SPORTS DAY: When Kolisi called his wife, she said Siya

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SPORTS DAY: When Kolisi called his wife, she said Siya

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor

RUGBY
Kolisi’s wife put phone down on him 
New Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has revealed that his wife Rachel put the phone down on him when he called to tell her that he had been appointed to lead his country against England in three incoming Tests next month. Kolisi said his wife could not believe what she was hearing and she dropped the phone. “When I told my wife‚ she put the phone down on me. But she called me back and asked me to repeat what I was saying. Obviously it was before it was announced but she was so happy that she wanted to tell people. But I told her to keep it to herself. I have spoken to my family back home and everybody is happy for me. But my father says it is too much for him because people have been calling him and trying to get interviews every day and it is getting too much for him.”
Tough London mission awaits Blitzboks
Whatever the Blitzboks do in the penultimate round of the HSBC World Sevens Series in London this weekend‚ they have to finish above log leaders Fiji. The Pacific islanders hold a four-point advantage at the top of the standings over the defending-champion Blitzboks, with only London and Paris remaining in the 10-leg series. South Africa can’t win the 2017/18 World Series in London this weekend‚ but they can lose it if Fiji widens that gap over their only rivals for the title. It’s no wonder then that coach Neil Powell made it a priority to recall leading try scorer Seabelo Senatla for the final two legs of the tournament. The Blitzboks have lacked Senatla’s deadly finishing during the past four tournaments while he was on Super Rugby duty.
Gloucester get Lions’ share
Gloucester’s raid of the Lions’ resources went into overdrive on Wednesday but the Lions are not letting go without a fight. Gloucester announced that lock Franco Mostert and tighthead Ruan Dreyer would be joining their ranks next season. The club already lured coach Johan Ackermann‚ Ruan Ackermann and Jaco Kriel to their Kingsholm base over the past year. Mostert‚ who is expected to play a leading role for the Springboks in the three-Test series against England in June‚ comes off contract at the end of October‚ but Lions chief executive Rudolf Straeuli said they are contesting the move.All Black Carter eyes final chapter in Japan
All Black legend Dan Carter expressed his sadness on Wednesday at leaving Racing 92 after three seasons as he prepares to head to Japan for what he said was “probably” the final chapter of his glittering career. Carter amassed a world-record 1,598 points in 112 Tests for New Zealand and was a member of the All Blacks team that won the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. Three times a Super Rugby champion with the Crusaders, Carter also won France’s Top 14 twice, in 2016 with Racing and 2009 with Perpignan, although he only played four times in an injury-plagued season for the Catalan club.
SOCCER
Black Leopards win PSL promotion
A heaving Thohoyandou Stadium roared Black Leopards back into the Premier Soccer League for the first time in a half-decade with the Limpopo team’s dramatic 1-0 promotion-relegation play-off win against Jomo Cosmos on Wednesday. Leopards went to an unassailable eight points to guarantee the Limpopo team’s return to the PSL. The remaining game between Cosmos and already-relegated Platinum Stars‚ both on two points‚ at Vosloorus Stadium on Saturday is academic since neither can win the group to either be promoted or steer clear of relegation.
English clubs enter race for Tau
English Premier League sides have joined a long list of suitors bidding for South African Footballer of the Year Percy Tau‚ his Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has confirmed. The Witbank-born star has attracted interest from overseas following his stellar performances for club and country‚ which‚ according to Mosimane‚ have earned him attention from clubs in Lique 1 in France‚ Serie A in Italy and Germany’s Bundesliga. It looks increasingly inevitable that the 24-year-old star will be lost to Sundowns come next season.
French football ‘needs’ Neymar
French football “needs” Neymar, according to the country’s federation president, Noel Le Graet, who said the Brazilian star “must stay” at Paris Saint-Germain. “We need this image, he’s a fantastic footballer,” Le Graet said on Wednesday. “He’s on a five-year contract. He must stay. PSG shows that it can attract the big stars.” Neymar became the world’s most expensive footballer after his transfer to PSG last August from Barcelona for a whopping fee of €222-million. He won the French player of the year prize this season despite a foot injury, meaning he has not featured for the Parisian club since the end of February.
TENNISDjokovic reaches round 3 at Roland Garros
Former champion Novak Djokovic reached the French Open third round for the 13th consecutive year by beating Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday, while women’s top seed Simona Halep battled to victory in her opening match. Djokovic, the 2016 champion and former world No 1, is seeded 20 this year after struggling to rediscover his best form following a right elbow injury. He wasn’t at his best on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the last 16. World No 1 Halep fought back after a disastrous opening set to beat American Alison Riske 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 in their delayed first-round match.
CRICKET
Aussies will be on the ball, says England captain
England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan expects a “young and hungry” Australia will be “galvanised” by the ball-tampering scandal that rocked world cricket, when the old rivals meet in a one-day international series next month. England, currently involved in a Test campaign with Pakistan, resume their involvement in 50-over cricket with a one-off match against Scotland in Edinburgh on June 10 before returning home for a five-match ODI series with Australia. The England fixtures will be Australia’s first international matches since the scandal during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March led to the ongoing suspensions of then captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft.
TAEKWANDOKorean youngsters perform for pope
Youngsters from North and South Korea treated Pope Francis to a display of their taekwondo prowess on Wednesday, in a demonstration for peace on their divided peninsula. The 10 martial arts athletes, half in white and half in black uniforms, staged a dramatic high kick in which one of them shattered a wood panel. They then unfurled a banner reading “Peace is more precious than victory”. A little Korean girl released a dove of peace to cap the performance during the pope’s weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square.
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLive

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