8 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

9:59 am on 8 October 2019

Latest - All Blacks fullback Beauden Barrett has been carrying a leg injury that hampered his first two World Cup matches but he is getting back to full speed.

Beauden Barrett.

Beauden Barrett Photo: Photosport

The two-times World Player of the Year would not specify what was bothering him, but told the New Zealand Herald it did prevent him from running at full pace.

The lightning quick Barrett has been playing fullback at the tournament in a dual playmaker role with first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga.

The All Blacks face Italy in their final Pool B match in Toyota City on Saturday, with coach Steve Hansen expected to name a full-strength side as they prepare for the quarter-finals.


Pumas lock gets four weeks

Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini has been handed a four-match ban for the head-high tackle on Owen Farrell that earned him a red card in the Rugby World Cup Pool C clash on Saturday.

Argentina's Tomas Lavanini high tackles Owen Farrell of England and is then sent off


Lavanini crashed his shoulder into the jaw of the England captain in the 17th minute of the match and it proved a decisive moment with the Pumas going down 39-10 at Tokyo Stadium to leave their hopes of qualifying for the last eight in tatters.

The big second row forward, who wept as he left the pitch, was also sent off against South Africa in 2017 and had received five previous yellow cards in tests.

France's victory over Tonga on Sunday means Argentina will be going home after their final pool match against the United States on Wednesday in Kumagaya.

Lavanini will miss that game and three matches for his English club Northampton Saints.


Kvitova confirmed for China

World women's tennis number seven Petra Kvitova has become the sixth player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in China.

Petra Kvitova is on the verge of Australian Open success.

Petra Kvitova is on the verge of Australian Open success. Photo: Photosport

The 29-year-old Czech, who won the title on her debut in 2011, will join Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka at the 27 October - 3 November tournament, which offers $22 million in prize money.

Kvitova won titles in Sydney and Stuttgart and finished runner-up at the Australian Open this year.

The top eight singles players face off in a round-robin format at the WTA Finals, with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy.


Silverwood takes over as England coach

Chris Silverwood has been named England head cricket coach in place of Trevor Bayliss as the England and Wales Cricket Board opted against another overseas candidate to take the team forward.

England cricket coach Chris Silverwood.


British media reported last week that former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten had emerged as the leading contender, but Silverwood, the team's former bowling coach, was preferred.

Australian Bayliss departed last month after England's drawn home Ashes series against Australia having led the team for four years.

They struggled for consistency in Tests under his guidance, slipping to fourth in the world rankings, but enjoyed sustained success in one-day cricket, rising to the top of the rankings and winning their first 50-over World Cup title this year on home soil.

The 44-year-old Silverwood played six Tests and seven one-day internationals as a fast bowler during his playing career, the majority of which was spent with his native county Yorkshire.

He moved into coaching and in 2017 led Essex to their first County Championship title for 25 years before becoming England pace bowling coach.


Record Japanese audience watches RWC game

A record television audience in Japan watched the Asian nation's 38-19 win over Samoa in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, with more than 40 percent of the country tuning in.

A peak audience share of 46.1 percent was recorded as watching on free-to-air Nippon Television.

Local media said it was the most watched sporting event of the year in Japan, surpassing Naomi Osaka's win over Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final.

More than 25 million people watched Japan's victory over Samoa at the last World Cup, a domestic TV audience record before Saturday's match.

Japan, who are now within touching distance of a first ever quarter-final berth, face Scotland on Sunday, which is expected to attract an even bigger audience.


Hareb dips out in France

New Zealand surfer Paige Hareb has again fallen short of the quarter-finals on the Women's Championship Tour.

She's been beaten by Australian Sally Fitzgibbons in the round of 16 of the latest event in France.

Hareb only managed a score of 5.37 from her best two waves, with Fitzgibbons scoring 7.64.

It's her sixth straight round of 16 exit for Hareb, who sits 16th in the overall standings, with the top 10 automatically qualifying for next year's world tour.

Fellow Kiwi Ricardo Christie was earlier eliminated in the second round of the men's competition as he was in all previous eight events.

There are two rounds remaining in the respective world tours, starting with Portugal later this month.

Japanese driver to test at Suzuka

Honda-backed Japanese Naoki Yamamoto will take part in a Formula One grand prix weekend for the first time on Friday when he drives a Toro Rosso in opening practice at his home Suzuka circuit.

Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso are powered by Honda and Suzuka is owned by the Japanese manufacturer.

The last Japanese to race in Formula One was Kamui Kobayashi with now-defunct Caterham in 2014.

Yamamoto, 31, is reigning champion in Japanese Super Formula and the Super GT touring car series, where he has partnered 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button.

His age rules him out, however, as a realistic race prospect for a team that develops and feeds young talent to the main Red Bull outfit.

Yamamoto will take Pierre Gasly's car for the session before handing it back to the Frenchman for the rest of the weekend.


Australian women cricketers roll on

Records were equalled, hoodoos broken and milestones reached as Rachael Haynes posted a maiden international century and Australia won a 17th-straight one-day international to clinch the series against Sri Lanka.

Playing her 117th match across all three formats for Australia, Haynes's composed 118 piloted the hosts to 282 for 8 at Brisbane's Allan Border Field before Jess Jonassen (4-31) helped contain the visitors to 172 for 9 from 50 overs.

In the process the off-spinner became the second-fastest woman to 100 ODI wickets - getting there in 67 innings - and just the fourth Australian woman to reach the milestone.

Debutante Heather Graham also grabbed a wicket in the 110-run victory as Meg Lanning's side drew level with Belinda Clark's dominant side of the late 1990s on 17-straight ODI triumphs.

Their last one-day defeat was in October 2017, against England in Coffs Harbour.

Australia can claim the record outright with victory in the third and final clash between the sides in Brisbane on Wednesday.

It was Haynes first triple-figure score in green and gold, coming in her 56th ODI and after 56 T20s and five Tests.