Who’s hot and who’s not: Ellis Genge, Sevens winners and Elton Jantjies

It’s time for our Monday roundup of who’s got their name in the lights and making headlines for all the wrong reasons after the weekend.


Ellis Genge’s debut with the Bristol Bears: He was on the verge of tears in a post-match interview which shows just how much this homecoming means for Genge. It was also seen on the pitch as he scored two tries in Bristol’s win over local rivals Bath as the Bears got off to a strong start to their season. Genge’s first score was outstanding as he ran 50 yards before his second saw him waltz past a rather dismal Bath defence. It’s clear, if it wasn’t already, that Bristol will get the most out of Genge and the prop will take the Bears to another level this season.

Much better physical Exeter: Beating the defending champions, albeit an under-strength visiting team, will delight Rob Baxter and Ali Hepher, especially after such a disappointing 2021/22 season. Let’s not take anything away from the result as Exeter were also short of key players but as boss Hepher said after the game last year they would have lost a game like this so that’s a step in the right way. Exeter’s physique was clear against the Tigers and if they can make Sandy Park a fortress, a rebound campaign is underway.

Rugby pays tribute to Her Majesty the Queen: Last weekend’s six Premiership matches paid heartfelt tribute to the Queen, who sadly passed away on Thursday. A minute’s silence was followed by the national anthem as the sport paid tribute at the venues. Check out our Sunday Social article at the bottom of this feature to see how rugby has paid tribute since Thursday’s shocking news.

Sold out crowd for Munster v South Africa Select XV game: Was there any doubt? On Friday, Munster announced that it had sold-out Pairc Ui Chaoimh for its meeting with a South Africa Select XV on November 10. Memories of the 2016 Munster vs Maori All Blacks clash will still be fresh in the memories of Munster supporters and and the team will see this as an opportunity to add another piece of history to Munster history. For South Africa’s fringe players, this is their chance to shine with a Rugby World Cup just around the corner. Put those ingredients together in front of a sold-out crowd and we should have quite the game in store. Bring this Thursday night.

Rugby 7s World Cup winners: Congratulations to Australia and Fiji after winning the women’s and men’s gold medals at the Rugby 7s World Cup in Cape Town on Sunday. Australia beat New Zealand 24-22 in a thrilling final while Fiji edged New Zealand 29-12 in the men’s game. These medals will occupy a special place in the homes of the players and deservedly so because these memories will live for a long time. A mention must also go to the Irish men’s team, who won the bronze medal to cap off an outstanding weekend for the team.


Elton Jantjies sent home by Boks: Shocking news circulated around the Springboks on Sunday after Jantjies and team dietitian Zeenat Simjee were sacked from Argentina. The country’s Sunday papers alleged that the pair were having an affair and that there was also an incident involving them at a hotel in Mbombela. SA Rugby’s statement said that although no team protocols were breached at the hotel around the New Zealand match on August 6, the pair would be heading home. If nothing else, it’s an unwelcome distraction for the Springboks.

Worcester’s pain continues: Unfortunately for Warriors fans, there was not to be a fairy tale start to the Premiership season as they were soundly beaten by London Irish on Saturday. With the club’s future still very much up in the air – despite news of interest from a potential investor – it was clear that a lack of warm-up matches had hurt Worcester at Brentford as they were sidelined by the Exiles in a 45-14 defeat which compounds their woes at the moment. However, expect Sixways to be packed and full of emotion on Sunday for their first home game of the season, against Exeter. Steve Diamond and his players will be looking to harness that emotion on what is a huge day for the club.

The Blitzboks bow out at home: There are always hugely anticipated crowds in Cape Town when their beloved Blitzboks take part in a home event, so their Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Ireland was a hammer blow for players and fans alike. supporters. In Neil Powell’s last tournament as head coach, South Africa were looking to give him the perfect start but that didn’t happen as they were well beaten 24-14 by the Irish , who went on to win the bronze medal. Basic mistakes were pointed out by Powell in the aftermath of that loss as his tenure ends in a disappointing tournament, as they also descended on Argentina on day three before regaining some pride with a win over Samoa.

Bad day for Freddie Burns: Not so long ago, the hero of the Premiership final had a day to forget for Leicester in their season opener on Saturday. Burns was shown a yellow card in the 18th minute for deliberately kicking the dead ball into goal, earning him a yellow card and a penalty try awarded to Exeter. We often see players who have recently left rugby league make the mistake, which we can forgive as it is the norm in this code, but for Burns he himself will know there is no excuse and that the punishment was not worth the risk.

Sad passing of Willie Los’e: One of rugby’s great commentators sadly passed away in Cape Town last week as the sport was rocked by the news. The former Tonga international striker was loved around the world by those who played and worked alongside him. The 55-year-old was in South Africa preparing to cover the Rugby 7s World Cup and is a huge loss to his loved ones and also to rugby union. Our thoughts are with his family and friends as the Sevens and XVs will be a poorer place without his cover. It was a nice tribute to the man.

Beginnings to forget for Niall Annett: After leaving Worcester Warriors for Bath in the off-season, Annett was hoping to step up and impress for his new side against Bristol Bears on Saturday. Unfortunately, that was made impossible after being involved in the first-half brawl between the two groups of teams. Warming up wearing a bib with the rest of Bath’s substitutes, he joined in the ruckus after Luke Morahan scored in the corner and was then shown a red card by referee Matthew Carley. A day to forget for Annett, who has since posted a tweet apologizing for her behavior. He hopes to bounce back soon.

READ MORE: Sunday Social: rugby pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Who’s hot and who’s not: Ellis Genge, Sevens winners and Elton Jantjies

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