The Junior Springbok training squad on Friday concluded the first phase of their preparations for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship with a tough hit-out against the DHL Western Province Institute.
The two teams went hammer and tongs in windy conditions with the WP youngsters providing SA U20 coach Dawie Theron’s side with a proper test four days before the final 28-man squad is named to travel to England in a few weeks’ time.
“Perhaps the first two of our chukka-sessions went too well and some of the guys may have been complacent today, while our handling and lineouts were not good enough,” said Theron after his team’s training session in Stellenbosch. Continue reading
The Vodacom Bulls will be chasing a fourth away win when they face the Brumbies on Friday morning at 11h45 (SA time) in the GIO Stadium in Canberra. This will be their second fixture of their three-match Australian trip.
Success for the Pretoria side will allow them to leapfrog the DHL Stormers as leaders on the South African conference standings. They have named an unchanged side for the Brumbies clash.
As things stand, the DHL Stormers have amassed 29 points from nine matches, while the Vodacom Bulls have 28 from eight games.
The DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions are two of four teams who are enjoying byes this coming weekend. The Jaguares from Argentina and Australian side the Rebels, are the other two teams who are not in action.
The remaining three South African sides are all involved in Saturday fixtures. The Waratahs welcome the Toyota Cheetahs to the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday morning, where the two sides will kick off at 11h45 SA time. This will be the Bloemfontein side’s third away match in a row. Continue reading
Boland champions and Gold Cup qualifiers Onelogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers had to dig deep to beat neighbours and arch-rivals Young Hamiltons 26-20 last weekend in a match played in front of one of the largest recorded crowds to ever watch a club league match in South Africa.
The 11,347 fans who packed Esselen Park in Worcester for the much-anticipated showdown were treated to a thrilling encounter between two clubs with a combined age of 201 years – Villagers having been founded in 1883 and Hammies in 1948.
The match comes just a fortnight after Alberton Rugby Club in Gauteng drew a crowd of 16,784 for a provincial-club double header, with the Xerox Golden Lions playing the Vodacom Blue Bulls in a curtain-raiser to a Pirates Grand Challenge league match between Alberton and Union.
“It’s very clear looking at these massive crowd figures that club rugby is thriving around the country,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. Continue reading
The 22-year-old utility forward comes into the team to replace the injured Tertius Daniller in one of three changes to the starting line-up as DHL Western Province aim for their fourth consecutive victory in a match that kicks off at 17h30 on Saturday.
The other changes see Godlen Masimla reclaim his place at scrumhalf after recovering from concussion, while Meyer Swanepoel gets an opportunity to start at flank with Jurie van Vuuren moving back to lock.
DHL Western Province coach John Dobson knows that his team will have to produce an 80-minute performance if they are to continue their winning ways.
“We have had three very hard games to start and we have another one this week against the Cell C Sharks XV. Continue reading
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Springbok Sevens player Francois Hougaard on Tuesday re-joined the Springbok Sevens squad at their training base in Stellenbosch and will be considered for the forthcoming Paris and London legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Hougaard played in the first four tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington and Sydney and just returned from a stint with English Premiership club Worcester.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was pleased to see Hougaard back and in contention for selection for the last two tournaments of the 2015/16 series.
“It is nice to see Francois back,” said Powell. Continue reading
There were no new injury concerns for the DHL Stormers heading into the bye week following their clash with the Waratahs at DHL Newlands.
On the long-term injury list there are a number of players that have made good progress, with the likes of Wilco Louw, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak and Robert du Preez expected to be available for selection following the June international break.
Eben Etzebeth is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a calf injury, and may travel with the team to face the Sunwolves in Singapore on May 14 depending on his progress this week.
Taute will return to training for the first time this week since picking up an ankle injury in pre-season, while scrumhalf Vermaak (neck injury) and flyhalf Du Preez (knee injury) should be back on the training pitch next month.
Lock Jean Kleyn who injured his arm is also expected to return to full fitness before the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has welcomed South Western Districts back into the DHL Stormers fold.
South Western Districts formed part of the original DHL Stormers franchise which was formed in 1998, and after a 10 year absence the union has once again been made official partners in the DHL Stormers franchise. Continue reading
The South African Rugby Union on Monday extended condolences to the family of former Springbok captain, Cornelius Michael “Nelie” Smith, who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.
“Oom Nelie”, 81, passed away due to heart failure, in Strand where he lived, only a week before his 82nd birthday on 8 May.
The president of SA Rugby, Mr. Oregan Hoskins, said rugby across the globe is poorer today. Continue reading