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/ 18 May 2008

Few surprises in Bok training squad

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.

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/ 17 May 2008

Habana strikes twice for Bulls

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.

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/ 16 May 2008

Bok beauty contest begins

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.

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/ 14 May 2008

De Villiers set to recall World Cup heroes

New Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is spoilt for choice ahead of the Springboks’ first Test of the year, against Six Nations champions Wales on June 7 in Bloemfontein. De Villiers, who took over from World Cup-winning coach Jake White at the beginning of the year, names his first South Africa squad on Saturday.

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/ 6 April 2008

Cheetahs end Super 14 losing streak

The Cheetahs claimed their first Super 14 win of the season and moved off the bottom of the table by defeating the Queensland Reds 29-14 on Saturday. The Bloemfontein-based franchise also snatched a bonus point when centre JW Jonker scored a breakaway stoppage-time try at a sparsely populated Absa Stadium.

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/ 29 January 2008

Rookie coach Drotske spoilt for choice

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske, in announcing his side to play the Sharks in a warm-up match in Bloemfontein on Friday night, has admitted that he was still undecided on a number of positions. Springbok Meyer Bosman gets the nod at inside centre ahead of Herkie Kruger, and former Bull Jacques-Louis Potgieter is preferred to Conrad Barnard at flyhalf.

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/ 29 December 2007

SA teams face tricky Super 14 build-up

The early stages of the 2008 Super 14 competition could be especially challenging for the five South African franchises — three of the teams have new coaches, and the training of all five has been affected to various degrees by the resting of their Springboks after the United Kingdom tour.

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/ 1 December 2007

Barbarians too strong for South Africa

Jake White’s last match as coach of world champions South Africa ended with a defeat as the invitational Barbarians beat the Springboks 22-5 in a non-cap international at Twickenham on Saturday. The Barbarians outscored South Africa three tries to one with Australia’s Matt Giteau, Wales flanker Martyn Williams and Wallaby forward Rocky Elsom all crossing the line.

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/ 29 November 2007

Muller to lead Boks in Baa-baas clash

South Africa have made three changes for Saturday’s non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham — Jake White’s last match as coach of the world champions. Bismarck du Plesis takes the place of World Cup-winning captain John Smit after the hooker’s French club, Clermont Auvergne, refused to release him for this fixture.

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/ 22 November 2007

Habana hopes Boks build on White legacy

Springbok World Cup hero Bryan Habana believes South Africa have been given a great inheritance by departing coach Jake White. This Saturday sees White, barely a month after masterminding the Springboks’ march to the World Cup title in France, coach South Africa in a full international for the final time when his side face Wales.

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/ 21 November 2007

Kankowski set for Springbok debut

South Africa captain John Smit and star wing Bryan Habana are among nine members of the Springboks’ victorious World Cup final starting XV named to face Wales in Saturday’s one-off rugby union international at the Millennium Stadium. Although several players are missing from the two-match tour, the side still contains plenty of experienced campaigners.

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/ 13 November 2007

Three injured Boks withdraw from tour

Forwards Danie Rossouw, Wickus van Heerden and Gurthro Steenkamp withdrew injured on Monday from South Africa’s short rugby tour of Britain. Star scrumhalf Fourie du Preez also looks like staying home and missing the Test against Wales at Cardiff and the celebration match with the Barbarians at Twickenham on December 1.

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/ 6 November 2007

Skinstad quits rugby ahead of tour

The Springbok rugby selectors, who on Tuesday sat down to pick the side for the two-match tour of Wales and England later this month, will not have included loose forward Bob Skinstad in the touring team. The 50th Springbok captain has retired with immediate effect. It is unlikely that Skinstad will be replaced for the short tour.

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/ 18 October 2007

Boks look to clear final World Cup hurdle

Unbeaten South Africa face defending champions England in a mouth-watering Rugby World Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday, a re-match of the pool match the Springboks won with consummate ease. But both sides have been quick to play down the significance of that record 36-0 rout, achieved when England were without talismanic flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson.

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/ 13 October 2007

Are the Pumas baiting the Boks?

How much do Argentina have left in the tank? The answer should be clear in the second half of a ferocious forwards clash between the Pumas and South Africa on Sunday. Cracks appeared among the Pumas last Sunday when they let slip a 19-6 lead around the hour mark to give Scotland a sniff at victory. The Springboks are too dangerous for anybody to afford easing off at any time.

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/ 12 October 2007

CJ back to prop up Bok Cup hopes

South Africa prop CJ van der Linde will start against Argentina in the World Cup semifinal at the Stade France in Paris on Sunday after recovering from a knee injury. The 27-year-old tighthead prop is the only change to the starting XV that beat Fiji in last Sunday’s quarterfinal — Jannie du Plessis drops to the bench as the Springboks attempt to reach their second final.

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/ 6 October 2007

Boks primed and ready for Fiji

There’s no disguising this one. South Africa against Fiji should be a mismatch of a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal. Fiji would have to produce the perfect game to upset South Africa and advance to the semifinals. So that’s what coach Ilie Tabua is asking his squad to do. Fiji qualified for their first World Cup quarterfinal since the inaugural edition in 1987 with a 38-34 upset over Wales.

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/ 5 October 2007

Back to basics for the Springboks

South Africa play Fiji in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals in Marseilles on Sunday with a game plan based around a return to basics in a bid to nullify the Pacific Islanders’ flair and raw talent. The Springboks are sure to dominate the set-piece, Fiji having suffered in the scrum throughout their pool games against Japan (35-31), Canada (29-16), Australia (lost 55-12) and Wales (38-34).

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/ 3 October 2007

Bok World Cup prop worries ease

South Africa coach Jake White said on Wednesday that injured prop CJ van der Linde will be fit to face Fiji in the World Cup quarterfinals. Van der Linde had picked up a knee injury and had been considered a doubtful starter for Sunday’s game at the Stade Velodrome.

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/ 3 October 2007

Boks tackle World Cup prop crisis

South Africa are facing a front-row crisis ahead of Sunday’s World Cup quarterfinal clash against Fiji. BJ Botha has already been forced out of the competition with knee ligament damage suffered in the 64-15 Pool A win against the United States last week, while fellow tighthead prop CJ van der Linde has bruising on one of his knees.

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/ 2 October 2007

Injury scare for CJ van der Linde

South Africa faced a further worry over their slim prop resources on Tuesday after tighthead CJ van der Linde limped out of training ahead of Sunday’s World Cup quarterfinal against Fiji. Van der Linde injured his right knee in a mauling session and was unable to complete the session.

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/ 30 September 2007

SA warm up for quarters with win over US

Tournament heavyweights South Africa lost flying winger Bryan Habana with a gashed cheek as they went on a try-scoring spree against the United States on Sunday. Habana’s injury and prop BJ Botha’s retirement with a knee injury were injury concerns ahead of the quarterfinal with the Fijians in Marseille.

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/ 30 September 2007

‘Terrible spectator’ Schalk Burger raring to go

After pacing the sidelines for two weeks, Schalk Burger gets another chance to wreak havoc for South Africa at the World Cup. The bustling blonde backrower was switched from the flank to number eight in a strong Springboks lineup unveiled by coach Jake White for Sunday’s match against the winless United States in Montpellier.

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/ 28 September 2007

White names strong Bok team for US clash

South Africa are not planning to cruise into the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals. The Springboks have already won Group A and want to keep the momentum going into the knock-out stages of the tournament, so coach Jake White on Friday announced a strong starting line-up to face the United States Eagles in Montpellier on Sunday.

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/ 22 September 2007

Blundering Boks barely beat Tonga

Mighty South Africa were given the fright of their lives on Saturday before they made sure of their World Cup quarterfinals place with an error-strewn 30-25 win over Tonga. Springbok coach Jake White almost paid an embarrassing price for making 11 changes to the side who beat England 36-0.

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/ 19 September 2007

White rings changes for Tonga clash

South Africa coach Jake White retained just four players who started in the 36-0 defeat of titleholders England last Friday when he named his team for the World Cup Group A match against Tonga in Lens on Saturday. The 43-year-old has guided the Springboks to two impressive wins over Samoa (59-7) and England.

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/ 10 September 2007

Pretoria student fails in SRC bid

The present vice-chairperson of the University of Pretoria’s student representative council (SRC), Cobus van der Linde, will not be a candidate in Tuesday’s elections for next year’s SRC. Pretoria High Court judge Lettie Malopa on Monday dismissed Van der Linde’s urgent application to remain on the candidates list.