SPORTS DAY: Are you ready for RG Snyman, Scotland?
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Rassie picks Papier, Snyman to start against Scotland
Embrose Papier will make his first Test start when the Springboks take on Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend after coach Rassie Erasmus awarded the youngster the No 9 jersey. Lock RG Snyman is the only other change to the starting lineup from the side that beat France 29-26 in Paris last weekend. Snyman comes in at lock for Pieter-Steph du Toit who moves to flank.
Veteran Kearney returns for All Blacks test Rob Kearney returns to the Irish starting XV for Saturday’s clash with world champions New Zealand as coach Joe Schmidt opted for his experience instead of the youthful exuberance of Jordan Larmour. The 32-year-old fullback – who missed the 28-17 win over Argentina last Saturday with a shoulder injury – is seen as more secure under the high balls the All Blacks are expected to pepper the Irish defence with in a clash of the top two-ranked teams in the world. Kearney is one of four changes to the starting XV from the Pumas clash.
Umaga stands down as Blues head coach
Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga has stood down from his head coach role at the Auckland Blues with Leon MacDonald taking the reins at the Super Rugby team. Umaga will serve as an assistant under MacDonald following a shakeup of the underperforming team’s coaching setup.
Cheika safe until World Cup: Castle Under-siege Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is safe from the axe, Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle said on Thursday despite admitting “universal frustration” at the team’s dire run of results.
SA has another seat at top table
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has been elected to World Rugby’s executive council following elections held in Dublin. He will join another South African‚ Wendy Luhabe‚ who has served on the executive as an independent member. Alexander beat former Irish flanker John O’Driscoll‚ who toured SA with the British and Irish Lions in 1980‚ to the seat. Whether it will provide SA more clout remains to be seen.
Nigeria don’t fear SA
The Super Eagles flew out of Nigeria on Thursday night saying Bafana Bafana held no fear for his side. “The South Africans don’t scare us,” said captain Ahmed Musa said ahead of the African Cup of Nations qualifier in Johannesburg on Saturday. “I can tell you that we are well prepared. It is not going to be a different game. We are taking it like every other game that we have played.”
Khune looking for a clean sheet
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is determined to keep a clean sheet against Nigeria at the FNB Stadium on Saturday. “It’s a good record [not to concede] for us as a team having kept four clean sheets [during the Nations Cup qualifiers]‚” said Khune. “We have been working hard as a team and we have been encouraging all the departments to play their parts and do well for the team.” Khune‚ on the verge of a 91st appearance in a Bafana shirt, shares the clean-sheet feat with Dennis Onyango of Uganda‚ the only other African side that is yet to concede a goal in the Nations Cup qualifiers.
Torreira ready for Brazil showdown Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira has warned Brazil that his side plan to build on their impressive World Cup campaign by claiming a famous win against their South American rivals on Friday. Brazil are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with Uruguay, who haven’t beaten the five-time world champions since 2001.
Conditions will determine AB’s position
Former Proteas captain and batting superstar AB de Villiers will be given a floating role in the Tshwane Spartans batting line-up in the Mzansi Super League. Coach Mark Boucher said conditions at the various grounds would determine where the explosive batsman would be used during the inaugural tournament which starts with a clash between the Spartans and the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands on Friday.
Australia says country comes before IPL
Cricket Australia has informed players they will have to miss part of next year’s Indian Premier League if they are selected in the squad for the World Cup. Australian cricketers, who can earn more than $1m for a stint in the IPL, must receive the permission of CA and the board on Thursday announced a series of conditions. All players granted permission to play would have to be available to play at the World Cup and on the Ashes tour of England that follows.
Tokyo 2020 minister doesn’t compute
Japan’s recently appointed cybersecurity and Olympics minister has told parliament he has never used a computer in his life, though he is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, made the admission at a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday when asked by an opposition lawmaker if he was computer literate. “I’ve never used a computer!” he said.
Pacquiao, Broner to unveil fight details
Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao and former world welterweight champion Adrien Broner will announce details on Monday in New York about their upcoming bout, expected in January at Las Vegas. Broner and Pacquiao are set to talk Monday at New York’s Gotham Hall and Tuesday at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills to promote the bout, which is expected to be staged January 19 in Las Vegas.
LeBron moves to 5th all-time scorer
LeBron James scored a season-high 44 points and passed Wilt Chamberlain for No 5 on the all-time NBA scoring list while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 126-117 victory against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. He is now on 31,425 career points, behind Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643) and Michael Jordan (32,292).
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE