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18 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Getty Images
Jaco Peyper
Jaco Peyper, former Kovsie, will handle a quarter-final match at the Rugby World Cup. It will also be his 50th test match.

With the appointment of Jaco Peyper as referee there will be Kovsie alumni among the referees, players and coaches in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on 20 October.

Lappies Labuschagné will start on the flank for Japan in their clash against the Springboks on Sunday. Labuschagné, a former Shimla captain, is second on the list for tackles made in the tournament thus far.
In the Springbok camp there are former University of the Free State (UFS) students in Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Jacques Nienaber (defence coach).

UFS alumnus Jaco Peyper has been entrusted with the whistle in Sunday’s other quarter-final between Wales and France. It will be a memorable match for Peyper as it will be his 50th test appearance as the 31st man on the field – making him only the third South African to achieve this feat.

Peyper, who is the only South African among the 12 referees at the tournament, made his World Cup debut in 2015 when he officiated the opening match. In total he has handled six World Cup encounters. 

His illustrious career has seen him become only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Super Rugby matches earlier in the year, in which he also handled the final (his fourth Super Rugby final). Peyper scooped the SA Referee of the Year award in 2018 for a third time, a year in which he took charge of his fourth Currie Cup Final.

“The fact that he is only the third South African referee to take charge of 50 tests indicates what a special achievement this is. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this level as a referee, and to maintain this standard year-in and year-out is even more challenging as it requires one to produce effective performances consistently,” said Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby.

News Archive

UFS extends footprint abroad
2015-12-14

In its constant pursuit of research excellence, the UFS has this year performed well in mainly two areas.

Apart from the research done by the UFS on national level, e.g. the involvement of its researchers with the SKA telescope, the pioneering work they do with the satellite tracking of giraffes, as well as research on trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation – to name but a few of the research areas, the university also has a research focus abroad.

Japan, Europe, America and Botswana. These are just some of the places where academics from the university are involved in research abroad.

Japan

Dr Dirk Opperman, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, and Carmien Tolmie, a PhD student in the same department, visited the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Onna, Japan, during November and December 2014. During the visit, experiments were performed in the Microbiology and Biochemistry of Secondary Metabolite Unit of Dr Holger Jenke-Kodama.

This formed part of a larger NRF-funded project on carcinogenic toxins produced in certain Aspergillus fungi. These fungi infect food and feedstuff and are a big concern in developing countries because it may lead to severe economic losses. The research ultimately aims to find inhibitors to block the production of these fungal toxins.



Europe and America

In 2012, an international network was established in the frame of the FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES programme, called hERG-related risk assessment of botanicals (hERGscreen). The South African group included Dr Susan Bonnet and Dr Anke Wilhelm, both from the UFS Department of Chemistry.

Extracts from more than 450 South African plant species have been investigated systematically to assess the potential cardiotoxic risk of commonly consumed botanicals and supplements. The idea of the project, funded by the European Commission, is to identify safety liabilities of botanicals.

Other international partners included the University of Innsbruck, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, University of Basel, University of Vienna, University of Florida, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.

Botswana


A memorandum of understanding was signed between the UFS and Botho University in Botswana in September 2015, which will be valid for three years.

The agreement, includes student and staff exchange programmes, collaborative research, teaching and learning and community engagement activities, sharing of results, and PhD/ MPhil guidance.

Young researchers

Another research focus of the UFS is the development of its young researchers. In 2015, the UFS has delivered 13 Y-rated researchers. Ten of the researchers are from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and three from the Faculty of the Humanities. Three of them received an Y1 rating from the NRF.

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