NZ referee for Wallabies v Boks in Perth

New Zealand’s Glen Jackson will referee Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test between Australia and South Africa in Perth (kick-off 12:05 SA time).

Jackson will be assisted by compatriot Paul Williams and Ireland’s John Lacey, while New Zealand’s Ben Skeen will be the television match official (TMO).

Meanwhile, Australia’s Angus Gardner will be in charge of the day's earlier match between New Zealand and Argentina in New Plymouth (09:35 SA time).

Gardner will be assisted by Wales’ Nigel Owens and England’s Matthew Carley, with Australia’s George Ayoub the TMO.

Glen Jackson


Franks out but Cane, Crotty back for All Blacks

New Zealand prop Owen Franks has been ruled out for the rest of the year with Achilles problems, but three other injured All Blacks have been cleared to face Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday.

Sam Cane and Ryan Crotty, who were concussed in the second Rugby Championship Test against Australia, and prop Wyatt Crockett, who suffered a head knock in the first Australia Test, were all available, coach Steve Hansen said on Monday.




Land Rover new sponsor for Boks

SA Rugby on Friday announced Land Rover as the latest blue-chip company to back the Springboks when it signed an agreement as an associate sponsor and official vehicle partner.

The class-leading vehicle manufacturer has signed a three-year partnership with SA Rugby, which will see Land Rover support the Boks’ Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign, of which Land Rover is a global sponsor.




Coenie Oosthuizen cleared to tour with the Springboks

The Springboks will tour Australasia with a full-strength squad after tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen was cleared of serious injury on Wednesday.

The big front rower sustained a rib injury during the Bok’s 41-23 win over Argentina in Salta‚ but scans revealed no fracture.




John Mitchell swings the axe at Blue Bulls

Blue Bulls executive of rugby John Mitchell has made significant changes to the side to face the Griquas at Loftus on Friday night as a response for their embarrassing 51-15 Currie Cup away loss to the Pumas last week.

Prop Lizo Gqoboka‚ lock Ruben van Heerden‚ flanker Jannes Kirsten‚ No8 Nic de Jager‚ centre JT Jackson and fullback Warrick Gelant are the only survivors after the Bulls' heavy defeat in Nelspruit.

Blue Bulls Team: 15. Warrick Gelant‚ 14. Duncan Matthews‚ 13. Johnny Kotze‚ 12. JT Jackson‚ 11. Rabs Maxwane‚ 10. Marnitz Boshoff‚ 9. Ivan van Zyl‚ 8. Nic de Jager (c)‚ 7. Jannes Kirsten‚ 6. Shaun Adendorff‚ 5. Ruben van Heerden‚ 4. Aston Fortuin‚ 3. Dayan van der Westhuizen‚ 2. Edgar Marutlulle‚ 1. Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar‚ 17. Matthys Basson‚ 18. Jano Venter‚ 19. Tim Agaba‚18. Andre Warner‚ 19. Tony Jantjies/Trinus de Beer‚ 20. Franco Naude/Stedman Gans.




Allister Coetzee says Pollard doesn’t have to play Currie Cup

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee feels there’s no need for Handre Pollard to first play a Currie Cup game before returning to Test rugby.

Injuries have kept Pollard on the sidelines for the best part of two seasons, with his last international appearance coming against Argentina at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

But the Bulls pivot was on Tuesday included in the Springbok touring squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship, with Curwin Bosch released to play for the Sharks in the Currie Cup.

Allister Coetzee pleased with his Springbok loose forward combination


Rugby – Pollard included in Springbok squad for Australasian tour – is this a joke?

Flyhalf Handré Pollard was a surprise inclusion in the Springbok squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship named by coach Allister Coetzee on Tuesday.

Pollard‚ 23‚ has played fewer than 80 minutes of rugby in the past 16 months due to severe ankle and knee injuries‚ but has been rehabilitating and training with the Bulls in recent weeks.

Forwards:
Uzair Cassiem (flank), Toyota Cheetahs
Lood de Jager (lock), Vodacom Bulls
Ruan Dreyer (prop), Emirates Lions
Dan du Preez (No 8), Cell C Sharks
Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Cell C Sharks
Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock), DHL Stormers
Eben Etzebeth (lock), DHL Stormers
Steven Kitshoff (prop), DHL Stormers
Siya Kolisi (flank), DHL Stormers
Jaco Kriel (loose forward), Emirates Lions / Kubota Spears (Jap)
Malcolm Marx (hooker), Emirates Lions
Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), DHL Stormers
Franco Mostert (lock), Emirates Lions / Ricoh Black Rams (Jap)
Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Cell C Sharks
Trevor Nyakane (prop), Vodacom Bulls
Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Cell C Sharks
Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Cell C Sharks

Backs:
Andries Coetzee (fullback), Emirates Lions
Ross Cronje (scrumhalf), Emirates Lions
Damian de Allende (centre), DHL Stormers
Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf), Worcester (England)
Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), Emirates Lions / NTT Shining Arcs (Jap)
Jesse Kriel (centre), Vodacom Bulls
Dillyn Leyds (utility back), DHL Stormers
Rudy Paige (scrumhalf), Vodacom Bulls
Handre Pollard (flyhalf), Vodacom Bulls
Raymond Rhule (wing), Toyota Cheetahs
Jan Serfontein (centre), Vodacom Bulls
Courtnall Skosan (wing), Emirates Lions

Handré Pollard


Lions coach says he is not desperate for a win

Swys de Bruin says he is not desperate as he hunts a first win since taking over as head coach of the Golden Lions.

With Johan Ackermann now at Gloucester in England, De Bruin has been entrusted with the head coaching duties at the Lions, but his tenure has started in less than spectacular fashion.

The Lions have lost all three matches since De Bruin took over and are currently bottom of the overall Currie Cup standings.




Boks move up to third in world rankings

A fifth straight win for the Springboks has taken them above Ireland and into third in the official World Rugby rankings.

The All Blacks are unchanged, on 95.21 points, at the top of the rankings after withstanding a fearsome challenge from a fired-up Australia.

England are second with 90.14 and South Africa in third with 85.66.

Coach Allister Coetzee


Lambie wants to end Bok contract

Flyhalf Pat Lambie has reportedly asked to be released from his joint contract with the Springboks and the Sharks.

Afrikaans newspaper, Rapport, reported on Sunday that Lambie had officially requested SA Rugby to release him of his joint contract.

Pat Lambie


Cheetahs name PRO14 touring squad

Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has named a 28-man touring squad for their first two away games in the PRO14.

The Cheetahs start their campaign against Irish club Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday (September 1), before facing Munster at Thomond Park the following week (September 9).

Cheetahs’ 28-man squad: Charles Marais, Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Jacques du Toit, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Erich de Jager, Aranos Coetzee, Tom Botha, Justin Basson, Armandt Koster, Reniel Hugo, Rynier Bernardo, Paul Schoeman, Henco Venter, Gerhard Olivier, Niell Jordaan, Shaun Venter, Tian Meyer, Zee Mkhabela, Cecil Afrika, Robbie Petzer, Makazole Mapimpi, Ali Mgijima, William Small-Smith, Rayno Benjamin, Rosko Specman, Sergeal Petersen, Clayton Blommetjies.




Wallabies make three changes for All Blacks Test

The Wallabies on Thursday made three changes after their Rugby Championship trouncing for the return match with the All Blacks in Dunedin this weekend.

Dane Haylett-Petty returns from a bicep injury and replaces Western Force team-mate Curtis Rona on the left wing, while Tevita Kuridrani comes off the bench to oust outside-centre Samu Kerevi.

Team: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.

Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani/Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Curtis Rona.




All Black name team for Australia match without Franks

All Blacks prop Owen Franks has been ruled out of this weekend's Rugby Championship Test against Australia with an Achilles problem.

The All Blacks announced that Nepo Laulala would replace Franks in the starting XV.

Team: 15 Damian McKenzie; 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane; 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire; 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick; 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.




Force granted right to appeal Super Rugby axing

The Force on Wednesday won the right to appeal their axing from Super Rugby, as the Australian Rugby Union rejected a major cash injection from a mining magnate to keep the club in the competition.

The Perth club's parent body, Rugby WA, lodged the appeal request with the New South Wales Supreme Court in last week after the ARU announced Force's removal from the southern hemisphere competition in early August.




Another French ref for Boks v Pumas

Another Frenchman will be in charge when the Springboks tackle Argentina in their Rugby Championship encounter in Salta on Saturday (kick-off 21:40 SA time).

Pascal Gauzere has been appointed to referee the Test at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena.

His countryman Romain Poite - who refereed last Saturday’s Test between the two nations in Port Elizabeth - will be an assistant referee alongside Nic Berry of Australia.




Jano back in Bok frame after four years out in the cold


Veteran Western Province scrumhalf Jano Vermaak has been called up to the Springbok squad to resume a Test career that began and stalled in 2013.

The Boks suffered a significant blow after Saturday’s 37-15 win over Argentina in Port Elizabeth with the news that scrumhalf Ross Cronje would miss this week’s return clash against the Pumas in Salta.