SPORTS DAY: Fresh front row will give Boks grunt
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
New-look Boks to face Wallabies
SA go into their crunch clash with the Wallabies this weekend with a new look after coach Rassie Erasmus opted to reshuffle his front row and midfield. He has made wholesale changes with Steven Kitshoff and Bongi Mbonambi forming a new front row next to Frans Malherbe. Captain Siya Kolisi returns to the blindside flanker role with Pieter-Steph du Toit at openside flanker. Warren Whiteley completes the loose trio at No.8. Elton Jantjies swaps places at flyhalf with Handre Pollard, and Damian de Allende will resume his centre partnership with Jesse Kriel.
Foley dropped as Folau declared fit
Bernard Foley was dropped in a major backline shake-up by the Wallabies on Thursday, who got a big boost with Israel Folau and David Pocock both declared fit for their clash against the Springboks. Kurtley Beale was selected to start his first Test in the No10 jersey since 2014, with the experienced Matt Toomua promoted to inside centre.
Kenya calls up sevens players for World Cup playoff
Kenya has called up four players from its sevens team to reinforce the national squad as it prepares for a last-ditch bid to grab one of the last places at next year’s World Cup. The repechage tournament in Marseille in November will be Kenya’s final chance to qualify.
‘Instinct’ tells All Blacks it is Mo’unga’s time
Instinct told coach Steve Hansen the time was right to put Richie Mo’unga in the driver’s seat as the All Blacks brace for a powerful forward battle against Argentina in Nelson on Saturday. After a stellar Super Rugby season for champions Crusaders, the 24-year-old pivot gets his first start in only his second Test, with Hansen saying the time was right to blood him as the starting playmaker. “You’ve got to go with your instincts,” Hansen said, naming Mo’unga to replace Beauden Barrett in a starting XV with eight changes from their last outing against Australia two weeks ago.
SABC pay up for Bafana match
Bafana Bafana’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya will be broadcast on SABC on Saturday after the cash-strapped public broadcaster finally caved under considerable pressure on Thursday and agreed to pay a portion of the R50m they owe the SA Football Association.
Johnson impressed by Bafana
AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson was impressed by Bafana Bafana who beat his side in their training match on Wednesday. “They trained [for an hour] before we came there as well. And we were given a specific instruction from Stuart [Baxter] to play a certain way‚ and we did that. And Bafana were able to probably achieve their objectives. But they look very positive and they look like they’re prepared.”
Motaung backs Chiefs coach
Kaizer Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung has fired a salvo at beleaguered coach Giovanni Solinas’s detractors and said the Italian mentor is going nowhere. “The coach needs to be given a chance because he did not start the season like all other coaches who had the benefit of a preseason. So far I’m still happy with what is happening except that we’ve had some glitches in the defensive areas.”
Isco welcomes cellphone ban
Spain midfielder Isco says he welcomes coach Luis Enrique’s ban on cellphones during team meals and has embraced the new manager’s footballing ideas and team building exercises. “These days we are often more focused on machines than speaking with our team mates,” Isco said ahead of Spain’s first match under former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Saturday away to England.
China turn to Hiddink to fulfil Olympic hopes
Respected Dutch coach Guus Hiddink looks poised to take on a leading role in China’s aggressive push to finally become a force in international football. The 71-year-old was pictured this week – glasses perched on his nose and taking notes – watching China’s under-21 side beat Myanmar 1-0 at home, amid reports that he is set to be formally appointed coach to lead the team into the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Blood on floor at CSA meeting?
Weeks of lobbying could leave blood on the floor at Cricket SA’s annual meeting in Johannesburg on Saturday. The major prize up for grabs is vice-president‚ the post vacated by Thabang Moroe when he became chief executive in the wake of Haroon Lorgat’s departure in September. Oupa Nkagisang‚ Tando Ganda and Beresford Williams‚ the presidents of North West‚ Border and Western Province‚ have thrown their hats into the ring.
Sweat stops play
The US Open quarterfinal between Novak Djokovic and John Millman ground to an astonishing halt at 2-2 in the second set on Wednesday when the umpire gave Millman permission to leave the court to change his sweat-soaked clothes. A break in play of six and a half minutes saw 13-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic remain on the court as Australia’s Millman – who apologised profusely to Djokovic – disappeared. “I could do with a rest,” said Djokovic, who won the match to set up a semifinal showdown against Kei Nishikori.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE