Allister selects his first Match 23 for 2017


In what must have felt like an eternity for many fans, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has named his first match day squad for the this Saturday’s match against the French at Loftus

SA Rugby set criteria for Super Rugby


Representatives of the six Super Rugby franchises on Tuesday agreed a set of criteria to determine the four teams to represent South Africa in the competition from 2018, SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.

At the first sitting of new Franchise Committee – established by SA Rugby in December to streamline and professionalise the running of rugby – the CEOs of the franchises and other committee members identified areas on which the teams would be measured.

The agreed headline criteria, which have been weighted, are: financial and economic sustainability; sustainable support base; team performance; and stadium and facilities. These criteria were further broken down in sub-criteria and measurement mechanisms for each of these were also set and agreed upon.

SA Rugby will now collate the applicable data to prepare a recommendation to go back to the Franchise Committee, to make a decision on the final four teams. This proposal will be sent to the Executive Council before it will go to the General Council for ratification.

“The committee looked at the key question of ‘what are the fundamental criteria required to make a successful South African Vodacom Super Rugby franchise?” said SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux.

“We have reached this painful point partly because of over-optimism and partly because we have not always taken a hard-nosed business view of what is good for rugby. It is the right process with a challenging outcome for two of our franchises.

“But they have all engaged in the process at the end of which the data will drive the conclusion. We have more work to do but we are moving the process along as swiftly as is possible.”

The meeting was chaired by Mr Mark Alexander, SA Rugby President. Its other members are the deputy and vice presidents, Francois Davids and James Stoffberg respectively, as well as Roux.

The Franchise Committee will consider the data at their next meeting, scheduled to take place within the next two to three weeks.

SARU explain Super Rugby format decision


SARU had to be honest with themselves when SANZAAR discussed the new format for 2018 and one of the major considerations was to admit that the challenges of sustaining six strong South African teams was unsustainable for SA Rugby.

South African team has not won the Super Rugby title for seven years and the spreading of talent across six franchises at a time when the lure of the Euro and Yen has never been stronger has changed our environment and we have to recognise and respond to that.

Argentina is a a full member of SANZAAR and their participation in both Super Rugby and Rugby Championship is not up for discussion. Their Jaguares team has also been competitive this and last year and will only get better.

The question is why keeping the Sunwolves in a competition which they are not even close to be competitive enough. Winning a once off match here and there is surely not a reason to keep them?

But SARU explained the potential for growth in Asia of rugby and SANZAAR competitions is significant. It remains a focus for the organisation and establishing a Japanese Super Rugby franchise is key to that strategy.

Loosing two Australian teams was not on the cards as Australia is in a highly competitive sports market and needs to retain as broad a footprint as possible; reducing to three Australian teams would damage not just Australian rugby but all of SANZAAR in their view.


At this stage there is no relegation or promotion option in Super Rugby although there will be changes in years to come.

The new format for next year will see teams will play 12 of the other 14 in log play which means you will not play all teams in the regular season.

This new format will be in place until 2020 so we will have three years at least of this new format.

The new format also mean that the SA rugby community has more concentrated financial resources to contract the better players at fewer franchises. SANZAAR did not consider a two division format becuase Vodacom Super Rugby is already the most logistically expensive team sport in the world and to create two divisions would add to that expense while the potential appeal of what could be regarded as a second-rate lower tier of the competition is far from proved.

At the end we all were calling for less teams and more competitive rugby, in some sense we reach that with the new format but at the end money is ruling decisions and something fans need to expect to sustain the game not just in our country but also in the world.

Mr Alexander set sights on being No 1



SA Rugby’s vision remains to be the leading rugby nation in the world, Mr Mark Alexander, the union president, said after the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town on Thursday.

Mr Alexander chose the 25th such occasion since rugby unity to re-commit the organisation to inspiring and uniting South Africa through the sport.

“In Kimberley on 20 March 1992, four different national rugby governing bodies came together to create the organisation that we now lead,” Mr Alexander said. “Now is the time to take stock of our journey and re-commit ourselves.

“We acknowledge that we have some way to go. We have made mistakes and we will not always get it right.

“But we have given South Africa moments of great joy and proved rugby’s supreme capacity to build our nation. Today, we must renew that journey.”

Mr Alexander said the Springboks’ lowly World Rugby ranking (7th) meant that the organisation was starting the next 25 years from a historically low base.

“Let’s not beat about the bush: it turned out to be the toughest and most challenging year in a quarter of a century – both on and off the field,” he said.

“The fortunes of our business are chiefly determined by one over-riding factor: the performance of the flagship team. The form of the Springboks in 2016 was at its lowest ebb since rugby unity in 1992.

“The new era and new dawn we had all hoped for failed to materialise. But 2017 will be different.

“We have now held three coaching and two conditioning indabas and developed a coaching blueprint bought into by all our Vodacom Super Rugby coaches. I would once again like to commend Johan Ackermann, Nollis Marais, Franco Smith, Deon Davids, Robert du Preez and Robbie Fleck for their fantastic co-operation, insight and support in this process. It has the potential to be truly game-changing for SA Rugby.”

He said that the Springboks’ management team had also been bolstered by the appointment of Smith and Brendan Venter – the latter in a consultancy role – while the rules on the selection of overseas-based players had been amended to encourage young players to remain in South Africa. Overseas-based players will only be eligible for selection after 1 July 2017, if they have won 30 or more Test caps.

Mr Alexander said he hoped off field changes, approved in December, would have a similar impact. Those changes included the opening of rugby to greater business influence by allowing equity partnerships of up to 74% in the commercial arms of unions; the creation of a new fit-for-purpose committee structure as well as an increase in independent representation on the Executive Council.

The roll-out of a 100-day plan had also addressed multiple issues including a revision of domestic competitions; the preparation of a Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign plan; the development of a fan engagement strategy and of a new licensing model for participation in competitions.

Mr Alexander said that transformation remained a critical item on rugby’s agenda: “It is vital from a business and rugby-playing sense that we continue to make progress and for that we need the whole-hearted buy-in of our members whom we rely on to keep raising the bar,” he said.

“We are also being aggressive in that area and the establishment of the Rugby Education Foundation as a not-for-profit organisation to raise funds to support largely black rugby players at academies around the country is an important part of that process.”

He said that he was optimistic that SA Rugby would receive clearance to submit a formal bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023 as well as the government’s financial support for the tournament.

“Hosting the Rugby World Cup for the second time in 28 years is imperative both for our game and our country,” he said. “We offer World Rugby the chance to put on a highly profitable and unforgettable tournament in unbeatable stadiums and conditions. We have shown our hunger and passion for the tournament by bidding for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 events. We are ready.

“Rugby belongs to the people of South Africa. It is a national asset and it has the power to build our nation. We will do it by being a winning team on and off the field. We will be the leading rugby nation.”

Rumors getting louder on Erasmus return to SA rugby


According to Hendrik Cronje from Rapport, Rassie Erasmus is busy making a u-turn back to South African rugby.


According to the Sunday Newspaper Erasmus may even be in his new position as Director of Rugby as early as June this year. They reported that negotiations between Erasmus, SARU and his current club Munster are at an advance stage and they claim that it is just a question of when rather than if.

Erasmus, if indeed returning to SA Rugby, will take up a position of Director of Rugby, a bit different from the position he held previously as General Manager of the Rugby Department.

Erasmus new position will include looked after Sevens, U20’sand SA Schools and all these teams coaches will reported to Erasmus. The Springboks were previously on a law onto themselves reporting directly to Hoskins. Hoskins never bought into it that the Springbok coach should fall under Erasmus because he would have lost power over the Springboks and Springbok coach. He wanted the Springbok coaches to report to him directly.

This was one of the biggest reasons why Erasmus left in the first place.

Erasmus resigned last year about this time to take up the position as Director of Rugby at Munster after a fallout with then SARU President Orengan Hoskins. It is widely reported that Erasmus wanted the Springboks to be coached by the then Mobi Unit so that Coetzee could have been phased into the roll as Springbok coach.

Hoskins did not buy into the the vision of Erasmus nor did he agree to Erasmus plan to assist Coetzee when he was appointed Springbok coach.

Erasmus will have full control over the Springboks, Junior Springboks, Sevens Springboks and South African School sides if he is to be returning to South Africa. Erasmus will add great value to South African Rugby getting things back on track like players contracts, appointment of the national coaches in the junior teams and getting the High Performance Unit back up and running which he started when he joined SA Rugby.

Erasmus return may also bring back the defense guru Jacques Nienaber and scrum guru Pieter De Villiers to add some more value to the Springboks and SA Rugby national teams.

So if all the stars align maybe SARU can not just get Brendon Venter services at the Springboks but may also have Erasmus, Nienaber and De Villiers back at Springbok rugby to help the struggling Coetzee.

Player welfare and rugby safety under the spotlight


Representatives of SA Rugby’s BokSmart rugby safety programme and the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund (CBPJF) will join forces with a number of international rugby bodies at a Rugby Nations Workshop in Cape Town on Thursday and Friday, where post-injury player welfare and rugby safety matters will be placed under the spotlight.

The closed two-day workshop, hosted by the Players’ Fund, will feature representatives from South Africa, England, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Japan, and will include members of the respective Rugby Unions, Rugby Player’s Funds and Rugby Safety programmes.

The jam-packed programme will cover five core topics namely acute spinal cord injury challenges; effecting player welfare and rugby safety changes at ground zero; the “near miss” conundrum; how science and research can be used to effect change; and concussion and head trauma.

The objectives of the workshop include (amongst others):

  • The creation of an effective model that all Players’ Funds can strive towards to create long-term fiscal and operational sustainability, and sustainable independence for their members;
  • Gaining a better understanding of the Third World challenges experienced in South Africa in dealing with spinal cord injuries, and to share similar experiences, and solutions;
  • To move towards a shared operational definition of a “near-miss” incident and a unified operational strategy on whether a player can safely return to playing rugby or not following such an injury or after having undergone cervical spinal surgery;
  • Share different scientific models used to drive evidence-driven change in rugby safety policies, protocols and regulations and to allow the Players’ Funds or Rugby Unions to engage more on these models to tailor them to suit their situation;
  • Provide potential solutions to improve the implementation of and compliance to safety-related interventions on the ground and to share the challenges experienced in collecting accurate serious injury data;
  • Gain insight into the way concussion is managed at the different unions and to empower them with alternative strategies to manage concussion effectively and efficiently on the ground.

“Rugby safety and the prevention of catastrophic injuries is one of the main objectives for rugby federations world-wide, said SA Rugby’s senior manager for Rugby Safety, Dr Wayne Viljoen.

“However, when things go wrong on the field, a focused and effective support strategy is hugely valuable to those catastrophically injured players. So we are delighted to join forces with the Players’ Fund and embark on this information-sharing practice with some of the other top rugby nations in the world.

“The structure of this workshop is unique in the sense that there are sections dedicated to vigorous discussions after each topical session, which will allow information sharing, learning and debate.  This will then be captured into a closed report, meaning that everyone will walk away with something tangible, which will benefit us all.

“The fact that this workshop will involve a collaborative effort between a few top rugby nations is also significant, as it will assist in creating a pragmatic and more aligned approach to improving the effectiveness of rugby safety interventions, the treatment of concussion and catastrophic injuries, and equally important, player welfare post-injury.”

SA Rugby cuts back on overseas representation


Only overseas-based Springboks with more than 30 Test caps will be eligible for selection in future, following a decision by the Executive Council of SA Rugby in Cape Town on Friday.

The policy will come into force from 1 July 2017, allowing players with fewer than 30 caps to return to South Africa should they wish to be considered for Springbok selection after the Castle Lager Incoming Series against France in June.

The policy replaces the existing situation where any player eligible to play for South Africa could be picked at the discretion of the Springbok coach. The coach will meanwhile retain the right in a Rugby World Cup year to select any player he believes is essential to the campaign – regardless of number of caps.

“We are sending a message to young players that if they wish to play for the Springboks, then they must remain in South Africa,” said Mr Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby.

“But we have also retained flexibility for the coach to select exceptional players who may be based overseas provided they have a proven track record of 30 Tests for the Springboks.

“How to balance the need to select the strongest possible team against the challenges of having such a large number of players based overseas has been a subject of long debate in our game.

“We have made this change in what we believe are the best interests of the Springbok team but we will review it periodically in conjunction with the national coach.”

Sharks say Saru must do more to keep talent in SA


Sharks chief operations officer Eduard Coetzee says SA Rugby must do more to keep players like Cobus Reinach in the country, by Darryn Pollock

The Springbok scrumhalf was approached by Northampton and was open and transparent with his union about the offer. He was looking for any reason to stay. The Sharks, and Coetzee, then approached SA Rugby in order to try and match the offer from Northampton, but their reaction was too slow.

“I wish SA Rugby had come on board in our negotiations with Cobus four-weeks earlier” Coetzee added. “Cobus wanted to stay, he just wanted some reassurance that there was a plan for him within SA Rugby, but he didn’t know where he stood.”

Reinach had not heard from SA Rugby, or a national coach, before this offer hit his desk since he was omitted from the 2015 World Cup squad. He was uncertain as to where his future lay with the Boks.

“They should have just picked up the phone and reassured Cobus,” said Coetzee. “They spoke a lot about how important he was to their cause to me, but not to Cobus, they also said they would try and help match his overseas offer, but they were too late.”

Eventually, an email came across Coetzee’s inbox saying that SA Rugby would match the offer in order for him to stay at the Sharks, but it had been two weeks since Reinach had signed – under pressure – for Northampton.

“It is a tri-party contract, and SA Rugby need to come to the party a little more, we cannot keep these major players with what we can offer alone. SA Rugby needs to be proactive.”

To be fair to the national body, and especially to new SA Rugby President Mark Alexander, he flew down to meet with Reinach – this was after he had signed however – as well as Pat Lambie who was also offered a massive contract from Northampton.

Alexander was able to convince Lambie to stay, by showing interest and intent with the player, but his actions were too late to save Reinach. Additionally, Lambie is a very honourable man and was not happy to break his three-year contract with the Sharks and SA Rugby.

Sharks CEO, Gary Teichmann, shares in these frustrations, but knows that SA Rugby has their own hands tied by a framework and constitution that does not fit the modern era.

“The constitution that governs rugby in South Africa does not allow for commercial success, it is still based around an amateur structure,” Teichmann said.

“There are too many so-called professional players in this country that the funds need to be divided between. In South Africa we have probably triple the number of professionals who are getting paid, in comparison with New Zealand.”

The constitution and framework of representatives won’t change anytime soon warns Teichmann, and as such, money making ideas like making franchises 74% shareholdings will struggle as investors won’t agree to be governed by a council of representatives.

Factors such as these are holding SARU back from becoming a spending force in keeping their own players, says Teichmann, as their funds are being spread across the board rather than concentrated on bulking up important Bok contracts.

However, besides the uncontrollable aspects, Teichmann is also looking for SARU to be more proactive where they can.

Reinach’s decision to leave throws light onto the failings of SARU that Teichmann believes they need to be answerable for.

“When Cobus was negotiating his contract, he did not even know who the Bok coach was going to be. How can he make an informed decision on his future if SA Rugby don’t even know their own direction? SARU need to make the hard decisions, especially about overseas Boks,” Teichmann added.

“At the moment, SARU can be more proactive even with the limitations on them from their framework.

“They can be more professional with their approach to the players that they see in their plans, and sell the Springbok dream, which seems to be waning at the moment.”

SA Rugby has the ability to hold onto some key players, but they are simply not doing enough. Funds are one aspect, and that needs to be addressed, but being assertive, making decisions about the future of overseas based Boks, and an understanding of the Springboks vision and objectives, all of which are achievable.

“We need it to be a combined approached,” Coetzee concluded. “We have a certain ceiling we can meet, but we need SA Rugby to come to the party to keep these guys.”

Cape Argus

Griquas make history


President Jannie Louw of the Griquas delighted with this milestone achievement –

Today is certainly one of the greatest days in the history of the Griqualand-West Rugby Union. The gaining of Namibia Breweries Ltd. as the new main sponsor of GWRU is not only the largest sponsorship that the Union has acquired, but also the beginning of an era where GWRU will position itself to compete at the highest level in South African rugby on a continuous basis.


It was a long and tedious process to find the right sponsor for GWRU, but it was crucial that a business should not only just be a sponsor. We were looking for a business partner with international experience who can add value to our strategic plans. For this reason, the main criteria in our search for a sponsor, was that there should be a shared value system.


There is a close relationship between the people of the Northern Cape and Namibia. This is reflected by the large number of players who has represented both teams on the field among other things. GWRU will continue to strengthen this tie. Namibia Breweries represented all requirements in our search for a sponsor and partner.


The sponsorship will run for a term of three years (2017 to 2019) and includes the attainment of the team and stadium naming rights, as well as “pouring rights” in the stadium. The team will be known as the Tafel Lager Griquas and the stadium as Tafel Lager Park.


I would hereby like to thank the Managing Director of Namibia Breweries (Mr. Hendrik van der Westhuizen) and his management team for their attitude towards GWRU while securing the partnership. I can assure them that the return on their capital will exceed their wildest expectations. The statement can be confirmed by previous main sponsors like Nashua, Wildeklawer, GWK and Orange River Wine Cellars. Sponsoring the GWRU remains a great investment and is definitely one of the cheapest methods establishing a brand. I believe Tafel Lager will soon be the country’s favorite beer. Without doubt, the other products by Namibia Breweries, eg. Windhoek beers, will also benefit from the exposure.


I would also like to thank Mr. Andre Markgraaff for his great contribution towards the negotiations of this sponsorship and also for his continues support of GWRU. Our Heavenly Father has blessed GWRU with a great sponsor during difficult economic times and we are grateful for that.


Third coaches and conditioning indaba held


With the start of the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby competition a week away, the Springbok coaching staff and local franchise coaches met for a third time on Wednesday in Kempton Park to discuss and finalise a coaching blueprint for South African rugby.

Coaches from the six Vodacom Super Rugby franchises and the Springboks were joined by SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, Francois Davids (Deputy President) and James Stoffberg (Vice-President) at the one-day indaba.

Wednesday’s gathering was a resumption of the coaches’ indaba first held in Cape Town in December last year, with the main aim of designing a new direction for Springbok rugby and to address on-field performance by South African teams.

The draft version of the SA Rugby Blueprint was presented at the meeting following the two previous coaches’ gatherings.

According to some of the outcomes of Wednesday’s meeting, the identification and implementation of key rugby fundamentals will be done at franchise and Springbok level and the blueprint will now be shared with all national teams and local franchises.

There is also a much clearer understanding on the resting and playing time of Springboks, while a national conditioning strategy will be finalised within the next two weeks.

With Vodacom Super Rugby about to kick off and South Africans keen to see their local teams in action against the best of New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Japan, Mr Alexander described the draft blueprint as a huge milestone for South African rugby.

“We now have the guiding principles of a much needed blueprint for South African rugby and the draft is the result of excellent collaboration between the local franchise coaches and the Springbok coaching staff,” said Mr Alexander.

“Co-operation and collective action is key for the implementation and success of this blueprint.

“We are not expecting all our teams to play exactly the same game, but it will be good to see our Vodacom Super Rugby teams use similar fundamentals when it comes to the basics of the game, and from there use their own unique style in their game-plans.

“South African Rugby can only prosper if our unions and coaches collaborate with one another in the implementation of our collective plan. This blueprint plan does not dictate your provincial or franchise game-plan, but it is a necessary strategic framework for our rugby.

“It is my firm belief that the coming together of local coaching experts and their sharing of knowledge, added by their desire to improve our game, will put the Springboks in a better position in terms of preparation for their June series against France and the rest of the international season.

“Some of the important topics discussed during the three indabas included learnings from the last few seasons, player contracting, player retention and succession planning as well as the development and retention of local coaches,” added Mr Alexander.

SA Rugby to offer 5-year contract to Rassie?


Rumours that SA Rugby will offer Rassie Erasmus the Springbok coaching job are growing stronger by the day, reports Sprot24

Recent media reports indicated that Allister Coetzee may be sacked as Springbok coach, with reports late last week linking Erasmus as a possible successor.

According to Erasmus’ management team, there have been no talks with SA Rugby regarding a possible move back to South Africa, with his lawyer, Frikkie Erasmus, telling Rugby365 at the weekend: “He is very happy in Ireland and he doesn’t have the interference there that happens here in South Africa. He has a long stint to go on what is a very good contract.”

Erasmus is currently the director of rugby at Irish club Munster.

But it appears SA Rugby is busy formulating a plan to lure him back.

According to Netwerk24, SA Rugby’s executive council met on Monday to discuss the issue, with the Afrikaans website reporting that SA Rugby is willing to offer Erasmus a five-year contract.

Reports over the weekend indicated that Munster would also not stand in Erasmus’ way should he wish to return to South Africa.

However, whether Erasmus wants the Springbok coaching job is another question, considering the fact that he left South Africa last year after serving as head of SA Rugby’s mobi-unit.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander last week said a decision regarding the Springbok head coaching position will be made at the end of January.

“We’re not sure which way we’re going, whether we’re keeping Allister or not,” Alexander told City Press newspaper.

“We still have presentations to go through but no formal decision has been made on whether we’re going forward with him or not.

“At the end of January we’ll make an announcement on whether we’re keeping him.”

The Springboks endure a torrid 2016 under Coetzee’s tutelage, losing eight out of 12 Tests. It included a first ever loss to Ireland on home soil, losing away to Argentina, a 57-15 pummelling at home against the All Blacks, as well as going down to lowly Italy – also for the first time ever.

Vodacom Bulls Warm up in Zimbabwe


The Vodacom Bulls will be travelling to Harare Zimbabwe on Wednesday this week to prepare for their first warm-up match of the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The Boys in blue will be taking on their Gauteng neighbors, the Emirates Lions, in what is expected to be another enthralling and exciting encounter between these franchises on Saturday 28 January.

Zimbabwe rugby fans are in for treat as the promoter, Kyros Sport, have also managed to secure another fixture on the day, involving the DHL Stormers and the Toyota Cheetahs.

The Vodacom Bulls would like to extend a special word of gratitude to the promoters and the fans in Zimbabwe, for the support shown thus far, this being the 2nd consecutive year that the Bulls have made the trip across the border.

The touring squad is:

1..  Lizo Gboka

2.. Jaco Visagie

3..    Coenraad van Vuuren

4..    Ruben van Heeren

5..    Abongile Nonkontwana

6..    Nic de Jager

7..    Hendre Stassen

8..    Renaldo Botma

9..    Ivan van Zyl

  1. Tony Jantjies
  1. Jt Jackson
  1. Johnny Kotze
  1. Rabs Maxwane
  1. Jade Stigling
  1. Manie Libbok
  1. Corniel Els
  1. Pierre Schoeman
  1. Rg Snyman
  1. Shaun Adendorff
  1. Andre Warner
  1. Francois Brummer
  1. Franco Naude

23  Edgar Marutlulle

24  John-Roy Jenkins

25  Trevor Nyakane

26  Lood de Jager

27  Adriaan Strauss

28  Jacques Potgieter

29  Hanro Liebenberg

30  Rudi Paige

  1. Handre Pollard
  1. Jacobie Adriaanse
  1. Burger Odendaal
  1. Dries Swanepoel
  1. Jamba Ulengo
  1. Jesse Kriel
  1. Warrick Gelant
  1. Tian Schoeman
  1. Luther Obi

Skill coaching should no longer be just a buzz word


Skills are the one aspect that most people have been complaining about lacking in South African rugby and most believe therefor it is the reason why we have been struggling in the game over the last couple of years at all levels

One thing that the modern game has shown us is that the most successful teams have the systems in place in either domestic level or at international or even both when it comes to skill development in players. With skills development comes vision and confidence which add so much more to a players ability in the game today.

England has also joined the trend  in appointing Rory Teague as a full-time skills coach after being in this role during the November series on a temporary basis. He come up through the system in England from U20 side and is a young and exciting coach. His CV shows that he has been with  Gloucester, Bristol as well as Grenoble and began coaching at Harrow School where he guided Maro Itoje from a young age, before moving to Wasps and then Saracens as an academy coach.

With rugby evolving all the time it has become very difficult to understand why unions do not invest more in skill coaching. Western Province have seen this as an aspect that needs major improvement in the union and appointed New Zealand attack and skills coach Paul Feeney.

This is seen by many as the step in the right direction for WP Rugby and that this should be part of any union in the country. The question now is why do the Springboks not have such a coach?

Last year one of the things that was identified at the Indaba was that skills are one of our problems today and if you find that most other top teams have such structures in place, then you asked yourself why not at the Springboks as well.

In the game today a head coach can only be as good as the people he surround him with and cannot juggle between roles within the team anymore like 20 years ago. The coaching team needs to be an collective effort with specialist in all departments and not just one guys trying to cover two or more aspects of the game, it simply does not work that way anymore.

SARU will make their voice heard in the next week or so on the future of the Springboks coach, the  blue print for SA Rugby and the way forward and we can only be hoping that they have it in there vision to appoint a qualified skill coach for the Springboks


SA Rugby plans Springbok review and governance overhaul


SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has outlined plans to overhaul their administration of the game and hold a Springbok review after a disastrous season.

Mark Alexander said plans to bring governance structures more in line with the demands of professional sport were already well advanced while the immediate question of what to do about Springbok results was the organisation’s number one priority.

“It has been a profoundly disappointing season in terms of results and we are acutely aware that we have failed to live up to the Springboks’ proud heritage,” Alexander said.

“We have collectively let down our supporters, our commercial partners and our broadcast partner, SuperSport. I would like to apologise to all our stakeholders for the disappointments we have all suffered this season. We are all feeling very raw and let down and it would be easy to make knee-jerk decisions. But we must resist that.

“For instance, our playing fortunes have been declining since the November tour of 2014 – despite a fine fightback to win a bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup – and we must coolly and coldly analyse what have been the main factors contributing to those results before determining what remedies are at our disposal to solve them.

“We will start by speaking to the coach and other team role players for their assessment and to provide our feedback. We will take feedback from forthcoming indabas and we must critically review our selection policy relating to overseas-based players.

“We’ve seen an unusually high number of injuries to key players this year, and we’ve lost many experienced Test players to overseas clubs, both of which have had major repercussions for the Springboks. We have to find ways to manage these challenges.

“But I can assure our supporters and stakeholders that if tough decisions have to be made we will not shy away from making them.”

A conditioning indaba (workshop) for the national teams and Super Rugby biokineticists would take place on 7 December. The coaching Indaba between the Springbok coaches and franchise coaches takes place on 12 December.

Meanwhile, a General Council meeting on 9 December could also have a significant bearing on the future of rugby in South Africa, Alexander said.

“A number of constitutional changes are being placed before the unions for their consideration. The Executive Council regards them as major and important steps to make structures more efficient and better purposed to meet the needs of professional rugby.

“Obviously their impacts will only be felt over coming months and years – rather than over days – but we believe that they will have a positive impact on the way rugby is managed.”

The key changes planned are:

  • New franchise and non-franchise rugby committees to improve communication between unions and Executive Council; to make recommendations on competitions and playing affairs; and to speed up decision making.
  • Allowing third parties to take a majority shareholding in Unions’ commercial arms and have a voice in running rugby through the new franchise rugby committee.
  • Doubling independent representation on the Executive Council to four members plus the representative of the players
  • Terminating the role of the vice-president (at the end of the current term in 2018) to bring the elected representation to six

The Executive Council is also planning the creation of an Advisory Board of eminent individuals from business and civic society to act as a sounding board for rugby. That body would not have a constitutional role however.

“We have previewed these planned changes with our member unions and they are on the agenda for the December meeting,” Alexander said.

“We trust that they will find favour to provide a structure better placed for rugby to navigate our current challenges. But our number one priority is a turnaround strategy for the Springbok team and that will be looked at immediately and decisively.”

Alexander said that he would provide a further update on progress for supporters and stakeholders once key meetings in December were concluded.

Forget Coetzee, blame SARU


A new Springbok coach won’t solve South Africa’s rugby issues. Only the South African Rugby Union can do that.


The time for denial is over. What SA rugby is experiencing now has been coming for a long time. The first big shock was former coach Heyneke Meyer’s final year in charge, when the Boks lost to Argentina on home soil for the first time before Japan rocked South Africa to its core at the World Cup.

Allister Coetzee’s first season in charge has been a disaster. There is no way around that. And yes, rugby in South Africa is in crisis. Many fans and pundits have blamed Coetzee, transformation and politics for South Africa’s demise and while those three issues have contributed to the problem, they aren’t solely to blame for what is going on at the moment.

The Springboks have lost their aura. Sorry Allister, but it’s true. By the way, denial has been one of the major reasons we find ourselves in this mess.

Coetzee has failed on all levels, even transformation where, because he is a black coach, he has been given an easier ride by politicians and the media compared to his predecessor.

People point to transformation being to blame for where we find ourselves, but in reality Coetzee has introduced only one new black player (Bongi Mbonambi) to Test rugby in 2016. In fact, his transformation numbers have decreased as the season has progressed.

In the series against Ireland, Coetzee picked five players of colour in his starting lineup for the first and third Test, and six for the second. In all three games there were at least a further three players of colour on the bench.

The numbers stayed relatively consistent throughout the Rugby Championship, the second Test against New Zealand in Durban having had the least (four) amount of black players in the starting XV.

During this time Coetzee also did exactly what Meyer was criticised for last year, when he picked a white player out of position on the wing ahead of a specialist black winger. Meyer did it with Jesse Kriel and Coetzee picked Francois Hougaard ahead of Lwazi Mvovo. Meyer was crucified; no one uttered a word when Coetzee did it.

Coetzee also picked only three players of colour in his starting lineup against England. Again, he picked a lock (Pieter-Steph du Toit) out of position on the flank while the likes of Oupa Mohoje and Nizaam Carr were available to cover that position.

In the end the crisis was caused by a combination of factors. They are, in no particular order: Poor coaching, poor decision making, poor game plans, poor structures and probably most importantly, amateur administrators.

Everyone has been quick to point the finger at Coetzee, but he is merely the symptom of a larger problem. But just to be clear, yes, he should be fired for being the coach of South Africa’s worst season ever.

There is, however, no guarantee, depending on who they could get, that the Boks’ problems will be solved by a new coach. While poor coaching and selections have clearly been an issue this year, Coetzee is not the first Springbok coach forced to do his job under the current structure of South African rugby.

The system is broken. It always has been. The reason things haven’t been this bad before is due to talented, world class coaches and players being part of the setup. For years they papered over the cracks of what is a poorly run game where most of the 14 unions are bankrupt and the ones who aren’t are not much better off. Just look at what happened to Western Province recently.

The Springboks have been able to rise above the state of the structures and amateur administrators in this country because of the talent of coaches and players in years gone by.

The start of Jake White’s tenure, a world class coach discarded by Saru after winning the World Cup in 2007, coincided with a golden generation of players, the last of which played under Meyer.

That generation is gone. John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Frans Steyn and Percy Montgomery were special, world class players. Legends of the game.

Bryan Habana is the only one left, and even he looks as if he doesn’t want to be there.

Coetzee was made coach of the Springboks at a time when those players had all moved on, and a time when the player drain to Europe and Japan has never been greater.

Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that the Boks would not have fallen so far had they been coached by someone better than Coetzee. When Meyer was forced to walk away after last year’s World Cup, SARU declined to advertise the position of Springbok coach and instead headhunted Rassie Erasmus.

When it was clear Erasmus wasn’t interested, they opted for the only viable candidate left – Allister Coetzee. On paper Coetzee is absolutely qualified to coach the Springboks. Unfortunately, that doesn’t say much. It’s clear with hindsight that he was the wrong choice.

The people in charge at SARU should shoulder the blame for the state Springbok rugby finds itself in.

They have failed to act in the best interest of South African rugby time and again and now there is nowhere left to hide. They appointed Coetzee so late he barely had a chance to prepare for the Ireland series. They also equipped him with inexperienced coaches at international level who are out of their depth.

The only people capable of turning things around are the decision makers at SARU. They run the game in this country. If the system is broken, only they can fix it.

They must act now.

by Kobus Pretorius

SA Rugby president, Mr Mark Alexander express his disappointment



“The whole of South African rugby is extremely disappointed with this year’s Springbok results and deeply worrying aspects of the performances. It has not been good enough and no one is pretending otherwise.

“We have a minimum target of winning three out of four test matches each season – which is better than the historical record – but we have not come close this season.

“It would be easy to lay the blame for that at one door or another and look for scapegoats but it would also be an oversimplification.

“All of us within South African rugby need to look at ourselves and ask what we could have done differently in aid of the Springbok cause.

“Those questions will be asked at the end of the season when we will undertake a full review of the year and what new interventions may be needed to turn things around.

“We began that work recently with the coaching indaba. It set out to align national and Super Rugby coaches on the technical, tactical and conditioning requirements to succeed in 2017 and beyond.

“We also have to review such things as how we manage the fact that so many of our leading players are now based outside South Africa and more are being lured there.

“No group of individuals is more concerned or disappointed right now than the Springbok team and management. We know they are better than this.

“After that it is our job to take steps to do as much as we possibly can to make sure we are not in a similar position in 12 months’ time. Our focus is on solutions and finding answers to our current problems.

“We have a test against Wales on Saturday and then we will review the season and spend time determining a path for the future.”

SARU their own worst enemy


SARU has become their own worst enemy as SARugbyMag reported that another Springbok, Eben Etzebeth will sign a short-term deal in the English Premiership.

This means that Etzebeth will go from End of Year with the Springboks straight into Premiership, straight into Super Rugby and straight into Springbok duties with no rest.



Coetzee has on Monday told the press that the powerful forward is on his way to a Premiership side, as reported by

“I can assure you it is definitely going to happen. I’m not sure which club he will join though,” said the Springbok head coach.

“Eben Etzebeth playing up here would be a great experience for him because he would be playing against top quality locks in the northern hemisphere game.

“He has played against the best in the southern hemisphere. The conditions would be different and he would learn from it.”

Coetzee added: “But on the other hand it wouldn’t be good for the Springboks because Eben would be missing out on a conditioning phase. He would go straight from English club rugby into Super Rugby and then June Tests next year and so on.”

With conditioning and fitness one of the major points coming out of the Rugby Indaba last month, it seems nothing has changed.

One of the major problems for me has been the fact that our players goes straight from Rugby Championship or Currie Cup into overseas clubs and if they do not get injured straight back into Super Rugby. This just put the South African teams straight on the backfoot. It has been proven with a few players that these end of year contracts with overseas clubs usually end up with players on the sideline for most of Super Rugby or poor form.


Lambie to captain Boks


Monday, 31 October 2016

Lambie to captain Springboks against Barbarians at Wembley

Patrick Lambie will captain South Africa in their international match against the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee confirmed on Monday.

Adriaan Strauss, who has led the Springboks in all of their nine Tests so far this year, will be rested for the Barbarians match. Coetzee will name the Springbok match-23 on Thursday afternoon. No Test caps will be awarded for this match.

With his regular captain not considered for the match, Coetzee said Lambie was a natural choice for the captaincy against the Barbarians.

“Patrick was always part of the leadership group and part of the spine of the Springbok team,” said Coetzee.

“He has excelled as a leader at franchise level and has the respect of his peers. He understands the team culture and has a great understanding of the game and the way we want to play. I have no doubt that he will make a success of his appointment as captain for this match.”

“Adriaan still plays an important role in the squad, by giving support to Patrick and also helping Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx with technical detail, and he has bought into my succession plan,” said Coetzee.

“He understand the bigger picture and he will be back to lead the team again against England at Twickenham next weekend.”

Lambie said it is an honour to be appointed as captain of the Springboks: “To play for the Springboks is a big honour and the captaincy comes with a huge amount of responsibility. South Africa has a proud rugby tradition and the whole squad are excited to represent our country against the Barbarians.”

Lambie has played in 53 Tests for the Springboks, scoring 137 points. He is equally home at fullback and flyhalf.

Brief profile of Patrick Lambie:

Position: Flyhalf (28 Tests), Wing (1), Fullback (24)

Provincial team: Cell C Sharks

Springbok number: 820

Test debut: 6 November 2010 vs Ireland in Dublin aged 20

Total tests: 53

Tour matches: 2

Total Springbok matches: 55

Honours: SA Rugby Young Player of the Year (2011); SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee (2011, 2012); SA Schools (2007-2008)

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Alexander elected new SARU President


New SA Rugby president maps out priorities


Mr Mark Alexander mapped out a range of immediate priorities for rugby following his confirmation as the new President of SA Rugby at a Special General Council meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday.


Mr Alexander was elected unopposed, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr Oregan Hoskins in August. Mr Alexander, who has served as Deputy President since 2007, will serve as president until the next elections in 2018.


Mr Francois Davids – a serving member of the Executive Council – was elected to succeed Mr Alexander as deputy president of SA Rugby while Mr Vivian Lottering (president of the Valke Rugby Union) was elected to the Exco in Mr Davids’ place.


Mr Alexander immediately highlighted a number of priorities for SA Rugby in the short and medium term. He said the organisation faced a number of challenges but he was confident that they could be addressed by a 100-day plan on which he had been working with the Executive Council.


He said the immediate priorities were assisting the national team; addressing the structure and sustainability of member unions; redesigning SA Rugby’s competition structure; transformation and securing the 2023 Rugby World Cup for South Africa.


“Last week’s coaching indaba started the process of supporting the Springbok management and squad to perform to the standards that we all expect,” said Mr Alexander.


“It was not an overnight ‘fix’ but was the start of a process that will pay off over time. The support and commitment of the franchise coaches and CEOs was exceptional and documents and plan have already been shared while a follow-up meeting will take place immediately following the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.


“We have already taken short-term steps with additions to the coaching team and a conditioning indaba is also being arranged for December.”


Mr Alexander said it was as important to revisit the structure of SA Rugby with a mooted move towards a franchise (Vodacom Super Rugby) and non-franchise structure, changes that had already been foreshadowed in amendments to the constitution that were likely to come before the General Council in December.


“We are proposing to overhaul our committee structure with the establishment of two new committees; one to focus on licensed, franchise rugby – with greater equity representation – and the second to concentrate on non-franchise rugby to look after the interests of the 14 member unions,” he said.


“Financial sustainability is a major focus for our membership and SA Rugby right now.”


He said that competition structures were also being revisited and that an independent group of high-profile individuals from South African civic society – to offer expert but neutral advice – was also being considered to act as a sounding board for the major strategic opportunities presented to rugby.


Mr Alexander also said that he was confident that SA Rugby would meet the transformation targets for 2016 – agreed with the Department of Sport and Recreation – to allow it to confirm a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.


“Transformation for us is not a ‘tick-box’ exercise; it is a business imperative for rugby to stay vibrant and relevant as a sport in an evolving South Africa.


“I’m pleased to say that we have made good progress in 2016 although we know more work needs to be done. That said I am confident of a favourable report from the Eminent Persons’ Group to allow us to bid for an event that could have a tremendous, transformative impact on the lives of all South Africans.


“Our economic impact study of what a Rugby World Cup would mean to South Africa underlines the national importance of rugby delivering such a tournament to the country,” said Mr Alexander.


“We forecast that it would create 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs; have a direct, indirect and induced economic impact of R27.3 billion; contribute R5.7 billion to low income households; bring almost 200 000 foreign tourists to South Africa and produce R1.4 billion in estimated tax revenues for government.


“Rugby has its challenges but there are great opportunities for the sport and for what it can do for South Africa.”


Issued by SA Rugby Communications

SA Rugby boss admits system flaw


The SA Rugby coaches indaba being held in Cape Town over the next two days could be a significant first step in turning rugby in the country around so that the goal of turning the Springboks into the No 1 team in the world would be achievable




reports Gavin Rich for Super Sport




That was the summation of the opening addresses of SA Rugby acting president Mark Alexander and Bok coach Allister Coetzee on the first day of the conference on Wednesday. Perhaps the most significant message to come out of the first hour of the meeting was that the national body, or at least its acting president, does recognise the weakness in the South African system, while Coetzee wondered if SA rugby had really embraced and adapted to professionalism.

Alexander stressed that the process of turning South Africa back into a top rugby nation would depend heavily on the coaches, and said that New Zealand had it right in terms of their focus on good coaching as well as in the way the game there is structured.

“New Zealand get it right. Their CEO Steve Tew said last year that to produce great players you need great coaches, and if you don’t have great coaches, you cannot have sustained success,” said Alexander.

“All 180 of the top players in New Zealand are looked after by the New Zealand union. In South Africa we have six different franchises, who each have different goals and objectives and different ways of coaching and messages that are put across to the players. Our players spend the bulk of their time with the unions.

“The system that we operate is clearly not going to be efficient in managing our players well. This indaba aims to find a solution to that problem. The last indaba was in 2005, 11 years ago, and this one has the potential to change the direction of rugby in this country.”

Of course, just what the coaches can achieve in terms of making the necessary structural change when the 14 elected officials who serve as the provincial presidents who make the decisions were not present is debatable. However the impressive spread of rugby people at the indaba and the mood of those present, with the general atmosphere being one of wanting to get the game right after the wake-up call of the Bok performances, struck a positive note.

The indaba is being hosted at a Cape Town hotel and it was noticeable as delegates arrived that the ambit of the intensive two day think-tank has been broad in scope, with all current franchise coaches present as well as many back-room staff.

There were some top local rugby brains not there, with former Bok coaches Nick Mallett and Heyneke Meyer understood to have turned down invitations to attend the event, and there is confusion over whether the only surviving Bok World Cup winning coach, Jake White, was invited or not.

But otherwise there was impressive depth to the representation of coaches and interested parties, with former Bok coaches Carel du Plessis, Ian McIntosh and former Bok captains and players such as Gary Teichmann, John Smit, Ashwin Willemse and Stefan Terblanche among the people attending. Both coaches facing off against each other in Saturday’s Currie Cup final between the Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein were in attendance.

Alexander told the conference that the objective was to turn South African rugby around and commit to the achievement of excellence.

“A commitment to excellence will be a vital ingredient of our discussion over the next couple of days,” said Alexander.

“The objective of turning the Springboks into the No 1 team in the world is an achievable objective, particularly if we all work together. Together we must find a new direction, and that can only be realised if there is intense collaboration. We need to identify and acknowledge the common goals, such as players welfare, skills and fitness, so that we can be No 1, and that is what we all want.”

The emphasis on the importance of the Springboks, as the flagship of the South African rugby, being successful, was stressed, but Coetzee said that could not be achieved if the parties did not work together “hand in glove”. Coetzee said that even if he’d won all nine of the games he has presided over with the Boks (his current record is won four and lost five) he’d have seen the meeting as necessary.

“People often talk about how successful the Springboks were prior to 1995, and there has been a big differentiation between amateur era rugby and how the Boks have done do the professional age. We need to ask ourselves if we have adapted as a country to professional rugby,” said the Bok coach.

“There has been isolated success since 1995. We won the World Cup in 2007 and there was an 80 percent win record in 2013. But that success has been sporadic. And we are not just talking about the Springboks. Our home record in Super Rugby (in terms of wins) is just 57 percent. Our percentage away is just 25. In the Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship we have a 62 percent record at home since 1996, and just an 18 percent record away.

“We need to ask ourselves – have we embraced professionalism?”

Coetzee said that there was a clear cut parallel between Super Rugby success and Springbok success, and he cited the 2007 example, when the Boks won the World Cup in a year where the Bulls and Sharks contested the Super Rugby final and provided 22 of the 31 man World Cup winning squad.

“The national body and the National and franchise cannot exist in isolation from each other. This indaba is not about dictating game plans. Every coach has his own ploys and plans, whether he plays off the 9 or off the 10. This meeting is instead about creating a national strategy that will be about equipping players to deal with whatever game-plan that is necessary on a particular day and in a given situation.”

SA Rugby works with talented junior players


SA Rugby hosted 140 Under-16 and Under-17 players at two high performance training camps in the Western Cape, where they were coached on and off the field about what it takes to advance through the national structures.


A total of 75 players, who had been identified by SA Rugby at Under-15 level and had their progress on the field monitored, attended the U16 camp at Paarl Gymnasium, while 65 players attended the U17 camp at Hoërskool Hugenote in Wellington. Both camps were held last week during the school holidays.

The purpose of the camps were to test the players in four key areas – medical,  nutrition, conditioning and skills – and to teach them the key values required to become a professional player.

Other key focus areas at the camps was to educate the players on SA Rugby’s coaching blueprint and the four pillars at the centre of this blueprint – high-tempo rugby, continuity, scoring tries and having fun.

A total of 30 coaches from various schools were also invited to the camps as part of the organisation’s coaching pathway.

“One of the biggest lessons the players took from the camps was that they had to work on their character first and foremost to one day make it at professional level,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“Some of the core values we focused on off the field were basics such as good manners, because there values are just as important as doing things correctly on the field.

“On the field, meanwhile, the players know that a lot of hard work lies ahead for them advance through SA Rugby’s playing structures, particularly in terms their conditioning and fundamental skills. But that said, I am very positive about the talent on offer at the camps and I believe SA Rugby has a bright future ahead.”

Etzebeth won’t join Saracens


European and English champions Saracens called a halt to their pursuit of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth on Wednesday, writes Sport24


The Premiership club had held talks with Stormers star Etzebeth over the possibility of signing him on a short-term basis once South Africa’s tour of Europe is over.

Alistair Hargreaves’ recent retirement due to concussion has left Saracens exposed in the second row, but director of rugby Mark McCall revealed Etzebeth will not be providing a temporary solution.

“I don’t think that will happen. Alistair has retired and we are looking for somebody who is available and eligible and they’re quite difficult to find at this time of year,” McCall said.

“We’ve been exploring a couple of options and Etzebeth was one of them, but that looks like it won’t happen.

“Signing him would have solved a problem until the end of January, but after that we’d have had to find a different solution.

“It’s very hard to find someone who is good enough, who is available to get into this country and who is also out of contract.

“There are some second rows who become available at the end of January so we thought we’d get a double solution, but it doesn’t look like it will happen.”

Venter to lead SARU coaching indaba


The coaching Indaba  next week will be led by former Springbok Brendan Venter and former Springbok team psychologist, Pieter Kruger.


SARU has invited CEO’s and coaching staff of all the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises to be involved in this two day event in conjunction with Springbok coaching staff, members of the rugby department of SA Rugby, former Springbok coaches and players and a representative of the MyPlayers, the players’ organisation.

The Indaba will discuss current playing trends across a wide range of areas of game play and seek alignment within SA Rugby on ways to ensure rugby excellence and continuous improvement to remain a top rugby-playing nation.

In addition, SA Rugby will be addressing longer term interventions to assist the Springbok team.

The Indaba will take place in Cape Town on Wednesday and Thursday next week.


New midfield pair for Springboks




Four changes to the Springbok side that lost to the Pumas in Salta. Damian de Allende and Lionel Mapoe have nbeen dropped, with the latter on the bench. The introduction of Juan de Jongh and Jesse Kriel means the Springboks will have to go to battle with an untested combination.

There is a swap at tighthead prop with Trevor Nyakane coming on the bench and Sharks prop Lourens Adriaanse moving from the bench into the squad. The latter a strong scrummager who may not be as mobile as the Saracens bound man but will provide adequate cover in the latter parts of the game.

Francois Houggard comes in for the injured Ruan Combrinck to complete the changes. The Springboks will also go in with a 6-2 split on the bench and fans can anticipate a forward wrestle.

Franco Mostert is also added to the Springbok bench.

Eben Etzebeth will also celebrate 50 caps and become the youngest South African to achieve the feat.

Springbok team: 1. Beast Mtawarira 2. Adriaan Strauss 3. Lourens Adriaanse 4. Eben Etzebeth 5. Lood de Jager 6. Francois Louw 7. Oupa Mohoje 8. Warren Whiteley 9. Faf de Klerk 10. Elton Jantjes 11. Francois Houggard 12. Juan de Jongh 13. Jesse Kriel 14. Bryan Habana 15. Johann Goosen

Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi 17. Steven Kitsoff 18. Trevor Nyakane 19. Franco Mostert 20. Pieter Steph du Toit 21. Jaco Kriel 22. Morne Steyn 23. Lionel Mapoe

Jadezweni third SA referee to make Test debut


Cwengile Jadezweni will become the third of South Africa’s young and upcoming refereering corps to make his Test debut this year when he takes charge of the match between Kenya and Hong Kong in Nairobi this weekend.


The 2016 season has been rewarding for Jadezweni – also known as “JD” – who was named on South Africa’s Elite Panel for the first time this season and who was one of eight referees at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester, England, in June.

On Saturday, Jadezweni will follow in the footsteps of compatriots Rasta Rasivhenge and Jaco van Heerden, both of whom made their Test debuts earlier this year in matches between Uganda and Namibia, and Kenya and Uganda respectively.

Outside of Jadezweni’s busy refereeing schedule, he is also a member of the SA Rugby coding team, with his focus being specifically on the analysis of referee calls and decisions.

“This is a great achievement for JD,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“We are very proud of him and we wish him luck for his Test debut this weekend. He is an extremely dedicated and hard-working referee and he has made steady strides in his career in the last few years, so being awarded his first Test is just reward for all his hard work.

