15 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

1:13 pm on 15 October 2019

Latest - Tomorrow night's netball test between the Silver Ferns and Australia in Auckland is shaping as shooter Maria Folau's last international in New Zealand.

Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau.

- Is it bye bye Maria? Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Folau won't be playing in the Australian competition next season with the final team lists released today with Folau a notable absentee from the Adelaide Thunderbids squad where she played this year.

The squads for next year's New Zealand domestic competition were confirmed months ago meaning a return here is highly unlikely.

Folau has committed to the current Constellation Cup tests and the Quad series tournament in England in January but beyond that has given no indication of her playing future, suggesting retirement may be close.

Folau, who's 32, made her Silver Ferns debut in 2005 and has played 147 tests.

Henare quits as Tall Blacks coach

Paul Henare has quit as New Zealand men's basketball coach to take up a position overseas.

Breakers coach Paul Henare.

Paul Henare Photo: PHOTOSPORT

His decision ends a 17-year involvement with the team, nine years as a player, three years as an assistant coach and the last five years at the helm.

"The decision to step down from my role as Head Coach was in some ways an easy choice - as strange as that may sound. Over the last few years my family have had to follow me around the country as we would pack and unpack moving from job to job," says Henare.

"Time that I did have between seasons was snapped up by Tall Blacks commitments. Having one job now allows me to focus more on my family and gives me some much-needed time as a father and a husband."

Henare's next move is believed to be in Japan.

The Tall Blacks will be involved in a final Olympic qualifying tournament in June.

Racist taunts mar England's big win in Bulgaria

England's 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria was twice halted by the match referee in the first half under a three-step UEFA protocol to tackle racist abuse from the crowd in Sofia.

England took a giant stride towards the finals as they bounced back from the weekend's shock loss in the Czech Republic, yet this will match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Nazi salutes and racist chanting marred the thumping win, where Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane goals complemented braces from Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling as the players showed great dignity in finishing the match.

England manager Gareth Southgate spoke to the fourth official with around five minutes of the first-half to go, while debutant Tyrone Mings was seen asking an assistant referee, 'Did you hear that?'

England players were subjected to "abhorrent racist chanting" during the match, the Football Association said via Twitter it added: "This is unacceptable at any level of the game and our immediate focus is supporting the players and staff involved.

Bulgarian supporters made monkey chants at visiting black players when England last travelled to Sofia for a European qualifier in 2011, prompting UEFA to fine the Bulgarian Football Union.


Hearing details announced for Chinese swimmer

China's world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang will answer allegations about anti-doping violations in an open court hearing on November 15th.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun Yang Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a break from usual procedure, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, said that the case would be held in public in a Montreux hotel in Switzerland after the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed against a decision by swimming's governing body FINA to clear Sun of wrongdoing in a random drug test last September.

Documents leaked to the media revealed that Sun questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed the vials containing his blood samples with a hammer. The 27-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.

Triple Olympic champion Sun had served a three-month doping suspension in 2014 for taking the stimulant trimetazidine, which he said he took to treat a heart condition. The substance had been banned a few months before Sun failed the test.


Rowing crews up for award

Two New Zealand crews and a coach have been named as finalists for the World Rowing awards for 2019.

Kerri Gowler (Aramoho Whanganui RC) and Grace Prendergast (Avon RC) NZ Womens Coxless Pair

Finals races at the World Championships, raced on the Regattastrecke, Linz Ottensheim, Austria. Saturday 31 August 2019  © Copyright photo Steve McArthur / www.photosport.nz

Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast Photo: © Steve McArthur / @RowingCelebration

Lightweight women's double scullers Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle and women's pair of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler are up for the women's crew of the year.

Both crews won world titles this year.

New Zealand women's head coach Greg Hay is up for coach of the year.

Four womens crews won world titles this year.

Cullen picked up by Swifts

Australian Super Netball champions NSW Swifts have added New Zealand international Kayla Cullen to their 2020 roster.

Kayla Cullen of the Stars in action

Kayla Cullen Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 www.photosport.nz

A World Cup silver medallist in 2015, the 27-year-old Cullen has won 47 Test caps.

Cullen made one appearance for the Swifts in 2019 as a temporary replacement, coming off the bench to play wing defence.

She has the chance to occupy that position permanently, with fellow Silver Fern Katrina Rore going home and Kate Eddy switching clubs.

Cullen has played more than 100 senior games across the trans-Tasman and New Zealand competitions.

She lives in Sydney with fiance, Cronulla and New Zealand rugby league star Shaun Johnson.


Another win for Black Sticks

The New Zealand men's hockey team has beaten Japan 2-0 in the third Test in Stratford.

The scoring came late in the game with Nic Woods and Sam Lane both scoring from penalty corners in the final quarter.

The Black Sticks now lead the series 2-1 with the final Test tonight in Stratford.

Coach Darren Smith said "Tonight was a hard-fought win, both sides were defending well and as the game progressed the match was getting tighter. It was nice for the side to score a couple of penalty corners at the end of the match. We will look to finish the series well tomorrow against a tough Japanese side and will be looking to secure a really strong win".

Kipchoge nominated for award

Kenyan Eluid Kipchoge, who over the weekend became the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours, is one of 11 nominees for the IAAF male athlete of the year.

Eliud Kipchoge runs the fastest ever maraton 2019.

Eliud Kipchoge Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kipchoge, who finished a special marathon in Vienna in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds that will not be recognised for world record purposes, also was nominated for his London Marathon course record.

Ten winners from the recent world athletics championships in Doha also are under consideration for the global honour: Americans Donovan Brazier (800m), Christian Coleman (100m), Sam Kendricks (pole vault), Noah Lyles (200m), Christian Taylor (triple jump).

Also, Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei (10,000m, world cross country title), Kenya's Timothy Cheruyiot (1,500m), Bahamas' Steven Gardiner (400m), Sweden's Daniel Stahl (discus) and Norway's Karsten Warholm (400m hurdles).

Female nominees will be announced tomorrow.


Fed up for another Olympics

Roger Federer has confirmed his participation in next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo and said that he had listened to his heart before making the decision.

The Swiss 38-year-old competed in the first of four Olympic Games at Sydney in 2000 and won the doubles gold partnering Stan Wawrinka in 2008 and a silver in singles in 2012. He missed the 2016 Olympics due to a knee injury.

"At the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again," Federer told reporters during a promotional event for his sponsor Uniqlo in Tokyo.

Federer will attempt to win a singles gold medal at the July 24-Aug 9 Games, the only major prize that the 20-time Grand Slam winner has yet to win.


Ganguly runs for BCCI top position

Former captain Sourav Ganguly is set to take charge as the head of India's cricket board this month, completing his transition from star player to a top administrator.

The 47-year-old, who retired from international cricket in 2008, filed his nomination for the president's post of the Board of Control for Cricket India yesterday for the elections to be held on Oct. 23.

Since 2017, the BCCI is being run by administrators appointed by the Supreme Court after its office-bearers failed to implement administrative reforms within the world's richest national cricket body.

The Court-appointed administrators will hand over responsibilities once the board members elect the new office bearers during the Oct. 23 elections.


Men and women golfers to play against each other

Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam will host a new golf tournament in Sweden next year with men and women facing off on the same course for a single trophy and prize fund.

The 2020 Scandinavian Mixed, co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Ladies European Tour, will see 78 men and 78 women compete for a share of the 3 million dollars on offer at Stockholm's Bro Hof Slott Golf Club.

The 11-times European Tour winner Stenson will play in the event for the next three years while 10-times major champion Sorenstam, who retired in 2008, will take part in the Pro-Am competition.

Apart from world ranking points, the tournament will offer Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points for European Tour members and Order of Merit points for the Ladies European Tour.


Tedesco wins another award

James Tedesco has capped off his dominant season by becoming just the second NRL star to win multiple Players' Champion awards.

The Sydney Roosters' fullback on Monday night claimed the top gong at the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) awards night, voted the best of 2019 by his peers.

Tedesco has won virtually all before him this season, including the Dally M Medal, State of Origin's Wally Lewis Medal and the Roosters' Jack Gibson Medal.

The only prize to evade his grasp was the Clive Churchill Medal, but that mattered little after he scored the match-winning try in the grand final for the Roosters.

The announcement means Tedesco joins Johnathan Thurston as the only players to have won the RLPA's top award more than once since its inception in 2004, having also claimed the prize in 2017.


Marsh in doubt for Test series

Mitch Marsh is in doubt for the first Test of the home summer after scans confirmed he broke his hand when he punched a dressing-room wall.

Australia's incumbent No.6 injured his bowling hand when he reacted angrily to being dismissed in WA's drawn Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania in Perth.

The allrounder had reached 53 in WA's second innings before being caught and bowled by Jackson Bird in Sunday's first over of play at the WACA Ground.

Marsh will be sidelined for several weeks and is at long odds to be available for the first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane starting November 21.

It is an untimely self-inflicted blow for the 27-year-old, who lost his spot in the Test side last summer before being recalled for the fifth Ashes Test.

Australia face Pakistan in two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide next month before hosting New Zealand in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.