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The 2016 schoolboy rugby season is once again upon us.

The Easter-Weekend festivals is usually seen as the official kick off where everything starts to get serious!

Following the Easter Weekend, the Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools begins.

This year’s competition will once again feature some of the top schoolboy rugby teams in the country in 12 matches stretching from the 9th April to the 27th August.

No fewer than 7 out of last year’s top 11 out of the top 20 schools will be featured at a time in Premier Interschools matches.

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SA Rugby on Friday announced a “very satisfactory” operating result for the year ended 31 December 2015, with a group pre-tax surplus of R33.3 million, significantly higher than the R2.9 million achieved in the previous financial year.

The result was due to a combination of improved revenues and a measure of cost savings, said Jurie Roux, Chief Executive Officer.

“In a very difficult economic environment, we consider this a very satisfactory operating result, which was well above budget,” said Roux. “Group revenue rose to close to R1bn (R967m), 18% up from the 2014 level (R820m), due mainly to our share of the new revenue stream from SA Rugby Travel.

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Two backline changes for DHL Stormers

There are two backline changes in the DHL Stormers team to face the Brumbies at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

Nic Groom will make his first start of the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season at scrumhalf, with Jano Vermaak sitting out due to a neck injury, and he is joined in the starting line-up by wing Kobus van Wyk who is returning from an ankle injury.

Experienced scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and young speedster Leolin Zas are the two changes to the replacements bench as Head Coach Robbie Fleck opts for continuity in his forward pack.

Fleck would like to see his team build on the positive signs that they have shown early in the season when they face what is a tough Brumbies side.

“I have been encouraged by the positive intent our players have shown so far, and this is another great opportunity to test ourselves against a strong team.

“We are developing as a team, and hope to take another step forward in what will be another great battle at DHL Newlands,” he said.

Tickets for the game against the Brumbies at DHL Newlands, which kicks off at 19h15 on Saturday, March 19 are available from Computicket, the iamastormer.com website and the stadium box office.

After consultation with City of Cape Town Health Officials and in line with legislation, no smoking of any kind will be allowed in the stadium which has been declared a non-smoking facility.

Previously the stadium featured four designated smoking areas in the corners of the ground, with smoking in the stands prohibited, but this is no longer allowed and all forms of smoking (including e-cigarettes) in any part of the stadium now in contravention of the stadium rules.

DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Leolin Zas.

Referee: Jaco Peyper

 

The South African rugby fraternity has thrown its weight behind the Anti-Racism Week with all Vodacom Super Rugby teams in action locally this weekend and will wear yellow armbands to show their support for the campaign.

The initiative stems from the sporadic and unfortunate incidents of racism in South Africa, with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation joining forces with 80 civil society organisations to form the Anti-Racism Network of South Africa (ARNSA).

“We’ve been approached by ARNSA to participate in the Anti-Racism Week, which started on 14 March and will culminate on Human Rights Day on 21 March. As a sport who prides itself on having the power to unite our nation, we’ve gladly accepted,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Oregan Hoskins. Continue reading

Ajax Cape Town are pleased to announce, yet again, the promotion of another fi ne young talented footballer from the U19 team to the PSL squad. Masilake Phohlongo, has featured frequently in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team, as well as participated for this year’s PSL team in the ETV Charity Showdown and the Cape Town Cup.

The Langa-born left footed playmaker signed his fi rst professional contract and will join fellow Langa-born player Olwethu Nguye, in the PSL squad along with Bantu Mzwakali from Gugulethu and Ndiviwe Mdabuka from Mfuleni, as the club continues to live up to it’s principle of No Youth No Future.

‘Scara’ as he is affectionately known, joined the Ajax Cape Town youth academy in 2008 at the age of 10, showing the makings of being a true playmaker with the added bonus of being a left footed player who’s silky skills were unstoppable from a young age. Continue reading

Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown will not return to South Africa with the rest of the squad and will instead stay behind in Vancouver on medical advice. The squad is expected to arrive back in Cape Town at around 07h00 on Wednesday.

Brown sustained a chest injury on Sunday in the HSBC Canada Sevens Cup final against New Zealand. He was taken to a nearby city hospital afterwards where he stayed overnight for observation.

According to the team’s medical report, Brown subsequently developed air between the chest wall and the lungs. The condition is known as pneumothorax.

Hugh Everson, the Springbok Sevens physiotherapist, accompanied the player to hospital and said it was recommended that Brown does not undertake any air travel until his condition has cleared up. Continue reading

Springbok wing Bryan Habana will return to France to resume his club commitments with Toulon after the club released him to play for the Springbok Sevens in two rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Habana, holder of the Springbok record for the most Test tries, played on the World Series circuit for the first time in 12 years in the Las Vegas and Vancouver tournaments. The Blitzboks finished third in Las Vegas and were narrowly edged out by New Zealand in the Cup final in Vancouver on Monday morning (SA time).

The South Africans managed to close in on frontrunners, Fiji, and now trail by just one point on the HSBC World Series log. The team remains one of the favourites to win the overall title with four more rounds left to play.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, drafted in Habana to have a closer look at the most-capped Springbok back as part of the overall preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio in August. Continue reading

· South Africans close the gap on frontrunners Fiji to one point

The Springbok Sevens moved to within one point of leaders Fiji at the top of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings despite suffering a close-fought 19-14 loss against New Zealand at the inaugural Canadian Sevens tournament in Vancouver on Monday morning (SA time).

New Zealand led 14-7 at halftime and successfully starved the Blitzboks of scoring opportunities by slowing the pace of the game and controlling ball possession and territory. It was heartbreak for the Springbok Sevens, who suffered their only loss of the tournament in the Cup final following impressive performances in the pool and knockout stages.

Rosko Specman and Justin Geduld were the South African try scorers in the Cup final, while Sam Dickson, Kurt Baker and Lewis Ormond dotted down for the Kiwis. Continue reading

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