newlands on Saturday, June 11 at 17h00.
Tickets are available from Computicket outlets (0861 915 8000) or online atwprugby.computicket.com as well as at the DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium box office, with WP Rugby season tickets valid for the game.
The majority of tickets still available for sale are in the Railway Stand, and range in price from R545 to R575. There are also tickets available in the Jan Pickard Stand (R545) and the Danie Craven Stand (R575), whilst the Danie Craven Standing area and Grand Stand Ramp seating is sold out.
Those attending the match are encouraged to enter DHL Newlands well before the kick-off time of17h00 to ensure that no action is missed, as a big crowd is expected and spectators need to leave enough time to clear security.
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