SPORTS DAY: He’s won the gongs, now can he win caps?

Sport

SPORTS DAY: He’s won the gongs, now can he win caps?

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Lorch hopes awards convince Baxter
Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch is crossing his fingers that the two major awards he won at the PSL’s end-of-the-season ceremony at the weekend earn him a permanent place in the national team. “I’ve been there [at Bafana] a few times but I haven’t really cemented my place‚” said Lorch, who won the Footballer of the Season and Player’s Player awards. “I hope this will encourage coach Stuart to play me more if he calls me to the national team. Everyone would like to help the country in the Afcon.”
No cause for panic ahead of Afcon
The department of international relations and co-operation says there is no cause for “panic” and backed Egyptian authorities to host a safe Africa Cup of Nations finals in the wake of an attack on a bus that injured 27 South Africans in Cairo on Sunday. The explosion, the second in six months after three Vietnamese tourists were killed in a similar attack in December, has called into question the security around the Cup of Nations that starts on June 21. 
Player exodus looming at TS Galaxy
A player exodus is looming at TS Galaxy and coach Dan “Dance” Malesela admitted that he’s powerless to stop approaches from top-flight clubs after his charges played the game of their lives against Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend. “We will lose players. I’m sure of it‚ that’s reality,” said the coach, admitting he would entertain offers himself.
RUGBY
 
Botha signs for English club
Another day‚ another top SA rugby player signs for a club in the northern hemisphere. On Monday, Sharks lock Ruan Botha was unveiled as London Irish’s newest acquisition. The 27-year-old will leave the Sharks following the 2019 Super Rugby season and move to London as cover for the club’s absent players on World Cup duty. After the World Cup Botha will join the Kubota Spears in Japan. He will relocate to London Irish permanently in June 2020.
Crusaders deny ‘homophobic’ incident
The Crusaders have denied allegations on social media that some of the team’s players had exhibited homophobic behaviour during an altercation at a fast-food restaurant in Cape Town over the weekend. The players were accused of “physically intimidating behaviour ... making homophobic slurs and adopting high-pitched voices” in a post by a local Twitter user. “The three players, team management and the SA-based security adviser with them, strongly refute the socialised account of what happened,” the Crusaders said on Monday.
Folau to fight on after missing appeal deadline
Israel Folau lashed out at Rugby Australia on Monday for damaging his reputation and signalled an intention to fight on after his contract was torn up over homophobic comments, stating: “I still have a lot of rugby left in me.” The star fullback missed the deadline to appeal his dismissal, saying he didn’t have confidence “in Rugby Australia’s ability to treat me fairly”.  He has yet to make clear his next step, but is widely tipped to be headed to court.
GOLF
Koepka returns to world No 1
Brooks Koepka returned to the top of the world rankings on Monday after his nerve-jangling second straight US PGA Championship victory at Bethpage Black. The 29-year-old American has now won four major titles in his last eight starts and is the first man to ever hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, ahead of his tilt at a third successive US Open crown next month.
TENNIS
Nadal eyes new-look Roland Garros 
Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal said on Sunday he can’t wait to hit the clay courts of Roland Garros after claiming his first title this season and ninth Italian Open trophy. Nadal defeated world No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 for a record 34th Masters, leaving his vanquished foe to label the Spaniard as “the number one favourite for Roland Garros”.
MOTOR SPORT
Chadwick moves step closer to F1 drive
Jamie Chadwick’s dream of breaking into F1 is a step closer after Williams announced on Monday they had hired her as a development driver. The 21-year-old has emerged as the most likely candidate to end a 43-year wait for a female driver in F1 as she has followed up successes in Formula 3 by leading the inaugural all-female W Series championship this season.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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