The Stormers The official website for the DHL Stormers Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:52:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SA’s Marinos SANZAR’s new CEO Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:50:52 +0000 The South African, who is no stranger to the position having previously served as CEO between 2008-10, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role – both as an administrator and professional player.

Marinos re-joins SANZAR from the South African Rugby Union (SARU) where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past five years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008-10), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005-2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008-2015).

As a player, Marinos represented the Natal Sharks and Sevens (1991-95), Western Province, Stormers and Sevens (1997-99) and Newport RFC and Newport Dragons (1999-2004) where he would later serve as CEO throughout 2004-05, as well as sitting on the Board of the Welsh Rugby Union during the same period.

He earned eight Test caps for Wales as well as playing rugby league where he would represent the Sydney (now Canterbury-Bankstown) Bulldogs and the South African Rhinos.

A dedicated family man with a passion for surfing, Marinos currently resides in Stellenbosch and is married with six children.

In accepting his new position, Marinos said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been given the responsibility of leading the ongoing growth and prosperity of southern hemisphere rugby.

“We are about to embark upon an exciting new expansion that will see us deliver the game to more countries, fans and commercial markets than ever before.

“The impressive performance of our four national teams at the recent Rugby World Cup was pleasing but the challenge for us is to not only ensure they remain at the top, but that we keep working to raise the bar even further both in terms of high performance and commercial success.

“I thank the Board for its confidence in me and look forward to commencing with this talented and dedicated team in the new year.”

Meanwhile, SARU CEO Jurie Roux congratulated Marinos on his appointment, saying: “I’d like to congratulate Andy on behalf of the South African rugby community.

“This is an extremely important position in southern hemisphere rugby and Andy takes to it a wealth of experience – not only as an administrator, but as a former player in the competition.

“He has been SARU’s ‘point man’ on SANZAR business for a number of years and has worked closely with our partners in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina on the development of the competition over the years.

“He will be sorely missed at SARU but the consolation is that he takes with him a keen understanding of rugby in South Africa which I’d like to think will have benefits for all the partners.”

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Eddie Jones departs from WP Rugby Fri, 20 Nov 2015 07:03:01 +0000 There has been plenty of speculation about Jones’s future ever since his arrival in Cape Town earlier this month and he officially received an offer on Wednesday of this week which proved impossible to turn down.

“While this is very disappointing for us all at WP Rugby and the DHL Stormers, Eddie is quite clearly the most sought-after coach in world rugby and this is the biggest and most lucrative job in international rugby,” said Western Province Rugby Football Union President, Mr Thelo Wakefield.

“Despite all the speculation since the World Cup, and given what he achieved with Japan during RWC 2015, Eddie came to us on Wednesday with an offer from the RFU, which was simply impossible for any coach to turn down.

“It’s a big pity to lose Eddie before he has even had an opportunity to make his mark here but you cannot keep someone against his will, whilst also competing with the richest rugby union at the same time,” said Mr Wakefield.

Jones will assist Western Province Director of Rugby Gert Smal with on-field preparation and planning in December, with Smal now overseeing the team’s off-season programme.

“Of course it is not ideal to lose your coach before you have even begun your pre-season campaign in earnest… we are well aware of that,” said Wakefield.

Looking ahead, Director of Rugby, Smal, added: “For now, I will oversee the team’s off-season preparations. The assistant coaches, management team and playing body remain unaffected and all planning is in place.

“Amazingly enough I have already had contact from some big-name coaches (this week) and I will, once again, look both internally and externally before continuing to plot the way ahead for WP Rugby and the DHL Stormers.”

Eddie Jones commented: “When I was appointed at WP Rugby there was no vacancy within the RFU and I never envisaged this opportunity to come forward. So while I am excited about the opportunity to coach England – in arguably the biggest international coaching job in world rugby – I’m very disappointed to be leaving the DHL Stormers.

“I remain very grateful to WP Rugby for this opportunity and I would sincerely like to apologise to anyone that might have been affected by my sudden decision to leave Cape Town – the WPRFU Executive Committee, the WP Rugby Board of Directors, my fellow coaches, the players, the union’s stakeholders and The Faithful, all of whom have treated me so well in my short stay.

“And while it might sound like lip-service to some I am absolutely convinced that the talent amongst the coaching and playing staff here will continue to see Western Province excel at all levels in the future.”

The DHL Stormers are currently in the conditioning phase of their off-season programme, with the players training until mid-December before taking a proper pre-season holiday.

The squad will reconvene for pre-season training in early January 2016, with the DHL Stormers’ 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season getting underway against the Bulls on February 27.

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SARU, SANZAR mourn Lomu Wed, 18 Nov 2015 08:20:44 +0000 Jonah Lomu was the star of the 1995 Rugby World Cup tournament, held in South Africa, and went on to become arguably the sport’s first global superstar.

He returned to South Africa earlier this year for the making of a documentary during which he was reunited with former Springbok opponents as well as being a guest at the SARU Player of the Year Awards.

“We woke up to the news of Jonah’s sudden passing this morning and I speak for the whole South African rugby community when I say we are deeply, deeply shocked and moved by this news,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of SARU.

“Jonah was a simply unbelievable player but, as much as he was a mighty All Black, he had a special place in South African hearts because of the connection we made in 1995.

“He was a credit to his country and a world ambassador for the game, loved as much for his humility and generosity of spirit as his playing. His passing leaves a hole in all our rugby lives.

“I would like to pass on the condolences of the South African rugby community to the entire New Zealand rugby community but most particularly to Jonah’s family and closest friends.”

SANZAR, meanwhile, also paid tribute to Lomu following the sudden and devastating news of his passing.

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Morris, said: “Not only was Jonah Lomu a legend of our game, he was one of those rare superstar players that transcended rugby. He quickly became a household name around the world with his power and skill, inspiring a generation of athletes.

“While we mourn the tragic loss of Jonah, we should also take time to remember and celebrate his wonderful career and achievements. Lomu will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest players the game has seen.

“Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the Lomu family and New Zealand Rugby as another legend is taken far too soon. Rest in peace.”

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‘Honoured’ Jones ready for DHL Stormers challenge Thu, 12 Nov 2015 13:22:19 +0000 Jones, 55, was officially unveiled to the Cape Town media at DHL Newlands on Thursday and he spoke of his excitement of taking up a job at the best supported team in the new-look southern hemisphere competition.

“It’s an honour to have this opportunity to coach one of the oldest and most prestigious teams in the world,” said Jones, who was greeted by a huge amount of journalists on Thursday – his first appearance since moving to Cape Town late last week.

“Cape Town is a fantastic city. Western Province is one of the most prestigious unions in the world – there is so much history here the stadium (DHL Newlands). When the opportunity came up to coach the DHL Stormers – such a well supported team, the best in the competition – it was simply too good to ignore.”

Style of play is always a huge talking point and when asked about his philosophy, and the possible direction he would be leading the DHL Stormers into over the next few seasons, Jones revealed: “We have a very young squad here, but we’ve got to play some good rugby over the next couple of years.

“In my mind, what has to change is the way we attack. You want to take that traditional South African base of uncompromising physicality and set-piece strength and add some Western Province flavour.

“I have a history of producing attacking teams with the Brumbies and Japan (who beat the Springboks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup). It will take time to work with all the players here and get them to understand the way we want to play. (For instance) it took three years at the Brumbies. Hopefully it won’t take that long here, otherwise I might not be here (in the job)!

“(But) I can’t say how long it will take. Sometimes you get a good result early in the season and pick up confidence. Other times you lose and it can take you longer to develop. Ultimately, by the end of next season I want us to be playing a distinctive Stormers style of rugby.

“I don’t want them to play like the Brumbies or Japan, I want them to play like the DHL Stormers. The aim is to win a trophy, but I want the team to light up DHL Newlands in the process.”

Jones will take over a team that excludes experienced Springbok stars Duane Vermeulen and Jean de Villiers – both of whom are, or will be, playing abroad – as the DHL Stormers head into a brave new era.

Of course, there is still some incredible talent within the union, as the young – average age of 22.6 – DHL Western Province side proved during the 2015 Absa Currie Cup competition and they will compliment new high-profile signings, JC Janse van Rensburg (prop), Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and Cornal Hendricks (wing), all of whom are yet to play Super Rugby for this region, as well as Bok young guns, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende.

Jones told the website: “We haven’t got too many blokes with a scarcity of hair, it’s a very young squad. We’re going to have to develop these players slowly.

“(But) if you look across the squad, we’ve got good front-rowers, someone like Frans Malherbe was exceptional at the World Cup, so you’ve got the base of a good scrum.

“Then you’ve got Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit in the second row, so you’ve also got the base for a good line-out. In the back row, you’ve got Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi, Rynhardt Elstadt and Nizaam Carr, so there’s good depth there. Then the backs are exciting, and the depth is exceptional. So we’ve just got to get them to understand how we want them to play.”

With Demetri Catrakilis now in France, there is a potential selection gap at flyhalf as Kurt Coleman and young guns Robert du Preez and Jean-Luc du Plessis look to make the No.10 shirt their own in 2016 and seasons to come, perhaps.

“They’re obviously young guys,” said Jones when asked about his halfback – scrumhalf and flyhalf – options. “We’re just going to have to work with them.

“You saw someone like Dan Carter… he probably played his best rugby, his most consistent Test rugby, from 28 to 33 when he’s been through it all and learnt all the mistakes.

“We’re looking at 20/21/22-year-old guys. They’re going to go through some pain and we have to accept that and allow them to go through that pain, and then they’ll be very good players. But the reality is that there’s no shortcut to developing good No.9s and No.10s.”

ADDITIONAL READS: The real 2015 achievements | Russell Winter to join WP Rugby.

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Seven the lucky number for Bok stars Wed, 04 Nov 2015 09:42:08 +0000 They will be joined by Springbok teammates Juan de Jongh, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks (one of our new DHL Stormers signings for 2016) and Oupa Mohoje at a three-week training camp from Sunday in Stellenbosch as part of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) new Sevens strategy in Olympic year, announced Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

Habana has returned to his French club side Toulon and will join the training camp towards the end of the month. SARU also confirmed that Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski had already signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens team this season.

In addition, provincial 15-a-side stars Cheslin Kolbe (joining WP Rugby teammates, De Allende, De Jongh and Hendricks), Ryno Benjamin, Warrick Gelant and Jaco Kriel have also been invited to join the camp alongside SARU’s powerful, existing Sevens squad, which, of course, includes DHL Stormers and WP speedster Seabelo Senatla, who is dual contracted by SARU and WP Rugby.

“The announcement of this group is a significant achievement for us and it is the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes by Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens coach) and Rassie Erasmus (SARU GM: Rugby Department),” said Roux.

“I’d like to thank our various provincial unions for their willingness to assist the Springbok Sevens coach and management team in planning this new approach.

“Both parties worked very hard to make this arrangement possible. The forthcoming season is the most important in the history of Sevens rugby. The new, expanded World Series and the Olympic Games are two huge challenges and we at SARU want to make sure we give our Springbok Sevens team the best possible chance of success.”

Roux said that following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, the focus for the coming season would shift to Sevens, starting with the three-week training camp which gets underway in Stellenbosch on Sunday.

“The signing of players such as Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski is a real coup for us,” said Roux.

“It means they will focus solely on the seven-a-side game in the coming season, bringing with them unique skill sets that our Sevens department has identified as being ideal for the code.

“A number of other, highly talented 15-a-side players have also been identified as having great potential in Sevens rugby and, working in conjunction with their provinces, we plan to expose them to tournament play during the course of the HSBC World Series.”

Roux said that the squad was planned in line with SARU’s Strategic Transformation Plan (STP) and was comfortably ahead of the Sevens target for 2016.

Hougaard, the Vodacom Blue Bulls utility back, has played 35 Test for the Springboks and his contract will run from November 1 until after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Former Cell C Sharks No.8 Kankowski, meanwhile, is set to join the Bok Sevens at the beginning of February and will remain with the team until August 2016, when the Olympic Games will be staged in Brazil.

Kankowski has already made four HSBC World Sevens Series appearances and he has earned 20 Test caps for the Springboks.

Powell was delighted with the new additions and said he and his management team were looking forward to the exciting prospects of working with the reinforced training squad.

“We have a lot of talent in our existing group and there are some very talented players coming through our SARU Sevens Academy,” explained Powell.

“The addition of the group of Springbok and provincial players will raise our game significantly and present us with an opportunity to build an even stronger Springbok Sevens team. It is also fantastic for the brand of Sevens in South Africa that players of the calibre of Hougaard and Kankowski have signed to play for us for a season.”

Since taking over the coaching reins in 2014, Powell, has steered the Springbok Sevens to second place on the World Series log, the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and automatic qualification for the Olympic Games.


Cecil Afrika – 38 HSBC WSS tournaments
Tim Agaba – Uncapped (EP Kings)
Ryno Benjamin – 29 HSBC WSS tournaments (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
Kyle Brown – 48 HSBC WSS tournaments
Branco du Preez – 41 HSBC WSS tournaments
Carel du Preez – 3 HSBC WSS tournaments
Damian de Allende – 0 HSBC WSS tournaments, 13 Tests (DHL Western Province)
Stephan Dippenaar – 25 HSBC WSS tournaments
Chris Dry – 44 HSBC WSS tournaments
Juan de Jongh – 1 HSBC WSS tournaments, 14 Tests (DHL Western Province)
Justin Geduld – 18 HSBC WSS tournaments
Warrick Gelant – 4 HSBC WSS tournaments (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Lungelo Gosa – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Bryan Habana – 2 HSBC WSS tournaments, 117 Tests (Toulon, France)
Cornal Hendricks – 17 HSBC WSS tournaments, 12 Tests (DHL Western Province)
Francois Hougaard – 0 HSBC WSS tournaments, 35 Tests (newly contracted to Springbok Sevens)
Frankie Horne – 68 HSBC WSS tournaments
Dewald Human – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Ryan Kankowski – 4 HSBC WSS tournaments, 20 Tests (newly contracted to Springbok Sevens from Feb 2016)
Werner Kok – 18 HSBC WSS tournaments
Cheslin Kolbe – 8 HSBC WSS tournaments (DHL Western Province)
Jaco Kriel – Uncapped (Xerox Golden Lions)
Oupa Mohoje – 0 HSBC WSS tournaments, 8 Tests (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)
Lwazi Mvovo – 0 HSBC WSS tournaments, 15 Tests (Cell C Sharks)
Sibahle Maxwane – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Ruhan Nel – 6 HSBC WSS tournaments
Sandile Ngcobo – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Sphamandla Ngcobo – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Dylan Sage – Uncapped, SARU Sevens Academy
Seabelo Senatla – 19 HSBC WSS tournaments
Philip Snyman – 30 HSBC WSS tournaments
Kwagga Smith – 15 HSBC WSS tournaments
Rosko Specman – 6 HSBC WSS tournaments
Warren Whiteley – 6 HSBC WSS tournaments, 3 Tests (Xerox Golden Lions)

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Key WP Rugby sponsors nominated for awards Tue, 03 Nov 2015 14:46:44 +0000 The official shortlist includes campaigns and brands from 10 different sporting codes – including rugby, football, cricket, mixed martial arts, cycling, athletics, basketball, and triathlon – with the winners set to be announced at a star-studded ceremony at Sandton Convention Centre on February 11, 2016.

adidas, for so long the technical sponsors of WP Rugby, lead the pack with nine nominations across a variety of categories – including the ground-breaking DHL Stormers Mother’s Day campaign (see more HERE), closely followed by Nedbank with six, Vodacom with five, CSA with four while SARU, EFC, Absa, and Standard Bank secured three nominations each.

WP Rugby’s naming sponsors, DHL, have also been nominated, in the Best African Sponsorship and Best Use of Digital Communications in Sport categories for the inspiring Africa as One campaign, with adidas amongst their ‘opponents’ in the latter category.

Key industry figures gathered at independent adjudicator Deloitte’s offices in Johannesburg for hours of intensive judging across two days to produce a shortlist representing the very best that the South African sport industry has to offer. This year’s record number of entries led to comprehensive analysis and debate during the judging process, which was overseen by Deloitte to ensure absolute transparency.

The Discovery Sport Industry Awards reward the greatest achievements across the entire business of sport, including the most outstanding and innovative work in marketing, PR, advertising, community investment and sponsorship.

With higher entry numbers and an increasing quality of work year-on-year, reaching the shortlist for the Discovery Sport Industry Awards 2016 represents a stellar achievement.

Discovery Sport Industry Awards judge Ingrid Lotze said: “Changes to this year’s Discovery Sport Industry Awards categories are significant, exciting and great for the industry. I’m particularly looking forward to next year’s submissions as the changes settle in and more organisations realise that their work is accolade worthy.

“For 2015 we saw many solid, best practice submissions and it gives me the distinct impression that in general, sponsorship is showing rewards for the teams, the brands and everyone touched by the sports.

