After only three matches for the Jozi Stars in South Africa’s Mzansi Super League, Chris Gayle is returning home to Jamaica to attend his mother’s funeral.

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and his backroom staff will be made available to assist the country's Super Rugby teams in the 2019 season.

Former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies middle-order batsman believes the Windies need to return to a format where West Indies-born coaches take charge of the side’s fortunes. 

Rassie Erasmus says he will not remain as South Africa head coach beyond the 2019 World Cup.

Erasmus, who is under contract as South African Rugby's director of rugby through to the World Cup in 2023, took over from Allister Coetzee in March.

Though he has won only seven of his 14 fixtures, Erasmus has inspired something of a turnaround from the Springboks, who won a home Test series with England in June before beating New Zealand in Wellington as they finished second in the Rugby Championship.

His role as head coach has led him to put his responsibilities as director of rugby to one side, but he expects to return to focusing fully on the latter role after next year's tournament in Japan.

"I'm only head coach until the World Cup next year," he told SuperSport.

"The six years [director of rugby contract] is not there to protect myself … it's there to protect SA Rugby. As we all know, if I don't perform then the people will vote me out.

"When I was appointed director of rugby… at that stage I still thought Allister Coetzee was continuing. The leadership asked Allister to step down and then asked me to step in.

"The moment I am finished with this [head coach role] and for the next six months, I will be involved with them [the other SA Rugby structures] a lot."

Meanwhile, the Springboks have confirmed their Test schedule for 2019, with Johannesburg hosting their sole home fixture in a shortened Rugby Championship. South Africa will take on Argentina at home in a non-Rugby Championship clash in Pretoria on August 17.

 

Naka Drotske, a member of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad, is in critical condition in hospital after being shot during a robbery in Pretoria.

Former Springboks team-mate Os du Randt was with Drotske at the time of the incident, but is said to have been unharmed.

Drotske was visiting family and local reports said he and Du Randt were targeted by four men.

South African Rugby tweeted a statement, which read: "Our thoughts are with former Springboks Naka Drotske and Os du Randt and their families, who were the victims of a robbery near Pretoria last night. 

"Naka was shot and is currently in critical condition in hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery."

 

Drotske made 26 appearances for the Springboks between 1993 and 1999, and most recently coached the Cheetahs.

His former club London Irish also offered their best wishes, posting on Twitter: "Our thoughts are with former London Irish player Naka Drotske after this shocking news.

"We wish him a speedy recovery."

South Africa's 1995 World Cup win on home soil was the first major sporting event to have taken place in the country following the ending of apartheid.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi is confident the Springboks are moving in the right direction under Rassie Erasmus after a strong end to 2018.

Since replacing Allister Coetzee in March, Erasmus has overseen seven wins in 14 matches, including a series win over England and a Test victory against New Zealand.

South Africa finished second in the Rugby Championship behind the All Blacks but were buoyed by the 36-34 triumph in Wellington on September 15.

They suffered a narrow defeat to England at the start of this month's European tour but bounced back with wins over France and Scotland.

A 20-11 loss to Wales last weekend ended their year on a negative note but Kolisi is convinced there are plenty of positives heading into a World Cup year in 2019.

"I think we're heading in the right direction," Kolisi told ESPN.

"There were some ups and there some downs and I think we obviously wanted to do so much better than we did, but we've learned and improved a lot.

"I think the respect we wanted to gain back and the respect we wanted to get back in the Springboks jersey, I think we got a bit of that."

Ireland rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll believes the lure of an Olympic gold medal could see more players swap the 15-a-side game for sevens in future.

The men's 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series gets under way in Dubai on Friday, with four places at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo up for grabs over the course of the campaign.

Sonny Bill Williams was the highest-profile player to make the switch when sevens made its Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, although an early injury curtailed his involvement in a tournament won by Fiji.

O'Driscoll expects more players to try their hand at the format in the years to come but says success in XVs rugby offers little indication of a player's aptitude for sevens.

"That happened in 2015, when Sonny Bill Williams was really the only player who had any success with it," HSBC global rugby sevens ambassador O'Driscoll told Omnisport. "Unfortunately he tore his Achilles about two minutes into the tournament.

"We had other players like Quade Cooper, Liam Messam and even Bryan Habana, who found the transition too difficult.

"There's a different level of fitness needed and I think it was a huge tip of the cap to those playing on the sevens circuit that it's not just a case of anyone being able to move across and play with seamlessness.

"It's a different type of game with the need for a different type of fitness and a different skill set.

"I do feel as though we will have more players who will try to make that transition. Whether they'll be successful in doing so, we'll just have to wait and see."

Habana, who missed out on selection for South Africa's squad for the 2016 Games, argued that the involvement of big-name XVs players could prove more of a hindrance than a help.

"I'm not sure we'll see more of it but I think we'll see individual cases," he added. "But as we saw leading up to 2016, a lot of the sevens coaches saw it as a bit of a disruption more than anything else.

"You'll have certain instances, but it won't be a group of 10 or 15 Super Rugby or Premiership players trying to come up and play the game of sevens."

Discussing the players setting out on their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series campaign this weekend, O'Driscoll commented: "They don't need any more motivation than playing for the series finale and to be the series winner.

"But when you have that carrot of being part of an Olympics in two years' time and you get an opportunity to represent your country and maybe win an Olympic gold medal - something very few people have the opportunity to do - there's no further motivation needed than that."

Brian O'Driscoll and Bryan Habana are HSBC global rugby sevens ambassadors. They are working alongside HSBC to support the explosive growth of rugby sevens, helping the exciting and unpredictable sport thrive all over the world. Follow all the action at @HSBC_Sport on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Wales flanker Ellis Jenkins looks certain to miss the Six Nations after sustaining a suspected anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury against South Africa.

Jenkins put in a man-of-the-match performance as Wales earned a 20-11 victory at the Principality Stadium to make it nine straight Test wins for the first time this century.

However, the match finished with an almost sombre atmosphere in the stands as Jenkins – who was a late call into the starting line-up due to an elbow injury for Dan Lydiate – received medical attention in the closing stages.

Jenkins will have a scan on Monday but is now unlikely to return for the Six Nations, which starts in February, while he could also be a fitness doubt for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"I don't know how he is. There will be a scan on Monday. It looks like an ACL which is not brilliant," head coach Warren Gatland said after the game.

"He's very disappointed. His performance was outstanding. Before the game, I had a one-on-one with him. I thought he was excellent.

"I thought today was an outstanding performance and he deserved Man of the Match. You have to really feel for him.

"When anyone gets injured it's the hardest thing to take. You know it's a big year for a lot of players and they work so hard.

"He was co-captain on the summer tour and he did a great job.

"When you see a player who has worked hard to win his spot and get in the team, pick up an injury, you feel for him."

On Wales' overall performance, Gatland believes his team are still a work in progress despite their terrific run.

"It was the toughest game we've played this autumn. There are aspects we need to challenge the players on and challenge themselves technically," he added.

"They can go away with their regions and get away with things, but when you play the best teams in the world you can get exposed.

"There is some game management we can improve. The good thing with these guys is they can dig themselves into a hole and then get out of it.

"We're in a good place at the moment. I don't think we've lost at home this year. That's a nice feeling in the changing rooms. But we know there's a lot of work to do."

Alun Wyn Jones hailed the strength in depth at Wales' disposal after they defeated South Africa 20-11 to complete a clean sweep during the November Internationals.

Warren Gatland's side stretched their winning streak in all Tests to nine, the first time Wales have achieved such a run this century, as early tries from Tomas Francis and Liam Williams proved crucial in beating the Springboks.

Captain Jones believes the impressive return in results is down to the team's character and welcomed the amount of options available to head coach Gatland.

"The effort put into it is the habit, we're very pleased with all the Ws, there are patches we have to work on but the character is the most pleasing thing," he told BBC Sport.

"We can't deny there's a bit of depth developing, credit to the whole squad that have supported each other through the four Tests."

It was a landmark 120th cap for Wyn Jones, who was keen to downplay his own achievement in favour of praising the collective team effort.

"It's just another game for myself, but the depth we have and the amount of people putting their hands up, there's still a few guys injured," he added.

"It's hard to put into words having been involved in autumns that haven't been quite as successful."

Opposing captain Siya Kolisi credited Wales for their game plan and reflected on a November tour that saw South Africa win two of their four matches.

"It was really tough, we played a lot of rugby in our half which was what they wanted. Every time we got into their half we gave away penalties, which made it really tough," he said.

"They were really smart and did well. Credit to Jonesy and his team.

"I am happy [with the November games] but there is still a lot to do. A lot of positives we can take."

Wales have recorded nine consecutive wins for the first time this century after two early tries helped them overcome South Africa 20-11 at the Principality Stadium.

Tomas Francis and Liam Williams crossed in the opening 15 minutes to give Wales the ascendancy and a 14-3 half-time lead in Cardiff.

South Africa fought back in the second period, with Jesse Kriel going over for their only try, but Dan Biggar's two late penalties ensured the Welsh held on for their fourth straight home success over the Springboks.

Since losing to Ireland back in February, Warren Gatland's men have been victorious in each of their nine contests, a sequence the nation had not managed since winning 10 in a row in 1999.

The Springboks were forced into a pre-match change as Cheslin Kolbe replaced Sbu Nkosi on the wing.

The number 23 made a lively start too, dancing to the edge of the Welsh 22 with some nifty footwork before South Africa switched their attack to the left, where Pieter-Steph du Toit just stepped into touch prior to going in.

It was Wales who would put the first points on the board, though, Ellis Jenkins bamboozling Malcolm Marx with a dummy and offloading to Francis to score his first international try.

Six minutes later the Welsh were in again as the presence of George North sucked in the South African backs after a scrum to leave space for full-back Williams to dot down.

A long-range Handre Pollard penalty reduced the deficit, but he was off target with another three-point attempt, as was Gareth Anscombe with an effort that came back off a post.

Wales' advantage remained 11 points at the break, with Jenkins holding up Kriel over the line – a decision confirmed by the TMO – before South Africa's decision to take the scrum five metres from the Welsh line failed to pay dividends.

However, sustained South African pressure at the start of the second period did pay off when Willie le Roux's terrific pass allowed Kriel to cross for a try that Pollard failed to add the extras to.

The Springboks continued to look the better side after the interval and with 18 minutes to go they were only three points behind when Elton Jantjies slotted over a kick.

Yet Gatland's team were awarded a crucial penalty when Justin Tipuric won a turnover inside South Africa's 22, with replacement Biggar keeping his cool to stretch Wales' lead to six.

That soon became nine, their eventual margin of victory, as Biggar made it two from two after South Africa were caught offside following a big Jonathan Davies break.

The only negative for the Welsh was the sight of man-of-the-match Jenkins coming off on a stretcher after the final whistle.

South Africa have named an unchanged line-up for the final match of their European tour against Wales after captain Siya Kolisi avoided disciplinary action for an apparent headbutt in last weekend's win over Scotland.

Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of Wales' clash with South Africa this weekend after failing to recover from concussion.

The full-back sustained the issue in a tackle by Samu Kerevi during a 9-6 victory over Australia on November 10.

After sitting out last Saturday's 74-24 victory over Tonga, Halfpenny showed signs in training this week that he is yet to fully bounce back from the issue, with Hallam Amos now added to the squad as cover.

"Leigh is out," said assistant coach Rob Howley. "He did some training on Saturday morning and was feeling a little bit light-headed. Only common sense.

"George North was back in full training this morning and is available.

"From a back three perspective it gives us an opportunity to look at others.

"Liam Williams has played at full-back, Gareth Anscombe has stepped up there and Hallam Amos has played there."

Including Anscombe at 15 could go some way to solving a growing fly-half selection headache for Warren Gatland, with Dan Biggar having put in a man-of-the-match display when given his chance against Tonga.

"Everyone has debated 10 in Welsh rugby for so many years and that will never change," added Howley.

"It comes down to the skill set and collective cohesion. Gareth Anscombe played particularly well against Australia and Dan was exceptional against Tonga.

"We were very clinical."

South Africa's improvement under Rassie Erasmus continued at Murrayfield on Saturday as Handre Pollard delivered 18 points in a 26-20 win over Scotland.

After a narrow defeat to England at the start of the European tour, South Africa now have back-to-back victories, having edged past France last time out.

Pollard starred for the Springboks with a try, two conversions and thee penalties in a solid display from the visitors that included some dynamic running between the lines.

Scotland helped make an absorbing clash with flowing rugby of their own – Peter Horne's try a particular highlight – but ultimately Gregor Townsend's men just came up short as South Africa became only the second side, after New Zealand, to win at Murrayfield in 12 matches.

Jesse Kriel set the tone for a thrilling encounter with the game's opening try after just six minutes, the centre finishing off after a stunning break from Pollard.

Pollard found a gap in Scotland's midfield before unloading to Embrose Papier, with the scrum-half using supporting forwards to make ground before finding Kriel.

Anything the Springboks could do, Scotland matched and they restored parity after some sublime handling from Huw Jones. The recalled 24-year-old produced two reverse passes in a flowing move that resulted in Horne touching down.

Moments later South Africa capitalised on some sloppy Scotland play to move back in front as captain Siya Kolisi starting a move that saw Pollard dive between two defenders to score.

Having kicked both conversions, Pollard added the extras from his own try before Scotland came battling back.

Stuart Hogg's stunning break was halted by Willie Le Roux, but from the resulting lineout Watson darted over in a well-worked move straight from the training ground.

Pollard's second penalty of the half gave South Africa a three-point advantage at the break but within seven minutes of the restart the sides were level again – Greig Laidlaw kicking a penalty after Le Roux had been sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on.

The free-flowing action of the first half was replaced by a tactical battle in the second, with Pollard's accuracy from the tee edging his side back in front.

He was unable to maintain that, though, as he missed two further penalties, but luckily for the fly-half it did not prove costly as Elton Jantjies split the posts to secure a six-point victory.

Scrum-half Embrose Papier has been selected to make his first international start when South Africa face Scotland on Saturday.

Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor has revealed she draw some motivation from an injury sustained midway a 31-run victory against South Africa in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

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