CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - World Cup winning flank Pieter-Steph du Toit has been named as South African Rugby Player of the Year, retaining the prize he won last year and adding to his 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year award.
Du Toit, 27, who can also play at lock, was instrumental in the Springboks’ victory at the 2019 World Cup in Japan with his mighty scrummaging, ferocious defence and powerful running with ball in hand.
“Pieter-Steph led the charge for the Springboks and he deserves this accolade to go with his World Player of the Year Award,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said in a media release on Friday. “The 2019-season will be ingrained in our memories for decades to come.”
Du Toit has also previously captained the Boks in the absence of Siya Kolisi and has chosen to remain in Super Rugby for the next two years, where he will play at the Cape Town-based Stormers.
Aside from his 2018 success, he also picked up the South African Player of the Year award in 2016. He is the third player after former flyhalf Naas Botha and wing Bryan Habana to win the award three times.
Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies was named Young Player of the Year and flyhalf Handre Pollard claimed the Super Rugby Player of the Year prize.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
Snow banks and the 28-degree weather in Park City, Utah didn’t stop armies of fans from coming out to see Taylor Swift tonight, who swarmed the Eccles Theatre for the Sundance world premiere of the Netflix documentary about her life, Miss Americana.
Taylor Swift Arrives at Eccles Theater‘Miss Americana’ premiere at Sundance. Shutterstock
The Lana Wilson-directed doc takes an up close and personal look at the mega superstar as she sheds her “nice girl” image and braves her way to being an advocate for women (her lawsuit against radio DJ David Mueller who allegedly groped her) and LGBTQ supporters. Of particular note, after deciding for a majority of her career to just “smile and wave”, Swift boldly spoke out against Marsha Blackburn who was running for Tennessee’s junior Senator seat during the 2018 mid-term elections on a largely anti-feminist Trump-like platform. Blackburn won despite Swift endorsing two Democrats from her home state. The upside: Swift excited her young female demo who turned out in the polls in other states, and voted Democrat congressmen in.Related Story 'Bad Hair': Justin Simien Says Psychological Horror "Interrogates The System" Obsessed With Black Women And Culture - Sundance
There’s a moment in the film where Swift emotionally tells her parents and team that she’s speaking out against Blackburn; this despite the fact that music execs continually advised her to beware the PR mishaps made by the Dixie Chicks when they protested President G.W. Bush and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Taking the stage tonight with Wilson, Swift talked about that scene:
“My dad has always just been terrified about my safety since I was a kid, the fact that my job entails standing on a stage and there’s so many threats we get on a daily basis that nobody ever knows about and we just try to keep that stuff under wraps as much as possible, but my Dad is the one who has to see it. And so for him it was all about ‘What could happen to you if you say this? If you say this, is my daughter in danger? Is this the moment that I should have stopped it from happening?'” said Swift on stage tonight.
She then segued to how her parents stood by her in her grueling trial against Mueller; that being a pivotal moment for the singer to stand up on behalf of those women who’ve been assaulted and stayed silent.
“Our political opinions and our opinions are defined by what happens to us in our life. So that was one of those things that happened to me in my life, and then seeing what was happening in my home state, and it all culminating with having a conversation with people who’ve been so wonderfully supportive of me throughout my entire career, feeling so afraid for my safety. And so it’s really real moment to watch that,” continued Swift.
“I need to be on the right side of history,” the multiple Grammy winner says in the the film produced by the Oscar-winning team of Morgan Neville and Caitrin Rogers plus Christine O’Malley. “I feel really good about not feeling muzzled anymore, and it was my own doing,” Swift tells the cameras.
After taking the job, Wilson was elated to hear that Swift wasn’t about making “a propaganda” type of documentary. Swift, who never allows cameras in the recording studio over concerns that it will impact her songwriting process, shared how Wilson made her feel at ease.
“Having somebody in the studio when I’m writing is something that I’ve never done before because I didn’t know if it would stop me from coming up with ideas and feeling like I could throw things out. There’s so much ridiculous ad-libbing you do when you’re writing songs; it sounds ridiculous until it sounds all right. A lot of that time, I just always refuse to have any cameras in the studio when I’m writing. I feel like ‘what if I can’t do it?'”
Complimenting Wilson’s talents further, Swift said, “I think one of the things about you is that for so much of my life in the public eye, when I get sad, or upset or humiliated or angry or go through a really horrible time, I feel people really lean in with, like, this hunger. And you never did that to me. And that’s what made me feel OK about feeling sadness, anger, humiliation around you. Because I felt like when I got sad, you did too, so it made all of that all right. It didn’t make feel like ‘Oh, she feels like she got a good part for her movie now’ and I really want to thank you for that.”
Swift has been at Sundance before back in 2012 for Rory Kennedy’s film Ethel. She penned a tune for the HBO documentary about Robert Kennedy’s wife and widow.
Miss Americana hits Netflix on Jan. 31 and has a total of six screenings here in Park City.
Top-seed at the ongoing Australian Open Rafael Nadal revealed his “scariest moment” in his tennis career so far Friday.
“Had the chance to meet her and her family today. So happy she is well after the scariest moment I’ve had on a tennis court. Anita is a brave girl!” Nadal wrote on his official Twitter account Friday with a picture with the ballkid.
During his second-round match at the Rod Laver Arena against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, Nadal’s return hit the ballkid on the head. Soon after the incident occurred, the World No. 1 ran to the ballkid, who was then positioned near the chair umpire.
Nadal, who apparently got terrified after the ball hit the ballkid, gave a peck on the cheek as a heartwarming gesture toward her. Already one of the most admired sportspersons around the globe, Nadal won hearts all over again. The incident also put the ballkid in the limelight during the match and the video went viral on social media.
When the ballkid got into action after the play resumed, she received a massive cheer from the Melbourne spectators at the Australian Open. Nadal, who won the first and third sets easily, had to play the tie-breaker in the second set. Eventually, the Spaniard secured the match in straight sets and qualified for the third round.
“For her, probably it was not a good moment I was so scared for her, honestly,” Nadal said in an interview after winning the match 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-1.
Spain's Rafael Nadal beat Bolivia's Hugo Dellien in the first round Photo: AFP / John DONEGAN
After the victory, Nadal went up to the ball girl again and handed her his headband before he added, "She's a super brave girl.”
If that was not enough, the day was certainly made for Anita when Nadal went to check on her again and sat down with her and chit chatted for a while.
The 2009 champion is set to face fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta in the third round at the ongoing Australian Open.