“Our challenge as judges is to find exemplary campaigns in various categories. The accolades go to memorable, creative, innovative campaigns that clearly demonstrate best practice, creativity and tangible benefit to the business. Compared to last year there is an inspiring dedication to keep raising the bar. We continue to have world class campaigns that serve as pillars of excellence and sources of learning.”

James Monteith, Managing Director of the Sport Industry Group SA added: “The Awards continue to break records year on year. This year has seen the highest number of entries yet, with impressive results and creative work displayed across the board.

“The official shortlist for 2016 was chosen from hundreds of world-class and innovative entries, and shows how the industry is continuing its impressive upward trend, whilst reflecting the tenacity of the industry.”

The nominees listed below will now eagerly await the announcement of the winners in each category at the most respected and prestigious sport industry event in Africa. Each year the Discovery Sport Industry Awards ceremony attracts more than 1,200 guests, including sportsmen and celebrities such as Lucas Radebe, Cameron van der Burgh, Hashim Amla, Marcel Desailly, Heyneke Meyer, Shashi Naidoo, Jacques Rudolph, Elana Meyer, Neil McKenzie, Kerry McGregor, Jomo Sono, Roxy Louw, Butch James, Nicole Flint, Mark Fish, Doctor Khumalo, Natalie du Toit, CJ van der Linde and many more.

(WP Rugby sponsors/partners in bold)

TV Sport Commercial of the Year:
Absa/Barclays – Play Your Greatest Game
CSA – ProteaFire
Nedbank – Nedbank Ke Yona Team Captain – Sydney Masana
SARU – Home Ground Advantage Launch
SuperSport – Rugby World Cup 2015
Vodacom – Vodacom Game Changers ‘Scout’

Best African Sponsorship:
AfrAsia Bank – Mauritius Open
DHL – Africa as One
Castle Lager & FC Barcelona – Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds
Gem Diamonds – Kalahari Challenge 2015
Safaricom – Kenyan Athletics Series
SportPesa – Kenyan Premier League

Best New Sponsorship:
Audi – Audi Proteas
Citadel – Citadel Sponsorship of Jean de Villiers
Dimension Data – Absa Cape Epic
Engen – Engen Cycle in the City
FNB – Cape Town 12 ONERUN
Huawei – #SayMyName
Standard Bank – IRONMAN Never Stop Moving Forward

Sport Development Programme of the Year:
CONNECT Khayelitsha Sports Academy
KNVB World Coaches Programme South Africa
Nashua Ltd – The Art of Fast Bowling
SA Rugby Legends – Vuka Rugby
SuperSport – Let’s Play Physical Education Challenge
The Sports Trust – Multipurpose Sport Court

Sport Brand of the Year, Sponsored by Tsogo Sun:
Comrades Marathon
EFC Worldwide
The Proteas

Best Use of Digital Communications in Sport:
adidas – Stormers Mother’s Day
CSA – #ProteaFire
DHL – Africa as One
SARU – Springboks Home Ground Advantage
Vodacom – Soccer USSD

Sponsorship of the Year, Sponsored by the Solutions Team:
Absa – Absa Cape Epic
adidas – Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
adidas – Orlando Pirates
Nedbank – Nedbank Cup
Standard Bank – IRONMAN – Never Stop Moving Forward
Vodacom – Vodacom Bulls

Best Use of PR in a Sport Campaign:
Absa – #ProudlyAfrican
adidas – Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon ‘Haile Gebresalassie’
CSA – #ProteaFire
KFC – KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour
Nedbank – Nedbank Cup Football Fan Fashion
Vodacom – Vodacom SupeRugby FanUp

Sport Participation Event of the Year:
Absa Cape Epic
Comrades Marathon
Hyundai Rock the Run
Nedbank Tour de Tuli
Standard Bank IRONMAN
The Color Run

Best Integrated Sport Marketing Campaign:
adidas – Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
adidas – Orlando Pirates
Coca-Cola Comrades Marathon – Active Healthy Living
KFC – Join the Proteas Family
Nedbank – Ke Yona Team Draft
Vodacom – SupeRugby

Best Live Experience, Sponsored by the Sandton Convention Centre:
EFC – EFC 37
Jaguar – Simola Hillclimb 2015
Nedbank – Nedbank Cup Final
Red Bull – X-Fighters 2015 – Cape Town 10s
The Color Run

Creative Activation of the Year:
adidas – All Blacks Activation
adidas – Ultra Boost Launch
Castle Lager – Castle Lager Rugby Superfan Experience
Powerade – ION4 Sweat Session
SARU – Springboks Home Ground Advantage
SuperSport – RWC Evolution of Broadcast
Toyota – Toyota Day

Sport Agency of the Year, Sponsored by Gallo Images:
Brand Inc Creative Group
Frontiers Sport and Entertainment
TheGrind PR

* Tables at the Discovery Sport Industry Awards ceremony, to be held at Sandton Convention Centre on February 11, 2016, are on sale now.

