15 Apr 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

2:02 pm on 15 April 2019

Latest - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he won't pick Israel Folau for this year's Rugby World Cup, following the player's anti-gay comments on social media.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Devout christian Folau has been stood down by New South Wales and Rugby Australia intends to terminate his contract following his latest post, which proclaimed homosexuals, drunks and atheists, among others, would go to hell unless they repented.

Folau is standing by comments and has since said what becomes of his rugby career is up to God.

That career looks likely to be outside of Australia, with Cheika saying won't be playing for the side.

Cheika said he had attempted to contact Folau several times since the player posted on social media last week.

Read here for more on this story, plus All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's response to Folau's comments.

Woods claims fifth Masters, 15th major

Tiger Woods completed one of sport's great all-time comebacks to end an 11-year major title drought at the Masters on Sunday by claiming a fifth green jacket.

Tiger Woods celebrates with the green jacket and trophy after winning The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off the seventh tee during the final round for the Masters golf tournament. Photo: Michael Madrid

Woods, who began the final round two shots back of overnight leader Francesco Molinari, carded a two-under-par 70 to finish one shot ahead of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

The 43-year-old last won the Masters in 2005 and hasn't won a major title since 2008.

Woods showed he still had the game to compete with the world's best when he triumphed in last year's Tour Championship, his first victory of any kind since 2013.

This is the first time Woods has ever come from behind on the final day to win a major championship, leaving him three behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles. Overnight leader Francesco Molinari title charge collapsed with two double bogeys.

Read more on this story here.

Damian McKenzie ruled out of Rugby World Cup with kne injury

The All Black utility suffered a ruptured ACL while playing for the Chiefs against the Blues at the weekend.

Mckenzie has been diagnosed with a tear of the ACL - a key ligament in the knee.

Speaking to reporters a few minutes ago, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said it is a shame for McKenzie and the All Blacks but injuries do occur.

The Chiefs fullback was helped from the field in the second half of the Chiefs' win 33-29 over the Blues in Hamilton on Saturday.

Read here for more on this story.

Phoenix confirm Rudan's departure

The Wellington Phoenix have confirmed coach Mark Rudan will leave the football club at the end of the current A-League season.

Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan.

Departing Phoenix coach Mark Rudan. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Reports emerged just before the Phoenix's 2-1 loss against the Brisbane Roar on Friday that Rudan had told the team he intended to leave at the end of the season.

Rudan was signed to a two-year contract in Wellington, but had publicly stated that he has struggled being separated from his family who remained in Sydney.

Read here for more on this story.

Greg Inglis retires from Rugby League

Kangaroos and Queensland State of Origin star Greg Inglis has announced his retirement from rugby league due injury.

Greg Inglis.

Australian rugby league star Greg Inglis has announced he's retiring from the sport due to injury. Photo: Photosport

The South Sydney Rabbitohs captain called a premature end to his playing career today due to ongoing shoulder and knee injuries.

The centre had only played two matches for South Sydney this season before his latest injury setback.

Inglis, 32, played 39 Tests for Australia, 32 State of Origin matches for Queensland and won one NRL premiership title with South Sydney in 2014.

Smith, Warner named in Australia's Cricket World Cup squad

Steve Smith and David Warner's return to the national cricket team has been confirmed with both players making the cut for Australia's Cricket World Cup 2019 squad.

Smith and Warner return to the international fold following 12-month bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that erupted in South Africa last year.

However, there was no room for Peter Handscombe, Ashton Turner or Kane Richardson, who all toured India and the United Arab Emirates last month.

Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson are named in the squad subject to fitness, while Josh Hazelwood misses out.

The 15-man squad announcement comes as Australia looks to defend its World Cup title that it won on home soil four years ago - its fifth title.

The squad heads to England for the tournament beginning 30 May, with an Ashes tour following immediately after.


UFC fighter Israel Adesanya wants middleweight title fight in Auckland

Israel Adesanya reacts after winning the UFC interim MW title belt a bout against Kelvin Gastelum.

Israel Adesanya reacts after winning the UFC interim MW title belt a bout against Kelvin Gastelum. Photo: John David Mercer

Interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has made it clear that he wants to fight reigning champion Robert Whittaker in Auckland when they meet for the title fight.

New Zealand fighter Israel Adesanya has earned a title shot against Whittaker after a unanimous points victory over American Kelvin Gastelum in Atlanta.

Honours were shared across the first four rounds, but the 29-year-old Nigeria-born New Zealander dominated the fifth and final round to take the title 48-46 in UFC 236 at the Octagon.

UFC CEO announced post fight the title fight will take place in Australia to which Adesanya replied,

"It could be in Australia but Auckland is viable option as well," Adesanya said post fight

"We can push back and fourth because he is a kiwi but he's a mozzie, he's representing Australia. He says August, I say let me go shower first."

Steel firm their grip on second place in ANZ Premiership

Northern Stars defender Leana de Bruin looks to block Steel shooter Lenize Potgieter.

Northern Stars defender Leana de Bruin looks to block Steel shooter Lenize Potgieter. Photo: Photosport

The Southern Steel have avenged their round one loss with a 60 to 58 win over the Northern Stars in the ANZ Premiership.

The Stars, who were without veteran Temepara Bailey, led at halftime 30 to 26 but the Steel's injection of South African shooter Lenize Potgieter in the third quarter gave the southerners a much needed boost in attack shooting at 92 percent.

The Steel remain second on the leaderboard behind the undefeated Central Pulse

Fabian Coulthard claims Supercars victory

Fabian Coulthard in early action.

Fabian Coulthard in early action. Photo: Photosport

Fabian Coulthard claimed his first Supercars victory in 11 months, beating team-mate Scott McLaughlin in the second leg of the Phillip Island SuperSprint.

The mustangs were the class of the field, Coulthard jumping polesitter and early leader McLaughlin during the first pitstops.

He remained ahead during the second round, and managed the race from there, crossing the line 0.6793 seconds ahead.

Coulthard's last victory came at Winton last May, and he consolidates his position as McLaughlin's closest challenger in the championship.