Kolisi pleads with players to stay in SA

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi has launched a heartfelt plea to South African players looking to move abroad, urging them to stay in the country instead. Kolisi, who scored his side's try in their 17-11 Super Rugby quarter-final loss to the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday, says it is ‘not all about the money’ and that players should rather look to be part of a legacy that benefits South African rugby.

Siya Kolisi of the Stormers in action against Masataka Mikami of the Sunwolves

Relieved Ackermann feared the worst against Sharks

Coach Johan Ackermann admitted to ‘grey-hair moments’ as he came within two minutes of ending his tenure with the Lions on a sour note when they were forced into a late rally to beat the Sharks in their Super Rugby quarter-final on Saturday. Ackermann, who led the Lions to the final last year where they lost to the Hurricanes, will leave South Africa for English side Gloucester at the end of this season’s Super Rugby campaign. But before then he will have a home semi-final meeting with the Hurricanes in Johannesburg next weekend, and a chance to avenge that defeat in the final.

Jaco Kriel of the Lions (l) and coach Johan Ackerman

Crusaders load team with All Blacks

The Crusaders and the Highlanders will be strengthened by the return of leading All Blacks when they meet in the Super Rugby quarter-finals on Saturday. Crusaders Starting XV: 15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Highlanders Starting XV: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Richard Buckman, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Joe Moody

Lions coach feels Jaguars and Sunwolves should be axed

Lions coach Johan Ackermann feels sorry for the Cheetahs and Southern Kings who were forced out of Super Rugby. The southern hemisphere competition will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with two South African teams and one from Australia to be omitted. Ackermann, though, feels that Argentina’s Jaguars and Japan’s Sunwolves should be axed.

Jaco Kriel of the Lions (l) and coach Johan Ackerman

Cheetahs Bring In Blitzboks For Currie Cup Opener

The Free State Cheetahs have added three Blitzboks to their matchday 22 for their Currie Cup opener against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Friday. Rosco Specman comes into the side and starts in the No.14 jersey, while Chris Dry and Cecil Afrika will start the game on the bench. Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rosco Specman, 13 Francois Venter, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Neil Jordaan, 5 Daniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles Marais. Replacements: 16 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Chris Dry, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Cecil Afrika.

Cecil Afrika

Big blow for Chiefs who lose Charlie Ngatai

The Chiefs will be without midfielder Charlie Ngatai for their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday. According to the Stuff website, an ankle injury suffered in the 28-10 final-round win over the Brumbies in Hamilton last Saturday night kept the 26-year-old from travelling with the team

Cheetahs flyhalf dropped after car accident

A car accident reportedly contributed to Cheetahs flyhalf Niel Marais being demoted to the bench for their final Super Rugby encounter against the Southern Kings. Fred Zeilinga replaces Marais in the Cheetahs starting team which shows five changes. Team: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Ox Nche

Crusaders rest All Black front row for Hurricanes clash

The Crusaders have opted to rest their All Black front row for Saturday's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Wellington. Advice from medical staff influenced the Crusaders' decision to rest All Black front rankers Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks. Team: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Joe Moody

Lions prop Kyle Sinckler arrested after Auckland Test

British and Irish Lions prop Kyle Sinckler was arrested while out on the town in Auckland just hours after the dramatic tied Test with the All Blacks, reports said on Tuesday. The 24-year-old was picked up by police at about 03:00 Sunday in the city's Galway Street nightclub area.

Cheeky Watson fraud case postponed

The fraud and money laundering case involving former Eastern Province Rugby (EPRU) president Cheeky Watson has been postponed until October 13. Watson and four other people - Nadia Gerwel, Steven Pistorius, Andrea Vessels and Mandisi Mkaza - were arrested in March this year following an ongoing investigation by the Hawks into money laundering and corruption of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) funds.

New Zealand to keep lion’s share of bumper tour profits

New Zealand Rugby revealed on Monday that the British and Irish Lions series is set to deliver a bumper profit, but ruled out sharing more of it with the four nations whose players made up the touring team. NZR chief Steve Tew said the 10-match tour was virtually a sell-out, with 342,000 tickets sold as tens of thousands of Lions fans poured into New Zealand for an event that only happens once every 12 years. Tew did not reveal NZR's profit projections but the amount is almost certain to be more than the $14.5 million the organisation banked after the last tour in 2005.

The Bus is full!

Late Cooper penalty helps Reds sink Brumbies

The Reds completed a come-from-behind 80th minute victory over the Brumbies in their all-Australian Super Rugby clash in Brisbane on Friday. The Reds won 16-15 after they led 6-3 at half-time thanks to a late penalty from Quade Cooper.

Cheetahs and Kings out of Super Rugby

The Cheetahs and the Kings will not play Super Rugby in 2018. SA Rugby confirmed the news on Friday, with the Cheetahs having agreed to a settlement. Both the Kings and the Cheetahs agreed that they would be seeking other international opportunities, with a move to the Pro12 in Europe reportedly an option.

Brumbies mum on Lealiifano comeback

The Brumbies are remaining tight-lipped on whether co-captain Christian Lealiifano will make his return to Super Rugby on Friday night against the Reds, less than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Christian Lealiifano

Three Springboks commit to Stormers

Springboks Siya Kolisi, Damian de Allende and Steven Kitshoff have all signed contracts with the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) which will see them play for the Stormers until the end of 2019. Loosehead prop Kitshoff returns from a two-year spell in France to rejoin the only union he ever represented in South Africa, whilst flank Kolisi and centre De Allende have both signed two-year contract extensions.

Siya Kolisi of the Stormers in action against Masataka Mikami of the Sunwolves

Rugby – Glasgow sign South African fly-half

Glasgow have signed South African fly-half Brandon Thomson on two-year deal from Stomers New head coach Dave Rennie has also recruited two of Thomson’s Stormers teammates, Huw Jones and Oli Kebble.

    Brandon Thompson