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Strauss to captain Springboks against Ireland STELLENBOSCH: Adriaan Strauss will captain South Africa in a three-Test home series against Ireland during June, new national coach Allister Coetzee announced Monday in Stellenbosch near Cape Town. The hooker succeeds veteran centre Jean de Villiers, who retired from Test rugby after being injured during the Rugby World Cup in England last year and later joined the Leicester Tigers.Northern Bulls skipper Strauss made his Test debut against Australia in 2008 and has been capped 54 times.He will lead the Springboks into a new era with nearly half the World Cup squad not chosen to face the Irish due to retirements, age or locals being preferred to those playing abroad.Coetzee has spelt out what he expects from the 30-year-old forward who will captain the country that were the 1995 and 2007 world rugby champions."I would like to make sure that the captain of the national side should be there to make ...

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Olympics: Pau Gasol could skip Rio over Zika fears MADRID: Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol said Monday he is considering skipping the Olympic Games in Brazil in August due to fears over the Zika virus."I'm considering it, like anyone. I think it is a sufficiently important issue that it should be considered," the Chicago Bulls player told reporters at an event for one of his sponsors in Madrid."I hope that national Olympic committees and international health organisations provide real information regarding the situation in ...

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Fitzgerald to miss Ireland's tour of South Africa LONDON: Luke Fitzgerald will Ireland's tour to South Africa after being ruled out with a knee injury, head coach Joe Schmidt revealed on Monday.Fitzgerald suffered the problem playing for Leinster in Saturday's Pro12 final defeat against Connacht.The 28-year-old had been named in Schmidt's squad last week ahead of the three-Test tour.Schmidt views the uncapped Matt Healy of Connacht as the likely replacement for Fitzgerald, but Tiernan O'Halloran is also in contention."Unfortunately Luke Fitzgerald picked up ...

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Spieth cuts Day lead in world rankings PARIS: Jordan Spieth has eaten into Australian Jason Day's lead at the top of the latest world rankings after his victory in the Dean and Deluca Invitational at Colonial on Sunday.The Texan, 22, won his eighth title on the PGA Tour in style, finishing with birdies at the last three holes to triumph by three strokes.It was the first time he had won a title in his home state.Meanwhile, Englishman Chris Wood climbed 32 places ...

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Hamilton victory also a boost for his mechanics MONACO: Winning the Monaco Grand Prix transformed Lewis Hamilton's Formula One season and also provided a timely boost for those working on the triple world champion's side of the Mercedes garage.The reigning champions switched the group of engineers and mechanics around at the end of last year, with most of those who had worked with the Briton now assisting his German team mate Nico Rosberg.With Rosberg winning the first four races of the season to ...

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Blues look green for Origin opener SYDNEY: New South Wales will gamble with one of their most inexperienced line-ups in a bid to upset mighty Queensland in the State of Origin rugby league series opener in Sydney on Wednesday.Just eight players remain from the 17-man Blues squad that was decimated by the Maroons 52-6 in last year's series-deciding game in Brisbane, which stands as the biggest winning margin in 35 years of Origin encounters.There is plenty on the line for coach ...

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French Open braced for washout PARIS: The French Open was braced for a first washout since 2000 on Monday as torrential rain relentlessly drenched Roland Garros.Rain fell from Sunday evening and through the night, resulting in organisers having to delay the scheduled start from 1100 (0900GMT) until 1200 (1000GMT) at the earliest.Rain is forecast to keep falling throughout the day.Two women's last-16 matches were suspended when heavy rain started to fall late Sunday.Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska was 6-2, 3-0 up ...