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South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan Ackermann included four forwards with Test experience – team captain Oupa Mohoje, Nizaam Carr, Stephan Lewies and Vincent Koch – in his starting team for Friday’s first match against the England Saxons in Bloemfontein.

The match – the first of two against the visiting Saxons – kicks off at 19h10 at the Toyota Stadium in the Free State capital and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Ackermann has also included a further two Springboks on the bench, in Coenie Oosthuizen and Piet van Zyl. They will be joined in the SA ‘A’ match-23 by six players who only got their first taste of Vodacom Super Rugby earlier this year, in Leolin Zas, JD Schickerling (both starting), Lizo Gqoboka Jean-Luc du Preez, RG Snyman and Lukhanyo Am (all four on the bench).

The four members of the Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, who were released to the SA ‘A’ squad, will all start on Friday. They are Garth April (flyhalf), Nic Groom (scrumhalf), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank) and Scarra Ntubeni (hooker). Continue reading

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Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams said on Wednesday the team had to step up their performance and deliver a full 80 minute effort against Argentina on Saturday to build on their victory against Japan in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester.

The SA U20s registered a morale-boosting 59-19 victory against Japan in their opening match on Tuesday after fighting their way back from a 19-14 halftime deficit.

They face Argentina next on Saturday at 18h00 (19h00 SA Time) at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The South Africans outscored Japan by eight tries to three, while fullback Curwin Bosch was in fine form with the boot and slotted over all the conversions and added a penalty for his individual total of 19 points.

“There are a few areas of our game that require a vast improvement before the Argentina clash, such as our breakdowns and defence, and we have to make sure that we play for the full 80 minutes,” said Adams. Continue reading

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Caiphus Semenya, Simphiwe Dana, the Afrika Mkhize Big Band, Swing City and Ringo Madlingozi are some of South Africa’s top musicians who will be appearing at Jazztown* this month.

They are part of 150 of the world’s biggest jazz innovators who come from 14 countries and are on the bill at the country’s oldest and longest jazz festival, which takes place from June 30 to July 9, as part of the National Arts Festival.

The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown has become a litmus test of South Africa’s jazz future and this year again presents some of the country’s best young talent who will be playing each other’s music and pushing the boundaries.

2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, pianist Afrika Mkhize, will be honouring the late jazz legend Bheki Mseleku with a powerful big band tribute that reflects a national and international potpourri of jazz talent. Continue reading

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Gallo Images. Zain Davids Springbok Under 20s.

Gallo Images. Zain Davids Springbok Under 20s.

SA Rugby on Wednesday announced that Dawie Theron has accepted a contract to coach the Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan and will not be available for a seventh season as coach of the Junior Springboks.

Theron will vacate his position following the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, which kicked off earlier this week.

Theron, who is currently leading the Junior Springboks in his sixth successive World Rugby U20 Championship, will join the club at their summer camp in Hokkaido on 19 July, with his contract running until 31 March 2018.

“I would like to thank Dawie for his immense contribution to South African rugby, not only as a former Springbok player and the Junior Springbok coach over the past few years, but also for the role he played at provincial coaching level,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. Continue reading

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The Springboks have released four squad members to the SA “A” side for the first of their two matches match against the England Saxons at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday evening.

Hooker Scarra Ntubeni, flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe, scrumhalf Nic Groom and flyhalf Garth April are all members of the 31 Bok training squad that first got together last week in Stellenbosch. They will join coach Johan Ackermann and his SA “A” side on Tuesday evening in Bloemfontein and will be in action on Friday.

The four players will rejoin the Springbok squad on Saturday in Cape Town, where the Boks are facing Ireland in the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Series. The two remaining encounters between the two sides will be played on consecutive weekends in Johannesburg (18 June) and Port Elizabeth (25 June).

Meanwhile the Springboks continued with their final preparations for the weekend’s big clash with a split session between backs and forwards in Cape Town earlier on Tuesday morning. Continue reading

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At 10h50 this morning a 22 year old male died after sustaining a gunshot wound to his abdomen In Bishop Lavis opposite the Court Building. Western Cape Government Health Forensic Pathology Services attended the scene.

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Gallo Images. Zain Davids Springbok Under 20s.

Gallo Images. Zain Davids Springbok Under 20s.

Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron praised his team’s fighting spirit as they came back from trailing at half-time to comprehensively beat Japan by 59-19 in their opening match of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, on Tuesday.

It was a morale-boosting victory for the South African Under-20s, who found themselves 19-7 down after 31 minutes in the first half, but never backed off to finally outscore Japan by eight tries to three. The score at the break was 19-14.

“The first half was a bit of a shock for the guys and I think they didn’t really expect that, but I told this that this is a World Cup, you have to convert your opportunities into points,” said Theron.

“We probably were a little shell-shocked when they scored those three tries, but I am proud of the way the players fought back. Japan played well and they targeted the rucks, which they did not do last year.

“It was a tough lesson for us, but we adapted quickly. I think we regrouped very well as a team after a hard team talk at half-time and we stuck to our structures, which worked in the end.” Continue reading

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According to a Bloomberg survey of economists, emerging economic markets in Asia and more specifically Africa are at the forefront of global growth. The survey revealed that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy was projected to expand by 4.9% in 2015 and a 6% growth was predicted for Kenya in the same year. With this new found energy, a sense of possibility and dynamism of business on the continent, the South African based School of Etiquette has expanded their service offering through the launch of a new division, AfroProtocol, which will primarily focus on the African market.

Research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute found that the business environment in Africa is still dominated by English speakers and western culture. Continue reading

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The return on investment has been huge since the launch of the City’s initiative to reward informants which sees members of the public paid a small cash amount in exchange for blowing the whistle on crime. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town has made dozens of arrests and recovered stolen goods and contraband worth millions of rands, courtesy of its Informant Reward System.

The City’s Safety and Security Directorate formulated the Informant Reward Policy in 2013. It makes provision for payment of up to R1 000 for information that will lead to an arrest or the successful confiscation or recovery of stolen goods or contraband.

Since the initiative was launched in October 2013, 34 payments have been made to informants, totalling R33 500. In return, the City has made 51 arrests: Continue reading

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The Roma Sevens will not only be an important marker for players to prove their fitness for inclusion in the Springbok Sevens training group for the Olympic Games, but will also cast an eye on the next generation of Blitzboks.

The SA Rugby Sevens Academy team arrived in Italy on Tuesday to play in the tournament at the Acqua Acetosa Stadium in Rome on Friday and Saturday and according to coach Marius Schoeman, will provide important clues with Rio 2016 in mind.

“We have a number of objectives in this tournament and I am excited to see how it will work out for us,” said Schoeman, who will be joined in Rome by Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, before the tournament starts.

“There are a number of contracted Blitzboks, such as Frankie Horne and Werner Kok, who are making comebacks after being injured for a long time and others such as Branco du Preez, Sandile Ncgobo and Siviwe Soyizwapi who are short of game time. Continue reading

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