2 Dec 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

5:22 pm on 2 December 2019

Latest - the Hurricanes are hopeful Ardie Savea will be able to feature in the second half of next year's Super Rugby season despite the All Black flanker suggesting he'll miss the entire season.

Ardie Savea performing the haka before the All Blacks Test against Australia in Perth in 2019.

Ardie Savea Photo: Photosport

Savea will have knee surgery next week and has said on social media he will be out for up to six months.

But Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said believes Savea could be back sooner.

"We're of the understanding it's somewhere between three and six months and ourselves and Ardie are hoping it's closer to three."

It shapes as a double blow for the Hurricanes who are also preparing for the possibility of losing coach John Plumtree to the All Blacks.

Plumtree is believed to be in line to become one of Ian Foster's assistants should Foster be appointed All Blacks coach.

Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree  speaks with TJ Perenara.

Is John Plumtree off to the All Blacks? Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Lee won't speculate on what the future holds but admits they need to prepare for the eventuality.

'I'm not losing any sleep over it. We're fully supportive of John if that's what happens but John is a hundred percent focused on the Hurricanes at the moment and that's exactly what I would expect," he said.

"We've got a succession plan internally but we would also be prepared to go to the market for 2020 or possibly 2021 to look for a more long term solution.

Leicester back up to second

Leicester City reclaimed second spot in the English Premier League in dramatic fashion as Kelechi Iheanacho's stoppage-time goal earned them a 2-1 home victory over luckless Everton.

Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez of Leicester City.

Leicester City Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Jamie Vardy had equalised for Leicester in the 68th minute after Richarlison had given Everton a deserved first-half lead.

It was Leicester's sixth successive league win and moves them back above Manchester City and eight points behind leaders Liverpool.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered another frustrating afternoon as his team were held to a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

United are ninth on the table and Villa 15th.

Arsenal's winless run continued with Freddie Ljungberg's first Premier League game as boss ending in a 2-2 draw against struggling Norwich. The result leaves Arsenal eighth.

- Reuters/RNZ

More medals for cyclists

New Zealand cyclist Campbell Stewart

Campbell Stewart Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The New Zealand track cycling team has added silver and bronze medals to its haul on the final day of the World Cup meet in Hong Kong.

Tom Sexton and Campbell Stewart have finished second in the men's Madison, while Corbin Strong has capped the event by finishing third in the men's scratch race.

Michaela Drummond narrowly missed out on a bronze in the women's omnium, finishing fourth, while Natasha Hansen just missed out on the medal race in the women's keirin.

Men's keirin gold medallist Callum Saunders was eliminated in the first round of the individual sprint.

The New Zealand team has finished as the most successful nation in Hong Kong with three golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Read the full story here

Hamilton wins again

Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton ended a triumphant Formula One season in style with a dominant victory from pole position for Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his 250th race.

Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen was second to cement third place in the championship, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc third on track but in danger of disqualification for a fuel irregularity.

Valtteri Bottas finished fourth for Mercedes from last place on the grid.

Hamilton's 84th career victory, fifth in Abu Dhabi and 11th of the season meant the Briton equalled his own Formula One record of 33 consecutive finishes in the points. He also set the fastest lap.

The 11 wins in a season matched his personal best for a campaign.

Mercedes had already won both championships for an unprecedented sixth season in a row.

- Reuters

Record for White Fern

White Fern Jess Watkin hit 158 while she and Natalie Dodd put on a record opening stand of 216 in Central Districts' one-day game against Wellington in the capital.

The game was eventually rained off but defending champions Central remain top of the standings.

Watkin's innings was the second highest individual score in the Central Hinds' 40-year history.

Northern are second in the standings after beating Otago by one wicket, while Auckland are third after beating Canterbury by three wickets.

Aussie cricketers on top

Australia have edged towards a dominant victory and a series whitewash after leaving Pakistan wobbling at 39 for three in their second innings on day three, still 248 runs short of making the hosts bat again in the second cricket Test.

Opener Shan Masood was 14 not out, with Asad Shafiq on eight when rain brought stumps early in the day-night Test at a floodlit Adelaide Oval.

After bowling Pakistan out for 302 before dinner, Australia enforced the follow-on and Josh Hazlewood duly rewarded skipper Tim Paine with two early wickets, with Mitchell Starc chipping in one.

Having thrashed Pakistan by an innings and five runs in the Brisbane opener, Australia appear well set to sweep the series 2-0 unless weather intervenes.

Anchored by a magnificent 335 by David Warner, the home side declared their first innings closed at a mammoth 589 for three on day two.

- Reuters

Watford sack manager

English Premier League footbal club Watford have sacked manager Quique Sanchez Flores less than three months into his reign following a poor run of results in which the club won only one of their 10 league matches with the Spaniard in charge.

Flores, who was reappointed in September for a second spell in charge, is the second manager to be sacked by the club this season after they let go of Javi Gracia four games into the campaign.

The club have not announced a replacement but British media reported that former Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton was a candidate.

Flores was previously in charge of the club during the 2015-16 season, after which he was surprisingly sacked. He took over from Gracia after his fellow Spaniard won only one point in the first four matches of the season.

Under Flores, Watford's solitary league win came against promoted Norwich City last month while they beat Championship side Swansea City in the League Cup before being eliminated in the fourth round by Everton.

In the league, he oversaw five defeats - including an 8-0 humbling by champions Manchester City - and his last game in charge was Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Southampton where they let their lead slip in the final 12 minutes.

- Reuters