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Poms get Kiwi overdose

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England will have four tests vs the All Blacks next year: three in June and one in November, when they also face the Boks.

Rathbone preplexed by Jake

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Brumbies wing Clyde Rathbone says he struggled to understand why Jake White decided to resign as head coach.

‘Pumas need to be in Super Rugby’

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If Super Rugby doesn’t happen, there’s no sense in having Argentina in the Rugby Championship.” – Agustin Pichot.

‘Feed the backs, end the slugfest’

6

Veteran Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone says it was ”poetic justice” the Chiefs became Super Rugby champions with an attacking style, urging officials to tinker with laws to ensure the sport avoids becoming boring.

SA Students squad for Russia

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The SA Students Sevens rugby squad departed on Monday for Kazan in Russia to participate in the World University Games.

SA Rugby

The 12-man squad, will be captained by NMMU fullback Jarryd Buys and include former Springbok Sevens international Ryan Nell, Bradley Moolman who represented the SA Under-20 team in 2011 and Tiger Bax who has played Vodacom Super Rugby for the DHL Stormers.

The South Africans will play three training matches in Kazan – against France, Canada and Italy before starting their pools fixtures on 14 July. The will face Namibia and then Latvia on the opening day. They finish their pools commitments the following day against Japan.

The Sevens rugby knockout matches are scheduled for 16 – 17 July.

The SA Students Sevens squad for the World Games in Moscow:
Timothy Agaba (NMMU)
Jarryd Buys (captain, NMMU)
Robert van Schalkwyk (Shimlas)
Bradley Moolman (UJ)
Frederick Muller (UWC)
Garth van Rayner (Univ. Fort Hare)
Liam Bax (UCT)
Clearance Khumalo (Maties)
Pieter de Villiers (Maties)
Josh Bassingwaithe (Maties)
Ryan Nell (Maties)
Nicholas de Jager (Maties)
Team Management
Ian Campbell-McGeachy (Coach, Maties)
Colin Mintoor (Manager, Walter Sisulu Univ.)
Michael Dick (USSA representative, UJ)

New coach for the OZmob

15

Ewen McKenzie will coach the Wallabies to the 2015 Rugby World Cup after the Australian Rugby Union released Robbie Deans from his two-year contract six months early.

Blues halves out for Cheetahs clash

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Good news for Cheetahs as two key Blues men out.

Argentina squad for TWC named

8

Nice settled look. Hopefully few injuries this season.

All Blacks 30 v France 0

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France have selected a much stronger side, but the All Blacks are still the bookies favourite to take the series.

Recent Results:
2013: New Zealand won 23-13, Auckland
2011: New Zealand won 8-7, Auckland
2011: New Zealand won 37-17, Auckland
2009: New Zealand won 39-12, Marseille
2009: New Zealand won 14-10, Wellington
2009: France won 27-22, Dunedin
2007: France won 20-18, Cardiff
2007: New Zealand won 61-10, Wellington
2007: New Zealand won 42-11, Auckland
2006: New Zealand won 2311, Paris

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg. 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain) 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rene Ranger.

France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Bernard Le Roux, 7 Louis Picamoles, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Brice Dulin, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 French time; 07.35 GMT)
Expected weather: Often cloudy. Scattered rain from evening. Northeast breezes. A low of 4°C and a high of 10°C
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), TBC (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Japan 23 v Wales 8

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Japan got desperately close a week ago – can they finally get one over a tier 1 country?

Recent results:
2013: Wales won 22-18, Osaka
2007: Wales won 72-18, Cardiff (World Cup pool match)
2004: Wales won 98-0, Cardiff
2001: Wales won 53-30, Tokyo
2001: Wales won 64-10, Osaka
1999: Wales won 64-15, Cardiff (World Cup pool match)
1995: Wales won 57-10, Bloemfontein (World Cup pool match)
1993: Wales won 55-5, Cardiff

Prediction: Last week Japan got a lot closer than we thought and maybe that’s an indication of Wales’ lack of depth. Japan will have gained some confidence from that, but we still believe that – given the weather conditions – the Welsh are just too strong. Wales by about 10 points.

Teams:

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Toshiaki Hirose (captain), 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Justin Ives, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 James King 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies (Captain), 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Andrew Coombs, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23  Dafydd Howells.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 14.00 (05.00 GMT; 06.00 UK time)
Expected weather: Heavy rain showers predicted. High of 27°C and low of 21°C
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), TBC (Japan)

Plumtree gone after Super Rugby

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The Sharks confirmed through a media statement that Brendan Venter will start in his new role as DOR in August also assuming the role as coach for their Currie Cup campaign in 2013.

Plumtree’s time is up

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Sharks coach John Plumtree will leave his position at the end of the season after his contract was not renewed, new chief executive officer John Smit confirmed on Tuesday.

Sharks appoint Brendan Venter

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Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter has been appointed as Director of Rugby at the Sharks.

Kiwis demanding better IRB deal

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NZ players are pushing the IRB for a shorter, integrated global season and strike action remains in their armoury as a last resort.

Deans to sideline Cooper for Lions series

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Wallabies coach Robbie Deans appears set to overlook Quade Cooper for the upcoming British and Irish Lions series with James O’Connor favoured to play five-eighth.

Lions cancel US tour

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Regrettably, the Golden Lions Rugby Union management, following consultation with the senior coaches, have taken the decision to no longer proceed with the MTN Lions’ intended tour to the United States of America.

Sarries to play SA Barbarians in May

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The Saracens website reported that the South African Barbarians will play against the London club on May the 16th in London with some of the proceeds going to the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson fund.

The match will take place at the Honourable Artillery Company, in the heart of the City of London.

Nigel Wray, chairman, said: “Our matches at the HAC have become calendar events in the City, and we look forward to another fantastic occasion offering great rugby and a great atmosphere in a unique venue. The South African Barbarians stand for everything that is good in our game, and they will present talented, formidable opposition.”

Dave Kennealy, President of South African Barbarians, said: “This match against Saracens will give young South African players a valuable opportunity to play in the UK and to showcase their ability, and the event will also generate funds for the Chris Burger/ Petro Jackson fund, supporting individuals injured while playing rugby.”

Morne du Plessis, President of the Chris Burger/ Petro Jackson fund, said: “We are delighted to be associated with what will be an outstanding rugby occasion.”

Beale quits rugby ‘indefinitely’

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Troubled Wallaby star Kurtley Beale has agreed to stand down indefinitely and has been fined an undisclosed sum after punching two of his Melbourne Rebels team-mates, the Australian Rugby Union said on Thursday.

Rebels sent home in disgrace

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Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has been accused of punching his team-mate Cooper Vuna and both have been sent home following the Rebels’ record 64-7 Super Rugby loss to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Wynand Claassen’s son in Frog squad

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South African-born flanker Antonie Claassen on Monday was called up for the 23-strong French squad to prepare for the Six Nations match against England at Twickenham on February 23.

Olympic gold may lure Kiwis

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All Black Liam Messam is considering switching to Sevens rugby as the chance to win Olympic gold threatens to lure players from the 15-a-side ranks for the 2016 Rio Games.

Russian team for Lions Challenge

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The Golden Lions Rugby Union, on behalf of Rugby Union Russia, would like to announce the 23-man Russian Bears outfit that will face the MTN Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday. Kick-off is at 19h00 and the match will be televised live on Supersport 1.

Lions team for Russia

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MTN Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced the following team to take on the Russian Bears in the inaugural Lions Challenge match this Saturday at Ellis Park. Kick-off is at 19h00.

Lions confirm squad for Challenge series

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The Lions released the names of 35 players that will make up their squad to compete in the Lions Challenge Series starting this weekend against Russia.

All Blacks’ strange sponsor

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The signing of AIG to be jersey sponsor was a coup, but many fans don’t like it.

EP Kings CEO resigns

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EP Rugby CEO, Mr Anele Pamba, has resigned from his post with immediate effect. This news has come as a tremendous shock to the staff and Executive of EP Rugby.

Jake White has a dream

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Jake White has made no secret of the fact that he would jump at the opportunity to take charge of Australia’s national team.

All Blacks looking ‘old and weary’

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New Zealand rugby pundits on Monday blamed tiredness at the end of a long season for the All Blacks’ shock loss to England, also suggesting over-confidence contributed to the defeat.

Hore gets slap on the wrist

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Disgraced All Black hooker Andrew Hore received to what amounted to no more than a slap on the wrist for his unprovoked attack on a Welsh player.

Lions announce the ‘Lions Challenge’

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Despite not playing Super Rugby, the Lions will have no shortage of game time next season after their 2013 fixture list was revealed on Tuesday.

Wales 19, Samoa 26

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Wales take on the dangerous Samoa tonight in Cardiff with the hope of rectifying their disappointing loss against Argentina last week.

Australia 18, All Blacks 18

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Rugby365 said Australia needs the perfect game… I reckon they need a miracle as the All Blacks march to the most consecutive test wins record.

Why so many Wobblies injured?

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The question must now be asked why Australia is losing so many more players through injury than its two regular adversaries, who take part in the same tournaments?

Setbacks for Boks, OZmob

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The Springboks have suffered a double late blow ahead of their Test against Australia at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

ARU statement on Quade Cooper

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Australian Rugby Union has released a statement following Quade Cooper’s comments on the rugby show, The Rugby Club.

Cooper calls Wallaby camp ‘toxic’

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Injured Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has spoken out against the ‘toxic’ environment under coach Robbie Deans and has hinted at a switch to Rugby League.

Boks are dreadful – Guscott

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Prominent northern hemisphere critic Jeremy Guscott has joined the chorus of naysayers about the currently labouring Springboks.

Cheika appointed Waratahs coach

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Michael Cheika has today been appointed Head Coach of the HSBC Waratahs.

Highlanders confirm Woodcock signing

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World Cup winning All Black, Tony Woodcock, has today signed with the Highlanders for a two-year period and will join the franchise for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition.

Aussies name one debutant for Bok clash in Perth.

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In contrast to the old days when Eddie Jones and Jake White would slyly wait till the last minute to make announcement of their teams and then bemoan the cheating of their opponent… Deans has named his side.

Pumas for Kiwi clash

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UAR has announced their 15 for the clash against the Kiwis. The Pumas media guys follow a strange announcement system where they just announce the 15 starters to the media.

‘Finest union will go into liquidation’

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Former Lions and Saru boss Dr Louis Luyt predicted they would have to go into liquidation to stop the rot.

Headmaster admits he was naive

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Sir Graham Henry has publicly admitted he caused “a huge bloody furore” by suggesting match-fixing may have been behind the All Blacks quarter-final defeat in the 2007 World Cup – but he says he needed to tell the truth “in black and white”.

Oz rugby in need of oomph!

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Aussie rugby needs to be revitalised as the current top down growth strategy through Super Rugby has failed.

Jake on a buying trip to SA?

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Brumbies coach Jake White may use a trip home as an opportunity to recruit a South African player to add to his Super Rugby squad.

OZmob not firing in Super Rugby

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Wing legend David Campese made an interesting point yesterday: Why aren’t Australian teams scoring tries?

SBW out of Union and back to League

14

Sonny Bill Williams, All Black center, has hung up his union adventure, and returns to League.

Queensland Rugby Club files for bankruptcy

2

No Donner and pals you can relax… this is not the Reds but it is a worrying development for rugby union in Australia.

Grey celebrates founder’s 200th birthday in style

3

On invitation by Grey College the Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be playing against Cardiff Blues on Saturday, the 4th of August on the main field at Grey College.  The game will be played in memory of Sir George Grey, founder of Grey College, who would have been 200 years old this year.

Memorable return to rugby heartland in Oz

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As with so many others on Saturday afternoon, that stroll to Allianz Stadium from the SCG before the Test was a memorable moment.