Another big weekend is upon us with the Rugby World Cup headlining a day full of sporting action, keep it here for the latest sports news and fixtures.
Latest sports news and fixtures today, 28 September
Rugby World Cup
Australia vs Uruguay at Oita Stadium 07:15
Both Uruguay and Australia have turned to youth for Saturday’s Pool D clash as they pursue contrasting but equally pressing objectives.
Esteban Meneses, Uruguay’s coach, has revamped his entire back row, dropped his captain to the bench and picked 12 players aged 25 or under as he urged Los Teros to show the world they “can compete” with a Tier 1 nation. Meanwhile, Wallabies’ coach Michael Cheika has insisted he had no hesitation in handing 19-year-old winger Jordan Petaia his test debut for a match he knows his team “must win”.
Petaia is one of 11 new faces drafted in to the Australia starting XV, following their bruising 29-25 loss to Wales last weekend. The teenager, who has played just 13 Super Rugby games, becomes the youngest-ever Wallaby to feature at a World Cup.
England vs Argentina Tokyo Stadium 10:00
Pumas coach Mario Ledesma is billing the contest as his team’s “World Cup final”. His opposite number, Eddie Jones, knows that with a final pool game against France, the toughest challenge is yet to come.
However, Jones recognises that the Pumas, having lost to Les Bleus, must win to keep their hopes of a quarter-final place alive and that makes them desperate.
For this showdown, Jones has set out his stall: he wants to negate the fire and brimstone Argentina want to bring to the game with a team equipped to drag the Pumas forwards all over the Tokyo Stadium pitch. Argentina need to dictate the pace of a game on a day when temperatures could reach 30C and they cannot afford to allow England to keep the ball moving.
Argentina must bring their driving maul into play as often as possible, tie in flankers Sam Underhill and Tom Curry to stop them dominating the breakdown and help create room for their backs to show the running skills delivered by the Jaguares in Super Rugby.
Japan vs Samoa City of Toyota Stadium 12:30
Two wins out of two. Nine points from a possible 10. Japan could hardly have hoped for a better start to the campaign, although as hosts, they would still deem it a failure if they did not reach their pre-tournament target of the quarter-finals.
Coming into the World Cup on a wave of confidence following their breakthrough victory over South Africa at RWC 2015, Japan took another Tier 1 scalp on 28 September, beating Ireland in a rapturous Shizuoka.
Yet the Brave Blossoms have been here before, winning three matches in England four years ago but failing to progress. The words of the players as they prepare for Samoa illustrate they are more than aware that a defeat could mean trooping the short distance to their homes before the knockout stages have begun.
Japan will have to beat Samoa and Scotland to be sure of a quarter-final place in Tokyo. First up are the Pacific Islanders who will be fighting to keep their hopes alive in Toyota following a demoralising defeat by Scotland.
Southern Kings vs Munster Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 16:00
While there were differing results for Munster and the Isuzu Southern Kings in Round 1 of the Guinness PRO14, performances from both bore something of a similarity.
The Kings led for over an hour against the Cardiff Blues but a late charge turned the tables in favour of their opponents, and they will be keen to enact revenge when Munster come to town.
Their task will not be an easy one however, with last season’s semi-finalists fresh from a crushing triumph over the Dragons.
Munster won their last four regular season games at the back-end of last year but a trip to South Africa is never easy, with the hosts looking to make the most of home-field advantage.
Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh Cardiff Arms Park 18:15
Something will have to give in Cardiff on Saturday as two sides who gained victory on the opening weekend clash when Cardiff Blues host Edinburgh Rugby.
The home side will be looking to back up their narrow victory over Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, which ended a three-game losing run in the Guinness PRO14.
They also boast an impressive home record, having lost just once at Arms Park in the Championship since the opening round of last season, but this will be tested against an in-form Edinburgh side.
Richard Cockerill’s men scored 50 points as they thumped Zebre in Round 1, only the second time they have clocked up a half-century of points in a Championship encounter since 2011.
The Scotsmen have won on three of their last six visits to Wales and will be optimistic of making that four in seven if last week’s showing is anything to go by.
Zebre vs Dragons Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi 18:00
Last season was something of an exercise in futility for Zebre and Dragons but a new campaign brings fresh hope and both will be confident of kick-starting things at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Saturday.
Zebre finished bottom of Conference A in 2018/19, while Dragons came sixth in Conference B and they were the only two sides in the Guinness PRO14 to score fewer than 52 tries – notching 35 and 37 respectively.
Even combining their final points totals wouldn’t have been enough to climb out of the Conference A cellar, while the new season also began somewhat inauspiciously as the Italian side lost 50-15 away to Edinburgh and the Welshmen went down 39-9 at Munster.
Yet hope springs eternal and with new coach Dean Ryan at the helm, the Dragons will be eager to end a four-and-a-half-year run without an away win in the Championship, while Michael Bradley is blooding plenty of exciting young talent at Zebre.
Cheetahs vs Ulster Toyota Stadium 18:00
Having both recorded impressive Round One victories last time out, all eyes will be on Bloemfontein for a mouth-watering first-meets-second clash on Saturday.
Toyota Cheetahs signalled their intentions for a title charge with a scintillating 48-14 win over last year’s beaten finalists Glasgow Warriors on opening weekend and will be keen to profit from the hard ground and high altitude that is likely to test Ulster.
But the Belfast-based side will be confident, having cruised past Ospreys 38-14 in Round One, and will be similarly keen to further enhance their credentials at the top of the table during the World Cup period.
Both sides make just one change, with Franco Smith handing Neethling Fouche his Guinness PRO14 debut in place of the injured Luan de Bruin on the replacements bench.
New signing Bill Johnston comes into the Ulster side to make his first appearance for Dan McFarland’s team at fly-half, while last week’s two-try star Craig Gilroy continues on the wing.
Connacht vs Benneton The Sportsground 20:35
Connacht will bank on their home form as they look to return to winning ways when they face Benetton at the Sportsground on Saturday.
The Irish province suffered defeat to Scarlets on the opening weekend but have only lost once at home in any competition in 2019 – a 31-24 defeat to Munster on 5 January.
Andy Friend’s team were sloppy in possession last time out and are in a bit of a Guinness PRO14 rut, having lost their last three matches in the competition, but Connacht have triumphed their last four encounters with Benetton since the Italian side’s single-point victory at Stadio Monigo in April 2016.
Benetton were spirited in a narrow defeat with 14 men to Leinster in Round 1, a performance they will be looking to build on in Ireland.
The Kieran Crowley-led outfit, though, are on a worse run in the Guinness PRO14 than their opponents – having lost five of their last six matches.
MTN 8 final
Supersport United vs Mamelodi Sundowns Orlando Stadium 18:00
Supersport United and Highlands Park face off in the final of the MTN 8 with enhanced bonuses up for grabs for players who get on the scoresheet as well as the man of the match.
Highlands Park come into the final after seeing off Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals before besting Polokwane City over the two legs of the semi-final.
Supersport go into the game on the back of a sensational triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of their semi-final.
Proteas tour to India
First Test: India vs South Africa day four 06:00 start
South African will resume their first innings on 385/8 looking to eat into India’s first innings lead which stood at 117 overnight.
Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock hit centuries on day three to give the Proteas some hop of salvaging a draw from the first Test in India.
IAAF World Championships
Stephen Mokoka is expected to lead the challenge for Team SA in the IAAF World Championships Men’s Marathon on Saturday night.
The race will be run at night to avoid the blistering daytime temperatures in Doha.
Latest sports news
Eben Etzebeth has dominated headlines this week as the SAHRC revealed their intention to charge the Springbok lock with the racial and physcial abuse of a 42-year-old man in Langebaan in August.
SA Rugby defended their decision not to suspend Etzebeth citing his rights as a contracted employee of the Union.
South Africa took a huge step towards the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals Friday with a 49-3 bonus-point win over Italy, who had a man sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Rivash Gobind on Friday stepped down as Warriors coach, in order to take up an international-level opportunity.
Gobind is to become part of the Afghanistan national cricket team’s management and coaching structure.
The Premier Soccer League, together with sponsors MTN, have put a R25 000 reward for each goal scored at the MTN8 final at Orlando Stadium.
Matthews Leeto set off in a blistering pace to set a new course record in the Sunset 10km race in Rustenburg.
On Thursday, Leeto, 29, running in the colours of Ford reached the first 5km in 15 minutes and completed the race in 30 minutes 50 seconds to set the new course record. He was followed by Dan Moselakwe and Ishmael Bamnetsoe was third.