Excitement builds for SA ‘A’ team’s two-match tour
SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and SA ‘A’ head coach Mzwandile Stick expressed excitement about the squad they plan to announce next week for their matches against Munster and the Bristol Bears and said the tour would bode well for the national structures and players with an eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup.
A squad of 26 players will be named next Friday for the two-match tour against Munster on Thursday, 10 November, and the Bristol Bears a week later on 17 November, with Erasmus revealing that a handful of players will dovetail between the Springbok and SA ‘A’ teams as they look to give some guys valuable game time and expose a number of youngsters to international rugby in the green and gold.
“There will be some players in the initial Springbok touring group of 34 players that will double up between the Boks and SA ‘A’ teams, so there will be some big names playing in these matches and we expect them to pose stiff competition,” said Erasmus.
Stick hinted that they would announce an exciting group of players for the two-match tour: “The SA ‘A’ matches are very important, especially if one looks at the player depth we want to achieve.
“We are in a good position with some guys performing well for their clubs and franchises, and it will be good for those players who will not necessarily get a chance against Ireland to play for the SA ‘A’ team.
“I’m excited about the names we plan to announce for the tour next week,” added Stick.
Erasmus and Stick’s comments followed on the announcement of a 26-member squad invited to attend a Springbok training camp in Stellenbosch from Sunday to Wednesday, where Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and his assistant coaches will start their preparations for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour which will feature Tests against Ireland in Dublin on 5 November, France in Marseille on 12 November, Italy in Genoa on 19 November and England in London on 26 November.
Both Erasmus and Stick spoke highly of the opposition the SA ‘A’ side will face, with Erasmus commenting: “Munster beat the New Zealand Māori’s and they are giant slayers. We also knew the locals would support the match and fill the stadium. Over and above that they play a style of rugby which we are expecting to face in the Rugby World Cup.
“The Bristol Bears, meanwhile, are coached by Pat Lam, and they play more of a New Zealand style of rugby and depending on how things pan out in the World Cup, we could face the All Blacks in the quarter final. It also made sense logistically to face these teams.”
Stick was excited to see what the SA ‘A’ team would dish up against these top clubs in front of sold-out crowds.
“A lot of thought went into the decision to face these two teams,” said Stick.
“Munster have proven how competitive they are against some of the top international clubs, while the Bristol side features several players with their own X-factor, and they like to keep the ball in hand, so our players will be exposed to two different styles of play, which is fantastic as we look ahead to the World Cup.”
An initial Springbok touring squad of 34 players will assemble in Dublin on Sunday, 30 October, while another group of 20 players will travel to Ireland on Saturday, 5 November, as part of the SA ‘A’ contingent.
They will be joined by a few players from the first touring group in Cork.
Farrell Names 42-Player Ireland Summer Training Squad
Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell has today named a 42-player Summer Training Squad to begin preparations for the Bank of Ireland Nations Series and Rugby World Cup 2023.
Following the conclusion of the BKT United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup campaigns, the Ireland Coaching Team have selected an extended panel of players to assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre on 18th June for the first block of pre-season.
The Ireland squad will train at their Dublin base through June and July ahead of the Bank of Ireland Nations Series which will see Farrell’s side fine-tune their preparations for Rugby World Cup 2023 with home matches against Italy (Saturday, 5th August – kick-off 8pm) and England (Saturday, 19th August – kick-off 5.30pm) at Aviva Stadium and a fixture against Samoa at Stade Jean-Dauger in Bayonne (Saturday, 26th August – kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish time).
Broadcast details for the Bank of Ireland Nations Series will be confirmed shortly, with tickets for the games against Italy and England at Aviva Stadium available to purchase via Ticketmaster now.
Farrell has included four uncapped players in his Summer Training Squad, with Ulster hooker Tom Stewart called up having been part of the extended Ireland squad during the Guinness Six Nations campaign, while Leinster backs Ciaran Frawley and Jamie Osborne and Munster winger Calvin Nash are rewarded for their performances for their Provinces this season.
Commenting on the squad announcement, Farrell said: “It is exciting to announce our extended training squad for the first phase of Rugby World Cup preparations, and we’re looking forward to assembling in Dublin next month to hit the ground running as a group.
“It’s pleasing to see that selection has been as tough as ever, as real quality players have initially been unfortunate to have missed out. I’m sure that camp will be competitive enough as we grow minds and bodies and look to push on with our game from last season.
“In the meantime, it’s important that we freshen up for a busy and exciting summer ahead, so we’re ready to get to work on 18th June and build towards the Bank of Ireland Nations Series and to France beyond that.”
In addition to the three Bank of Ireland Nations Series matches, the Ireland squad will travel to Portugal for a warm-weather training camp in August, before Farrell’s final 33-player Rugby World Cup squad is announced in late August.
Ireland open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Romania in Bordeaux on 9th September, before further Pool B clashes against Tonga (16th September) in Nantes, and South Africa (23rd September) and Scotland (7th October) at the Stade de France in Paris.
Ireland Training Squad
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University)
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers)
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne)
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere)
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster)
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf)
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf)
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy)
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne)
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians)
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University)
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution)
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch)
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD)
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians)
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD)
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)*
Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena)
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD)
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians)
Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians)
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD)
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon)
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster)
Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)*
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
Mack Hansen (Connacht/Corinthians)
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers)
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD)
James Lowe (Leinster)
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor)
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen)
Calvin Nash (Munster/Young Munster)*
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas)
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas)*
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD)
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan)
*denotes uncapped player
Bank of Ireland Nations Series Fixtures
- Saturday 5th August, Ireland v Italy – Aviva Stadium, 8pm
- Saturday 19th August, Ireland v England – Aviva Stadium, 5.30pm
- Saturday 26th August, Ireland v Samoa, Stade Jean-Dauger, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time
Rugby World Cup 2023 Fixtures
- Saturday 9th September, Ireland v Romania – Stade de Bordeaux, 3.30pm local time/2.30pm Irish time
- Saturday 16th September, Ireland v Tonga – Stade de la Beaujoire, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time
- Saturday 23rd September, Ireland v South Africa – Stade de France, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time
- Saturday 7th October, Ireland v Scotland – Stade de France, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time.
Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography
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)
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 www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians, 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 www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/events, while hospitality packages are available to purchase from £299 per person by CLICKING HERE.
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