15.co.za http://www.rugby15.co.za | Rugby News, Live Scores, Results, Fixtures Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:09:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 BNZ Crusaders past and present to battle it out for charity http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/bnz-crusaders-past-and-present-to-battle-it-out-for-charity/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/bnz-crusaders-past-and-present-to-battle-it-out-for-charity/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:09:21 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49374 They’re some of the best rugby players the region has seen, but we’re about to find out whether they can play cricket.  Members of the 2016 BNZ Crusaders squad will pit their skills against some past Crusaders legends next Sunday, 6 December, in the annual Cystic Fibrosis Crusaders Charity Cricket Match.


The event has been running for over 30 years and is a major fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand.  The match is free to attend but raises money through a raffle at the event and a halftime auction including items such as sports memorabilia, massage vouchers and beauty hampers, with all proceeds going towards helping families living with Cystic Fibrosis in our community.


The ‘Crusaders Past’ team will be captained by Justin Marshall and includes five players from the original 1996 Crusaders squad as well as other players who have represented the team at various times.  The ‘Crusaders Present’ team will be managed by Israel Dagg, who is unable to play due to injury, and captained by Mitchell Drummond.


Dagg says he has selected a fine young team to take on Marshall’s troops.


“We had trials earlier this week and there is some genuine talent in this group.  I think that we have a distinct age advantage in this game, and I suspect a pretty substantial fitness advantage too.  I don’t think we’ll have any problem wearing the old fellas out,” Dagg jibed.


“At the end of the day though, it’s not really about us or which team wins.  It’s about raising funds for this really worthy cause, and that’s something we’re all really keen to get behind.  It would be awesome to see a really big crowd come along on Sunday and support the teams and, more importantly, the cause.”


There will be entertainment for all the family, with an activity area including segways, a bouncy castle and face painting, plenty of food and drink on offer, and a chance to meet some of your BNZ Crusaders heroes – old or new!


The event runs from 11am until approximately 3pm at Christchurch Boys’ High School, Sunday 6 December.

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Highlanders look to bright future http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/highlanders-look-to-bright-future/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/highlanders-look-to-bright-future/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:05:01 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49371
  • Five year licence awarded to new operator
  • A group of primarily South Island private investors – 77 percent stake
  • Local Provincial Unions, New Zealand Rugby – 23 percent stake
  • Investec Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, have embarked on a new era with local Provincial Unions and South Island private investors being granted a licence to operate the team until 2020.

    The combined group of investors will inject substantial new capital into the 2015 Super Rugby winning team.

    The South Island private investor group is headed by Dunedin businessman Matthew Davey, Founder and CEO of ticketing agency Ticket Direct.

    Otago, Southland and North Otago Provincial Unions will have a 13 percent stake in the new operator.  New Zealand Rugby (NZR) retains a 10 percent share for the first two years which will further assist putting the side on a secure commercial footing.   The new venture is being underwritten by a guarantee from the Invercargill City Council in exchange for guaranteed Highlanders games in Invercargill.

    “The Highlanders are now well placed to face the future with renewed confidence and build on what has been a very successful year on the field,” said NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew.

    “The investor group brings considerable commercial experience, particularly in the sports consumer marketing area and they have great knowledge of the business of rugby.  This experience, coupled with strong provincial union support, will really help the Highlanders build a sustainable business and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

    New investors excited by future
    “For those who love rugby (like our group) it was simply too good an opportunity to pass up,” said Matthew Davey on behalf of the investor group.

    “We see this as a good business opportunity, but equally we have a strong emotional attachment to the South and for me in particular, the Highlanders. They’ve been my team from the very early days of Super Rugby  but it’s also fair to say that we’ve been impressed with the work and results that Roger Clark, Jamie Joseph and the previous Highlanders board have achieved, in building the Highlanders up to a point where a group such as ours would be interested.

    “We are an experienced, well-resourced, innovative group and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with rugby in the South and it’s certainly our ambition to build on the strong base that New Zealand Rugby has entrusted us with.”

    Doug Harvie, chairman of the board of the new operating company said: “Having been involved with Provincial Unions and the Highlanders, I am very pleased with this investment consortium taking the reins for the ensuing years. The commercial acumen they bring is exceptional, and will put the Highlanders in the very best position to build on last year’s success.”

    All five Super Rugby teams managed by new operators
    Today’s announcement completes the process begun in December 2011 with licences now awarded to operators of all five Investec Super Rugby teams.

    “When we embarked on this process we aimed to ensure the foundation for the professional game in this country remained strong and could adapt to future challenges and opportunities,” said Steve Tew. “We are now better equipped to ensure the professional game continues to feed a winning All Blacks team and keeps delivering for fans.”


    Key facts Highlanders licence

    • 5 year licence to August 2020
    • Shareholders: 77 percent: private investor consortium of four individuals; 13 percent: Highlanders Provincial Unions; Otago Rugby Football Union, North Otago Rugby Football Union, Rugby Southland Ltd; 10 percent: New Zealand Rugby
    • Seven person board – including one independent (Doug Harvie), two, one from Provincial Unions and New Zealand Rugby, four from private investors

    Investec Super Rugby Licences
    The operators of the five Super Rugby teams are owned by New Zealand Rugby when originally set up, and were run by boards representing the provincial unions in the local region and independent board members.

    Reviews into the financial sustainability and structure of Super Rugby and franchises identified the need to reinvigorate the franchise model and provide for additional investment to improve its financial sustainability.

    Expressions of interest were called for in December 2011 for four of the five licences. The Highlanders were not part of the process.

    A Super Rugby Licensee’s responsibilities will include:

    • management of the team both on-field and off-field including, the professional development for members of the squad
    • marketing and promotion of matches and the team
    • the Licensee will retain gate and sponsorship income and pay administration, additional coaching and management staff, training facilities, match operations, and marketing costs.

    New Zealand Rugby will:

    • retain ownership of the brands associated with each team
    • continue to fund player and head (plus one assistant) coach contracts from centralised broadcasting and sponsorship revenue.
    • continue to pay all travel and accommodation costs associated with the regular season (excluding playoffs) through SANZAR
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    Speight one of three debutants named for Aussie Sevens trip to Dubai http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/speight-one-of-three-debutants-named-for-aussie-sevens-trip-to-dubai/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/speight-one-of-three-debutants-named-for-aussie-sevens-trip-to-dubai/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:01:08 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49368 Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens interim coach Scott Bowen has selected three debutants in his 12-man squad for the opening round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

    Wallaby Henry Speight will earn his first national Sevens cap with lightning 24-year-old back Tom Kingston and rugged Stephan van der Walt also set to make their World Series bows at 50,000 capacity The Sevens Stadium.

    Ed Jenkins will captain the side, while star centre Cameron Clark needs just 30 points to overtake Peter Miller and become Australia’s all-time leading points scorer in the history of the Sevens World Series.

    Pat McCutcheon (hamstring) and Nick Malouf (knee) are unavailable for the Dubai Sevens due to injury.

    Australia head to Dubai on the back of some fine form having won the Central Coast Sevens last month and the Oceania Regional Olympic Qualifier in Auckland a fortnight ago. Last December, the Aussies finished tournament runners-up in Dubai after falling to a red-hot South Africa in the Cup Final.

    Scott Bowen said: “Everyone is excited for Dubai. The boys did well at the event 12 months ago and there is no reason to think we can’t perform well this time around.

    “The team is looking sharp and the players are fit and raring to go. As a group, we are battle-hardened having played in some high-pressure tournaments. When you add the fact we have three debutants keen to make their mark, then it’s a tournament for all of us – from players, coaches and fans – to look forward to.”

    The Dubai Sevens is the first of 10 legs on a re-vamped Men’s World Series calendar that now features Cape Town, Sydney, Singapore and Paris.

    Australia finished the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series in fifth position, 12 points behind fourth-placed England.

    The Dubai Sevens will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 from 3.30pm AEDT on Friday 4 December and on the same channel from 6pm AEDT on Saturday 5 December.

    Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures in Dubai, UAE, 4-5 December
    Australia v Kenya, Pool D, 6.36pm AEDT (4 December)
    Australia v Wales, Pool D, 10.20pm AEDT (4 December)
    Australia v England, Pool D, 3.42am AEDT (5 December)

    Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens squad for the Dubai Sevens at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, UAE:
    1. Henry Speight. Club: Aquis Brumbies, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT
    2. Tom Kingston. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
    3. Sam Myers. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Grenfell, NSW
    4. Lewis Holland. Club: Queanbeyan Whites, NSW. Hometown: Queanbeyan, NSW
    5. James Stannard. Club: Souths, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD
    6. Con Foley. Club: University of Queensland, QLD. Hometown: Fairfield, QLD
    7. Cameron Clark. Club: Northern Suburbs, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
    8. Stephan van der Walt. Place of Birth: Kersdop, South Africa
    9. Ed Jenkins. Club: Sydney University, NSW. Hometown: Sydney, NSW
    10. Allan Fa’alava’au. Club: Endeavour Hills, VIC. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC
    11. Pama Fou. Club: Souths, QLD. Hometown: Brisbane, QLD.
    12. Tom Cusack. Club: Canberra Royals, ACT. Hometown: Canberra, ACT

    Photo credit: World Rugby

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    New recruits Soyizwapi, Agaba in strong Academy line-up for Dubai http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/new-recruits-soyizwapi-agaba-in-strong-academy-line-up-for-dubai/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/new-recruits-soyizwapi-agaba-in-strong-academy-line-up-for-dubai/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 07:55:17 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49366 Frankie Horne will captain the SARU Sevens Academy team at the Dubai International tournament, which also includes two new Sevens recruits in Tim Agaba and Siviwe Soyizwapi, formerly of the EP Kings.


    Agaba and Soyizwapi this week became the latest Sevens recruits when they each agreed to terms with SARU to play Sevens for the next two years. Agaba is a talented No 8 while speedster Soyizwapi has already played for the Academy side in Singapore in September.


    SARU on Friday announced the 12-man squad for the Dubai tournament, which takes place on 4 and 5 December and will run concurrently with the opening round of the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.


    Apart from Horne, the Academy side – known as the Samurai Internationals – also includes Springbok Sevens internationals Ruhan Nel, Rosko Specman and Stephan Dippenaar.


    Together with Blitzbok veteran Horne, they will form the nucleus of a strong line-up which will aim for their third tournament win of the new season. The Academy side triumphed earlier in 2015, in August and September, in Windhoek and Singapore respectively.


    Marius Schoeman, team manager of the SARU Academy side, said he was looking forward to seeing the two former EP Kings players in action in the same Sevens outfit.


    “They are talented players and will find themselves amongst very experienced company in Dubai, where the opposition will also be very tough,” said Schoeman, a former stalwart of the Springbok Sevens team.


    Schoeman added that Horne and the rest of the senior players will play a mentoring role in the side.


    “Frankie has got vast experience of playing on the World Series circuit and he and the other Springbok Sevens players will give guidance to the promising youngsters,” said Schoeman.


    The team will travel to Dubai on Sunday afternoon.


    The Samurai International (SARU Sevens Academy) to play in the Dubai International Tournament is (SARU contracted, unless indicated):


    1. Timothy Agaba
    2. Sandile Ngcobo
    3. Frankie Horne (captain)
    4. Dylan Sage

    5, Dewald Human

    1. Rosko Specman
    2. Sphamandla Ngcobo
    3. Siviwe Soyizwapi
    4. Joel Booysen  (DHL Western Province)
    5. Ruhan Nel
    6. Sibahle Maxwane
    7. Stephan Dippenaar
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    RFU, RPA & PRL agree landmark player welfare funding deal http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/rfu-rpa-prl-agree-landmark-player-welfare-funding-deal/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/rfu-rpa-prl-agree-landmark-player-welfare-funding-deal/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 04:09:05 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49364 The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) today announced a new multi-year funding deal with its industry stakeholders, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL).

    The new 5-year deal will deliver a minimum of £7m into the RPA welfare, personal development and education programmes that supports the 650 current and over 350 former RPA members.

