Topic: as Argos on the trip. Fullback Jeff Johnson i

According to Kruger van Wyk there are many things to like about his former coach John Wright, but top of the list is his humour.I remember him waiting a while before telling me that the South Africans were going to give me poo during my debut Test [for New Zealand], says van Wyk. Thinking back on it, that was probably his way of telling me I was in the team, because he was always very dry. John was very much a mans man: he had that old-school toughness and was really comfortable in those sorts of environments. The best thing about him was his sense of humour, because hed listen to things for a long time and then come in with perfect timing. In that respect he was always very good to me.Van Wyk spent the three days prior to his Test debut, in Dunedin against the South Africans in March 2012, flat on his back with a bad case of gastroenteritis. I lost 5kgs and really wasnt in the best of shape, he says. By the time it came to the Test itself he was, however, back in the saddle - slightly lighter but ready to pounce should the South Africans forget he was there and lapse into some ill-advised vloeking (swearing) or off-the-cuff analysis in Afrikaans.Far from the South Africans giving him poo, the Test passed off reasonably amicably. Van Wyk had grown up with players like Jacques Rudolph and AB de Villiers and the verbals were restricted to a good-natured trickle. Chris Martin nipped [Jacques] Kallis and [AB] de Villiers out on the first day and we led on the first innings by 40-odd, van Wyk remembers. They batted well in the second innings [with hundreds to Kallis, Smith and Rudolph], and then at close on the fourth day we were about 140 for 2, with Brendon [McCullum] and Ross [Taylor] at the crease; we needed 300 runs to win with eight wickets standing on a flat track on the final day. Kane [Williamson] was due to come in at five. I think we could have been in for a very exciting final day of cricket, except that it rained on the fourth night and that was it.By his own admission, van Wyk wasnt ready for international cricket when he arrived in New Zealand. He was there because Dave Nosworthy, his former coach at Titans (in South Africa), had been recruited by Canterbury and the South Island outfit needed a wicketkeeper. Mark Boucher wasnt going to relinquish the gloves for South Africa anytime soon and the opportunity seemed like a godsend. This was a chance to reinvent himself, have an adventure and subsume himself in the New Zealand cricketing way.I think we play a boring brand here in South Africa - were one-dimensional, he says. The Kiwis ingenuity is something theyre really proud of. If they need to pick three spinners in a World T20 to beat India in India, theyre going to do that. Theyre really proud of their ingenuity. [Brendon] McCullum and [Mike] Hesson were always prepared to be brave, and thats absolutely great.While the stereotype of the canny Kiwi can be overplayed, theres no doubt that their mentalité, as the French would call it, is to put everything they have to the best possible use - in terms of being prepared to lose as they gamble for a win. Van Wyk says he loved this approach, the idea that they were exhausting every available opportunity to improve themselves, and found himself growing exponentially as a cricketer.He played nine Tests, being knocked off his perch by BJ Watling, but there is no sign of regret. Indeed, you rather feel that his sojourn turned out far better than he ever had reason to expect. Here, after all, was the boy from Wolmaransstad, a veritable Wagga Wagga of the veld. He was too small for rugby and didnt like disappearing into the wastes of the outfield, so became a wicketkeeper. His entire career was a story of scaling heights he didnt naturally reach. Van Wyk and his young family (one boy, one girl) returned to South Africa in December 2015, after nine years in New Zealand, and he became director of cricket at the Assupol Tuks Cricket Academy at the University of Pretoria. Hes hoping to back up words with deeds by inculcating a far more adventurous brand of cricket, saying that hes frequently gobsmacked at the conveyor belt of talent that the African sunshine and good facilities seem to almost carelessly produce. You have to allow players to grow outside of a structure or a game plan, to keep challenging them in different ways. Id say its a state-of-mind thing rather than a technique or set of techniques.Van Wyk has an opportunity to see what Tuks can do when they defend their Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals title in Sri Lanka early next month. In preparation for the event, van Wyk has been hard at work simulating the kinds of conditions he expects to find in Sri Lanka, roughing up wickets, underpreparing them and leaving them bereft of grass. Twenty-over cricket provides players with the opportunity to be reckless - and youve got to allow them that freedom and license.Prior to the New Zealanders