13 Mar 2019

Today's sport news: What you need to know

6:30 pm on 13 March 2019

Latest - Chiefs coach Colin Cooper has moved Damian McKenzie from first five to fullback for Friday's Super Rugby derby against the Hurricanes in Hamilton.

Damian McKenzie.

Damian McKenzie. Photo: Photosport

McKenzie has failed to live up to the billing in the Chiefs' number 10 jersey in their opening four matches of the season.

He's being replaced by brother Marty McKenzie who returns from injury.

In total, Cooper has made six changes to the starting line up that was thumped by championship leaders, the Crusaders, last weekend.

Blundell rushed into Black Caps squad

Tom Blundell celebrates a century on test debut.

Tom Blundell celebrates a century on test debut. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport

The Wellington wicketkeeper Tom Blundell has been called into the Black Caps test squad as cover for the injured BJ Watling ahead of the third cricket test against Bangladesh starting in Christchurch on Saturday.

Blundell, who's played only two previous tests, scored a century on debut against the West Indies last year.

He'll join the squad in Christchurch tonight as back-up for BJ Watling who strained his hamstring before play on the final day of the second test win in Wellington.

A decision on whether Watling and captain Kane Williamson, who suffered a pectoral muscle injury in the second test win, will play will be made on Friday.

Kiwi basketballers help topple top US College side

Two young New Zealand basketballers Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton have played a hand in helping their California St Mary's team topple America's top-ranked men's college basketball team.

Dan Fotu (centre) made his debut for the Tall Balcks last year.

Dan Fotu (centre) made his debut for the Tall Balcks last year. Photo: Photosport

St Mary's soundly defeated Gonzaga University 60-47 to win the West Coast Conference title and book a place in next week's coveted NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga were expected to dominate after winning 30 of their 33 games this season.

Fotu, 19, made his debut for the Tall Blacks last year, joining brother Isaac in the side.

St Mary's, located near San Francisco, has become a favourite destination for Australasian basketball talent with NBA stars Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills both former players.

Cyclists tested for new drug

For the first time cyclists have been tested for the painkiller tramadol.

Six riders, including leader Dylan Groenewegen, were tested on the Paris-Nice race for the opioid-based painkiller that has been said to have been abused by pro riders seeking the performance-enhancing effects of the dulling of pain sensations during intense efforts.

Tramadol is not on the World Anti Doping Agency's list of banned substances - it remains on their 'monitoring list' - and the UCI moved to prohibit it independently, with the new regulations coming into effect at the start of March.

The rules state that a first offence will see the rider in question disqualified from the race they're competing in and handed a $7000 fine.

Groenewegen continues to lead the tour after three stages.


Barba to fight ban

Ben Barba will fight to overturn an NRL lifetime ban despite being charged by Queensland police yesterday.

Ben Barba.


The fallen NRL star presented himself to Mackay police and was charged with two counts of public nuisance over an Australia Day weekend incident at the Townsville casino.

The former Dally M Medallist will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court next week.

Barba reportedly will not face domestic violence-related charges because his partner Ainslie Currie has not made a complaint.

Barba was sacked by NRL club North Queensland without playing a game for the club last month over allegations he was violent towards Currie in the incident.

The NRL gave Barba a lifetime ban after viewing CCTV footage of the incident.

But Barba's lawyer Campbell MacCallum claims he will now attempt to have the ban overturned.

For more on this story click here.


Big pay rise for F1 star

Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo. Photo: Photosport

Australian F1 star Daniel Ricciardo's move to French team Renault raised eyebrows in the off-season, but his new salary has turned heads in a sport not shy about its stratospheric star driver contracts.

The 29-year-old signed a deal worth 50 million dollars a year, according to a report in UK tabloid The Daily Mirror, which would be a significant increase on his previous salary, however, Renault has not confirmed the figure it is paying.

It is likely he has almost tripled his salary from Red Bull.

The F1 season starts in Melbourne this weekend.


Tiger says he's good for Masters

Tiger Woods has his eyes forward as he rediscovers the form that made him a global superstar.

Tiger Woods has his eyes forward as he rediscovers the form that made him a global superstar. Photo: Photosport

Tiger Woods insists his preparation is on track for next month's Masters despite a neck injury interrupting his schedule leading up to the Augusta National major.

The 14-time major champion withdrew from last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando - which he has won a record eight times - citing a neck strain that also prevented him from practising until Saturday.

Woods always planned to contest six US PGA Tour events - including this week's elite Players Championship - between January and the Masters but skipping the Palmer event means he will likely play five.

Woods says he's on pace for the Masters - where he will attempt to win a 15th major and fifth Augusta green jacket.


Salah supports fans desire for League success

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is willing to put his Champions League ambitions on the back-burner to help the Merseyside club claim their first English league crown in 29 years.

Liverpool are second in the Premier League with 73 points, one point behind defending champions Manchester City with eight matches remaining in the season.

They play Bayern Munich in the Champions League tomorrow for the return leg of their last-16 tie, after the sides played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield last month.

The Egyptian says the most prestigious competition for me is the Champions League, but the dream for the city and the club is the league. So, I'm happy to sacrifice my dream for their dream but if we win both that would great and this is what we are trying to do."