    RPA Group CEO Damian Hopley commented: “This long-term funding deal gives us the security to build on the very strong foundations that we have established over the last 17 years as one of the most progressive Players’ Associations in Europe. One of the key objectives of English rugby is to provide outstanding welfare, support and development programmes to all of our past, present and future members in order to give them the best opportunity to maximise their on and off field potential. By working closely with the RFU and the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, we are confident that we will take this support to unprecedented levels. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the RFU and Premiership Rugby as well as my Board and the members for their continued support of the essential work we conduct for the players and the game.”

    RPA Chairman and Northampton Saints’ lock Christian Day said: “This is a landmark day for the RPA and the Players’ Board are genuinely excited about the future of English Rugby. This agreement is a huge step forward for our members and it will act as a cornerstone for the RPA’s work in the years to come. We have also negotiated an enhanced Standard Contract that will provide greater protection and security at a time when scrutiny is, quite rightly, being focused on player welfare. We as players know that player welfare must be a huge priority for our sport. We will be working closely with all of the game’s stakeholders to see what more can be done to continually improve conditions for the health and safety of our members.”

    RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said: “Support for existing and former players is paramount and we are delighted that this deal has been achieved. Player welfare in all its forms, be it safety, health, education or preparing for life after rugby, is a priority for everyone in the game and we are confident that this agreement will help the RPA continue to deliver and enhance their programmes.”

    Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “Continued investment by the clubs in all aspects of welfare for their players is fundamental to the long term strength and vibrancy of the English professional game.

    “We’ve worked closely with the RPA over many years to develop the support programmes which are now an increasingly key factor for professional players in England. We welcome the new agreement which will allow all parties to continue to develop these over the next few years.”

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    Black Ferns training squad for 2015 / 2016 http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/black-ferns-training-squad-for-2015-2016/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/black-ferns-training-squad-for-2015-2016/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 04:03:02 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49362 The campaign to win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 has begun with the wider Black Ferns training squad named today.

    The 56 players will be part of a 12-month high performance training programme for 2016, focussed on strength and conditioning, and building technical and tactical skills.

    Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore said he and his coaching and management team are looking ahead to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in 2017 in naming a wider squad.

    “We’ll be announcing our Test programme for 2016 soon and all these women have the opportunity to be part of the Black Ferns.

    “We have our eyes on the prize – the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017. The campaign to once again be world champions has begun. The players are hungry for it and we will make sure the World Cup team represents the best players in New Zealand.

    “We’ve just had a very competitive Women’s Provincial Championship season and we want to continue the momentum.”

    The squad features 18 current Black Ferns including World Rugby’s 2015 Women’s Rugby Player of the Year, Kendra Cocksedge, and captain Fiao’o Fa’amausili.

    The coaching staff has also been confirmed. The Assistant Forwards Coach is once again Wesley Clarke and Grant Keenan has been appointed as Assistant Backs Coach for the first time. Keenan is currently coach of New Zealand Heartland XV and Mid Canterbury. He was also the coach of Auckland B from 2011-2012 and coached professionally in Japan for Toyota from 2007 to 2011.

    New Zealand Rugby’s Head of Women’s Rugby Development, Cate Sexton said the experience within the coaching and management team and depth of player talent was indicative of the increased interest and resources for women’s rugby at all levels.

    “Naming 56 players from around New Zealand who have a shot at the black jersey shows how much talent is out there. We really want to develop that talent and make sure when we select the squad for our Test series and later the Women’s Rugby World Cup that we have the best of the best.”


    Toka Natua – Waikato
    Hinewai Pomare – Counties Manukau
    Moana Aiatu – Wellington
    Luka Connor – Bay of Plenty
    Jessie Hansen – Canterbury
    Sosoli Talawadua – Waikato
    Fiao’o Fa’amausili – Auckland
    Te Kura Ngata – Counties Manukau
    Rebekah Tufuga – Manawatu
    Teresa Te Tamaki – Waikato
    Aleisha Nelson – Auckland
    Aldora Itunu – Auckland
    Katie Mailata – Counties Manukau
    Steph Te Ohaere Fox – Canterbury
    Elosie Blackwell – Auckland
    Charmaine Smith – North Harbour
    Sanita Levave – Wellington
    Rawinia Everitt – Counties Manukau
    Charmaine McMenamin – Auckland
    Aroha Savage – Counties Manukau
    Charlene Halapua – Auckland
    Hana Tapiata – Bay of Plenty
    Mikyla Wardlaw – Bay of Plenty
    Justine Lavea – Counties Manukau
    Sharnita Woodman – Counties Manukau
    Lydia Crossman – Auckland
    Aimee Sutorius – Wellington
    Linda Itunu – Auckland
    Angie Sisifa – Otago
    Jackie Patea – Wellington


    Kendra Cocksedge – Canterbury
    Kiritapu Demant – Auckland
    Emma Jensen – Auckland
    Arihana Marino – Counties Manukau
    Ariana Bayler – Waikato
    Raquel Anderson – Waikato
    Ruahei Demant – Auckland
    Lizzie Goulden – Wellington
    Victoria Subritzky Nafatali – Counties Manukau
    Janna Vaughn – Manawatu
    Shakira Baker – Waikato
    Chelsea Alley – North Harbour
    Amanda Rasch – Wellington
    Onjeurlina Leiataua – Auckland
    Theresa Fitzpatrick – Auckland
    Georgia Daals – Wellington
    Keri Hayden – Manawatu
    Greer Muir – Otago
    Lucy Anderson – Canterbury
    Renee Wickliffe – Counties Manukau
    Mele Hufanga – Auckland
    Ayesha Leti-Liga – Wellington
    Lauren Balsillie – Manawatu
    Ana Masters – Waikato
    Crystal Mayes – Manawatu
    Huia Harding – Waikato

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    LAUREUS CELEBRATES YOUTH LEADERS AT YES GRADUATION http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/laureus-celebrates-youth-leaders-at-yes-graduation/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/laureus-celebrates-youth-leaders-at-yes-graduation/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:55:47 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49359 The 2015 Laureus Youth Empowerment Through Sport (YES) programme concluded with a special graduation event at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) Head Office in Pretoria today.

    Laureus Ambassadors Quinton Fortune and Grant Lottering, as well as Laureus South Africa Chairman Morné du Plessis and world-famous mountaineer and MC at the event, Deshun Deysel, got together to congratulate the 49 graduates who have successfully completed the year’s programme. The Laureus YES programme is aimed at developing youth leaders from a range of sport for social change organisations across South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius, Kenya and Uganda.

    The YES programme is one of the exciting ways that the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is empowering and inspiring youth leaders in Africa to use sport for the good of their communities. Launched in 2012, the programme focuses on equipping youth with the technical, vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills needed to develop sustainable livelihoods. The programme targets school leavers, ages 18 to 25, with particular attention given to young people who are passionate about sport and the upliftment of local communities.

    “We are extremely proud of this group of young leaders. Through the 2015 YES programme they have reached over 2,500 kids using coaching and various life skills to spread the actions of social change through sport. They possess the kind of leadership qualities that we encourage the youth to aspire to and we hope that they will continue to elevate communities across Africa” explains Laureus SA Chairman, Morné du Plessis.

    Laureus Ambassador and former Bafana Bafana and Manchester United footballer, Quinton Fortune, reached out to the young graduates commenting, “I’ve been inspired meeting these young leaders and hearing how the YES programme has given them the tools to take back to their communities to spread the Sport for Good message. This is a big moment for the YES graduates and it’s great to be here to celebrate with them.”

    Earlier this year, MBSA and Laureus SA announced its official partnership where the global brand invested R3 million for 2015 into the work of the Foundation. Mercedes-Benz has actively supported professional and amateur sport on a global scale for decades and has become established as a leading partner in the fields of motor sport, football, golf, horse riding and tennis.

    “We are proud to support the work of Laureus SA as country patron. The work the foundation does through sport, to motivate and empower youth, specifically through the YES programme, is something that Mercedes-Benz South Africa is very passionate about. Youth development is one of the main pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility focus in the country. Sport has the power to unite and inspire and as a proud and committed South African corporate citizen we actively support initiatives that ensure a bright future for all,” says Florian Seidler, Co-CEO and Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars, MBSA.

    The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa currently supports 15 sports-based community initiatives nationwide and since its inception it has raised over R80 million for projects and programmes which have improved the lives of more than 80,000 young people.

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    Luke Treharne has been named as Wales’ new sevens captain for Dubai http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/luke-treharne-has-been-named-as-wales-new-sevens-captain-for-dubai/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/luke-treharne-has-been-named-as-wales-new-sevens-captain-for-dubai/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:56:57 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49357 Wales coach Gareth Williams has named his 12-man squad to participate in the opening rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai and Cape Town next month.

    Williams has named a new captain in Luke Treharne and vice-captain in Sam Cross, while Jordan Williams, Luke Crocker and Ethan Davies will make their debuts in Dubai where Wales will face England, Australia and Kenya in Pool D.

    “It is an exciting partnership [Treharne and Cross] and they will make use of experienced support in Nicky Griffiths, and former captain Adam Thomas, who is not considered for the Dubai leg due to personal circumstances,” explained Williams.

    “It is exciting to have Jordan [Williams] involved from the Scarlets and he has all the attributes to excel on the World Series. Luke [Crocker] and Ethan [Davies] have graduated through the intense summer programme and have trained well alongside the core group once given that opportunity.

    “Ethan’s form in the Principality Premiership for Cross Keys has been fantastic and deserves a return to international competition following his time previously with the under-20s.

    “It is pleasing to welcome a number of players back into the fold with Ben Roach and Chris Knight having joined the core group in October. It is exciting to see Ben add to his single appearance in Hong Kong last season, with his season cut short through injury. Chris’s threat and World Series experience will add immensely to the group as a whole.

    “Regional support has developed further and added a good level of competition to the training camp as well as exposing certain individuals to the environment in order to perform later in the season.

    “It is always an exciting challenge competing in Dubai, but the extra edge of starting the World Series adds to the anticipation. We are excited by the challenge of the group but are keen, in these early stages of the squad forming, to focus on ourselves.

    “It is an amazing schedule for the season with some new competitions, and we are looking to grow our game throughout. A positive start in Dubai is our short-term aim.”

    Wales squad: Luke Treharne (captain), Sam Cross, Ben Roach, Lloyd Evans, Owen Jenkins, Luke Crocker, Nicky Griffiths, Angus O’Brien, Ethan Davies, Kristian Phillips, Jordan Williams, Chris Knight.

    Courtesy of World Rugby

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    Walsh names Australian Women’s Sevens squad for Dubai Sevens http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/walsh-names-australian-womens-sevens-squad-for-dubai-sevens/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/walsh-names-australian-womens-sevens-squad-for-dubai-sevens/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:19:15 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49355 The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series opener in Dubai has been named by Head Coach Tim Walsh.

    Walsh has named an experienced side that sees Sharni Williams skipper the 12-strong squad. The Batlow-born prop maintains her record of playing in every leg of the Women’s World Series since its inception in 2012.

    Eight of the squad that will at The Sevens Stadium now have at least 10 World Series caps to their name.

    Tiana Penitani (knee), Brooke Walker (leg) and Mahalia Murphy (toe) have not been considered due to injury.

    Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “It’s round one of what is a big year for Women’s Sevens and we’re keen to get off to a strong start and stamp some authority on the series.

    “We’ve kept the core group together for a couple of seasons now, and this consistency of selection is resulting in improved team performances and individual growth.”

    The last two events in Dubai have seen Australia finish as runners-up (2014) and winners (2013).

    “As a team, we always enjoy Dubai,” Walsh added. “It’s hot and fast – very similar to conditions in Australia. It’s a real festival of Rugby, both Men and Women play there. There’s an invitational tournament and 50,000 fans pack the stands.

    “We go there with a belief we can perform and with the pre-season we have had we are confident we will perform. The results will then take care of themselves.”

    The Australian Women’s Sevens team finished the 2014-15 World Series in third spot, thus ensuring automatic qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics next August.

    The Australian Rugby Union is awaiting broadcast information for the Dubai Sevens.

    Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens fixtures in Dubai, UAE, 3-4 December
    Australia v Spain, Pool C, 8.48pm AEDT (3 December)
    Australia v Japan, Pool C, 11.44pm AEDT (3 December)
    Australia v England, Pool C, 2.41am AEDT (4 December)

    Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens squad for the Dubai Sevens at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, UAE:
    1. Shannon Parry. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
    2. Sharni Williams. Place of Birth: Batlow, NSW. Hometown: Canberra, ACT
    3. Nicole Beck. Place of Birth: Bulli, NSW
    4. Gemma Etheridge. Place of Birth: Tamworth, NSW. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
    5. Emma Tonegato. Place of Birth: Wollongong, NSW
    6. Evania Pelite. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
    7. Charlotte Caslick. Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
    8. Chloe Dalton. Place of Birth: Singapore. Hometown: Mona Vale, NSW
    9. Amy Turner. Place of Birth: Tokoroa, NZ
    10. Alicia Quirk. Place of Birth: Wagga Wagga, NSW
    11. Emilee Cherry. Place of Birth: Roma, QLD. Hometown: Toowoomba, QLD
    12. Ellia Green. Place of Birth: Suva, Fiji. Hometown: Melbourne, VIC

    http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/walsh-names-australian-womens-sevens-squad-for-dubai-sevens/feed/ 0
    All Blacks Sevens for Dubai and Cape Town tournaments http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/all-blacks-sevens-for-dubai-and-cape-town-tournaments/ http://www.rugby15.co.za/2015/11/all-blacks-sevens-for-dubai-and-cape-town-tournaments/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:10:22 +0000 http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=49353 All Blacks Sevens Coach Gordon Tietjens has named a squad of 14 players for the first two tournaments of the 2015/16 HSBC Sevens World Series; Dubai Sevens(4-5 December) and Cape Town (12-13 December).

    The team  of 12 players for Dubai will be named Tuesday. The travelling squad is;

    Dylan Collier (Waikato)
    Scott Curry (Capt) (Bay of Plenty)
    Sam Dickson (Canterbury)
    DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau)
    Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)
    Declan O’Donnell (Waikato)
    Lewis Ormond (Taranaki)
    Augustine Pulu (Waikato)
    Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty)
    Sherwin Stowers (Counties Manukau)
    Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)
    Beaudein Waaka (Taranaki)
    Regan Ware (Waikato)
    Joe Webber (Waikato)

    The team departs for Dubai on Sunday 29 November.

    Tietjens said the thinking behind taking 14 players was to provide further incentive for all players to push for places in the final 12. He will follow the same format all season.

    “It’s for all those players to put pressure on others at training. Knowing you’re not in the starting 12 you can get complacent and lose focus. I want pressure put on every individual in all the teams we name throughout the year.

    “For training it’s great to have two teams of sevens up against each which again creates more competition.”

    All Blacks and Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu is set for a possible debut. Tietjens has been impressed with how quickly he has adapted to sevens having not played the shortened game before.

    “He’s a fine rugby player. He’s come on in leaps and bounds in the time he has been with us. The improvement has been immense this week. This is a great opportunity for him to put his hand up to have a crack at other teams this season.

    “He’s got very good vision. He’s quick off the mark. He’s quick to spot a gap. He’s going to keep teams honest and he’s very strong and physical.”

    He had high praise for Waikato speedster Regan Ware as well. “He’s the quickest player in the team. He’s a great defender and attacker. It’s important we have a player like Regan out wide who can score tries from out of nothing, beating a man one-on-one so he’s a good player to have in the squad.”

    Dubai has not been a happy hunting ground for the All Blacks Sevens in recent years, but Tietjens said the team was determined to start this critical new season well.

    “I have set a goal for this team; let’s go and win Dubai. Let’s give it our best shot. We may or may not win, but I’d like to think we come out of this tournament with distinction, that we are on the improve. We have prepared well. We have planned well. Now we have to perform. An injury free side, no excuses really, and ready to perform.”

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