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New faces in Springboks training squad

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer gave Stormers pair Cheslin Kolbe and Vincent Koch and Lions scrumhalf Faf de Klerk their first international call-ups on Sunday.

Meyer named two squads of 44 players each to kick off preparations for this year's Rugby Championship and the World Cup. The first squad will gather next weekend and the second at the end of May. Meyer picked two squads because of Super Rugby tours by the Sharks and Bulls teams.

Along with the three newcomers, there were 16 other uncapped players that have been part of South Africa's squad before.


Hurricanes beat Queensland Reds 35-19

(AP) -- Flyhalf Beauden Barrett became the leading scorer for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby Sunday, kicking three conversions and three penalties in a 35-19 win over the Queensland Reds, which returned the Wellington-based team to the top of the championship table.

When Barrett kicked a penalty for the opening points of the match in the second minute, he passed David Holwell's record of 676 points for the Hurricanes, whose competition lead was briefly usurped by the Cheifs during the weekend's 11th round. (MORE)

Crusaders top Blues 29-15 in Super Rugby

(AP) -- The Crusaders scored tries in the opening minutes of both halves on their way to a 29-15 win over the Blues on Saturday which breathed life into their playoffs hopes in Super Rugby.

Scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond scored in the first minute as the Christchurch-based Crusaders snatched a lead they refused to relinquish for the remainder of the match, staving off the threat of a third straight home defeat. (MORE)

Quade Cooper signs two-year Toulon deal

TOULON, France (AP) Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper signed a two-year contract with European club champion Toulon on Friday.

Cooper penned the deal while he recovers from a broken right scapula. (MORE)

Chiefs beat 14-man Western Force 35-27

(AP) -- The Chiefs became provisional leaders in Super Rugby after beating a 14-man Western Force 35-27 on Friday.

Center Charlie Ngatai's pair of tries helped the Chiefs to a 23-8 halftime lead which they extended to 30-8 with a try to winger Tim Nanai-Williams before the Force mounted a stirring comeback with three tries. (MORE)

Du Plessis back for Sharks after ban

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is back in the Sharks squad for the Super Rugby tour to Australasia after serving a four-week ban for kicking an opponent.

Du Plessis was one of 27 players named on Friday for games against the Highlanders and Hurricanes in New Zealand, and New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. (MORE)

Crusaders fell the heat in Super Rugby

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Former champions face critical matches in the 11th round of Super Rugby as they struggle to keep title hopes alive and to head off the elevation of a new victor.

The Wellington-based Hurricanes, chasing their first title, had their first loss of the season to the defending champion New South Wales Waratahs last weekend but continue to lead the southern hemisphere tournament with eight rounds remaining in the regular season. (MORE)

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