Connect with us


Bright, brave Boks denied at the death in Marseille



A rousing 14-man fightback by the Springboks fell agonizingly short as France ended a run of seven successive defeats by the Boks with a 30-26 (halftime 16-10) victory at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday night.

The Boks played for 58 minutes with 14 men – after Pieter Steph du Toit was red carded for a head collision – and the last ten minutes with 13 men following a yellow carding for replacement Deon Fourie after a second infringement at a close-range France maul.

The home team also played the last 32 minutes with only 14 men of their own, after skipper Antonie Dupont was dismissed for ploughing into the aerial Cheslin Kolbe. The Springbok wing was upended, landing on his head, and played no further part after being withdrawn for a head injury assessment.

The Boks could proud of their effort however. They drove the game, winning the collisions for the most part and playing a high passing game against a French team that barely used their backline and resorted to the kick and the maul. The boot of fullback Thomas Ramos was their most potent weapon as he was successful with seven out of eight kicks at goal.

The Boks used three kickers (Kolbe, Faf de Klerk and Damian Willemse) – through circumstance not choice – and the trio were successful with all six kicks at goal to put last week’s Dublin troubles behind them.

It was a brilliant Test match as South Africa came back from 13-0 down shortly after their first card to lead with six minutes remaining before a spate of penalties gave France the field position to sneak a victory that should have been the Boks.

Kurt-Lee Arendse scores his fourth try in his fifth Test for the Boks.

Kurt-Lee Arendse scores his fourth try in his fifth Test for the Boks.

Du Toit’s horror moment arrived in the 12th minute when he was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes. The loose forward half-stumbled half-drove at knee height to clean a ruck and his head made direct contact with the cheek of centre Jonathan Danty who was seated in the ruck, facing the oncoming Bok.

His departure robbed the Boks of a back-of-the-lineout option as well as his phenomenal work rate and France took advantage within nine minutes to add to their 6-0 lead from the boot of Ramos after two offside offences by the Boks.

French wing Damian Penaud ghosted outside Jesse Kriel’s attempted tackle on halfway to make the line break. France were held short but after eight phases of close-range drives loosehead prop Cyril Baille found a gap from five metres to score just to the left of the poles.

Ramos converted to take France into a 13-0 lead against the 14-man Boks. It looked a mountain to climb. This motivated and focused Springbok team strapped on their crampons and started up the cliff face.

Base camp was a penalty goal from Kolbe in the 25th minute when the more obvious option from long range and a difficult angle was a kick to the corner.

Better was to follow five minutes later when the maul option – working better than in recent weeks – propelled Siya Kolisi over the tryline as he broke away to dive expansively into the in-goal with Kolbe converting to reduce a once yawning deficit to three (13-10).

Cheslin Kolbe lines up one of his three successful kicks at goal.

Cheslin Kolbe lines up one of his three successful kicks at goal.

Ramos kicked two penalty goals either side of halftime to one from Kolbe which restored the lead to six points (19-13) before the second red card of the match set up a rip-roaring second half in which the Boks claimed the lead for the first time in the 52nd minute and held if until the 74th by which time they had been reduced to 13-men.

Dupont was dismissed for a dangerous challenge on the airborne Kolbe who was flipped through 180 degrees to land his head and shoulder. The wing was removed for an HIA from which he did not return.

His dismissal was the cue for the Bomb Squad to arrive and although the resulting maul drive was stopped, De Klerk and Willie le Roux combined down the blindside to put over wing Kurt-Lee Arendse in the right-hand corner.

De Klerk – in the absence of Kolbe – converted brilliantly from the touchline and added a penalty goal to stretch out the Bok lead to four points (23-19). Flyhalf Damian Willemse became the Boks’ third kicker – landing a tricky penalty in the 63rd minute – after De Klerk had been withdrawn.

Roared on by their home crowd and a string of penalties against the Boks, which culminated in the yellow carding of Fourie, France found the momentum to claim a second try from a close range drive with Sipili Falatea finishing after patchy consultation with the TMO on whether there had been a double movement.

A sixth penalty goal for Ramos with two minutes remaining ran the clock down to allow the home side to close out a rapturously received home victory.


Springboks 26 (10) – Tries: Siya Kolisi, Kurt-Lee Arendse. Conversions: Cheslin Kolbe, Faf de Klerk. Penalty goals: Kolbe (2), De Klerk, Damian Willemse.

France 30 (16) – Tries: Cyril Baille, Sipili Falatea. Conversion: Thomas Ramos. Penalty goals: Ramos (6).

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


Wayne Smith appointed as Performance Coach for the Black Ferns and All Blacks



Wayne Smith has been appointed as Performance Coach to the Black Ferns and All Blacks in a unique new role that will include mentoring and supporting the respective Head Coaches and enhancing the quality of coaching delivery across the two teams.

Smith has already started working with Black Ferns Director of Rugby Allan Bunting but will not start his role with the All Blacks until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup when new Head Coach Scott Robertson takes up the role.

Smith said he was grateful to be able to continue his long association with the legacy of the black jersey and New Zealand Rugby (NZR).

“I have a deep connection and love for any team that wears the black jersey and particularly the Black Ferns and the All Blacks. I also have strong relationships with the respective head coaches and many of the players, so it feels like this role across the two teams is a natural fit, and one where I can hopefully add and contribute to both environments.”

Smith, who masterminded the Black Ferns 2022 Rugby World Cup championship run as Head Coach, said he would continue to challenge norms and encourage coaches and players to think outside the box.

“It’s important to consider different perspectives and solutions as coaches. As we head into a new era for the game, I am a great believer in the importance of diversity, of relationships and of people. As a coach I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to that through my career”.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said Smith would be the Performance Coach to sit across the Black Ferns and All Blacks, and the new role would continue a legacy of innovation and excellence. 

“Smithy’s input and insights on the shape of the game and trends in the game internationally will be of enormous benefit to coaches and players, but more than that his integrity, honesty, passion for the jersey and care for the legacy of the black jersey are invaluable.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of his calibre in our game and involved with our two top national teams the Black Ferns and the All Blacks. I know he is excited and energised by the challenge ahead and I’m confident our players, fans and stakeholders will feel the same way.”

Wayne Smith – All Black #806 – 17 Tests 1980-1985

2023: Black Ferns and All Blacks Performance Coach (commencing November 2023)
2022: Black Ferns Head Coach (Rugby World Cup winners)
2018: Kobelco Steelers Director of Coaching (Back-to-back Top League Japanese championships)
2015-2017: All Blacks Assistant Coach
2012-2014: Chiefs Assistant Coach
2012: Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby
2004-2011: All Blacks (Assistant Coach)
2001-2004: Northampton Saints Coach (England)
2000-2001: All Blacks Head Coach
1997-1999: Crusaders Head Coach (back-to-back Super Rugby titles 1998-1999)

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

Continue Reading


Squads announced for Barbarian F.C. vs World XV



The Killik Cup will be on the line next Sunday (28 May, kick-off 2pm), as two of the most decorated coaches in world rugby, Eddie Jones (Barbarians) and Steve Hansen (World XV), go head-to-head for an unmissable showdown in London.

The two squads are jam-packed with world-class talent, with internationals from England, Wales, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Tonga, Japan, Scotland, Fiji and Italy all involved for the blockbuster clash at HQ.

The sides contain a total of 1,286 international caps between them – with 650 for the Barbarians and 636 for the World XV – as well as Rugby World Cup winners, British & Irish Lions tourists, and several returning Barbarians.



Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers and England)

Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby, Wales, British & Irish Lions)

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales, British & Irish Lions)

Stephan Lewies (Harlequins and South Africa)

Steven Luatua (Bristol Bears and New Zealand)

Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors and Argentina)

Carlü Sadie (Cell C Sharks)

Rob Simmons (London Irish and Australia)

Harry Thacker (Bristol Bears)

Sione Vailanu (Glasgow Warriors and Tonga)

Aaron Wainwright (Dragons Rugby and Wales)

Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)

Tom West (Leicester Tigers)

Hiroki Yamamoto (Toshiba Brave Lupus and Japan)



Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys and Wales)

Qaude Cooper (Hanazono Kintetsu Liners and Australia)

Aaron Cruden (Tokyo Sungoliath and New Zealand)

Francois Hougaard (Saracens and South Africa)

Samu Kerevi (Tokyo Sungoliath and Australia)

Teviat Li (Tokyo Sungoliath)

Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs and England)

Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons and England)

Seta Tamanivalu (Toshiba Brave Lupus and Fiji)

“It’s an incredible honour to be asked to coach the Barbarians for a second time,” said Jones. “I am very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham Stadium – a venue I have so many fond memories of – as head coach of the Barbarians, and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show. 

“Going up against Steve rekindles a great rivalry which first started in our days competing in Super Rugby and progressed into the international arena. It’ll be a great challenge and one we’re both relishing.” 

The fixture against the World XV marks the first return to Twickenham for the Barbarians since a stunning 52-21 victory over England in June 2022. They then retained the Killik Cup in November, courtesy of a 35-31 win over an All Blacks XV in front of 35,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Hansen added: “I’m really excited to be returning to Twickenham. I’ve coached both for and against the Barbarians during my career, and while you always have to expect the unexpected where they are concerned. 

“You can be certain we’ll have a hugely entertaining match played in a festival atmosphere.”




Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland)

Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby and Italy)

Elliot Dee (Dragons Rugby and Wales)

Allan Dell (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland)

Harry Hockings (Tokyo Sungoliath)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets Rugby, Wales, British & Irish Lions)

Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors and Scotland) 

Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby and Italy)

Viliame Mata (Edinburgh Rugby and Fiji)

Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby and Italy)

Api Ratuniyarawa (London Irish and Fiji)

Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)



Bryn Hall (Shizuoka Blue Revs)

Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby and Scotland)

Israel Folau (Urayasu D-Rocks and Tonga)

Marika Koroibete (Saitama Wild Knights and Australia)

Ngani Laumape (Kobelco Kobe Steelers and New Zealand)

Sbu Nkosi (Vodacom Bulls and South Africa)

Rhys Patchell (Scarlets Rugby and Wales)

Nick Phipps (Green Rockets Tokatsu and Australia)

Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears and Tonga)

Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears and Fiji)


Further squad updates will follow in the coming days, with one player expected to be added to each squad.

General admission tickets for this spectacular showcase of rugby are still available from, with ticket prices starting from just £27.50* for adults and £16.95* for Under-16s.

For a 10% discount on groups of 10 or more visit, while hospitality packages are available to purchase from £299 per person by CLICKING HERE.

Content & Images from – Barbarians Rugby

Continue Reading


Thumbs up from Nienaber as Durban camp wraps up



South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said he was satisfied that the small group of players present at the first of two preparation camps in Durban this month had reached their objectives as they launch into the 2023 international season.

The main aims of the camp, which wrapped up on Friday, were to get the players to switch into Test mode following their club and franchise commitments, and put the groundwork in place for the season, which will culminate in the Rugby World Cup in France.

The squad had five field training sessions and several off-field sessions since assembling in Durban on Tuesday night. The second training camp, which is also in Durban, will run from Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 May.

“This camp was invaluable in getting the coaches and players on the same page in terms of our structures and systems as we prepare for this important season,” said Nienaber.

“The message from the coaches from day one was that the players had to leave the camp knowing what we expect from them on and off the field in the next few months as we look to select our Rugby World Cup squad in August.

“We have another training camp in Durban in two weeks, which will feature a bigger squad as we welcome the DHL Stormers after the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final, and perhaps a few more Japanese players who have completed their club commitments.

“That camp will give us another opportunity to get the players into the swing of things before our Pretoria training camp in June.”

Nienaber added that they were delighted with the quality of the training sessions and how receptive the players were in the off-field sessions.

“We believe we have a fantastic base to work from,” he said.

“We also had the opportunity to assess the injured players and we’ll monitor their progress and rehabilitation closely in the next few months. All in all, we are in a good frame of mind as our first Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against Australia approaches.”

Looking further ahead, Nienaber revealed that the Springboks will have a Rugby World Cup training camp in Bastia, Corsica after their last warm-up fixture against New Zealand at Twickenham on Friday 25 August.

The Boks will be based on the mountainous island in the Mediterranean Sea south of France until Sunday 1 September, when they will travel to their base in Toulon for the RWC opener against Scotland on Saturday 10 September.

“The Corsica camp will be ideal for the players to adapt to the conditions in France while finetuning our preparations for our first World Cup game,” said Nienaber.

“We reaped the rewards of spending time in Japan before the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and hopefully this camp will be equally beneficial in getting the players used to the climate and culture in France.

“I’d like to thank the Executive Council of Corsica and the Corsica Rugby League for welcoming us for this important camp.”

The Boks will begin their preparations for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at a training camp in Pretoria from Monday 12 to Friday 30 June, with the team slotting into match mode the following week for their opening match against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 8 July.

Nienaber’s charges will then depart for New Zealand for their second Test of the condensed version of the competition against the All Blacks at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland (15 July), before returning to South Africa for their closing match against Argentina in Johannesburg (29 July).

The Springboks will play three Rugby World Cup warm-up matches: against Argentina in Buenos Aires (Saturday, 5 August), Wales in Cardiff (Saturday, 19 August) and New Zealand in London (Friday, 25 August) respectively.

They will then make their way to France for the international extravaganza where they face Scotland in Marseille (Sunday, 10 September), Romania in Bordeaux (Sunday, 17 September), Ireland in Paris (Saturday, 23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (Sunday, 1 October) during the pool stages.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby

Continue Reading