16 Apr 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:47 am on 16 April 2019

Latest - The Football Ferns final warm-up match for the looming Women's football World Cup has been confirmed.

Football Ferns celebrating a goal

Football Ferns celebrating a goal Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 phototek.nz

New Zealand Football confirmed on Tuesday the national women's side will play world number 26 Mexico on 22 May in New York.

The world number 19 Ferns defeated Norway last week in Spain for their first win over a higher ranked opponent in four years.

The match against Mexico is six days after the Ferns play the world number one USA in St Louis on 16 May, and ahead of their games against England and Wales in June in their final countdown to the tournament in France.

Mexico, who have competed at three FIFA Women's World Cups, have not qualified for this year's tournament.

New Zealand have played Mexico three times in their history - they lost 5-0 at the Cyprus Cup in 2011, drew 2-2 at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and lost 2-1 at the Yongchuan Cup in China in 2014.

The Ferns have been drawn in Group E of the World Cup, they will face the Netherlands, Canada and Cameroon.

Athletics New Zealand conditionally selects Osei-Nketia for the World Champs

Athletics New Zealand has conditionally selected young sprint star Edward Osei-Nketia for the World Championships.

New Zealand sprinter Edward Osei Nketia.

New Zealand sprinter Edward Osei Nketia. Photo: Photosport

The 17-year-old sprint sensation has been subject to a tug of war between New Zealand and Australia after claiming an impressive victory in the senior men's 100m at the Australian National championships.

His Sydney semifinal time of 10.19s, behind only Jamaican Oblique Seville's 10.13s, is understood to be the world's second-fastest current junior (under-20) time for the 100m.

Following the victory, and after spending eight years in Australia, Australian officials approached Osei-Nketia to run in the green and gold, however, a chance to run at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in September may give New Zealand selectors the edge.

Osei-Nketia has been named as one of nine athletes who have been conditionally selected and have until the end of the qualification period (6 September 2019) to secure their place in the team.

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Magic claim first back-to-back win

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have claimed their first back-to-back win of the season in a 57 to 50 win over the Mainland Tactix.

Kelly Jury's six intercepts in last night's match has made the Magic goalkeep the sharpest defender in the league with the highest amount of rebounds, deflections and intercepts in the competition.

Jury's defending partner, Casey Kopua, picked up six intercepts and centre Sam Sinclair got five of her own.

After a promising start to the season, the injury-ravaged Mainland Tactix have plummeted to the bottom of the Premiership ladder with two victories after eight rounds.

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Hansen says if Sonny Bill Williams is fit he's in

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says if Sonny Bill Williams will be picked for the Rugby World Cup if he is fit and playing.

The Blues midfielder has had a couple of seasons disrupted by injuries, missing large parts of last year, while this season he's been on the sideline more than he's played.

He's currently got a knee injury and is out for up to six weeks, with many pundits wondering if the 33-year-old's body is still up to the rigours of test rugby.

Hansen said Williams is still an important piece in the All Blacks World Cup puzzle.

ARU has no remorse for Wallabie Israel Folau

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle in a news conference after Israel Folau's anti-gay comments in April last year.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle in a news conference after Israel Folau's anti-gay comments in April last year. Photo: AFP

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said Israel Folau has shown "no remorse" in a meeting with her - leaving the organisation with no option but to terminate his contract.

Wallabies fullback Folau was officially sacked last night for his anti-gay social media posts.

He was given 48 hours to accept the sanction - or have the matter referred to a code of conduct hearing.

Castle said Folau remained unrepentant during conversations with Rugby Australia - NSW rugby boss Andrew Hore and Wallabies coach Michael Chieka.

Greg Inglis admits to losing on-field leadership presence

Kangaroos and Queensland State of Origin star Greg Inglis Former says his NRL retirement wasn't only forced by injuries, admitting he felt he had lost his presence as a leader on the field.

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

The centre had only played two matches for South Sydney this season before his latest injury setback but insists retirement was something he had been contemplating for some time.

"I can't be the leader that I used to be, I can't have that ptresence that I used to have," says Inglis

"If I don't give 100 hundred percent then I won't be playing, especially if I'm not 100 percent right.

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