** Official Partners and Suppliers of the Discovery Sport Industry Awards include Castle Lager, Deloitte, Gallo Images, and Tsogo Sun.

*** Join the conversation at @SportIndustrySA and #DSIA.

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Meyer proud of Springbok RWC effort Sun, 01 Nov 2015 16:14:50 +0000 The Boks scored two tries to the one of the Pumas, with JP Pietersen and Eben Etzebeth dotting down. Handré Pollard added four penalty goals and a conversion in a match where Argentina enjoyed the lions’ share of possession and territorial advantage and forced the South Africans to spend most of the time on defence.

Meyer reiterated that finishing third will never be acceptable for the Springboks but that he was proud of his team’s efforts after they lost in the opening round to Japan.

“I’ve said that only a win is good enough for me and my team,” said Meyer.

“But I’m very proud of the way in which we came back into the tournament after losing to Japan. To turn things around after the first game, with your two captains out injured, and to still come as close as we did in the end, speaks of character.

“It’s good to be in this position tonight and to have claimed the bronze medal, but we would still have preferred to play in the final. That was what we were aiming for.

“What will stand out for me about this tournament is the amazing support we received from the start, right until the end. Everywhere we went in the UK but also from back home in South Africa, people stood by us and we can’t thank them enough.

“This has been an amazing tournament, and we’re a group of proud South Africans to be a part of it.”

Commenting on the game, Meyer lauded his team’s defence, especially in the second half, when the Argentineans came with a big onslaught.

“I thought our impact players made a big difference and our defence was great,” said the Bok coach.

“We made a lot of tackles and we managed to keep them out right until that try in injury-time, which showed the guys really put their bodies on the line.”

When asked about the role of the senior players in the squad, some of whom will retire from international rugby, Meyer said: “They really put up their hands and led this team very well after the defeat in week one, and I can’t praise them enough.

“But I’m also massively excited about the talented youngster that came through. They were mentored by the older players and in my opinion we probably have some of the best young players in the world – we can be invincible if we can keep them together, keep on working hard and ensure our systems are in place.”

Victor Matfield, who captained the Springboks in his last Test, said he was not sorry that he decided to come out of retirement in 2014.

“After what I’ve experienced in the last seven weeks with this team, coming back was definitely worth it,” said Matfield.

“After the defeat against Japan, we built a brotherhood in this team that is just fantastic.

“We were one penalty away from playing in the final. We really wanted to be there but the guys picked themselves up this week against a fantastic Argentinean team and we shut them out – in the end I think we won comfortably.”

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Boks change two for Bronze match Thu, 29 Oct 2015 13:53:17 +0000 Victor Matfield replaces Lood de Jager at No.5 lock as one of only two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday’s semifinal against New Zealand.

He takes over the over the captaincy from the injured Fourie du Preez, whose place in the No.9 jersey is taken by Ruan Pienaar with Rudy Paige coming on to the bench.

“This is a critical match for us and we owe it to ourselves and our supporters to end the season on a high note,” said Meyer.

“The Pumas have made massive strides in recent years and we’ve experienced first-hand how tough an opponent they can be. The players realise that they will have to lift themselves for one final push on Friday to ensure that South African rugby goes into the off season on a winning note.

“I considered fielding a much-changed team and weighed the pros and cons but ultimately decided the team that has grown together over the past few weeks was the one with the best chance of delivering victory for our supporters.”

Meyer said the play-off match for third place at the World Cup is not what the Springboks had hoped for, but that they will approach the final Test of 2015 as the final.

“The players have all spoken about the honour of wearing the Springbok jersey and this Test is no different – we will never settle for being second or third best,” he said.

“It is my task to get them in the right frame of mind after the disappointment of last weekend and to ensure we bounce back with a good win after a tough week. To lose a Test is never good enough but we’ve put last week behind us and our focus is now solely on Friday.

“Although our aim was always to win the competition, we have the opportunity to finish our campaign on a high and that is what we will be aiming for against a very good Argentinean side.”

Pat Lambie will reach the special milestone of 50 Test caps for South Africa if he gets game-time off the bench.

The Springbok team to face New Zealand in London is as follows:

15. Willie le Roux (Toyota FS Cheetahs) – 33 caps
14. JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks) – 65
13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls) – 10
12. Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers) – 12
11. Bryan Habana (Toulon) – 116
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls) – 19
9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster) – 87
8. Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers) – 34
7. Schalk Burger (DHL Stormers) – 85
6. Francois Louw (Bath) – 42
5. Victor Matfield (Vodacom Bulls – captain) – 126
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers) – 43
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 11
2. Bismarck du Plessis (Cell C Sharks) – 78
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks) – 74

16. Adriaan Strauss (Vodacom Bulls) – 53
17. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 22
18. Jannie du Plessis (Cell C Sharks) – 69
19. Lood de Jager (Toyota Cheetahs) – 18
20. Willem Alberts (Cell C Sharks) – 37
21. Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls) – 1
22. Pat Lambie (Cell C Sharks) – 49
23. Jan Serfontein (Vodacom Bulls) – 25


– Only once before did South Africa and Argentina meet in a RWC tournament. In 2007 they played in one semifinal at Stade de France while France and England contested the other semifinal. South Africa won that match by 37-13.

– Friday’s Test match will be the 22nd between the two countries. South Africa’s record against Argentina: P: 21; W: 19; L: 1; D: 1; PF: 779; PA: 410; Win%: 90%.

– The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 835. There are 342 caps in the backline with 493 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 274 caps.

– Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok wing, with 115 caps in this position. He is the most experienced Springbok backline player with 116 caps and only Victor Matfield has played in more Test matches.

– If he scores a try, Bryan will extend his own record of 64 Test tries for South Africa. Currently he is joint second on the list for most Test tries. David Campese of Australia is the other player. First on the list is Daisuke Ohata of Japan on 69 career tries.

– Bryan is the world record holder for most Test tries as a wing. He surpassed the previous record of Daisuke Ohata of Japan (62) during the pool match against the USA.

– Bryan is the joint record holder for most career tries (15) in RWC tournaments, with Jonah Lomu of New Zealand. Drew Mitchell of Australia is next on the list with 14 RWC career tries. Friday’s Test will be his 18th RWC match, the most RWC matches by a Springbok backline player.

– Bryan holds the record for most Test matches (11) against Argentina as well as most career tries (seven) by a Springbok against Argentina.

– Bryan and JP Pietersen will be playing in their record 44th Test as a wing combination in the starting XV.

– Handré Pollard kicked five successful penalty goals in the match against New Zealand to become the new Springbok record holder with 19 RWC penalty goals. This surpassed the record of 17 career penalty goals previously held by Percy Montgomery. This Test will be his 20th in the Green and Gold.

– Schalk Burger will play in his 79th Test as a flank, South Africa’s most-capped Springbok flank. Friday’s Test will be his 20th RWC Test – the most by a Springbok in RWC tournaments. He is also the Springbok record holder for most tries as a flank (14) as well as a forward (16).

– Victor Matfield will captain the team for the 23rd time, making him the fifth most-capped captain for South Africa. His 127th Test cap for South Africa makes him the sixth most-capped player in the world. Victor made his Test debut on June 30, 2001 against Italy. Friday’s Test will be 14 years and 122 days later, the longest career span in Springbok rugby.

– Bismarck du Plessis is the Springbok record holder for most tries (11) in Tests as a hooker. He and brother Jannie will play in their 50th Test together should Jannie be used from the bench.

– The referee is John Lacey of Ireland who is a former rugby player who played on the wing and at fullback for Munster until 2007. His debut as an international referee was in March 2010. He has refereeed in three Test matches during this tournament – including the New Zealand/Tonga Test.

– It will be his third Test involving South Africa. Of the previous two Tests, South Africa won one (against Argentina in 2014) and lost one (against Wales in 2014).

– The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the venue for this Bronze final match. South Africa have played one Test at this stadium, against the USA in this tournament winning 64-0.

Springbok Test match record holders at the Olympic Stadium:
– Most points: 15 by Bryan Habana (3t) against the USA, October 7, 2015
– Most tries: Three by Bryan Habana against the USA, October 7, 2015
– Most conversions: Four by Handré Pollard against the USA, October 7, 2015

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WP Rugby pays tribute to Jean de Villiers Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:45:04 +0000 De Villiers first wore the Blue & White hoops of Western Province as an aspiring Under-13 Craven Week player, that after his father, Andre, represented Western Province with distinction in the 1970s.

Jean de Villiers played his final match for the DHL Stormers on May 3, 2014 (against the Highlanders at DHL Newlands), racking up a total of 105 caps since his debut against the Sharks in February 2005.

He also played 50 matches for DHL Western Province, his final appearance coming in the 2013 Absa Currie Cup Final – having made his debut in the Vodacom Cup in February 2001.

De Villiers would certainly have played more games for WP Rugby had it not been for a catalogue of serious injuries – especially the knee injury he suffered on his Springbok debut in November 2002 – but he will go down as one of this union’s greatest players in the modern era after also amassing 109 Bok caps (including 37 as captain).

Western Province Rugby Football Union President, Mr Thelo Wakefield, commented: “Jean will go down in the annals as one of our greats. He’s always been a true ambassador for Western Province and South African Rugby and he will continue to fly our flag for years to come.

“Leicester Tigers is a successful English club that has a proud history and I have no doubt that Jean will help add to their success in the coming months,” added Mr Wakefield.

“I would like to thank Jean for everything he has done for WP Rugby over the past 15 years. I would like to wish him, his wife Marlie and their three children all the very best for their time in England.”

WP Director of Rugby, Gert Smal, paid tribute to “a true Province Man”.

“I was lucky enough to have selected Jean on his Province debut back in 2001 and then, already, one could see that he would become a special player,” Smal told the website.

“His record and statistics speak for themselves. But it is his mental strength, having recovered from his various injuries to still make such an impact at the highest level, and loyalty to this union that stand out more than anything else.

“Jean has played all his rugby for Western Province, from Under-13 upwards, and spent just that one season at Munster (in 2009/2010), before deciding to make this move to Leicester where I have no doubt that he will leave a lasting impression – both on and off the field.

“He has always been proud to wear the Blue & White hoops of DHL Western Province and play for the DHL Stormers and that kind of commitment and loyalty is a great example and lesson to any aspiring rugby player.

“Jean de Villiers is a true Province Man and we look forward to seeing him back at DHL Newlands, with his family, supporting both the DHL Stormers and DHL WP for years to come.”

Whilst De Villiers will not be seen in DHL Stormers colours in 2016, it was recently announced that young guns Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende had all signed long-term deals to remain in Cape Town.

The quartet will be joined in DHL Stormers colours next year by returning Bok veteran Schalk Burger, as well as new signings JC Janse van Rensburg (prop), Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and Cornal Hendricks (wing) – along with prop JP Smith and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, both of whom featured for DHL WP in the 2015 Absa Currie Cup.

Of course, former Japan coach Eddie Jones will officially take over as DHL Stormers head coach next month, with former Lions U21 and Vodacom Cup boss Russell Winter this week announced as the union’s new senior forwards coach.

* MUST READ: 2015 – The REAL WP Rugby story!

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Russell Winter to join WP Rugby Wed, 28 Oct 2015 07:41:34 +0000 Winter – who played at Super Rugby level for the Cats and Sharks – will make the move to the Cape after coaching the Golden Lions’ Under-21 and Vodacom Cup teams between 2011 and 2015.

WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal commented: “We have followed Russell’s career very closely and believe he can add massive value at Western Province Rugby.

“He brings huge tactical nous, having worked as an assistant and head coach for some time now, and is technically very strong in all aspects of forward play. I look forward to seeing how he fits into Eddie’s coaching team.”

Winter, who turned 40 in July, will work under Eddie Jones in the new-look Super Rugby competition, serving as an assistant coach alongside Robbie Fleck (attack) and Paul Treu (defence), with Vlok Cilliers continuing in his role as kicking coach.

Winter will also be involved with the DHL Western Province team at Absa Currie Cup level, where he will join John Dobson (head coach) and Dawie Snyman (attack), as well as Treu and Cilliers, on the coaching staff.

* ALSO: Why 2015 was a big success for WP Rugby!

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