hopping up to Zimbabwe, they spent a week at Tuks Pretoria facility where van Wyks boys were able to rub shoulders with the tourists. It was great, he says, for his left-arm quicks to swap notes with Trent Boult or his fast bowlers to bask in the presence of, say, Tim Southee.Unlike the South Africans, who havent played much recent Test cricket, the visitors look well-grooved. Kingsmead, the venue for the first Test, has been known to be unkind to home sides in recent years, and the New Zealanders will probably be closer to where they want to be than the hosts. Its increasingly tempting, in fact, to see the two teams as different sides of the same ball: South African cricket is in the midst of blithely frittering away its riches (some of those riches heading for New Zealand), its Test outfit less successful than it should be. By contrast, New Zealand make best use of what they have, proud to innovate and bold enough to try. Its the very shift Van Wyk is trying to initiate with his young charges. Rayshawn Jenkins Youth Jersey . Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Forrest Lamp Youth Jersey . After dropping their final six games of December, the Wild opened the new calendar year with four consecutive wins. Following a loss to Colorado on Saturday, Minnesota rebounded the following night to blank Nashville 4-0, but then had the tables turned on them Tuesday. http://www.chargersjerseysportsauthenti … ue-jersey/ . -- Lou Brocks shoulder-to-shoulder collision with Bill Freehan during the 1968 World Series and Pete Roses bruising hit on Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star game could become relics of baseball history, like the dead-ball era. Rayshawn Jenkins Jersey . They hope to persuade the other team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to put pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to drop the nickname they find offensive. "Given the way the meeting transpired," Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative and leader of the "Change the Mascot Campaign," said Wednesday, "it became somewhat evident they were defending the continued use of the name. Dan Feeney Chargers Jersey .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable.Theres not a championship ring on the line, but that doesnt mean there wont be pressure on members of the Toronto Argonauts, as they kick off the 2013 season in Winnipeg on Wednesday. In fact, there will be little similarity between the lineup that won the Grey Cup game last November to the group of players who will take part in the first-ever game played at the $200 million dollar Investor Group Field. Head coach Scott Milanovich left most of his starting lineup back in Ontario, giving a combination of returning players and newcomers the chance to impress the coaching staff under game conditions. "Were going to get a real good look at some of the younger guys and give some of the veteran guys a bit of a break" said Milanovich, adding that Wednesdays game does indeed matter a lot. There are jobs at stake. "Were looking to see who can transfer it from the practice field to the game field and ultimately (look for) guys that we can count on when the lights come on". Milanovich announced that second-year Argo Trevor Harris will get the start at quarterback. With the departure of Jarious Jackson, the role of Ricky Rays back-up QB is up for grabs and four candidates will see action Wednesday. Joining Harris is fellow returnee Zach Collaros, as well as newcomers Mitchell Gale and Josh Portis. The game can be heard live on TTSN 1050 Radio or at TSN.dddddddddddda/Toronto at 8pm et/5pm pt. It will also be rebroadcast in its entirety on TSN 1050 at midnight, following live coverage of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Notes: Among those not making the trip are most of last years starting offensive players; Ricky Ray, Chad Kackert, Chad Owens, Dontrelle Inman, Andre Durie, Jason Barnes, Chris Van Zeyl and Tony Washington are all back in Toronto. Defensive starters from a year ago; Kevin Huntley, Robert McCune, Marcus Ball, Brandon Isaac and Pacino Horne are also not on the trip, nor is K/P Swayze Waters. High-profile newcomer Khalif Mitchell will also sit this one out...Usually veterans are given the road pre-season game off, so it was a little surprising to see the two players with the most seniority as Argos on the trip. Fullback Jeff Johnson is entering his 14th CFL season, his 12th with Toronto, while centre Jeff Keeping is back for his eighth season in double blue. Both will play Wednesday...The demolition of the Bombers former home, Canad Inns Stadium, is underway. One of the grandstands has been completely torn down...That stadium hosted one of the most memorable games in Argo history, the 1991 Grey Cup win over Calgary, highlighted by Rocket Ismails 87-yard kickoff return...The weather calls for partly cloudy skies and 22 degrees at kickoff. 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