South Africa rugby star Habana aiming to play at Olympics

Getty Images
0 Comments

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) South African rugby great Bryan Habana is in contention to play at the Olympics after being included Wednesday in the national sevens squad for the 2015-16 season.

Rugby sevens is making its debut at next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Habana, who has made 117 test appearances for South Africa’s 15-a-side team and is its leading try-scorer, last played international sevens more than a decade ago.

He was picked in the sevens training squad alongside other 15-man Springboks Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo. All three were at the recent Rugby World Cup.

The sevens in Rio is likely to include plenty of big names from rugby’s main game, attracted by the rare opportunity to win an Olympic medal. The 15-a-side game was previously on the Olympic program but was last played at the 1924 Games.

Australia international Quade Cooper recently included a clause in his contract with French club Toulon that allows him to play at the Olympics in August.

Habana, who also plays for Toulon, tried to make South Africa’s sevens team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games but wasn’t released in time from club duties.

At 32, Habana probably won’t play in another World Cup. He is tied with New Zealand great Jonah Lomu for the most tries at the World Cup with 15.

World Rugby postponing July test matches

AP Photo
1 Comment

World Rugby has postponed July test matches involving southern and northern hemisphere nations because of ongoing restrictions on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sport’s international governing body issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.

New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives.”

Bill Beaumont re-elected as World Rugby chairman

AP Photo
0 Comments

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairman on Saturday after beating Agustín Pichot, the current vice-chairman.

The sport’s governing body says the 68-year-old Beaumont achieved a first-round majority of 28 votes to 23.

Beaumont says: “I am honored to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation’s chairman once again.”

He begins his four-year term after a council meeting on May 12.

French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte becomes Beaumont’s new vice-chairman.