Pierre Spies


The Boks' battle plan

Dillon Davie

The nature of Test rugby is that it tends to run in four-year cycles, centred on the mammoth spectacle of the World Cup. The Springboks face the next three-and-a-half years as World Cup defending champions, a lofty pedestal that has proven very difficult to defend in the past.

De Villiers shows his hand

Staff Reporter

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.

Few surprises in Bok training squad

Staff Reporter

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.

Habana strikes twice for Bulls

Allan Williams

World superstar Bryan Habana dotted down twice as Super 14 title holders the Northern Bulls crushed the Central Cheetahs 60-20 in a final-round mini-league match on Saturday. However, the sole South African winners of the championship will not feature in the knockout stages after poor early-season form.

Bok beauty contest begins

Dillon Davie

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.

Hurricanes blow Bulls off course

Allan Williams

An early four-try scoring blitz fashioned a 50-22 Super 14 triumph for Wellington Hurricanes over title holders Northern Bulls on Saturday. "We were shocking," was the blunt assessment of scrumhalf and captain Fourie du Preez as the Bulls returned to their home ground after a dismal four-match Australasia tour.

Bulls record for Pedrie Wannenburg

Staff Reporter

Bulls loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg will become the most capped Bulls player in Super rugby when he takes the field against the Western Force in Perth on Friday. Wannenburg, who was selected as flank alongside Wikus van Heerden, will surpass Victor Matfield's record of 77 matches for the franchise.

Hurricanes look to upset Crusaders

Staff Reporter

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans is expecting the toughest match so far for his unbeaten team in Friday's New Zealand Super 14 rugby derby against the Hurricanes in Wellington. The six-time champions have looked dynamic in winning their first six games of the southern hemisphere provincial series.

Spies back for the Bulls

Staff Reporter

Pierre Spies has been included in the Bulls side to play the Blues in a Super 14 match in Auckland on Saturday. The inclusion of the Springbok number eight is a major boost for the defending champions, who have won only two of their six matches to date and were outplayed by two of the competition's weaker sides over the past two weekends.

Super 14: New year, new ball game

Steve McMorran

The new Super 14 season, which begins on Friday, could help determine whether South Africa's dominance of world rugby was a one-year wonder. South Africa provided both teams in last year's Super 14 final -- the Bulls beat the Sharks -- and the Springboks went on to win the sixth World Cup in France.

SA teams face huge task to retain Super 14 title

James Whitmore

South Africa's five Super 14 teams will have to produce some of their best rugby yet if they are to retain the title they so famously won, for the first time, last year. After years of being denied the title by the Australian and New Zealand teams, South Africa's Northern Bulls finally went all the way in 2007.

Pierre Spies on comeback trail

Staff Reporter

South Africa number eight Pierre Spies is expected to return to full training at the end of February after spending seven months on the sidelines. A statement issued by the Blue Bulls on Monday said the province's doctor was satisfied with Spies's recovery and as long as everything went to plan he would start to take part in contact sessions at the end of the month.