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The entry of the Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings into the Guinness PRO14 would break the mould for world rugby, the South African launch was told in Cape Town on Friday.

The two former Vodacom Super Rugby teams will kick off in the tournament next month with 12 clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy in a radical departure for global rugby.

“This is a momentous day for rugby – as significant as the launch of the Super 12 tournament, 21 years ago,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO.

“We are breaking new ground with a number of global firsts: this is the first cross-hemisphere domestic club competition; the first time we will have played summer rugby in South Africa and the first experiment in aligning a season in the south with that of the north.

“Our eyes are on the bigger picture, which is new horizons and new opportunities for South African rugby and our PRO14 partners. I’d like to thank Martin Anayi [PRO14 CEO] and the board of PRO14 Rugby as well as the national unions of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy for opening the door at short notice and welcoming us through it.

“We look forward to this adventure and building something special.”

Martin Anayi, said: “It’s a momentous day for us to arrive in South Africa and get a sense of the excitement around the introduction of the Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings into the Guinness PRO14.

“The work we have achieved to expand our Championship is a great credit to SA Rugby, the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings. We have already seen the incredible interest from across Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales after our announcement about expansion and it’s great to see that replicated here in South Africa.

“This is a ground-breaking feat and a true first in world rugby as we will see north versus south compete on a regular basis in the Guinness PRO14. I would like to thank Jurie Roux and his team at SA Rugby for the hospitality they have shown us and wish our new teams the very best of luck in the coming season.

“Rugby supporters in South Africa and across our existing nations are in for a real treat this season and we can’t wait for the Championship to kick what will be an historic campaign.”

Note to editors: Please find attacked a rights-free images of Cell C Sharks Currie Cup centurion, Odwa Ndungane. Please credit Gallo Images.

Long-serving Cell C Sharks stalwart, Odwa Ndungane, will play in his 100th Currie Cup match for his side this weekend as they take on the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg in one of three exciting clashes that promises to thrill local rugby supporters.

Ndungane, who made his Currie Cup debut for Border in 2001 and played for them in 27 matches, also represented the Vodacom Blue Bulls twice, making the match at Emirates Airline Park the 129th Currie Cup encounter of his career.

The Currie Cup – proudly sponsored by DirectAxis and Nashua – has not only established a firm grip on the interest of the South African rugby public after four weeks of action, it is also producing top class action and drama with a number of teams learning the hard way that consistency in performance is key to success in South Africa’s premier domestic competition.

To add to the competitiveness and drama of this longstanding tournament, a short turn-around will further test teams this weekend, as a full round of matches was played on Wednesday. Continue reading

Franchise owner Fawad Rana firmly invested in new SA cricket league

DURBAN –T20 Global League team owner, Qatar based businessman and cricket devotee – Fawad Rana (Managing Director of Qatar Lubricants (QALCO), Owner & Chairman Qalandars) – has acquired the Durban franchise of South Africa’s newest cricket league, with former Proteas Captain and star batsman Hashim Amla fronting the KZN capital.

Speaking from a press conference in Durban today, Rana confirmed the T20 Global League team name as the Durban Qalanders. Rana is also the Owner and Chairman of the Lahore Qalanders, the second most expensive franchise in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and is widely credited with driving the success of the PSL. “There’s a definite synergy between the two leagues and South Africa is a very attractive cricketing market for us. The model is exciting, there’s great opportunity, and we’re able to take our brand to a global level,” he said.

Rana thanked Cricket South Africa (CSA) for the opportunity to be part of the new Africa-based T20 league. “I belong to Lahore which is a passionate, food-loving and welcoming city. I also reside in Doha, another warm port-city. Durban has the best of both, which is why we chose it. I know that we have one of the greatest in the game, Hashim Amla, and I am absolutely delighted to be representing the province of KwaZulu-Natal” Continue reading

Johannesburg – Cricket South Africa (CSA) can confirm that Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited (Brimstone) has decided to end their interest in pursuing ownership in the Stellenbosch franchise team in CSA’s new T20 Global League.

CSA respects the decision by the Brimstone-led consortium and thanks Brimstone and its partners for their initial interest and participation in the T20 Global League ownership process to this point.

Mustaq Brey, CEO of Brimstone said, “We follow a rigorous investment process. This venture had to undergo the same process and be tested against our standard investment criteria as all other investment proposals. Our investment decisions take cognisance of the risks and benefits to all our stakeholders. We wish CSA well with the T20 Global League and will continue to support the development of, and access to, the sport in various other ways.”

“It would have been a huge honour and privilege to have had Brimstone on board but we understand their investment process limited them and we respect their decision,” said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.

CSA is currently evaluating other interested parties from the initial shortlist of bidders as well as new parties who have expressed interest. The process of screening and evaluating all potential owners is overseen by EY and all the necessary due diligence procedures remain in place. In the interim, CSA will take on the responsibility to set up the franchise. Continue reading

There are five changes to the DHL Western Province team for the Currie Cup clash with the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, flyhalf Damian Willemse, centre Huw Jones, flank Jaco Coetzee and hooker Scarra Ntubeni all come into the starting lineup for the North-South derby, which kicks off at 17h15 on Saturday.

Vermaak replaces the injured Dewaldt Duvenage and will parter Willemse at halfback, with Justin Phillips and Kurt Coleman on the replacements bench.

Jones makes his first start since returning from a hamstring injury and will line up at inside centre.

Both Coetzee and Ntubeni come into the starting line-up, with Ramone Samuels and Steph de Wit on the replacements bench alongside lock Eddie Zandberg, who is in line to make his Currie Cup debut.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team are looking forward to playing at DHL Newlands again.

“It is alway a big game when the Vodacom Blue Bulls come to DHL Newlands and this will be no different.

“It has been a tough week for us, but the players are determined to rise to the occasion and show what we are capable of,” he said. Continue reading

Club rugby will take centre stage simultaneously in three countries on 9 September when the Gold Cup kicks off with eight highly anticipated matches across the length and breadth of Southern Africa.

The fixtures for SA Rugby’s flagship three-nation champions’ league for non-university clubs, which were officially released on broadcast partner SuperSport on Tuesday night, see Windhoek, Harare, Rustenburg, Cape Town, East London, Welkom and Orkney hosting first-round matches.

Gold Cup champions Newrak Rustenburg Impala will kick off the defence of their title with a tough home fixture against Cheetahs champions Recall Security Bloemfontein Police, while last year’s runners-up, DirectAxis False Bay, host the as yet unconfirmed Boland champions in a mouthwatering WP-Boland derby in Cape Town.

The spotlight will fall squarely on the Mother City on the opening weekend, with wildcards Tygerberg also at home to Eastern Province’s champions, who will be decided this coming Saturday when Progress and Park contest the Grand Challenge final at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Elsewhere, fellow wildcards Swallows host Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians in the East London derby at BCMM Stadium, which will also see the Border Bulldogs play the Boland Cavaliers in what promises to be a vibrant club-province double-header. Continue reading

Pic: baydu.co.za

Pic: baydu.co.za

Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks in the injury absence of Warren Whiteley, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

Loose forward Siya Kolisi was named as the Springbok vice-captain.

Etzebeth led the Springboks in the last Test of the three-match series against France in June, when Whiteley was ruled out of action because of a groin injury.

Whiteley missed the remainder of the Vodacom Super Rugby campaign as a result of the injury, and he will be out of action for at least six more weeks, ruling him out for the opening part of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

“Eben did an excellent job against France in Johannesburg, when he had to step in at short notice after the late withdrawal of Warren. He enjoys the respect of his team mates and also commands respect on and off the field,” said Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee.

“He is well supported by our strong leadership group which consists of Siya, Tendai Mtawarira and Elton Jantjies.”

Etzebeth has played in 57 Springbok Tests since making his debut on 9 June 2012 against England in Durban, when he was 20 years old.

The Springboks start their campaign against the Pumas on 19 August in Port Elizabeth and then travel to Argentina a week later, for the return leg in Salta. Continue reading

The Springboks will wear a limited-edition alternate jersey in the red of the South African flag in their match against the Pumas in Salta on 26 August, SA Rugby announced on Tuesday.

The striking jersey has been commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of rugby unity in South Africa. Only a limited number of replica jerseys will be available in stores from tomorrow (9 August).

The red Springbok jersey completes a “jigsaw puzzle” of playing and training apparel that was prepared for use in 2017. The colours of the flag – green, yellow, blue and red, as well as black and white – have all featured in training or playing apparel this year.

“We wanted to mark the 25th anniversary of rugby in South Africa in a striking and memorable way and in partnership with ASICS came up with this bold alternate strip,” said CEO Jurie Roux.

“We chose the colours of the flag as a uniting symbol and believed that red made the boldest statement as a tribute to the achievement of rugby unity, which was completed before democracy arrived in South Africa.”

Roux said that red also provided the strongest contrast to the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship rivals. The red colouring is rounded off by a black collar, logos as well as other details.

Brian Kerby, General Manager of ASICS South Africa, said they were excited to reveal the red jersey to Springbok supporters. Continue reading

Cape Town, 08 August 2017 – The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Africa’s must-run iconic city marathon, has won both local and international praise for its world-class management and social benefits. Through its purposeful Run4Change legacy programme, participants, supporters and the public at large are given the opportunity to better their health, whether it’s through active recreation, physical education, exercise or good nutrition.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon weekend festival, which takes place between 14 and 17 September in the beautiful Mother City, provides a wealth of information and support through its training programmes and assistance from top experts. “The marathon is a great way to make the shift towards positive change in living a healthier life,” says Elana van Zyl-Meyer, ambassador for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and former Olympic silver medallist.

The races for this year’s action-packed road-running spectacle include the 12km and 22km Sanlam Cape Town Peace Trail Runs, the Sanlam Cape Town 10km Peace Run, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 42.2km race, and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Peace Fun Run. “No matter your fitness level, or what your goals are, there is a race to fit your needs,” says Van Zyl-Meyer. Continue reading

South Africa’s women’s rugby faithful will be treated to a jam-packed day of action and free entry to Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley and Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit in a special Currie Cup treat on Women’s Day on Wednesday.

The fairer sex will be granted free access to the matches between Tafel Lager Griquas and DHL Western Province in Kimberley, and the Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Nelspruit respectively, with children also entering for free at the Mbombela Stadium.

In the other Currie Cup Premier Division match of the day – proudly brought to you by DirectAxis and Nashua – the Vodacom Blue Bulls will host the Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, while the Xerox Golden Lions have a bye. Continue reading

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