Springboks

Boks will do what it takes to play Lions

The Lions are scheduled to tour South Africa for eight matches between July 3 and Aug. 7 this year, including three tests against the world champion Springboks.

But with all nations involved in the grip of the COVID-19 crises, the series remains in serious doubt in its current form.

A decision is likely to be made next month, but Erasmus says from a Bok point of view they are ready to look at all scenarios to ensure the tests go ahead.

Boks still to decide on Rugby Championship

Rugby South Africa says "several hurdles needed to be cleared if it is to be confirmed" that the Springboks participate in the four-nation Southern Hemisphere championship in Australia from November 7 to December 12.

The South African government lifted the ban on international sporting participation one week ago but SA Rugby said it was seeking further clarification on the regulations.

"A final decision is likely to be finalised early next week once those clarifications had been assessed internally and with SA Rugby's SANZAAR partners," a statement added.

Teams named for Springboks trial game, with Kolisi set to resume captaincy

The Green team is coached by Mzwandile Stick, with SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus serving as the team commissioner, while Deon Davids is the Gold team coach and Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber team commissioner.

Stick was forced to make three changes to his matchday squad for the clash after utility forward Oupa Mohoje tested positive for Covid-19 and prop Trevor Nyakane was withdrawn from the squad after being in close contact with his former  Cheetahs teammate. Ex-Junior Springbok utility back Mnombo Zwelendaba was ruled out due to a hip injury.

Springboks to replace Japan in eight-team rugby tournament

The Brave Blossoms, who hosted last year's World Cup, pulled out because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Georgia were touted as replacements but World Rugby vice-chairman Bernard Laporte says they are now in "advanced discussions" with South Africa.

The Springboks involvement would put in doubt their participation in any Rugby Championship in New Zealand.

A spokesperson for South Africa Rugby said they had "no knowledge of such an arrangement being planned".

     

Boks yet to decide on which competition to play

The Springboks have not been in action since lifting the World Cup in Japan last year, and face an uncertain schedule in the remainder of 2020 as travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic limit their ability to tackle multiple tours.

South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said they were hoping to start an eight-team domestic competition in either late August or early September to prepare players for an international window somewhere between October and December.

Lions not concerned by Tokyo Olympics clash with Springboks series

It was announced on Monday that the Games in Japan will be staged from July 23 to August 8, 2021 after being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Lions start the three-Test series against world champions South Africa on July 24, with further showdowns to come on July 31 and August 7.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley says kick-off times will prevent sports lovers from missing any of the action.

"Fans should not miss out on any action," said Calveley.

"We are determined to play our part in what will be an extraordinary summer of sport."

Erasmus hails 'warrior' Louw

The 34-year-old has called time on his Test career on the back of the Springboks' Rugby World Cup triumph in Japan.

Louw played 76 times for the world champions and Rugby Championship holders after making his debut against Wales in 2010.

South Africa director of rugby Erasmus paid tribute to the forward, who will continue to play for Premiership side Bath.

Goodbye to a warrior of 76 Tests
Test tries and numerous turnovers
Thank you for the memories 'Flo'

Springboks call up Damian Willemse

Kriel suffered a hamstring injury in the team's opening Pool B defeat to New Zealand and it has now been deemed he will not recover to feature in the group stage, prompting a switch with Willemse.

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said: "Damian would have been more involved with us this year but for injury. He is familiar with our systems and should have no problem slotting in."

He added: "I feel for Jesse. He has been in the matchday 23 for almost every match since I took over and is a model professional. He was a key member of the squad."

Springboks unchanged for All Blacks

Coach Rassie Erasmus will stick with the same XV and eight replacements that saw off hosts Japan 41-7 in a warm-up game two weeks ago.

It represents the first time the Springboks have stuck with the same side since the 2015 World Cup semi-final, which New Zealand edged 20-18 at Twickenham, while number eight Duane Vermeulen will win his 50th Test cap.

The only alteration from the team that played out a 16-16 Rugby Championship draw against the All Blacks in Wellington in July is fit-again captain Siya Kolisi starting at openside flanker in place of Kwagga Smith.

Habana optimistic about Springboks

Former Stormers and Munster boss Erasmus in March 2018 took over from Allister Coetzee, whose dismal spell at the helm included 11 wins in 25 Tests and the Springboks' heaviest loss – a 57-0 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand in the 2017 Rugby Championship.

Coetzee was appointed in 2016 and in his first year suffered eight defeats in 12 Tests.

Although Erasmus lost his first match at the helm, he engineered a series success against England and ended a nine-year wait for an away victory against New Zealand in 2018.