SPORTS DAY: Swys! The sound of a swinging axe at the Lions
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
De Bruin asks cubs to restore life to Lions
Coach Swys de Bruin has rung the changes for the Saturday’s clash against the Jaguares at Ellis Park, turning to some of the Lions’ cubs to restore a spring to his team’s step in this season’s Super Rugby. Wandisile Simelane will partner Franco Naude in midfield‚ Sylvian Mahuza slots in at wing‚ Ross Cronjé is in at scrumhalf‚ Kwagga Smith moves to No 8 making way for Vincent Tshituka at seven‚ while Ruan Vermaak comes in at lock at the expense of Stephan Lewies.
Pollard ready for captaincy
Bulls stand-in captain Handrè Pollard has allayed fears that the added responsibility of leading the side for the remainder of their Super Rugby campaign will have a negative impact on his game. “The captaincy is not extra weight on my shoulders‚” he said as the Bulls continued with preparations to host the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday. “We have lost our captain Lood [de Jager] but we have a good leadership group here at the Bulls.”
‘New league includes promotion-relegation’
World Rugby has said its proposed global league would include promotion and relegation to allow minor nations the possibility of access but conceded that part of the tabled format was opposed by a number of unions. The global governing body came under fire last week after New Zealand media reports said the league would feature the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship sides along with the US and Japan but offering no promotion or relegation for 12 years. Players worldwide slammed the reported proposal, while a Pacific nations lobby group said it was considering a motion to boycott the World Cup in Japan.
England recall Te’o
England coach Eddie Jones has selected a powerful centre pairing of Ben Te’o and Manu Tuilagi for Saturday’s Six Nations international against Italy at Twickenham. It will be the first time the duo, who both have Pacific Islands heritage, have started a Test together.
Rantie training with Downs
Tokelo Rantie has been secretly training with Mamelodi Sundowns over the last two weeks and appears to be close to getting another chance to resurrect his career after leaving Cape Town City under a cloud three months ago. The former Bafana Bafana marksman has been sidelined for more than a year‚ first taking himself into self-imposed footballing exile and then‚ after joining City in mid-year‚ his career was marred by personal problems.
Chiefs out of title race, says Mphahlele
Ramahlwe Mphahlele has contradicted the view of some of his teammates and club officials and said‚ realistically‚ Kaizer Chiefs are not a factor in the Absa Premiership title race anymore. “Obviously‚ I don’t think we still have a chance to win or compete for the league‚ but we just want to finish the games on a good note‚” Mphahlele said on Thursday.
‘Boof’ back in Big Bash in coach return
Darren Lehmann is returning to Big Bash side Brisbane Heat in his first coaching role since resigning as Australia boss in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
India boycott threat looms over World Cup
Border tensions between India and Pakistan are casting a cloud over this year’s cricket World Cup with the threat of a boycott hanging over their highly anticipated clash in England. The ball rests firmly with India’s politicians, who are not likely to make any decision until nearer the match, after cricketers and sports officials said they will abide by any government call for a boycott.
Cape Town wins World Cup bid
Cape Town will host the 2023 Netball World Cup, the first time the global event has been staged on the African continent, the International Netball Federation announced on Thursday. The Mother City beat off competition from New Zealand’s Auckland, which has hosted the event on three previous occasions, the last in 2007.
James passes Jordan for fourth on career list
LeBron James overtook Michael Jordan to move into fourth place on the NBA all-time scoring list on Wednesday with a driving layup in the second quarter against visiting Denver. The Los Angeles Lakers playmaker, the top scorer among active players, made his points in 1,190 games compared to 1,072 for Jordan with the Bulls and Washington. Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the NBA points record with 38,387, ahead of Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643).
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE