André Venter presents match day jerseys to Springboks

Former Springbok flank André Venter presented the Springboks with their match jerseys on Friday morning at their team hotel in Cape Town.

photo credit -Gallo images /SA Rugby

Venter played in 66 Tests for the Springboks between 1996 and 2001 and was a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom.

He has been in a wheelchair in recent years after being struck down by a degenerative syndrome of the central nervous system called transverse myelitis. He is a successful businessman and also a motivational speaker.

Venter shared some inspirational words with the Springboks before he presented the match 23 with their playing jerseys for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand.

“I can see there is something special happening within this group,” said Venter to the current crop of Springboks, and urged the players to embrace the responsibility of wearing the Green and Gold.

“It is important to believe in what you’re doing and where you’re heading. The Springboks have an unbelievable history and you must be able to write your own chapter.”

Venter had the honour to present the Bok players with their jerseys on two previous occasions, and said he was extremely grateful and blessed to do so for a third time. The honour of playing for the team and your country is something that is not easy to describe, explained Venter.

“Only when you’re no longer playing and not part of that unique circle anymore, that is when it dawns on you how special the Springbok environment is. My advice to the players is to enjoy the experience and to make a telling contribution to the rich story of the Springboks,” said Venter.

Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth described Venter as probably the hardest man ever to play for the Springboks: “He epitomises everything you want in a great Springbok, so it was an unbelievable honour to receive our Test jerseys from Andre.”

The Springboks tackle New Zealand tomorrow in a 17h05 kick off at DHL Newlands, the two teams’ final fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Egon Seconds promoted to Premier Referee Panel

Former Springbok Sevens and DHL Stormers speedster turned referee Egon Seconds has been promoted to the Premier Panel along with six of South Africa’s foremost match officials.

It’s the first time Seconds, who only started refereeing two years ago, has been grouped with the top group of referees, which includes Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper and Rasta Rasivhenge.

Pic left to right -Colin Jones ,Martin Myers ,Egon Seconds in 2011 -(We all did an online radio show called the Taxi ) pic at Newlands prior to Crusaders smashing the Stormers again ..

In a change to the structure of the panels, SA Rugby’s Refereeing Department has decided to split the old Elite Panel into two – the Premier and National A Panels.

According to Banks Yantolo, the changes were made to streamline the process of appointing and ensuring the best available match officials are available for the correct matches.

“We’re constantly working towards improving our systems to ensure not only that we have the best match officials on the field, but also to sustain our position as one of the best refereeing countries in the world,” said Yantolo.

“Our established Test referees have done us proud in recent years and it’s great to see new faces, such as Egon and Rasta, making the step up. They are two of our best up-and-coming referees and it’s good to know we have a number of superb young match officials who should be available for many years to come.

“Earlier this year, three of our referees, Rasta, Cwengile Jadezweni and Jaco van Heerden made their Test debuts.

“To see the progress made by Rasta, Cwengile, Jaco and Egon’s is not only heart-warming, but it shows that we’re doing something right as an organisation. There are many other examples and we’re excited to see what the future holds for our match officials.”

SA Rugby Referee Panels for 2017 (names in alphabetical order):

Premier Panel: Quinton Immelman, Craig Joubert, Jaco Peyper, Rasta Rasivhenge, Egon Seconds, Marius van der Westhuizen, Jaco van Heerden.

Not an April fools joke -Bok coach to be hopefully unveiled on 1 April

IN what is apparently not an April Fool’s joke, SA Rugby will announce the new Springbok coach on April 1 following a meeting of the general council on that date, with the issue of Springbok coach top of the agenda.

Yesterday the national governing body released a statement confirming that they have identified a successor to Heyneke Meyer and it is now a case of the council ratifying the choice.

It will almost certainly be Allister Coetzee, the assistant to Jake White between 2004 and 2007, the year the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in Paris. Coetzee was overlooked for the job in 2008, with Peter de Villiers a controversial choice. Coetzee went on to coach the Stormers until last year when he was pretty much given the elbow after failing to add an attacking edge to a Stormers side that ultimately stagnated in Super Rugby under his coaching.

Coetzee, now coaching in Japan, has said that he is available and hungry to coach the Boks.

(Pic -Coetzee with OTC team on Heart 104.9fm every Sat 9-10am}

But it is possible, but unlikely, that Coetzee might have been pipped by outsider Rassie Erasmus, the former Springbok flank, Cheetahs coach, and current Saru High Performance manager.

Nothing is ever clear when Erasmus is concerned and there have been conflicting reports in the media about his availability for the job. At one stage it seemed fait accompli that Erasmus would at least be caretaker coach of the Boks for the June series against touring Ireland, only for him to then say he was unavailable. But then last week Rapport newspaper quoted a Saru source as saying Erasmus had already started planning for Ireland …

Whether it is Coetzee or Erasmus, SA Rugby has made their choice.

“The high performance committee examined a list of potential coaches and identified their preferred candidate against a set of pre-determined criteria,” SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins commented,” probably in response to growing media criticism that SA Rugby is vacillating on vital issues.

Indeed, South African rugby has been besmirched with controversy this year, notably the alleged tussle between Hoskins and his CEO, Jurie Roux.

“In broad terms we were looking for someone with a proven track record at an elite level, someone who would embrace the objectives of our strategic transformation plan, and someone who would understand the public demands of the job and what that entails,” SA Rugby said.

And that just about precludes Erasmus, who has just two years as coach of the Cheetahs in his coaching CV.

“The executive council accepted the high performance committee’s recommendation some time ago and the preferred candidate’s name will now be set before the general council.”

by Mike Greenaway

#1995 RWC squad honored for “greatest day” in SA rugby history #1995reunited

South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins on Wednesday congratulated and thanked the Springbok squad involved in the 1995 Rugby World Cup as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their epic World Cup final win in Johannesburg.

The Springboks won their first Rugby World Cup on 24 June 1995, beating New Zealand, 15-12, in a memorable final played at Ellis Park. The result unleashed a tide of goodwill and nation-building across South Africa, which a year earlier had celebrated democracy after decades of racial segregation.

“We proudly celebrate this day as a rugby family, because this team helped Nelson Mandela unite a country,” said Mr Hoskins. “It was a moment that astonished a nation and provided one of the foundation stones for the country we were to become. It was arguably the greatest day in our rugby history.

“Mr Mandela together with that Springbok team pointed the way to a new future for our people and 20 years later that day still has a massive resonance.

“We continue to salute the 1995ers for what they achieved as a rugby team and what they meant to a nation.”

Mr Hoskins said it was also a day to remember and honour the legacy of the fallen heroes from that day, President Mandela, the Springbok coach Kitch Christie and flanker Ruben Kruger.

“They will never be forgotten for their role they played in shaping the country and the game we love so much,” said Mr Hoskins.

The Springboks’ achievement and Mr Mandela’s support meant that the team enjoyed the full support of all South Africans for the first time. The newly elected South African president famously wore the jersey of Springbok captain, Francois Pienaar, at the final, provoking chants of “Nelson, Nelson” from the predominantly white crowd.

Pienaar, in his winning speech, declared that the team had not the support of the 60 000 people in the stadium; it had had the support of 43 million South Africans across the country.

On Wednesday, Pienaar said: “I will never forget the emotions in the change room before the match, when Mr Mandela entered and how every one of us got ready for this huge match – some of them quiet, some of them jumping around in the change room, others bringing massive energy to the squad.

“We had a sense this was big, but never in our wildest dreams did we think that this game would have such an impact on every single person in South Africa.”

The 1995 squad reunited at the same venue on Wednesday, now called Emirates Airline Park, to re-live the event that shaped the history of the country and that of rugby forever.

All available members of the team joined up for a team photograph in front of a banner reading, “Still One Team, Still One Country” recalling the famous 1995 team slogan, “One Team, One Country”, on the spot where flyhalf Joel Stransky kicked his famous match-winning drop goal.

In a social media first for South African rugby, supporters were able to relive the final on Twitter with live commentary by members of the team while the match was re-broadcast on SuperSport.

“They were a special team that achieved special things,” said Mr Hoskins. “This is their day and we honour them and thank them for a legacy from which we still benefit.”


Front row (from left to right): Chester Williams, Balie Swart, Kitch Christie (coach), Francois Pienaar (captain), Morne du Plessis (manager), James Small, Gysie Pienaar (assistant coach), Hennie le Roux, Andre Joubert.

Middle row: Garry Pagel, Ruben Kruger, Rudolf Straeuli, Mark Andrews, Kobus Wiese, Krynauw Otto, Hannes Strydom, Robbie Brink, Adriaan Richter, Os du Randt.

Back row: James Dalton, Marius Hurter, Christiaan Scholtz, Japie Mulder, Gavin Johnson, Joost van der Westhuizen, Brendan Venter, Chris Rossouw, Joel Stransky, Johan Roux.

Credit: SARU

Twenty years on photo 24 June 2015
Front row (from left to right): Chester Williams, Balie Swart, Joost van der Westhuizen, Francois Pienaar (captain), Morne du Plessis (manager), Christiaan Scholtz, Gysie Pienaar (assistant coach), Hennie le Roux, Pieter Hendriks.

Middle row: Garry Pagel, Rudolf Straeuli, Mark Andrews, Kobus Wiese, Krynauw Otto, Hannes Strydom, Robbie Brink, Adriaan Richter.

Back row: Naka Drotské, Marius Hurter, Japie Mulder, Gavin Johnson, Brendan Venter, Chris Rossouw.

Credit: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

On Sat on Heart 104.9fm from 8-9am we discuss the topic “Professionalism in schoolboy r ugby”

On Saturday on Heart 104.9fm from 8-9am we discuss the topic “Professionalism in schoolboy rugby”, during OTC -On the couch .

The team of Flapper ,Martin and Tapfuma have a wonderful guest coming in to studio to discuss the topic

The 1st Xv coach of a local school has agreed to come and chat about the state of school boy rugby here in the Western Cape, and specifically about the apparent real or perceived professionalism that exists.

Please tune in and join the discussion from 8 -9am on Heart 104.9fm

%d bloggers like this: