SPORTS DAY: Yay, the return of Cobus Wiese (no, not him)
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Fleck makes changes
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has unsurprisingly made wholesale changes to his side to face the Reds in Brisbane on Friday after injuries forced his hand. There are seven changes in all from the side that lost 24-9 to the Blues last Saturday – five of those coming in the pack. There is a first start this season for Cobus Wiese‚ who is normally a blindside flank but will instead pack down in the second row.
Boks back in the black
SA Rugby recorded a small post-tax profit of R2m in 2018 due to aggressive cost-cutting and an increase in revenue, reversing heavy losses from the previous two years. SA Rugby kept its expenses in line with projections, but enjoyed a 9.5% rise in revenue to R1.3bn on the back of broadcasting rights, sponsorships and Test match gate receipts. It reverses losses of R15.7m in 2016 and R62.4m in 2017.
Crusaders review ‘offensive’ name
The Crusaders said they were considering a name change on Wednesday, admitting many found the association with the anti-Muslim crusades of the Middle Ages offensive in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks. As the head of New Zealand Rugby said the current branding was “no longer tenable”, the Crusaders added that they would immediately halt their traditional pre-game entertainment of mounted, sword-wielding crusaders.
No transformation targets for World Cup
Cricket SA chief executive Thabang Moroe has revealed that selectors‚ coach Ottis Gibson and captain Faf du Plessis have not been given any transformation targets ahead of the World Cup squad announcement in two weeks time. “No targets have been given. It’s up to the convener of selectors and his team‚ the coach and captain to decide what the final 15 will look like‚” said Moroe, adding he hoped the selection team would keep the transformation picture in mind.
Mothiba nominated for top French league award
Bafana Bafana star Lebogang Mothiba has further raised the SA flag higher in France after being nominated for Ligue 1’s 2019 African Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced on May 13.
Downs guilty, but what punishment will they get?
The Premier Soccer League have confirmed the guilty verdict for Mamelodi Sundowns for fielding ineligible player Wayne Arendse in a 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against Bidvest Wits. But the sentence is yet to be made, the PSL said. Log-leaders Sundowns, with 44 points from 24 points, could have points deducted, or points could could be awarded to third-placed Wits (41 from 24).
150th cap for Banyana star
Noko Matlou, 33, will earn her 150th cap when Banyana Banyana play in their last home World Cup warm-up match against Jamaica in Durban on Sunday. “It hasn’t been an easy journey getting to where I am today‚ but it has definitely been rewarding‚” Matlou said. Janine van Wyk is the only other footballer to have reached that milestone.
Match delayed for funeral
Free State Stars’ Absa Premiership clash against Highlands Park has been called off to allow star winger Sinethemba Jantjie to be buried on Saturday. The PSL have postponed the game to a date to be determined after Jantjie was killed in a car accident in the early hours of Monday morning. He will be buried in his home village of Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape.
Chiefs offer deals on tickets
To bump up support at their FNB Stadium home ground, where they have struggled to attract crowds‚ Kaizer Chiefs are selling tickets for their next two Absa Premiership games at a special rate of R60 – a discount of R20. Chiefs‚ who are still the biggest crowd-pullers whenever they play outside of Johannesburg‚ are also offering a two-for-one R60 for the matches against Baroka FC and Golden Arrows.
Hung jury in Hillsborough trial
The police commander at the Hillsborough football stadium disaster faces a retrial after a jury on Wednesday failed to reach a verdict over his role in the deaths of 95 Liverpool fans in 1989. Nearly 30 years to the day after the tragedy in the northern city of Sheffield, the judge in the trial of retired chief superintendent David Duckenfield discharged jurors who could not decide on 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter.
Brazil soccer legend Pele was hospitalised in Paris late on Tuesday, although he is not in a life-threatening condition, RMC Sport reported on its website. The 78-year-old was admitted to hospital “as a precaution”, suffering from a high fever after attending a social function in the French capital with French soccer player Kylian Mbappe, RMC Sport said.
ICC to work with Interpol to tackle corruption
The International Cricket Council will work more closely with Interpol as part of ongoing efforts to combat corruption in the sport, the governing body said on Wednesday. “Where our enquiries reveal criminal offences have been committed, we will refer this to the relevant law enforcement organisations and this makes Interpol an important partner for us,” said Alex Marshall, ICC’s general manager of its anti-corruption unit.