Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 6th 2015 Contents A56
Monday, July 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
KATLEHONG---Their catches still uncer-
tain, their sneakers worn and unsuitable,
a team of young South Africans is trying
to find success in a sport that that s a
traditional favorite in their country, but
rare in their own neighborhood---rugby.
Katlehong Tigers Coach Sicelo Jonnie s
voice rises above the tuneless honking of
minibus taxis as he drills his team on a
poorly lit, rough field in this township
southeast of Johannesburg. Amateur soccer
teams who also practice here have first
dibs on the more level, better lit fields.
Occasionally, a soccer ball rolls into the
Tigers field of play.
They are the one of the few amateur
rugby teams in Katlehong, a cramped
neighborhood flanked by factories, built
only for black people under the racist
Rugby has long been associated with
and dominated by white South Africans
and black players were barred from playing
on the top teams.
"My body is built for rugby," said Luvuyo
Phakane, a stocky college student, explain-
ing why he chose rugby over soccer. "I m
slow in running but strong enough to push
The team has no water, no goal posts,
and many come to training four days a
week straight after a factory shift. At the
end of the workout, a young player prac-
ticing in his leather school shoes throws
himself onto the ground, his chest heav-
The South African government has used
quota systems and funding for amateur
leagues as it has tried to diversify the sport
since the country s 1995 Rugby World Cup
win, where Nelson Mandela lifted the tro-
The coach has already registered the
team in the local league, which means
they ll get new orange uniforms paid for
by the government. They still have no
cleats, and will play in whatever shoes
they have come the weekend.
WELLINGTON---All Blacks coach
Steve Hansen has named one new
cap in his starting 15 and three more
on the bench for Wednesday s one-
off rugby test against Samoa at
Auckland Blues winger George
Moala will get his first test start
among a backline that looks
makeshift because of injuries and
the unavailability of 17 players who
played for the Highlanders or Hur-
ricanes in Saturday s Super Rugby
Prop Nepo Laulala, scrumhalf Brad
Weber and center Charlie Ngatai will
start from the reserves bench and
may get test debuts in the first-ever
rugby test played by the All Blacks
in the Pacific Islands.
None of the four new-caps was
included in the 41-man squad initially
named by Hansen but were called
in a response to a growing injury list.
All Blacks name four new
caps in team for Samoa test
PARIS---Bernd Wiesberger of Aus-
tria came from three shots back to
win the French Open yesterday,
making five birdies on the front nine
to take command as overnight leader
Jaco Van Zyl faltered.
Wiesberger finished with a 6-under
65 to win by three shots ahead of
James Morrison of England, who shot
a 67. Van Zyl only managed a 73 to
finish five shots behind Wiesberger s
total of 13-under 271.
Wiesberger found himself in the
lead after four straight birdies from
the fourth hole, and picked up another
shot on the ninth. After eight straight
pars, he finished with another birdie
on the 18th.
Martin Kaymer, the 2009 champi-
on, finished fourth after a 70.
It was Wiesberger s third European
Wiesberger comes from three
shots back to snatch French Open
HAVANA---Olympic officials say Rey-
naldo Gonzalez Lopez, an Interna-
tional Olympic Committee member
from Cuba, has died at age 66.
A statement on the official website
of the Olympics expresses "great sad-
ness." IOC President Thomas Bach calls
Gonzalez Lopez "a very passionate and
capable sports leader."
The Sunday statement says Gonzalez
Lopez became an IOC member in 1995.
He had a long career as a sporting
executive, including as secretary general
of the Cuban National Olympic Com-
mittee and executive secretary of the
Pan American Sports Organization.
He was also president of Cuba s
National Sports Institute from 1994 to
Gonzalez Lopez had been living for
years in Mexico for his position at the
Pan American Sports Organisation.
IOC member Gonzalez
Lopez dies at age 66
Dreams of victory for
struggling rugby team
In this photo taken on Saturday, May 23, Kanyiso Sopitshi, left, with teammates scrum during their
league match in Springs east of Johannesburg, South Africa. Their catches still uncertain, their
sneakers worn and unsuitable, a team of young South Africans is trying to find success in a sport
that's a traditional favorite in their country, but rare in their own neighborhood---rugby. AP PHOTO
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