SPORTS DAY: Little bird says Kiwis will walk the World Cup

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SPORTS DAY: Little bird says Kiwis will walk the World Cup

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist


RUGBY
No Bok challenge in Japan, suggests ex skipper
Former All Black skipper Sean Fitzpatrick has backed his countrymen to win this year’s Rugby World Cup. “I back the All Blacks to win‚ but the biggest challengers will come from the northern hemisphere‚” he said. “They will have to play very well‚ but in saying that‚ the teams that play against them will have to be at their best to beat New Zealand.”
Savea ‘free’ to go, says furious Toulon boss Former New Zealand winger Julian Savea is not welcome at Toulon anymore after his performance in a 19-10 defeat to Agen, the Top 14 club’s president said on Sunday. Savea, who was part of the All Blacks’ 2015 World Cup winning side, had been a shadow of his former self since joining the French club last year from Super Rugby’s Hurricanes, Mourad Boudjellal said. “I’m going to ask for a DNA test. They must have swapped him on the plane. If I were him I would apologise and go back to my home country.” ATHLETICS
Wayde can return, says hurdles great
Former 400m hurdles world record holder Edwin Moses believes SA track star Wayde van Niekerk will make a full comeback from a knee injury that kept him out of competition all of last year. “I believe Wayde can come back as strong as ever but it is going to take time‚” Moses said. “My son Julian‚ who plays collegiate volleyball‚ had the same injury and it took him two years to recover. The requirements for volleyball and track and field are probably comparable. It’s certainly possible Wayde will come back and be as good as he was‚ but it changes your whole dynamic as an athlete.”
CRICKET
Sri Lanka name three uncapped players
Sri Lanka on Monday brought in three uncapped players to a 17-member squad for the five-match ODI series against SA. They are right-hand batsman Oshada Fernando, bowler Kamindu Mendis, 20, and allrounder Priyamal Perera, 23.
India pulls down Imran Khan portraits
Cricket stadiums around India have taken down portraits of Pakistan’s former captain-turned-prime minister Imran Khan amid protests over the killing of 41 paramilitaries in Indian-administered Kashmir last week. India has blamed Pakistan for the suicide attack on a military convoy that sparked widespread calls for action against the country’s neighbour. Several fans and a Mumbai cricket official have asked India to boycott their World Cup match against Pakistan in June.
SOCCER
Mahlangu heads to Kazakhstan
May Mahlangu has become the latest South African to ply his trade in a far-flung part of the globe after signing for Kazakhstan club Ordabasy on loan until November this year. Mahlangu found game-time difficult at Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad‚ who were seeking to get him off their wage bill‚ but found their options for moving on the former Bafana Bafana midfielder limited because he’d already played for two clubs in the 2018/19 season.
Bayern fly to Liverpool without Boateng
Bayern Munich jetted to Liverpool for Tuesday’s Champions League, last-16 first leg without centre-back Jerome Boateng and hoping French winger Kingsley Coman will be fit. Boateng is out with an upset stomach, leaving Mats Hummels to partner Niklas Suele at Anfield. Boateng and Franck Ribery were the biggest names missing when the team flew out of Munich on Monday.
Singapore star faces jail
Singapore’s first soccer player signed to the English Premier League has missed his compulsory military service and now faces charges that carry up to three years in jail, the city-state’s defence ministry said on Monday. Singapore’s refusal to allow Ben Davis, 18, to defer his national service sparked a debate last year over whether the country’s rigid conscription law is stifling its youth from pursuing their dreams. Davis signed a two-year contract with London club Fulham.
MOTORSPORT
Vettel gets Ferrari off to strong start
Ferrari made a strong start to the first day of F1 testing on Monday with four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel top of the timesheets at lunchtime with 72 laps completed. The Italian team won six of the 21 races last year, finishing overall runners-up, and are hoping the new SF90 car can end Mercedes’s five-year stranglehold on both championships. Vettel’s fastest lap of one minute 18.161 seconds was nearly two seconds faster than the best of the rest.
Albon could spring a surprise: Rosso boss
Alexander Albon could be a surprise of the F1 season, the Thai’s Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said as testing started on Monday. The 22-year-old British-born driver has moved up from F2, where he won four races last year and finished third overall behind fellow F1 rookies George Russell and Lando Norris.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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