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Carr to lead Vodacom Bulls against Lyon



The Vodacom Bulls have made a few changes to personnel in their matchday 23 that will duel French side, Lyon on Friday 20 January 2023, in round 4 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup. The Pool A match is scheduled to kick-off at 22h00pm (Central African Time) at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland, in Lyon.

Nizaam Carr will lead the side as Simphiwe Matanzima, Bismarck Du Plessis and Francois Klopper form a new front-row combination to that which duelled the Chiefs in Pretoria. Ruan Vermaak will pair up with Janko Swanepoel in the second row, whilst Marco van Staden and Cyle Brink will have Carr for company in the back row. At the back: Embrose Papier (scrum half), Johan Goosen (fly half) and Cornal Hendricks (inside centre), who will be making his 50th appearance, come into the starting fifteen with Zak Burger and Chris Smith set to start off the bench, alongside Johann Grobbelaar, Gerard Steenekamp, Mornay Smith, Elrigh Louw, Lionel Mapoe and club captain, Ruan Nortje.

The herd are on a quest for a third victory of their debut campaign, hoping to emulate their triumphant 42-36 victory on home soil in the opening round of the competition. Their hosts, are still without a win in this campaign and will surely look to correct this in the final pool fixture, making this an appetising clash for rugby fans across the two hemispheres.

In the pool, only five sides have already confirmed their qualification for the round of 16; Leinster Rugby (1st), Cell C Sharks (2nd), Saracens (3rd), Exeter Chiefs (4th) and Edinburgh Rugby (5th) with three spots up for grabs going into the final round of fixtures.

The Vodacom Bulls travel to Lyon sitting sixth, 5 points adrift the pool topping Leinster (who are on 15 points) and 7 points ahead of their opponents, who lie in tenth place. Only a point separates the Pretoria outfit from Edinburgh and Exeter, with Harlequins in seventh place (7 points) and Racing 92 in provisional eight (5 points) ahead of this weekend’s matches.

Vodacom Bulls backline coach, Chris Rossouw said that the rotation of the players was done to look after the players and ensure that their welfare remains a top priority.

“Basically, it is part of player welfare and rotation because Ruan (Nortje) has played every minute of rugby of every match he has played, since the beginning of the season. The same with Harold (Vorster), since making his return from injury has played a lot of rugby, so it is important to manage him well too. This is all part of the rotation plan that we have had since the beginning of the year,”

“It’s important when in a group, to have your name in the team sheet as a player that can play these games. And when you get the chance, look to execute the job in the first 60 minutes.”

Rossouw also touted his side to face a staunch challenge from their opponents. “We believe that our team can do the job for us. We know it will be extremely difficult, Lyon is a top side, I think they are in the top six in the French Top14. Last week, Saracens were stretched when they came here and so we know it will be a difficult outing,”

“It is our first time in France and that is a new experience, it is extremely cold and that presents a great challenge for us but the guys are quite excited because they know that Lyon will pick their best side because they still have a chance of making it,”

“In any game, a win is important for us but the most important thing for us is the process I think in the last two games we managed the games quite well and that momentum is important for us. For us it will be how we handle that pressure and make sure that the lessons we have learnt over the last year help us manage the momentum of the game.”

Commenting on the weather conditions and the impact they will have on the game, Rossouw said: It is obviously extreme, last week we played in 35 degrees (in Pretoria) and now in sub-zero conditions (in France). However, this is a challenge that over time we have come to embrace.”

The match will be broadcast LIVE on SS Rugby.

VODACOM BULLS STARTING XV: 1. Simphiwe Matanzima, 2. Bismarck Du Plessis, 3. Francois Klopper, 4. Ruan Vermaak, 5. Janko Swanepoel, 6. Marco van Staden, 7. Cyle Brink, 8. Nizaam Carr (c), 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. David Kriel, 12. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Wandisile Simelane, 14. Canan Moodie, 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Johann Grobbelaar, 17. Gerard Steenekamp, 18. Mornay Smith, 19. Ruan Nortje, 20. Elrigh Louw, 21. Zak Burger, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Lionel Mapoe

MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Nollis Marais – Breakdown, Russell Winter – Forwards, Chris Rossouw – Backs, Werner Kruger – Scrum Coach, Pine Pienaar – Defense Coach, Andre Volsteedt – Strength & Conditioning, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Dr Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist, Kyle Mayer – Physiotherapist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Simon Dyidi – Logistics Manager


Saturday, 10 December 2022: Vodacom Bulls 42-36 Lyon

Saturday, 17 December 2022: Exeter Chiefs 44-14 Vodacom Bulls

Saturday, 14 January 2023: Vodacom Bulls 39-28 Exeter Chiefs

Friday, 20 January 2023: Lyon vs Vodacom Bulls

Content & Images from – Vodacom Bulls Rugby


All You Need To Know | Barbarians Double-Header



The Munster Men’s and Women’s team will be in action this weekend in a historic double-header against the Barbarians.

Find out all you need to know ahead of the games below.

There will be a minute’s applause for Greig Oliver ahead of the men’s game following his tragic passing in July. Hawick RFC posted a lovely piece on a commemorative event that was recently held at the club here. Read our tribute to Greig here.


Thomond Park


The women’s game kicks off at 2pm and the men’s game starts at 4.30pm.


Tickets are available to purchase here from €20 for adults and €10 for juniors right up until kick off.

The best value tickets are the Family Packs of four tickets for just €40 which include 2 Adults & 2 Juniors tickets.


Live on Access Munster, brought to you by Pinergy – see full details here.

Did you know?

The URC trophy will be on display for photos behind the North Terrace.

The first-ever Barbarians Women’s game was played against Munster at Thomond Park in 2017.

The Munster men’s team have never faced the Barbarians.

Munster News

Ticket & Matchday Info

Access Munster Live Stream

Munster Men’s training gallery

Munster Women’s training gallery

Graham Rowntree Signs New Contract


All four sides will be named before lunchtime on Friday.

Press Pass

Hear from Munster Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs and Men’s Head Coach Graham Rowntree ahead of the games.

URC Tickets

Tickets for all Munster men’s home game for the 2023/24 campaign are available here.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Cardiff announce signing of new fly-half



Cardiff Rugby have added further depth to their fly-half resources with the signing of former Wales Under-20s star Arwel Robson. 

The 26-year-old arrives from Cornish Pirates where he has spent the last two seasons after leaving Dragons RFC in 2021. 

Robson has already linked up with the first-team squad and is relishing the opportunity that lies ahead at Cardiff Arms Park. 

He said: “I’m incredibly excited to make the move to Cardiff. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Arms Park and I can’t wait to get the chance to run out here for the first time.

“I grew up on the terraces of the Arms Park, in a family of Cardiff season ticket holders and I was a ball boy for years so it is a club that means a huge amount to me and my family. 

“After speaking to Matt about the style of play he wants to utilise, I’m confident it will really suit me and also continue to bring my game on.

“I’m very grateful to everyone at Cornish Pirates for the opportunity and support they gave me in the past few years. 

“I’ve played a lot of rugby down there and feel I am returning to Wales a better player and I am looking forward to continuing my development at the Arms Park.

“Cardiff also have a reputation for developing talent and the progression of players from the academy right through to the senior national team is testament to that. 

“Now I am just looking forward to getting on the training pitch and competing for game-time.”

Robson will fight for a place at fly-half alongside fellow new signing Tinus de Beer, Ben Thomas and academy duo Harrison James and Harri Wilde.

He is the fourth signing this summer, following de Beer, Ciaran Parker and Rhys Litterick, and head coach Matt Sherratt is pleased to add to his fly-half resources. 

Sherratt said: “We are delighted have have signed Arwel for this season.  He has a good skill set, will challenge the line and having regular game time has improved his in game management.  

“He has played a significant amount with Cornish Pirates over the past two seasons which is a sign of a player who was willing to take himself out of his comfort zone to go to a new club and get regular game time.  It shows he is driven.  

“Added to that he has a connection with the region and a point to prove in the Welsh professional game. He gives us a bit more depth at 10 and has slotted in well to training.” 

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby

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Spingbok loosehead joins DHL Stormers ranks



Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka has joined the DHL Stormers squad ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The 33-year-old Springbok front row forward has made the move to Cape Town and brings considerable experience with him.

Gqoboka only took up the game at the age of 19 and within two years had already secured his first professional contract. He has accumulated over 150 senior caps since then and made his Springbok debut in 2019.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that Gqoboka’s proven track record means he will be ready to hit the ground running when the season gets underway.

“Lizo is an experienced player who would be a valuable asset for any squad in what is an important position.

“He has already settled in well here in the pre-season and we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do when the season gets underway,” he said.

Gqoboka said that having played against the DHL Stormers many times in his career, he is excited about feeling the support of the Faithful.

“This is a great team with some incredible supporters and I can’t wait to run out in the blue and white jersey and give my all.

“My family and I have felt at home right away here, my teammates and the coaches have been so welcoming and I want to repay that when I get the chance to take the field as a DHL Stormer,” he said.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby

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