Davies fearful of Steyn’s boot
RUGBY UNION: Wales second-row Bradley Davies believes maintaining discipline will be the key to causing a World Cup shock against South Africa on Sunday. Warren Gatland’s side have let the world champions off the hook in their previous two encounters, conceding needless penalties. With Morne Steyn, one of the most reliable kickers in the world game, part of South Africa’s armoury Davies knows his side can’t afford to give the fly-half any chances in their tournament opener. He said: “You don’t want to be giving him any easy points. He is one of the world-class kickers in the game at this moment in time.”

Clubs slam ‘nonsense’ matches
FOOTBALL: Europe’s top clubs want to see the number of international fixtures halved to just six a year, and friendlies in June and August eradicated. The 200-strong European Club Association met in Geneva yesterday and chairman Karl-Heinze Rummenigge said: “It has to be stopped that we release players for nonsense dates.”

Vermaelen joins Arsenal injured
FOOTBALL: Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has been ruled out for a month after undergoing ankle surgery. It is a second blow this week for the Gunners, after midfielder Jack Wilshere was told he may not play again until December, also due to an ankle problem.

Cech in line for Chelsea return
FOOTBALL: Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech is in contention for Saturday’s trip to Sunderland after returning to full training after a knee injury ahead of schedule. Defender David Luiz could also make his first appearance of the season, while deadline day signing Raul Meireles may make his debut.