Super Rugby 2018

Saber_rider45

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I only have this strange idea that SARU may have some Blitzbokke in mind with the Rugby World Cup preparation and plan.

Yes, centre is currently an issue as some will be leaving. Scrumhalves, yes... no... they have some youngsters, the question is who will provide them with the leaderships in terms with continuity, the succession plan. The experience is between Vermaak and Duvenage. I guess there may be a new signing which I guess will be an experienced player.
So looks like Flyhalf will also be a problem Rob du Preez leaving and Jean-Luc du Plessis seems to have a long term injury, leaves Damian Willemse as the incumbent.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/98427278/chiefs-confirm-coaching-lineup-for-2018-super-rugby-season

Chiefs confirm coaching lineup for 2018 Super Rugby season

The Chiefs have belatedly confirmed the appointment of Tabai Matson as an assistant coach for the 2018 and 2019 Super Rugby seasons

The former Crusaders assistant left his job as head coach of Bath in England at the start of September, and was reported to be joining the Chiefs soon afterwards.

The appointment was confirmed on Wednesday evening, and Matson will join returning assistants Neil Barnes, Andrew Strawbridge and Carl Hoeft, under new head coach Colin Cooper in 2018.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/98400937/crusaders-set-to-name-all-blacksladen-squad-for-super-rugby-title-defence

Crusaders set to name All Blacks-laden squad for Super Rugby title defence

Part II of Scott Robertson's reign as Crusaders coach begins when he names his Super Rugby squad on Wednesday.

Given everything the Crusaders achieved during Robertson's debut season as head coach, losing just one game during the round-robin and repulsing the Lions for a memorable 25-17 victory in the final in Johannesburg on August 6, anyone critiquing the defending champion's squad for 2018 shouldn't brace for shock defections.

Because he will be in London to help Robbie Deans prepare the Barbarians to play the All Blacks at Twickenham on Sunday morning, Robertson won't be in Christchurch for the unveiling of the squad but the fact he had locked-in 90 per cent of his players by mid-September it's unlikely he had to do much late shopping prior to his departure.

Given 13 All Blacks form a vital plank of his squad, along with the yet-to-be capped Jack Goodhue, and that he also has secured other key contributors in Jordan Taufua and Richie Mo'unga, Robertson had several powerful bargaining chips to present when searching for recruits to fill the remaining vacancies in his squad.

Because NZ Rugby allow Super Rugby teams to spend around $4 million on players, much of the budget would be spent on the big-ticket players. The maximum retainer for a Super Rugby player is capped at $195,000, the minimum is $75,000.

Robertson might not be able to wave a fat cheque when luring a young prospect to Christchurch, but he can tell them straight-up they will be training alongside some of the best players in the world, and in an organisation that knows how to win a title.

The five New Zealand coaches are given licence to contract up to 38 players, although that number could be inflated to allow for any long-term replacement player exemptions.
 

DanDango

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http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/CurrieCup/griquas-duo-loaned-to-lions-cheetahs-20171101

Meyer will stay at the Lions until the end of Super Rugby, while Coertzen will play for the Cheetahs until the end of May 2018.

Griquas have agreed to loan two backline stalwarts to South African franchise teams.

The Kimberley-based union announced on Tuesday that scrumhalf Christiaan Meyer would join the Lions for next year’s Super Rugby tournament, while captain and fullback AJ Coertzen would join the Cheetahs for their PRO14 campaign.

Both are loan agreements and the players will return to play for Griquas in next year’s Currie Cup.

Meyer will stay at the Lions until the end of Super Rugby, while Coertzen will play for the Cheetahs until the end of May 2018.
 

Fulcrum29

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New Zealand squads named:

http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/nz-super-rugby-squads-named-for-2018-20171101

NZ Super Rugby squads named for 2018

Cape Town - New Zealand's five Super Rugby franchises, the Crusaders, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Chiefs and Blues, have named their squads for the 2018 season.

