Swys de Bruin has quit as South Africa attack consultant less than six weeks before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

De Bruin stepped down from his role for "personal and medical reasons" after a win over Argentina last weekend, which sealed a first Rugby Championship triumph for a decade.

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said: "Swys made a great contribution to the squad in his time with us and I'd like to thank him on behalf of his fellow management and the players he has worked with in the past 12 months.

"He brought a fresh perspective to one facet of the game and he'll be hard to replace.

"I'd also like to thank the Lions for releasing him to us and SA Rugby for supporting his appointment."

Erasmus will weigh up his options before appointing a short-term replacement for De Bruin.

"This was not something we were expecting but our planning has been thorough and it's something we can manage," he added.

South Africa face the Pumas again at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, five weeks before taking on defending champions New Zealand in a blockbuster World Cup clash.

South Africa's victory in the Rugby Championship is nothing more than a stepping stone for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, skipper Duane Vermeulen has said.

The Springboks clinched their first southern hemisphere title since the 2009 Tri Nations as they hammered Argentina 46-13 on Saturday.

Their ruthless dismantling of the Pumas followed New Zealand's shock 47-26 loss to Australia, with Steve Hansen criticising his world champions for "dumb footy" in their heavy Perth defeat.

New Zealand's stumble may actually be a good omen for them ahead of their world title defence. No side to have won the Rugby Championship in a World Cup year has gone on to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

South Africa will be out to buck that trend and Vermeulen believes the Springboks need to show greater consistency to do so in a competition they begin against the All Blacks on September 21.

"We started the Rugby Championship working on executing our plans and in a way we are happy with our performance but there are still a few things to work on," he said.


"It's a great feeling for us to walk away with the title, but in the end it's a stepping stone for us going into the World Cup.

"The victory is a great thing for our country because we know that if the Springboks do well then everyone is happy in South Africa.

"So for us it's a great feeling, but I want to emphasise it's more about working on our consistency and working towards the things we hope to achieve.

"New Zealand had a tough game and they will be hungry to bounce back so we have to prepare well. But we are happy with where we are at the moment."

South Africa may have just won the Rugby Championship, but history is against them when it comes to completing a double at this year's World Cup.

In the previous five years when there has been both a Rugby Championship – or its previous incarnation the Tri Nations – and a World Cup, the champions of the first tournament have failed to also deliver success on the global stage.

The Springboks have the chance to make history in Japan, then. They lifted the first of two possible trophies in style on Saturday, thrashing Argentina 46-13 on the road to dethrone New Zealand as champions. 

We take a look at those who have conquered the Southern Hemisphere in the past, only to fall short at the World Cup.

 

1999: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – AUSTRALIA

The All Blacks won the first two Tri Nations and made it three in four years by thrashing South Africa 28-0, beating Australia 34-15 and claiming another victory over the Springboks.

However, a 28-7 loss to the Wallabies in the final fixture suggested New Zealand were not so invincible...

At the World Cup, the great Jonah Lomu scored eight tries yet France stunned New Zealand 43-31 in the last four, with Australia then winning the final against Les Bleus.

2003: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – ENGLAND

Four wins out of four delivered another Tri Nations triumph for New Zealand.

The All Blacks scored 282 points in their four World Cup pool games in Australia too before easing past South Africa 29-9 in the quarter-finals.

But Elton Flatley's accuracy from the tee consigned New Zealand to another semi-final loss and sent Australia back to the final, where Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in Sydney delivered a famous success for England.

2007: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – SOUTH AFRICA

Neither Australia nor South Africa could deny the All Blacks another Tri Nations title in 2007, though it was a Northern Hemisphere nation who would stop their run at the World Cup.

New Zealand led 13-3 in the first half of their quarter-final against France only to suffer another knockout loss to their World Cup nemesis as Yannick Jauzion scored a brilliant converted try 11 minutes from time to seal a 20-18 success.

Defending champions England beat France in the semi-final but Percy Montgomery won the battle of the boots with Wilkinson in the final as South Africa secured their second World Cup.

2011: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – AUSTRALIA, WORLD CUP WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND

In the final Tri Nations before Argentina joined to form the Rugby Championship, Graham Henry's team lost their last two matches as Australia triumphed for the first time in a decade.

The World Cup was hosted in New Zealand and after years of being the nearly men, it was the All Blacks' turn to taste global glory again.

France were their final opponents and, in a tense, low-scoring contest, New Zealand won 8-7.

2015: RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS – AUSTRALIA, WORLD CUP WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND

Four years ago, Australia beat the other three nations to win the Rugby Championship, and came out on top of a World Cup pool that included Wales and hosts England.

The Wallabies narrowly saw off Scotland 35-34 and ousted Argentina 29-15 to set up a final with a New Zealand side that had hammered France 62-13 in the last eight.

No team had ever retained the World Cup before but Dan Carter shone on his international farewell to ensure Steve Hansen's side lifted the Webb Ellis Cup again.

New Zealand suffered the joint-heaviest loss in their history on Saturday as Australia thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth.

Michael Cheika's side took full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card on the stroke of half-time, with the Wallabies ending a run of six successive Rugby Championship defeats against the All Blacks in style.

The loss ensured New Zealand will not win the tournament for the first time in four years, while they could also relinquish their grip on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

Here, we take a look at the heaviest defeats in the All Blacks' history.

AUSTRALIA 47-26 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 10, 2019

The All Blacks were only one point behind when Barrett was dismissed in the 40th minute for an apparent shoulder charge on Michael Hooper at Optus Stadium.

Australia scored six tries against the 14 men, Reece Hodge adding to his first-half effort while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also went over.

The 47 points are the most New Zealand have ever conceded, surpassing the 46 South Africa put up 19 years earlier.

AUSTRALIA 28-7 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28, 1999

Unlike Saturday's try-fest, the Wallabies only ran in one five-pointer through Mark Connors the last time they beat New Zealand by 21 points.

It was Matt Burke's boot that proved the difference in the Tri Nations clash as he converted seven penalties, while the All Blacks were restricted to a lone score from Andrew Mehrtens.

New Zealand still won the tournament but Australia's victory meant they did retain the Bledisloe Cup.

SOUTH AFRICA 17-0 NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 30, 1928

Twenty-five years after their inaugural Test, the All Blacks toured South Africa for the first time and won six of their seven tour matches before coming up against the Springboks in Durban.

New Zealand failed to put a point on the board that day and the 17-0 triumph remains South Africa's biggest victory over them.

The four-Test series was drawn, though, as the All Blacks recovered to win at Ellis Park and Newlands.

ENGLAND 38-21 NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 1, 2012

Despite winning the Rugby World Cup the year before, New Zealand proved no match for a rampant England side at Twickenham in 2012.

The All Blacks were unbeaten in 20 matches but found themselves 15-0 down thanks to Owen Farrell's kicking before tries from Julian Savea and Kieran Read reduced the deficit to just one point.

Yet Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi all went in to hand England their first win over New Zealand in nine years.

AUSTRALIA 26-10 NEW ZEALAND - JULY 12, 1980

Nearly 50,000 were at the SCG to witness the Wallabies face a New Zealand side who had been hit by an illness bug in the build-up.

The final score was therefore perhaps not surprising, with Australia 14 points up by half-time.

Test debutant Peter Grigg scored two of his team's four tries at a time when dotting down was worth only four points rather than five.

Steve Hansen slammed his New Zealand side for playing "dumb footy" after Australia consigned them to a 47-26 Bledisloe Cup drubbing in Perth on Saturday.

The Wallabies eased to a rare win over their trans-Tasman rivals in a high-scoring contest at Optus Stadium, where Scott Barrett was sent off by referee Jerome Garces in the first half after being adjudged to have shoulder charged Michael Hooper.

Australia outscored the world champions by six tries to four to go top of the Rugby Championship table ahead of second-placed South Africa's clash with Argentina later in the day.

The All Blacks will slip off the top of the world rankings if Wales beat England on Sunday and head coach Hansen was not impressed with their showing in Western Australia.

Hansen said: "I'm obviously disappointed. Australia played particularly well and deserved the win. They were the best side on the day.

"The red card didn't help us, but we didn't help ourselves either. Our discipline was poor in the first half.

"There were numerous occasions when we got offside when we didn't need to.

"It was dumb footy and we've got to be smarter than that.

"Our changing shed is very disappointed because of how we performed and that's how it should be. Australia gave us a lesson in what to do when you have a side down by one man.

"At the same time, I'm extremely proud of the way they hung in. Australia wanted to play footy, they wanted to play fast. In the end we couldn't cover the extra space."

New Zealand captain Kieran Read lamented the All Blacks' performance in their joint-heaviest defeat as Australia inflicted a 47-26 thrashing on the reigning Rugby World Cup champions.

The Wallabies ran in six tries at Optus Stadium - against a team that played the entire second half with 14 men following Scott Barrett's red card - to ensure Michael Cheika's side will finish above the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship standings.

New Zealand had won the previous six Rugby Championship meetings between the two but now face a fight to keep hold of the Bledisloe Cup.

The two teams are due to meet again in Auckland next weekend, when Australia will aim to win the trophy for the first time in 17 years.

After seeing his team concede the most points they ever have in a Test, Read admitted there needs to be a marked improvement when the two meet again.

"We've got to be better than that," he told Fox Sports.

"We can't afford to give away that many missed tackles.

"You've got one chance - next week it's do or die."

Cheika has previously said he will walk away from the Australia job if his team do not win the World Cup in Japan later this year, and this performance was a real statement of intent.

Reece Hodge scored two of their tries while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also crossed.

"They were very good," Read added.

"We knew that this was going to be the case, I think that we just let our discipline slip early in that first half and we let them get ahead.

"It was pretty tit-for-tat in that first half but we just couldn't get our hands on the ball and that hurt us right after half-time and really gave them confidence."

Australia captain Michael Hooper claimed the victory can be a significant boost to morale ahead of a huge few months of international rugby.

"I'm just very proud of the build-up and very proud that the building that we have been talking about has turned into a good result," he said.

"That's a nice little hit of confidence and momentum for us."

Australia celebrated a record-setting Bledisloe Cup victory over 14-man rivals New Zealand to keep themselves in the running for the Rugby Championship title.

The Wallabies entered Saturday's match trailing both the All Blacks and South Africa in the standings but, with the Springboks in action later on Saturday, Michael Cheika's men moved into pole position with a 47-26 success, which marks New Zealand's joint-heaviest defeat and the most points they have conceded in a Test, while Australia racked up the highest number of points they have have scored in this fixture.

New Zealand had won the sides' past six Rugby Championship meetings, yet Scott Barrett's red card for an apparent shoulder charge on Michael Hooper's neck late in the first half gave them an uphill battle.

Australia, already leading from Christian Lealiifano's boot, capitalised on the man advantage and ran in six tries, meaning an Argentina win in Salta could hand Cheika's side the title.

Meanwhile, a tough weekend for the All Blacks could yet get worse as a Wales victory over England would see them knocked off the top of the world rankings for the first time since 2009.

 

Australia captain Michael Hooper and coach Michael Cheika are confident Tolu Latu will be able to keep his cool when the Wallabies take on New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks head into the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches a point behind Rugby Championship leaders South Africa, who face Argentina in their last game of the shortened tournament.

Australia were well beaten in their opening outing against South Africa but rallied to claim a win over Argentina last time out.

Latu featured in the 16-10 win over Los Pumas and is in line to play again in Perth on Saturday.

New Zealand targeted Latu in a Test in Japan in October 2018, with the hooker cautioned after he clashed with Codie Taylor and shoved the All Black in the face.

The Waratahs man was also suspended for six weeks during the Super Rugby season and convicted of drink driving in June.

But Hooper has faith in Latu's renewed sense of discipline and believes the 26-year-old will repay the belief shown in him by Cheika.

"I don't know if they are going to employ that tactic," Hooper said when asked if the All Blacks may target Latu once more.

"Tolu has grown as a player and as a person a lot in the last 12 months, and he is playing really good rugby. That usually takes away from the other stuff."

Cheika added: "His attitude has been excellent and against Argentina there was many times where he was on the ball and the ref called him off the ball and he got straight off it.

"I think that shows he's starting to understand that he's got skill but he's got to know when to use it and when not to."

One week after meeting in Perth, Australia and New Zealand will go head to head again in Auckland as their World Cup preparations continue.

James O'Connor will make his first Wallabies start since 2013 as one of four changes to the run-on side to face New Zealand on Saturday.

O'Connor came off the bench in Australia's 16-10 win over Argentina last time out, but will start a Test for the first time since September 2013 when the Wallabies face the All Blacks in Perth.

Allan Alaalatoa is set for his first Test appearance of the year and the Brumbies star will be joined by Tolu Latu in the front row.

Meanwhile, Nic White will start alongside former Brumbies team-mate Christian Lealiifano in the halves.

The clash at Optus Stadium marks the opening game of the Bledisloe Cup, which the All Blacks have held since 2003.

Australia are third in the Rugby Championship on four points, behind South Africa (seven) and New Zealand (six).

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O'Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.
Replacements: Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Luke Jones, Will Genia, Matt To'omua, Tom Banks.

Ardie Savea will surprisingly start at number six for a much-changed All Blacks against the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.

Savea is one of six changes to New Zealand's starting side for the Rugby Championship clash, with his positional switch a shock.

The 25-year-old, an openside flanker or number eight, will make his first start at number six.

Dane Coles, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane, Aaron Smith and Anton Lienert-Brown are also starting in changes to the All Blacks side that drew 16-16 against South Africa.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said he had seen improvement from his team ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener.

"Our preparation this week here in Perth has been very good. We can tell that it's 'Bledisloe One' week as there's a real sense of purpose in everything we do, and a real desire to do it well," he said in a release on Thursday.

"With the extra time together, we're starting to see an improved clarity of roles out on the training park.

"We'll need to take the confidence that comes with that clarity into the Test on Saturday and deliver a game which has high energy, high skill and great decision-making.

"The Bledisloe Cup has always been incredibly important to this team and teams before us. It's those teams, ourselves, our country and our many fans that inspire and drive us to want to go out and retake the trophy.

"We've never felt that it's about going out and retaining the cup because it's always been about earning the right to have it. This Saturday is no different. Both teams will be desperate and hungry for success."

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Scott Barrett, Samuel Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.
Replacements: Codie Taylor, Atu Moli, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, George Bridge.

Tendai Mtawarira will tie the record for the most South Africa appearances in the Rugby Championship as the Springboks look to clinch the title on Saturday.

Mtawarira will earn his 110th cap against Argentina and his 53rd in the southern hemisphere tournament, equalling Bryan Habana's South Africa record.

The hugely experienced prop comes into the side in Salta as Rassie Erasmus makes just three changes to the team that drew with New Zealand, all in the front row.

Mtawarira and Trevor Nyakane come in for Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, while hooker Bongi Mbonambi replaces Malcolm Marx.

The three men who miss out drop to the bench as South Africa chase their first title since 2009.

With the All Blacks just behind Erasmus' side, a bonus-point victory over the Pumas would seal top spot, with any win also still potentially enough to triumph. Each team is only playing three matches due to the Rugby World Cup.

Erasmus said: "The Pumas are a very difficult team to play at home and they will be fired up for this one in front of their passionate crowd in Salta.

"This Test is a good opportunity for Bongi and Trevor to start next to 'Beast' [Mtawarira], who has a wealth of experience from playing more than 100 Tests for the Springboks.

"We all know about the massively difficult forward threat of Argentina, however; they are a clever side with skill and pace out wide, so we will have to be alert on defence right until the final whistle."

 

South Africa XV to play Argentina: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Jesse Kriel.

Benjamin Urdapilleta is set to make his first Argentina appearance in more than six years in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against South Africa.

Urdapilleta, 33, has been named among the replacements for the encounter in Salta.

The fly-half, who has played 10 Tests for Los Pumas, last featured for his nation in June 2013.

Argentina have made five changes to the team beaten by Australia, with Tomas Lavanini rested and Agustin Creevy returning from a shoulder injury, while Guido Petti drops to the bench.

Emiliano Boffelli returns to full-back after missing the 16-10 loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane.

While the Springboks are aiming to win the Rugby Championship, Argentina are searching for their first victory after back-to-back losses.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy, Juan Figallo, Matias Alemanno, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Facundo Isa.
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Guido Petti, Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Bertranou, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Joaquin Tuculet.

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes his team will benefit significantly from their extra time in New Zealand following last week's Rugby Championship draw against the All Blacks.

After rescuing a 16-16 tie in Wellington on Saturday to retain top spot in the table, the Springboks headed to Auckland for a week-long training camp.

The squad will now travel to Argentina in two groups, on Friday and Sunday, ahead of their final fixture against the Pumas next weekend.

"We chose to stay behind in Auckland mainly for two reasons," Erasmus told reporters.

"Firstly, to cut down on the amount of travelling time between New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. And secondly, we had some good team-building exercises, while we used the time together to fit in some extra training time with the squad.

"We have grown into a very tight unit, so looking back at the past week I think we ticked both those boxes."

South Africa lead New Zealand by a point heading into the final round of Rugby Championship matches next Saturday.

The Springboks' contest with Argentina in Salta will take place after Australia and the All Blacks have met in Perth, meaning Erasmus' side will know exactly what they need to do to lift the trophy.

Uncapped teenager Jordan Petaia has been included in Australia's squad for their final Rugby Championship match against New Zealand, while veterans David Pocock and Tatafu Polota-Nau have also been called into a 36-man party.

Reds wing Petaia was selected to make his Test debut against Italy last year, only to then be ruled out due to a hamstring problem.

The 19-year-old missed the majority of the 2019 Super Rugby season after suffering a serious foot injury, but he now has the chance to stake his claim for a place in the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup squad.

"It's great to see Jordan back," said head coach Michael Cheika. "He's had a few games of club rugby under his belt now so we'll look to integrate him this week in Perth and give him time to settle in."

Pocock has not played since April, with a calf problem bringing a premature end to his Super Rugby career.

It remains to be seen whether Cheika has any intention of utilising the former skipper against the All Blacks, or whether Pocock will simply train with the squad as he continues to build up his fitness.

Hooker Polota-Nau (knee) has also been called up as he recovers from injury, but there is no place for scrum-half Nick Phipps while Pete Samu, Jack Maddocks and Jack Dempsey have all been overlooked. The latter sustained a shoulder injury playing club rugby last weekend.

The Wallabies must beat New Zealand in Perth next weekend to have any chance of winning the Rugby Championship.

 

Australia squad to face New Zealand

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga'a, Michael Hooper, Luke Jones, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright.

Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Jordan Petaia, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua, Nic White.

Sonny Bill Williams will miss New Zealand's Rugby Championship clash against Australia as the All Blacks named a 34-man squad for the two Bledisloe Cup Tests.

Williams is set to play two games with Counties Manukau, including their Mitre 10 Cup opener, while missing the meeting with the Wallabies in Perth on August 10.

However, the 33-year-old will re-join the All Blacks squad for their clash against Australia in Auckland a week later.

Nepo Laulala will also play for Counties but he will join up with New Zealand for the first game in Perth.

"Bledisloe Cup Tests are always massive Tests," All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said in a release on Wednesday.

"We know that the Wallabies will be confident after their win over Argentina and desperate to win this first match, so we're looking forward to getting to Perth and getting into our Test preparation.

"The Bledisloe Cup is the second most important trophy for us, after the Rugby World Cup, and we're really looking forward to the next two Tests coming up.

"Two weeks together will give us solid preparation towards growing our game understanding and getting our execution honed, so that's exciting.

"The last time the All Blacks played in Perth was way back in 1992 [against a Western Australia side] but this will be an historic first Test for us in the city, so we're also looking forward to catching up with our fans over there."

The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, while they are second to South Africa in the Rugby Championship ahead of the final matches of the tournament.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Scott Barrett, George Bridge, Sam Cane, Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Braydon Ennor, Vaea Fifita, Owen Franks, Jack Goodhue, Jackson Hemopo, Rieko Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Nepo Laulala, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Richie Mo'unga, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read, Sevu Reece, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Angus Ta'avao, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Brad Weber, Samuel Whitelock, Sonny Bill Williams.

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