SPORTS DAY: Scotland beef up a wee bit before Boks clash
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Scotland strengthen for Bok challenge Scotland strengthened their side on Wednesday as coach Gregor Townsend made six changes to his starting line-up to take on SA in their Test at Murrayfield on Saturday. There is a first outing in the November internationals for loosehead prop Gordon Reid, while hooker Stuart McInally, locks Jonny Gray and Ben Toolis and flanker Hamish Watson return to the pack. Huw Jones, who played club rugby in Cape Town for four years, is the only change in the backline in place of Alex Dunbar.
Du Toit prefers playing at flank
Pieter-Steph du Toit doesn’t really need a number on his back to define himself as a rugby player because the man who started professional rugby as a lock has become a vital dual operator in the Springbok pack. Du Toit could wear the No 7 against Scotland this weekend having played lock in the first two matches on tour. Du Toit admitted in Edinburgh that he enjoys the outings at flank more. “I probably would say that I prefer playing at 7 at the moment though‚” Du Toit told the media in Edinburgh. It’s where I’m able to get my hands on the ball a bit more and get involved in the loose play. I’m just enjoying my rugby and the coaches have put all the right structures in place‚ which has really helped.”
Key Wallabies to be rested from Super Rugby Australia plan to rest key players during next year’s Super Rugby season in a bid to keep them fresh and injury-free for the World Cup in Japan. An agreement in principle has been reached between Rugby Australia and the country’s four Super Rugby franchises. “What we’ve committed to is developing individual plans for our top players,” said Rugby Australia’s high performance manager Ben Whitaker.
Another Bafana match, another blackout threat
The SA Football Association and the SABC confirmed on Wednesday that the Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana matches against Nigeria this coming weekend would not be broadcast after latest negotiations reached a deadlock. Bafana take on the Super Eagles in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at FNB Stadium on Saturday and Banyana take on the West Africans in their Awcon opening match on Sunday. Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has made an impassioned plea for South Africans to buy tickets for the match. “The team needs you. The team needs you‚” he said after a training session on Wednesday. The winners can clinch qualification for Cameroon 2019.
Nigeria get cash incentive for Bafana goals
Nigeria have been given a cash incentive to score goals in their African Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa after the Governor of Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa pledged $25‚000 (R360‚000) for every time they found the back of the net at the FNB Stadium on Saturday. Okowa made the announcement when he visited team training on Tuesday‚ offering no explanation as to whether the offer was made in his private capacity or using public funds. Rooney ready for farewell match
Wayne Rooney will make his final farewell as England’s greatest ever goalscorer in a friendly against the US on Thursday, but is excited at what a young squad can achieve under “fearless” coach Gareth Southgate in the years to come. “A lot of the other managers didn’t really give the youth the opportunity to express themselves and come into the team and have an impact,” he said.
Coin beats rock, paper, scissors
Referee David McNamara has been handed a three-week ban by the English FA for asking two captains to play rock, paper, scissors to decide the kick-off before a Women’s Super League match on October 26 after forgetting his coin.A coin toss to decide who kicks off is a requirement under the laws of the game but McNamara left his coin in the dressing room, the BBC reported.
Knight Riders dump Starc by text
Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc could skip next year’s Indian Premier League and focus on preparing for the World Cup after being dumped by the Kolkata Knight Riders this week via text message. The left-armer was one of the most expensive buys in the annual bidding war for the 2018 season at $1.47m, but he missed the event after a stress fracture in his lower right leg. “I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I’ve been released from my contract,” Starc told reporters in Sydney.
Battle of Hastings ends in retirement
Australian fast bowler John Hastings has retired from all forms of cricket fearing a mystery ailment could lead him to bleed to death on the field. The burly all-rounder revealed last month he was struggling with an illness that causes him to cough up blood whenever he bowls. “It’s only when I bowl,” the 33-year-old said. His decision to pull the pin came after doctors were unable to reassure him that he wouldn’t bleed to death on the cricket pitch.
Hamilton cool on expansion to new countries
World champion Lewis Hamilton has questioned Formula One’s policy of organising races in new countries after this month’s announcement of the Vietnam Grand Prix. Hamilton said he would prefer to see more stops in countries with a genuine racing tradition, rather than expanding to new markets. “I don’t know how important it is to go to new countries as such. If you had the Silverstone Grand Prix and a London Grand Prix, it would be pretty cool.”
Calgary 2026 bid in peril after public say ‘no’
Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics is likely dead after more than 56% of voters went against the city’s plan to bid for the Games. The ballot was a non-binding plebiscite.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE