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Currie Cup

Sale Sharks Sign South African Powerhouse

Sale Sharks have added another big player to their squad for next season

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(Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Sale Sharks have announced the capture of versatile prop Coenie Oosthuizen from Cell-C Sharks for the 2019/20 season.

The move sees the 130kg prop, who can play either side of the scrum, join up with former Cheetahs teammate Lood De Jager.

Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond is delighted to have a player with Oosthuizen’s abilities link up with the squad and is excited by the prospect of him playing with a couple of familiar faces.

“Coenie joining us, along with Lood is a huge statement of where we want to be, he is 130kg, can play on both sides of the scrum and has a skillset away from the set piece that is unique for a prop of his size. He also has considerable experience playing with Akker Van Der Merwe at the Sharks so I think he will fit in perfectly at Sale. We look forward to welcoming him to Manchester later in the year ahead of the 19/20 Gallagher Premiership,” he said.

The prop started his playing career with the Toyota Cheetahs, playing for the side in both the Currie Cup and Super Rugby along wit De Jager. He went on to make 129 appearances for the Cheetahs over a seven-year period before moving to the Sharks in 2016 following talks of the Cheetahs removal from Super Rugby.

He has since gone on to make 33 appearances for the Durban-based team but will leave come the end of the Super Rugby season and has agreed a three-year deal with Sale. As well as being a powerful player, Oosthuizen is well known for his deceptive speed and agility, which makes him a threat at both set-piece time and in open play which makes his signature for Sale all the more impressive for the Manchester outfit.

Currie Cup

Kolisi to Play First Match Since May

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi seems set to step up his recovery from injury ahead of the World Cup

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(Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Injured Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is poised to make his first appearance since May this weekend.

The 28-year-old flanker, who injured his knee during the Super Rugby season was ruled out of this year’s shortened Rugby Championship campaign but could line-out for Western Province this weekend.

TimesLive claim that Western Province head coach John Dobson has confirmed that Kolisi is fit to face the Pumas this weekend and could even start the game.

“Siya (Kolisi) is fit to play. I think our plan with Siya is to start him (against the Pumas). He will give the team a lot of confidence. That is the one thing the team needs,” he said.

The news will come as a huge boost for the Springboks who are looking to make a big impression at the World Cup and have been in impressive form so far in the Rugby Championship even without Kolisi.

It also appears as though Kolisi’s rehabilitation is going according to plan as before national team head coach Rassie Erasmus admitted that Kolisi would most likely return to Currie Cup action before jumping back to the international stage against Argentina next weekend.

“We plan to get him back into playing Test match rugby, hopefully in the match against Argentina (in Pretoria on 17 August), and then it’s on the plane with us to Japan. I think if we push him now to go with us to New Zealand, we might end up with more than a 50 percent chance that he won’t go with us to the World Cup,” he said last month.

It seems unlikely that Kolisi will be back to full match fitness before that clash with the Pumas next weekend but what is certain is that he appears to be winning his race to be back in the mix for World Cup selection.

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Currie Cup

Pienaar Set for Cheetahs Debut

Ruan Pienaar looks poised to make his first South African club appearance in nine years

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(Photo by THIERRY BRETON/AFP/Getty Images)

Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar is set to make his debut for the Free State Cheetahs during Saturday’s clash with the Golden Lions.

Pienaar has been named on the bench for the Currie Cup match with the Cheetahs looking to make it three wins from three.

If he comes off the bench it will be his first appearance for a South African club in nine years, with his last game for a club in his homeland coming in 2010.

That was when he last lined-out for the Sharks, whom he represented between 2004 and 2010, gathering up 32 Currie Cup appearances and 67 Super Rugby games.

Pienaar left the Sharks for Irish province Ulster, where he went on to become a fan-favourite, reaching both the European Cup and PRO12 finals, only to be defeated by Leinster on both occasions.

He was also named in the league’s dream team, and consistently impressed until his departure in 2017, when the IRFU refused to renew his contract at Ravenhill.

He went on to sign for French outfit Montpellier before switching to the Cheetahs earlier in the summer.

Franco Smith’s side currently sit top of the Currie Cup table with 10 points from two games, however, the Golden Lions are only narrowly behind with nine from their opening two games.

Pienaar will be hoping to help his new side continue their winning run from the bench as both he and his teammates prepare for the upcoming PRO14 campaign.

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Currie Cup

Blommetjies Moves Back to South Africa

Scarlets reject Blommetjies has made a switch back to South Africa following his unsuccessful spell in Europe

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(Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Fullback Clayton Blommetjies has signed for the Free State Cheetahs in South Africa following his release from the Scarlets.

Netwerk24 has reported that Blommetjies has been brought in by the Cheetahs for their Currie Cup campaign following an injury to Malcolm Jaer who will miss the entire tournament.

Blommetjies was released by the Scarlets following one season with the Welsh region during which he made only six appearances before moving to Leicester Tigers for the second half of the season.

It is believed that the Scarlets were unimpressed with the 28-year-olds fitness and this was a major reason in letting him go.

His first test for the Cheetahs will be against the Blue Bulls on July 19th.

Blommetjies came through the ranks at the Bulls before becoming a vital part of the Cheetahs side before his switch to the Scarlets.

He has represented the Cheetahs in Super Rugby and in the PRO 14, scoring six tries and assisting five during his final season with them.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will regain his old form, but the Cheetahs will hope for their sake that he will blossom once more.

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