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Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron has made six changes to his starting team to face England in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final at the Academy Stadium in Manchester, England, on Monday.

Powerful wing S’busiso Nkosi and exciting scrumhalf Embrose Papier were ruled out of the clash due to thigh and ankle injuries respectively, while Theron named a new front row and recalled vice-captain Ernst van Rhyn to the starting line-up in place of Cobus Wiese.

Nkosi suffered a thigh injury at training, while Papier damaged ankle ligaments after his foot was caught in another player’s boot at training on Saturday.

The other changes see the Eastern Province duo of prop Nicolaas Oosthuizen and hooker Tango Balekile join forces with Vodacom Blue Bulls prop Jaco Holtzhausen in the front row, which resulted in Franco van den Berg, Jan-Henning Campher and Carlü Sadie dropping to the bench.

In the other changes among the replacements, lock Eduard Zandberg takes over from Van Rhyn and Wiese replaces Denzel Hill. Continue reading

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Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie was on Sunday ruled out of the third Castle Lager Incoming Series Test match against Ireland as a result of the concussion he suffered in the first meeting between the two teams in Cape Town eight days ago.

Lambie suffered concussion following a collision with the Irish flanker CJ Stander, who received a red card for the incident and a subsequent one week suspension.

The Bok flyhalf was sent home last Sunday for a weeklong mandatory rest according to the World Rugby Return to Play Protocol, ruling him out of the second Test which the Boks won 32-26 yesterday in Johannesburg.

“Pat is still experiencing symptoms of concussion and because of that we cannot start the Return to Play Protocol. As a result of that he will unfortunately not be available for selection,” explained Springbok team doctor Konrad von Hagen. Continue reading

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Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, has installed two card vending machines – one at the MyCiTi station in Adderley Street and another at Century City Gate. Apart from conducting their business at the kiosks, commuters at these two locations now have the option of using the card vending machine to buy a myconnect card, or load money or Mover Points on their myconnect cards. Read more below:

The card vending machines (CVMs) were installed last week and started operating as of yesterday, 18 June 2016.

‘These two machines, or virtual kiosks, are part of a pilot project during which Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, wants to establish the functionality and efficiency of the CVMs. We will roll out a further eight machines to other MyCiTi stations and locations across the city once the pilot period has expired – pending the outcome of this testing phase and the progress made,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron. Continue reading

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Junior Springbok assistant coach Nazeem Adams said the mood in the SA U20 camp was positive ahead of Monday’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final against England, and that the team believed they could advance to the final.

Adams admitted that the team’s lineouts and defence, in particular, had to improve immensely to achieve this, but he said they have been hard at work trying to improve those areas since returning to training on Saturday.

Ireland will meet Argentina in the first semi-final at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Monday at 17h30, with South Africa lining up against hosts, England, in the final match of the day at 19h45 (20h45 SA time).

“We are positive,” said Adams.

“We are working hard and realise we need a big improvement in our lineouts and defence, in particular. But the mood in the camp is good.” Continue reading

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Springbok coach Allister Coetzee applauded the fighting spirit of his team, following the remarkable comeback that saw the team snatch a 32-26 win over Ireland in the second of three Castle Lager Incoming Series Tests, played at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Ireland led 26-10 with less than 20 minutes to play, but three tries in the final stretch, by Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Damian de Allende, adding to a sublime effort earlier in the second half by debutant Ruan Combrinck, saw the Springboks earn a first win in the series.

Elton Jantjies added 12 points with the boot, through three conversions and two penalty goals.

“We are very satisfied with the win and the way we came back and won it,” said Coetzee.

“Rugby ebbs and flows, but that first half was not good, although we were tactically better than last week. We also looked after the ball, especially in the wide channels. That second half just showed massive character and that was very pleasing.” Continue reading

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Islamic Television (ITV) Networks will host a four hour live pledge on Sunday 26 June to raise the final funds needed to build a bigger and better paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Starting at 09h30 and ending at 14h00, the live pledge on DSTV’s channel 347 will encourage viewers to help the Children’s Hospital Trust raise the final R10 million needed for the R100 million-plus upgrade and expansion of the unit. It will be presented by Moulana Zakariya Philander and will feature guests from the Children’s Hospital Trust and prominent leaders from the community.

With a dire shortage of paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in Africa, a R100 million-plus expansion and upgrade of the Paediatric ICU (PICU) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital will significantly improve intensive care services delivered to critically ill and injured children. Capacity will also be greatly increased, addressing the desperate need for more beds to treat some of the country’s sickest little patients. Continue reading

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Springbok squad members Siya Kolisi, Jesse Kriel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick surprised learners from the Minerva Secondary School in Alexandra with an unannounced visit during lunchtime on Wednesday.

The small school has about 300 learners, and all the children were gathered in assembly without a clue of what’s going to happen. The only hint was the SA Rugby banners and sound system that were already in place when they arrived at their meeting place.

The kids roared with delight when they caught sight of the Springbok squad members in their now familiar bright yellow #LoveRugby t-shirts.

SA Rugby arranged for a magic show, which left the learners speechless and each squad member had a chance to introduce himself and share a few words of encouragement with the learners, who never left the players out of sight with their mobile phone cameras. Continue reading

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Call-takers at the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre have to contend with an average of 280 prank calls a day. The City is therefore gearing up to take action and prevent abuse of this important resource. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town is preparing to track down and prosecute callers who abuse its 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre number.

Of the 532 682 calls answered by emergency operators in 2015, 102 217 or 20% were prank calls. A look at the monthly statistics reveals an average of just over 8 500 prank calls a month, with spikes experienced in January, April and August.

‘The calls range from emergency hoaxes to the vilest verbal abuse, but also, more disturbingly, calls of a very perverse nature. It is unacceptable that our operators who are there to do a very serious job have to endure this type of abuse with no recourse except to cut the call. It is also very unfair and potentially life-threatening to people with real emergencies who cannot get through or who are kept waiting because pranksters are clogging the lines,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. Continue reading

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