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Sep 25, 2015

Rugby-Stanley shocked to be picked for Samoa

BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Samoa flyhalf Mike Stanley was shocked to be picked in the starting line-up to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, given the nod ahead of the talented Tusi Pisi.

“It was totally unexpected and I’m over the moon to be selected for such a high calibre game against such a good team,” he told Reuters on the eve of the clash at Villa Park.

Sep 25, 2015

Coach places heavy burden on young Bok flyhalf

BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) – South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard, though still only 21, has been handed a heavy burden by his coach for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup match against Samoa.

Pollard, named World Rugby Junior Player of the Year for 2014, returns to the starting line-up for his 15th cap after ceding his place to Pat Lambie for the Springboks’ past two outings — their final World Cup warm-up win over Argentina in Buenos Aires last month and the 34-32 humbling at the hands of Japan last weekend.

Sep 25, 2015

Rugby-Coach places heavy burden on young Bok flyhalf

BIRMINGHAM, Sept 25 (Reuters) – South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard, though still only 21, has been handed a heavy burden by his coach for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup match against Samoa.

Pollard, named World Rugby Junior Player of the Year for 2014, returns to the starting line-up for his 15th cap after ceding his place to Pat Lambie for the Springboks’ past two outings — their final World Cup warm-up win over Argentina in Buenos Aires last month and the 34-32 humbling at the hands of Japan last weekend.

Sep 25, 2015

Rugby-Bullish Namibia set sights on first World Cup win

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – After the heady excitement of standing up to the world champions and avoiding an embarrassing defeat, Namibia have set their sights on a ground-breaking victory in the Rugby World Cup.

The southern African country, with only 19 rugby clubs and just over 1,100 registered players, have never won a World Cup game, conceding over 1,000 points in 16 defeats, including a 145-0 thrashing by hosts Australia in 2003.

Sep 24, 2015

Namibia happy to avoid humiliation by All Blacks

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – – They might have lost by 44 points in the end but Namibia were delighted to avoid a real pasting by holders New Zealand in their opening Rugby World Cup game at the Olympic stadium on Thursday.

The southern African nation went down 58-14 in the Pool C clash but emerged with much pride and satisfaction from their first ever meeting with the All Blacks. “We wanted to keep them to under 50 points and towards the end we let it slip a bit, but there are a lot of positives to take away and we are very happy with many areas of our play,” captain Jacques Burger told reporters.

Sep 24, 2015

Rugby-Namibia happy to avoid humiliation by All Blacks

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – They might have lost by 44 points in the end but Namibia were delighted to avoid a real pasting by holders New Zealand in their opening Rugby World Cup game at the Olympic stadium on Thursday.

The southern African nation went down 58-14 in the Pool C clash but emerged with much pride and satisfaction from their first ever meeting with the All Blacks.

Sep 24, 2015

Rugby-South Africa start redemption bid against Samoa

BIRMINGHAM, England, Sept 24 (Reuters) – South Africa seek to revive their Rugby World Cup hopes on Saturday against Samoa who bring an unpredictability to the Pool B match in which they will bid to inflict further humiliation on the Springboks.

South Africa have spent the week since their shock loss to Japan apologising, accepting responsibility and promising redemption after the embarrassment of their 34-32 defeat.

Sep 24, 2015

Family history beckons as Samoa names team

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England (Reuters) – Star flyhalf Tusi Pisi was dropped to the bench as Samoa named three changes to their line-up to face South Africa in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash at Villa Park in Birmingham on Saturday.

Pisi will be replaced by Mike Stanley, who has been picked for his kicking skills, while hooker Motu Matu’u takes the place of Ole Avei, who is also relegated among the replacements.

Sep 24, 2015

Rugby-Family history beckons as Samoa names team

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Star flyhalf Tusi Pisi was dropped to the bench as Samoa named three changes to their line-up to face South Africa in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash at Villa Park in Birmingham on Saturday.

Pisi will be replaced by Mike Stanley, who has been picked for his kicking skills, while hooker Motu Matu’u takes the place of Ole Avei, who is also relegated among the replacements.

Sep 24, 2015

Bok coach Meyer lauds Vermeulen commitment

BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) – Duane Vermeulen has ignored medical advice just two months after a neck operation and will take his place in the South Africa line-up for Saturday’s game against Samoa in the Rugby World Cup at Villa Park.

It is the kind of passionate commitment coach Heyneke Meyer said he would like to see from more of his players.