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The experienced duo of Juan de Jongh and Rynhardt Elstadt will both make their return from injury for DHL Western Province in their SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter with the SWD Eagles at DHL Newlands on Friday.

Coach John Dobson’s team will be looking for their fourth consecutive win of the competition in the curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the DHL Stormers and the Blues, with the match kicking off at 16h15.

Tygerberg RFC flyhalf Errol Jaggers, who has come through Jerome Paarwater’s talent identification programme, will make his debut for DHL Western Province at pivot in place of Brandon Thomson who has been called up to the DHL Stormers.

The only other changes to the backline see De Jongh come in at outside centre and Khanyo Ngcukana return from injury on the wing.

Elstadt will start at blindside flank whilst in the second row JD Schickerling will link up with Eduard Zandberg.

In the front row Chad Solomon is back at hooker with props Caylib Oosthuizen and Michael Kumbirai alongside him and Dean Muir and Frans van Wyk providing cover on the replacements bench. Continue reading

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 07:  Zain Davids of South Africa makes a break during the World Rugby U20 Championship match between South Africa and Japan at The Academy Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 07: Zain Davids of South Africa makes a break during the World Rugby U20 Championship match between South Africa and Japan at The Academy Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

After watching the Springbok Sevens secure the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title with a victory in Paris on Sunday, Junior Springbok and Blitzboks strongman Zain Davids hoped that a similarly brave effort by the SA U20s could steer them to success in Georgia.

The Junior Springboks depart for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Tbilisi on 25 May where they will face France, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages of the competition.

Davids, who is one of eight players in the 28-man squad who played in last year’s U20 Champs in Manchester, said he was looking forward to the challenge with a little over two weeks before their opening match, where they will be looking to make the country proud.

“As a young player it is an honour to have represented the Springbok Sevens team and to be part of the Junior Springbok team that will be participating in the World Rugby U20 Championship,” said Davids.

“The fact that the Blitzboks have already wrapped up the World Series title and the opportunity to play in the World Rugby U20 Championship for the second time has made this year and even more special and memorable. Continue reading

They are still playing with the same objectives in mind as before, so there is no reason why the Springbok Sevens team will take anything for granted when the HSBC London Sevens kicks off at Twickenham on Saturday.

That is the opinion of two of the Blitzboks’ speedsters, Ruhan Nel and Siviwe Soyizwapi, as the South Africans prepare for the tenth and final tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Series in London.

The Blitzboks have clinched the overall series title already by winning the HSBC Paris Sevens last weekend, but they are still driven by desire and team values, says Nel, who celebrated his 26th birthday in England’s capital on Wednesday.

“We are still playing for what that Springbok on the chest represents,” said Nel.

“That means 100% dedication and commitment, 100% of the time. Nothing has changed because we won the series, we are still the same team who want to make the country proud and do the system justice.”

According to Nel, who was one of the leading tacklers in Paris, the team structure allows players to be at their best.

“For me to make those tackles it meant that I felt my back was covered and that is what we are hoping to do as a team,” explained Nel, who is in line to play in his 100th match for the Blitzboks in London.   Continue reading

Springbok tight forwards Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit are all in the DHL Stormers starting line-up to face the Blues at DHL Newlands on Friday.

Locks Etzebeth and Du Toit have both recovered from injury niggles whilst tighthead prop Malherbe was rested against the Hurricanes before last week’s bye as part of the Springbok management plan.

As a result Wilco Louw and Jan de Klerk will feature off the replacements bench, with the only other change to the forward pack coming at loosehead prop where Oli Kebble switches with Ali Vermaak to claim the starting spot.

In the backline Dillyn Leyds steps into the flyhalf role he performed in Wellingon when Rob du Preez was forced from the field with a torn pectoral muscle and a fit-again Seabelo Senatla takes his place out on the left wing.

Experienced centre Damian de Allende returns from an ankle injury to feature on the replacements bench alongside Brandon Thomson who will provide flyhalf cover for the clash with the Auckland side. Continue reading

BrightRock announces “The Play the Bounce Braai” and “My Training Day with the Springboks” to raise funds for the recipients of the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund

(South Africa, May 2017) Life insurance industry heavyweight, BrightRock, has teamed up with the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund to host The Play the Bounce Braai in Johannesburg on 20 June 2017, just ahead of the third and final Springbok vs France Test Match. This fun event will be attended by the full Springbok team and management in an effort to raise much needed funds for the Players’ Fund and will be followed by a special rugby training day for young players selected from the Gauteng area on 21 June 2017.

Proceeds of the two events will go to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund to support rugby players who have sustained catastrophic head, neck or spinal cord injuries while on the field.

Festivities will kick off on Tuesday 20 June at Café Cru at the Southern Sun Montecasino, where guests will have an opportunity to enjoy a typical South African braai in the company of the entire Springbok team and management, not to mention a number of former icons of the game.

Attendees will also have a chance to show off their sporting knowledge with a fun, rugby-themed quiz where they will be joined up with the players to bolster their competitive edge. Incredible prizes will also be up for grabs on the night, including a Springbok match-day, team photo opportunity, dinner for 20 people with two former Springboks prepared by a private chef, and signed sport memorabilia. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to rub shoulders with the boys in green and gold in the name of a good cause! Continue reading

Celeste Adonis, Nolusindiso Booi and Tayla Kinsey, who played at the 2014 Women’s World Cup in France, are amongst a group of 42 players who were invited to the second national women’s training camp as the squad will pick up their preparations for their UK tour in October.

The four-day training camp will take place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) from Thursday, 25 May, to Sunday, 28 May, where the focus will be on measuring the improvement in their fitness levels and fine-tuning their structures. The camp marks the second of the season and follows on another hosted in Cape Town in October last year.

The SA Select Women will travel to the UK on 11 October in what will mark the first national women’s tour since the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, where they will play two matches against the England Academy team and one against the British Army.

The players will have medical and fitness tests on the opening day of the camp, which will be followed by a series of training sessions and a match on Saturday, which will feature the Springbok Women’s Sevens players and a few invitational players. The combined group will be split into two squads, which will face one another. Continue reading

The doors to one of Cape Town’s top-rated tourist attractions, the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, will be thrown open tomorrow as SA Rugby marks International Museum Day on 18 May.

Entry will be free of charge into the internationally acclaimed interactive rugby museum in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, which was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2016 by TripAdvisor.

Furthermore, all merchandise at the concept store will be discounted by 10% on Thursday only. Opening hours are from 09h00 to 17h00 (last entry at 16h30).

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of International Museum Day and we’re proud to be part of tens of thousands of museums in almost 150 countries across the globe participating in this event annually,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The theme for 2017 is ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’ and we believe that by telling many stories of rugby’s past that wasn’t part of the international story in years gone by, we paint a clear picture of the role our wonderful game has played in the history of South Africa.” Continue reading

SA Rugby Sevens Academy player, Marco Labuschagne, has joined the Springbok Sevens team in London for this weekend’s HSBC London Sevens after Tim Agaba was ruled out because of a knee injury he sustained in Paris last weekend.

Agaba will be replaced in the 12-man squad by Sandile Ngcobo, who travelled to Paris as the official reserve player, and Labuschagne will now fill that vacancy in the touring squad.

The 19-year-old Labuschagne, who matriculated from Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem last year, has been with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch since the beginning of the year and was extremely happy and proud to get the call-up.

“I am so excited,” said Labuschagne.

“This is a massive opportunity for me, even if I don’t get a chance to play. Just to be with the squad and experience the series is already a highlight for me.

“The Academy has been great for my development as player and amongst other things, taught me patience. Coaches Marius Schoeman and Paul Delport are really good in what they do and I have learned so much from them. We all want to play, but sometimes you have to wait your chance. Continue reading

The Springbok Sevens team set themselves the goal at the beginning of the season to be competitive and try to win all ten tournaments of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. To neglect that aim after nine tournaments just because the series title is in the bag, would be foolish and detrimental to their team values.

This is the opinion of the most experienced player in the Blitzboks squad for the HSBC London Sevens, Chris Dry, who is adamant that the Springbok Sevens team’s only mission is to win the final tournament of the season.

“We have arrived in London from Paris and now we start from scratch again,” said Dry, who has notched up 292 matches in 61 tournaments thus far, scoring 90 tries for 450 points for the Blitzboks.

“We are really looking forward to this one, as some of the pressure is now off, with the series won. We are delighted about having won in Paris, not only the tournament, but also the series. The focus will now move firmly to this last one. We wanted to play ten good tournaments, so we are not there yet.”

The Blitzboks also want to use the last bit of momentum they picked up during the season, which saw them win five tournaments and play in eight finals thus far.

“We want to finish it well, we owe it to ourselves to go out with a bang. We still have some work to do,” said Dry.

The team arrived in London with an unassailable lead in the World Series, but they are not dropping their standards or their desire to be the best team at the tournament, Dry added.

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