Familiar names with unfamiliar faces, 42 new recruits, nine sets of brothers including two twins are included in the squads which were named on Wednesday.

A total 190 professional players have been signed for the new season - 38 for each of the New Zealand Super Rugby clubs - the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders.

...

New Zealand Super Rugby squads for 2018:

BLUES

Forwards: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Dalton Papalii, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai

Backs: Sam Nock, Augustine Pulu, Jonathan Ruru, Otere Black/Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bryn Gatland, Stephen Perofeta, Matt Johnson, George Moala, Tamati Tua, TJ Faiane, Sonny Bill Williams, Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai, Jordan Trainor

CHIEFS

Forwards: Liam Polwart, Nathan Harris, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross, Atu Moli, Kane Hames, Mitchell Graham, Nepo Laulala, Sosefo Kautai, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Fin Hoeata, Michael Allardice, Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Sam Cane, Taleni Seu, Tyler Ardron

Backs: Brad Weber, Jonathan Taumateine, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Damian McKenzie, Marty McKenzie, Tiaan Falcon, Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, Johnny Fa’auli, Regan Verney, Levi Aumua, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson, Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu, Tim Nanai-Williams

CRUSADERS

Forwards: Ben Funnell, Andrew Makalio, Codie Taylor, Mike Alaalatoa, Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Oliver Jager, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Scott Barrett, Mitchell Dunshea, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Sam Whitelock, Ethan Blackadder, Billy Harmon, Kieran Read, Tom Sanders, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd

Backs: Mitchell Drummond, Bryn Hall, Jack Stratton, Mike Delany, Mitchell Hunt, Richie Mo’unga, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge, Israel Dagg, David Havili, Will Jordan, Jone Macilai, Manasa Mataele, Seta Tamanivalu

HIGHLANDERS

Forwards: Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Tyrel Lomax, Guy Millar, Aki Seiuli, Siate Tokolahi, Kalolo Tuiloma, Alex Ainley, Josh Dickson, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Pari Pari Parkinson, Elliot Dixon, Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, James Lentjes, Dan Pryor, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock

Backs: Kayne Hammington, Josh Renton, Aaron Smith, Josh Ioane, Fletcher Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Richard Buckman, Patelesio Tomkinson, Rob Thompson, Teihorangi Walden, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Matt Faddes, Tevita Li, Josh McKay, Tevita Nabura, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith

HURRICANES

Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Alex Fidow, Reg Goodes, Ben May, Toby Smith, Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, James Blackwell, Murray Douglas, Michael Fatialofa, Sam Lousi, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Gareth Evans, Vaea Fifita, Sam Henwood, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson

Backs: Jamie Booth, Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Va’a, Ihaia West, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett, Wes Goosen, Ben Lam, Jonah Lowe, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea
 

Fulcrum29

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I see the Sunwolves will also only have 38 players signed and that they may be named within this week. They seem to have copied the New Zealand recipe, but I am interested in who the so-called non-Japan eligible marquee players will be.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/rugby-union/brumbies/act-brumbies-set-to-target-henry-speight-and-christian-lealiifano-after-sponsorship-deal-20171031-gzccdn.html

ACT Brumbies set to target Henry Speight and Christian Lealiifano after sponsorship deal

The ACT Brumbies are set to make Henry Speight and Christian Lealiifano retention targets as they prepare to fight rich European and Japanese clubs for their marquee players.

The Brumbies have all but finalised their squad for the 2018 season, with the last three pieces of the puzzle expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks for the start of pre-season training.

But after securing off-field stability with a major sponsorship deal on Wednesday, the club has already turned one eye to the future and re-signing off-contract players.

The Brumbies hope a three-year deal worth almost $3 million will ease the financial pressure on the club after losing more than $3 million since 2014.

They are expected to be one of the only Australian franchises to turn a profit this year and a long-term partnership with Israel company Plus 500 ends any uncertainty about their financial viability.

The next challenge will be fending off overseas bids for key players who are off contract at the end of next year, including Speight and Lealiifano.
I will be happy to see Lealiifano return to Super Rugby, probably the best Wallaby, a-hem Kiwi, playmaker in Australia. I have an idea that the Sunwolves may be interested.
 

DanDango

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18 players part ways with Lions
http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/CurrieCup/18-players-part-ways-with-lions-20171102

Johannesburg - The Lions have announced the release of 18 players whose contracts were not renewed.

The biggest names on the list are fullback/flyhalf Jaco van der Walt and loose forward Fabian Booysen.

Van der Walt’s brother, Gerdus - who has played centre for the Lions - has also been released by the union.

Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of Lions Rugby Company, wished all the players the “very best for their future endeavours”.

With Coetzee moving on, the Lions will be looking for a flyhalf to provide back-up for No 10 incumbent Elton Jantjies.

The Lions meanwhile, also announced that scrumhalf Christiaan Meyer would join them on loan from Griquas for the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Straeuli told Netwerk24 that they would be announcing more loan agreements in due course.

Players released by the Lions:

Adre Smit, Bader Pretorius, Barend Smith, Curtis Jonas, Divan Henning, Fabian Booyen, Gerdus van der Walt, Gideon Botha, Jaco van der Walt, Jacobus Tredoux, JP du Preez, Le Roux Baard, Lincoln Daniels, MC de Jongh, Morney Moos, Rheyno Potgieter, Runan Venter, Wihan Jacobs
 

DanDango

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Sharks confirm Mapimpi signing
http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/sharks-confirm-mapimpi-signing-20171103

Cape Town - The Sharks have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old wing Makazole Mapimpi.

The in-form wing has been performing superbly for the Cheetahs in the PRO14 this year, and before that he had a stellar season for the Kings in Super Rugby.

The franchise announced the signing on their Twitter page on Friday.

Mapimpi is expected to arrive in Durban ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season after having played his way into the Springbok selection mix this year.

The Sharks also on Thursday confirmed the signing of Western Province flyhalf Robert du Preez.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/world-cup/ronan-ogara-to-be-poached-by-top-new-zealand-super-rugby-outfit-report-36306765.html

Ronan O'Gara to be poached by top New Zealand Super Rugby outfit - report

Former Munster and Ireland legend Ronan O'Gara appears poised for a sensational move to the southern hemisphere.

Today's Irish Examiner is reporting that the Corkman is set to swap Racing 92 for the reigning Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders.

O'Gara will become assistant head coach to Scott Robertson next year.

He is expected to sign an initial two-year deal.

A move to New Zealand would be a major lifestyle change for O'Gara and his family but would also boost his CV significantly.
 

Fulcrum29

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Jake White’s Toyota Verblitz has beaten the Melbourne Rebels 36-28 in Japan. Verblitz excluded all Sunwolves and Japan players on tour, Rebels excluded all Australian players on tour.
 

Agent_Smith

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Apparently the Sharks have signed Leolin Zas from WP?

*apologies if already posted...
 

DanDango

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Sharks snap up Janse van Rensburg
http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Springboks/sharks-snap-up-janse-van-rensburg-20171113

Janse van Rensburg will join the Sharks later this week after having being a key figure for the Lions in their last two Super Rugby campaigns.

He will remain with the club until February when he will return to South Africa to play for the Lions ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

The 23-year-old began his professional career with the Blue Bulls in the 2013/14 season, making seven appearances and scoring four tries before moving to the Lions where he has also been a key figure for Golden Lions in their recent Currie Cup campaigns.

Janse van Rensburg's breakthrough season in Super Rugby came in 2016 when he scored 10 tries as he helped the Lions reach the Super Rugby final and he also won his first Test cap for South Africa, playing in their final end-of-year Test against Wales.

Janse van Rensburg made a similarly strong start to the 2017 campaign too before his progress was interrupted by a knee injury, but he returned to action with a vengeance later in the year.

Boasting a strong physical presence, 6-foot-1 Janse van Rensburg weighs 110kg and is a powerful runner with the ball in hand as well as being a devastating finisher and he has established a reputation as one of South Africa's most exciting young talents.

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond said he was delighted to welcome the exciting young South African to the club.

"Rohan is a powerful, highly abrasive centre and we are very happy that he will be joining up with us," said Diamond.

"He's only 23 and I'm sure he will be an excellent addition to our squad.

"He was recommended by Faf de Klerk and Josh Strauss and everyone here is looking forward to welcoming Rohan to the club."
 

Fulcrum29

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http://ewn.co.za/2017/11/15/stormers-bulls-set-for-super-rugby-clash-in-los-angeles

STORMERS, BULLS SET FOR SUPER RUGBY CLASH IN LOS ANGELES

The match will be played as a curtain raiser for the clash between the USA Eagles and an Argentina XV at Stub Hub Center.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Super Rugby sides, the Stormers and the Bulls, are scheduled to play a Super Rugby preseason game in Los Angeles, California on 3 February 2018.

The match will be played as a curtain raiser for the clash between the USA Eagles and an Argentina XV at Stub Hub Center, which forms part of the Americas Rugby Championship.

This will be the first time that Super Rugby sides will be playing in the United States, and Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, says that the match presents a great opportunity to promote the union's brand, and help grow the game.
 

Fulcrum29

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https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-newspapers/central-north-island/sport/sport-region-6459/98830223/Wandering-Kalolo-Tuiloma-finds-a-new-home-at-the-Highlanders

Wandering Kalolo Tuiloma finds a new home at the Highlanders

Former Timaru Celtic loose forward Kalolo 'Karlos' Tuiloma has hit the rugby big time by signing with the Highlanders for 2018.

These days, however, Tuiloma props the scrum rather than hanging off the side but still makes a big impact.

And the big tighthead is delighted with the opportunity to join the southern franchise for his first taste of Super Rugby.

"It's awesome to be signed by the Highlanders.

"I just moved down to Dunedin and am sorting my accommodation, it's exciting."

Tuiloma said the Highlanders showed an interest in him and flew him down for Aaron Smith's 100th game.

"I can't wait to get going. I enjoy the challenge of taking on a new environment."

Rugby has been a rollercoaster ride for the 27-year-old but the Highlanders offers a new high.

...

Away from rugby though he ballooned to a colossal 181kg.

However, after losing weight and winning three club premierships with Bombay, including their first in 50 years, he found himself in the Counties Manukau side.

Tuiloma arrived at the Steelers set-up at 151kg, but the daily training and conditioning has seen him drop to 142kg, while his skill level in the front row also improved dramatically.

"At first it was hard, leaving my job to train but once I was fulltime (rugby) it got easier."

In October 2016, Tuiloma took up a seven month contract with French club side Grenoble, as a wildcard for injury cover.

"I was pinching myself on the plane.

"I couldn't believe it was happening until I flew over. It was unreal, a new country and a new club.

"I was grateful for the opportunity, in fact all the opportunities I have had."

Back with the Steelers this year he made the Chiefs development side year, touring to Hong Kong, before getting the call to come back down south.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/force-quartet-heading-to-rebels-20171116

Force quartet heading to Rebels

Cape Town - The Melbourne Rebels have added an international quartet to their squad with the signings of Matt Philip, Billy Meakes, Richard Hardwick and Tayler Adams ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Wallabies Philip, Hardwick and Meakes will reunite with head coach David Wessels until the end of the 2019 season while former New Zealand under-age international Adams will get his first shot at Super Rugby.

“We’re delighted to have Matt, Dickie (Richard) and Billy join us," Wessels told the Melbourne Rebels' official website.

"All three of them work incredibly hard and want to be part of the Wallabies team at the next World Cup. They’ll be a great addition to our squad both on and off-field.

“Tayler has shown exceptional potential this year with his consistency and game management for West Harbour and New South Wales Country Eagles.

“The four will add to our depth and versatility, as well as create healthy competition among the group.”
 
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