3 Apr 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

12:13 pm on 3 April 2019

Latest - Kayne Hammington and Matt Faddes have been named to replace injured All Blacks Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo in the Highlanders' starting XV for Friday night's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Dunedin.

Waisake Naholo.

Photo: Photosport

Hammington has got the nod at halfback, with Folau Fakatava again providing cover from the bench, while Faddes has also come in from outside the 23 to be selected on the right wing.

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has made two other changes to his backline, with Teihorangi Walden and Richard Buckman replacing Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Sio Tomkinson in the midfield.

In the forwards, Josh Dickson has been named at lock in place of Paripari Parkinson, while James Lentjes is preferred to Dillon Hunt at openside flanker.

Hurricanes lose lock to Welsh club

The Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi will head to Wales later this year to play his rugby.

Sam Lousi of the Hurricanes

Sam Lousi. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Lousi has signed with Scarlets, who will be coached by Crusaders assistant Brad Mooar following the Super Rugby season.

Lousi, 27, played two years for the Warriors in the NRL before joining the New South Wales waratahs Super Rugby team in 2015.

He joined up with the Hurricanes in 2017.

Lousi said: "I am very excited to join the Scarlets for next season.

"It is a team that plays an exciting brand of rugby and I am looking forward to linking up with a group of players that are ambitious to be winning trophies.

"Hopefully, I can help them push forward and achieve further success over the next few years."

Poor start for Olympic champions

Olympic sailing champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have made a rough start in their return to 49er sailing in Europe.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
Oceanbridge New Zealand Sailing Regatta  2019.


In their first big regatta since winning gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the pair are 35th after the first day of racing at the Princess Sofia regatta in Spain.

Burling and Tuke had a 18th and a 23rd before winning their last race of the day in their fleet. There are three fleets.

They're trailling the other three New Zealand crews in the class with Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Dunn the best placed in 17th position.

Better news for some other crews with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech leading the 49er FX class and Andy Maloney leading the Finn.

Josh Junior is third in the Finn.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are second in the Nacra 17.'

Ko paired with past winner for first women's major of the year

Lydia Ko has been paired with American Lexi Thompson for the first women's golf major of the year, the ANA Inspiration in California.

CARLSBAD, CA - MARCH 28: Lydia Ko on the fourth hole green during the first round of the Kia Classic LPGA Golf Tournamenton March 28, 2019, at Aviara Golf Course in Carlsbad, CA. (Photo by Will Powers/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: ©Icon Sportswire (A Division of XML Team Solutions) All Rights Reserved

Ko and Thompson have morning tee-times for the opening round on Friday New Zealand time.

Both are past winners of the tournament, with Ko the champion in 2016, two years after Thompson claimed her maiden major title.

Lydia Ko hasn't won a major in the three years since, with her last LPGA Tour title 12 months ago.

The former world number one has slid to 14th in the rankings, but has posted five top 20 finishes in her six tournaments this season.

Manchester United surrender one goal lead at Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton Wanderers have dented Manchester United's hopes of playing in European football's Champions League next season.

Manchester United's David de Gea and Chris Smalling

Photo: AFP

Wolves have beaten United 2-1 at Molineux Stadium to leave the Red Devils fifth on the Premier League ladder, having played an extra game than their top four rivals.

Scott McTominay opened the scoring for Manchester United in the 13th minute before Diogo Jota equalised for Wolverhampton 12 minutes later.

United defender Ashley Young was sent-off for a second bookable offence less than a quarter of a hour into the second-half, with Wolves scoring the match-winner in the 77th courtesy of an own goal from captain Chris Smalling.

Meanwhile, Fulham's joined Huddersfield Town in being relegated to the Championship after losing 4-1 at Watford.

Murray returns to the court

The Scottish tennis player Andy Murray has returned to a court two months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

British tennis star Andy Murray gives an emotional press conference at the Australian open.

British tennis star Andy Murray gives an emotional press conference at the Australian open. Photo: Photosport

Murray, who has not played competitively since his first round exit at the Australian Open in January, said last month he could possibly play at Wimbledon as he was now pain free after the surgery.

The 31-year-old posted a short video on Instagram, where he was seen hitting the ball in an outdoor court while rallying with a wall with a caption: "It's a start."

Murray had said he was not sure he could play in the singles draw at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won twice, but targeted a possible return in doubles at this year's tournament as it put less stress on his hip.

This year's Wimbledon begins on 1 July.


Big win for defending champions

Napier Technical Old Boys have made the best possible start to the defence of their National Club Cricket title with a 10-wicket round one win over Greerton that was over before the lunch dishes had been put away.

Bowling first on the Cornwall number one ground, Napier rolled the team from Tauranga for just 71 in 31.1 overs.

Morton Freer took 4-11.

Napier reached their target in just 7.4 overs.

Dunedin's Green Island beat Parnell by 185 runs, and St Albans of Christchurch beat Wellington's Eastern Suburbs by one wicket.

Today St Albans play Parnell, Napier Technical Old Boys play Eastern Suburbs and Green Island play Greerton.

Golfers to wear shorts

The world's top golfers will be permitted to wear shorts as they practise for this year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

The tournament organisers have relaxed their dress code for the event to allow shorts on practice days, and during final qualifying for the event.

The R&A has also opened up the possibility of shorts being permitted on championship days, if temperatures soar on Northern Ireland's scenic Causeway Coast in July.

Schumacher in a Ferrari

Mick Schumacher, son of seven times world champion Michael, has made his Formula One test debut with Ferrari at the Bahrain circuit, where 15 years ago his father won the first grand prix in the Middle East.

Mick Schumacher celebrates winning the 2018 Formula Three European championship.

Mick Schumacher celebrates winning the 2018 Photo: © ATP Bildagentur Muenchen/THILL Arthur/Photosport

The 20-year-old European F3 champion made his Formula Two debut at the Sakhir circuit over the weekend, finishing eighth and sixth in the two races.

He was second fastest today behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

The German, whose father won the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position in a Ferrari one-two on April 4, 2004, will also test with the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo team (formerly Sauber) tomorrow.

Today's test in the SF90 was Mick's first experience of a modern F1 car, although he did drive his father's 1994 title-winning Benetton at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit before the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.


Brits gets four weeks

Veteran Bulls hooker Schalk Brits has been handed a month-long ban from Super Rugby for his part in a punch-up last weekend that has already seen his Sharks counterpart Akker van der Merwe suspended for three weeks.

Both traded punches in a maul and were then sent off in the second half of the Bulls' 19-16 victory in Durban.

They both pleaded guilty to the offence, but while Van der Merwe had the customary six-week sanction cut in half, the 37-year-old Brits must serve an extra week because he has two previous suspensions for fighting.

German football boss quits

German Football boss Reinhard Grindel has resigned after apologising for accepting an expensive watch from a Ukrainian colleague as a gift, saying he had not known its value.

Grindel, who took over the world's biggest sports federation by membership in 2016, had come under pressure over income he received from a DFB subsidiary and a watch he had been given by Ukrainian businessman and football administrator Grigory Surkis.

He said he had shown the $12,000 watch to DFB associates at the time and had mentioned it to colleagues in Frankfurt. But he said it was a mistake not to have known the value of it earlier.

Grindel, a former journalist and conservative CDU member of parliament, had also been in the spotlight after a Spiegel report identified a $140,000 income he had received from a DFB subsidiary that had not been made public.

He is also a UEFA Executive Committee member and a FIFA Council member, taking over at the DFB from Wolfgang Niersbach, who was forced to resign amid allegations of vote-rigging for the 2006 World Cup.

De Bruin staying with Lions

Lions coach Swys de Bruin has extended his contract with the South African Super Rugby side for a further two years, ending speculation he will take over the Springbok head coach role from Rassie Erasmus after the World Cup in Japan.

The Lions announced that De Bruin had committed to the franchise until the end of 2021, though he will go to the World Cup as attack coach with the Boks.

Erasmus has already stated he will return to his director of rugby role within the SA Rugby structures after the global tournament, and De Bruin would have been a leading contender to replace him as head coach after guiding the Lions to the Super Rugby final last season.


Nets close to securing coach

The Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball club is nearing contract extensions for head coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff.

The Nets are 39-39 ahead of today's game against Toronto and vying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2015. They're currently the No. 7 seed with four games to play in a season in which they weren't predicted to be very competitive.

Nets general manager, the New Zealander Sean Marks, hired Atkinson in 2016. Atkinson won 20 games in his first season with the team and improved to 28 wins last season.

Atkinson had been a career assistant coach with the Knicks and Hawks before landing his post with the Nets.