Stonehouse for code-swapping Titans

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:24
Large titans.jpg630 Large jimmy stonehouse points

Cricket franchise the Titans have entered a team into the George Premier League Sevens, with Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse in charge.
 

Cricket franchise the Titans have entered a team into the George Premier League Sevens, with Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse in charge.

This means that South Africa's three main sporting codes will combine for the first time ever on a South African sporting field in December as the Centurion based cricket brand will join soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs as code hoppers in the tournament, to be held during the weekend of 13-14 December at Outeniqua Park.

It should come as no surprise to find strong rugby links within the Titans, as regular captains AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis both have strong rugby pedigrees, due to the close affinity between rugby and cricket found in most schools.

De Villiers played at flyhalf for the Blue Bulls in the Craven Week tournament of 2002 before pursuing a cricket career and Du Plessis' father Francois was a regular in the midfield of Northern Transvaal in the 1980's.

Their coach Stonehouse not only guided the Pumas to the national First Division title this year, but also coached the SA President’s XV in their IRB Tiblisi Cup victory in Georgia in June.

Stonehouse will probably lean on players from the Pumas to strengthen the Titans squad and could include flyers Rosco Spekman and BlitzBokke squad member JW Bell, as well as the exciting Coenie van Wyk and former Springbok Sevens player Danwell Demas.

According to Northern Titans CEO Jacques Faul, the decision to participate in the George Premier League Sevens was an easy one.

"From a marketing perspective, it was an easy call as we will be able to expose our brand to sports fans outside cricket and outside our normal venues. We liked what we saw at the tournament last year and believe we can benefit interacting with our fans in a different and unique way," Faul said.

They will not be making up numbers either, Faul said.

"From a competitive side of things, we will field a strong squad. Jimmy Stonehouse has proved to be a winning coach over many seasons. You can expect the Titans to be competitive and entertaining, something we strive to achieve when playing cricket as well," he added.

Tournament promoter Willem Strauss described this as a major coup for rugby.

"This is fantastic news. The Titans are one of the biggest cricket brands in South Africa and to expose their fans to rugby opens up a whole new audience. I am very grateful for their support and I am sure they will benefit greatly from this venture," Strauss said.

"With Sevens now an Olympic sport and South Africa strongly pitched as medal contenders at the 2016 Games in Rio, this will further grow the interest in the code and expand the base of players. To have the three top sporting codes - rugby, cricket and soccer - combining on one field will be something special and a fantastic way to bring supporters from the various codes together," Strauss explained.

Kaizer Chiefs played in the inaugural Sevens tournament in the Garden Route last year and their participation proved a huge success, with former Proteas cricketer and Kaizer Chiefs Sevens team manager Makhaya Ntini taking the field in their final match.

The Titans and Kaizer Chiefs aside, the tournament will again assemble some of the best Sevens rugby players in the world, who will be vying to win the R1 million prize money up for grabs.  

Defending champions Samurai will be back to try and secure the winning purse but will have to fend off the likes of Super Rugby stars, the Cheetahs, and a new challenger in the form of the Serevi Select, an American-based team run by world Sevens legend Waisale Serevi.

Returning for a second year will be the Blue Bulls, Sharks and the very popular Living Ball team, stacked with former international players.

Now in its second year, this unique tournament will again see some world stars, famous brands and heart-stopping action as Sevens rugby returns to this popular Southern Cape venue.

"This year’s George Premier League Sevens will be bigger and better than last year, with extra teams, new names and faces adding to the already guaranteed top class action on the field," Strauss said.

"We will again have the massive prize money for teams to chase, but will also see the emergence of new faces. Five players from last year’s tournament were picked for the Springbok Sevens team afterwards and four more drafted into the squad, which is testimony of the quality of player that will be on offer."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens