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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

The Junior Springboks on Thursday departed for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, with high hopes of winning the title following an intense two-month training camp in Cape Town.

The team will meet Japan in their opening pool match on Tuesday, 7 June, followed by clashes against Argentina on Saturday, 11 June, and France on Wednesday, 15 June.

The semi-final will be hosted on Monday, 20 June, with the final on Saturday, 25 June.

“We have worked very hard in the last two months to put the structures and systems in place for the tournament, and it is now time for us to implement that on the field in Manchester,” said Junior Springbok captain Jeremy Ward. Continue reading

DHL Western Province have been bolstered by a number of players returning from injury for their clash with the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Prop Wilco Louw, lock Jean Kleyn, utility back Jaco Taute and flyhalf Robert du Preez will all make their first appearances of the season for DHL Western Province, while prop Alistair Vermaak is also back in the mix after doing duty for the DHL Stormers.

In a completely new front row Louw starts at tighthead prop with Frans van Wyk on the replacements bench, while Vermaak slots in at loosehead in place of JP Smith and Cullen Collopy gets an opportunity at hooker with both Chad Solomon and Mike Willemse ruled out through injury.

Kleyn returns to partner captain Chris van Zyl at lock, with Jurie van Vuuren on the replacements bench, and there is a shuffle in the loose trio with Beyers de Villiers coming in at openside flank alongside Luke Stringer and Kobus van Dyk. Continue reading

SA Rugby has welcomed the appointment of Ilhaam Groenewald, its first female Executive Council member, along with the returning Monde Tabata as independent members of the Exco.

Mrs Groenewald and Mr Tabata were elected last week and will attend their first meeting of the newly constituted Exco in Cape Town next week.

Mrs Groenewald succeeds Mr Mputumi Damani as one of two independent members of the 12-person Executive Council. Mr Damani was warmly thanked for his contribution since being elected in 2011.

“My passion is sport management and development so when I was asked if I was happy to have my name put forward, I had no hesitation,” said Mrs Groenewald. “You cannot work in sports administration in the Western Cape and not know about rugby so I have very good insight into the work that SA Rugby does. I have also received very positive support from Stellenbosch University management.” Continue reading

Springbok Sevens enforcer Rachelle Geldenhuys will add grunt and experience to the SA Select Women’s Sevens squad for the Roma Sevens on 10 and 11 June at the Acqua Acetosa Stadium in Italy, along with exciting young players Megan Comley and Christelene Steinhobel.

SA Select Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel on Wednesday confirmed a squad of 11 players for the tournament, rather than the traditional 12, which features the Kenya, Italy, Venezuela, Paris 7s and Le Spinose teams.

Veroeshka Grain, Zenay Jordaan (both nursing knee injuries), Libbie Janse van Rensburg (back injury), and Unathi Mali (writing exams), all of whom played in the invitational tournament in France last month, were not available for selection.

“We are facing a challenge with injuries at the moment and Unathi is writing exams, so we have been forced to name a squad of only 11 players,” said Dazel. Continue reading

Current World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year, Werner Kok, will make a first return to the playing field this year at the Roma Sevens as part of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy side that will travel to Italy next week.

Kok, who sustained a knee injury at the Emirates Dubai Sevens in December last year, missed the remainder of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, but now gets a final chance to push for inclusion in the team to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio later this year.

Also amongst the selections by coach Marius Schoeman for the tournament in Rome from 10-11 June are Frankie Horne and Warrick Gelant.

Gelant is returning to the sevens fray after good performances for the Vodacom Bulls in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition earlier this year, while Horne, a veteran of 68 World Series tournaments, will make a last ditch effort to crack the Rio squad following ankle surgery earlier this year.

Also included in the side are regular Blitzboks Stephan Dippenaar, Branco du Preez, Sandile Ncgobo and Siviwe Soyizwapi, while Schoeman also named newcomers Luke van der Smit, Donovan du Randt and Ryan Oosthuizen in the side. Ncgobo will lead the side. Continue reading

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