Australian Wallabies team to play Russia named

The selection of regular No 8 Radike Samo on the wing is the most notable among a number of changes made to the Wallabies side announced today for Saturday’s historic first ever clash against Russia.

Samo finished last week’s 67-5 win over the United States on the wing after a spate of injuries disrupted the Australian backline, scoring a try. He has been given a further chance to shine in the position as coach Robbie Deans shuffles his resources for Australia’s final pool match in the upper South Island city of Nelson.

Just two backs, and four forwards, have been retained in their starting positions from the run on combination that Australia fielded against the United States of America last Friday night.

Flyhalf Quade Cooper and winger Drew Mitchell remain in the backline.

Around them it is all change, with James O’Connor resuming after a hamstring injury at fullback, while Samo returns to the wing position he originally played in for the Canberra Vikings after his arrival in Australia in the late 1990s.

Last week’s hat-trick man, Adam Ashley-Cooper, moves from wing to centre, combining in the midfield with Berrick Barnes, after he performed well coming off the bench in Wellington.

Luke Burgess gains his first tournament start operating behind the Australian pack, but all three halfbacks in the Wallabies squad may get a run, with last week’s skipper Will Genia and third halfback Nick Phipps the only backs named on the bench.

Should Phipps feature along with reserve prop Salesi Ma’afu, all of Australia’s 30-man squad will have gained on-field time during the pool phase. The Australian Sevens representative would also become the first player to have represented the new Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise at a Rugby World Cup.

While Australia still has four backs – fullback Kurtley Beale, winger Digby Ioane and midfielders Rob Horne and Pat McCabe – unavailable through injury; the pressure is at least starting to ease on the Wallabies forwards.

Skipper and lock James Horwill and loose forward Scott Higginbotham both return, after being sidelined last week, while flanker David Pocock is also back in harness, with last year’s John Eales Medal winner featuring for the first time since Australia’s opening match of the tournament.

His return moves Force team-mate Ben McCalman from the side to the back of the scrum, while all three Australian hookers have been included, with Stephen Moore starting while Tatafu Polota Nau and Saia Fainga’a will play from the bench.

Although injuries have taxed Australia’s resources, with this week’s loss of No 8 Wycliff Palu for the tournament due to a hamstring injury the latest setback, Deans has no doubt that the combination selected for the weekend can get the result needed to secure Australia’s position in the next round of the competition.

“While there are various permutations as to where we might finish, we need to win first and foremost. No one in our group is looking beyond this match,” Deans says.

“The Russians won’t be easy. They will be excited about the prospect of playing against a top tier nation and will be looking to finish their first Rugby World Cup with a strong performance. They have been competitive in their three matches to date and scored two tries against Ireland.”

Deans says the inclusion of all three squad halfbacks, and all three hookers, was caused by the team’s current injury circumstance, as was the inclusion of Samo on the wing.

“We’ve had to be a bit creative but it’s never been about the number on their back,” he says.

“The players all know the role-play. While some of them might be out of their normal positions, they won’t let us down and will enjoy the opportunity. We saw that last week with Radike [Samo] and Tatafu [Polota Nau] in the match against the United States.”

A bonus point win will advance Australia into the quarter-finals, although the Wallabies will most likely finish as Pool C runners-up unless Italy beats Ireland in Dunedin on Sunday.

If both Australia and Italy were to record bonus point wins, and finish tied on the final standings, Australia would advance as the pool’s top qualifier because of its 32-6 win over Italy earlier in the tournament.

The Wallabies team to play Russia in the ninth match of Pool C at the Rugby World Cup, at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm NZ Daylight Saving time, 12.30pm AEST) is:

15. James O’Connor (Western Force)

14. Radike Samo (Queensland Reds)

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)

12. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)

11. Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs)

10. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)

9. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)

8. Ben McCalman (Western Force)

7. David Pocock (Western Force)

6. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)

5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)

4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds, captain)

3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)

2. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

1. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)

Run on Reserves:

16. Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs)

17. Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)

18. Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies)

19. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)

20. Rocky Elsom (Brumbies)

21. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)

22. Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)

Test Notes

  • This is the first instance of Australia facing Russia in rugby union.
  • Russia, which has qualified for its first Rugby World Cup, became the tournament’s 25th individual participant by doing so.
  • Saturday’s match is the 529th Test played by a side recognised as representing Australia. Russia will become the 24th different opponent to have featured against the Wallabies in those Test matches, and the first ‘new’ opponent since Australia played the combined Pacific Islands side at Adelaide in 2004.
  • The only participant on debut in 2011, this match represents the Russians last opportunity to avoid becoming the ninth country unable to win a match on its Rugby World Cup debut. Japan, Tonga and Zimbabwe all came away empty handed from the inaugural event in 1987 while Cote ‘D Ivoire (1995), Spain and Namibia (1999), Georgia (2003) and Portugal (2007) have subsequently failed to register a win during their maiden Rugby World Cup appearances. Russia has already lost Pool matches against the United States of America, Italy and Ireland.
  • During the Cold War era, a side represented the USSR, appearing in Nelson during the Soviets’ 1991 tour of New Zealand. The political break-up of the former Soviet Union later that year saw the individual republics go their own separate way. Two of them have subsequently featured at the Rugby World Cup, with Russia’s entry this year following on from Georgia’s admittance to the tournament at the 2003 event in Australia.
  • While Australia is on debut at Trafalgar Park in Nelson, the venue did host both the NSW Waratahs and Brumbies sides in Super Rugby matches earlier in the year after the Crusaders franchise relocated the matches from earthquake-hit Christchurch.
  • Nelson was the venue for the first recorded game of rugby union in New Zealand, 141 years ago on 14 May, 1870.

Gavin Rajah -no shaver for 2011 -whats going on!!!!!!!!!!!

Allister Coetzee today released his DHL WP team to take on The Sharks, on Saturday 1 October, at Mr Price Kings Park at 17h05.

Allister Coetzee today released his DHL WP team to take on The Sharks, on Saturday 1 October, at Mr Price Kings Park at 17h05.

Heinrich Steyl starts at 15 and Conrad Jantjes who has not trained this week, will play off the bench. Berton Klaasen starts at 13, giving Sadie who will play off the bench a break. Nizaam Carr is included at 8 for the injured Koster, who is named on the bench bracketed with the returning Pieter Louw. Siya Kolisi is promoted to the starting XV in jersey 7, with Tertius Daniller moving to the bench. Adriaan Fondse returns at 4 lock for Hilton Lobberts who is rested completely this week. JC Kritzinger returns from a long injury lay-off in the 1 jersey with JD Moller falling out of the match 22.

The team to play is:

15. Heinrich Steyl

14. Danie Poolman

13. Berton Klaasen

12. Marcel Brache

11. JJ Engelbrecht

10. Lionel Cronje

9. Dewaldt Duvenage

8. Nizaam Carr

7. Siya Kolisi

6. Nick Fenton-Wells

5. De Kock Steenkamp

4. Adriaan Fondse

3. Brok Harris

2. Tiaan Liebenberg (C)

1. JC Kritzinger

RESERVES:

16. Deon Fourie

17. Frans Malherbe

18. Tertius Daniller

19. Nick Koster /Pieter Louw

20. Louis Schreuder

21. Johann Sadie

22. Conrad Jantjes

Referee: Mark Lawrence

KICK-OFF: 17h05

PRODUCTIVE 2011 FOR FORMER IDOLS WINNER JASON HARTMAN

As the current season of Idols comes to an end, joint winner of the 2009 competition, Jason Hartman, has been hard at work with various initiatives and projects. This year alone has seen performances in the Royal wedding festivities in Monaco, a collaboration with a world-renowned songwriter, a part in a movie as well as an active role in providing a voice against global poaching. Not to forget, Jason is currently working on new material for a single to be released within the next couple of months as well as a new album release in 2012.In July, Jason took part in the wedding festivities of the Prince and Princess of Monaco where he and his band opened for The Eagles. This performance earned him a standing ovation and soon entrenched Jason as a celebrity off South Africa soil. He performed a number of gigs in Monaco and appeared on Radio Monaco, where he has new fewer than two songs off his current album, On The Run (Sony Music), play listed.

