SPORTS DAY: Rassie wheels out his ‘best’ XV, so we’ll see


SPORTS DAY: Rassie wheels out his ‘best’ XV, so we’ll see

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day


Bok side is ‘probably’ closest to best XV
Erasmus has made several changes to the starting line-up to face New Zealand at Westpac Stadium on Saturday. He named Handrè Pollard at flyhalf‚ switched Jesse Kriel to right wing and Lukhanyo Am to outside centre after announcing his team here on Thursday. Malcolm Marx has replaced Bongi Mbonambi while Ross Cronje has taken the place of Embrose Papier among the substitutes. “Elton [Jantjies] can dictate the game very well but Handrè brings the physicality and direct play we need against the All Blacks‚” Erasmus said. “I think this team is probably closest to the strongest 15 we have put out there in the six matches we have played‚” he said.
Rassie to name permanent Bok captain soon
Rassie Erasmus has revealed that a decision on the appointment of a  permanent Springbok captain will be announced in the months leading up to the World Cup. Siya Kolisi has captained the Boks in the last six matches and will be in charge for the remainder of the Rugby Championship. He is also expected to retain the armband until the end of year tour to Europe against England‚ France‚ Scotland and Wales. “We have to be patient‚ but I like him and I back him.”
Sonny Bill’s return halted by tonsilitis
Sonny Bill Williams’s much anticipated return to Test rugby was put on hold by tonsilitis Thursday when the ailing centre was ruled out of the All Blacks squad. Coach Steve Hansen said Williams had been sick all week and while the plan was to play 20 minutes late in the game, there was risk he may have had to come on early as an injury replacement. That would “flatten him”, Hansen said.
Fit-again Folau to start on wing
Israel Folau will start on the wing for the first time in five years against Argentina this weekend in a surprise tactical shift after the Wallabies’ star fullback was declared fit Thursday along with influential flanker David Pocock.
Argentina change three for Wallabies clash
Argentina have made three changes for their clash with the Wallabies on Saturday, with Gonzalo Bertranou returning at scrum-half as they look to bounce back from defeat to the All Blacks last weekend. The Pumas went down 46-24 to New Zealand in Nelson and while it was a spirited performance their scrum was “torn apart”, according to coach Mario Ledesma, himself a former hooker.
Pitso is the best coach in PSL, says Dolly
Montpellier HSC winger Keagan Dolly says Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was the major catalyst in turning him from a raw‚ inconsistent talent into a refined product suitable to attract interest in Europe. Dolly, 25, said Mosimane took his game to a new level in his one-and-a-half seasons at Sundowns‚ where‚ having moved from Ajax Cape Town in June 2015‚ he won the Absa Premiership and Caf Champions League and played at the Fifa Club World Cup.
Mumble heading for Safa door?
SA Football Association CEO Dennis Mumble is considering not renewing his contract‚ which ends at the end of next month. Three sources confirmed to TimesLIVE that Mumble is yet to undertake to a renewal‚ and that he has indicated to various people that he intends not to.
City break £500m income barrier 
English champions Manchester City posted record revenues of £500.5m (R9.7bn) in a record-breaking 2017/18 campaign on the pitch as Pep Guardiola’s men romped to the Premier League title amassing 100 points. City reported profits of £10.4m, a fourth consecutive year of profitability, with wages to revenue ratio falling to 52%. 
Liverpool seek Wembley redemption 
Liverpool will not have happy memories of their last visit to Wembley Stadium and will head south with a point to prove against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Eleven months ago Juergen Klopp’s side were swept aside 4-1 by a rampant Tottenham leading to a bout of navel-gazing that, as it transpired, helped transform Liverpool’s season. The defensive lapses that undermined them that day were soon eradicated, the goals began to flow and with the addition of central defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January, Liverpool became a force to be reckoned with.
Morkel-inspired Surrey crowned county champions
Surrey won their first county championship title since Adam Hollioake captained them to success in 2002 as they beat Worcestershire by three wickets on Thursday. Their victory had been set up by their star performer this season, South African bowling great Morne Morkel, who took 5-24 in Worcestershire’s second innings on Wednesday — the fourth time he has taken five wickets in the eight matches he has played in the campaign.
Shastri under fire after England series defeat 
India coach Ravi Shastri has come under fire for his side’s humiliating 4-1 Test series loss to England – a second consecutive away defeat for the world’s top-ranked side. The thrashing in England, following the loss in SA earlier this year, piles pressure on Shastri ahead of a tour to Australia in November and next year’s World Cup – as well as a massive clash with arch-rivals Pakistan next week.
Osaka not saddened by Serena row
Naomi Osaka said Serena Williams’s row with the umpire during the US Open final had not altered her feelings about winning  a Grand Slam, largely because she had no idea how she was supposed to react, the Japanese said on Thursday. “For me, I don’t feel sad because I wouldn’t even know what I’m expected to feel,” she told a news conference in Yokohama. “Because it was my first final and my first Grand Slam victory, overall I felt really happy and I know that I accomplished a lot. I don’t think I even thought about feeling sad because there’s no experience for me to draw on (from) any other Grand Slam final.”
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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