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Joe Root backs debutants to shine in third Test against South Africa

• Westley, Roland-Jones and Malan could all feature at the Oval
• Wood is ruled out with ongoing heel problem

Joe Root is prepared to hand out three new England caps on Thursday in an attempt to wrestle back control of the Test series with South Africa and prove his team can produce better than the callow performance at Trent Bridge last week.

Both Tom Westley, in at No3 for the injured Gary Ballance, and the seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who replaces Mark Wood, are guaranteed to make their debuts in the third Test at The Oval, with Root and the management to make …read more

Women’s cricket will never be the same again | Letter

Allan Friswell laments the inevitable influx of big money to the women’s game after England’s World Cup victory

Women’s cricket so far has been free of all the grime and shenanigans that big money invariably brings to sport. There’s been a freshness, almost an innocence, about the England team’s game, which is no way belied by their ability to bowl killing 77mph yorkers à la Shrubby, or to smash the ball out of the ground like Tammy Beaumont, or to have the cat-fast stumping reflexes of Sarah Taylor. But the money has to come in to expand the game …read more

Wallabies go commando with mental fortitude just as important as fitness | Bret Harris

Coach Michael Cheika’s gruelling Bledisloe Cup boot camps are required to get his players ready both physically and mentally for the challenge of the All Blacks

As sweat poured and lungs heaved during an intensive training session on a Sydney hillside last weekend, Michael Cheika’s intentions for his Wallabies could not have been more clear: improved fitness is a priority ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks on 19 August.

Players were even made to run up a hillside with their mouths taped shut (to ensure they only breathed through their noses) as Cheika and his conditioning staff seek …read more

‘A whole village in Guinea’: RB Leipzig’s Rangnick criticises Naby Keïta’s entourage

• Sporting director says Liverpool target has been influenced by agents
• ‘There should be someone who points them into the right direction’

RB Leipzig’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick, has criticised Naby Keïta’s entourage and claimed the midfielder has had his head turned by “a whole village in Guinea”.

Keïta has been the subject of two failed bids from Liverpool, with the latest – a £66m offer that would have shattered their transfer record – rejected last week. Jürgen Klopp has made the 22-year-old his priority in midfield this summer, with Keïta understood to have informed Leipzig he is keen to …read more