The Springboks will face tough opposition in group B when they travel to France to defend their Rugby World Cup title in 2023.

For the first time, the Boks will meet Ireland at the showpiece event, and if you could label any one group the so-called ‘group of death’ it could be group B, as Scotland also features. This is the second time the Springboks have been drawn in a group with the Scots, both times Green and Gold triumphed.

Both Scotland and Ireland will have a lot to prove because their performance at the tournament is generally underwhelming. The two usually trip at the first knockout hurdle. Scotland is the only one of the two to make it past the quarter-final stage, that in 1991. Although they beat Western Samoa 28-6 to progress to the semi-finals, they ultimately got knocked out by England, losing 6-9.

World champions Springboks will find out whom they will start their title defence against, at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, later this afternoon.

The global showpiece will feature Twenty nations in four pools of five teams, which has been the norm since the 2003 RWC in Australia and will be picked at random from five, four-team bands.

South Africa, New Zealand, England and Wales are included in the first band, following their performance at the 2019 RWC in Japan which saw them progress to the semi-final stage of the competition.

Band two and three were determined using the World Rugby rankings from 1 January 2020. Two has Ireland; hosts France; Fiji and Italy, while three features Scotland; Argentina; Fiji and Italy.

Band four and five is reserved for qualifying teams from the Americas; Europe; Africa; Oceania and Asia/Pacific.

The live draw will be hosted by Elma Smit and Ugo Monye, starting with a preview at 13:15. The actual draw will get underway at 13h30.

The final of IPL 2020 is upon us.

A tournament that almost didn’t see the light of day – thanks to COVID – will culminate in an almighty battle. The tournament’s most successful team and defending champions, Mumbai Indians clash with first-time finalists, Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

While the teams battle it out for the most coveted prize in T20 cricket, Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah will have their own little fight for the Purple Cap.

KG overtook Bumrah on this seasons leading wicket-takers list in Sunday’s play-off match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, with impressive figures of 4-29. Rabada now sits with 29 wickets this season, 3 more than Bumrah.

A similar spell today will see KG surpass Dwayne Bravo’s record of 32 wickets, set in 2013.

Catch the final, live from 16h00 on SuperSport Grandstand.

South African rugby fans can nail their colours to the mast by voting for the best Springbok and Blitzbok players, and a few superb tries scored by the Boks in the last decade, after World Rugby announced on Thursday that fans around the world will have a say in the World Rugby Awards Special Edition by selecting the best players and tries of the decade (2010-19).

Six fans’ choice categories open today, with nominees selected from previous World Rugby Award winners. Voting closes next Sunday, 25 October, while the World Rugby Awards panel will also select a men’s and women’s 15s Team of the Decade in the remaining two categories.

The various South Africans up for awards are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla, Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard.

Du Toit – a three-time SA Rugby Player of the Year – was named World Rugby Player of the Year after the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year.

The three Blitzboks, Afrika, Kok and Senatla, have all been crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in the last decade during a time when the Springbok Sevens team won the World Series twice.

Habana and Hougaard have both walked away with the Try of the Year awards in the last 10 years – the Springbok wing for his sublime effort against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2012, and the nuggety Bok scrumhalf for rounding off a great move from their own 22 against the All Blacks in Johannesburg in 2014.

The Final winners will be unveiled during the virtual World Rugby Awards co-hosted by former England international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi and rugby presenter Alex Payne on Monday, 7 December. The show will be available for rugby fans globally to watch via World Rugby digital channels.

Click here to vote!

 

Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk makes his return to the track tonight after a lengthy injury hiatus following a serious knee injury.

The 28-year-old is set to compete at the Gala Dei Castelli meeting in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Van Niekerk will make his comeback in the 400m event, and though he has raced in South Africa since his return from injury, this will be his first international event.

the Gala Dei Castelli won’t be shown on SuperSport, however, Swiss athletics will stream the meeting live on its website at https://www.ubs-athletics.fans/.

 

 

Picture Credit: Peter C Simmons