Category: South Africa Rugby

South Africa Rugby News

Nov 12

Jacob Stockdale hints at future beyond World Cup vote for new-look Ireland

• Ulster wing makes impressive home debut in 38-3 defeat of South Africa• World Rugby Council to vote on Wednesday for 2023 tournament hostsIreland remain outsiders to be awarded the 2023 World Cup when the 31 members of the World Rugby Council meet on…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/12/ireland-south-africa-jacob-stockdale-autumn-internationals

Nov 10

Battle to host World Cup spices up Ireland’s clash with South Africa

Ireland and South Africa are bidding to host the 2023 World Cup and meet on the field in Dublin just days before the winner is announcedIreland’s meeting with South Africa in Dublin on Saturday evening is a skirmish before a bigger battle involving the…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/10/rugby-world-cup-spices-ireland-clash-south-africa

Nov 09

Ireland v South Africa offers chance to measure tilt in rugby union’s axis | The Breakdown

The Test could to be a highlight of the autumn series, which, All Blacks apart, looks more auspicious for the north than south, with world rankings at playWith autumn comes a fall and a rise. For the first time since the world rankings were introduced …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/09/the-breakdown-rugby-union-ireland-south-africa-tilt-axis

Nov 08

Rugby and the rainbow nation: can 2023 World Cup heal South Africa’s wounds?

The Springboks are not the competitive force they were but as they begin their autumn internationals in Dublin on Saturday there is new hope of resolving the issues that have haunted them since their return to world rugby 25 years agoTwenty-five years …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/08/rugby-rainbow-nation-2023-world-cup-south-africa-springboks

Oct 23

Tom van Vollenhoven obituary

Outstanding rugby league player who scored 392 tries in 409 games for St HelensTom van Vollenhoven, who has died aged 82, was a rugby player of skill, dash and reputation remarkable even for a game that cherishes its great wing three-quarters. He playe…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/23/tom-van-vollenhoven-obituary

Oct 11

Exeter’s Jack Nowell could be out until December with fractured eye socket

• England wing may need surgery for injury sustained against Newcastle• Munster confirm Johann van Graan will replace Rassie ErasmusExeter fear Jack Nowell will need an operation after fracturing his cheekbone and eye socket against Newcastle on Saturd…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/11/exeter-jack-nowell-fractured-eye-socket-england-rugby-union

Oct 07

New Zealand edge past South Africa in thrilling Rugby Championship clash

• South Africa 24-25 New Zealand• Champions end tournament unbeaten after bruising encounter in Cape TownNew Zealand held off a spirited fight from hosts South Africa to complete their Rugby Championship campaign unbeaten after a 25-24 win in a ferocio…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/07/south-africa-new-zealand-match-report

Sep 19

Two years to Japan’s World Cup and rugby union is in a state of confusion | Robert Kitson

Emtpy stadiums, threats to the 15-a-side game and the decline of the Springboks and Wallabies means that the possibility of only two teams being genuinely in contention come Japan 2019 is very real

Exactly two years from now the next Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan, and World Rugby are starting to twitch, judging by their public warnings to local organisers about the sluggish pace of preparations. Get your pagoda in order now has been the theme ahead of this week’s two-years-to-go anniversary extravaganza at Shibuya 19 in central Tokyo.

Normally this would be a high-profile story but, right now, there seem to be more serious concerns, not least that Japan is at the heart of global geo-political tension with North Korea given a second missile test fired over the country in the past week. Rugby, meanwhile, has its own worrisome long-term problems to fret about. Those South Africans still shaking their heads at last weekend’s 57-0 thrashing by the All Blacks are not alone: the scoreline sent a shiver down every traditional rugby spine from Bloemfontein to Buenos Aires. The Springboks were supposed to be improving, the men in black still rebuilding. What if this yawning gap widens further between now and 2019? Only the most sand-obsessed ostrich could ignore the possible ramifications.

Related: Damp squib in Philadelphia exposes distance of American rugby dream

Related: Wallabies’ killer instinct eventually emerges in win over Pumas | Bret Harris

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/19/rugby-world-cup-2019-japan-south-africa-decline

Sep 13

England to finally face All Blacks in autumn 2018 after four year wait

• England to face New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Japan
• Eddie Jones says England must bridge gap with All Blacks

England will complete a four-year wait to face New Zealand when they clash with the world champions at Twickenham next year.

The fixture has been confirmed by the Rugby Football Union for 10 November and is the highlight of a mouth-watering 2018 autumn series that also features matches against South Africa, Japan and Australia.

Related: Wales’s Sam Warburton to miss autumn internationals with neck injury

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/13/england-all-blacks-autumn-internationals-2018-rugby-union

Sep 09

Wallabies draw with Springboks in Western Force protest Test

  • The Wallabies surrendered a 20-10 lead in the 47th minute
  • Western Force jerseys dominated and ‘Force’ chants were heard throughout

The Sea of Blue turned out in their droves as the Wallabies fought out an enthralling 23-23 draw with South Africa in Saturday night’s Rugby Championship Test in Perth.

The Wallabies led 20-10 in the 47th minute, courtesy of tries to Kurtley Beale and Tatafu Polota-Nau. But the home side looked destined for another heartbreaking loss when the Springboks produced a powerful second half to take a 23-20 lead. Bernard Foley nailed a clutch 40m penalty with nine minutes to go to level the scores, and the Wallabies smothered an after-the-siren drop-goal attempt from Elton Jantjies to deny South Africa victory.

Related: Western Force may be headed to Asia as Hong Kong backs rebel competition

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/09/wallabies-draw-with-springboks-in-western-force-protest-test

Aug 23

SA Rugby targets European Champions Cup for Cheetahs and Southern Kings

• Pair of South African sides entering Pro 14 not currently eligible for Europe
• ‘Our teams playing in Europe will be a process that will take two or three years’

The South African Rugby Union wants its teams who have joined the Pro 14 to compete in Europe in the coming seasons.

The Cheetahs and the Southern Kings linked up with the three Celtic unions and Italy after losing their places in Super Rugby, with the South African Rugby Union signing them up for an initial six years. If one of them wins the league this season, though, there will be no European Champions Cup place.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/23/sa-rugby-european-champions-cup-cheetahs-southern-kings

Aug 18

Rugby Championship ready to launch with Sanzaar sailing into troubled waters | Gerard Meagher

Financial woes, political tumult and a spate of high-profile departures have left southern hemisphere rugby needing to prove that it is not circling the abyss

Three shockwaves hit southern hemisphere rugby within the space of 24 hours last week: Bristol announced the capture of Charles Piutau on a reported £1m-a-year contract, Western Force were axed by the Australian Rugby Union and the new-look Pro14 was launched in South Africa. It will not go down as the easiest of days at Sanzaar HQ as the Rugby Championship gets under way on Saturday.

For Sanzaar, these are difficult times. Super Rugby has been listing in recent years and while three of the 18 franchises have been jettisoned, there is still the creeping sense the competition has taken on too much water and that it could go under for good in 2020. Internationals offer some respite but look a little closer and there has been a step backwards since New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina contested the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup.

Related: Tackle, tackle and then tackle again – how the Wallabies can upset the All Blacks

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/18/sanzaar-rugby-championship-southern-hemisphere

Jun 21

Does the weakness of South Africa and Australia threaten future of the Lions? | The Breakdown

There is no longer a gap between the hemispheres but one between New Zealand and the rest – a shift that raises issue of the sustainability for the Lions

After the skirmishing comes the hand-to-hand combat. In an era when the expected is often thwarted, it is risky to consider the series between New Zealand and the Lions a foregone conclusion.

The All Blacks are the favourites because of their form this decade and the struggles the Lions have had there in the past, just two Test victories since winning the series in 1971.

Related: Lions strangled us and will test the All Blacks, says Chiefs coach

Related: New Zealand’s captain Kieran Read likely to be fit for first Test with Lions

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/21/weakness-south-africa-australia-threaten-future-lions-the-breakdown

Feb 06

Joost van der Westhuizen obituary

One of rugby’s greatest scrum-halves who played a vital role in the historic 1995 World Cup final against the All Blacks

The 1995 World Cup final was the most momentous game in the history of rugby union, the match that helped unite Nelson Mandela’s new South Africa. At the heart of the Springboks’ 15-12 victory over the side many consider to be the greatest ever New Zealand team was the scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen. Van der Westhuizen is perhaps second only to Wales’s Gareth Edwards in the pantheon of leading scrum-halves.

Van der Westhuizen, who has died of motor neurone disease aged 45, gave the pass that June day in Johannesburg for Joel Stransky to kick his winning drop-goal in extra time. But it was his tackle on the fearsome Jonah Lomu, who was in full flight, that sticks in the memory and at the game’s final scrum close to the All Blacks’ try-line it was Van der Westhuizen who was helping push the New Zealand pack backwards as the seconds ticked away.

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen will be remembered for inspirational spirit and dignity | Robert Kitson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/joost-van-der-westhuizen-obituary

Feb 06

Joost van der Westhuizen will be remembered for inspirational spirit and dignity | Robert Kitson

South Africa’s World Cup-winner ranked among the finest scrum-halves the world has seen but the bravery he displayed in his fight against motor neurone disease was more inspiring still

Among the most memorable pictures in South African sport is an image of the hulking Jonah Lomu being tackled by the Springbok No9 Joost van der Westhuizen at a crucial juncture in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. Two great players in their prime, then aged 20 and 24 respectively. Both, tragically, have now passed on within the past 15 months. Even athletic immortals do not earn immunity from real life’s sting.

Perhaps the ultimate tribute, however, is that both men will be remembered worldwide as much for the spirit and dignity they ended up showing off the field as what they achieved on it. Van der Westhuizen, who has died at the age of 45, ranked among the finest scrum-halves the world has seen but the bravery he displayed in his subsequent fight against the ravages of motor neurone disease was more inspiring still.

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa rugby great, dies aged 45

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen obituary

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/joost-van-der-westhuizen-died-south-africa-rugby-union

Feb 06

Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa rugby great, dies aged 45

• World Cup-winning scrum half had motor neurone disease since 2011
• Van der Westhuizen was admitted to hospital on Saturday

Joost van der Westhuizen, the South African Rugby World Cup winner, has died aged 45. The former scrum-half had been living with motor neurone disease since 2011 and was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Saturday morning.

The J9 Foundation, the charity founded by Van der Westhuizen in 2012, confirmed that he had died at home, saying in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen will be remembered for inspirational spirit and dignity | Robert Kitson

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen obituary

RIP Joost van der Westhuizen. An incredible player and fighter to the end. The first of the new age 9’s.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/joost-van-der-westhuizen-south-africa-rugby-great-dies