SPORTS DAY: Is Brits Rassie’s trump card against England?
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Erasmus braced for new tricks from England
Coach Rassie Erasmus is expecting England counterpart Eddie Jones to have “a few plans up his sleeve” for Saturday’s second Test in Bloemfontein, but has backed his side to adapt to whatever the tourists throw at them. The Springboks were stunned by England’s running game in the opening quarter of the first Test, when they slipped to a 24-3 deficit before adapting their own plans and roared back to claim a thrilling 42-39 victory at Ellis Park. “Eddie is sharp. He will have a few plans up his sleeve and that is the only way they (the Boks) are going to learn,” said Erasmus, who sprung a surprise when he called hooker Schalk Brits into the squad, despite the fact that the former Saracens front-rower had retired from rugby after winning the Aviva Premiership final on May 26.
Steyn gets Proteas recallDale Steyn is the ace and Shaun von Berg the joker in the pack of players South Africa will send to Sri Lanka for next month’s Test series. Steyn‚ 34‚ has played in only five of South Africa’s past 29 Tests‚ and bowled just 101.3 overs‚ because of shoulder and heel injuries. But he is three scalps from surpassing Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker — a milestone that‚ at 34 and with his body not what it was‚ is unlikely to remain within his reach for long. Steyn took 1/80 from 10 overs in a one-day game for Hampshire last week‚ his first outing for five months‚ and at the weekend he got through 26 overs in the first innings of a championship match against Surry and claimed 2/91.
Messi’s international future ‘depends on World Cup’
Argentina captain Lionel Messi said his international future will be determined by his country’s performance at the World Cup in Russia. “It will depend on how far we go, how we’re going to finish” at the finals, Messi said. “We’ve just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some difficult moments with the press.” Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final 1-0 to Germany after extra time.
Premier League coaching power boosts EnglandThe globalisation of the Premier League is often blamed for hampering homegrown players but the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have played a key role in boosting England’s World Cup chances. Of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad in Russia, 15 finished in the top four under star managers Guardiola, Klopp, Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino. “Absolutely,” said Fabian Delph when asked if the Catalan was the key to his selection for the England squad. “He’s opened my eyes to so much. I never imagined football like Pep did,” said Delph.
Pirates show intent as they sign nine
Orlando Pirates have made their intentions clear to challenge for top honours next season with nine new signings to bolster their squad ahead of what is expected to be a gruelling 2017/18 campaign. “Orlando Pirates Football Club is delighted to announce the signings of Brilliant Khuzwayo‚ Vincent Pule‚ Ben Motshwari‚ Meshack Maphangule‚ Asavela Mbekile‚ Linda Mntambo‚ Abel Mabaso‚ Paseka Mako and Kudakwashe Mahachi‚” the club announced on their website on Monday.
I didn’t think I could jump that far, says Echevarria
Luvo Manyonga’s biggest long-jump rival, Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria, produced the furthest long jump in 23 years — 8.83m — in winning the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Sunday, but a 2.1m per second tailwind denied him a place in the record books. Even so, he was still delighted. “Today I wanted 8.5m but I didn’t think I could jump so far,” he said. American Mike Powell holds the world record with 8.95m from the 1991 world championships. Echevarria finished first ahead of American Jeff Henderson (8.39m) and Manyonga (8.25m).
Ferrari doing a better job but will falter, says LewisMercedes are playing catch-up but Ferrari will falter, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said after German rival Sebastian Vettel won in Canada on Sunday to take over at the top of the drivers’ standings. Vettel’s victory, at a track where Hamilton has dominated in the past but at which he could manage only fifth place this time, left the quadruple world champions a single point apart after seven races. “There’s no reason to lose control or anything like that, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing and keep our heads down and keep motivated and keep pushing because they will falter. We have to keep applying the pressure.”
Nadal unsure of Wimbledon appearance
Rafael Nadal has cast doubt on his participation at Wimbledon, saying he needs to see how his body recovers after a long clay court campaign culminated in an 11th French Open title. “I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days,” Nadal told reporters after his 6-4 6-3 6-2 defeat of Dominic Thiem in Paris.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE