Jasper Wiese (No 8) returns to a Springbok starting lineup which features new lock and centre pairings. This is for Saturday’s third Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match against Italy in Genoa. Coach Jacques Nienaber made four changes for the springbok and two positional switches for the Test.

Wiese was a late withdrawal from the match against France in Marseille last week and will take over from Kwagga Smith.

Nienaber also handed starts to locks Salmaan Moerat and Marin Orie. Lood de Jager has returned home with a shoulder injury and Eben Etzebeth dropped to the bench.

Andre Esterhuizen comes in at inside centre in a new-look midfield pairing with Damian de Allende.

The other positional switch sees Franco Mostert move from lock to flanker in place of Pieter-Steph du Toit. Du Toit is awaiting a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday for a red card received against France for cleaning out a ruck dangerously.

No 8 Evan Roos, meanwhile, will feature on the replacements bench alongside forwards Etzebeth, Smith, and the front row of Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch (both props) and Malcolm Marx (hooker) in a split of six forwards and two backs on the bench.

Cobus Reinach (scrumhalf) and Manie Libbok (utility back), in turn, will provide backline cover, with Libbok able to cover flyhalf, centre, wing and fullback.

WHAT NIENABER SAYS

“A couple of players have been training very hard in the last few weeks. They deserve a chance to start. Lood’s injury and Pieter-Steph’s disciplinary hearing opened the door for us to give them an opportunity,” said Nienaber.

“Salmaan and Marvin are both DHL Stormers player. So they have been playing together for a while. They are very hungry for game time, so we are looking forward to what they bring in the game.

“It’s also good to have Jasper back against the physical Italian pack. We know that Kwagga will spark something different when he takes the field. Evan also gets a chance off the bench and his skills will work well with Kwagga’s in the loose trio. Manie earns another run after making his debut last week.

Nienaber expected a passionate performance from Italy, who pipped Australia 30-29 last week in front of a vocal home crowd.

“Italy’s victory against Australia will boost their confidence immensely going into this match. We are expecting them to draw a lot of energy from their home crowd.

SPRINGBOK TEAM TO FACE ITALY

15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 81 caps, 65 pts (13t)

14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulon) – 22 caps, 61 pts (10t, 1c, 3p)

13 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 68 caps, 45 pts (9t)

12 – Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins) – 10 caps, 0pts

11 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 5 caps, 20 pts (4t)

10 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 25 caps, 25 pts (1t, 4c, 4p)

9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 44 caps, 30 pts (5t, 1c, 1p)

8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 19 caps, 5 pts (1t)

7 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 61 caps, 15 pts (3t)

6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 73 caps, 45 pts (9t)

5 – Marvin Orie (DHL Stormers) – 8 caps, 0 pts

4 – Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers) – 2 caps, 0 pts

3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 56 caps, 5 pts (1t)

2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 53 caps, 55 pts (11t)

1 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 17 caps, 0 pts

Replacements:

16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 57 caps, 65 pts (13t)

17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 69 caps, 5 pts (1t)

18 – Vincent Koch (Stade Francais) – 40 caps, 0 pts

19 – Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks) – 108 caps, 15 pts (3t)

20 – Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 29 caps, 15 pts (3t)

21 – Evan Roos (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0 pts

22 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 22 caps, 40 pts (8t)

23 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 1 cap, 0 pts

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, adidas unveils the next chapter of its Impossible is Nothing story with its global football family. The brand kicks off a month-long campaign with a Family Reunion like no other. It features Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Achraf Hakimi, Son Heung-Min, Jude Bellingham, Pedro ‘Pedri’ González López, Serge Gnabry and Stormzy.

Channelling the special essence of the tournament, the playful spot celebrates the unified joy of football which brings together players and fans from all over the world. With a selection of the world’s greatest football stars unexpectedly reuniting and displaying their excitement and unique pre-tournament preparations, the film is inspired by the attitude that when football is everything, Impossible is Nothing.

FAMILY REUNION

Also featuring and narrated by football superfan Stormzy, the film combines football culture, world cup nostalgia and unique player personalities – all with a shared love for the game. Designed to be watched again and again, each scene features subtle nods to memorable moments, players and places to help build anticipation for the endless possibilities of the month ahead.

adidas-wc-1-min-1
adidas ambassadors

These include framed family photos, fridge magnets, post cards, cross stitch hangings plus so much more. Florian Alt, VP Global Brand Comms at adidas, speaks on The Family Reunion: “There is a rare moment, once every couple of years, at the beginning of the World Cup when it truly feels like impossible is nothing. A time when players and fans come together united by the belief that they will bring the trophy home.” “During the next month we’ll see new players break on to the scene, an underdog beat the odds, unbelievable goals and widespread celebrations taking place across the globe. It’s precisely that spirit that our campaign hopes to inspire in fans around the world.”

The Family Reunion film for the first time ever brings together Morocco right back Achraf Hakimi, Argentina forward Lionel Messi, France striker Karim Benzema, Spain midfielder Pedro ‘Pedri’ González López, South Korea left winger Son Heung-min, England midfielder Jude Bellingham, German winger Serge Gnabry and British musician Stormzy, as well as faces from adidas’ wider footballing family. Further to this, with a full month of unmissable moments undoubtedly ahead.

ADIDAS CELEBRATE BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT

adidas will continue to celebrate its global football family throughout the tournament with iconic player moments, global social media activations and the creation of the ‘Al Rihla Arena’ – an official adidas fan zone on-the-ground in Qatar. The immersive experience will give fans the opportunity to watch every game live, test their skills on the specially designed pitch, be in with a chance of meeting their favorite football legends and capture a range of content through augmented reality.

Follow all updates across the next month at @adidas on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. You can also adidas.com/football or follow @adidasza @adidasfootball on Instagram or twitter to join the conversation on social media, with hashtags #adidasFooball

Maritzburg United have re-appointed Fadlu Davids as the club’s head coach after parting ways with John Maduka.

Davids spent the last of his playing days at Maritzburg before assuming the role of assistant coach to a lot of coaches. Including Ernst Middendorp.

He finally ascended to the hot seat in 2017. He nearly won the Nedbank Cup in 2018 as they lost to Free State Stars in the final in Cape Town.

The Blue Hearts confirmed in a statement on Monday afternoon that Davids has been handed the task of pulling the team off the relegation zone.

Fadlu Davids at Maritzburg United
Fadlu Davids at Maritzburg United

FADLU DAVIDS RETURNS TO KZN

“Davids re-joins the Team of Choice for his second stint at the helm,” reads the statement from the Maritzburg media team. 

“The club have moved swiftly to allow Davids an extended period in which he can work with the squad during the World Cup break.”

Davids expressed his excitement at being in familiar territory. The club is where he spent most of his playing career before graduating to the technical team.

FORMER PIRATES COACH EXCITED TO BE BACK

He had been the head coach previously. This is before he was fired and he went on to join Orlando Pirates as an assistant coach.

He opted not to renew when his deal ended in June. Davids joined former Pirates boss Josef Zinnbauer at Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia a few months ago as an assistant.

President of SA Rugby Mark Alexander has congratulated Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am and Springbok Women wing Nomawethu Mabenge. The pair have been nominated in the annual World Rugby Awards.

The nominations were announced on Monday on World Rugby’s social media channels. The winners will be announced on Sunday evening.

Am was also named as one of the nominees for the World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in partnership with Mastercard. Mabenge was nominated in the category for International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year. This is for her score in the first Test against Spain in Potchefstroom on 19 August.

Along with Am, the other nominees in the Men’s 15s Player of the Year category are last year’s winner, Antoine Dupont of France. And also, the Ireland duo of Johnny Sexton and Josh van der Flier.

Sylvia Blunt (NZ), Abby Dow (England), Emily Chancellor (Australia) and Linda Djougang (Ireland) were nominated for Women’s Try of the Year with Mabenge, who scored five tries in seven Tests this year. This includes South Africa’s first five-pointer against France in their Rugby World Cup opener.

SA Rugby Springboks
SA Rugby Springboks

SA RUGBY PROUD

“On behalf of SA Rugby and South Africa’s passionate rugby fans, we would like to congratulate Lukhanyo and Nomawethu for their nominations this year,” said Mr Alexander.

“Only the best of the best are nominated for World Rugby awards. To be part of these selected groups is a superb achievement, we are also very proud of them.

“Lukhanyo was in superb form for the Springboks before an unfortunate injury cut short his season. He has cemented his place in our backline over the last few seasons, growing in confidence and playing better every year.

“On her part, Nomawethu has developed into a brilliant wing who knows her way to the tryline, scoring five tries this season. But the try against Spain stood out as it was a wonderful team effort, finished by one of our speedsters.”

HOW TO VOTE

Fans can vote for their favourite try of the year by clicking here, until Thursday, 17 November at 23h59 (GMT). The Awards ceremony is taking place in Monaco on Sunday 20 November. They will be streamed live on the World Rugby website, with exclusive content posted on the @WorldRugby social media channels.

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo says the club have betrayed him and that he is being forced out, while he has no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo rejoined United from Juventus for a second spell at Old Trafford in August 2021 on a two-year deal. He retired to the club where he won eight major trophies from 2003-2009.

CRISTIANO RONALDO SPEAKS

In an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, released on Sunday. Ronaldo was asked whether United’s hierarchy were trying to push him out of the club.

“Yes, not only the coach (Ten Hag), but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed,” he said.

“Yes I feel betrayed, and I felt some people don’t want me here, not just this year, but last year too.”

Ronaldo and Ten Hag

Last month, Ten Hag said Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur. He walked down the tunnel with a few minutes of the match remaining after being left on the bench.

Ronaldo was then not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.

The 37-year-old forward, who will captain Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, said of Ten Hag.

NO RESPECT FOR TEN HAG

“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t respect me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”

Ronaldo said Manchester United did not support him when his daughter was taken to hospital in July. He said the club doubted him and showed a lack of empathy when he did not arrive on time for pre-season training.

“I think the fans should know the truth,” he said.

“I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United.

“But you have some things inside that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal. A club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.”

ITEC Knights pacemen Gerald Coetzee has earned his maiden call up to the Proteas Test squad. The 22-year-old has garnered 40 wickets at an average of 28.82. He also has a career-best 4-47 in his 13 first-class matches thus far. 

Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) National Selection Committee has today named the 16-man squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia. Then tour gets underway at the Gabba in Brisbane from 17 December. 

MORE INCLUSIONS

There is also a recall for Theunis de Bruyn, who last featured for the national side in 2019. The right-hander, who has 12 Test caps, has enjoyed success with the Momentum Multiply Titans in the CSA 4-Day Domestic Series. He achieved a first-class average of 41.83. Including a title-winning 143 in the final round of matches last term. 

Rassie van der Dussen has also recovered from the finger injury that cut short his tour to England. Keshav Maharaj is cleared for the tour. The spinner sustained a low-grade groin muscle injury at the T20 World Cup in Australia. He is currently undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Proteas squad list for Australia

Wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen replaces Ryan Rickelton. The DP World Lions gloveman has an ankle injury that forced him to be overlooked by the national selectors. But allows him to still be picked by his domestic team.

Meanwhile, top-order batter Keegan Petersen is also unavailable for selection after sustaining a severe injury to his hamstring playing for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge final in Potchefstroom earlier this month.  

The squad will depart for Australia on 01 December. Dean Elgar’s side will play an unofficial four-day match against Cricket Australia XI from 09 – 12 December at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. 

PROTEAS TEST SQUAD AGAINST AUSTRALIA

Dean Elgar (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Temba Bavuma (DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Gbets Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Gbets Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (Imperial Lions), Glenton Stuurman (Gbets Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Six Gun Grill Western Province), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).