South Africa have added former Ireland international Felix Jones to the coaching team for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the national rugby body announced Wednesday.
His surname will excite superstitious South African supporters as Australian Eddie Jones was a Springbok assistant coach when they last won the tournament 12 years ago.
The Irishman will act as defence consultant during the September 20-November 2 World Cup, filling a vacancy created when attack coach Swys de Bruin withdrew for medical reasons several weeks ago.
Springboks head coach, Rassie Erasmus said the squad preferred to have a defence coach, believing an attack coach could introduce new ideas and sow confusion.
“I spoke to the players after Swys decided to step down and the consensus was that we did not want a new attack coach,” said Erasmus.
“But they were interested in having more analysis of defensive patterns and structures to assist in breaking down opponents.”
Jones, 32, won 13 caps for Ireland at full-back or wing during a 10-year playing career with the Leinster and Munster provincial teams.
After retiring four years ago, he became part of the Munster coaching set-up and also worked briefly as an assistant coach of Ireland.
Other Springbok assistant coaches include former Scotland forward Matthew Proudfoot and ex-South Africa sevens star Mzwandile Stick.
South Africa are in Pool B at the World Cup with defending champions New Zealand, Canada, Italy and Namibia.
The Springboks and All Blacks are expected to fill the top two positions in the final standings and secure quarter-final places.
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He is joined in South Africa by countrymen Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Tom Curran.
Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone was a surprise first-round pick in the draft for South Africa’s Mzansi Super League on Tuesday. Livingstone, 26, a hard-hitting batsman and leg-spin bowler, was bought by the Cape Town Blitz franchise for a million rand.
Although his international experience is limited to two Twenty20 internationals for England in 2017, Livingstone has played in the Indian and Pakistan Twenty20 leagues with the Rajasthan Royals and Karachi Kings respectively.
He is joined in South Africa by countrymen Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Tom Curran, who had previously been named as international marquee players, earning R1.2-million each, for the Durban Heat, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans.
English players dominated the foreign signings for the six franchises. Veteran batsman Ravi Bopara was bought by Durban Heat for R750,000 while England World Cup-winning squad member James Vince went to the Paarl Rocks for R350,000.
West Indian Chris Gayle was again signed as a marquee player for Jozi Stars, the defending champions, while Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz was assigned to the Cape Town Blitz and Isuru Udana of Sri Lanka joined the Paarl Rocks.
Jozi Stars retained Australian all-rounder Dan Christian while fellow Australian Ben Dunk was bought by Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. Pakistanis Asif Ali and Mohammad Nawaz were retained by Cape Town Blitz.
Seventeen-year-old Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, who took four wickets on his Test debut against Ireland in March, will join the Tshwane Spartans. He was a ninth-round choice for a fee of R180,000.
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Cricket South Africa said 184 foreign or South African Kolpak players had put their names forward for the draft. The overseas players will join South Africa’s leading cricketers, including some such as AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel who are unlikely to play any other cricket in their home country during the season.
Rugby player Dyantyi fails B sample drug test in South Africa
Dyantyi insisted he had not taken any banned substance and requested a B sample test.
Springbok Aphiwe Dyantyi’s B sample has tested positive for banned substances, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport said Friday. It was disclosed last weekend that the 2018 Rugby World Breakthrough Player of the Year had tested positive after a Springbok training camp in July.
Dyantyi, who missed out on a chance of selection for the Rugby World Cup in Japan this month because of a hamstring injury, insisted he had not taken any banned substance and requested a B sample test.
“I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field,” he said after the A sample result was disclosed. “I have never cheated and never will. The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me.”
The 24-year-old winger from the Golden Lions club in Johannesburg can accept the charge and plea for a reduced sanction or appeal before an independent tribunal panel. Should he plead not guilty, there will be a hearing within four weeks and Dyantyi must provide evidence that proves his innocence.
Manyama’s brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs
The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium
Lebogang Manyama ended a 26-month South African Premiership goal drought by scoring twice as Kaizer Chiefs began the new season with a 3-2 win at Highlands Park Sunday.
The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium 45 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.
After Highlands had gone ahead with goals either side of half-time from Rodney Ramagalela and Namibian Peter Shalulile, Manyama struck again on 50 minutes to equalise.
An Eric Mathoho shot seven minutes from time which took a wicked deflection won the match for Chiefs, one of the most popular football clubs in the country but without a trophy since 2015.
“We have been through a rough patch over the last couple of years but I think today we showed what can be achieved and the team can only get better from here,” Manyama said.
It was an encouraging start for Chiefs at a ground where few visiting teams win as the Soweto outfit seek to put a disastrous last season behind them.
They finished a humiliating ninth in the Premiership and were stunned by second-tier TS Galaxy in the FA Cup final.
Chiefs changed coaches midway through the 2018/2019 campaign with German Ernst Middendorp replacing Italian Giovanni Solinas.
“We had the edge over Highlands Park in quality and had to be patient,” said Middendorp, who has been resident in South Africa for more than a decade.
“The crowd was amazing today and this is the season where we have to play for our supporters. We attract many capacity crowds and then do not show up.
“But I think the situation is going to get better,” added Middendorp, who previously coached Chiefs a decade ago with minimal success.
Chiefs lie fourth after the opening round, behind Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on goal difference.
Golden Arrows and Polokwane City were the other clubs to secure maximum points in the opening round.
Sibusiso Mbonani scored a minute before half-time to earn Polokwane a 1-0 away win over Black Leopards, who hired French coach Lionel Soccoia during the close season.
Soccoia replaced Maltese Dylan Kerr, who quit after complaining of constant interference from club officials.
Arrows netted in the first minute of the second half through a Michael Gumede lob to edge Maritzburg United 1-0 in Durban.
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