27 Nov 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

8:12 am on 27 November 2019

Latest - Black Caps wicketkeeper BJ Watling and bowler Neil Wagner have risen to career high positions in the latest ICC world Test cricket rankings.

BJ Watling celebrates his double century during play on Day 4. 1st Test match. New Zealand Black Caps v England. International Cricket at Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand. Sunday 24 November 2019 © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

BJ Watling Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Watling has risen 12 spots to now be number 12 in the Test batting rankings following his double century in the first Test against England.

Neil Wagner, who took eight wickets in the victory in Mt Maunganui, has risen five places to be number three in the Test bowling rankings.

That position is the third best ever by a New Zealand bowler after Sir Richarad Hadlee and Trent Boult.

Steve Smith tops the batting rankings from Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson with Henry Nicholls at six and Tom Latham at eight.

Pat Cummins tops the bowling rankings from Kagiso Rabada and Wagner.

Change of plans for skier

The Queenstown skier Alice Robinson may make a return to the World Cup circuit earlier than expected after injury.

New Zealand skier Alice Robinson.

Alice Robinson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Robinson hurt her knee in the leadup to last month's opening giant slalom round in Austria, which she won.

Robinson says she had a follow up MRI a few days ago and it showed a lot more improvement than she'd expected and that she's been cleared to ski.

Robinson has had a couple of days training in Colorado and she says she hasn't had any swelling or pain.

The 17 year old says the plan has changed, she'll head to Vermont to continue training with the possibiity of racing this weekend.

Fox to play NZ Open

New Zealand's second ranked men's golfer Ryan Fox has confirmed his entry for February's New Zealand Open in Queenstown.

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox.

Ryan Fox Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 32-year-old is keen to add the Open to the five tournaments he's won as a professional.

"It is probably the one tournament I would love to win more than any other and get my name on the Brodie Breeze Trophy," said Fox who has recently returned from his year competing on the European Tour.

"It remains one of the most important tournaments in my year and one I look forward to greatly, especially returning to Queenstown and playing those great courses."

He added his first European Tour title this year, finishing the year in 57th place on the rankings and amassing more than $1.1 million for 2019, including taking several weeks off golf following his marriage.

The New Zealand Open is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour, and in partnership with the Japan Tour.

It will be held at Milbrook Resort and The Hills courses.

Otago and Tasman lead the way at Interprovincials

Two teams have gone through the first day with a perfect record at the New Zealand Men's Interprovincial Golf Championship in Hastings.

Otago and Tasman find themselves on top of proceedings after day one but have a host of teams biting at their heels as they've all had byes at some point yesterday.

Otago dispatched of the most successful team in the competition's history, beating Wellington 3-2 and then beat Southern rivals Southland 3-2.

A result that many may not have predicted at the start of the tournament is Tasman joining Otago on top of the leader board after day one with wins over Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.

Tasman upset Bay of Plenty 3-2 first up and then beat Taranaki 4-1.

Otago and Tasman both have a bye in one of the two rounds today.

North Harbour, Auckland, Northland, and Canterbury also went through without a loss, but all had byes on day one of the tournament.

Halaholo out for the season

Injury has wrecked the former Hurricanes back Willis Halaholo chance to play for his adopted country Wales.

Halaholo and fellow New Zealander Johnny McNicholl been named in new Wales coach Wayne Pivac's first squad to take on the Barbarians in Cardiff this weekend.

However Halaholo suffered an ACL injury playing for the Cardiff Blues at the weekend and will have surgery next week.

Black Ferns thump PNG

The New Zealand women's development side stamped their mark as champions of the Oceania rugby tournament in Lautoka after a landslide 131-0 win Papua New Guinea in their final game.

The Black Ferns Development side scored ten first half tries and added another 11 tries in the second half.

Black Ferns Development Coach Wayne Maxwell said the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship had been a great platform to develop new players and put them in an environment where they were tested.

"The Farah Palmer Cup back home is a strong competition in New Zealand but this tournament takes it to another level to actually see who is willing to shift up, so the players are open minded about they are needed to do," Maxwell said.

New Zealand sailors in contention

Olympic 49er champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have improved to fifth overall after the second day of racing in the Oceania 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 Championships in Auckland.

Burling and Tuke are just one place behind fellow New Zealanders Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are third in the 49er FX.

Gemma Jones and Josh Porebski are eighth in the Nacra 17

The Oceania Championships are a warmup event to next week's World Championships.

Canterbury accepts challenges

Canterbury have accepted two mandatory pre-season Ranfurly Shield challenges from Buller and North Otago to be played in July 2020.

The first challenge against Buller will be played in Westport on Saturday 11th July.

If Canterbury are successful in retaining the Shield, the second match will be played at Rugby Park in Christchurch against the Meads Cup Champions, North Otago, on Friday 17 July.

Te'o to play in Japan

England's Ben Te'o will feature for the Japanese club the Sunwolves in what will be their final season in Super Rugby.

Centre Te'o, who agreed a short-term deal with French club Toulon in August, will be joined at the Tokyo-based team by Tonga's Onehunga Kaufusi and Australia's Jake Schatz.

Te'o, 32, was left out of Eddie Jones' England squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan after being excluded from the final week of a training camp due to an altercation with a team mate.

The Sunwolves, under new boss Naoya Okubo, also welcome back Georgian hooker Jaba Bregvadze and will add more names to the squad once contract negotiations have been completed, they said.

However, with Japan's domestic competition running at the same time as Super Rugby many top local players are unavailable.

The 2020 season will be the Sunwolves' last in Super Rugby after the competition's governing body SANZAAR and the Japanese Football Rugby Union failed to agree on the terms of their inclusion in March.

The Sunwolves begin their final Super Rugby campaign with a home match against the Melbourne Rebels in Fukuoka on Feb. 1.


Black Jacks beaten

The Blackjacks women have fallen just short of winning the second Trans Tasman bowls test on the Gold Coast, while the New Zealand men lost their second straight test.

New Zealand and Australia split the six women's matches, with two wins a piece and two draws.

The women's four had to settle for a 13-all draw in the final game of the day, which left shot differential to decide the test winner. Australia prevailed 96-93.

The New Zealand men have lost the Trans Tasman for another year.

Australia's won the second test 5-1, after winning the first 4-2.