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Springboks coach to ‘split resources’ for Australia, New Zealand games1 minute read

The Springboks play the Wallabies in Johannesburg on July 20 and the All Blacks in Wellington on July 27

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Springboks coach to 'split resources' for Australia, New Zealand games
South Africa's Springboks team members react in dejection after their Rugby Championship 2018 test match against Argentina at Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, some 1050 km west of Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 25, 2018. - Argentina's Los Pumas won by 32-19. (Photo by Andres Larrovere / AFP)

South Africa’s national rugby coach, Rassie Erasmus said Thursday that he will “split resources” for Rugby Championship matches against Australia and New Zealand on successive weekends this month.

The Springboks play the Wallabies in Johannesburg on July 20 and the All Blacks in Wellington on July 27.

“Can you play Australia here, get on a plane, arrive on Monday or Tuesday and think you have a realistic chance of beating New Zealand in New Zealand?” asked Erasmus.

He plans to send about 15 players to New Zealand next week, giving them time to prepare for the clash with the world champions.

Erasmus denied that he was considering fielding a ‘B’ team against Australia at Ellis Park in the opening round.

“Both sides will be competitive because we want to win the games against Australia and New Zealand,” he stressed.

“What is the difference between Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert? Or Mostert and Lood de Jager? There are very few players where you can say this one is streets ahead of this one.”

“There are four or five positions where you can say this guy is a clearcut first choice. Those guys will probably go to New Zealand next week.”

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North Africa Sports

Algeria’s Nabil Bentaleb joins Newcastle United

25-year-old completes loan move to Premier League club from Schalke 04

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Newcastle United have completed the signing of Algeria international midfielder, Nabil Bentaleb from Schalke 04 on loan for the rest of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.

The 25-year-old, who previously played for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking shortly after he was unveiled, Bentaleb told nufc.co.uk: “I’m very happy to come back to the Premier League, especially with a club such as Newcastle.

“The project really interested me. I wanted absolutely to come back to the Premier League. The coach had some trust in me and the club also – I saw that straight away – and I think it’s the perfect move for me.”

While Manager of the Magpies, Steve Bruce gave his thoughts after the Algerian was presented to the media: “He’s somebody who I paid particular attention to when he was at Spurs, when he broke through and got a big money move to Germany.

“He’s played at the highest level now for the last four or five years but he will come in hungry and feeling he has something to prove and will give us the competition we obviously need.

“With the numbers that we’ve got at the minute, he’s got a bit of experience and I think people will enjoy watching him play. He’ll come into the squad and I’m sure he’ll be a good acquisition for us.

“The fact that he’s played in the Premier League before helps, because we know that he can play and knows what the demands of the Premier League are. He’s gone from the Premier League to Schalke and played in the Champions League as well, so we’re delighted to get him. It’s a great signing.”

Bentaleb made 66 appearances while with Tottenham and scored his only goal against Newcastle United in a League Cup tie in December 2014 – before making the move to Schalke in the German Bundesliga in August 2016.

He has made 97 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit scoring 19 goals in the process.

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Sports News

Nigeria suffer defeat at ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup

Junior Yellow Greens went down by 10 wickets to Australia in Group B

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Nigeria’s U-19 cricket national team suffered defeat in their opening game of the 2020 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

The West Africans went down by 10 wickets to Australia in the Group B encounter at the Diamond Oval in Kimberly, South Africa.

Nigeria elected to bat first after winning the toss. Runsewe Suleimon and Miracle Ikaigbe opened the batting for the team and after two balls, Suleimon was out.

The Junior Yellow Greens, as Nigeria’s U-19 cricket national team are fondly called, were 12 runs for the loss of three wickets in five overs and after 10 overs were 28 runs for the loss of three wickets.

This was Nigeria’s first defeat after a run of ten consecutive matches without tasting defeat, dating back to 2018.

Australia had Tanveer Sangha as their star performer with an impressive haul of five wickets for 14 runs in 10 overs with four maidens in the process.

Australia finished the match with 10 wickets intact scoring 62 runs.

The result means Nigeria are bottom of the group with Australia, who had lost their opening match to the West Indies on Friday taking top spot.

Nigeria who picked the sole ticket from the African zone qualifiers, have been placed in a difficult group with Australia, West Indies and England.

They will take on West Indies in their second group game on Wednesday.

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East Africa News

Aston Villa sign Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta

27-year-old becomes first Tanzanian to play in the English Premier League

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English Premier league side Aston Villa have completed the signing of Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta for £10m on a four-and-half-year deal, subject to a work permit and international clearance.

The 27-year-old scored 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Villa manager Dean Smith hailed the signing “I’m really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club, he has scored goals throughout his career and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Samatta makes history as the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League but will be unavailable for Villa’s home match against Watford on Tuesday.

Samatta who is captain of the Tanzanian national side expressed his joy at making the move “I’m so excited, it’s a huge step for me in my career. It’s a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League.

“I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch Gabby Agbonlahor when he was here.”

Samatta is Villa’s third signing of the January transfer window following loan signings of midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.

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