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by Baylion

Lambie to England? (April Fool)

April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

The UK home unions have been targeting young Southern Hemisphere rugby players for a while now and their national teams are filling up with Saffer and Kiwi players. In the past they were quite happy with players qualifying through the residency route but their latest strategy is to target young players who qualify through their ancestry.

Recently New Zealanders Sean Maitland walked into the Scotland team due to his grand parents being Scottish and the home unions are said to be targeting a number of South African youngsters too.

Young Tuks lock Mike Williams, who holds a British passport, has been lured to an English club to continue his career.

Timo Swiel, who also holds a British passport and has declined selection to the 2013 Under 20 Springboks, South Africa’s designated second team, as it would affect his chances to be selected for England.

Handre Pollard, who qualifies for England through his grand parents, played for the U/20 Boks last year but as he was still under 18 he is exempt from the IRB regulation and can still qualify for England without going through a residency period.

Patrick Lambie also holds a British passport and with both English and Scottish grandparents could qualify for either England and Scotland. Moves are afoot to get IRB exemption for Lambie as he first played for South Africa when he was still a minor and the Bok management might not have explained his options to him on reaching majority and therefore prevented him from making an informed decision.

This is just a tip of the ice berg and one can expect this onslaught against SA rugby not only to continue but to escalate.

Edit: I hope you enjoyed my attempt at an April Fool’s joke. Till next year,

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by Baylion

Playing England

November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

It will be interesting to see what changes Heyneke Meyer makes for the England game. With the possibility of losing Eben Etzebeth (cited) and JP Pietersen (injury) as well as a number of players not covering themselves with glory against the Scots the opportunity for change is there but I doubt that Meyer will make any large scale changes.

JP Pietersen’s injury will force HM to keep playing Hougaard on the wing even though he might have been tempted to give him a go at scrumhalf to try and get the 9/10 dynamic working. This might give Mvovo a chance with Hougaard moving to 14.

Pat Lambie’s inability to play a Morne Steyn style game better than Mornetjie could see Steyn taking over at flyhalf.

Should Etzebeth cop a ban we will probably see Flip van der Merwe starting at lock, not the most disciplined or smartest players on the park and although his yellow card was more of a team card it was still a stupid penalty to give away.

As the #3 tighthead prop at the Lions it was difficult to understand why HM selected CJ before Pat Cilliers in the first place but after Saturday’s performance CJ is surely set to lose his spot on the bench.

Possible team for Saturday:

15 Zane Kirchner
14 Francois Hougaard (JP Pietersen)
13 Juan de Jongh
12 Jean de Villiers
11 Lwazi Mvovo (Francois Hougaard)
10 Morne Steyn
9 Ruan Pienaar
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Willem Alberts
6 Francois Louw
5 Juandre Kruger
4 Flip van der Merwe (Eben Etzebeth)
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Adriaan Strauss
1 Guthro Steenkamp

16 Schalk Brits
17 Heinke van der Merwe
18 Pat Cilliers
19 Franco van der Merwe (Flip van der Merwe)
20 Marcell Coetzee
21 Pat Lambie
22 Jaco Taute
23 Lionel Mapoe (Lwazi Mvovo)

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by Baylion

RWC 2015 Stadiums

October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

The shortlist of stadiums for the 2015 Rugby World Cup has been announced with hardly a rugby stadium in sight. Most of the stadiums to be used are football stadiums, apart from a few all purpose stadiums.

1. Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa Park is a football stadium in the district of Witton, Birmingham, England. It has been the home of Aston Villa Football Club since 1897.

Capacity: 42,788

2. Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton

Falmer Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Community Stadium, or simply The AMEX, is a football stadium near the village of Falmer in Brighton and Hove and is the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.

Capacity 27,350

3. Ashton Gate, Bristol

Ashton Gate Stadium is a stadium in Ashton Gate, Bristol, England, and is the home of Bristol City F.C. Located in the south-west of the city, just south of the River Avon.

Capacity 21,497

4. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

The Millennium Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm y Mileniwm) is the national stadium of Wales, located in the capital city, Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and also frequently stages games of the Wales national football team.

Capacity 74,500

5. Coventry Stadium, Coventry

The Ricoh Arena (commonly known as The Ricoh), home to Coventry City F.C., is a stadium complex situated in the Rowleys Green district of the city of Coventry, England.

Capacity 32,609

6. Pride Park, Derby

Pride Park Stadium is an all-seater football stadium located on the Pride Park business park on the outskirts of Derby, England. It is the current home of Football League Championship club Derby County.

Capacity 33,597

7. Kingsholm, Gloucester

Kingsholm Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Gloucester, England, and is the home stadium of Gloucester Rugby. It is sometimes nicknamed ‘Castle Grim’ after the estate where the stadium is built and also in reference to Gloucester’s admirable home form.

Capacity 16,500

8. Elland Road, Leeds

Elland Road is a football stadium in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It is the home of Leeds United A.F.C. since the club’s foundation in 1919 and it was previously occupied by Leeds City.

Capacity 37,697

9. Leicester City Stadium, Leicester

The King Power Stadium is a football stadium which hosts home matches of English football club Leicester City. The all-seater stadium, inaugurated in July 2002 and has the 19th largest stadium capacity in England. This stadium was preferred to the Leicester Tiger’s 24,000 seater Welford Road because of bigger capacity and superior off-field facilities.

Capacity 32,262

10. Olympic Stadium, London

The Olympic Stadium in Olympic Park in Stratford, London, England was the centrepiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the last stop in the 2012 Olympics torch relay, and the venue of the athletic events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. It was the central venue of the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

It is located at Marshgate Lane in London’s Stratford district in the Lower Lea Valley. The stadium has a capacity of 80,000, making it the third-largest stadium in England behind Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium.

Capacity 80,000

11. Twickenham Stadium, London

Twickenham Stadium (usually known as just Twickenham or Twickers) is a stadium located in Twickenham, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is the largest stadium in the world devoted solely to the sport of rugby, it is the second largest stadium in the UK after Wembley Stadium and the fifth largest stadium in Europe. The stadium is the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), and as such primarily a venue for rugby union and hosts England’s home test matches.

Capacity 82,000

12. Wembley Stadium, London

Wembley Stadium (often referred to simply as Wembley or sometimes as the New Wembley) is a football stadium located in Wembley Park, in the Borough of Brent, London, England.

It is a UEFA category four stadium and is the second largest stadium in Europe, and serves as England’s national stadium. It is the home venue of the England national football team.

Capacity 90,000

13. Old Trafford, Manchester

Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. Old Trafford is the second-largest football stadium in England after Wembley, the third-largest in the United Kingdom and the eleventh-largest in Europe.

Capacity 75,765

14. Stadium mk, Milton Keynes

Stadium mk (initially named as stadium:mk, stylistically stadiummk, and also known locally as “Denbigh Stadium” is a football ground in the Denbigh district of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. It is the home ground of Milton Keynes Dons FC.

Capacity 22,000 all seated (planned to be increased to 32,000 at the end of 2012-2013 season)

15. St James’ Park, Newcastle

St James’ Park, known for sponsorship reasons as the Sports Direct Arena, is an all-seater stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Newcastle United Football Club and is the sixth largest football stadium in the United Kingdom.

Capacity 52,387

16. St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton

St Mary’s Stadium is the home of Southampton F.C., in the city of Southampton. It is a UEFA 4-star rated stadium and is the largest football stadium in the south of England, outside of London.

Capacity 32,689

17. Stadium of Light, Sunderland

The Stadium Of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England. The Stadium of Light has the fifth-largest capacity of any English football stadium. The stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A.F.C. matches. The name “Stadium of Light” is a tribute to the traditional mining industry, which brought prosperity to the town; a Davy lamp monument stands at the entrance

Capacity 49,000

Info source: wikipedia.org