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Pollard back in Springbok mix to face Australia and All Blacks


Handre Pollard of the Springboks during the Launch of the SA A v French Barbarians clash at Orlando Stadium on May 15, 2017 in Johannesburg.

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Flyhalf Handré Pollard was a surprise inclusion in the Springbok squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship named by coach Allister Coetzee on Tuesday.

Pollard‚ 23‚ has played fewer than 80 minutes of rugby in the past 16 months due to severe ankle and knee injuries‚ but has been rehabilitating and training with the Bulls in recent weeks.

He has played 20 Tests and scored 188 points‚ and despite his age‚ brings added experience to the backline.

Talented Sharks playmaker Curwin Bosch‚ who made his Test debut against the Pumas in Port Elizabeth two weeks ago‚ drops out to accommodate Pollard.

Western Province utility back Dillyn Leyds and fit-again scrumhalf Ross Cronje were also added to the group after missing the brief tour to Argentina where the Boks beat the Pumas 41-23.

Leyds is preferred to centre Francois Venter‚ who won’t tour.

He will no doubt be hastened into the Cheetahs squad for Friday’s PRO 14 opener against Ulster in Belfast while Jano Vermaak makes way for Cronje’s return.

“Handré was really impressive during the two weeks he spent with us in Port Elizabeth‚” Coetzee said.

“Even though he was fit and available for the away match against Argentina in Salta‚ we made a decision that another week of conditioning will be beneficial for him. “I believe he is fit and ready to go and he will be utilised in a versatile role‚ covering centre too.

« He is the kind of player that really thrives in the Springbok environment and is very coachable.

« It must be said that he also made huge improvement in terms of his skill levels and the understanding of this team’s technical plan. “Curwin has grown a lot during his time with us‚ and all our coaches are pleased with his current development.

« He knows what is expected of him in this environment‚ and like I said before‚ it is my responsibility to manage him properly at international level. “We would like to see him carry the confidence he has gained during his time with Springboks into the Currie Cup.”

The versatile Leyds featured in the three-Test series against France in June and has played consistently well since returning to WP‚ paving the way for his Springbok return. “Dillyn covers wing‚ fullback and if needed he can slot into to flyhalf as well. He has continued to impress while playing for his province in the Currie Cup competition‚” said Coetzee. Meanwhile‚ the Springboks will know the full extent of the rib injury to prop Coenie Oosthuizen by Wednesday. He is scheduled to undergo a scan later on Tuesday. The rest of the touring squad to Argentina was kept unchanged for the next two away matches in Australia and New Zealand.

The Springboks face the Wallabies in Perth on 9 September and meet the All Blacks a week later in Albany. The Springbok squad to Australia and New Zealand: Forwards: Uzair Cassiem (flank)‚ Toyota Cheetahs – 3 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Lood de Jager (lock)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 29 caps‚ 20 points (4 tries) Ruan Dreyer (prop)‚ Emirates Lions – 1 cap‚ 0 points Dan du Preez (No 8)‚ Cell C Sharks – uncapped Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward)‚ Cell C Sharks – 6 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock)‚ DHL Stormers – 25 caps‚ 20 points (4 tries) Eben Etzebeth (lock)‚ DHL Stormers – 59 caps‚ 15 points (3 tries) Steven Kitshoff (prop)‚ DHL Stormers – 15 caps‚ 0 points Siya Kolisi (flank)‚ DHL Stormers – 21 caps‚ 20 points (4 tries) Jaco Kriel (loose forward)‚ Emirates Lions / Kubota Spears (Jap) – 10 caps‚ 0 points Malcolm Marx (hooker)‚ Emirates Lions – 7 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Bongi Mbonambi (hooker)‚ DHL Stormers – 10 caps‚ 0 points Franco Mostert (lock)‚ Emirates Lions / Ricoh Black Rams (Jap) – 12 caps‚ 0 points Tendai Mtawarira (prop)‚ Cell C Sharks – 92 caps‚ 10 points (2 tries) Trevor Nyakane (prop)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 30 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Coenie Oosthuizen (prop)‚ Cell C Sharks – 28 caps‚ 20 points (4 tries) Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker)‚ Cell C Sharks – 22 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Backs: Andries Coetzee (fullback)‚ Emirates Lions – 5 caps‚ 0 points Ross Cronje (scrumhalf)‚ Emirates Lions – 3 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Damian de Allende (centre)‚ DHL Stormers – 24 Caps‚ 15 points (3 tries) Francois Hougaard (scrumhalf)‚ Worcester (England) – 44 caps‚ 25 points (5 tries) Elton Jantjies (flyhalf)‚ Emirates Lions / NTT Shining Arcs (Jap) – 16 caps‚ 166 points (2 tries‚ 30 conversions‚ 32 penalties) Jesse Kriel (centre)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 21 caps‚ 25 points (5 tries) Dillyn Leyds (utility back)‚ DHL Stormers – 3 caps‚ 0 points Rudy Paige (scrumhalf)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 9 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Handre Pollard (flyhalf)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 20 caps‚ 188 points (2 tries‚ 29 conversions‚ 37 penalties‚ 3 drop goals) Raymond Rhule (wing)‚ Toyota Cheetahs – 5 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) Jan Serfontein (centre)‚ Vodacom Bulls – 30 caps‚ 20 points (4 tries) Courtnall Skosan (wing)‚ Emirates Lions – 5 caps‚ 5 points (1 try) – TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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Football

Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches

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Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw

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With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

fifa.com

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Football

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »

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Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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