“What makes his appointment even more remarkable is that he will be making his Test debut before officiating his first Vodacom Super Rugby match, and that shows that anything is possible if one puts in the hard yards.

“JD’s appointment adds to a fantastic year for the SA Rugby Referees Department as our referees have officiated in the top competitions all over the world, including the Rio Olympic Games, the World Rugby U20 Championship, June Tests and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. This is a testament to the hard work being done behind the scenes to deliver referees of the highest standard.”

The memorable 2016 season for Jadezweni follows on a series of consistently impressive performances last season, which culminated in him taking charge of the Provincial Under-21 final between DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State in October 2015.

Amateur sides battle it out for provincial honours


The top amateur provincial players in the country will have the opportunity to make their mark in the next few days at SA Rugby’s Central, Southern and Northern Amateur Provincial Competitions (APC) in Johannesburg, George and Kimberley respectively.

All three tournaments will run concurrently at the Alberton Rugby Club, Outeniqua Park and Griqua Park respectively, with matches scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Teams from the Valke, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Pumas, Leopards and Limpopo Blue Bulls will battle it out in the Northern APC, while Western Province, Boland, SWD, Eastern Province and Border will go head-to-head in the Southern competition. The Central APC, meanwhile, will feature teams from the Griffons, Griquas, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

After the first round of matches on Monday, the teams will be split into the Plate and Cup sections, with those sides battling it out in the second round on Wednesday. The final day’s play, meanwhile, will feature the Cup and Plate finals, the third/fourth place playoff and the match for seventh/eighth position.

Pumas Lowveld and Valke will kick off the Northern APC competition at the Alberton Rugby Club on Monday at 13h00, while the Golden Lions will meet the Limpopo Blue Bulls in the main game at 7pm.

In the Southern Section, Eastern Province will meet Border Rural in the opening game, while the match-up of the day will see hosts, SWD, being pitted against Eastern Province Rural at 17h35.

The Central Section games will begin at 10h30 with the Griffons Elande meeting their Griffons Rural counterparts, while Griquas Central and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Wildebeest Rural will battle it out in the closing match of the day.

Northern APC round-one fixtures, Alberton Rugby Club (Monday, 22 August):

13h00 – Pumas Lowveld vs Valke

15h00 – Blue Bulls vs Pumas Highveld

17h00 – Golden Lions XV vs Leopards

19h00 – Golden Lions vs Limpopo Blue Bulls

Southern APC round-one fixtures, Outeniqua Park (Monday, 22 August):

13h00 – Eastern Province vs Border Rural

14h35 – Western Province vs Border

16h05 – SWD XV vs Boland

17h35 – SWD vs Eastern Province Rural

Central APC round-one fixtures, Griqua Park (Monday, 22 August)

10h30 – Griffons Elande vs Griffons Rural

12h00 – Free State Central vs Griquas Rural

13h30 – Sharks Club XV vs Free State Rural

15h00 – Griquas Central vs KZN Wildebeest Rural

Junior Boks training squad making solid progress



Junior Springbok coach Dawie Theron on Tuesday said his team was making solid progress in terms of their game plan and mental toughness as their preparations continue for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 June to 25 June.

The Junior Springbok training squad faced the Western Province Academy on Tuesday, in their second contact session since assembling in camp in Stellenbosch earlier this month, and Theron was satisfied with the performance at the end of the hit-out.

The SA U20 training squad produced a solid display in which they scored 14 tries and denied the Western Province Academy from scoring one in the contact session, which was made up of four 20-minute chukkas.

“The two contact sessions have provided a good measure of the strides we have made since the training camp started, and it is particularly pleasing that we have not conceded a try yet,” said Theron.

“So I believe we are on the right track on defence. Our attack and set pieces are also improving steadily, which is encouraging.

“But it is still early days and there is a lot of work to be done before we depart for the World Championship. We have one more contact session against the Western Province Rugby Institute and then we play three warm-up matches, and it is important that we continue to make a steady improvement in these matches to reach the level at which we need to be to compete against the best teams in the world.”

The Junior Springboks, who secured the bronze medal at the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy, will kick off the 2016 international spectacle against Japan on Tuesday, 7 June at the Academy Stadium, before taking on Argentina on 11 June at the AJ Bell Stadium, and France on 15 June back at the Academy Stadium in the pool stages.

The semi-finals of the World Championship will be contested on Monday, 20 June, while the last round of matches, which includes with the eagerly-anticipated final, will be played on Saturday, 25 June.


Theron will name his 28-man squad for the World Rugby Championship on Tuesday, 10 May, with the official capping ceremony set to be hosted in Cape Town on Wednesday, 1 June.


The team will face the Xerox Golden Lions Under-19 and Under-21 teams in Johannesburg on 13 May in their first warm-up match, which will be followed by clashes against Maties in Stellenbosch on 17 May and the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn on 21 May, with the team set to depart for the international showpiece on 2 June.


With the second contact session completed, the players have been given a few days off to rest, and will re-assemble in Stellenbosch on Monday.


Junior Springboks pool fixtures, World Rugby U20 Championship (SA Time):

Tuesday, 7 June: 16h15 – South Africa vs Japan (Academy Stadium)

Saturday, 11 June: 19h00 – South Africa vs Argentina (AJ Bell Stadium)

Wednesday, 15 June: 20h45 – South Africa vs France (Academy Stadium)

Playing smart and some advice for the Beast


SARugby Player profile

Passing and how the forwards take up the ball- the art of passing. Either players in South Africa have been instructed not to pass or they find the art pointless is debateable. Countless times this weekend players and more worryingly midfielders (12 & 13) have the option to pass when there are players on the outside but instead looking to take the contact and bump off the man.

This is an ancient way of playing the game. Attacking the man instead of space has also proven to be another trend within our game. The most expansive centres for the South African franchise belonged to the Bulls duo of Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel this weekend. A very big improvement from the duo who have seldom pass in the previous 6 rounds.

Both had a combined total of 13 passes and three offloads. In comparison to a Rene Ranger for example who made a mammoth 15 passes on his own.

Majority of the South African centres will not throw the ball often instead looking to hit it up every time and this makes it easier to defend. When the majority of players have the ball tucked in their options are limited to an audacious ‘out the back door’ pass to hitting it up.

Strength and brains could be a formidable combination if some of our midfielders or loose forwards attempted it. Watching the Stormers game could have left a few Stormers fans frustrated in how John ben Kotze blew two try scoring opportunities by tucking the ball in and taking contact instead of passing. The pass requires timing and thought. A skill we need to make more use of. Loose forwards always taking it up leaves the defence with so little to do.

When forwards are in a stagnant position and receive the ball with no momentum. The reliance to make it over the gain line is lowered. Imagine the difference when a forward comes at pace, taking the ball up with momentum into space. What would prove more efficient for a side moving forward? The tweaking of small things could improve the South African side’s attacks massively. What we saw from some of the sides this weekend, while marginally effective was a trademark of stone-age rugby.

Be smart- The officiating of Angus Gardner will leave a lot to be desired and it will be yet another puzzling official in not just round 7 but in the entire tournament. Over the years one has seen how great captains have handled matches and interaction with referees. Richie McCaw, John Smit and Jean de Villiers some of the best in my era.

The conduct of Sharks captain Tendai Mtawarira was not acceptable. The frustration was evident. The Sharks lost key player Marcel Coetzee, they got penalised at a rate of knots at the scrum and their general standard of play was below average. In fact it was poor.

The Sharks looked like a side that was already off on tour. It will be an uphill from here for the men in black and white to make the play offs.

Beast was at the tip of his boiling point and like his coach a few weeks ago was having another argument with the official. A referee in this occasion who also got frustrated. It was very frustrating for the Beast. His choice of words though not offensive managed to lack any respect for the official and in some perspective cost the Sharks 50/50 calls.

The Springbok loose head muttering ‘….it’s not fair….’ in the middle of several arguments with Gardner.  The Sharks camp may be feeling frustrated with the recent officiating in the last few weeks.

A Springbok with over 100 games for the Sharks should know better. Young players are watching and they will follow in their role models’ example. If he was to throw around his toys in that manner. There will be no respect shown to referees in our future generations.

Yes, they are some poor calls from the officials but rugby must maintain its standards of respect. The game can’t become like football otherwise it will spiral to an abyss of no return.

Considering Gary Gold just got punished for his lack of respect towards the officials. It was as if the Sharks as a group did not learn from the incident. A captain must keep his cool, even in the heat of the battle. When he loses it, the side will end up in no man’s land.

SA ‘A’ side to play English Saxons in June


1022_6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_jurie_rouxNew RBS Six Nations Grand Slam winners England will send a strong Saxons team – effectively the country’s next-best – to face South Africa ‘A’ in a two-match series in June.

The matches will be played in Bloemfontein’s Toyota Stadium on Friday, 10 June, and Outeniqua Park in George on Friday, 17 June.

It will be the first time since 2003 that the SA ‘A’ team will be in action in South Africa. On that occasion they drew 30-30 against Argentina in Wellington.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said the decision to invite the Saxons to South Africa would provide the opportunity for a larger group of players than normal to line up against elite international opposition.

“The Saxons’ tour will coincide with Ireland’s three Test series against the Springboks and all players not involved with the Boks, will get the opportunity to take on top-ranked opposition during the same time, thereby exposing even more of our top players to international rugby,” said Roux.

“Providing international opposition for a bigger group of our players is important as we aim to improve the experience and depth of our player base. The Saxons’ tour will do just that.

“Looking at their results in recent years, it’s clear the two matches against the Saxons will be very tough for the SA ‘A’ team. Many of the current crop of England players, who dominated the Six Nations, came through the Saxons, so we can expect to face their next generation of Test stars.”

Roux said an announcement on the coach of the SA ‘A’ team, as well as a management team will be made in due course.

“The SA ‘A’ team and the Springboks will work closely together in the build-up to their matches in June,” said Roux.

“Under the guidance of the Rugby Department we will be able to select two very strong squads for these series and it will be great to welcome our friends from Ireland and England to South Africa.”

England Saxons tour to South Africa:

Friday, 10 June: SA A v England Saxons – Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Friday, 17 June: SA A v England Saxons – Outeniqua Park, George

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs

Do we “Stick” by the new coaching trio…?


So there will be a huge shock if Allister (seriously need to learn how to spell his name) Coetzee is not named as the new Springbok coach in a few days, writes Benedict Chanakira


There has been a lot of focus on just what he didn’t do at the Stormers. His poor record in knock out games, his conservative approach to games and how he never won Super Rugby.

The reality is, South Africa has tried a Super Rugby winner and it has not actually gone to plan. The new system that needs to be implemented is the succession plan and touting a few options to take over in the near future. For his positives, what they will not mention is how he kept the Stormers as one of the best sides in South Africa during his tenure; losing a final to the Bulls and winning the conference on three occasions. He managed to keep the Cape side among the top teams.

Allister’s transformation record has to be lauded when you consider it was an aspect that was on the table.

From Hoskins’ interviews you realise transformation is bordering the main aim for the Springboks and with an expected target of 50% players of color by the 2019 Rugby World Cup it is something that needs to be approached with ferocity and guile.

His work with the Stormers was exceptional in that regard, his management skills can be lauded as one of his strengths and seldom do you coach at this level without these. It is a matter of selection, managing and implementing.

What has been a problem over the years has been the head coach appointing his own assistants, men that we can be defined as ‘yes-man’.

It is believed, SARU have decided against this and made one ‘likely appointment’ as Mzwandile Stick the former Blitzboks captain, EP Kings under 19 head coach and current Southern Kings assistant coach as the Springbok assistant.

Johann Van Graan will offer the lessons learnt from the previous 4 years, which will complete the trio. Now they must work together for the greater good.

The question on everyone’s lips will be; is Stick the right man for the job? Is he another Peter de Villiers? A man of color who is thrust into the role to appease the politicians? I will leave that to your discretion.

What I can say is this, he could add some much needed value in how to add attacking initiative, trusting players and being innovative. Dubbed by many as a highly talented young coach Stick was at the helm as EP Kings under 19 went on to win the under 19 Currie Cup in the process beating sides that arguably had more talent and resources.

What that EP side had was majority of the players that had won Craven Week the season before. Instead of being outdone, they managed to set the tournament alight. Add to the fact Stick is the only ethnic African assistant coach/coach in Super Rugby at the moment.

He is likely to be the appointment the South African hierarchy is looking at. He has managed to work with the SARU Mobile-unit in the build up to the Super Rugby season and is likely to have been given a thumbs up on his appointment by Rassie Erasmus.

Rassie Erasmus will be the main guy in this whole system, his knowledge of the players and technical know-how will be what steers this new charge. Remember Rassie and his team know all the players from the age group levels. From what I hear they have already been working on the groundwork for the Ireland series.

As for Stick? Besides under 19 successes and less than 10 games experience in Super Rugby the man offers what SARU want. Just like how Heyneke Meyer was appointed by Nick Mallet as his forwards coach at the 1999 Rugby World Cup without notable experience at Super level, despite being SWD Eagles head coach.

There is something special that he holds apart from meeting SARU requirements. It will be up to the public to judge Mzwandile on how he fares as the backline coach.

You cry transparency? You likely will not get it in any of the coaching appointments you will follow. From the sacking of Jake White as a coach after winning the World Cup to the appointment of Peter de Villiers you will realise this is all more than just about rugby. Deal with it.

Yet those tasked with the roles have not been the train smash all have expected or foreseen. Allow the results to define a coaching era. That is how it has and must always be.

I will look fondly at the impact he made in the u19 Currie Cup and hope to see something similar with what is set to be a young Springbok side that is expected to play expansive rugby with little fear of what is before them.

If he was appointed solely for his willingness to trust the players and have them take aim, why not? We can only be positive right? Aren’t we tired of being negative?

SARU GC approve Springbok coach candidate



The new Springbok coach will be named officially at a media conference on 12 April, Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby, confirmed on Friday.

He made the announcement following the ratification of the coach’s appointment by rugby’s General Council – made up of the 14 member unions of SA Rugby. Ratification by the Council is the final step in the constitutional process to appoint a Springbok coach.

Mr Hoskins said that now that the final governance hurdle had been cleared the formal completion of the new coach’s contract and of that of his management team could be completed.

“We are happy to have reached this point and are particularly excited with our final choice,” said Mr Hoskins.

“Today’s ratification triggers the final part of the process. We’re looking forward to being able to confirm our choice publicly.”

Mr Hoskins said that logistical planning was well advanced for the Springbok season and that those plans had already been shared with the preferred candidate.

SA Rugby will advise media of the arrangements for the media conference in due course.

SA Rugby also announced the appointment of Peter Jooste as a Springbok selector and of the completion of the Junior Springbok (Under-20) management team. It is:

Head Coach: Dawie Theron

Assistant coach backline: Nazeem Adams

Defence coach: Joey Mongalo

Analyst: Chris Ventre

Doctor: Dr. Jerome Mampane

Physiotherapist: Anuerin Robyn

Conditioning coach: Andre Smit

Media Liaison: Zeena Isaacs 

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs


Springbok coach announcement maybe not on April Fools day



Reports are doing the rounds that SARU will not announce the new Springbok coach tomorrow as was widely expected.

Most are expecting to hear former Stormers coach Allister Coetzee to be named as the new coach of the Springboks. He is currently employed by Japanese club Kobe Steelers and the hold up if rumours are to be believed is his a better package for Coetzee and that he wants his assistance to be Proudfoot and Fleck who worked with him at the Stormers.

SARU was initially going to name the coach after their General Meeting on Friday.

In the last couple of months it pointed to the believe that Rassie Erasmus and his department would have a bigger role to play within Springbok rugby with all the elite coaches SARU already have on their books.

Coetzee worked under Erasmus at Western Province Rugby before Erasmus resigned and joined SARU.

Serfontein: SARU rotting from the head down


664dc0f6bbd042da9a71f7b948b568b7Former Springbok scrumhalf Divan Serfontein has hit out at the top brass of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

SARU has come under fire in recent times for its handling of the Jurie Roux bonus scandal saga, as well as its delay in naming Heyneke Meyer’s successor as Springbok coach.

Serfontein formed part of a discussion panel hosted by Die Burger at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn this past weekend.

There the former WP captain hit out at the country’s national rugby governing body.

“A fish rots from its head down,” said Serfontein, referring to SARU.

“There are people at SARU who are there for their own personal gain. Remember, rugby does not belong to SARU. Rugby belongs to all South Africans. We must not allow them to take over and just enrich themselves through our sport.”

Serfontein also feels transformation is not dealt with in the right manner in South Africa.

“Nowadays, transformation has become an abusive word. But we have to look at with clear heads. It shouldn’t only be about more black and coloured players in the Springbok team. When we talk about transformation, we have to refer to all racial groups, because there is inequality amongst all people.

“Take for example young rugby players. At universities there are about 800 good players, but only 200 get picked to go and play for big clubs. What happens to the remaining 600?

“Even the senior players who earn millions… one day when you retire, what do you do? The millions won’t last forever. We have to look at ways to develop rugby players, not just on the field but also in their personal lives.”

Serfontein, who played 19 Tests for the Springboks between 1980 and 1984, was also happy that a new Springbok coach will be appointed.

“I’m just very happy that Heyneke Meyer is not there anymore. Just look at what he did with players like Rudy Paige. And then he has the audacity to blame it on the players when the team plays poorly.”

Jaco Coetzee, Bosch and Pokomela herald u20 trial group


STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 24, Dawie Theron during the SA Under 20 training session and media briefing at Markotter Stadium on January 24, 2012 in Stellenbosch, South Africa Photo by Carl Fourie / Gallo Images
STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 24, Dawie Theron during the SA Under 20 training session and media briefing at Markotter Stadium on January 24, 2012 in Stellenbosch, South Africa
Photo by Carl Fourie / Gallo Images


Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has invited a large group to the Baby Boks trials camp in Cape Town next week:
Junior Springbok trials squad (position in brackets):

Vodacom Blue Bulls

Jan-Henning Campher (hooker)
Tinus de Beer (flyhalf)
Aston Fortuin (lock)
Stedman Gans (centre)
Denzel Hill (No
Jaco Holtzhausen (prop)
JT Jackson (centre)
Manie Libbok (flyhalf)
Andell Loubser (wing)
Franco Naude (centre)
Divan Rossouw (wing)
Hendre Stassen (lock)
Eli Snyman (lock)
Gavin van den Berg (prop)
Franco van den Berg (prop)
Luigy van Jaarsveld (No

Toyota Free State Cheetahs

De Wet Bezuidenhout (flank)
Mosolwa Mafuma (wing)
Victor Maruping (flank)

Xerox Golden Lions

Le Roux Baard (hooker)
Marco Jansen van Vuren (scrumhalf)
Rhyno Herbst (lock)

EP Kings

Lusanda Badiyana (flank)
Tango Balelike (hooker)
Michael Brink (flyhalf)
James Hall (scrumhalf)
Nicolaas Oosthuizen (prop)
Lupumlo Mguca (prop)
Junior Pokomela (No
Roche van Zyl (prop)
Keanu Vers (fullback)
Jeremy Ward (centre)
Stephanus Nieuwoudt (flanker)


Benhard Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf)

Cell C Sharks

Curwin Bosch (fullback)
Morne Joubert (fullback)
S’busiso Nkosi (wing)
Zweli Siluale (wing)

DHL Western Province

Saud Abrahams (flank)
Ruan Brits (hooker)
Paul de Wet (scrumhalf)
Eduan Keyter (fullback)
Daniel Maree (flank)
Gary Porter (lock)
Duncan Saal (wing)
Carlo Sadie (prop)
Tiaan Swanepoel (fullback)
Ernst van Rhyn (flank)
Jaco Willemse (lock)
Eduard Zandberg (lock)
Jaco Coetzee (No
Zane Davids (flank)
Ruben de Villiers (lock)
Wikus Groenewald (prop)
Edwill van der Merwe (wing)
Kuyenseka Xaba (flank)

A talented group that will be out to win a spot in the South African squad that will travel to the Junior World Cup in England. South Africa will play Japan in their opening game. Interesting to note that Curwin Bosch has been penned down as a fullback.

Pool A

New Zealand

Pool B


Pool C

South Africa

SA Rugby wary of match-fixing


5107ae48e33941dfbb4af3b762a66a09SA Rugby has addressed the potential threat of match fixing in the sport by putting in place a monitoring service for Super Rugby and Springbok Tests in 2016 writes

For the first time, SA Rugby has partnered with Sportradar, a Swiss-based global leader in providing data services to media companies, bookmakers, sports federations and state authorities, to operate a match-fixing detection service.

‘We have recently seen allegations of match-fixing in other South African sports and it is a threat that SA Rugby is not complacent about,’ CEO Jurie Roux commented. ‘In the past few years, World Rugby has really stepped up its quest in ensuring the integrity of the game is upheld with its “Keep Rugby Onside” campaign and we fully support that.

‘All our teams and competitions count among the best in the world, so it’s imperative that we monitor global sport to spot the threats on the horizon. Sportradar can safeguard us from these threats. Its data-related expertise will ensure that its betting monitoring systems, which are employed worldwide, will give us the most powerful tool available to spot and root out concerns.’

SA Rugby report healthy state on finance


SARU-logoGoldSA Rugby on Friday announced a “very satisfactory” operating result for the year ended 31 December 2015, with a group pre-tax surplus of R33.3 million, significantly higher than the R2.9 million achieved in the previous financial year.

The result was due to a combination of improved revenues and a measure of cost savings, said Jurie Roux, Chief Executive Officer.

“In a very difficult economic environment, we consider this a very satisfactory operating result, which was well above budget,” said Roux. “Group revenue rose to close to R1bn (R967m), 18% up from the 2014 level (R820m), due mainly to our share of the new revenue stream from SA Rugby Travel.

“That operation did mean an increase in group expenditure but it was a net positive outcome for the business.”

A taxation charge of R16.5 million resulted in a group post-tax profit of R16.7 million (2014: R1.9 million loss).

SA Rugby invested R105m of its income into grassroots development and women’s rugby as well as another R30m in elite player development at junior level in 2015. Member unions were allocated R177m from broadcast revenues while the cost of running professional competitions was R106m with another R125m going on the delivery of sponsorship rights. Costs associated with the Springboks, Springbok Sevens and Junior Springboks accounted for another R197m.

Roux said that 2016 marked the beginning of a new five-year cycle for all broadcasting rights agreements and most sponsorships.

“While all major broadcasting rights deals have been finalised at significantly higher values, the renewal or replacement of sponsorships has been extremely challenging,” he said.

“As a result the increase in sponsorship revenues is likely to be relatively modest over the next few years.

“On the expenditure side, the allocation of broadcasting rights payable to member unions will increase significantly, in line with the increase in revenue. The investment in players will increase, partly because of a new contracting model and partly due to a new collective rights agreement relating to the use of player imagery.

“A substantial increase in competitions costs will also be evident, mainly because of the expansion of Vodacom Super Rugby. We’re making every effort to contain increases in all other operating expenses to around inflation levels.

“The net result will be a greater emphasis on efficiency and positive financial results, in order to steadily improve the level of cash reserves over the next few years.”

The results are scheduled to be approved at the SA Rugby Annual General Meeting in Cape Town on 1 April.

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs

SA, NZ to push for global season


SARU-logoGoldSA Rugby will join New Zealand in a “hard push” to try and get a global season underway by 2020, writes Brenden Nel – SuperSport

The governing body confirmed they would support the push for the northern and southern hemisphere seasons to be more aligned to make the global game run smoother when it comes up for discussion in the near future at World Rugby’s executive committee meetings in future.

New World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont and his new deputy Agustin Pichot will be confirmed next month in their positions in the places of Bernard Lapasset and Oregan Hoskins respectively and it is hoped the new leadership will finally begin a strong push towards a global season for the game.

New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew has reignited the discussion on the Global Season when he confirmed the All Blacks were serious about making sure it happened by 2020 and could well withdraw from the World Rugby tours programme if an agreement is not reached.

SARU CEO Jurie Roux told that South Africa was very much in favour of something different to the current tours agreement that ends in 2019.

“Everyone in the game knows that we have an issue around the season structure and the impact on player welfare and World Rugby is already exploring new options,” said Roux.

“There’s no silver bullet for this problem and it is something that has been exercising minds for a number of years. But there is widespread agreement that there is no appeal in continuing the current model beyond the current tours agreement (2019).

“Any new format must strengthen the integrity of Test rugby and address the key considerations for southern hemisphere rugby of financial sustainability and player welfare.

“It’ll take a change in mindsets to achieve that and will mean a shake-up in what has become the norm but we have to explore the options.”