Whilst in Monaco, Jason was introduced to legendary Italian singer songwriter Umberto Tozzi, who had smash hits with Gloria and Ti Amo (both later covered by the late Laura Branigan in the eighties). The pair will be working together on new material, which will be considered for Jason’s forthcoming album.

Jason has also been selected as an ambassador the International Anti- Poaching Foundation (IAPF) where he will be not only using his “celebrity capital” to raise awareness around the current issue, but will undergo intensive physical training to play an active part in the combat against poaching, a global problem that is threatening the extinction of many species including rhino.As an avid gardener, Jason has for the last few years been on a mission to empower people in poorer communities with the skills to sustain themselves through planting and maintaining their own vegetable crops.

Most recently, Jason had his debut role in the local movie A Million Colours, which was released at the 2011 Montreal Film Festival. The film is due to hit South African screens later in the year.

Introducing FLOOK.co.za. Sporting Deals – South Africa’s first sports group buying site

Introducing FLOOK.co.za. Sporting Deals – South Africa’s first sports group buying site

Introducing FLOOK.co.za: The first local group buying company focusing exclusively on sports deals in South Africa. FLOOK.co.za will be launched this week and kicks off with several fetching deals for sports players and fans, including discounted group buying rates at leading golf courses, cycle shops and clothing retailers, as well as a limited offer on Ernie Els’s signature wines.

Normal retail and rack prices will be reduced by as much as 50%.

The launch offers include rolled-back rates at championship golf courses across South Africa, including Erinvale, Durban Country Club, Royal Cape, Parkview and the Garden Route gem, Pezula to name a few.

Other deals include 50% off World Cup Rugby apparel and tempting prices for a major bicycle service at leading cycle retailers.

The Might of Sport

Special interest group buying signals a departure from the “generic” restaurant/spa/salon model employed by most group buying sites. FLOOK.co.za caters for a vast and affluent market: South Africa’s sports-mad participants and fans.

‘The group buying rage has not catered to me or my contemporaries. Brazilian blow-dries, half-price waxes or cheap massages are all desirable deals – but I don’t want those things, and neither do my friends. So these frequent offers have become a nuisance. We want great golf deals, discounted services on our mountain bikes, a top deal on a Bok jersey, Ernie Els’s signature wine at a fantastic price, or a contract at a gym preferred by professional sportsmen,’ says FLOOK Managing Director, Nic Wides.

‘FLOOK will carry sporting deals for South African sports players and fans. We will remain relevant and listen to our market.’

Collective sports buying

FLOOK is dedicated to serving up sporting deals of interest to its market. The FLOOK executives are graduates of the business of sport and offer experience and congenial relationships with stakeholders across the industry.

the inclusion of sporting jargon. A visit to FLOOK.co.za feels like being in your own change room at a home game.

Visit FLOOK.co.za now, register on the site and explore the exclusive launch deals that have been secured for subscribers.

PATRIZIO BUANNE AND DANA WINNER TO TOUR SOUTH AFRICA TOGETHER IN OCTOBER

Great news for Patrizio Buanne and Dana Winner fans is that the two international stars, who have each separately built big fan followings in South Africa, are due to perform concerts together for the first time in SA.

Italian Patrizio and Belgian Dana have both enjoyed tremendous success in SA with frequent live concert performances and best-selling album releases. The two stars will perform together at the end of October in Sun International venues: Carnival City Casino’s Big Top Arena in Gauteng on Saturday 29 October, and in Cape Town at Grand West Casino’s Grand West Arena on Sunday 30 October. Patrizio and Dana will each perform their well-known and established big hits as well as some exciting new and different numbers, including a selection of South Africa’s best-loved and famous songs.

Whilst Dana has previously recorded in Afrikaans, an exciting new development is that Patrizio has recorded a special new album aimed exclusively at South African audiences, including half the tracks with him singing in Afrikaans. This follows the amazing success and great reaction that Patrizio enjoyed when he recorded the South African classic ‘Liefling’ in Afrikaans and Italian with South African star Steve Hofmeyr.

Besides their individual performances during the live concerts where both artists will sing in English and Afrikaans (and Patrizio naturally in Italian as well), Patrizio and Dana will perform a spectacular new duet together, entitled ‘Life is Beautiful’, that promises to be a high-light of an already amazing event catering for an ever-broadening audience. Clearly these concerts featuring two popular international stars together are not to be missed.

STOP PRESS!! As an extra-special bonus for the concerts . . . Nianell and Corlea Both have both recorded duets with Patrizio (in English and Afrikaans respectively) and both ladies have been contracted to appear on the concerts with Patrizio and Dana as special guests.

Patrizio Buanne and Dana Winner Live in Concert together – Not to be Missed!

Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. In Johannesburg prices are: R510, R495, R395, R295 and R190, while in Cape Town they are R440, R360, R280 and R200.

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Viviers: 011 616-6507

Wycliff Palu to return to Australia

Wallabies Injury Update – Wycliff Palu to return to Australia

Wallabies No 8 Wycliff Palu is returning to Australia. The 29 year-old limped out of his 38th Test match last weekend in Wellington after suffering the reoccurrence of a hamstring strain in his left leg.

Scans in Christchurch yesterday revealed the extent of the damage.

Given the reoccurrence of the injury, Palu is expected to require six weeks of rehabilitation before he would be fit to be considered for selection again.

Unfortunately this time frame rules him out of further participation in the Rugby World Cup which has prompted the selectors to release him from the squad.

“It’s bad luck for Wycliff. Unfortunately his previous history of injury in this area has impacted, in terms of lengthening the timelines that are required for his rehabilitation,” Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says.

While Palu will be replaced in Australia’s 30-man squad, Deans says the selectors will be taking their time with that decision, and may even delay any call until after this weekend’s final Pool match against Russia in Nelson, so they can determine at that point what the team’s specific needs are.

Lock Dan Vickerman and fullback Kurtley Beale also underwent scans in Christchurch yesterday.

Vickerman was cleared of any problems in his leg.

Beale, who left the field during the first half of last week’s 67-5 win over the United States, was diagnosed with a minor hamstring strain which will see him rested from this weekend’s final pool match in order to get him ready for a possible quarter-final the following weekend.

Midfielders Pat McCabe (shoulder), Anthony Fainga’a (head) and Rob Horne (cheek) also left the field during Australia’s third pool match.

Fainga’a is following the IRB concussion protocols required by tournament and could be available for Australia’s next match.

Although McCabe and Horne will miss Saturday’s historic game against Russia, the timelines have been established for their return to playing duties, and they will both be remaining with the squad.

McCabe, who has made considerable progress with his injury since last weekend, is expected to be fit for consideration for a possible quarter-final appointment, while a possible semi-final (should Australia qualify) has been set as the return date for Horne after he underwent scans in Christchurch on Sunday.

Although unavailable to play, Horne will run with the squad during its public training in Hanmer Springs this afternoon.

Winger Digby Ioane is continuing his rehabilitation from the dislocated thumb he sustained in Australia’s opening match of the tournament against Italy, and is on-track to be available should the Wallabies qualify for the quarter-finals.

Flankers David Pocock (back) and Scott Higginbotham (back), winger James O’Connor and lock James Horwill (shoulder) are all expected to be available for selection for Australia’s next match at the tournament.

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