10 Jul 2019

Today's sports news - What you need to know

12:06 pm on 10 July 2019

Latest - Warriors front rower Agnatius Paasi has been re-signed until the end of the 2022 NRL season.

Warriors prop Agnatius Paasi.


The 27-year-old Mangere East Hawks junior has become the cornerstone of the club's pack, earning him a new three-year contract.

The father of four will make his 93rd career appearance in Saturday's clash against the Brisbane Broncos leaving him on track to play his 100th game against South Sydney at Mount Smart Stadium on August 30.

Paasi returned home on a two-year contract with the Warriors last year after spending three seasons with the Gold Coast Titans.

The heat goes on Maroons coach

Life after Queensland's decade of dominance is on track according to coach Kevin Walters despite the Maroons being under the most pressure in 14 years ahead of tonight's State of Origin decider.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters

Queensland coach Kevin Walters Photo: Photosport

The Maroons face the prospect of losing back-to-back series for the first time since 2005 when the Blues sealed their third straight.

Still smarting from a 38-6 game two rout, Queensland's chances of winning a 12th series in 14 seasons took another hit when they lost their most experienced forward - 20-game Origin veteran Matt Gillett - with a groin strain yesterday.

Yet Walters reckoned everything was going to plan for a Maroons team rebuilding after the representative retirement of future Immortals Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater who sparked their unprecedented Origin run.

Walters is aiming to win his third Origin series after triumphing in 2016 and 2017.

But he is under pressure ahead of the decider with speculation the Maroons coach may not see out his contract until the end of 2020 if Queensland suffers another loss.


Thunder All-Star open to trade

Steven Adams appears poised to lose another All-Star team-mate ahead of the next NBA season.

Russell Westbrook is warming to the idea of leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Miami Heat are high on the point guard's list.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. 13.3.19

Photo: AFP

According to multiple reports, Westbrook signed off on general manager Sam Presti taking trade offers.

The decision comes on the heels of the Thunder shipping 2019 MVP finalist Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for five future first-round picks, forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career in Oklahoma City, averaging 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists in 821 games while winning the NBA's MVP award in 2017.

ESPN reported the Heat and team president Pat Riley moved to the front of the line because Westbrook would approve of a deal to Miami.

The Heat used a four-way deal to pull off a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, and Riley will have some bookkeeping wizardry to do if he wants to add Westbrook to the unexpected offseason haul.

- Reuters

AmCup management team announced

The race management, rules and measurement teams have been chosen for the 36th America's Cup in Auckland in 2021.

America's Cup

America's Cup Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Canadian John Craig has been named regatta director and will be in ultimate charge of all racing activity.

Craig was principal race officer at the 34th America's Cup.

Australian Richard Slater will serve as the chief umpire, as he did in Bermuda.

The AC75 class rule and measurement committees have also been named.

Christchurch won't host Manly NRL game next year

Christchurch won't host Manly's home NRL match against the Warriors for a third straight season next year because the promoters have struck financial problems.

A small crowd at this year's game meant costs weren't covered and has forced Walco Events Limited into liquidation, stuff.co.nz reported.

Just under 12,000 people attended the round three fixture at AMI Stadium, the first major sports event staged in Christchurch after the March 15 terror attack in which 51 people were killed by a lone gunman.

Manly, who won the game 46-12, agreed in 2017 to stage home matches in the South Island city in 2018 and 2019 with an option for 2020.

The same company promoted a 2016 game in Christchurch between Penrith and the Warriors which sold out but crowd numbers have fallen since.


Gautrey wins Laser medal

New Zealand sailor George Gautrey thought his Laser world championships might have been over three days ago when he dislocated his knee but he's claimed a bronze medal in Japan.

George Gautrey of New Zealand.


It rounded off a fantastic regatta for the New Zealand squad, with three finishing in the top 10 - Sam Meech was fourth and Tom Saunders 10th.

There was a distinct Antipodean flavour to the leaderboard, with Australian duo Tom Burton and Matt Wearn finishing first and second respectively.

Gautrey's bronze medal is his first at a major senior regatta and follows on from the promise he showed as a youngster when he won silver at the 2015 youth sailing world championships.

But it very nearly ended prematurely when the 21-year-old dislocated his knee during a "bad tack" and needed to pop it back in three days ago.

Italian wins stage four in France

Italy's Elia Viviani won the fourth stage of the Tour de France, a 213.5-km flat ride from Reims.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider beat Norwegian Alexander Kristoff and Australian Caleb Ewan in a mass sprint finish.

France's Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after being cheered on all the way from Reims by massive crowds of locals and tourists.

New Zealand's George Bennett remains in fourth place overall, 25 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

A three-man breakaway featuring Frenchman Yoann Offredo, Swiss Michael Schaer and Belgian Frederik Backaert was kept on a tight leash by the peloton and they were all reined in 16 kilometres from the finish.

The main contenders, including defending champion Geraint Thomas, had a quiet day in the peloton.

Tonight's fifth stage is a 175.5km hilly ride from St Die des Vosges to Colmar.


Daly won't play British Open

Twice major champion John Daly has pulled out of next week's British Open after his request to use a golf cart was denied by tournament organisers.

American Daly, who has an arthritic right knee, used a cart at the PGA Championship in May under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

John Daly, now ranked 1,848th in the world, has been given permission to use a gold cart at the US PGA Championship.

John Daly, now ranked 1,848th in the world, has been given permission to use a gold cart at the US PGA Championship. Photo: Photosport

After the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) rejected his request on Saturday, the 53-year-old said he would try to play through pain but he has since changed his mind.

The R&A said the terrain at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland was not suited to golf carts and the club did not permit their use.

American Kevin Streelman will replace 1995 British Open winner Daly in the field.

Daly is exempt from qualifying, like all British Open winners, until he is aged 60.

The British Open returns to Portrush, Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years from July 18-21.


Kenyan athletes suspended

The Athletics Integrity Unit says it has provisionally suspended two Kenyan athletes, one of them a Commonwealth Games former champion, for doping, the latest in a string of doping cases in the East African nation.

The AIU said in a statement on its website it had suspended Joyce Chepkirui, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Africa 10,000 metres champion, for discrepancy in her Athlete Biological Passport.

The AIU, which handles integrity and doping issues for the International Association of Athletics Federations, said it had also suspended Jacob Kibet Kendagor, who in 2017 came second in the Hamburg and Istanbul Marathons and was fifth in Istanbul last year.

Kendagor was reprimanded for "evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection".

Kenya was among the countries placed on World Anti-Doping Agency compliance watch list in 2016.


Wales skipper staying on

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has ended speculation over his future by signing a contract extension with the Ospreys and the Welsh Rugby Union until June 2021.

Alun Wyn Jones scores for Wales.

Alun Wyn Jones scores for Wales. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Jones's current deal was due to end after this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The 33-year-old lock has played 125 tests for Wales, leading them to this year's Six Nations Grand Slam, and been capped nine times by the British and Irish Lions.

Jones will head to Switzerland with the Wales squad this week for their first overseas World Cup training camp.