Part of that change in mindset needs to come in that the Six Nations countries will need to change the dates of the tournament, otherwise any hope of a global season will be futile. Southern Hemisphere countries have already indicated they are willing to look at dates around the Rugby Championship, but a move needs to have the backing of both hemispheres.

“We are working with World Rugby on some options,” NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said at a media briefing in Auckland.

“There’s plenty of work being done. Are we closer to an agreement? Probably not but at least the discussions are very current.”

Like South Africa, New Zealand aren’t willing to see the current tours programme simply roll over in 2020.

“We don’t believe the current system is sustainable,” he said. “Our players and the northern hemisphere players won’t sustain that and I think it’s fair to say the French and English clubs don’t think it is sustainable either.

“We need a different season structure than the one we have now and we are not going to default to the current one if we can’t find one. We’re going to force that issue,” he said.

Either way, for this to happen it will take some horse-trading and give and take from both sides to see it become a reality.

Read the story on

A view from the couch..




The Sunwolves have bite

For a team that had under two weeks in pre-season the Wolves managed to play a brave, exciting game The Cheetahs should have been worried at some stage and if it wasn’t for the replacements early on from Franco Smith they could have lost.

The Cheetahs will take pride in the character they showed and will look back and take a few lessons from this match. No one will under estimate the Sunwolves and if you willing to field an under strength side against them- at your own peril.

The Wolves showed some great innovation, speed and resilience. Their addition is becoming more of a positive addition and they are well placed to leave a mark on this tournament.

Akihito Yamada was exceptional in scoring a hat trick that lit up the round. #Awooo

Lions still in good stead

A loss to the champions the Highlanders saw the Lions end their overseas tour with two wins in three. The performance was not as bad if you look at the numbers and game a second time.

The Lions may need to adopt a few options if they look to be an all-round game. They will need to at their kicking game. The Lions kicking was out of touch in Dunedin and may need to refine it a bit.

They showed a lot more one dimensional play this weekend as well, playing off the second receiver so often the Highlanders had it covered. The Highlanders offered an impressive rush defense that capitalized on long, cut-out passes and this resulted in smothering tackles, intercepts to mention a few.

What will be key is how close the Lions came to scoring in the last minute when there was a chip over the defence and they regathered.

Attacking variations will be important going forward. Bar a game in Argentina, the Lions have majority of their games in South Africa and should be poised to finish top in their group.

We also learned that what you do with possession is very important as the Lions dominated possession & territory (71% and 70 % respectively).

The Lions at some point looked to have run out of ideas and could be their biggest downfall if they do not vary their game. Their depth looks much better than most sides in the competition.

The Sharks are better than last year

They Sharks have looked good over the weeks. Slowly showing a vast improvement on the past season.

They have looked good in the set-piece and have a great blend between experience and youth. The side that took to field on Saturday averaged just 25 years. Forget the contentious decision to award the penalty try which I think was completely wrong and bonkers.

The credibility to match officials needs to seriously be looked at. The Sharks played what was in front of them and they dominated. Both Stormers packs got pummelled at the scrum bar one or two when Scarra and the less fancied Oli Kebble felt like scrumming.

The Beast had one of his best games and destroyed both Springbok incumbents. The line out was much improved even pipping a Stormers throw. The tactical nous of Gary Gold has to be lauded.

There is a tour ahead but for now the Sharks can be hopeful of a strong season. The thought of Pat Lambie, Chilliboy Ralepelle, Francois Kleinhans, Renaldo Bothma, Jacques Potgieter, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Botha among many who will boost the squad.

To Gary Gold, unleash S’bura Sithole. He will add some variety to a backline that could derail the Sharks attack. The Stormers will need to go to the drawing board because the next two clashes are as tough as they get.

The Brumbies who look flawless and a trip to Argentina against the Jaguares could define their season.

New Springbok coach approved


SARU-logoGold“April Fools Day” will get a total new meaning when the AGM will approve the selection that will be presented to them on the 1 April in Cape Town.

SA Rugby confirmed on Friday that they hoped to announce the identity of the new Springbok coach following the Annual General Meeting at the start of next month.

Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby, confirmed that a preferred candidate had been identified and that the recommendation would now be considered by the General Council.

“The High Performance committee examined a list of potential coaches and identified their preferred candidate against a set of pre-determined criteria,” said Mr Hoskins.

“In broad terms we were looking for someone with a proven track record at an elite level; someone who would embrace the objectives of our Strategic Transformation Plan and someone who would understand the public demands of the job and what that entails.

“The Executive Council accepted the High Performance committee’s recommendation some time ago and the preferred candidate’s name will now be set before the General Council.”

Mr Hoskins said that the preferred candidate would not be in attendance of the Council meeting as his appointment would be dependent on their decision.

The AGM takes place on 1 April at the Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town. The meeting starts at 11am.


Rassie still wants to coach the Boks according to newspaper



Over the weekend Sunday newspaper “Rapport” has ran again with news that SA Rugby high performance manager Rassie Erasmus still wants to coach the Springboks.

With so much going on at SA Rugby at the moment most are forgetting that we still not have a Springbok coach in place and that is taking Springbok rugby backwards.

According to Rapports source, Erasmus wants the job but wants to be appointed immediately and not on April fools day when the next general council meeting is scheduled for. The source also claimed that Erasmus and his mobile coaching unit already have advance plans in place for the Springboks in June.

‘Video analysis of the Irish team is already done, the names of a possible squad are penned down and movements have even been worked out, but players need to know in what capacity Rassie is speaking – as the next Bok coach or head of SA Rugby,’ the source told Rapport.


SARU behind Roux


1022_6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_jurie_rouxThe Executive Council of SA Rugby is pleased to announce that Jurie Roux retains its unanimous support to continue in his role as the organisation’s CEO, confirming a decision the Council had first taken in 2014.

The announcement was made after SA Rugby sought expert legal opinion in the wake of renewed reporting of allegations against Roux contained in a report on the funding of Stellenbosch University Rugby Club.

Advocate SA Cilliers SC and Professor Michael Katz, of ENSafrica, were asked to review SA Rugby’s handling of the matter and the relevant labour law on the basis of the evidence at hand.

Their review confirmed that SA Rugby’s Executive Council had appropriately applied its fiduciary duties and also advised that it would be an unfair labour practice to take action against an employee on perceptions of third parties or on the basis of a report of which the facts had not been tested in court.

They recommended that SA Rugby continued to employ Roux – as long as he performed satisfactorily.

In light of the opinion, the Executive Council confirmed their unanimous support for Roux. His performance in the role has been of an exemplary standard, during which time he has at no stage brought the game into disrepute.

SA Rugby regards the matter as now closed until the outcome of any legal action between the two parties.


Rassie disillusioned, heading abroad?


Rassie-ErasmusRassie Erasmus is set to leave South Africa to coach abroad after becoming disillusioned with the political infighting between the union presidents….reports Vodacom Rugby

A massive red flag seems set to fly as SA Rugby suffers it’s first victim of the tug of war between SARU president Oregan Hoskins and CEO Jurie Roux.

Zelim Nel of the Cape Argus reports that SARU’s General Manager of High Performance reportedly withdrew from the race to replace outgoing Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer earlier this week, leaving Allister Coetzee as arguably the only plausible candidate for the vacant post.

The Cape Argus has since been reliably informed that Erasmus made the decision after becoming disillusioned with the political infighting between the union presidents, and the tug of war between SARU president Oregan Hoskins and CEO Jurie Roux.

Erasmus is understood to have shortlisted for offers from clubs in Europe and Japan.

Vodacom Rugby can confirm that Erasmus’ disillusionment lies primarily with Hoskins and the way he treats his staff. Should Hoskins not survive the current SARU crisis, a move that appears more likely than ever, Erasmus may well be persuaded to remain in South Africa.

His exit would be a coup for whichever club he joins, and a significant loss to SARU, though this is a point that will take time for rugby administrators to fully appreciate.

Some fans cheered when Erasmus, exasperated by meddling Stormers officials, threw in the towel in 2012.

Between 2008 and 2011, the former Springbok flank revived a Stormers franchise that had sunk to embarrassing depths under Gert Smal and then Kobus van der Merwe.

Having made just two play-off appearances in the previous 11 seasons, the Stormers reached the 2010 final and hosted a semi-final in 2011.

The real value of Erasmus’ tenure is evident in the sustained success that Western Province’s junior teams have enjoyed in the years since he cleaned out his desk. The senior ranks are annually reinforced by a host of junior players that graduate from age groups rugby.

Erasmus installed similar systems at SARU, including innovative evaluation tools that track the progress of every professional player in the country, along with those age group players who have been recruited into a national database.

At a time when South Africa is exporting players at unprecedented levels, there has never been a greater need for the expertise of a high performance manager. Especially one with a proven track record of identifying and developing young talent, and one who has given South Africas coaching structure some credibility and a sense of sustainability.

Habana boost for Springbok Sevens



Experienced Springbok wing Bryan Habana will join the Springbok Sevens squad in Stellenbosch on Tuesday following an agreement with his French club side, Toulon, SA Rugby confirmed on Monday.

SA Rugby is rotten


SARU-logoGoldSouth African rugby’s national leadership stinks, writes MARK KEOHANE in Business Day newspaper.

It did a year ago but the stench is now at its most foul.

Whatever the South African success in Super Rugby in its expanded 18-team format, it can’t compensate or negate the rot within the game’s national leadership.

The leadership, be it Oregan Hoskins who parades as the president or Jurie Roux, who functions as the boss of the Springboks and all things national, is divided as every rotten bit starts to publicly be exposed.

Hoskins has managed to duck and dive every issue on transformation since in 2007 promising the South African government and public that a Springbok team would never again go to a World Cup with transformation an issue.

When there was minimal change in 2011, Hoskins predictably played the patriotism card in urging the people and those who report on the game to unconditionally get behind the Springboks’ World Cup campaign.

Again transformation was secondary to the propaganda fuelled hysteria that the Boks would win the 2011 World Cup. The reality was the international season had been a disaster and the Boks, one-point victors against Wales in the pool stage, lost in the quarter-finals.

Hoskins, in driving transformation, was silent for four years between 2011 and 2015 and the leadership short-term con job in attempting to portray bigger black numbers in 2015 was to include Rudy Paige as the third scrumhalf.

Paige had not played a Test in Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s four-year tenure but the propaganda machine again hit the patriotism button and Paige’s selection was hailed as a victory for transformation.

It was a farce, as was the Springboks’ World Cup campaign. The Boks lost to Japan in the pool stage and were beaten in the semi-finals.

Paige played less than 20 minutes in the tournament as Meyer proved incapable of understanding the transformation dynamics within the squad.

Saru’s leadership (read Roux) had already in principle reappointed Meyer before the start of the 2015 season. It proved a costly mistake because Meyer resigned with a payout that was the result of misguided and arrogant decisions based on the illusion that the Boks would win the 2015 Rugby Championship and the World Cup.

The Rugby Championship, only played over a single round, favoured the Boks. They would host Argentina and the All Blacks and the only away game was in Australia. The arrogance, which has had a stink to it the equal of the rotting head of the leadership, refused to entertain on-field realities.

The Bok didn’t win a Test in the Rugby Championship, which was merely an extension of the inept Super Rugby regional performances when not one of the five regional teams placed in the top six.

Now Roux is under investigation for alleged misappropriation off funds when heading up Maties Rugby Club.

Hoskins is said to want Roux out, who in turn hasn’t been too fazed by the powder puff punches of a president who has only been noticeable because of his absence on any relevant issue in South African rugby.

The 14 elected provincial presidents, as has been custom since amateur structures were insisted on when the game when professional in 1996, are divided. There is no unity and when there is no unity there can never be strength.

Sponsors have pulled out, the Springbok coaching successor to Meyer has not been made because agendas are at play. The post wasn’t advertised after 2007 World Cup-winning coach Jake White indicated he would apply for a second stint. Hoskins despises White, and his ego and distaste for White triumphed over transparency.

The leadership, reminiscent of those dark days of National Party apartheid rule in South Africa, felt no obligation to answer for actions. None felt the need to be accountable to the public, over the Boks, transformation, the position of the Southern Kings or the loss of leading sponsors. There was also no fronting for the failed 2015 international season.

Now, with the rot at its most extreme, it’s all falling apart and each day brings another revelation of Roux and Hoskins being a law unto themselves, even if not in sync with each other’s individual agendas.

And of course there’s this weekend’s start to Super Rugby, a tournament that diminishes in appeal with each team expansion from the original Super 12.

The leadership, with Hoskins at the forefront, agreed to stay with Super Rugby when every rational argument suggested South African rugby would be a greater beneficiary aligned to tournament structures in the northern hemisphere.

The little cheer in our rugby will come with the domestic derbies in the first month but that will be short term. What shouldn’t be short term is the haste in which Hoskins, Roux and the leadership should be chased from the offices of SA Rugby

Roux saga splits SA Rugby



The majority of South African rugby’s provincial presidents are supporting embattled CEO Jurie Roux and want president Oregan Hoskins out.

Roux has been accused of making unauthorised payments totalling R32-million to Maties Rugby Club while he was a senior director of finance at Stellenbosch University and chairman of the rugby club.

Hoskins wants Roux to be suspended before his court case, but Die Burger says the CEO has the backing of the majority of Saru’s executive council.

According to the newspaper, the council will meet in Johannesburg next week to discuss the crisis, with the meeting held under independent chairmanship and Hoskins not presiding.

There have been rumours of provincial presidents planning to bring a vote of no confidence against Hoskins.



Roux is not the problem


South African rugby will never move forward until we as the public realise that rugby decisions are not made by rugby people, but rather individuals with personal and political agendas.

If you follow my opinions you will know my utter disdain for all things Western Province and Stormers rugby at the moment. What I came to realise was that my anger is often misdirected at the wrong individuals, as is the case with the Stormers and their new coaching staff.

What we often fail to realise is the direct impact non-rugby, or elected board officials, has on the day-to-day operations (and futures) of coaches and players.

large_Thelo-Wakefield-_-Gert-SmalIt should not be news to anyone that Gert Smal – a rugby man if there ever was one – wanted John Mitchell for the position of head coach following the sudden departure of Eddie Jones, only to be vetoed and overruled by an elected, club run board of individuals under the presidency of Thelo Wakefield.

The fact that the Stormers lost the opportunity to employ a world class coach, with a decent enough track record and vast international experience, is enough to make any supporter furious. What should be more concerning for the public and supporters, is the position a poor soul like Robbie Fleck has now been put under.

We have all seen this movie before but let me replay it for you…

Stormers start their campaign, they win a couple of close ones against other SA teams, they lose a couple of close ones at home against overseas opposition, comes back from overseas with a 50% win record and desperately try to hang on or fall off the wagon completely towards the end of the campaign when injuries takes its toll.

In this movie who is the man that will carry the brunt of the criticism? Thelo Wakefield?  His board of elected officials?  Or poor old Robbie Fleck?  Rhetorical question.

The point is, why do we allow our rugby to operate in structures where elected board officials, has a direct influence with what happens on the field of play – with NO CONSEQUENCE to their actions or decisions?

Let’s forget the Stormers for a second, and consider what is currently happening at National level and SA Rugby.

We are all pretty familiar with Jurie-Gate and the allegations that has been made against him and the various opinions expressed in the media. I prefer to take a simple stance on this.  Up and till the point where the man is criminally charged and found guilty of breaking any type of law, I have no problem with him continuing in his position of CEO at SA Rugby.  But why now suspend a guy based on allegations alone that has been known and made public more than a year ago?  Forgive me if I smell hidden agendas that will make what has happened at the Stormers look like childs-play.

Oregan_Hoskins_Bok_logo_Carl_Fourie_Gallo_Images_620_395_s_c1_top_topAbout a year ago we had a SA Rugby president state quite clearly that he, and the executive of SA Rugby, was happy with the explanation Roux and his legal team provided to the board on these allegations. They were so pleased with his explanation, they extended his contract.

In the last couple of weeks, where some folks decided to rehash the story and information from a year ago (because we just love a good scandal or if there isn’t, we create one), the very same president is seemingly going from pillar to post to try and justify his statements on Roux last year by blaming everyone from the cat to the recruitment agency that recommended Roux to the SARU board four years ago for no other reason than to save his own backside or reputation.

If you have been a supporter in South Africa long enough, the actions of Hoskins will not surprise you. What did however grabbed my attention was the news that as part of Roux’s ‘punishment’, he will no longer drive the recruitment process with the High Performance department for the new Springbok coach, but this responsibility will now fall on solely on Mr. Hoskins himself.

This is where the alarms bells went off and this is where we should all start to become very concerned (see my Stormers example above).

In which parallel universe do we give the responsibility to an elected board official, with (due respect) no experience in any on-field matters at a professional level, to appoint the new National Coach?

Now I am not one for personal attacks on any individual, their ability or character, but if you need reminding of the type of ‘rugby’ decision Mr. Hoskins made in the past I suggest you listen to this old interview he had with John Robbie during the Jake White era with the infamous “Player 46”, Luke Watson.

Then of course there was the statement on Peter de Villiers the moment he was announced publicly to the world as the new Springbok coach where Mr. Hoskins removed any doubt that De Villiers was in fact, a transformation appointment – a tag which followed and haunted him throughout his tenure as he stated in his biography. Interestingly Hoskins after signing off on the appointment of De Villiers removed himself from the responsibility to sign-off on any teams De Villiers selected, which of course removed any accountability he had in the appointment of De Villiers should he fail.

It does not take a genius to figure out that a lot of agendas are currently playing out in SA Rugby, whether it is to get rid of Roux and appoint a yes-man to removing power from the few rugby people still left in the organisation to serve ego’s and self-interests.

Whatever is at play, we should all be very worried about the future of rugby if elected officials who has nothing more than a ceremonial role to play in the game make decisions that will shape its future.





Written by: Jacques Nortier


The questions around Jurie Roux won’t go away


5107ae48e33941dfbb4af3b762a66a09The one piece of “news” that came out of the deliberations of the SA Rugby Union (Saru) around their embattled CEO, Jurie Roux, was widely accepted as a sop to the prying press….writes Dan Retief for the City Press

Roux, it was said (in a story broken by Rapport’s Hendrik Cronje and also carried in City Press a week ago) had been “punished” by being removed from his lead role in the process to pick a new Springbok coach.

Instead of Roux sifting through the candidates and putting forward to the high-performance committee the names of those, in his opinion, who were best qualified, he was allegedly removed from the body.

Most accepted this as a lame gesture by the executive that they were doing something about “Juriegate.”

However, in my cynical mind, I wondered whether there was perhaps a deeper reason. Could it have been a pointer that Saru’s executive were concerned about some incidents under Roux’s stewardship? Were they perhaps removing him from a position in which some irregularities had occurred? My mind went back to one of those calls we journos often receive.

A “contact” called to give me a tip-off, but typically could not provide any verification of his allegations or allow himself to be identified.

It was in 2013, just after the Maties rugby club’s former coach Chean Roux had, from left field, been elevated into Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok coaching group as the performance analyst. His appointment (as far as I could ascertain, he is no relation of Jurie Roux) was unexpected, and my caller put an intriguing spin on it.

“You know why Heyneke gave Chean a job?” he enquired. Naturally, I was interested.

“It was a trade-off. Heyneke desperately wanted to get Fourie du Preez back from Japan, but Du Preez is very expensive – especially the insurance Saru would have to pay to [his club] Suntory Sungoliath.

“So Jurie cut a deal with Heyneke. ‘I’ll give you Fourie if you give me Chean.’”

It seemed too far-fetched to follow up, but my curiosity was again pricked later that year when something else most odd occurred. Two players, Lourens Adriaanse and Louis Schreuder, were out of the blue selected to go on the Springboks’ northern hemisphere tour.

Both had Maties connections and, again, there was the intimation that Jurie Roux might have influenced their selections – especially when it emerged they were both on the books of one Chris de Beer – Roux’s successor as chairperson of the Stellenbosch Rugby Club.

De Beer worked with, and after, Roux as a financial officer at the university and was implicated in the financial improprieties that allegedly occurred.

These are oddities, and it is strange that Saru has not demanded they be investigated.

Did Jurie get his friend Chean a well-paid job? Did he cause players to be picked in the Springbok team?

Surely answers are required.

Equally, what about the serious allegations made by Graeme Joffe against Saru vice-president Mark Alexander? Joffe claimed Alexander had been favoured with payments to benefit a leading marketing company that does business with Saru.

Alexander, as far as I know, has not taken legal action against Joffe – so Joffe might be right. But Saru seems unconcerned about a possible blot on the name of one of their top officials.

Why did president Oregan Hoskins come out in support of Roux’s reappointment for a period of five years when he was aware of the allegations against the latter contained in audit firm KPMG’s damning report? Is that not also something questions should be asked about?

Was an exit interview done with Meyer when he left? We know Saru failed to even speak to Jake White and Peter de Villiers, but surely there must be some key things Saru would want to know from Meyer?

Was Jurie Roux, when he was at Stellenbosch, no more than some sort of corporate Robin Hood who diverted funds to the financially struggling rugby club to keep Maties as strong as they were in the past?

If he had, is that not a flaw in his perception of corporate governance that Saru should be investigating?

It is no good for the administrators of rugby to cower behind their impenetrable PR wall and provide no answers, because the questions will not go away.

Follow me on Twitter @retiefdan

Mallett and Venter for new Bok selectors…



Brendan Venter and Nick Mallett may be involve in Springbok rugby but as selectors reported Hendrik Cronjé for Rapport on Sunday

South African Rugby union have asked the 14 unions to nominate candidates for selectors of the Springboks and according to Rappoort newspaper certain Union Presidents have confirm that the two names will be in the hat to be selected as national selectors.

The names will be submitted to the high-performance committee, who will sift through the names and make a proposal to the executive committee. The executive committee will make that decision,’ SA Rugby head of corporate affairs Andy Colquhoun told Rapport

Another name that have been thrown around allot is the name of Rassie Erasmus and now he has also been mentioned by some Presidents as one they would also like to see as selctor. Erasmus is still regarded as a front runner for Springbok head coach and only time will tell when and who will fill these position in South African rugby.



Roux no longer in charge of searching for Bok coach


5107ae48e33941dfbb4af3b762a66a09SARU CEO Jurie Roux will not be in charge anymore on the search for the new Springbok coach.

Roux who are being accused of making unauthorised payments to Maties Rugby Club while he was director of finance at Stellenbosch University and also chairman of Maties Rugby club.

The decision was made that Roux will no longer submit the names of suitable candidates for the Springbok coach to SARU general council. SARU president Hoskins will take over and drive the process.

Everyone expect the council to confirm the new Springbok coach in March after Meyer resigned in December. There is a lot of speculation on who the new man will be that will take the Springboks to 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Rassie Erasmus name have been popping up in the media in the last month which will keep the Springbok coach in-house. The early favourite former coach of the Stormers Allister Coetzee is also reported to have been contacted by SARU on his availability but no formal discussions have taken place according to reports.

It is also speculated that Erasmus can be put in as an temporary coach for the July test matches which will give SARU more time to find the right man.

As South African supporters are waiting for the announcement many feels that the delay in announcing the new Springbok coach is putting South African rugby is a huge disadvantage.

The Springboks will start there year against Ireland the 11th June for three incoming test matches before taking on New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in the Rugby Championship in August.

No major injuries from Madibaz game




Following the contact session against the NMMU Madibaz on Friday last week, a few players have picked up minor injuries and will be monitored through the week.

Southern Kings Head Coach, Deon Davids, said Lukanyo Am had sustained a bruised knee, while Malcolm Jaer and Jurgen Visser both had tight hamstrings, which would be monitored ahead of the Southern Kings clash against the SWD Eagles in their first official warm up match in George on Friday.

Other players who are on the injury list and undergoing rehab are Phillip du Preez, with an ankle injury, Aidon Davis and Louis Fouche, with knee injuries, Jaco van Tonder, who is recovering from an ACL injury sustained last year and  Kevin Luiters, with a strained calf.

Cornell Hess had also been sent home today due to illness, said Davids.

“It is obviously a concern when you have a long injury list before the start of the season, but we are doing the best that we can under the current circumstances,” said Davids.

Davids said he was thankful for the opportunity to have a hit out against the NMMU Madibaz last week.

“It was the best practice that we could ask for. The NMMU guys really gave us a go. I think we were really tested on defense and on attack, but I’m happy with the way we responded,” he said.

Davids said from an attacking point of view, there was room for improvement in continuity and keeping the ball through phases, and that he was not happy with the tackle count on defense.

He said the first official warm up game against the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George would play a crucial role in looking at various player combinations.

“Going into our first official friendly our focus will shift, and we will begin to focus more in terms of testing combinations, as well as at improving on our performance from the NMMU game,” he said.