Percy Montgomery on Wednesday signed a one-year contract with Western Province. Montgomery, who was the leading points scorer at last year's Rugby World Cup in France, is hardly likely to play for the Province Currie Cup side due the heavy Springbok schedule over the next four months.
JP Pietersen's lack of form in the Super 14 season has cost him a place in the Springbok squad that was named in Somerset West on Wednesday. The Sharks' World Cup-winning wing failed to score a try in the 2008 series after he finished the 2007 Super 14 season as the leading try scorer.
Isma-eel Dollie as one of a few lesser surprises in the Springbok training squad of 42 members that was named on Saturday night. The new Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, has included a number of players who are not regulars for their Super 14 franchises or who had limited opportunities because of injury this season.
The Stormers beat the Lions 22-13 after a late rally in a thrilling, if not always good, Super 14 match at Ellis Park on Saturday. However, their inability to score five tries meant that only one of either the Stormers or the Sharks, who were playing the Chiefs later on Saturday, could still make the semifinals.
It looks like the closely fought endgame of the Super 14 might turn Saturday's announcement of the 45-man Springbok squad into something of a damp squib. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers will want to avoid disrupting the semifinal preparations of the Sharks and Stormers and will postpone naming players from those squads.
Australia's Brumbies will not to be sidetracked by history or the widely acclaimed Stormers injuries in the run-up to Saturday's make-or-break Super 14 clash at Newlands. The history books will show that the last time the Brumbies lost at Newlands was in 1998, and apart from one draw in 2006, they've always defeated the Stormers in the Mother City in a decade of clashes.
The Stormers scored a fifth win in six matches when they beat the Wellington Hurricanes 20-12 to move into fourth spot on the Super 14 log on Saturday. While both teams scored two tries, Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant enjoyed more success with the boot, which ultimately separated the teams at the end.
Stormers flanker Schalk Burger is a greater threat than ever to the Stormers' Super 14 opponents, says Jerry Collins, star loose forward of the Hurricanes. The tough All Black, who will oppose the Springbok star at Newlands on Saturday, has been impressed by the way Burger and Luke Watson combine, reports RugbyHeaven website.
The Stormers ran out comfortable 34-22 winners over the Cheetahs in a Super 14 fixture at Newlands on Saturday. A great kick-off by Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant set up the platform for the team's opening try in the second minute. Grant's kick went into touch 5m from the Cheetahs' try line.
Oregan Hoskins was re-elected on Friday to a further two-year term as president of the South African Rugby Union (Saru), narrowly beating his deputy, Mike Stofile, at Saru's annual general meeting. Saru did not issue an official confirmation of the voting tally, but it is understood that the closeness of the vote saw auditors call for a recount.
The Stormers climbed off the bottom of the Super 14 rugby standings with an bonus-point 34-16 win over Australian strugglers Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday. The Cape Town-based team played enterprising rugby to come away with four tries in their third straight win in Brisbane and the sixth win in their past 10 games in Australia.
South African rugby boss Oregan Hoskins says he played a key role in helping outgoing Springbok coach Jake White survive his four-year tenure. Without his support, Hoskins said on Thursday, White would not have been able to continue in his role as coach of the national side. "All I want to say is that my conscience is abundantly clear towards Jake. I've stood by Jake."
In a perfect world the Springboks would be sunning themselves in the south of France, fine-tuning a few of the more cerebral moves cooked up by the coaching team and ingratiating themselves with the locals. After all, we are just one week away from the beginning of the Rugby World Cup 2007.