10 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

11:37 am on 10 October 2019

Latest - Ma'a Nonu will play on in 2020, but not for the Blues in Super Rugby.

Blues player Ma'a Nonu.

Ma'a Nonu Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The former All Blacks second-five, 37, has signed with the San Diego Legion for the third season of North America's Major League Rugby.

"I'm really grateful to be joining the San Diego Legon and to play in the MLR for the 2020 season," Nonu said.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of the new season ahead with the team and my family and I are excited about the move to San Diego."

Nonu will join the Legion for the commencement of pre-season training in December, with the Major League Rugby season starting in February.

The regular season runs through to the end of May, with the playoffs in June.

World Rugby boss wants the use of Hawk-Eye

The replay technology used for tight calls in tennis and cricket is being considered as an antidote to the insidious creep of offside infringements in rugby.

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot wants the offside line moved back to create more space for attack and believes Hawk-Eye technology would be the best way to enforce it.

Pichot, who has built his reputation on innovative thinking, says attractive rugby is stifled by teams constantly transgressing the offside line at the breakdown, where players are meant to keep behind the rear foot until the ball is cleared.

While numerous sports have adopted Hawk-Eye in various forms to police rules, Pichot said NFL's use is the most relevant to rugby.

Former Pumas halfback Pichot has proposed moving the offside line two metres back to combat rush defences.


Manly forward injured while drinking

Manly forward Joel Thompson is recovering in hospital after suffering a nasty fall while partying with friends during the long weekend.

Joel Thompson of Manly.

Joel Thompson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Thompson is in a stable condition after sustaining a facial injury and severe concussion when he fell down a hill and smashed his head into rocks while drinking with friends on Sunday night on the Central Coast.

The 31-year-old was airlifted to hospital and had a gash on his head stapled together.

Manly issued a brief statement saying Thompson was expected to be released from hospital later in the week.

Thompson posted a photo on social media of himself in a neck brace, saying he had been involved in a "real bad accident".

"Big lesson learnt around drinking and partying... Thinking of you all," he said in the Instagram post.

Thompson made 22 appearances for the Sea Eagles this season, scoring seven tries.


China cancels another NBA event

Chinese organisers cancelled a fan event on the eve of an NBA exhibition game in Shanghai, the latest fallout in a growing row over a tweet by a team official supporting the recent protests in Hong Kong.

Chinese sponsors and partners have been cutting ties with the NBA after the tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey last week supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city.

The Shanghai Sports Federation said the cancellation of the fan event ahead of today's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers was due to the "inappropriate attitude" of Morey and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

A Wednesday afternoon press conference with both teams was indefinitely delayed, organisers said. Outside the team hotel, workers tore down massive banners advertising the game, according to a Reuters witness.


Record for Australian cricketers

The Australian womens cricketers are already eyeing off their next milestone after romping to a world record 18th consecutive one-day international victory behind another brilliant Alyssa Healy century in Brisbane.

Alyssa Healy

Alyssa Healy Photo: Photosport

The hosts chased Sri Lanka's 195 for 8 with ease at Allan Border Field, losing just one wicket as they reached the target in the 27th over.

Healy (112no from 76 balls) brought up her third ODI hundred, but first on home soil, in 71 balls while last-game century maker Rachael Haynes (63 from 74) stuck with her in a 159-run opening stand.

The victory continued Australia's two-year unbeaten streak in the format and saw them go past the 17-game record set by Belinda Clark's Australian team in the late 1990s.

The national squad will now break for the WBBL, which begins next Friday, before the T20 World Cup on home soil next year.

Australia's men own the outright ODI record with 21 straight victories, set in 2003.


Hong Kong golf Open going ahead

Former British Open champion Henrik Stenson will be the headline act at the Hong Kong golf Open in November as organisers press on with the tournament despite violent protests that have seen a raft of other events in the city cancelled.

Stenson, who won the British Open three years ago, will be joined by defending champion Aaron Rai at the European Tour event, which will be held at the Fanling course on the outskirts of the city from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

Numerous sporting events due to be held in the city have been cancelled or postponed due to the anti-government protests.

Fixtures in last weekend's Hong Kong Premier League were suspended while the Hong Kong Open tennis, which was due to be played this week, was cancelled.

A second golf event due to be held in the city, the Clearwater Bay Open, which serves as the final event on the PGA Tour Series-China, was due to be held at the end of October but has also been shelved, as has December's Hong Kong Open squad event.


White signs for Brumbies

The Brumbies have signed Wallabies incumbent halfback Nic White on a two-year deal starting from the 2021 Super Rugby season.

Nic White en route to the match-winning try against the All Blacks in Sydney

Nic White en route to the match-winning try against the All Blacks in Sydney Photo: Photosport

White, 29, played for the Brumbies between 2011 and 2015 before a stint in Europe. He re-signed with Rugby Australia this year so he could play at the World Cup.

The crafty No.9 has unseated Will Genia as Australia's first-choice halfback and will start in the Wallabies' final World Cup pool game against Georgia on Friday.

White made his Test debut in 2013 and has played 29 times for the Wallabies, starting in five of their eight games this year.

He will be available for the Wallabies in 2020 and finish his contract at English Premiership club Exeter Chiefs, before joining the Brumbies for their 2021 and 2022 campaigns.


Gimeno passes away

Former Spanish tennis player Andres Gimeno, who won the French Open in 1972, has died from cancer aged 82.

Nineteen times Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was among those to pay tribute to Gimeno.

"I've just been given the sad news of the death of Andres Gimeno, who was without doubt one of the pioneers of tennis in Spain," Nadal wrote on Twitter.

"I send my condolences to his family. RIP."

Gimeno, who won one Grand Slam and was Australian Open runner-up in 1969, remains the oldest player to win Roland Garros, lifting the trophy aged 34 after beating Frenchman Patrick Proisy in the final.


Russia wins gymnastics gold

Russia's men clinched their first-ever team title at the gymnastics world championships, edging China in a tight contest in the finals in Stuttgart.

The Russians never missed a beat as they posted a score of 261.726 across six apparatus - just 0.997 more than last year's winners China.

Needing 13.470 points for gold ahead of their final routine on the high bar, European all-around champion Nikita Nagornyy produced a clinical display to finish with 14.466.

Russia became the first European winner of the men's team event since 2001 when Belarus took home the title.

Despite missing 21-time world medallist Kohei Uchimura through injury, Japan retained their bronze medal with a score of 258.159.


Anderson training with Manchester City

England fast bowler James Anderson has swapped the cricket nets for the facilities at the training ground of Premier League champions Manchester City in a bid to recover from a calf injury.

Anderson sustained the injury playing for Lancashire in July and managed only four overs in the opening Ashes test against Australia at Edgbaston. He was eventually ruled out of the five-match series that ended 2-2 as the visitors retained the urn.

England play New Zealand in two tests in November and December but Anderson, the country's leading wicket-taker with 575 test wickets, is targeting a return when they tour South Africa for a four-test series starting at the end of December.

The ECB said Anderson, 37, would be accompanied by England's national lead for strength and conditioning Rob Ahmun, who will oversee the sessions.