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Springbok squad members Ruan Combrinck, Franco Mostert and Jaco Kriel enjoy the atmosphere last weekend at the Gold Cup qualifying match at Durbanville-Bellville Rugby Club between champions Durbell and contenders Hamiltons. The trio surprised both teams in their changerooms before the match. Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images

Springbok squad members Ruan Combrinck, Franco Mostert and Jaco Kriel enjoy the atmosphere last weekend at the Gold Cup qualifying match at Durbanville-Bellville Rugby Club between champions Durbell and contenders Hamiltons. The trio surprised both teams in their changerooms before the match. Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images

Reigning Gold Cup champions Durbanville-Bellville sent out a strong warning that they won’t be giving up their title without a fight, after a sensational comeback inspired by a surprise visit by members of the Springbok squad.

As part of SA Rugby’s #LoveRugby story, the uncapped trio of Ruan Combrinck, Jaco Kriel and Franco Mostert paid a surprise visit to the changerooms of both Durbell and visitors Hamiltons ahead of their much-anticipated Western Province Super League clash in Cape Town last Friday.

The players’ stirring motivational talks to the two sides – ranked one and three among the country’s non-university clubs – inspired one of the finest club matches of the season, with Durbell sensationally overturning a 25-3 deficit after 30 minutes to score 52 points in the final hour for a 55-32 victory.

“The players had no idea the Springbok squad players were coming and they were just awestruck,” said Durbell head coach and former Griquas fullback Bobby Joubert.

“It was a massive honour not only for ourselves but also for Hamiltons to have our national heroes decide to spend the Friday night before a Test match at our club. Continue reading

The clash between DHL Western Province and the Downtouch Griffons on Saturday has been moved from Faure Street in Paarl to City Park in Athlone due to weather and pitch concerns.

The match kick-off has also changed to an hour earlier to 15h00 on Saturday, with entry R20 at the gate.

DHL Western Province will be looking to add to their seven victories thus far this season, and close the gap on the table-topping ORC Griquas who have a bye.

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron made eight changes to his team to face France in their final pool match in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Wednesday.

The changes, which the coach described as being a case of horses for courses, included two positional switches, with Curwin Bosch and Manie Libbok switching between fullback and flyhalf.

The other three changes in the backline were at centre where JT Jackson replaces Franco Naude, while wing Edwill van der Merwe and scrumhalf Embrose Papier earn their first starts as replacements for Mosolwa Mafuma and James Hall respectively.

Among the forwards, hooker Jan-Henning Campher and lock Ruben de Villiers were also handed their first starts in place of Tango Balekile and Eduard Zandberg respectively, while Cobus Wiese replaces Ersnt van Rhyn at flank.

Only two players retained their places on the bench from the clash against Argentina, namely props Nicolaas Oosthuizen and Jaco Holtzhausen. They will be joined by Balekile, Hall, Naude, looseforward Denzel Hill, fullback Keanu Vers and Van Rhyn, who will provide cover at lock. Continue reading

Note to Editors: Rights free audio clips of Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams in English and Afrikaans are attached.

Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams drew inspiration from the class of 2012 at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa to inspire the team to advance to the semi-final of the competition this year in Manchester.

In 2012, the Junior Springboks suffered a first-round defeat against Ireland, but fought their way into the semi-final with bonus-point victories over Italy and England, and went on the win the trophy. Continue reading

during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between South Africa and Fiji at Wellington Regional Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.

during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between South Africa and Fiji at Wellington Regional Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Experienced Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn has been called up as replacement for the injured Pat Lambie who suffered concussion against Ireland on Saturday at DHL Newlands.

Lambie will take a mandatory break of one week following his injury in Cape Town and will therefore miss the second Castle Lager Incoming Series Test match at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Lambie underwent precautionary scans on Sunday, which proved normal, and he was examined for a third time on Monday morning by Springbok team doctor, Dr Konrad von Hagen. The player has already returned to his home in Durban.

According to Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, Steyn, who has 60 Test caps to his name, was always in his plans as a flyhalf replacement option in the event of injury to one of the three flyhalves in the squad. Handré Pollard, another Bok regular at No 10, is also injured at the moment. Continue reading

Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie will undertake a mandatory one week rest and if he is asymptomatic following the prescribed resting period, then he will be managed according to the World Rugby Return to Play Protocol.

Dr Konrad von Hagen, the Springbok medical doctor, confirmed on Sunday the Bok No 10 will rest the coming week and he will be monitored by the Bok medical team. The team doctor said even though the player’s x-rays showed no abnormality, Lambie will however undergo further scans as a precaution.

Lambie was injured in a tackle that saw Irish flanker CJ Stander being red-carded for dangerous play in the first half of the match, won 26-20 by Ireland. A decision on a replacement for Lambie will be made in due course. Continue reading

The SA Rugby Sevens Academy and SA Women’s Sevens Select squad were crowned champions in Italy on Saturday when both teams won their respective tournaments at the Roma Sevens, played in Rome.

The men’s team won their fourth consecutive title by beating Brazil’s national team 19-7 in the final, whilst the women’s team won their second invitational title by beating Kenya 40-0 in the final. The team also won the Hong Kong Invitational tournament two months ago.

After their respective finals, Werner Kok and Nadine Roos were also named Player of the Finals. Kok showed that he had fully recovered from his knee injury sustained last year and Roos scored 30 points in the Women’s final, scoring four tries and kicking five conversions.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell travelled to Rome to follow the progress of Werner Kok and Frankie Horne amongst others and afterwards said he was happy with what he saw. Powell will name his provisional Olympic Games squad next week. Continue reading

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Saturday attributed his team’s 19-13 defeat against Argentina in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at the wet AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester, England, to errors and poor discipline.

The Junior Boks trailed 13-6 at the break, and despite trying hard to force their way back into the match, mistakes at crucial times and ill-discipline resulted in the team suffering a disappointing 19-13 defeat.

“It was a disappointing performance from the team,” said Theron. “We created opportunities, but we were unable to capitalise on them due to the errors we made throughout the clash, and our discipline didn’t help either.

“At this level you cannot receive two yellow cards and concede several kickable penalties and expect to win the match. We have a lot to work on before our next game against France.”

The first half proved to be a war of attrition as both teams tried to get onto the front foot by running directly on attack and supporting this with a solid defensive effort in which they put their bodies on the line. Continue reading

Springbok pivot Pat Lambie has been ruled out of the second test match of the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland next weekend after being concussed in the series opener at DHL Newlands.

Lambie was injured in a tackle that saw Irish flanker CJ Stander being red-carded for dangerous play in the first half of the match, won 26-20 by Ireland. Stander will appear before a disciplinary hearing in Cape Town on Sunday morning.

“The provisional diagnosis is that Pat was concussed and although he is ok, will not be considered for next weekend,” Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said after the match. A call on a possible replacement will be made later.

Lambie was injured in the first half of the match that saw the Springboks battling to find momentum, something Coetzee admitted as being a problem for his side.

“This performance lacked the standards expected of a Springbok team. We are very, very disappointed with this performance and the result, it was not how we want to perform as a team. We take responsibility in the fact that we have not delivered today and can only promise hard work to fix this. We will be better next week,” Coetzee said.

Coetzee applauded the effort from the Irish. Continue reading

Springbok captain, Adriaan Strauss, said the Springboks are determined to lay down a marker in their first Castle Lager Incoming Series Test against Ireland on Saturday at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.

The Boks embark on a new era under coach Allister Coetzee, who will be in charge of his first Test as head coach since his appointment as successor to Heyneke Meyer.

Strauss, in turn, will become the 57th player to lead out the Springboks as captain on Saturday, with the 30-year old Vodacom Bulls hooker playing in his 55th Test for his country.

Speaking to media on Friday, Strauss said the Boks had set their site on a good performance in front of the Cape Town crowd. According to the Bok skipper he and his team mates were looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s the start of a new journey for this team, so we definitely want to set down a marker and standard for ourselves,” said Strauss. “Of course the result will always be important, but it’s more about the way we want to play and the way forward.” Continue reading

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