We celebrate the return of local rugby in the latest SA Rugby magazine, which is now on sale!
What a joy it is to write this after the long-awaited return of competitive action. The road to resumption has been filled with obstacles for SA Rugby to overcome, but as our cover feature suggests, there is plenty of cause for celebration.
The game has undergone considerable change since competitions were suspended in March, and there has been extensive work on and off the field for South Africa to finally reach the point where rugby could be rebooted with a new-look domestic competition.
We chat to the coaches and players as they start afresh while adjusting to a unique match-day experience.
In a Vodacom Bulls squad that has undergone significant restructuring, Duane Vermeulen has taken on the captaincy duties, and he chats to SA Rugby magazine about working with new coach Jake White and reveals how he still hopes to play the game for years to come.
We also catch up with scrumhalf sensation Herschel Jantjies, who has become one of the leading players in SA rugby and will have a crucial role to play for the Stormers this season.
Among our Saffas abroad, there are interviews with Eben Etzebeth, who has recommitted to French club Toulon, while the Sale Sharks’ Rohan Janse van Rensburg opens up about the challenges he experienced before rediscovering his best form in England.
In another feature not to be missed, we approached four highly-regarded coaches to see which athletes they would rate as the best in the business. Spoiler alert: yes, Springbok superstar Cheslin Kolbe is in the mix.
We also continue our buildup to the fast-approaching British & Irish Lions tour, and catch up with legendary former Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira, who has undertaken some inspirational outreach work since hanging up his rugby boots.
On the international scene, we hear from New Zealand’s breakthrough star Hoskins Sotutu and there’s a big read with England coach Eddie Jones.
– Craig Lewis