It only takes Juan…

Juan de Jongh has been named as Western Province captain for the upcoming Currie Cup season with Pat Cilliers as his  vice-captain.

The discarded Springbok centre is one of the more senior members in Allister Coetzee’s squad which has seven players who are still eligible for the Under-21s.

The 26-year-old takes over the squad captaincy from Deon Fourie, who is now playing in France, and will lead his province in the absence of national skipper Jean de Villiers.
“First and foremost, Juan is a true Western Province Rugby man, he knows the culture of the union and what it stands for and he will lead by example,” Western Province coach Allister Coetzee said in a press conference on Monday
“Despite being just 26 years old Juan is a very experienced and respected member of our squad and that will allow him to get the best out of everyone around him.
“We have a strong leadership group in this Western Province team and all eight to ten of those players [in our leadership group] will no doubt provide the necessary to support to Juan – starting with Pat, our official vice-captain.”
De Jongh made his WP debut in 2009 and has played 39 matches in the Blue & White hoops. He played his first Super Rugby match in 2010 and has made 69 appearances for the DHL Stormers.
Speaking about the captaincy, De Jongh said: “It’s a huge honour for me and a challenge I am relishing.
“I have some pretty big shoes to fill if you think about who has captained Western Province before me, but I’m excited about the challenge and I hope to be able to make a difference and add to the legacy of this great union.”
Western Province will get their Currie Cup campaign underway against the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday, August 8.

Bok Squad included two rookies

Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is one of two uncapped players to be named for the Springbok Rugby Championship squad.RW Stamp

 Jean de Villiers has recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of the June Tests and is back in the national squad for the forthcoming Rugby Championship.
De Villiers is one of six players returning from injury after missing the entire or a part of the Incoming Series.
The others are Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Frans Malherbe (prop), Eben Etzebeth (lock), Patrick Lambie (flyhalf/fullback) and Damian de Allende (centre).
De Allende, who was forced to withdraw from the squad in June because of a knee ligament injury, and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach are the only two uncapped players in the 30-man Springbok squad.
The national selectors have also retained four debutants from the June series for the Rugby Championship – Cornal Hendricks (wing), Teboho Mohoje (loose forward), Loodwyk de Jager (lock) and Handré Pollard (flyhalf).
“It’s great to have Jean back to lead the side in the Rugby Championship,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Victor Matfield and Jan Serfontein both did superbly well in his absence, but he is our captain and I’m sure he will slot back into the side without any difficulty.
“The same goes for Eben, Frans and Patrick, all of whom have been part of the squad before.
“We will medically assess all the players in the squad in Johannesburg next week.
“This will not only include the players who missed the June Tests because of injury, but also someone such as Mtawarira, who has been out of action for a while.
“We will deal with every player and his needs individually.”
Commenting on the inclusion of Hendricks, a recent gold medal winner in sevens at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Mohoje, De Jager and Pollard, Meyer said: “These players have impressed from the first minute they joined us.
“This is a step up for all of them, but that is the kind of challenge we thrive on.
“It’s never easy cutting a squad down in size and we’re fortunate that we have a number of experienced players who will be on stand-by should their services be needed.”
Meyer said he is looking forward to the Rugby Championship, which kicks off on Saturday, August 16 when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney and the Springboks take on Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Springbok squad will gather in Johannesburg for a pre-competition camp and then again on  August 10 in Pretoria, where they will prepare for the Test against Argentina.
“We’ve been steadily improving over the past two years but another step-up is needed this season,” said Meyer.
“It’s been a theme for us since the start of the season and we must simply keep on accelerating in the coming two months.
“We’ve set ourselves some goals for the Rugby Championship and we’ll have to be focused and switched on from the moment we get together in Johannesburg.
“Winning matches and scoring tries remain foremost in our minds.
“During the four matches in June, we scored 23 tries, which we were very happy with.
“I think we can be proud of the rugby we played against Wales and Scotland, but that is in the past now and we have a new competition to get ready for.
“There are many good things we can build on from the June series, but also some things we need to work on if we’re going to be competitive in the coming months.
“It’s a challenge we relish though and I can’t wait to get going.”
Two senior Springboks who will play in Japan in the coming months, JP Pietersen and Schalk Burger, were not considered for the start of the competition. They have to report to their respective clubs next week.
“Obviously the squad can change during the course of the Rugby Championship and although JP and Schalk were not considered at this stage, they could still feature later in the competition,” said Meyer.
Injured players who were not available for selection after featuring in 2013 or earlier in 2014, are Flip van der Merwe (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep), Fourie du Preez (ankle) and Jaque Fourie (ankle).
Springbok Rugby Championship squad: Willem Alberts, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Damian De Allende, Lodewyk de Jager, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Trevor Nyakane, Ruan Pienaar, Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen.

Folau back for Waratahs Semi (team sheet)

Israel Folau and Jacques Potgieter will start for the Waratahs in their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Brumbies at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.



Israel Folau, Alofa Alofa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Stephen Hoiles, Kane Douglas, Jacques Potgieter, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.

Replacements :(from) 16 Paddy Ryan, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Tolu Latu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 24 Matt Carraro, 25 Mitchell Chapman

Super Rugby Semi final matches decided!

Following the completion of the Super Rugby qualifiers the Semi-finalists for the the Super Rugby Semi-finals have been decided.RW Stamp

The Brumbies beat the Chiefs 32-30 in Canberra while the Sharks beat the Highlanders 31-27 in Durban so the Chiefs and the Highlanders have been eliminated.

The six qualifying teams finished the regular season as follows.

1. Waratahs
2. Crusaders
3. Sharks
4. Brumbies
5. Chiefs
6. Highlanders

The Waratahs and the Crusaders finished in first and second place which earned them a bye this week and a home Semi-final next week.

The Waratahs will play the lowest ranked qualifier and the Crusaders play the highest ranked qualifier.

As the Chiefs and the Highlanders have been eliminated the Sharks are the highest qualifier and will face the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Super Rugby Semifinals are therefore as follows.

Semi-final A
Date :
Saturday 26th of July
Match : Crusaders vs Sharks in Christchurch (AMI Stadium)
Kick off : 1935 local

Semi-final B
Date :
Saturday 26th of July
Match : Waratahs vs Brumbies in Sydney (SFS)
Kick off : 19.30 local

Should any Super Rugby Finals Series match end with the scores level, the following will apply until a winner is determined:

a) Extra time played in two periods of 10 minutes
b) Sudden death extra time in a period of up to 10 minutes
c) A kicking competition featuring five players from each team

Super Rugby Play-off Qualifier round (team sheets)


Brumbies: 1. Scott Sio , 2. Josh Mann-Rea , 3. Ben Alexander , 4. Sam Carter , 5. Leon Power , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. Jarrad Butler , 8. Ben Mowen (c) , 9. Nic White , 10. Matt Toomua , 11. Robbie Coleman , 12. Christian Lealiifano , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Henry Speight , 15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements : 16. Ruaidhri Murphy , 17. Ruan Smith , 18. Allan Alaalatoa , 19. Fotu Auelua , 20. Tom McVerry , 21. Michael Dowsett , 22. Joe Tomane , 23. Pat McCabe

Cheifs: 1. Jamie Mackintosh , 2. Mahonri Schwalger , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Mike Fitzgerald , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden (c) , 11. James Lowe , 12. Bundee Aki , 13. Tim Nanai-Williams , 14. Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 15. Dwayne Sweeney

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Pauliasi Manu , 18. Nick Barrett , 19. Matt Symons , 20. Tevita Koloamatangi , 21. Augustine Pulu , 22. Gareth Anscombe , 23. Tom Marshall


Sharks: 15. SP Marais , 14. S’bura Sithole , 13. JP Pietersen , 12. Paul Jordaan , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Frans Steyn , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Maroetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (c) , 1. Thomas du Toit

Replacements :16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Charl McLeod , 22. Pat Lambie , 23. Tonderai Chavhanga

Highlanders: 1 . Kane Hames , 2 . Ged Robinson , 3 . Chris King , 4 . Jarrad Hoeata , 5 . Joe Wheeler , 6 . Elliot Dixon , 7 . Shane Christie , 8 . Nasi Manu (Co.Captain) , 9 . Aaron Smith , 10 . Lima Sopoaga , 11 . Patrick Osborne , 12 . Phil Burleigh , 13 . Malakai Fekitoa , 14 . Richard Buckman 15 . Ben Smith (Co.Captain)

Replacements : 16 . Liam Coltman , 17 . Matias Diaz , 18 . JP Koen , 19 . Josh Bekhuis , 20 . Tom Franklin , 21 . Fumiaki Tanaka , 22 . Trent Renata , 23 . Gareth Evans

NZ’s worst kept secret: Nonu returns to the Hurricanes

Wellington based Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes have announced that All Black second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu has signed a oneRW Stamp year deal with the franchise.

Nonu earned 110 caps for the Hurricanes between 2003 and 2011 has today signed on with the club for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

Nonu said he was thankful to the Blues for the support they had shown him, but also grateful to be coming back to the Hurricanes.

“I’m very happy to be heading home to the family again and am looking forward to the challenge ahead in 2015.”

Before departing the capital in 2012, Nonu contributed 215 points in his 110 matches for the Hurricanes, made up of 43 tries.

Incoming Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said the skill set Nonu would bring to the Hurricanes would greatly complement the players already on the roster.

“I coached Ma’a for the first time back in the early 2000s in the Wellington B team, so we have a long history together as a player and coach.

“I’m really looking forward to having him back in the environment and working with him again.”

Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said recent fan interest had certainly been high in Nonu returning to his home town, and it was pleasing to be able to confirm his homecoming today.

“The departure of Tim Bateman and Alapati Leiua has created a need at 12, and clearly Ma’a is a world-class midfielder. Alongside the return of Jason Woodward, Canes fans can look forward to seeing a very exciting Hurricanes back line for 2015.”

Joubert and Walsh to ref SR Qualifiers

SANZAR have announced that South Africa’s Craig Joubert and Australia’s Steve Walsh will be the officials in charge of the Super Rugby Qualifiers.

Joubert will be the official in Canberra, where the Brumbies host the Chiefs, while Walsh will take charge in Durban in the second Qualifier between the Sharks and the Highlanders.

Super Rugby Qualifier A
Saturday 19 July 2014
Brumbies v Chiefs
GIO Stadium, Canberra, Australia
Kick-off (19:40 local, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST, 09:40 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
AR1: Rohan Hoffmann
AR2: James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub

Super Rugby Qualifier B
Saturday 19 July 2014
Sharks v Highlanders
Kings Park, Durban, South Africa
Kick-off (17:05 local, 03:05* NZT, 01:05* AEST, 15:05 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh
AR1: Jaco Peyper
AR2: Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

The two semi-finals have been confirmed for Saturday 26 July.

Qualifying Super Rugby teams rank
1. Waratahs
2. Crusaders
3. Sharks
4. Brumbies
5. Chiefs
6. Highlanders

Crusaders v higher-ranked winner
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
SA time: 09h35

Waratahs v lower-ranked winner