Wallabies leave James O’Connor at home

Australia head coach Ewen McKenzie has decided to drop the mercurial O’Connor after repeated bad behaviour off the field. After an indifferent Super Rugby tournament, O’Connor was one of the rare performers for the Aussies in the first half of the Rugby Championship, but repeated breaking of team curfews due to alcoholism has meant the young star will not travel to South Africa or Argentina.

‘We won’t be forced into making any decisions around his return until I’m satisfied that he can once again contribute positively to what we are trying to achieve as a group,’ McKenzie said.RW Stamp

‘The reality is that representing your country is the ultimate honour but also a week-to-week proposition.  To be selected, players must consistently do the right things on and off the field.

‘We’ll continue to assess James on that basis before any team decisions are made about a return.’

Reports say that the Australian Rugby Union is continuing its investigation into an alleged incident involving O’Connor at Perth International Airport in the early hours of Sunday, 15 September. O’Connor is alleged to have been drunk and abusive and had to be escorted out by security.

Once the investigation is completed, a decision on the next course of action regarding the player will be taken.

‘My views and expectations around team culture and behaviours, along with those of his teammates, are extremely clear and it’s important for the Wallabies and rugby in general to be spoken about positively for the right reasons,’ McKenzie went on to say.

‘James and I had a long conversation around those expectations before the tournament commenced. As a result, and separate to the outcomes of the current investigation, James will not be joining us in Sydney tomorrow. We must put the team first without any distractions hindering them during a really tough two-game tour.’

The dropping of O’Connor does not bode well for a team that has only managed to scrape one 1 point win in the tournament so so far. And with a quality Springbok side waiting for them in Cape Town, things aren’t going to get any easier.

SGR

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Cape club captain hits 100 matches in charge

Marius White, captain and loose forward for Durb-Bell (Durbanville and Belville), captained his 100th Super A league match last weekend (175 caps over all for the club).

“I’m really privileged to have been able to play so many matches for such a great club,” said a modest White.Facebook Like

At 31 White has decided to call it a day and retire from all rugby at the end of this season and admitted, “It’s bitter-sweet for me. (But) it makes sense to retire now. I’ve been lucky enough to make some great mates and I’m grateful that my body has played along too.”

With just four games left he revealed that his job is not done just yet.

“Playing in the Club Champs and then the Community Cup were big highlights for me. It’s strange to think that I’ve got just four matches left, but I’d love to head into retirement knowing that Durb-Bell will be playing in next year’s Community Cup too.”

Club Vice-Chairman Robert Wallander paid the ultimate compliment to his loyal skipper, saying “Ask anybody who has played against Marius – he’s a great leader and a good guy to boot.

“A lot of opposition clubs – players – and also referees sent him messages before his 100th match as captain of Durb-Bell and it’s testament to what a good guy he is and how impressive this achievement is.”

Rugby Window would like to congratulate Marius White on this awesome achievement and his unbridled dedication tot he great sport of rugby.

SGR

Durbanville-Bellville play Bellville (away) in Super League A action on Saturday, August 17 (kick-off 16h00).

De Villiers in, Jantjies out for Stormers final match (team sheet)

In a match that many at the beginning of the season thought would determine who topped the South African conference, there is nothing to lose for the Stormers and all to play for for the Bulls.Teamsheets

The Bulls will likely need a win to stay in the top two, meaning they don’t need to travel for their playoff matches – a task very few have overcome to reach the final. A Bulls iwn will almost guarantee top spot, a home semi-final and a probable home final. One would put their money on the boys in blue to then take their 4th title if this happens. If they lose and come third, their mission will be severly compromised.

The Stormers have found a bit of form at the end of the competition and could quite easily beat the Bulls – it certainly wouldn’t be a major upset (a minor one, yes). With Springbok captain jean de Villiers back the Stormers will be playing for pride, but will this beat out the desperation of the Bulls?

 

Stormers Team:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Damian de Allende.

International Rugby Results from the weekend

9 United States 12 – 15 Ireland Houston
8 Argentina 3 – 32 England Salta reportx
8 South Africa 44 – 10 Italy Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
8 Scotland 17 – 27 Samoa Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
8 Queensland Reds 12 – 22 British and Irish Lions Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
8 New Zealand 23 – 13 France Eden Park, Auckland
8 Japan 18 – 22 Wales Osaka

Stormers look for Blues Shutout (match preview)

Blues v Stormers, North Harbour Stadium (9am CAT)

We love the Blues. We always have. Ever since the days of King Carlos, Joe Rokocoko and Rudi Wulf, the Blues have been dazzling our eyes with inspired running rugga. They do not believe in form however, and it’s because of this that the Stormers have a real chance of pulling off another victory on Kiwi soil. The high-powered Blues offense will certainly test the Stormers‘ resolute D, and we can look forward to some explosive collisions. What a treat.Fixtures

Players to watch:

Steven Luatua and the entire Blues backline will look to light it up once again. Big Eben Etzebeth will add some much needed power from the bench and look for Juan de Jongh to carve up some nice lines in the mid field.

Prediction: Stormers by a bunch.

Teams:

Blues: (W,W,L,L,L,W,W,W,L)

15. Charles Piutau,14. Frank Halai,13. Francis Saili,12. Jackson Willison,11. Rene Ranger,10. Chris Noakes,9. Piri Weepu,8. Peter Saili,7. Luke Braid,6. Steven Luatua,5. Ali Williams (C),4. Culum Retallick,3. Angus Ta’avao,2. Keven Mealamu,1. Tom McCartney Replacements : 16. Quentin MacDonald,17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi,18. Anthony Boric,19. Brendon O’Connor,20. Jamison Gibson-Park,21. Baden Kerr,22. Lolagi Visinia

Stormers: (L,L,W,W,L,L,W,W)

15. Joe Pietersen , 14. Gio Aplon , 13. Juan de Jongh , 12. Jean de Villiers (captain) , 11. Bryan Habana , 10. Gary van Aswegen , 9. Dewaldt Duvenage , 8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain) , 7. Rynhardt Elstadt , 6. Siya Kolisi , 5. Andries Bekker , 4. De Kock Steenkamp , 3. Frans Malherbe , 2. Deon Fourie , 1. Steven Kitshoff Reserves:  16. Scarra Ntubeni , 17. Pat Cilliers , 18. Eben Etzebeth , 19. Nizaam Carr , 20. Louis Schreuder , 21. Elton Jantjies , 22. Damian de Allende

TVA