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SA Select Women’s lock and captain Nolusindiso Booi is excited to kick off their tour in England against the British Army in Aldershot on Saturday, and said the team was ready for the challenge.

The SA Select Women, who arrived in London on Thursday, will play three matches on tour, with the clash against the British Army being followed by games against the England Academy team on Wednesday, 18 October, and Sunday, 22 October.

“We are very excited to kick off the tour,” said Booi. “Every player in the group is focused on laying a solid foundation in our opening match, so we cannot wait to take to the field.”

Booi, who was a member of the Springbok Women’s team that participated in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, was excited about the mixture of youth and experience in the touring group, and said the nine players with senior international 15s or Sevens experience would play an important role on and off the field.

“We are expecting a tough test in all three matches, but we fortunately there are a number of players in the squad who have international experience, while others represented the country at Under-20 level, and that will be invaluable in guiding the younger players,” said Booi. Continue reading

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, and Springbok Women’s Sevens coach, Renfred Dazel, are keen to their seasons going at the Emirates Dubai Sevens, to be played on 1-2 December at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

The draw for the tournament was announced on Thursday and the Blitzboks, who are the defending HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions as well as the current Dubai Sevens title holders, drew Canada, Kenya and Uganda in Pool A.

The Springbok Women will compete against New Zealand, USA and France, also in Pool A.

According to Powell, the pool, with a distinct African flavour will be pretty tough, as the World Series has become more and more competitive.

“It does not matter who you play, to be honest,” said Powell.

“Every match is a tough one and we will have to be at our very best from the start to beat the other teams in Pool A. The standards of all teams have improved and there are no easy games out there.” Continue reading

Former provincial player, Egon Seconds, is one of four South African referees who will feature in the forthcoming internationals, World Rugby confirmed when they announced the names of the match officials who will do duty during the end-of-year Tests from the end of October to early December.

The four South African referees are Seconds, who will feature in his fourth Test in the match between Namibia and Uruguay in Windhoek, Rasta Rasivhenge (return match between Namibia and Uruguay), Marius van der Westhuizen (England v Argentina) and Jaco Peyper (Italy v Argentina).

World Rugby also announced that Ben O’Keeffe of New Zealand (SA v Ireland), Nigel Owens of Wales (SA v France), Romain Poite of France (SA v Italy) and Jerome Garces of France (SA v Wales) will referee the Springboks’ four Tests on their tour.

· Several experienced players ruled out with injury
· Selected group to assemble in Stellenbosch

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed that Eben Etzebeth will retain the captaincy of the national side on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to the Northern Hemisphere in November and December.

Etzebeth will again lead the side in the continued injury absence of No 8 Warren Whiteley, who has been ruled out of the tour to Ireland, France, Italy and Wales and is expected to be out of action for two more months as a result of his groin injury.

The No 4 lock took over the leadership duties at the end of June when Whiteley was forced to withdraw on the eve of the third Test against France in Johannesburg. Etzebeth has subsequently led the Springboks in all six Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test matches.

Coetzee said Etzebeth has been impressive in the new leadership role so far this season: “Eben has really taken to his role as captain of the Springboks and it makes sense to retain him. I know he is well respected by talking to opposition coaches and referees, and he enjoys the respect of his peers.” Continue reading

Springboks Dillyn Leyds and Wilco Louw both return for DHL Western Province in their final league game of the Currie Cup against the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Both players featured for the Springboks against the All Blacks in an epic Test match at DHL Newlands last week, but are back in the blue and white hoops this week as DHL Western Province look to secure a semifinal place.

Louw is at tighthead prop, alongside Bongi Mbonambi and JC Janse van Rensburg in the front row, while Leyds features on the wing, with Ruhan Nel moving to inside centre to partner Huw Jones in midfield.

The only other change to the starting line-up sees Jaco Coetzee on the flank for the coastal derby, which kicks off at 15h00 on Saturday at Growthpoint Kings Park.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team will be going all out to secure a play-off place.

“We know that we need to raise our game as a team this weekend and the players will be going flat out to deliver the result.

“It will be a major challenge to go to Durban, but one that we have embraced as a team,” he said.

DHL Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Ruhan Nel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Jan de Klerk, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Werner Kok, 22 EW Viljoen.

The learners at Bel Porto School for children with physical and intellectual impairments in Lansdowne, Cape Town, enjoyed learning the game of table cricketas they received a Table Cricket Table from the Lord’s Taverners, sponsored by Greeff Properties.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, presented the table to school principal Ilona Herman, learners and teachers, and there was much excitement about learning to play the game and compete against other schools.

Lord’s Taverners Chairman Ian Kilbride from Warwick Wealth, who are sponsors of the Lord’s Taverners, was present, along with Lord’s Taverners ambassador Robin Jackman, who is a former England cricketer and well-known commentator. Continue reading

The four semi-finalists in the Currie Cup First Division – sponsored by DirectAxis and Nashua – will have one goal in mind when they take to field this weekend – to win at all costs in the hope of booking their places in the final next week.

The Hino Valke will battle it out with the Leopards in Brakpan on Friday, while defending champions, the Down Touch Griffons, will host the Boland Cavaliers in Welkom on Saturday in the semi-finals.

The match-up between the Hino Valke and Leopards will mark the fourth successive Currie Cup First Division semi-final between these sides. A victory for the Leopards would earn them their third consecutive final berth, while a win for the Hino Valke will see them earn their first final berth since 2014.

The Leopards have a solid track-record against the Hino Valke in the competition, with seven victories in their last nine encounters. However, the East Randers won the pool match between the sides 44-19 at home earlier in the season, which will boost their confidence. Continue reading

SANLAM CAPE TOWN MARATHON ANNOUNCEMENT

We have a winner! Two winners actually! The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, together with Sanlam and ASICS, are delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 all-expenses paid trip for two to next year’s Barcelona Marathon.

The winner is twenty seven year old Capetonian Willem le Roux.

In 2010 Willem took up running and ran his first Comrades in memory of his father. Since then he has completed six standard marathons, three Two Oceans Ultras and five Comrades Marathons. Furthermore, Willem uses running as a vehicle for positive change. Continue reading

Pic: sport24.co.za

Pic: sport24.co.za

SA Rugby on Wednesday confirmed that Springbok forwards coach Johann van Graan has been released from his contract and that he will join Irish province Munster as their new head coach.

Van Graan spent the last six seasons as Springbok forwards coach. He was first appointed in the role before the start of the 2012 Test season by former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, with whom Van Graan has enjoyed a close working relationship at provincial and national level.

The 37-year-old Van Graan also worked with Meyer at the Vodacom Bulls, where he was part of the team that won the Vodacom Super Rugby title on three occasions.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux thanked Van Graan for his services to the Springboks.

“Johann has proven himself as an outstanding coach and he has a very bright future ahead of him,” said Roux.

“The Munster appointment is an excellent opportunity for him to test and prove himself as a head coach in a very competitive European club rugby environment. Continue reading

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