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)
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.
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.
By Brendan Nel
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is gone.
The Bok coach decided eight days before his position was to be a talking point at the South African Rugby Union’s General Council to call it a day and informed his bosses he no longer wishes to be considered a candidate for the position.
While some newspapers had continuously run with the story that Meyer had signed a new contract and it was a done deal that he continue as Bok coach, nothing was ever the case, and Meyer chose to exit on his own terms, rather than wait for SARU to do it for him.
Despite leading the Springboks to third place at the Rugby World Cup, and losing an epic semifinal against the All Blacks by two points in the rain at Twickenham, Meyer was never forgiven by the public for losses against Argentina and Japan.
Ironically though, the loss against Japan came as his senior players – those he put so much faith in, and was vilified for – let him down by ignoring coaching calls during the game that has now become the Rugby World Cup’s greatest shock.
It is hardly surprising that Meyer chose to close the door on the Springbok job, after this week two provincial unions publicly called for a change, but what was surprising was the timing of the event, as Meyer decided to walk before he was pushed.
The Bok coach said he decided to stand aside as coach, “a decision he considers to be in the best interests of South African rugby”. But while his winning record was better than many of his predecessors, the losses to Japan and Argentina would forever haunt him.
That, as well as a controversial transformation record, were the main reasons why so many of the rugby public turned against him at the end of his four year tenure.
This despite the fact the Boks finished third in the World Rankings this year, one up from where they were when he took over the job, and a tenure that included two unbeaten end-of-year tours, a record breaking win over Australia in Brisbane (38-12), a Castle Lager Rugby Championship victory over Argentina (73-13) and the first away win in France in 16 years.
All in all the Boks scored a 66.7% winning record under Meyer, and scored 143 test tries – second only to the All Blacks in his time in charge.
The failure to win major trophies in a time when the All Blacks were dominant, and only one win in eight against the double World Champs also was a major drawback for the Boks.
Still, the Bok coach said he departs knowing he is doing what is best for the Springboks.
“I have always put the Springboks first in my time as coach and since returning from England I have realised that as much as I believe I still have a lot to offer, the time has come for change,” said Meyer.
“My integrity has always been very important and I feel I can leave with my head held high. I’ve always maintained that my only motivation was to serve my country and to do what was best for the Springboks.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time as Springbok coach – although it has been highly pressured at times and especially tough on my family, and I would like to thank them for their unwavering support in the last four years.
“I have put my heart and soul into the job and did my very best. I believe that, overall, I leave the team with much to look forward to in 2016, with new structures in place to ensure the Springboks will remain competitive on the world stage.
“The number of young players that have been blooded over the past four seasons, who chose to remain in South Africa, leave the team in a great position to move on in the next few years. I would like to wish the next coach all the success in this wonderful position.
“The Springboks are a special team and carrying the hopes of a nation is a huge responsibility and great privilege. I realised that yet again with all the support I received from ordinary South Africans, both at the World Cup and upon our return to the country. Thank you to the countless faithful, positive and passionate supporters that have made my job as coach a joy.
“To everyone at SARU and for the hard work and commitment of my management and support team, I will be forever thankful. And finally to the players – you are ultimately the reason why I coach and you’ve enriched my life in the last four years.”
While there was much criticism over Meyer’s tactics during his tenure, the coach is also largely responsible for many of the structures in place and a better working relationship with the Super Rugby franchises, as well as the move to a central contract system to try and keep talent in South Africa.
SARU president Oregan Hoskins thanked Meyer for his services to South African rugby.
“We have reached a natural watershed in many ways with a significant number of senior players either retiring or moving overseas as well as the fact that our Strategic Transformation Plan is now in full swing,” said Mr Hoskins.
“Heyneke gave his all for the Springboks and it was a great pleasure to work with such a passionate South African. There were many highlights during his time as coach and those are the moments we will remember.
“He also set very high standards of behaviour for himself, his management team and his players and he was and is a credit to South African rugby. I’m sure all my colleagues join me in wishing him the very best of luck in whatever coaching path his career now takes him.”
SARU said that the search for a successor would begin immediately.
The CEO will present the process of recruitment as per the recommendation of the High Performance Committee for approval to the Executive Council on Wednesday, after which it will be shared with the provincial unions at the General Council meeting two days later.
The Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made just two changes as he named a familiar side to take on the Argentinians. Having suffered defeat earlier in the year, a battle to finish at least third at the World Cup and on the official rankings Meyer was quick to replace Fourie du Preez with Ruan Pienaar and Rudy Paige was added to the bench. Victor Matfield comes into the stating line up and is handed the arm band. He swaps with Lood de jager. I see the value in the side winning this game to end the side’s year on a high. What is telling is in the bigger scope of thing Meyer has sent messages of a lack of trust, belief and courage to not only make changes but to believe in the abilities of the players.
I am in awe as the World Cup and the potential end of some careers and players like Siya Kolisi , Lwazi Mvovo and are not trusted. In some way Meyer is sending a different message. You are not good enough and you were a selection that was forced upon. It really is sad and while he has already secured a four year deal, well reportedly he has shown stubbornness, blindness and continues to not only make his position fragile among the fans. Meyer states that ringing the changes would be a lack of respect to the jersey. So the other Springboks are not worth the honor of donning the jersey?
Meyer is a loyalist and will be going all out for bronze. It will be a result, if he wins that will make his win percentage even better but in perspective it will be another dry and unsuccessful four years. Something is wwrong in the South African system and maybe it is time to look else where. It has been a poor habit of ours but if the coach only trusts 16-20 players only in a squad of 30 or better yet in five franchises there is a problem.
We wish the Springboks all the best and may they prevail. A second loss to the Pumas would bring mixed emotions, however it is important to note the mental state of the players that have lost a semi final earlier in the week. It would have made sense to start with players who have had little game time but will be motivated to get some minutes but to also prove a point. Meyer knows best, he is a national coach anyway.
Springbok team to play Argentina:
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.
The old enemies will be at it again and this time in the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 2003. In the last few years the All Black have got one over us and bar the penalty Pat Lambie struck to snatch a win. The Springboks have only tasted victory over New Zealand once in the last four years. Do we ride on the myth that as the All Blacks biggest rivals we can beat them and are the only side capable of giving them a headache? New Zealand have been in scintillating form and have managed to score countless tries in the last few games passing the fourty mark four times. Daniel carter has rediscovered his form, Ma’a Nonu has been on the rise and they managed to kick the poor french back to France.
What do the Boks need to do? I look at three of many areas the Springboks will need to be on their guard.
- Stop Julian Savea– The bus as he is known has failed to score against South Africa ever but the winger has just rediscovered his tormenting form and has been on a rampage. A natural try score who has 38 tries in 39 games (more than Lomu). He is the top try scorer in the World Cup and impressively, has done well both out wide, in the middle and when the All Black winger’s new tactic of doing pick and go’s. They have been able to use their wingers on the fringes which has seen opposition sucked in and you will see a loose forward or hooker having to deal with either one or scoring on the wing or a Savea using his power and explosiveness to not only just gain vital yards but score. It will be interesting to see if they will be out to use this tactic against the Springbok wingers that are among the biggest in the world. Will they test the Bok forwards as well? Springboks defense on the fringes has to be organized. On the attack the side has to be able to manipulate the space down the middle of the All Black ruck as the defending champions have a habit of stepping back from rucks.
- Dan Carter & Nehe Milner-Skudder brilliance– Dan was at his mercurial best this weekend and is clearly on an upward trajectory. The man was easily the general, kicking with aplomb and creating tries in such mesmerizing manner. Nehe Milner Skudder? Can you defend X-factor? It has been done before majority of the winger’s tries are pretty much a step out side and a dart inside(vs -Australia, France,Tonga & Namibia). It’s not as easy as that but the winger has a habitual action which was handled well by the Highlanders in the Super Rugby final. The Springboks will need to have their defensive game up to scratch and will need to have Duane Vermeulen and Bismarck du plessis in wrecking mode as they look to impose themselves physically. It will be important to note how Carter had two or three defenders around him, resulting in created space outside or back door pass in his last few games. South Africa’s 10-12-13 axis has a habit of being sucked in and will need to be shepherded well by a leader. A defensive leader must stand up this weekend.
- Kicking game – Probably the best kicking game in the land. NZ have been exceptional when it comes to kick and chase and the catch by Ben Smith last week brings back nightmares of Dan Biggar’s leap against Willie le Roux.The Bok’s high ball skills will need to be on their A-game but more importantly their overall kicking game has to improve or they will be punished. Handre Pollard’s 5/8 kicking was just enough and in any other knock out game would have been not good enough.New Zealand where at hand to score of a charge down through Brodie Retallick and unless Fourie du Preez (who was charged down recently) is protected or the rest of the kicking options practice perfection. They will be punished.
Variety will be the order of the day. South Africa can not afford a one-dimensional approach and will need to re-enact the performances of 2013 and 2015, but must also look to sustain this pressure. South Africa – New Zealand clashes have been decided by the superior fitness of the kiwis and their mental ability to dominate the second half and more importantly the last 20 minutes of a clash. In the two side’s last 20 clashes the All Blacks have outscored South Africa on 17 occasions in the last 20 minutes. The last time was 2009 when South Africa outscored NZ 6-3.
Will the men in green be able to produce a performance of the ages? In Jerome Garces, they have a bogey referee from France and the Springboks have tasted defeat a couple of times when they have officiated their games. The injury cloud over the likes of Lood, Bismarck du Plessis and Victor Matfield will have many worried particularly Lood de Jager. Meyer is believed to be contemplating throwing young Pieter-Steph du Toit in or Willem Alberts at lock should the locks fail to recover. Physical, accurate, smart and a controlled aggression approach can win this clash for South Africa.
Adding a bit of variation and surprising the All Blacks will assist in beating their biggest rivals. What they have shown over the last few weeks will not worry New Zealand. A brand new Springbok must play on Saturday and not the timid, average side that has shown character but scrapped through the World Cup.
Average score over the last 7 games has been 27-18 to the All Blacks. It promises to be a clash to remember or to forget.
The Pumas managed to lose 26-12 to South Africa in what was a trial for some of the players. In this squad there are twelve players under the age of 23 for the Pumas, who if they struggle at this World Cup, could be a bigger threat come 2019.
Average age / caps in 2007 ARG RWC squad for tight five – 30 yrs / 27 caps ;2011 – 29 years old / 26 caps and in 2015 – 25 years old / 19 caps.
Argentina Rugby World Cup squad
Forwards: Matthias Alemanno, Marcos Ayerza, Agustin Creevy, Matias Diaz, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Mariano Galarza, Ramiro Herrera, Facundo Isa, Thomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Paul Matera, Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Leonardo Senatore, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Backs: Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Cordero Santiago, Thomas Cubelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Lucas González Amorosino, Santiago González Iglesias, Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Imhoff, Martin Landajo, Matías Moroni, Nicolas Sanchez, Juan Pablo Socino, Joaquín Tuculet.
So reports suggest Meyer could be in the Springbok hot seat until Rugby World Cup 2019. The news has been prominent since last season and has surfaced once again this year at a time which is the toughest in Heyneke Meyer’s tenure.
This is not new, Springbok coaches always feel the heat before the World Cup and this is nothing new. The call if true could be the right one. South Africa are definitely not ready for a foreign coach and the uproar from the politicians could further complicate the life of that man.
A look around the local fraternity and you are likely to not find any candidates as well that are ripe enough. Meyer has only been bettered as a coach by only three other stalwarts as Springbok coach.
Meyer has selected 17 players of color in his tenure and managed to bring in several exciting young players over the years. He was pivotal in the transforming of the Blue Bulls a few years ago and a further four years could be a step in the right direction for the Springboks despite his recent results.
This is something that has benefited New Zealand in a continuation of a coaching set up. Meyer is one of the best coaches in the country, if not the best.
The deciding week in the Rugby Championship. South Africa will go into the last test having all but secured third spot on the log unless they succumb to a shock loss. Will Pieter-Steph du toit feature in the fourth game with the former Sharks lock having managed to get a few minutes against the Lions in the warm up game. The giant lock was impressive, dominant at lineout time, solid in defense and had a great break to cap off a decent night on the park. One has to hope he will feature for the Springboks and manage to get the same chance as Lood de jager had (missed most of the rugby this year but managed to step up in a Test match) and take it. The match against Argentina will be an opportunity for Meyer to have a look at several more options and it would be even better to try out some combinations. Will Jean de Villiers get the opportunity to win back his jumper? Had the skipper been fit the Springboks would not have been privileged to have Damien and Jesse in the midfield. That in itself is a positive from a fan’s perspective. His injury that is. What I do know is that Jean’s leadership will be the most important asset the Springboks get this week. It will be time for the skipper to prove the doubters wrong and step up to the plate; question is for who? Jan Serfontein is also believed to be recovered and all of a sudden Meyer has the difficult task of picking not just a squad but a best XV.
Argentina will present a physical onslaught and will require the very best from our player; our forwards more so. With Jannie and Francois Louw it will be an opportunity for several players to get a shot at the 31 man squad.
It is also expected Fourie du Preez and Willem Alberts more importantly will be back and a decision whether they will feature will be made later in the week. They are likely to receive much needed game time as they look to be ready for the England show piece. All hopes of the Springboks final showing will be on the shoulders of the returning stars. Argentina will not only be two dead rubber tests but they will tell Bok fans where exactly they stand with the World Cup on the horizon. The Springboks have managed to improve every game this year but it’s not good enough to dominate games over 60 minutes only. Goodness, even Wales have managed to perfect that art. They have managed to dominate against every powerhouse side but still lost. At the end of the day it counts for nothing! The next two weeks will be pivotal for all four nations. It will be the performance that is needed for Argentina and South Africa while Australia and New Zealand will be aiming for the crown. Will New Zealand be able to make it 19 from 21 win in the Rugby Championship? Will they claim every Rugby Championship title since its inception?
A funny story in somewhat has popped out of the New Zealand camp with the All Blacks looking to take their innovation levels to a new level by taking two half backs only to the world Cup. That would mean, take Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara and have Colin Slade cover the third slot. Why? Steve believes it could allow the All Blacks to take more back line options to the World Cup. This is something the men in black are considering, it looks like they were impressed by the Highlanders five-eighth Lima Sopoaga. Only time will tell if Colin Slade will actually be considered an option in this position. With Hooper cleared to face the All Blacks it will be an interesting match this weekend. It would also good be good to see the All Blacks give Beauden Barrett a run at Fly half and they could also throw in Patrick Osborne into the cauldron with the persistent injury to Cory Jane. With Steve Hansen believed to be willing to gamble on Nehe Milner-Skudder who was battling with a rib injury in one of the two tests against Australia. The All blacks are looking solid going into the World Cup and have the most balanced and assured side.
Australia may need to work on several aspects of their game such as their kickers who all have been shocking. The Australian scrum has improved but it will not worry their Pool A opponents who will see some creeks in that pack. A positive for the Wallabies will be the return of Kane Douglas. They are in desperate need of second row reinforcement as they will likely call on James Horwill this weekend with the injury to Rob Simmons. The countdown to Rugby World Cup 2015 continues, and there will be a lot more questions answered in the next few weeks.
The team is:
1. Tony Woodcock (112)
2. Dane Coles (27)
3. Owen Franks (69)
4. Brodie Retallick (38)
5. James Broadhurst
6. Liam Messam (41)
7. Richie McCaw – captain (139)
8. Kieran Read (74)
9. Aaron Smith (38)
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Charles Piutau (16)
12. Ma’a Nonu (95)
13. Conrad Smith (85)
14. Ben Smith (38)
15. Israel Dagg (48)
16. Codie Taylor (1)
17. Wyatt Crockett (38)
18. Ben Franks (41)
19. Samuel Whitelock (63)
20. Victor Vito (26)
21. TJ Perenara (12)
22. Beauden Barrett (28)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (8)
Sopoaga comes in for Daniel Carter at first five-eighths and Broadhurst takes over from Luke Romano. In other changes in the starting XV, Dane Coles comes in at hooker with Liam Messam at blindside flanker. In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the starting halfback position, while the world-record midfield combo of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith is back. As well, with a desire to continue to give Israel Dagg more game time, Ben Smith is named on the right wing.
Ben Smith has shown his potency anywhere in the back three with an impressive stint at win two season ago when he was top try scorer. There is no doubt his best position is full back but such is the mix and quality the New Zealanders have.
On the bench, Ben Franks comes in as reserve prop alongside Wyatt Crockett, Codie Taylor retains the reserve hooker jersey, Sam Whitelock is reserve lock, with Victor Vito covering the loose forwards. TJ Perenara is reserve halfback, with Beauden Barrett and Malakai Fekitoa the other back reserves.
Broadhurst and Sopoaga will be surrounded by a wealth of not just quality but experience. The two impressed in the Super Rugby and will be surrounded by a total of 500 caps. (327- starting XV and 217 on the bench). It is a moment of not just opportunity for Lima Sopoaga who made the squad not just because of his quality but the injury to Aaron Cruden made it the more easier.
Daniel Carter and Sonny Bill Williams among big players miss out on the squad to tour Africa, I mean South Africa. There will also be no Waisake Naholo as the start winger managed to break his leg on what was an impressive debut for the All Blacks. Hansen also sounded disappointed with the injury suffered by Naholo who he feels will make a great All Black. Nehe Milner Skudder was also omitted due to a rib injury that has not ecovered.
New Zealand’s 31-man squad:
Forwards: Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Tony Woodcock, James Broadhurst, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Victor Vito
Backs: Andy Ellis, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Colin Slade, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith
Schalk Burger is back in the Springboks’ starting line-up for Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship opener against Australia at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Burger’s inclusion at No 8, after a great performance as replacement against the World XV last weekend in Cape Town, is one of five changes to the Springboks’ match-23 for this match.
The other four changes are on the bench, where props Heinke van der Merwe and Frans Malherbe, as well as Lood de Jager (lock) and Lwazi Mvovo (wing) have been included.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said the changes were all part of the plan to rotate players in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
“We’re expecting a massive contest for the ball on the ground on Saturday and with Schalk there next to Francois Louw and Marcell Coetzee, as well as Bismarck du Plessis, we’ve got a lot of players who are very good at the breakdowns,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Warren Whiteley played very well last weekend, but he knows exactly where he stands and will play again for the Boks this season. For this match though, we decided to go with this specific loose trio.
“I’ve said last week that we will make changes, but it’s also important to keep some form of momentum. Saturday’s match is going to be massive in the context of our season and we have to ensure we tick the right boxes.
“It will be good to see what Heinke, Frans, Lood and Lwazi can do from the bench, while we’ve also opted to keep continuity in the starting team. There will most likely be changes for every match this season as we keep one eye on the World Cup.
“Trevor Nyakane and Vincent Koch performed very well off the bench against the World XV last weekend, but as we have a lot of depth at prop, I’ve decided to give opportunities to Heinke and Frans to stake their claims, especially as both of them have been in excellent form thus far this season.
“Heinke was the in-form loosehead prop in the French Top 14, while Frans anchored a brilliant DHL Stormers scrum this season.
“Lood is back from injury and our plan has always been to bring him back in one of our first three internationals of the season, while we’ve decided to go for Lwazi as he was very good for the Cell C Sharks in Vodacom Super Rugby, is superb under the high ball and knows his way to the try-line.”
Meyer is under no illusions about the enormity of the task as hand in Brisbane on Saturday. The Springboks’ recent record in Australia is not great. The Boks have only beaten the Wallabies once at Suncorp Stadium, two years ago when they won by 38-12, which is South Africa’s biggest away victory ever the men in gold.
“If we’re not at our best, it will be a long day at the office,” said Meyer.
“But we played some brilliant rugby last weekend against the World XV in Cape Town and the challenge this weekend is to build on that and improve in the areas we lacked.
“Our basics have to be spot on and it will also be a great test for our defensive systems against a Wallaby side that can rip any team to shreds with the ball in hand.”
The Springbok team to face Australia in Brisbane is:
Position Name Franchise / Club Test Caps Test points
15 Willie le Roux Toyota Cheetahs 25 35
14 JP Pietersen Cell C Sharks 59 90
13 Jesse Kriel Vodacom Bulls 0 0
12 Damian de Allende DHL Stormers 3 0
11 Bryan Habana Toulon 106 285
10 Handré Pollard Vodacom Bulls 9 65
9 Ruan Pienaar (vice-captain) Ulster 80 135
8 Schalk Burger DHL Stormers 75 70
7 Marcell Coetzee Cell C Sharks 26 30
6 Francois Louw Bath 34 25
5 Victor Matfield (captain) Vodacom Bulls 121 35
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Stormers 33 0
3 Jannie du Plessis Cell C Sharks 62 5
2 Bismarck du Plessis Cell C Sharks 70 45
1 Tendai Mtawarira Cell C Sharks 64 10
16 Adriaan Strauss Vodacom Bulls 44 25
17 Heinke van der Merwe Stade Francais 4 0
18 Frans Malherbe DHL Stormers 4 0
19 Lood de Jager Toyota Cheetahs 9 10
20 Oupa Mohoje Toyota Cheetahs 7 0
21 Cobus Reinach Cell C Sharks 6 10
22 Pat Lambie Cell C Sharks 40 106
23 Lwazi Mvovo Cell C Sharks 10 15
Saturday is the last chance for you to win the special edition Springbok Jersey by posting your photos to show your support for the Springboks.
