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The Springbok Women’s Sevens received a big boost ahead of their Rugby Africa tournament in Harare this weekend as experienced campaigners Veroeshka Grain, Zenay Jordaan and Marithy Pienaar reclaimed their places in the squad following injury-layoffs.

Grain and Jordaan missed the Roma Sevens in June due to knee injuries, while Pienaar returns to action after breaking a bone in her hand. The Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens tournament takes place in the Zimbabwean capital on Saturday and Sunday.

All three players have been members of the team’s leadership core in the last few seasons, and they will inject skill and experience into the side, which will be invaluable following a two-month off-season. Continue reading

Pic: Asics

Pic: Asics

Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan said the South Africans are looking forward to the challenge to go into battle with the in-form All Blacks on Saturday in Christchurch.

Speaking during a media briefing in Christchurch on Tuesday, Van Graan reiterated that the Springboks will be determined to improve their performance against the reigning world champions.

“We have a few strengths that we want to use and each rugby match has its own character,” said Van Graan.

“You have to be able to take pressure and apply pressure and the team that is able to do that for the full 80 minutes will win the Test.

“The two rugby rivals have huge resect for each other and it’s always a special occasion when the two sides meet. Whether you on the coaching staff or playing, you want to test yourself against the best in the world and on Saturday this will be such an occasion.” Continue reading

The Springboks will continue to stay positive and focus on cutting out the small errors which have proved costly in their Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, No 8 Warren Whiteley said on Monday.

The South Africans arrived in Christchurch in the early hours of Monday morning, where they will play the All Blacks in their fourth Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test of the 2016 campaign.

Although the Springboks suffered a 23-17 defeat at the hands of the Wallabies on Saturday in Brisbane, the performance in Australia was an improvement on their previous showing in Salta according to Whiteley, who addressed the media along with Bok coach Allister Coetzee on Monday afternoon.

The No 8 said the Springboks realise they have to cut out the errors which have hampered their winning chances against Argentina and the Wallabies. He said the entire team and management are working hard to rectify the errors, and added he and his team mates were looking forward to the Test in Christchurch. Continue reading

Springbok flanker Willem Alberts has been called up as replacement for lock Lood de Jager, who was on Sunday ruled out of action for up to two weeks with a severely bruised knee.

The lock injured his knee on Saturday in the 23-17 loss suffered by the Springboks against the Wallabies in Brisbane. Following recent injuries to Siya Kolisi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe and the specific loose forward need in the team, it was decided to call on the versatile and experienced Alberts.

Alberts currently plays for French club Stade Francais and will join the Springbok squad on Monday in Christchurch. He can also play at number eight and lock and has already earned 38 Test caps for the Springboks.

Continue reading

The Wallabies defeated the Springboks 23-17 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday after the South Africans failed to capitalise on a good start in the first half.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said afterwards he was not pleased with his team’s discipline. The two teams scored two tries apiece but the boot of Bernard Foley ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

The Springboks started the match impressively by scoring two tries through Warren Whiteley (number eight) and Johan Goosen (fullback) for an early 14-3 lead inside the opening 20 minutes of the first half. However, the South Africans then conceded a few penalties, which allowed the Wallabies to claw their way back into the match.

The Springboks led 14-13 at halftime at the Suncorp Stadium, where an earlier downpour led to slippery conditions. Continue reading

The Gold Cup – SA Rugby’s three-nation championship for non-university clubs – kicks off on Saturday with eight eagerly-awaited first-round matches being hosted at club venues across the length and breadth of South Africa.

In the Western Cape, all roads will lead to the Cape Winelands town of Worcester, where a capacity crowd is expected at Boland Park for the official opening match between Boland champions OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers and Griffons title-holders Tiger Wheel & Tyre Welkom Rovers.

The Pool A match will be broadcast live on SuperSport1 & HD at 14h30 – directly after the Castle Rugby Championship Test match in Brisbane between Australia and South Africa. Continue reading

Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss wants his team to be more clinical when they tackle the Wallabies on Saturday in Brisbane in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. SuperSport will broadcast the match live and kick-off in the Suncorp Stadium is 12h05 (SA time).

The Bok hooker will be captaining South Africa for the sixth time in his 60th Test match.

Strauss admitted the Boks have not been able to play to their potential yet, but he hopes that on Saturday they will be able to deliver a much-improved performance against the Wallabies in the Suncorp Stadium.

“It’s always a massive game against Australia,” said Strauss.

“We are aware they are a good side, especially here in Brisbane where we don’t have a good record. We need to make a step up on defence and we must be more ruthless and take our opportunities.

“We have not been able to build scoreboard pressure and that is something we have to improve on. Australia have game breakers who can run all over the park, so our work rate will have to be up there because it’s physically tough against them.” Continue reading

Pic: Asics

Pic: Asics

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will on Saturday become the youngest Springbok ever to earn 50 Test caps when he runs out against the Wallabies in the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia in the third round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Etzebeth was named in the Springbok starting team to face the Wallabies on Saturday, which will be his 27th consecutive match for South Africa.

The 24-year lock said he and his team mates are looking forward to face the Wallabies in Brisbane and explained that he is enjoying the game of rugby in the same way as when he first started playing as a youngster.

“I enjoy the game and for me it a massive honour to play in the Green and Gold and to represent my country,” said Etzebeth.

“I am here in Australia with a special group of friends, playing for my country and I really do enjoy playing rugby. However, it’s all about the team and not the individual and I hope to make a meaningful contribution to our team effort on Saturday.” Continue reading

The Currie Cup Premier Division will dish up loads of action this weekend as the Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province meet in a repeat of last year’s Final on Friday, while the Cell C Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs go head-to-head in a table-topping clash on Saturday.

These matches in the Currie Cup – brought to you by Nashua and DirectAxis – will take centre stage in what is expected to be a thrilling round, which could see a few changes on the log standings as the final stages draw closer.

The Currie Cup First Division also features a repeat of the 2015 Final between the Leopards and SWD in Potchefstroom on Saturday, while this weekend will mark the Leopards and Down Touch Griffons final round of pool matches.

Currie Cup Premier Division Continue reading

There are just two forced changes to the DHL Western Province U21 team to face Eastern Province U21, in Port Elizabeth, on Friday.

Both changes come in the loose trio, with Christo van der Merwe taking the place of the injured Jaco Coetzee at No.8, whilst Mitchell Carstens starts at blindside flank, with Jacques Vermeulen having been called up to the senior DHL Western Province Currie Cup team.

The only changes to the replacements bench see prop Daniel Maree and centre Heinrich Buhr join the match-day squad for the match at Framesby High School, which kicks off at 15h00 on Friday.

DHL Western Province U21 coach Jerome Paarwater said that it was important to maintain as much continuity in selection as possible, as they look to build on their victory against Cell C Sharks U21, at DHL Newlands, last week. Continue reading

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