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May 26, 2020 | | Post a Comment

first_imgThe Springboks endured an awful 2016 as they suffered their first loss to Ireland at home and were thumped 41-13 and 57-15 by the All Blacks in their two Rugby Championship clashes.They also lost all three of their end-of-season tests in Europe as they ended the year with just four wins from 12 matches and slumped as low as seventh in the world rankings by this March.Coach Allister Coetzee, however, has overhauled the team personnel, playing style and culture this year and they are unbeaten in six tests with five wins and a draw before their clash with the world champions on Saturday.”It has been bloody challenging,” Coetzee said of the team’s transformation in 2017. “I am pleased that we have changed it. We made some tweaks — we are a team in transition.”The players enjoy the new environment and we have improved, but we’re not there yet. We need to prove ourselves against the world’s best… and Saturday will be a huge test for us.”I can only see on Saturday how good we are.”Coetzee made just three changes from the team that started in the 23-23 draw against the Wallabies with Ruan Dreyer making his second test appearance at tighthead prop after Coenie Oosthuizen broke his arm last week in Perth.Flanker Jaco Kriel was also sent home from Auckland after scans revealed a torn muscle in his shoulder and was replaced in the starting side by Jean-Luc du Preez, while lock Franco Mostert returns to partner captain Eben Etzebeth.All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had his own injury issues with winger Israel Dagg battling a serious knee problem, while prop Joe Moody was ruled out for the season after he dislocated his shoulder in the 39-22 win over the Pumas last week.Hansen has given the destructive scrummaging Kane Hames the opportunity for his first start – in just his third test – at loosehead prop instead of the more experienced Wyatt Crockett.”He’s very destructive,” Hansen said of the 29-year-old Hames, who has battled knee injuries that have stalled his professional career.”He has a great ability to get around the park too but his set piece play is what we like about him. That’s why he’s here.”Hansen added the Springboks of 2017 were a different side from last year and he expected a hard, physical contest prompting him to bring back loose forwards Liam Squire and Sam Cane and lock Sam Whitelock in an effort to dominate the collision and gain line.”We are definitely facing a different team,” he said.”They’re full of confidence. That comes from winning. I think confidence is not something you can buy or bottle, if you have got it that’s invaluable.”last_img read more

July 27, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgReporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Heinrich SALZBURG, Austria (Reuters) – The chairman of the body grouping European Union government leaders lashed out on Wednesday against those seeking to score political points by whipping up disputes over migration rather than helping each other respond to the challenge. London best pest control center_img EU leaders were meeting in the Austrian city of Salzburg later on Wednesday to tackle migration once again, an issue that has badly damaged their unity in recent years.They will seek more ways of reducing immigration and, right before chairing the talks, EU Council chairman Donald Tusk said progress had been made since migrant arrivals peaked in 2015. He said fewer than 100,000 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean to Europe without necessary documentation this year.“In fact, this is less than in the years before the migration crisis,” Tusk said.“I will call on EU leaders to stop the migration blame game. Despite aggressive rhetoric, things are moving in the right direction,” he told reporters in Salzburg.“Instead of taking political advantage of the situation, we should focus on what works … We can no longer be divided into those who want to solve the problem of illegal migrant flows and those who want to use it for political gain.”More than a million migrants arrived from the tumultuous Middle East and impoverished Africa in 2015, stretching public services and leading to a rise in far-right anti-immigrant parties challenging liberal democracies around the EU.The EU has since struck deals with countries from Turkey to Lebanon to Libya, offering them money and aid in exchange for keeping a tighter lid on migration to Europe. It has also tightened its borders and made it harder to win asylum.Despite a steep drop in immigration numbers since 2015, however, political aftershocks are still reverberating with member states at loggerheads over how to distribute new arrivals and share the burden of integrating migrants already in the EU.Italy’s firebrand far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has excoriated the EU over its disarray on migration.A majority of Europeans support taking in refugees although many disapprove of how the EU has handled a record influx, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.last_img read more