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A yen for Japan

ONE wouldn’t automatically link Japan and SA in a single train of thought: there is limited cultural, tourist and economic exchange between the two countries. We are a young, diverse, developing nation. Japan has the third-biggest economy in the world, a 4.1% unemployment rate and an ageing, homogenous population right now shivering in below-zero temperatures. […]Read More »

The Varsity Cup is good for rugby but is it good for students?

NATURE played its part in kicking off the 2015 Varsity Cup to a perfect start on Monday night. The competition’s two leading teams — the University of Stellenbosch have won the Varsity Cup three times in its seven-year history and the University of Cape Town (UCT) twice — engaged in a well-matched battle of wit […]Read More »

Wanted: another coach for Dale College

JORICH Loubser matriculated last year with six As and, like many thousands of other 18-year-olds, he will soon be starting at university. Next week Jorich will register for a BCom in accounting at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was awarded a small rugby bursary by the UCT Rugby Club and has already begun […]Read More »

Sell Newlands Stadium and buy off the clubs

WESTERN Province Rugby Football Union released a startling statement a week before Christmas, which, predictably — and possibly, deliberately — was largely ignored because most people were already on holiday. The union announced that, at a special general meeting held the day before, it had been unanimously decided that they would not, after all, be […]Read More »

Springboks, the cash cows flogged to support a bloated Saru

NOW that the Springboks’ disappointing performance last month has been thoroughly picked over, perhaps it is time to look at the contribution of rugby’s off-field team to this demoralising episode and, hopefully, learn some lessons from it. Last year, the Springboks played 12 games. This year, an extra two were loaded on to what was […]Read More »

All Bok games for 2015 RWC are sold out

TICKETS for the 2015 Rugby World Cup will go on general sale tomorrow, but the bad news for South Africans is that every Springbok game is already sold out. However, some of these tickets will have been block-booked by travel agents for hospitality packages and those that remain unsold will come back onto the market […]Read More »

Meyer's clever off-field game

Heyneke Meyer boasts the highest winning percentage of any Bok coach — barring, of course, the full marks achieved in the very brief tenure of Kitch Christie almost 20 years ago. But it is not this achievement that is likely to bring him the prize of being the first national coach to remain on the […]Read More »

Too true, Archbishop Tutu!

RUGBY, like any other high profile sport, is about heroes. This is good, because we need heroes. Boys, for instance, will look at the guy in the Springbok jersey, note his extraordinary skill and athleticism; his loyalty to team and country; his magnetic capacity to attract adoration, money and pretty girls and think: I want […]Read More »

Empty seats packed with meaning

ONE of the overriding images of the pool stages of 2014 Currie Cup — now reaching its climax with semifinals this weekend — is of empty stadiums. Often the rugby played is exciting and SuperSport does its bit with ever-enthusiastic commentary, but there are few takers. These are local teams playing at local stadiums, yet […]Read More »

Well done, Bokke!

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This is how we beat the All Blacks

WHAT is it that gives the All Blacks the edge? The simple answer of technique doesn’t quite cut it. All the top teams in world rugby are on a par when it comes to conditioning and training: there are not many of them and they play each other constantly, so they are well versed in […]Read More »

Nice plan but it lacks teeth

Closer study of the South African Rugby Union’s Transformation Strategic Plan shows it has much to recommend it.  It is a five-year road map whose end point is 2019, the year in which the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan and, if all goes well, South Africa will, for the first time, field […]Read More »

A tale of two would-be Springboks: Johannes and Fikile

NO LESS a figure than Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has weighed in on the rugby transformation debate. In a letter to the Cape Times, written as the Springboks were preparing to take on Argentina in Salta last month, Tutu remarked that it was “particularly hurtful” to see the selection of black players as “peripheral squad […]Read More »

Banking on better run rugby

LOOK out for a subtle but seismic improvement in the quality of South African rugby administration over the next year or two. The election last week of Louis von Zeuner to the executive council (exco) of the South African Rugby Union (Saru) is fantastically good news for the game. The highly respected former deputy CEO […]Read More »

Jonathan Kaplan calls it like it is

IT IS well argued and highly constructive but, nevertheless, the verdict delivered on the state of the profession to which referee extraordinaire Jonathan Kaplan has devoted the past 30 years is quietly damning. As fans and players have long claimed, refereeing is often inadequate, but this has little to do with the quality or commitment […]Read More »

Split the cost, double the value

ONE hopes that the series of upsets that have characterised the Springboks’ first outings of the year bring a wake-up call to the mandarins of South African rugby. They are mismanaging their core asset — the players — and the consequences are plain for anyone who wants to see. First, there was the disruption occasioned […]Read More »

Springboks: here be dragons

IN DURBAN earlier this week, Springbok forwards coach Johann van Graan commandeered the burly shoulder of media manager De Jongh Borchardt to illustrate to me where the Bok scrum fell short against the World XV last Saturday: by a few centimetres. In an attempt to reduce injury, the International Rugby Board (IRB) last year implemented […]Read More »

SACS takes on KES

SIMMERING hostility over the poaching of schoolboy rugby talent has finally broken out into open warfare. The South African College School (Sacs), one of the oldest and best boys state schools in the country, has cut all ties with another venerable educational institution, King Edward High School (KES) in Johannesburg. Sacs’ rugby, water polo, cricket […]Read More »

Sharks show the way

THE Sharks’ dominance of the Super Rugby charts is a fine example of how a dynamic and visionary administration plays out on the field. Take, for instance, their response to the introduction earlier this year of racial quotas into the Vodacom Cup. Rugby’s protectionist right threw up their hands in horror. In contrast, the Sharks […]Read More »

New Super Rugby a better deal

THE upgraded version of Super Rugby, which will hit our screens and stadiums in 2016, is likely to be a significant improvement on the current model. Months of often painful negotiations between Sanzar partners South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have gone into it. There has been frequent recourse to a Canadian company specialising in […]Read More »

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