SPORTS DAY: Rassie rings the changes with a few rookies

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SPORTS DAY: Rassie rings the changes with a few rookies

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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RUGBY
Two rookies on Bok bench
In keeping with his strategy to spread game time in his squad‚ Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has named two uncapped players in his match-day 23 for Saturday’s opening Rugby Championship clash against Argentina at King’s Park. Gifted Stormers utility back Damian Willemse and flank Marco van Staden have been introduced to the bench in a team that sees sweeping changes from the one that did duty in the third Test against England in June. For his selection on Saturday‚ Erasmus has had to rearrange his back row in the absence of No 8 Duane Vermeulen, bringing in former captain Warren Whiteley. Francois Louw is in the fetcher’s role at six and captain Siya Kolisi is at seven.
Cipriani pleads guilty
England rugby player Danny Cipriani pleaded guilty on Thursday to common assault and resisting arrest after an incident at a nightclub on Jersey. The 30-year-old was fined £2,000 (R37,000) and ordered to pay £250 (R4,600) in compensation when he appeared at Jersey Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. Cipriani had been arrested early on Wednesday morning in St Helier, Jersey, while on the island for pre-season preparations with his English club side Gloucester. 
Injuries force Australia changes
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been forced to revamp his front row and gamble on an untested centres pairing for Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand. Australia are desperate for a win at ANZ Stadium in a fixture that doubles as the first Bledisloe Cup Test, but were dealt a blow when loosehead Scott Sio failed a fitness test.
SOCCER
Chiefs recall Gordinho from CelticKaizer Chiefs have recalled Lorenzo Gordinho from his loan at Bloemfontein Celtic. Amakhosi’s team manager Bobby Motaung confirmed on Thursday that a letter had been dispatched to Celtic‚ alerting them that Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas wanted the defender back at Naturena with immediate effect. “We want him back now because the coach sees potential in him‚ he can do with his services‚” Motaung said of the player who was loaned out to the Free State side in January this year.
City ready to start life without De Bruyne 
Manchester City believe they have the handsome resources to thrive in the absence of Kevin de Bruyne but could they now discover that life without their injured midfield gem is more uncomfortable than they suspect? With the second round of Premier League matches upon us this weekend, the knee injury to De Bruyne has cast a rare cloud over the Etihad, so instrumental was the Belgian in leading the champions’ all-conquering 100-point campaign last season.
Emery keeps faith with Cech for Chelsea clash 
Arsenal’s veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech will start Saturday’s Premier League clash against his former club Chelsea despite criticism of his performance in last weekend’s defeat by Manchester City, manager Unai Emery said on Thursday. Cech struggled with Emery’s tactics, which involve playing out from the back, in the 2-0 loss to the defending champions. He was criticised by some supporters who called for new signing Bernd Leno to take his place for the London derby. “I’m very happy with his performance. He has experience, he has quality, he has the capacity,” Emery told a news conference.
La Liga moves into post-Ronaldo era
The Spanish season kicks off this weekend with La Liga entering a new era following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta, and with Atletico Madrid posing a huge threat to the big two. Spain’s preeminence on the European stage was cemented by Real Madrid winning the Champions League in May while Atletico won the Europa League, just as Barcelona won another domestic double. But much has changed since, and Ronaldo’s move to Juventus after 450 goals in nine years leaves a gaping chasm at Real.
France top new-style Fifa rankingsWorld champions France predictably shot to the top of the Fifa rankings published on Thursday while previous leaders Germany slumped to 15th after their humiliating first round exit in Russia. Bafana remain at 74.
TENNIS
ITF delegates approve Davis Cup overhaul
Global tennis chiefs on Thursday approved a radical Davis Cup revamp that would overhaul the 118-year-old competition, condensing the annual worldwide showpiece into an 18-team, week-long event. The shake-up plan for the men’s team tournament received 71.43% support from about 120 delegates at the International Tennis Federation annual meeting in Orlando, well ahead of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.
MOUNTAINEERING
Record numbers summit Everest
A record 807 climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest in May this year, officials confirmed on Thursday, capping a successful climbing season that also saw multiple other firsts. Unusually good weather on the roof of the world allowed the staggering number of mountaineers — 563 from the Nepalese side in the south and 244 from the northern flank in Tibet — to reach the 8,848-metre peak, including a double amputee from China. The previous record was 665 summits in 2013, according to the Himalayan Database.
MOTOR SPORT
Sainz to replace Alonso
Carlos Sainz has signed a multi-year deal to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren from the 2019 Formula One season, the team confirmed on Thursday. Double world champion Alonso announced his retirement from the sport on Tuesday, ending months of speculation about his future.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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