Thursday's rugby wrap

2014-10-02 15:00
Last Updated at
02 Oct 14:52
02 Oct 14:52
02 Oct 14:51

Thanks for tuning in today!

Be sure to follow us again tomorrow for more breaking rugby news. Until then, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

02 Oct 14:49
Blitzbokke debutant Ruhan Nel (Gallo Images)
02 Oct 14:41


The Blitzbokke have named uncapped Golden Lions centre Ruhan Nel in their 12-man squad for the opening tournament of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament at the Gold Coast, which takes place on October 11 and 12 in Australia.

Nel is one of four changes to the squad that won the Commonwealth Gold medal in Glasgow in their last outing in July.

Regular captain Kyle Brown is still recovering from shoulder surgery and will therefore miss the season kick-off at the Gold Coast.

Veteran forward Frankie Horne will lead the Springbok Sevens in his 60th consecutive World Series tournament.

Cornal Hendricks and Warren Whitely were not considered as they are on Springbok duty, while Mark Richards has Currie Cup commitments at the Golden Lions.

Their unavailability paved the way for the return of fit-again regulars Philip Snyman, Stephan Dippenaar and Steven Hunt in the Springbok Sevens squad.

Flank Kwagga Smith will join the squad after the Golden Lions’ Currie Cup match against the Sharks on Friday evening.

Speedster Seabelo Senatla and playmaker Justin Geduld have also returned from Currie Cup duty with Western Province. The attacking duo have slotted in with ease at the team’s training sessions in Stellenbosch this week, a SARU press release stated.

Springbok Sevens squad to play at the Gold Coast is (SARU contracted unless indicated otherwise, World Series caps in brackets):

1. Chris Dry (37)

2. Philip Snyman (24)

3. Frankie Horne (59, captain)

4. Kwagga Smith (6)

5. Werner Kok (9)

6. Ruhan Nel (debutant, Golden Lions)

7. Justin Geduld (13)

8. Branco du Preez (32)

9. Stephan Dippenaar (21)

10. Cecil Afrika (30)

11. Steven Hunt (22)

12. Seabelo Senatla (10)

02 Oct 14:18

All the weekend's Currie Cup teams have been named.

On Friday, the Pumas tackle the Blue Bulls in Nelspruit (19:00), while the Sharks host the Golden Lions in Durban (19:10).

On Saturday, the Free State Cheetahs entertain Western Province in Bloemfontein (14:00), while Griquas tackle the EP Kings in Kimberley (14:30).

02 Oct 13:48


The Barbarians will have a strong South African flavour for their matches against the Wallabies and Leicester Tigers in November.

According to ESPNscrum, Barbarians coach John Kirwan has called up current Sharks and former England prop Matt Stevens, Eastern Province Kings prop CJ Van der Linde, Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen and flank Heinrich Brussow.

Kirwan has also included the Sharks duo of Thomas du Toit (prop) and loose forward Jacques Botes, as well as Western Province forward Michael Rhodes.

02 Oct 13:37


Former Springbok centre/flyhalf, Hennie le Roux, in an exclusive interview with Sport24, predicted that the Boks will beat the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

"Having been very unfortunate to lose in Wellington, I’m backing the Boks to win by two points," said Le Roux.

"It will be a very close game underpinned by immense commitment, physicality and pride. While both sides are very well balanced in terms of overall capabilities, I believe that home ground advantage will offer (Heyneke) Meyer’s men the edge.

"The breakdown point will prove critical, as the All Blacks boast the ability to convert turn-over possession into points. As such, the Springboks will need to better protect their ball possession and limit the number of attacking turn-overs they concede."

02 Oct 13:05
New WP fullback Dillyn Leyds (Gallo Images)
02 Oct 13:01

This also a big game for WP lock Rynhardt Elstadt. He will make his first start of the 2014 Currie Cup season, having sat out the past three weeks because of suspension.

Elstadt, who hails from the small town of Montagu in the Boland, needs to improve his discipline. He is a player who was touted as a potential Springbok a few seasons ago, but injuries and and a short temper on the field have derailed his progress somewhat.

02 Oct 12:55

Dillyn Leyds has been named at fullback for Western Province's Currie Cup meeting with the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday (kick-off 14:00).

WP coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to his starting line-up this week - from the starting XV that defeated the Pumas in Nelspruit last Friday - with four of them enforced.

Leyds, who re-joined WP after a stint at the Western Force in Australia, replaces Cheslin Kolbe (back injury) in the No 15 jersey, Pat Howard comes in for SA Sevens wing Justin Geduld (on national Sevens duty), while Manuel Carizza and Rynhardt Elstadt form a new-look lock duo in the absence of the injured Ruan Botha (ankle) and Jean Kleyn (AC Joint).

The only unforced changed to the WP team this week sees Nic Groom take over the No 9 jersey from Louis Schreuder, with the latter reverting to the bench after three successive starts.

02 Oct 12:44


Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has named his team to tackle the Free State Cheetahs in a Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday (14:00 kick-off):


Free State Cheetahs:

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 JP Du Plessis,13 Francois Venter,12 Joubert Engelbrecht,11 Raymond Rhule,10 Willie du Plessis,9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lappies Labuschagné,7 Neil Claassen,6 Tienie Burger,5 Francois Uys,4 Werner Lourens,3 George Marich,2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld (captain),1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes:16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen,19 Henco Venter,19 Vincent Jobo,20 Shaun Venter,21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 AJ Coertzen

Western Province:

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak

Substitutes: 16. Neil Rautenbach, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Oli Kebble, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Michael van der Spuy

02 Oct 12:35
There is a slight delay in the announcement of the WP team. WP Rugby said 12:30, but nothing yet...
02 Oct 11:52


The Western Province team to play the Free State Cheetahs in a Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday will be announced at 12:30 today.

Stay tuned for the announcement...

02 Oct 11:43


Selecting Schalk Burger at No 7 must've been tempting, but Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning believes sticking with Oupa Mohoje is a brave call.

02 Oct 11:29

England's Rugby Football Union has revealed that coach Stuart Lancaster's record six-year contract extension will be reviewed after next year's Rugby World Cup on home soil.

The RFU on Wednesday surprised many observers by awarding Lancaster the longest-ever contract given to an England coach, one that doesn't just include the 2015 World Cup but also the 2019 edition in Japan.

One question which arose immediately after the announcement by the RFU was what would the governing body do if England failed to qualify for the knockout stages of next year's World Cup from a tough pool also including Australia and Wales?

RFU CEO Ian Ritchie moved to reject suggestions the RFU had boxed themselves in by revealing that a performance review would be held after next year's World Cup in England.

02 Oct 11:10

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has admitted that he's happy that they don't have to chase a bonus-point victory against the All Blacks at Ellis Park.

In last year's Rugby Championship Test at Ellis Park, the Boks were in with a shot at winning the Rugby Championship if they beat the All Blacks with a bonus-point, which forced them to take more risks.

However, this time round the New Zealanders have already wrapped up the title, which means the Boks can only focus on trying to win the game, a point Meyer highlighted in an interview with Beeld.

"We're very excited about this Test. The fact that we only have to win, and are not in a situation like last year where we had to score a bonus point try to win the Rugby Championship, takes a lot of pressure off our shoulders."

Yes, in that regard it does take pressure off, but Meyer is still under heaps of pressure to win this game.

Another loss would mean six losses on the trot for Meyer against the All Blacks, which is not what you want with the Rugby World Cup only a year away...

02 Oct 10:37

In ITM Cup news from New Zealand, Auckland have thrashed Waikato 60-19 at Eden Park.

Blues wing George Moala bagged a brace in the nine-try demolition.

This bodes well for the Blues with next year's Super Rugby competition in mind, and not so much for the Chiefs.

Auckland and the Blues have been a sleeping giant of New Zealand rugby for quite some time now...

02 Oct 10:22


Like all mercurial personalities, Willie le Roux hasn’t been getting things universally right recently, writes our chief writer Rob Houwing.

02 Oct 09:56


Lock Victor Matfield believes the Springboks need to close down crucial moments if they want to beat the All Blacks on Saturday.

"It is just about the focus in those critical moments. It is always going to be a close game against these guys. One or two critical moments will decide these games," said Matfield.

"It is something we are working on... just that belief in the team, even if you are five points down with five minutes to go to - keep to the structure.

"They're pulling off the big moments in games. If you look throughout the year, there were two or three Tests they could have lost but they came through and that probably shows the character they've got in the team.

"Belief is a funny thing. The more you win it becomes a habit, and it is a habit with them. they've only lost one game in 42 matches which is unbelievable. It is just a habit for them to win and they know how to pull through tough games as well."

02 Oct 09:33
EP Kings flank Devin Oosthuizen will play his rugby in Bloemfontein next year... (Gallo Images)
02 Oct 09:25


The Cheetahs have secured the services of EP Kings flank Devin Oosthuizen.

According to Volksblad, the 26-year-old Oosthuizen has signed a one-year deal until the end of the 2015 season.

He will be available for Super Rugby and Currie Cup.

He is the Cheetahs' second new loose forward recruit after the Lions' Willie Britz earlier indicated he will return to the Free State next season.

Oosthuizen will join Kings team-mate, wing Sergeal Petersen, who earlier also signed a deal to play for the Cheetahs next year.

02 Oct 08:53


Free State Cheetahs lock Waltie Vermeulen has decided to retire from rugby due to a succession of injuries, Volksblad reports.

The 26-year-old will now focus on his career as a medical doctor in Hopetown.

He played 44 Currie Cup and 23 Super Rugby games for the Cheetahs.

All the best Waltie. At least you've got a decent career to fall back on!

02 Oct 08:38

VIDEO: Joost pops in at All Black training session

In an emotional video, Springbok scrumhalf legend Joost van der Westhuizen, a motor neuron disease sufferer, paid a visit to the All Blacks training session ahead of their Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

02 Oct 08:26
Western Province are the only team yet to name their side for this weekend's Currie Cup action...
02 Oct 08:23


In case you missed it late yesterday afternoon, Griquas have named their team to tackle the EP Kings in a Currie Cup clash in Kimberley on Saturday (14:30 kick-off).

I can't see the Kings ending their winless run...



15. Gouws Prinsloo, 14. Danie Dames, 13. Johnathan Francke, 12. Wayne Stevens (captain), 11. PJ Vermeulen, 10. Dean Grant, 9. Tian Meyer, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Carel Greeff, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 5.  Jaco Nepgen, 4. Hugo Kloppers, 3. Maks van Dyk, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. Janro van Niekerk

Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Simon Westraadt, 18. Jonathan Adendorf, 19. RJ Liebenberg, 20. Dustin Jinka, 21. Ederies Arendse, 22. Jacquin Jansen

EP Kings:

15. Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14. Ronnie Cooke, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Shane Gates, 11. Ntabeni Dukisa, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Tobie Botes, 8. Tim Agaba, 7. Devin Oosthuizen, 6. Paul Schoeman, 5. Steven Cummins, 4. Cameron Lindsay, 3. CJ van der Linde, 2. Martin Ferreira, 1. Charles Marais

Substitutes: 16. Albé de Swardt, 17. Charl du Plessis, 18. Darron Nell/Steven Sykes, 19. Thembelani Bholi, 20. Kevin Luiters, 21. George Whitehead, 22. Scott van Breda

02 Oct 08:11


The Springboks head into their Rugby Championship encounter with the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday knowing they have lost nine out of their last 10 meetings with their old rivals.

Since Peter de Villiers's Springboks beat the All Blacks three times back-to-back in 2009, the Boks have fallen off the bandwagon in the rivalry.

South Africa's only win in the last 10 meetings with New Zealand was a 18-5 victory in Port Elizabeth shortly before the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

In fact, the All Blacks have won seven of the meetings by 10 or more points and since Heyneke Meyer became coach, the Boks have lost all five encounters.

Overall, the All Blacks boast a 51-34 win-loss record against the Boks, with three matches ending in draws.

02 Oct 07:30

Utility back Kurtley Beale has been dumped for the Wallabies' final Rugby Championship match against Argentina after an in-flight row with a member of team management that triggered an internal investigation.

Beale, who has been on the bench in recent games, was left out of the match-day 23 altogether after the Australian Rugby Union confirmed their probe into the incident which occurred in transit from South Africa to Argentina.

McKenzie stocked the bench with six forwards, with scrumhalf Nic White and wing Rob Horne preferred to Beale as the only two replacement backs.

02 Oct 07:27


Coach Ewen McKenzie has named his Wallabies team to tackle Argentina in Mendoza on Sunday (kick-off 00:40 SA time):



15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Juan Martin Hernandez, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Benjamin Macome, 6 Rodrigo Baez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4-Mariano Galarza, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Thomas Cubelli, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Jeronimo De la Fuente


15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Rob Horne

02 Oct 07:24

Lock Brodie Retallick and loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett lost their race to be fit in time for the All Blacks' final Rugby Championship clash against South Africa on Saturday.

Retallick was suffering from concussion-like symptoms after coming off in the 34-13 victory over Argentina last week in La Plata, while Crockett received a bad cut under his eye that required stitches.

Jeremy Thrush has replaced Retallick with loose forward Steven Luatua providing cover from the bench, while Joe Moody will start his first Test at Ellis Park.

02 Oct 07:22


All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named his team to tackle the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday (17:05 Kick-off):


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Reid, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty

02 Oct 07:19
We'll aim to give you all the latest rugby news, from team announcements, injuries to any major new signings, mixed with a little bit of opinion...
02 Oct 07:19

Welcome to Sport24's breaking news and opinion of all the latest happenings on the local and international rugby front!

Commentary by Sport24's Herman Mostert


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.