South Africa's national selectors have named a predictable and experienced squad of 30 players to feature at this year's World Cup tournament.
National coach Jake White named 14 backs and 16 forwards with the squad being a good blend of youth and experience.
Loose forward Bob Skinstad, who'd given up the game in South Africa in 2003 and only returned to action for the Coastal Sharks in this season's Super 14 championship, is the big winner in the squad.
Skinstad spent the last four years in England where he played a minor role with the Richmond club. He was lured back to the country of his birth by White during last season's 'Bok tour of Ireland and England.
The other player who snuck into the squad at the last minute was flanker Wikus van Heerden, a star performer in the weakened 'Bok side during the recent away leg of the Tri-Nations.
White also included injured flyhalf Andre Pretorius in his squad. Pretorius has played no rugby since the latter stages of the Super 14 competition.
Somewhat surprisingly the selectors opted for only two hookers, captain John Smit and Gary Botha, while there are three scrumhalves in Fourie du Preez, Ruan Pienaar and Ricky Januarie.
Also selected in the France-bound team is veteran loosehead prop Os du Randt as well as winger Ashwin Willemse, who only returned to rugby in the latter stages of the Super 14 competition, which ended in May, after sitting on the sidelines for two years nursing knee, ankle and hamstring injuries.
Backs: Percy Montgomery, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, Ashwin Willemse, Akona Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier, Butch James, Andre Pretorius, Fourie du Preez, Ruan Pienaar, Ricky Januarie.
Forwards: Pierre Spies, Bob Skinstad, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Wikus van Heerden, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Johann Muller, Albert van den Berg, BJ Botha, CJ van der Linde, Os du Randt, Gurthro Steenkamp, John Smit (captain), Gary Botha.
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an