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Faf de Klerk and Damian de Allende were included in Springbok starting line-up to face the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday in the final Test of the 2016 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

The two personnel changes are both due to injuries – scrumhalf De Klerk comes into the starting team again as a replacement for Rudy Paige, who suffered a concussion in the victory over the Wallabies in Pretoria, while De Allende replaces Jesse Kriel, who was ruled out of action as a result of his groin injury.

In a positional change in midfield, Juan de Jongh moves from inside to outside centre, with De Allende now wearing the No 12 jersey. The two wings, Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard, will swap jerseys for this Test.

The rest of the match-day squad was kept unchanged from the line-up that defeated the Wallabies by 18-10 last Saturday.

“Unfortunately for Rudy, he will not have completed his gradual return to play protocol by this weekend, which gives Faf another opportunity in the No 9 jersey,” said Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee. Continue reading

Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira (left) and George Moala of New Zealand (right) at the Laureus event at the LIV Village in Durban is attached. Pic: SA Rugby.

Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira (left) and George Moala of New Zealand (right) at the Laureus event at the LIV Village in Durban is attached. Pic: SA Rugby.

The Springboks and All Blacks may be traditional and fierce rivals on the rugby field, but on Wednesday they joined forces for a good cause at a project initiated by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Players from both teams participated in the fun-filled event which was held at the LIV Village on the outskirts of Durban, where residential care for orphans and vulnerable children are provided. Apart from the hundreds of excited children, a huge media contingent was in attendance to capture every move of the players and kids.

Springbok skipper Adriaan Strauss led the home team’s group of players, which included Beast Mtawarira, Pat Lambie, Faf de Klerk, Francois Louw, Juan de Jongh and Piet van Zyl. They were joined by All Blacks Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano and George Moala.

Former Springbok captains Jean de Villiers and Morné du Plessis, chairman of the Laureus Foundation in South Africa, welcomed the players and guests to the event. The players then joined in the fun activities and they finished off the event with a mural painting of their hand prints. Continue reading

Experienced Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell has been reappointed with the Blitzboks for a fourth season, SA Rugby announced on Wednesday.

“Neil is highly sought-after on the international sevens circuit and we’re very grateful and excited that he will remain at the helm of the Blitzboks for a further four years,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“The Springbok Sevens have consistently been one of the top teams on the circuit in the last couple of seasons and we know Neil and his team are headed in the right direction. All of us are looking forward at how they tackle the challenges of the new season.”

Powell said: “It’s a massive privilege and honour for me to coach the Springbok Sevens team as I’m passionate about the game and our country. I can’t wait to get stuck in as we aim to raise the bar even further this season.”

Meanwhile, the Springbok Sevens squad started their preparations for the 2016/17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Stellenbosch earlier this week, keen to deliver another impressive year of performance on the world stage. Continue reading

SA Rugby referee, Jaco Kotze, will join Rasta Rasivhenge, Ben Crouse and Aimee Barrett on an experienced panel for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2016-17 men’s and women’s competitions.

World Rugby on Wednesday announced the panel of referees to officiate at the 2016-17 men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the first within the new four-year Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycle.

The 30-year old Kotze, a trained biokineticist from Bloemfontein, will join Rasivhenge, Crouse and Barrett – all of whom refereed at the recent Rio Olympic Games – on the panel of 21 match officials.

A record 60 referees from 29 unions were nominated for inclusion on this year’s men’s and women’s panels. In all, 21 match-officials have been selected for the men’s, while 12 will officiate on the women’s circuit. Crouse will be in action in both. Continue reading

The Leopards will be hunting back-to-back titles and their 19th consecutive victory in the Currie Cup First Division when they host the Down Touch Griffons, champions in 2014, in the Final at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.

A victory for the Leopards would reaffirm their dominance this season after advancing through the Currie Cup First Division – brought to you by Nashua and DirectAxis – unbeaten, like they did in 2015 when they swept away all opposition.

They men from North West will face tough competition from the Down Touch Griffons, who suffered two defeats in the pool stages – against the Leopards and Border respectively – but bounced back strongly in the semi-final to defeat the Bulldogs by 25-16.

The last time the teams met in the Currie Cup First Division Final was in 2008 at the same venue, and the Welkom side emerged 31-26 victors. Continue reading

 

Pic: Howard Cleland

The Carfind.co.za Iqhawe Week on Tuesday dished up mixture of tight matches and big wins in an entertaining second day’s play at the Bill Jardine Stadium in Johannesburg, in which four teams remained unbeaten.

SWD, Western Province, the Pumas and Griquas continued to stamp their authority in the tournament following victories on the opening day on Monday.

The Under-15 tournament, which is a joint venture between SA Rugby and the SA Rugby Legends Association, will conclude on Thursday following a well-deserved rest day for the players on Wednesday. The main game will feature SWD and Western Province. Continue reading

BuildNat Cape Cobras vs bizhub Highveld Lions in a Sunfoil 4-day Domestic Series match, 5-8 October 2016 at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, JHB

BuildNat Cape Cobras squad:

Omphile Ramela (capt)

Andrew Puttick

Zubayr Hamza

Stiaan van Zyl

Jason Smith

Dane Vilas

Aviwe Mgijima

Vernon Philander

Dane Piedt

Beuran Hendricks

Dane Paterson

Tshepo Moreki

On Saturday, 1 October at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville, Clapham High School from Pretoria, Gauteng were crowned champions of the 2016 McDonald’s U/14 Schools League.

In a nail biting battle of football talent, Clapham High School representing Gauteng province came out victorious against Dr J.L. Dube High School from KZN, the champions won 3-1 in penalty shootouts. Both teams displayed some amazing skill and tricks on that the crowd on the edge of their seats until the final whistle. Continue reading

Piet van Zyl was on Monday named as replacement for Springbok scrumhalf Rudy Paige, who was ruled out of action because he was still symptomatic following the concussion he suffered in the victory over the Wallabies on Saturday in Pretoria.

Van Zyl, who plays for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, will join the Springbok later on Monday in Durban. He has two Test caps to his name and played for the SA “A” side earlier this year against the England Saxons.

Meanwhile, wing Bryan Habana and centre Jesse Kriel will continue to receive medical treatment following their respective niggles from Saturday’s clash. Habana hurt his thigh while Kriel has a troublesome groin. Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, said Habana and Kriel will be given as much time as possible to recover.

Damian de Allende (centre) and Malcolm Marx (hooker) have rejoined the camp in Durban after representing the DHL Western Province and Xerox Golden Lions in the Currie Cup. Unfortunately Lwazi Mvovo, who was released last week to play for the Cell C Sharks, had to undergo an appendix operation last week and has been ruled out of action.

The Springboks started their preparations for the All Blacks clash with a morning session at a La Lucia gymnasium. They will announce their match-23 team on Thursday.

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