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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

Another #LoveRugby initiative

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.

SA Rugby on Monday announced it was partnering with Blue Label Telecoms for the Castle Lager Incoming series against Ireland.

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

(South Africa, 6 June 2016) This weekend a number of Absa Pride Riders who participated in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic continued their support and commitment to the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA).

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

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Monday named a strong team to face Japan in their opening match at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the Academy Stadium in Manchester, England, on Tuesday.

Captain and centre Jeremy Ward will partner with JT Jackson in the midfield. Jackson is one of two survivors of the 2015 edition of the tournament in Italy.

The loose trio that featured in all three of the team’s warm-up matches in South Africa, flankers Zain Davids and Ernst van Rhyn and No8 Junior Pokomela, has been retained for the match, while flyhalf Manie Libbok and Southern Kings Vodacom Super Rugby scrumhalf James Hall will form an exciting halfback combination. Continue reading

Junior Springbok vice-captain Junior Pokomela on Sunday said his team was ready to make their mark at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, as they prepare to take on Japan in their opening match on Tuesday.

The team had two hard training sessions in the warm sunny weather in Manchester on Sunday and a recovery session in the swimming pool, and will conclude their preparations for the match on Monday at the Academy Stadium with their captains run.

“We have had two days to recover from the journey to Manchester, and a few training sessions to get back into the swing of things and regain our focus,” said Pokomela. “Today’s training sessions were of a very high intensity and it is clear that the players are focused and ready to make their presence felt. Continue reading

Springbok looseforward Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje was on Sunday named captain of the South African ‘A’ team by coach Johan Ackermann as the squad assembled in Bloemfontein for a two-match series against a strong England Saxons team.

He will be assisted by his Toyota Cheetahs team-mate, Francois Venter, while the squad was bolstered by the addition of two forward replacements from the Blue Bulls.

Springbok backrower Arno Botha returns to national colours after two seasons plagued by injury while he is joined by emerging lock star, Jason Jenkins, who joins his 2015 Junior Springbok locking team-mate, RG Snyman, in the ‘A’ squad.

Ackermann said: “Oupa has natural leadership ability and is one of the few players in the squad who knows what it means to be a national player. I’m looking forward to working with him and Francois over the next fortnight as we bring together a young and exciting squad.” Continue reading

Pic: rugby15.co.za

Pic: rugby15.co.za

Following their successful #LoveRugby squad assembly exercise in Cape Town last Sunday, the Springboks are ready to give back more to their passionate supporters.

The community of Belhar will be the beneficiary of the a once-in-a-lifetime training visit by the full Springbok squad on Monday, 6 June starting at 15h00.

Allister Coetzee and his Bok squad are due to have a full training session on Monday at the Belhar Rugby Club to prepare themselves for their opening Castle Lager Incoming Series Test next Saturday against Ireland at DHL Newlands.

Following the field drill, the players will then stay on for a signing session and to meet their fans.

Coetzee said he was looking forward to the Belhar visit. “The players were thrilled with last week’s #LoveRugby exercise and they are excited about the visit to Belhar. The community will get the opportunity to watch a full Springbok training session, which is something special,” explained Coetzee.

Monday’s field training exercise is open to the public, and all media are invited to attend this unique visit. Media must however confirm their attendance to the event by email to lindiwen@sarugby.co.za by no later than 12h00 on Sunday, 5 June.

What: #LoveRugby field training session
Who: The Springbok rugby squad
When: Monday, 6 June 15h00 – 17h00
Where: Belhar Rugby Club, corner of Symphony Way and Accordion Street

Injury concern for Jan Serfontein

Springbok centre Jan Serfontein injured his wrist playing Vodacom Super Rugby two weeks ago, and the initial x-rays showed no fracture. However, while at the Springbok camp, his wrist did not improve as expected and as a result further medical examinations were done. Continue reading

The Junior Springboks arrived in Manchester, England, on Friday fresh and motivated for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, which will take place from 7 to 25 June.

The team landed in London on Friday morning and then took the short flight to Manchester, where they will be based for the next three weeks.

The team kicks off their campaign on Tuesday, 7 June, against Japan at the Academy Stadium.

They then take on Argentina on Saturday, 11 June, at the AJ Bell Stadium before returning to the Academy Stadium on Wednesday, 15 June, for their final round-robin match against France.

The semi-final will be played on Monday, 20 June and the Final on Saturday, 25 June.
Junior Springbok captain Jeremy Ward and his team wasted no time taking to the field and had a flush-out session soon after arriving in the popular soccer town. Continue reading

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