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JOHANNESBURG: Warren Whitely, one of the heroes of the come-from-behind win against Ireland on Saturday, has scoffed at suggestions it was the Lions players who turned the Test match around for the Springboks.

Whiteley came off the bench to score one of four second half tries for the Boks as they rallied from 3-19 down at half-time to win 32-26 – and give new coach Allister Coetzee his first win in charge of the national team.

The comeback started in the 57th minute when another Lions Super Rugby stalwart, Ruan Combrinck scored a sensational try after bulldozing Ireland flyhalf Paddy Jackson. The other tries came from Pieter-Steph du Toit and Damien de Allende, while flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked 12 points, including the final penalty in the 80th minute to seal the deal for the hosts.

“In no way is this a Lions team… this is the Boks,” said Whiteley after his strong showing off the bench.

Full story here:—whiteley-2036339

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron has made six changes to his starting team to face England in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final at the Academy Stadium in Manchester, England, on Monday.

Powerful wing S’busiso Nkosi and exciting scrumhalf Embrose Papier were ruled out of the clash due to thigh and ankle injuries respectively, while Theron named a new front row and recalled vice-captain Ernst van Rhyn to the starting line-up in place of Cobus Wiese.

Nkosi suffered a thigh injury at training, while Papier damaged ankle ligaments after his foot was caught in another player’s boot at training on Saturday.

The other changes see the Eastern Province duo of prop Nicolaas Oosthuizen and hooker Tango Balekile join forces with Vodacom Blue Bulls prop Jaco Holtzhausen in the front row, which resulted in Franco van den Berg, Jan-Henning Campher and Carlü Sadie dropping to the bench.

In the other changes among the replacements, lock Eduard Zandberg takes over from Van Rhyn and Wiese replaces Denzel Hill. Continue reading

Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie was on Sunday ruled out of the third Castle Lager Incoming Series Test match against Ireland as a result of the concussion he suffered in the first meeting between the two teams in Cape Town eight days ago.

Lambie suffered concussion following a collision with the Irish flanker CJ Stander, who received a red card for the incident and a subsequent one week suspension.

The Bok flyhalf was sent home last Sunday for a weeklong mandatory rest according to the World Rugby Return to Play Protocol, ruling him out of the second Test which the Boks won 32-26 yesterday in Johannesburg.

“Pat is still experiencing symptoms of concussion and because of that we cannot start the Return to Play Protocol. As a result of that he will unfortunately not be available for selection,” explained Springbok team doctor Konrad von Hagen. Continue reading

Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams said the mood in the SA U20 camp was positive ahead of Monday’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final against England, and that the team believed they could advance to the final.

Adams admitted that the team’s lineouts and defence, in particular, had to improve immensely to achieve this, but he said they have been hard at work trying to improve those areas since returning to training on Saturday.

Ireland will meet Argentina in the first semi-final at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Monday at 17h30, with South Africa lining up against hosts, England, in the final match of the day at 19h45 (20h45 SA time).

“We are positive,” said Adams.

“We are working hard and realise we need a big improvement in our lineouts and defence, in particular. But the mood in the camp is good.” Continue reading

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee applauded the fighting spirit of his team, following the remarkable comeback that saw the team snatch a 32-26 win over Ireland in the second of three Castle Lager Incoming Series Tests, played at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Ireland led 26-10 with less than 20 minutes to play, but three tries in the final stretch, by Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Damian de Allende, adding to a sublime effort earlier in the second half by debutant Ruan Combrinck, saw the Springboks earn a first win in the series.

Elton Jantjies added 12 points with the boot, through three conversions and two penalty goals.

“We are very satisfied with the win and the way we came back and won it,” said Coetzee.

“Rugby ebbs and flows, but that first half was not good, although we were tactically better than last week. We also looked after the ball, especially in the wide channels. That second half just showed massive character and that was very pleasing.” Continue reading

Springbok squad members Siya Kolisi, Jesse Kriel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick surprised learners from the Minerva Secondary School in Alexandra with an unannounced visit during lunchtime on Wednesday.

The small school has about 300 learners, and all the children were gathered in assembly without a clue of what’s going to happen. The only hint was the SA Rugby banners and sound system that were already in place when they arrived at their meeting place.

The kids roared with delight when they caught sight of the Springbok squad members in their now familiar bright yellow #LoveRugby t-shirts.

SA Rugby arranged for a magic show, which left the learners speechless and each squad member had a chance to introduce himself and share a few words of encouragement with the learners, who never left the players out of sight with their mobile phone cameras. Continue reading

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to his match-23 – four of them necessitated by injury – as the South Africans look to bounce back from when they face Ireland in the second Test in the Castle Lager Incoming Series in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The two changes in the starting line-up are because of injury, with Pieter-Steph du Toit and Elton Jantjies replacing Lood de Jager and Pat Lambie respectively, while the Emirates Lions duo of Franco Mostert and Ruan Combrinck are on the bench and could make their Test debut at their home ground. In the final change, Morne Steyn is added to the bench as flyhalf cover.

The second Test of the three-match series kicks off at 17h00 at the Emirates Airline Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Ireland won by 26-20 in Cape Town last weekend.

De Jager sustained a calf injury last week in Cape Town and although he finished the match against the Irish and was able to participate in training on Monday, subsequent follow-up scans revealed he has suffered a calf strain. He was not considered for action this week, which means a start for Du Toit alongside his DHL Stormers lock partner Eben Etzebeth.

Jantjies takes over the flyhalf duties after Lambie was ruled out with concussion and will make his first start for the Boks at his home ground. The vastly experienced Steyn, who has 60 Tests to his name, is included on the bench after joining the squad on Monday. Continue reading

The Boland Rugby Union was on Thursday fined R42,000, suspended for a year, having been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player during the Currie Cup Qualifying competition. The sanction was applied by a SA Rugby disciplinary committee following the laying of a complaint by the Valke Rugby Union.

A second charge brought by the Eastern Province Rugby Football Union of also fielding ineligible players during the Currie Cup Qualifiers was dismissed. Both charges were heard by Adv. Rob Stelzner SC.

In the case brought by the Valke, Adv Stelzner found that Boland were in breach of Regulations 4.2 – 4.4 of the Player Status, Player Contracts and Player Movement regulations, for fielding Christopher Bosch in six matches between 8 April and 13 May 2016, without the necessary clearance certificate.

Bosch was registered to play for Brakpan and although the Valke offered him a renewal of his contract in 2015, the player had refused this, opting to join Boland instead. The Valke only became aware of this when Boland applied, belatedly for his clearance, on 18 May 2016, and felt compelled to bring the transgression to the attention of SA Rugby even though the clearance was granted on the same day. Continue reading

Ajax Cape Town’s academy conveyor belt has churned a further trio of youth talents which have earned their professional stripes and promoted to Roger de Sa’s 2016/2017 PSL squad, taking the total number to seven u19’s promoted for the coming season.

Shane Saralina, Grant Margeman and Mogamat May follow in the footsteps of youth internationals Masilake Phohlongo, Darren Johnson and Sergio Kammies and most recently Luthando Matheza, who have all been recently promoted to the PSL. The club has taken the decision to promote the youngsters, who have all shown great signs of rapid development over the last few months.

Shane, Grant and Mogamat all played a vital role in Coach Vladislav Heric’s team that won the NextGen and ESAD Memorial tournaments in Europe recently.

Mogamat is an 18-year-old striker who has quickly become known for his prolific nature in front of goal, his daunting pace and ability to get on the end of crosses. Mogamat will be learning from club legend Nathan Paulse as well as PSL top goal scorer contender Prince Nxumalo when the 2016/2017 pre-season regime starts. Continue reading

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson has made six changes to his starting XV for their clash with the Down Touch Griffons at City Park on Saturday.

The match was originally scheduled for Faure Street in Paarl, but has been moved due to weather and pitch concerns, whilst the kick-off time has also changed to an hour earlier to 15h00 on Saturday with entry R20 at the gate.

Following their bye last week, Dobson has made three changes to the backline and three changes to the forward pack that did duty in their 43-34 victory over the Leopards in Potchefstroom.

Sibahle Maxwane gets an opportunity out on the left wing, and there is an all-new halfback pairing in Robert du Preez and Godlen Masimla who have both recovered from their respective injury concerns.

Up front there are two new flanks in Jurie van Vuuren and Eital Bredenkamp, with Luke Stringer and Beyers de Villiers moving to the replacements bench, and in the front row hooker Chad Solomon makes his return after a spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Dobson said that after a deserved break his team are determined to build on the strong foundation they have established and finish the campaign strong. Continue reading

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