Take the pics and post them before Sunday and stand a change to win a Springbok Jumper no one else will have.
Get them posted….
This Springbok jersey will not be available in retail stores so it is something special for any supporter
All you need to do is to take a photo during each of the Springboks games during the Rugby Championship to show you and your family or friends support for the Boks during the game and post it to the site. The photo can be of yourself and your friends, family or your kids or even your Grandmother as long as it shows the support to the Boks
Only registered members can take part and he or she must post a photo for each game for the next few weeks to win this limited Springbok jersey. After the last game we will go through all the photo’s posted and the determine a winner. The picture can be at the ground, your house or any place were you are watching the game.
Make sure you post a photo for each Springbok game and go crazy!
Good Luck and my the biggest supporter win!!!
*** You will see we added a new future to our comment box were you are able to upload your photo’s. Boys and Girls please keep it clean
The Springboks arrived in Brisbane late on Monday (Australian time) after travelling in two groups to the capital city of Queensland, where they will face the Wallabies in the opening round of a condensed Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday.
The squad of 31 players and five management flew from Johannesburg via Sydney, while the rest of the management travelled via Perth to Brisbane.
The Springbok medical team will make sure every member of the travelling squad is fit and raring to go before the first training session on Tuesday.
“We’ve usually travelled to Australia on a bye weekend, giving us one extra day to prepare, but we don’t have it this year and we’ll will have to make sure we hit the ground running on Tuesday,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“We worked on a couple of new things since we got together and the match against the World XV was a good barometer to see where we stand. The challenge this week would be to improve on certain aspects of the game and to fine tune others.
“We need to make a big step-up against the Wallabies. It will be a very high tempo game and proper Test match rugby against one of the top sides of the world.
“They had two teams in the semi-finals of Vodacom Super Rugby this year, which probably points to more depth in their structures, but I saw since the day we got together a passion and excitement amongst our players to make our country proud.”
Meyer will name his match-23 to play in the Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday. It’s a venue that has not been kind to the Springboks in recent years, although South Africa scored a brilliant 38-12 victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane in 2013.
“Before that match, the Springboks had never beaten Australia at Suncorp Stadium and although the match was played two years ago, we’d like to build on that performance,” said Meyer.
“They are always a tough opponent at home – since the start of the Tri-Nations in 1996 and later in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, the Springboks have won only three out of 23 matches against the Wallabies in Australia, drawing one and losing 18.
“This was also clear last year when we played very well, but they managed to beat us with the last movement of the match in Perth.”
Michael Cheika has cut down his squad to 31 players. The Wallabies had assembled as a 40 man squad but with a clash against the Springboks coming up the squad has been trimmed. While the players will remain in the group it sees some surprise omissions including Christian Leali’ifano and Wycliff Palu. Dave Dennis, Samu Kerevi, James Hanson, Tetera Faulkner, Toby Smith, Henry Speight and Nic White have been omitted.
Cheika did mention that it was tough making the calls and stressed that he was looking to manage the squad’s workload. Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau have made the squad and you will likely see Rory Arnold and Taqele Naiyaravoro make their debuts against the Springboks.
The squad: Rory Arnold (Brumbies)*
Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)
Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)
Quade Cooper (Reds)
Scott Fardy (Brumbies)
Israel Folau (Waratahs)
Bernard Foley (Waratahs)
Will Genia (Reds)
Matt Giteau (Toulon)
Scott Higginbotham (Rebels)
Greg Holmes (Reds)
Michael Hooper (Waratahs)
Rob Horne (Waratahs)
James Horwill (Reds)
Sekope Kepu (Waratahs)
Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)
Stephen Moore – Captain (Brumbies)
Drew Mitchell (Toulon)
Ben McCalman (Force)
Sean McMahon (Rebels)
Dean Mumm (Waratahs)
Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs)*
Nick Phipps (Waratahs)
David Pocock (Brumbies)
Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs)
Scott Sio (Brumbies)
Rob Simmons (Reds)
Will Skelton (Waratahs)
James Slipper (Reds)
Matt Toomua (Brumbies)
Joe Tomane (Brumbies)
*denotes new cap
World champion Springboks Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger as well as two former Blitzbok stars, Cornal Hendricks and S’bura Sithole, are included in a 36-man squad to attend a national training camp in Durban from 25 to 28 May, the South African Rugby Union announced on Monday.
Cell C Sharks back Sithole and Hendricks, the SA Sevens Player of the Year in 2013, are two of eight uncapped players in the squad. The others are the Toyota Cheetahs duo of Lood de Jager (lock) and Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward); Marcel van der Merwe (prop) and Jacques du Plessis (flank/lock) of the Vodacom Bulls; Marnitz Boshoff (flyhalf) of the Lions and the DHL Stormers’ Damian De Allende (centre/wing).
They will join Matfield, Burger and Toyota Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brüssow – who are back in the national set up for the first time since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011 – in a training squad that is missing a number of players due to injury.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was happy with the form of a number of the country’s top players and the uncapped players who have grabbed their chance this season, as well as the re-appearance from retirement and long-term injury of Matfield and Burger.
“Victor and Schalk have been out of rugby for a long time. They’ve really been in great form recently and the fact that they have not been with the Boks for more than two years, has made them hungry for Test rugby yet again,” said Meyer.
“It’s great to welcome them back into the Springbok fold and I know both of them can still add a lot of value to the team with the Rugby World Cup in 2015 looming.
“I’m also looking forward to working with Heinrich for the first time. He’s been playing very well for the Toyota Cheetahs since returning from injury and brings a lot of experience.
“However, the message to every player in this training squad is clear – everyone must accelerate in each area from the first moment we are together as a team and that inclusion in this squad is no guarantee of selection.”
Meyer said that injuries had been a concern but they had allowed other players to press their claims. A number of players in the squad are still nursing niggles or recently returned from long-term injuries.
“It looks like most of the guys are improving weekly and a few new players have put up their hands, which is good to see with the first match of the season, against the World XV in Cape Town, only a few weeks away.” said Meyer.
“It’s also very encouraging to see a bunch of new players emerging from Vodacom Super Rugby. This camp will provide us with a great opportunity to work with these players before the squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series is finalised. I am looking forward to work with these players for the first time.
“This is a very big year for us and the players know they will have to step up a gear, be sharp and focused from the moment we get going in Durban. We have 14 very challenging matches ahead in 2014 and it’s imperative that we build on what was a good season last year.
“It’s important that we start building continuity because there are just 18 matches left until the Rugby World Cup starts. But it’s just as important to recognise continuous good form. We also have a number of players struggling with injury niggles or returning from injury which we have to assess.”
Players based in France, England and Ireland were not considered for this camp as most of them are still playing for their respective clubs.
However, the experienced Fourie du Preez, who played for the Springboks in 2013, has been invited to the camp in Durban as he is available for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Wales and Scotland as well as against the Samsung-sponsored World XV.
The players invited to the training camp will assemble in Durban on Sunday morning and will return to their franchises on Wednesday morning.
“We have a good working relationship with our local franchises and we have to thank them, as well as Suntory in Japan, for allowing their players to attend this camp,” said Meyer.
Players who were involved with the Springboks last year, but were not considered for selection because of medium to long-term injuries, are Scarra Ntubeni (foot), Chiliboy Ralepelle (knee), Frik Kirsten (neck), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Franco van der Merwe (ankle), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep), Louis Schreuder (hand), Pat Lambie (bicep), Gio Aplon (elbow) and Jaque Fourie, who could potentially miss the entire Test season because of an ankle injury.
The 36-man Springbok training squad is:
Forwards (20): Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Trevor Nyakane (Toyota Cheetahs), Marcel van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls)*, Jannie du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Coenie Oosthuizen (Toyota Cheetahs), Bismarck du Plessis (Cell C Sharks), Adriaan Strauss (Toyota Cheetahs), Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Lood de Jager (Toyota Cheetahs)*, Victor Matfield (Vodacom Bulls), Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls), Heinrich Brüssow (Toyota Cheetahs), Marcell Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), Willem Alberts (Cell C Sharks), Jacques du Plessis (Vodacom Bulls)*, Teboho Mohoje (Toyota Cheetahs)*, Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers), Schalk Burger (DHL Stormers).
Backs (16): Fourie du Preez (Suntory, Japan), Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Bulls), Johan Goosen (Toyota Cheetahs), Marnitz Boshoff (Lions)*, Jean de Villiers (DHL Stormers), Damian De Allende (DHL Stormers)*, Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls), Juan de Jongh (DHL Stormers), JJ Engelbrecht (Vodacom Bulls), S’bura Sithole (Cell C Sharks)*, Frans Steyn (Cell C Sharks), Lwazi Mvovo (Cell C Sharks), Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Bulls), JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks), Cornal Hendricks (Toyota Cheetahs)*, Willie le Roux (Toyota Cheetahs).
* – Uncapped at Test level
We are excited to announce yet another competition on RuggaWorld where you can win the amazing book by Liz McGregor; Springbok Factory – What it takes to be a Bok.
To get your hands on this Christmas list must-have, all you need to do is predict the score for this weekend’s match between the Springboks and France where the closest score will get a copy of the book!
Our own Boertjie has reviewed the book and this is what he had to say:
We all know women are different. They see things from a different angle, do things differently and ask different questions. And they are thorough in whatever they do.
That is why this rugby book by Liz McGregor is also different and by far one of the most enjoyable I’ve read, as was it’s predecessor Touch, Pause, Engage.
Having travelled extensively with the Springboks, she parts with interesting tidbits about the functions and expertise amongst the supporting staff of – can you guess? – 47 people (in the case of WC 2011). Did you know that the medical team takes along 23 kg of tape for each player for every week of the tournament?
Apart from travelling with the team, McGregor speaks exstensively to the players, their families, coaches and friends in compiling her insightful profiles on three players: Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Jean de Villiers.
Interviews with the Bok doctor, the coaches Peter de Villiers and Heyneke Meyer, physio, sponsors, brand managers, the logistics guy and the woman who deals with the wives and girlfriends on tour sheds new light on the topics rugby scribes ignore because they think it is not interesting.
I found the interview with Louis von Zeuner (the Absa man whose SMS to Oregan Hoskins about black players caused some uproar) very enlightening and can’t feel this is the kind of guy Saru needs on its executive.
Talking about Saru: McGregor also attended some of their meetings and inbetween the lines it is obvious that she does not hold the governing body in high regard.
She also does not steer away from the social divide between black and white players in the squad.
●Published by Jonathan Ball the book sells at R195.00 at good book stores and could be a very useful hint about what you would like on your Christmas list.
- This is a website competition only – predictions need to be made in the comment sections below in order to be considered for the prize.
- The score closest by means of a points difference formula will be declared the winner.
- Your last prediction will be the only one considered, so while you can change your mind several times before kick-off on Saturday, only the final submitted score will be considered.
- Should two or more sports-fans have the same prediction or points differential, the individual that made his prediction first (and have not changed the prediction subsequent) will be declared the winner.
So get all your family and friends to come and predict the score to win this amazing book!
Having recently selected a Springbok side containing no less than 10 players contracted to oversea’s clubs, Heyneke Meyer has certainly set a new precedent for domestic players both young and older, who harbour Springbok aspirations.
Some like former Springbok coach Jake White have recently said the Springbok’s policy of picking overseas players is a ticking time bomb. A multi-faceted argument based on fears of player ‘drain’, weakened domestic competitions, decreased revenue from sponsorship to broadcasting revenues and with it the very means with which to keep top-level players in the country. These concerns come directly from the sponsors themselves, scribes from NZAR Super rugby unions and not just the sage-like Jake White.
A perpetual ticking time bomb indeed.
On the flip-side Ruggaworld’s own guru Morne has questioned just what type of effect this would have on all of the above, if any at all? He went on further to state that he thought such was the depth and structures in South African rugby, any perceived exodus due to these new policies would be sustainable. He sited the flow from Grant Khomo Week through to Craven Week, Club rugby, Varsity Cup, Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and to Super Rugby as being the means to consistently produce and sustain quality Springbok players capable of being world-beaters despite concerns.
Considering the antithesis of Heyneke’s new policy having being in effect for over a decade and only really starting in June this year, there really is no data to further any debate without being subjective.
In the next few years will there be a marked exodus of quality players. By quality I mean players of Super Rugby standard, capable of both keeping RSA Super teams winning and of course at the same time contributing to a world beating Springbok side? Will the quality of domestic competitions wane? Will sponsors pull their funds? Could this lead to NZAR finally splitting from SARU in Super rugby?
Right now the answers would be about as accurate as Mark Keohane’s ‘bones’.
It is for this reason I thought it would be handy keeping a running tab on this thread. Documenting every professional South African player leaving to play in competitions and leagues overseas, rather than ply their trade domestically.Over the next few years, with particular emphasis on the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the new Super Rugby broadcasting rights renewal we should be able to draw some better data with which to see just what effect this selection policy has had on South African rugby domestically and internationally.
With that in mind I’ll start by listing the current South African players announcing their departure in June after Heyneke’s announcement of first test squads. As the list develops so to the means and method of data can evolve with it… a kind of living organism.
Andries Bekker (Japan)
Meyer Bosman (Stade Francais)
Heinrich Brussow (Japan)
Kevin Buys (Brive)
Wesley Dunlop (Montauban)
Dewald Duvenhage (Perpignan)
JP du Plessis (Montpellier)
Burton Francis (Agen)
Bryan Habana (Toulon)
JC Janse van Rensburg (Bayonne)
Zane Kirchner (Leinster)
Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro)
Wandile Mjekevu (Perpignan)
Wynand Olivier (Montpellier)
Joe Pietersen (Biaritz)
JP Pietersen (Japan)
Jacques Potgieter (Japan for 6 months and then Saracens)
Chiliboy Ralapele (Toulouse)
Hendrik Roodt (Grenoble)
Wilhelm Steenkamp (Force)
Morne Steyn (Stade Francais)
Jano Vermaak (Toulouse)
Robert Ebersohn (Montpellier)
Marcel Brache (Force)
Chris Heiberg (Force)
Wimpie VD Walt (Japan)
Riaan Viljoen (Japan)
Gerhaad VD Heever (Munster)
HP Momsen (Canberra)
Altus Momsen (Canberra)
Marco Kotze (Canberra)
JP Smith (Canberra)
Ruan Smit (Racing Metro)
Don Armand (Exeter)
Conrad Hoffman (Brumbies)
Juan Smith (Toulon)
Craig Burden (Toulon)
Cornell Du Preez (Edinburgh)
Lionel Cronje (Brumbies)
South Africa will field the same starting 15 and the same bench as they did for their 38-12 humbling of Australia in Brisbane last weekend.
- September 11, 2013 – 2:02PM
Coach Heyneke Meyer says the Springboks will need to go up a gear when they face the All Blacks in a top-of-the-table Rugby Championship clash in Auckland on Saturday.
Meyer says it’s a great position to be in to be able to name an unchanged squad, but adds that he has utmost respect for the All Blacks.
“You don’t want to get into the situation where it’s easy to pick the same side and everything goes well and you’ve won,” he said.
“We know we have to make an unbelievable step up. This is the best team in the world we’re facing.”
Meyer said some of his players had the flu but he expected they would all be over it by match day.
Both South Africa and defending champions New Zealand have won their first three matches of the tournament, but the Springboks lead the table because they have an extra bonus point.
New Zealand will name their team on Thursday morning.
South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Jano Vermaak, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.
Former Springboks as well as SA celebrities have pledged to go shirtless on BokDays until Springbok apparel sponsor, Canterbury, launch their new supporters’ jersey next month.
Former Bok coach Nick Mallett, star loose forward Rob Louw, as well as celebrities such as Jeannie D and Leon Schuster have decided to go shirtless rather than be without the new Springbok jersey.
The campaign will culminate in the release of the new green and gold supportersjersey on the ultimate BokDay, Friday, 12 April 2013.
Mallett said: “I remember the jersey presentation as a very special event. I remember the first time I gave Percy Montgomery his jersey. I think he slept in it all night he was so proud. I pledge my support to the boys in green and gold and I will remain shirtless on BokDays until I get my new jersey.”
Rob Louw, rated as one of the great Springboks loose forwards agrees: no jersey, no shirt. And he is being joined in the campaign by his daughter Roxy, a leading sportswear model. She’s on the same page as he is when it comes to the Springbok jersey: she’d rather go shirtless than wear something else!
And it’s not just former Springboks that feel that way. Movie funny man Leon Schuster knew his way around the rugby field as a member of the Shimlas at the University of the Free State and no one doubts his love of South Africa’s national rugby team; the Springbok jersey is in all of his films. He, too, agrees with the sentiment of no jersey, no shirt.
Fans can win their own jersey before the launch as well as a pair of tickets for June’s Castle Lager Incoming Series – and all they need to do is show their support for the Boks!
Send a tasteful snap of yourself going shirtless in a place where shirtless is unexpected. Post the pic on Twitter at @Bokrugby or on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/springboks, and you could be a winner.
Another way to make absolutely sure you get your jersey as soon as possible is by pre-ordering online it at www.facebook.com/canterburysa.
Pre-ordering online comes with some added advantages. For the same price as you would pay in a store, you get a limited edition, individually-numbered Springbok replica jersey, a R200 discount voucher (when you spend R500 or more) to use at any Canterbury store in South Africa, and you’ll also be in with a chance to win a day with BMW, the official vehicle supplier to the Springboks, on their high performance track!
Du Toit Botes, GM CanterburySA, says the new Springbok jersey is going to be something special.
“With Canterbury being the leading rugby kit manufacturer, we always strive to develop and manufacture the most innovative garments for our athletes and therefore need to ensure that our jersey materials are up to date and of a Canterbury-approved quality,” said Botes.
“Specs and designs are constantly changing and being implemented, and with the Springboks being the pinnacle sport’s brand in South Africa, our garment aspires to be of the same quality.”
Two variations of the highly-anticipated jersey – the match jersey and the replica jersey – will be available at all leading retailers (Sportsman’s Warehouse, Total Sports, Sneakers), independents and Canterbury retail stores.
To watch videos of celebrities pledging to go shirtless, go to Facebook atwww.facebook.com/springboks.
The South African Rugby Union on Friday expressed its deep sadness at the passing of legendary former Springbok looseforward, Jan Ellis. The one-time joint record holder for the number of Springbok caps succumbed to cancer at a hospice in Pretoria after suffering from the disease for some time. He celebrated his 71st birthday in January.
Seasoned Springbok wing JP Pietersen has a mild groin strain and is doubtful for South Africa’s final tour match, against England at Twickenham on Saturday. Bok team doctor Craig Roberts said the 2007 World Cup winner and 2012 SA Players’ Player of the Year will be “medically managed” this week, after he sat out training on Monday.
Bok lock cited for ‘eye-gouging’
South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth has been cited for making contact with the “eye or eye area” of Scotland flyhalf Greig Laidlaw, the International Rugby Board announced Monday. The alleged incident occurred 14 minutes into the second half of the Springboks’ 21-10 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. He was cited by Alan Mansell of England. Etzebeth, 21, will appear before an IRB disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and if found guilty faces a lengthy ban – which could include the Springboks’ Test against England at Twickenham this coming Saturday.
Cooper walk-out rocks Wallabies
Controversial Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has reportedly dropped a major bomb by walking out on Australian rugby. According to Channel Nine news the injured No.10 has turned his back on the Australian Rugby Union and the Wallabies and will look to continue his career overseas or switch to Rugby League. Cooper has a Super Rugby contract with Queensland, but according to the Channel Nine report that agreement is contingent upon a contract with the game’s governing body.
Marler set to miss Bok clash
England prop Joe Marler is set to miss Saturday’s Test against the Springboks after suffering a knee injury in last weekend’s loss to Australia. The Harlequins loosehead sustained a grade one medial collateral ligament tear during England’s 20-14 home defeat and is expected to be replaced by Alex Corbisiero. Coach Stuart Lancaster hinted that the injury-enforced change won’t be the only alteration to the team for the important match against South Africa. “We will potentially freshen things up with one or two changes. We have players on the return – Alex played 75 minutes yesterday and Jonathan Joseph played,” Lancaster said. Source