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Can he change the mood of the Blue Bulls?



The Blue Bulls Company has confirmed former Springboks coach Jake White as their new director of rugby.

White‚ who led the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory in 2007 in France‚ officially starts his duties at Loftus with immediate effect until the 2023 World Cup.

‘Always been a dream’ admits White

Former Springbok coach Jake White admitted it had always been a dream of his to coach the Vodacom Bulls, since the days he grew up in Hatfield in Pretoria.

Being so privileged to coach the Bulls can come and haunt you, especially if your team is not performing the way they should be according to the Oos Pawiljoen.   

Oos Pawiljoen know their rugby

Being used to pressurized situations and turn average teams into champs is one thing but being the father of a struggling Bulls side is something else. For one, the supporters on the opposite side of the field, called the “Oos Pawiljoen” spectators are fearless, know their brandy and they certainly know their rugby.

Blue Bull supporters across the country is renowned for their passion for the blue and they will go great to lengths to support their team. Just recently the spectators turned against each other when the Bulls was busy losing against the Jaguars in their Super Rugby campaign. 

Top rugby jobs in world

“Why did I take it? Because it is one of the top rugby jobs in the world,” says White. “I was approached and asked about it and I jumped at the opportunity. My dad was at Tukkies, I grew up in Hatfield and he was a fanatical Blue Bull supporter. He would have been proud that I have taken the job.

“I think if you are going to get involved in a club, you have to go somewhere where you can create an impact, and there is no doubt that the Bulls is one club where I genuinely that we can have success together.

 “It goes without saying that the Bulls are one of the top rugby unions in the world. If you look at their history, the trophies they have won, and the type of players they have produced, the environment they have created. There are 47 rugby fields in Lynnwood road, so there is definitely a rugby culture there,” White explained.

‘Rugby crazy’

White says he knows how ‘rugby crazy’ people are in Pretoria. It is one of the top jobs – if people talk about the Crusaders and Brumbies, teams that have gone on to win championships. The Bulls are in the same category and that is a fantastic heritage to have when you join a club.

But White has never been the fans favourite in Pretoria in his Springbok coaching days, with Percy Montgomery being booed at Loftus Versfeld, to Victor Matfield’s public spat with him after being sent back “injured” from a Tri Nations game in Australia and then playing for the Bulls the same week, to players like Derick Hougaard who were ignored while winning games for the Bulls.

“It is time that has moved on, and it is a new era now. I’m just thankful that I can be part of a new era with Bulls rugby.”

White has recently been coaching the Toyota Verblitz in Japan and joins the Vodacom Bulls with over four decades of coaching experience stretching back to the early 1980s. His global experience at the highest levels, particularly in Vodacom Super Rugby as the former head coach of both the Cell C Sharks and Brumbies, will benefit the Vodacom Bulls as they continue to add to their resources. Protection Status

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World Cup

First Nations Wallabies: Gary, Glen and Mark – The Ella Brothers | Latest Rugby News



To honour the Wallabies wearing the First Nations jersey against Argentina, has taken a look back at the incredible efforts by First Nations Wallabies – looking at the Ella brothers.

There may not be a greater set of siblings in Australian sport than the Ella Brothers, who helped inspire a new generation of sporting stars and changed how the game of Rugby Union was played.

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The Ella’s were at the core of Australia’s rugby success during the early 1980s: Mark as the silky flyhalf, Gary the graceful centre and Glen the dynamic fullback.

Born in Sydney and educated at Matraville High School, the brothers was members of the undefeated 1977/78 ‘Invincibles’ Australian Schools side.

It is arguable that there has never been a better schoolboys backline than the one Australia fielded against Wales on that tour – 9. Dominic Vaughan; 10. Mark Ella; 11. Michael O’Connor; 12. Tony Melrose; 13. Gary Ella; 14. Michael Hawker; and 15. Glen Ella.

By 1979 Mark had debuted for both Sydney and New South Wales but it was in 1980 when he came into his own, firstly for Sydney in their stunning 13-13 draw with the All Blacks and then in the tight 4-12 loss for New South Wales.

He would go on to make his Test debut not long after his 21st birthday against New Zealand in Sydney.

Whilst the brothers would tear up Sydney club Rugby for Randwick, it would take until 1982 for the trio to be selected in the same Wallabies for a tour of New Zealand, Mark eventually named as captain in place of Paul McLean.

The three Ella’s selected for a Wallabies tour of United Kingdom and Ireland

Glen was handed his debut earlier in the 1982 season alongside Mark against Scotland, however, a shock loss would see Roger Gould reinstated for the rest of the season.

Gary earned his Test debut in the first Test at Lancaster Park against the Kiwis, touring to Italy and France in 1983 and played in the two French Tests before ongoing knee issues and surprise selections saw him miss spots on the ‘Grand Slam’ tour and in the Wallaby squad for the inaugural Rugby World Cup.

Meanwhile, Mark would announce his shock retirement in 1984 after he toured with the Eighth Wallabies to Britain where they became the first Australian team to defeat all four Home Nations on a single tour.

Ella created his own piece of history on the ‘Grand Slam’ tour when he scored a try in each of the four Tests, finishing with 25 caps.

The year later, Glen picked up his final two of four caps, the first off the bench when he replaced Nigel Kassulke at outside centre in the 2nd Test, 43-15 victory over Canada at Ballymore, and the second at fullback in the 2nd Test, 31-9 win over Fiji at the S.C.G.


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In 1988, Gary returned to the side and added his fifth and sixth Test caps as he replaced the retired Andrew Slack, who had taken over the captaincy from Gary before his retirement.

The brothers are considered some of the finest to grace a Rugby field, with Mark labelled “the best rugby player I have ever known or seen” by David Campese.

He would go on to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2005, Ella was one of the original five inductees into the Wallaby Hall of Fame.

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I could have scored a few more: Marius Joubert relives his epic 2004 hat-trick against All Blacks



Marius Joubert on his way to scoring the first of his three tries against the All Blacks in 2004.

Marius Joubert on his way to scoring the first of his three tries against the All Blacks in 2004.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Springbok centre Marius Joubert only won one of his five Tests against the All Blacks.

In the 40-26 win at Ellis Park on 14 August 2004, he joined Ray Mordt as the second South African to score a Test hat-trick against the All Blacks.

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England’s young players have ‘incredibly exciting’ potential for Eddie Jones and 2023 Rugby World Cup, says Conor O’Shea | Rugby Union News



Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) director of performance rugby Conor O’Shea says there is some “incredibly exciting potential beginning to bubble up again” in England’s youth sides; Head coach Eddie Jones takes his senior side to World Cup in 2023 after disappointing Six Nations this year

Last Updated: 20/09/21 11:09pm

Eddie Jones and England will head to France for the 2023 Rugby World Cup next September

Eddie Jones and England will head to France for the 2023 Rugby World Cup next September

Conor O’Shea says England’s young players have “incredibly exciting” potential and will inject energy into Eddie Jones’ 2023 World Cup squad.

Earlier this month, Jones said he needed to refresh the team after a major reshuffle in the backroom staff.

That was after England finished in a disappointing fifth place in the Six Nations earlier this year, winning just two of their five games – against Italy and France.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) director of performance rugby O’Shea believes there is enough talent in the youth setup to provide the spark England need moving forward.

“We’ve got an outstanding group of players that will go to 2023 when they are all back and they are fit together in a normal environment,” O’Shea told Sky Sports.

“Hopefully some of last year’s under-20s can come and imbue an energy and help support Eddie leading into that but then I think beyond that and looking at the work that’s been done by the academies, by the pathway coaches at the moment, I just see – I think everyone is seeing some incredibly exciting potential beginning to bubble up again.

“Not just average players, pretty special players.”

Conor O'Shea, former Italy coach, is the RFU's director of performance rugby

Conor O’Shea, former Italy coach, is the RFU’s director of performance rugby

While the RFU said it retained full support of Jones after England’s poor performance at senior level, they had no such issues at the 2021 Six Nations Under 20s Championship, where England won all five games on the way to a dominant win.

O’Shea said Jones should not have been to blame for his senior squad selection and not offering opportunities to younger players, as the coronavirus pandemic was a major factor.

“No, it’s not [fair to criticise him],” he said. “A lot of talk last year in terms of selection and ability to bounce outside of the norm given what was going on [the pandemic] was just not there.

“The ability to integrate people within an environment – you weren’t able to, whether it be having dinner together, breakfast together. You’re in your rooms all the time which is a very strange environment.

England had a poor performance at this year's Six Nations

England had a poor performance at this year’s Six Nations

“So, I’m looking forward.

“I think it will be a really exciting group of players that Eddie pulls together this year and hopefully we will support him any way we can.

“But our focus now is making sure we have a succession and pipeline and players pushing all the time because that will keep every player honest.”

Speaking as the RFU published its pathway and development framework designed to ensure long-term success of senior England teams, O’Shea said he is sure the future is bright.

He said: “I think we’ve got a very special group of players and the biggest thing we can provide is support in the next two years leading into 2023, and support to Simon Middleton and the Red Roses leading into 2022 in New Zealand [the Women’s Rugby World Cup].

“Hopefully those teams in 2022 and 2023 can inspire the next generation and when you look at the talent from last year – the 17-20-year-old age group, that under-20 team specifically last year -there’s a lot of talent coming through which will push some of the older players on.”

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