13 Jun 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:35 pm on 13 June 2019

Latest - SWB and Coles back in starting lineups

There's little to play for, for the Blues but there's plenty on the line for All Black midfielder Sonny Bill Williams in his side's final match of the Super rugby season against the Hurricanes, in Wellington on Saturday.

Sonny Bill Williams in action for the Blues  against the Stormers in Super Rugby.

Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019 www.photosport.nz

Williams return to the Blues side after missing almost half the season due to a knee injury.

It'll be the Blues last match as they've failed to qualify for the playoffs, but Williams needs to prove his fitness to the All Black selectors ahead of the upcoming international season and the World Cup.

The Hurricanes will welcome back All Black hooker Dane Coles for the match.

Hurricanes hooker and captain Dane Coles.


Coles has had an injury marred season but has come off the bench in the Hurricanes last two match in South Africa.

Baby Blacks narrowly miss out on semi-finals

New Zealand has failed to make the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Rugby Championship in Argentina.

The New Zealanders were beaten 25-17 by South Africa in their final group game.

Fergus Burke of New Zealand is tackled by James Mollentze of South Africa during the World Rugby U20 Championship match.


South Africa led 19-3 at half time with both sides scoring two tries.

The South Africans finished top of the group with New Zealand second.

New Zealand were unable to pick up a bonus point in today's loss which would have qualified them as the best second placed team from the three groups.

New Zealand finished fourth last year.

In the semi-finals South Africa play France and Australia play Argentina.

Black Sticks Women beaten by Dutch

Olivia Merry

Olivia Merry Photo: Photosport

The Black Sticks women have been beaten 3-2 by the Netherlands in their Pro League hockey game in Hertogenbosch.

The Black Sticks were down by two goals early in the match, however they managed to battle their way back into the contest and scored their equaliser with five minutes to go in the contest.

The Netherlands stayed composed and found the match winner moments later through a powerful Xan de Waard forehand shot.

Olivia Merry scored both goals for New Zealand.

The Dutch are top of the standings with 12 wins from their 13 games, while New Zealand are sixth with five wins from 14 games.

O'Gara leaving Crusaders to coach in France

Crusaders Backs Coach Ronan O'Gara has confirmed this will be his last season with the Super Rugby side, having accepted a coaching role with French club, La Rochelle.

Ronan O'Gara  during Crusader Training

Ronan O'Gara Photo: PHOTOSPORT

O'Gara said: "I'm grateful to the Crusaders for the faith they've shown in me as a coach, and I'm incredibly fortunate to have worked alongside a world-class playing and management group for the last two seasons.

"While I see this move to La Rochelle as the next step in my coaching career and an exciting opportunity for my young family, I'd like to think, long-term, this is not necessarily the end of my time with the Crusaders."

A former Ireland international, O'Gara played 128 Tests between 2000-2013 before making the move to coaching.

He replaced Leon MacDonald as the Crusaders' Backs Coach in 2018, helping guide the side to a consecutive Super Rugby title, and re-signed for the 2019 campaign.

O'Gara's La Rochelle position will see him working under the club's director of rugby - former Ulster head coach and maori captain Jono Gibbes.

Cricket World Cup news

Hartley takes Alonso's seat at Toyota

Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartley Photo: LaPressePhoto4

Former Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley will slot straight into the seat vacated by Fernando Alonso in Toyota's line-up for this season's World Endurance Championship.

The Japanese manufacturer announced in April that the two-time WEC champion would be joining the team for the new season but stopped short of announcing the line-ups in each of its two cars.

Now, it has confirmed that Hartley will share one of the Toyota Hybrids together with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima for the championship opener at Silverstone in September.

Hartley, who won his WEC titles during a four-year stint with Porsche in LMP1, is already on board at Toyota and is acting as its reserve driver for Le Mans.

Froome to miss Tour de France

Britain's four-times Tour de France winner Chris Froome will not start next month's race after sustaining a "bad fracture" following a heavy crash in the Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome, 34, was taken to a local hospital after hitting a wall at high speed during a course reconnaissance of the 26.1 km individual time trial around Roanne in central France, with Brailsford suspecting he might have broken his thigh bone.

Six-times Grand Tour winner Froome was competing in the Criterium du Dauphine to prepare for the Tour de France, which begins on 6 July.


Fury says Joshua is finished

Anthony Joshua is 'finished' after losing his world heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr according to fellow-Briton Tyson Fury.

Andy Ruiz Jr of California celebrates after defeating Anthony Joshua of England to win the World Heavyweight Championship fight.

Andy Ruiz celebrates his win over Anthony Joshua. Photo: Photosport

Fury, also a previous IBF, WBA and IBO champion, fights German underdog Tom Schwarz in a non-title bout in Las Vegas this weekend.

The big Briton said Joshua had shown against Ruiz that he did not want to be in the ring.

"When a man doesn't want to be there once, he will always do it and it's hard to come back from," the self-styled 'Gypsy King' told the BBC.

Mexican-American Ruiz stopped 29-year-old Joshua in seven rounds at New York's Madison Square Garden in a major upset on June 1.


Semenya inspires South African footballers

Double 800 metres Olympic champion Caster Semenya hopes she can be an inspiration to the South Africa team competing at the women's World Cup after paying a visit to their camp in Paris today.

Semenya won a 2,000 metres event on the outskirts of Paris this week and dropped in on the squad ahead of their vital Group B clash against China at the Parc des Princes tomorrow.

"I thought I had to come here and be an inspiration," Semenya said. "I don't think I had to say much, but just being here, my presence, means a lot...

Semenya, an XY chromosome athlete with differences in sexual development (DSDs), is currently locked in a battle with the IAAF over rules that prevent her from running her preferred distance races unless she takes testosterone-suppressant medication.

Her stance has made her a hero to many in South Africa.


Kvitova to miss Birmingham tournament

Two-times defending champion Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from next week's Birmingham Classic as she continues to recover from arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open.

Kvitova won the Birmingham event in 2017 in just her second tournament back following a serious knife attack that nearly ended her career, and followed up with a victory over Magdalena Rybarikova to lift the title again last year.

The injury comes as a blow for world number five Kvitova ahead of next month's Wimbledon, where she will bid for her third title following triumphs in 2011 and 2014.

The LTA confirmed American Madison Keys has also pulled out of the tournament due to an injury.


OGS makes first signing for United

Manchester United have completed the signing of Wales international winger Daniel James from Championship side Swansea City.

James, 21, has signed a five-year contract, with an option to extend a further year.

James, who joined Swansea from Hull City in 2014, scored five goals in 38 matches in all competitions last season as they finished 10th in the English second tier.

He scored on his first Wales start against Slovakia in their Euro 2020 qualifier in March.

James' arrival marks manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first signing as part of his squad overhaul in the close-season following a disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Premier League, 32 points behind champions Manchester City.


Phoenix sign Australian forward

The Wellington Phoenix have signed experienced 23-year old Australian representative Jaushua Sotirio on a one-year deal, as the club continues the recruitment process for the next A-League season.

Sydney-born Sotirio made his debut for Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League in 2013 and has gone on to make 81 appearances, scoring 11 goals.

The attacker made 13 appearances in the last season, scoring three goals.

Sotirio has also made a combined 13 appearances for the Young Socceroos and Olyroos, including a winner against Indonesia in the AFC U-19 Championship.

Head Coach Ufuk Talay believes Sotirio will be part of an exciting new look attack in Wellington.