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After weeks of teasing and speculation, Kaizer Chiefs and Nike have officially unveiled the 2019/20 home and away kits supported by the theme #BackToBrilliance.

Bolder than ever, the Kaizer Chiefs 2019/20 home jersey is nothing short of confident. The striking new home jersey is an instant classic and features a distinctive and energetic pattern.

“The new kit represents our vision for the new season. This year we’re resetting; resetting our minds to reignite the passion and energy of the Amakhosi,” says Jessica Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director.

The home jersey is a new take on a classic and the design is reminiscent of the jersey worn by the team between 2011 and 2013 – the jersey saw Kaizer Chiefs win the league and the Nedbank Cup in the 2012/13 season.

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JD Schickerling will start on the flank in the only change for DHL Western Province for their Currie Cup encounter with the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Schickerling comes into the starting line-up at blindside flank, with Ernst van Rhyn shifting to openside and Jaco Coetzee at No.8 in place of the injured Juarno Augustus.

David Meihuizen takes Schickerling’s place among the replacements for the coastal clash, which kicks off at 14h00 on Saturday.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that continuity in selection will give the different combinations a chance to settle in what will be a replay of last year’s Currie Cup Final.

“We would like to build on our performance last week and we know that we face a tough assignment against the defending champions.

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Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth shrugged off any suggestion of a second string line-up for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia at Emirates Airline Park when he gave his captain’s media conference on Friday.

The big lock will lead a squad featuring a Springbok centurion, three half centurions and five more players with more than 35 caps, including players who have claimed the SA Rugby Player of the Year award in three of the last four years.

“We all have a responsibility when we pull on that jersey and that lies with the 23 in South Africa as much as anyone else,” said Etzebeth.

“There’s not much difference between the guys who are here and the ones on their way to New Zealand. I don’t think the team could have been picked much stronger. This is a very strong team we have picked, and I have a lot of confidence in them for tomorrow’s Test.”

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The Springboks’ pool matches at the Rugby World Cup will be handled exclusively by French and English referees, World Rugby’s appointment schedule revealed on Friday.

Two Frenchmen and two Englishmen will be in charge of South Africa’s four Pool B matches in Japan in September and October.

The officials appointed to the Springboks’ matches are:

Date Fixture Venue Referee AR 1 AR 2 TMO
Sat 21 Sept New Zealand v South Africa International Stadium, Yokohama Jerome Garces (FFR) Romain Poite (FFR) Karl Dickson (RFU) Graham Hughes (RFU)
Sat 28 Sept South Africa v Namibia City of Toyota Stadium Mathieu Raynal (FFR) Nic Berry (RA) Andrew Brace (IRFU) Graham Hughes (RFU)
Fri 4 Oct South Africa v Italy Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Wayne Barnes (RFU) Romain Poite (FFR) Alex Ruiz (FFR) Rowan Kitt (RFU)
Tues 8 Oct South Africa v Canada Kobe Misaki Stadium Luke Pearce (RFU) Angus Gardner (RA) Andrew Brace (IRFU) Rowan Kitt (RFU)

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In 72 days, South Africa will raise the curtain on the new Guinness PRO14 campaign when the Toyota Cheetahs host 2015 champions Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein on Friday, 27 September.

All five unions within the Guinness PRO14 will host a game in Round 1, with Ulster and Ospreys also playing on opening night in Belfast as Benetton Rugby, Scarlets and Edinburgh complete the slate of home fixtures with all the action screened live across DAZN, eir Sport, FreeSports UK, Premier Sports, SuperSport, S4C and TG4.

For the first time ever, fans can plan their weekends right up until Round 20, with all kick-off times and dates laid out right to the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

The Toyota Cheetahs and Glasgow Warriors fixture will kick-off a mammoth 152 games schedule that will culminate in the toughest run-in yet, as local and international rivals set their sights on lifting the Guinness PRO14 trophy, won by Leinster in May.

From Round 14 to 21 there will be only two weekend breaks in play as teams compete for precious placings in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series with seedings and Champions Cup qualification will all be up for grabs in a nine-week stretch. Details on the knock-out stages will be confirmed in due course.

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Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth was on Wednesday named as Springbok captain for Saturday’s first Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia in Johannesburg, while Rynhardt Elstadt (loose forward) and Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) will both make their Test debuts on the Highveld.

The game is the first in the Springboks’ shortened 2019 Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, which also consists of away matches against New Zealand and Argentina. Kick-off on Saturday is at 17h05 and the match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Etzebeth takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Siya Kolisi, who is recovering from a knee injury, while Aphiwe Dyantyi was also not considered for selection because of a hamstring injury. It will be Etzebeth’s 12th Test as Bok captain.

Elstadt (Toulouse, France) and Jantjies (DHL Stormers) are the only two uncapped players in the starting team, while Lizo Gqoboka (prop, Vodacom Bulls) is also set to earn his debut off the bench.

Elstadt is picked at No 6 flank in a loose trio that also includes the experienced duo of Pieter-Steph du Toit (No 7, 46 caps) and No 8 Francois Louw (65 caps). Jantjies, will play alongside the 33-cap Elton Jantjies (flyhalf) in a new-look halfback combination.

On the bench there is also a return to the Bok fold for a number of familiar faces as Erasmus casts his net wide with the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad in mind. They are Ulster loose forward Marcell Coetzee, Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, scrumhalf), the mercurial Frans Steyn (Montpellier, utility back) and Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers, utility back).

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The SA Schools and SA Schools A squads – featuring four returning players from 2018 – to contest the U18 International Series against their age-group counterparts from Argentina, England, France, Wales in August were announced by SA Rugby on Monday.

Jacques Goosen (hooker, Border), Jarrod Taylor (flanker, Border), Keketso Morabe (flanker, Thepa Trading Griffons) and Jurich Claasens (scrumhalf, Assupol Blue Bulls), all of whom played for the SA Schools team in 2018, were again included following the successful hosting of the Under-18 Youth Weeks in Bloemfontein at the beginning of the month.

The U18 International Series kicks off at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch on Friday, 9 August, with matches to follow at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl on Tuesday, 13 August and Hugenote High School in Wellington on Saturday, 17 August.

Mzwakhe Nkosi (Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions, SA Schools) and Phiwe Nomlomo (Border, SA Schools A) are the respective coaches.

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Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi has returned to the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg where he will undergo rehabilitation for a hamstring injury, the Springbok management announced on Monday.

The injury has ruled Dyantyi out of the start of the Springboks’ 2019 Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, which kicks off at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg against Australia on Saturday.

The Bok speedster, who won the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award in 2018, picked up the injury during training on Friday and will consult a specialist later on Monday to discuss treatment options and a possible timeframe of return to action.

Bok management confirmed that a replacement for Dyantyi will not be called upon as they have sufficient cover in the training squad, currently in camp in Johannesburg.

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Pic: youtube.

Pic: youtube.

Former Springbok wing James Small, a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad, has died suddenly from a heart attack on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old Small was rushed to hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday night after suffering from a suspected heart attack.

Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, passed on his condolences to Small’s family and friends.

“James, as a member of the triumphant Rugby World Cup squad from 1995, will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the South African public and we were devastated to hear of his passing,” said Mr Alexander.

“He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way.

“At 50 years old, James Small died too young. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time.”

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The South Africa U20 Women wrapped up their tour to Harare in style on Saturday with a rewarding 67-10 victory in their second and final international against Zimbabwe at the Prince Edward School.

The victory, which earned them back-to-back wins against their African neighbours on their first tour since 2013, followed a convincing 43-0 win in their opening tour match on Wednesday.

The team – being coached by former Springbok Women’s prop and SA’s first female national coach, Laurian Johannes – dominated proceedings from the outset with flanker Phelisa Mrwebi scoring the first of their six first-half tries as early as the second minute as they cruised to a satisfying 34-7 halftime lead.

Johannes’ charges added another four tries in the second half – with hooker Roseline Botes securing her brace – to add to a penalty try, while they limited the hosts to a converted try and penalty goal, which earned them the 67-10 result.

South Africa U20 Women’s prop and captain Tyler-jane Coleman was delighted with the victory and said it was a memorable tour for the players. Continue reading

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