SPORTS DAY: Lions, Stormers shake up their shaky sides
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Skosan heads home
The Lions have been pressed into late changes for their match against the Chiefs after wing Courtnall Skosan had to urgently return home from New Zealand. Skosan was named in the team for Friday’s Super Rugby clash but the Lions announced on Wednesday the Springbok had to return home as his father is “gravely ill”. Sylvian Mahuza‚ who was selected at fullback‚ will now move to right wing‚ while Andries Coetzee is elevated from the bench to fullback.
Fleck is spoiled for choice
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has some selection posers for Saturday’s Super Rugby game against the Brumbies. His happy conundrum is that Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit are both available, which means he might to drop one of the impressive Ernst van Rhyn or Kobus van Dyk to accommodate them. No 8 Jaco Coetzee is injured and therefore one back-row place has opened up‚ making Fleck’s choice a little easier.
Folau to fight sacking
Israel Folau has requested a code of conduct hearing to challenge Rugby Australia’s decision to sack the Wallabies fullback over anti-gay comments. The 30-year-old, who was issued a code of conduct breach by the governing body on Monday, had sparked an uproar last week for posting on his Instagram account that “Hell awaits” homosexuals.
Middendorp knows Chiefs must win
It took a bit of time for him to admit it‚ but Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp is aware that a victory in this season’s Nedbank Cup can make life “a little bit easier” for him at Naturena. Chiefs meet Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Saturday night’s semifinal (kickoff 8.15pm). “No-one had to tell me what is expected‚ and that you will get hammered if you are not successful without winning a cup or winning a championship in the near future. That’s very clear. There’s no doubt about it at all. I know this. I’m aware about it.”
Baxter fights racial abuse
Stuart Baxter says he would follow his Bafana Bafana players off the pitch if they elected to abandon a game in response to racist abuse during a match. “To start with‚ I cannot comprehend a society that condones that sort of thing‚” said Baxter. “I’m not going to say it’s a social problem … it’s our football problem. I think it is a football problem. What football does is polarise and it is very clannish. It is not only racial‚ it’s also homophobic. I hate it.”
‘Pitso and Sredojevich are best coaches’
Free State Stars coach Nikola Kavazovic says Pitso Mosimane is the best coach in the PSL and Pirates boss Milutin Sredojevich‚ his Serbian compatriot‚ second. “I can see that those two teams are so much better than others and they are led by the best African coaches. They know what they are doing‚” he said. “Milutin Sredojevic and Pitso Mosimane are the two best coaches in Africa‚ and they don’t have any competition – maybe [former TP Mazembe and Al Ahly coach] Patrice Carteron is close to them‚ but the rest of us are just people who need to watch and learn.”
Juventus shares plunge after exit
Shares in Italian club Juventus plunged nearly 21% in early trading on Wednesday after Cristiano Ronaldo’s side were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage by Ajax.
United academy coach bailed over alleged assault
The head of Manchester United’s academy, Nicky Butt, has been bailed by police after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a woman. Butt, a former United midfielder, was held following reports on Tuesday that the woman had been assaulted at an address in Hale, Greater Manchester. “The woman received a small cut to her hand and does not require hospital treatment,” a police spokesperson said.
Ramsey in Italy rehearsal ahead of Juventus move
Aaron Ramsey will get an advance taste of life in Italy as Arsenal look to finish off Napoli in Thursday’s return leg of their Europa League quarterfinal tie, ahead of his summer move to Serie A giants Juventus. The Welsh midfielder, out of contract with Arsenal in June, will end an 11-year association with the Gunners after agreeing a jaw-dropping deal with Juve reportedly worth £400,000 per week over four seasons.
Joshua opponent returns ‘adverse finding’
American Jarrell Miller has returned an “adverse finding” in a voluntary drug test ahead of his world heavyweight title fight with Britain’s Anthony Joshua. The positive test, by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which works with athletes in boxing and MMA, could disrupt Miller’s upcoming bout with world champion Joshua scheduled for June 1 in New York. ESPN reported that Miller had tested positive for the banned substance GW1516, which boosts endurance and helps athletes burn fat, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE