SPORTS DAY: Lood could put lead in Boks’ pencil - if he’s fit
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Rassie will pick strongest squad for Championship
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said he would pick a full strength team for the Rugby Championships and admitted he was “70-80%” sure of what his World Cup squad would look like. “We tried to achieve three strategic goals last year – win Tests against the best teams‚ transform the team and build squad depth and experience‚” Erasmus said. “This year there is only one strategic goal – to try and win the World Cup.” “We have three Rugby Championship Tests and a fourth Test against Argentina before the World Cup. The first step towards our World Cup goal is to try and win the Rugby Championship. So we will select the best team in the Championship.”
Lood in race to be fit for World Cup
Lood de Jager faces a race to be fit for the World Cup after it was confirmed a shoulder injury would rule him out of the rest of the Super Rugby season. The Bulls captain was injured in his side’s defeat to the Jaguares late last month, but had initially expected to be missing for only a few weeks. But surgery is needed and he was due to go under the knife on Tuesday.
Beard replaces Hill for Scotland clash Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Ospreys lock Adam Beard replaces Cory Hill, who will miss the rest of the tournament after suffering an ankle injury during Wales’ 21-13 victory over England 10 days ago.
‘Russia don’t know how good they are’
Could Russia one day be a major player in world rugby? The national team has qualified for the World Cup for just the second time in its history and a new coach says the country is full of potential. “You’d be surprised how much promise there is in Russia,” says Lyn Jones, a former Welsh international who was brought in to oversee the Russian side in August last year. Russia qualified for the World Cup unexpectedly after Spain, Romania and Belgium were disqualified for using ineligible players.
‘De Kock can be key for Proteas’
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis believes that explosive opener Quinton de Kock will be one of the key players for SA at the World Cup in England. “Runs are important for any player and as long as he is scoring runs it is good for all of us because he is going to be a big factor at the World Cup‚” said Du Plessis as the Proteas prepared to take on Sri Lanka in the second ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. “There is still a long time to go before the tournament but the currency is runs and hopefully he [De Kock] will have a good IPL and transform that to the World Cup‚ because he is one of our most dangerous players‚” Du Plessis said.
Benni wants Kermit in Bafana team
Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal-scorer Benni McCarthy has backed striker Kermit Erasmus to force his way back into the national team fold just in time for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. Erasmus has played very little football over the past three seasons owing to unsuccessful stints at European clubs since leaving Orlando Pirates for France in 2015. “I think he has got the qualities to mix it up [in the national team]‚” McCarthy said. “Imagine having a front three at Bafana Bafana with Kermit Erasmus‚ Lebo Mothiba and Percy Tau.”
United freeze ticket prices again
Manchester United have frozen their season ticket and match ticket prices for the eighth consecutive season, the Premier League club said on Tuesday. United have 53,000 season ticket holders and more than 100,000 people on the waiting list.
Murray will put ‘heart and soul’ into return
Andy Murray will put his “heart and soul” into trying to return to professional tennis, his mother Judy has said, although she admitted the player’s future is unclear. The 31-year-old underwent hip resurfacing surgery at the end of January in a final throw of the dice to try to overcome the problem that first became a serious issue in 2017. “He will put his heart and soul into it like he does with everything.”
F1 implementing Brexit ‘contigency plans’
Formula 1 is implementing “contingency plans” to deal with the consequences of Brexit, including possibly basing more material on mainland Europe, its chief executive Chase Carey said Tuesday. Several F1 teams have warned that Britain’s departure from the European Union, especially if it comes without a withdrawal agreement, will create logistical nightmares for an industry that relies on international staff and specialised goods moving in and out of Britain.
High price for late America’s Cup entry
America’s Cup organisers have reached an agreement to accept three late entries from challengers for the next regatta in Auckland in 2021. The three syndicates, one each from the Netherlands, Malta and the US, have to pay a $1m late entry fee, with a first instalment of $250,000 by April 1 and the remaining $750,000 by October 1.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE