Planet Rugby

Springboks in red? That's foolish...

01st April 2014 09:32

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New design: South Africa

New kit colours for South Africa? Joe Marler moving to Super Rugby to join the Sharks? Keep up with all the "breaking news" on April 1.

Historic kit colour change for South Africa

In a dramatic kit swap before the arrival of Wales this summer, South Africa have swapped their traditional and iconic green and gold jerseys for a red number.

"We figured that Absa has a couple of years left on our contract with the Springboks, so how do we get the maximum return out of that and up our marketing bang-for-buck? It's not like we've changed the name of the Springboks," said David Wingfield, the head of marketing for Barclays Africa.

"I think it's a power colourful. I think we can certainly put fear into the hearts of the opposition with our red jerseys," passionately declared injured Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

What do you make of this historic change for South African rugby?

Bakkies to become a Stormer?

Reports in South Africa are suggesting that Springbok legend Bakkies Botha could return from his stint in France with Toulon to rescue the Stormers season.

The former Bulls star would certainly help an ever-growing crisis at lock for the strugglers from Cape Town.

Marler quits Harlequins for the Sharks

Highly talented England prop Joe Marler has revealed in a series of tweets that he will be leaving Harlequins to join the Sharks in Super Rugby.

"I would just like to thank everyone @QuinsRugbyUnion for 6 fantastic years, I have enjoyed every minute," tweeted Marler.

"The opportunity to experience a different culture, different style of rugby in South Africa is too good an opportunity to turn down.

"It's been the toughest decision I have ever had to make but I'm looking forward to becoming a Shark and getting stuck into a new chapter in my life. Thanks everyone."

Bath sign Georgian wrestler

Bath have announced the signing of Georgian back-rower Olof Pirlas with immediate effect ahead of the 2014/15 season.

He is a former Georgian U20 Greco-Roman wrestling champion, and until 2011 was a member of Georgia's Special Forces Brigade.

Pirlas has reportedly turned down an offer to join the senior Georgian national team, with an eye on possibly playing for England - he qualifies through his mother, who was born in Portsmouth.

Strauss heading to Portuguese side Caldas

Glasgow's Josh Strauss will join Caldas Rugby Clube in the First Division of the Campeonato Nacional de Rugby in Portugal.

"I've been playing guitar in the club band and that is something I'll really miss but hopefully there is a band at Caldas which I can join.

"I'm also a keen golfer and I like the way the Portugal football team play so I'm sure I'll enjoy watching them play when I'm over there."

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend added: "I'd like to wish Josh all the best in Portugal when he leaves in the summer and I look forward to challenging him to a round of golf."

Haskell gets 'The Stinger' tattoo

Not one to shy away from the limelight, James Haskell has done his bit to promote London Wasps' clash at Twickenham by getting the logo tattooed on his chest.

Northampton to trail extra kicking points system

Northampton Saints has been chosen to trial a radical new experiment that could change the face of rugby scores forever.

From next season, goal kicking in the Saints' pre-match age group tournaments will see the current points scheme maintained if the ball goes between the uprights, but points will be doubled should the kicker hit the post or crossbar instead.

So if the ball goes through the posts for a conversion it will be worth two points, but if the attempt hits the post it will be worth four points. And if a penalty or drop-goal hits the woodwork it will be worth six points instead of the usual three.

"For years we've heard nothing but groans when the ball hits the upright instead of going over," said group spokesperson Del Browndavoti.

"It takes a special amount of skill to hit the post instead of getting the ball between them, and we want to see that rewarded. We also want to hear the 'thud' of the ball hitting the woodwork followed by a resounding cheer!"

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