26 May 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:49 am on 26 May 2019

Latest - Former Phoenix coach finally confirmed at Western United

Western United have finally unveiled former Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan as their inaugural manager following months of speculation that he would lead the A-League club.

New Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan.

New Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan. Photo: Photosport

Rudan parted ways with Wellington Phoenix earlier this month and has signed a three-year deal.

Western United are based in Geelong and will join the A League next season.

"It's an opportunity that couldn't be passed up. To have a blank piece of paper to create what you want ... there's going to be some bumps on the way but I'm more than confident we'll see those through," he said.


Football Ferns beat Mexico

The Football Ferns have beaten Mexico 2-1 in a World Cup warmup match in New York.

New Zealand footballer Rosie White.

New Zealand footballer Rosie White. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Rosie White scored from the penalty spot, while Sarah Gregorius got the second.

The result follows a 5-0 loss to the USA last week.

The Ferns now head to Europe with their next warmup game against England in Brighton on 2 June.

Their opening game of the World Cup is against the Netherlands in Le Havre on 12 June.

NZ squash players into British quarter-finals

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll (front).

Paul Coll. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two New Zealand players have confirmed their places in the quarter-finals of the prestigious British Squash Open after wins this morning.

Fourth seed Paul Coll beat Egyptian Fares Dessouky in four games to equal his best appearance, while Joelle King didn't drop a game in her third round win over England's Alison Waters.

Coll will now face Egypt's Mazen Hesham for a place in the semi-finals. The pair have never played a competition match before.

King now takes on world number three Nour El Tayeb.

Krishna still undecided on future

Roy Krishna has bagged Player of the Year honours but left one glaring question hanging over the Wellington Phoenix awards evening - will he be back next year?

The Fijian striker revealed little about his plans for next season after being awarded the club's main prize, adding to the Johnny Warren Medal and A-League golden boot secured earlier in the month.

Krishna, who also won the Phoenix players' player prize, is the hottest property on the Australasian market and believed to be the subject of a hefty offer from champions Sydney FC.

Roy Krishna.

Roy Krishna. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Other A-League clubs have table interest in the 31-year-old, while there are reports of offers from Asia and North America.

Krishna has maintained he will announce his status before the end of May, with his family to play a part.

The awards evening was also attended by Mark Rudan, who oversaw positive change as Wellington head coach this season before announcing his departure midway through a two-year contract.

He is expected to be unveiled at Western United's inaugural head coach today.

Newly-appointed Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay arrives in Wellington this week, having finished his role as Sydney FC assistant coach on a high last Sunday when they beat Perth in the grand final.


Minor Associations unhappy with NZ Cricket

A tense meeting between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the country's six major associations - has led to reports the game is faced with significant financial concerns.

Central Districts Will Young


NZC boss David White, chairman Greg Barclay and board member Martin Snedden held a meeting with the heads of the associations earlier this month.

Stuff reports the national body's desire to overhaul the domestic game and the structure within the associations has created tension between the two parties.

NZC has suffered net losses of more than $12 million over the past two years, while a loss of around $2m is expected this year.

The organisation is also being hampered by the ICC back-ending it's sizeable annual payments to national bodies.

New swim league announces schedule

Swimmers Doha

A new proffesional swimming league has been announced for 2019. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A new professional league for elite swimmers has announced a schedule that includes events in seven cities in the USA and Europe with a final in a temporary pool in Las Vegas.

The season will start in October with meets in Indianapolis, Naples, Texas, Budapest, Maryland and London.

The championship will be held in a 12,000 seat arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas in December.

The International Swimming League will run in competition to world governing body FINA's own series.

The ISL series claim they have signed more than 200 of the world's elite swimmers, including American star Katie Ledecky.

Boxing will be in Olympics

An IOC says boxing should keep its place at next year's Tokyo Olympic Games but recognition of AIBA, the governing body of the sport's amateur version, should be suspended.

New Zealand boxer David Nyika.

New Zealand Olympic boxing hopeful David Nyika. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The IOC said in a statement that it would instead set up a task force to organise the boxing competitions, including the qualification events to be held between January and May.

The recommendations followed an IOC inquiry into the finances and governance of AIBA which has been in turmoil for years.

AIBA says it has undergone a profound reform programme in the last 18 months and done everything that has been asked of it but the IOC said that "there has been a lack of satisfactory progress".

The recommendations will be put to a full IOC session in Lausanne in June. The IOC added that AIBA's status should be reviewed after the Games.

Suspension would rob AIBA of its main source of funding and be a devastating blow to the body which has organised Olympic boxing for 73 years.


Australian cricketers win warmup match

Steve Smith has geared up for the Cricket World Cup with a composed 76 as Australia beat the West Indies by seven wickets in the unofficial warm-up at Southampton.

Smith hit seven fours and two sixes from 82 balls before falling to the spin of Carlos Brathwaite, getting the thinnest of edges into the gloves of wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran.

It was the former Test and ODI skipper's third successive half-century, on the back of the two he chalked up in the recent practice matches against New Zealand in Brisbane.

the Australian's chased down their target of 230 with 11.4 overs to spare.

However, it was not all plain sailing with opener Usman Khawaja taken to hospital for scans to his jaw after being struck by a rising delivery from Andre Russell.


Lam extends stay in Bristol

Bristol head coach Pat Lam has signed a new long-term contract to become director of rugby at the club.

Bristol Bears coach Pat Lam.

Bristol Bears coach Pat Lam. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The former Newcastle, Northampton and Samoa back rower will remain at the English rugby club on a deal until 2023.

The Bears finished in an impressive ninth place in the Premiership this season, just five points off the top four and a place in the European Champions Cup.

"I'm proud to commit my future to Bristol and it was an easy decision to make," Lam said.

Bristol recorded the highest Premiership points total for a promoted side since 2007 with nine wins from 22 matches.

Lam joined the club in 2017, helping them clinch promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

"Although my title changes to Director of Rugby, my passion and enjoyment for hands-on coaching remains stronger than ever. I will be in a tracksuit on the field as long as I can still walk!

Ewan wins stage 11 of Giro

Australian Caleb Ewan won the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia after a bunch sprint at the end of the 221-kilometre ride.

The Lotto-Soudal rider timed his late attack to perfection as he edged Arnaud Demare and a wounded Pascal Ackermann in a thrilling finale, adding to his victory on stage eight.

Valerio Conte of UAE Team Emirates retained the overall leader's pink jersey, with Slovenian Primoz Roglic one minute and 50 seconds adrift on a straightforward day for the leading race contenders.

A shake-up in the overall standings is expected on stage 12, which features the tough Montoso ascent, before the first big day in the mountains on Friday.


Pollard to miss games against Blues and Highlanders

First five Handre Pollard, who played a key role in a rare away success for the Bulls in Australia last week, is returning home after injuring his calf and will miss the next three Super Rugby matches.

Springbok first five Handre Pollard

Springbok first five Handre Pollard Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Pollard, who is the team captain, picked up the calf strain in training this week ahead of tomorrow's clash against the ACT Brumbies.

His return to South Africa means he also misses the last two of the Bulls' four-match swing through Australia and New Zealand against the Blues and the Highlanders.

They beat the Melbourne Rebels last Friday, with the 25-year-old Pollard kicking 12 points in the 32-17 victory that took the Bulls top of the South African conference.


DWZ wants out of Penrith

Penrith have granted star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak permission to speak to rival NRL teams in the latest blow for the embattled NRL club.

The development comes a day after Panthers coach Ivan Cleary dropped Watene- Zelezniak from the team to play Parramatta tonight.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. Photo: Photosport

The Kiwi skipper has been heavily linked with the Eels despite being contracted with Penrith until the end of the 2020 season.

Cleary refused to answer questions when pressed on Watene-Zelezniak's status during his weekly pre-game press conference.

Eels coach Brad Arthur described Watene-Zelezniak as a good player when he was asked whether he was surprised Penrith left him out of their line-up.

North Queensland have also been linked to Watene-Zelezniak as they seek to solve their fullback conundrum.

The Cowboys have been searching for a new No.1 after Ben Barba was banned for life by the NRL, they also missed out on aspiring NFL player Valentine Holmes.