8 Jan 2020

Today's sports news: what you need to know

7:03 am on 8 January 2020

Latest - Warriors legend Simon Mannering is returning to Mount Smart Stadium to begin a part-time coaching and mentoring role with the National Rugby League club.

Simon Mannering is carried from the field by team mates David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo after playing his 300th match.

Simon Mannering Photo: Photosport

33 year old Mannering finished his 14-season playing career with a club record 301 NRL appearances at the end of the 2018 campaign before taking a year off with his family in Australia.

"We couldn't be more excited about Simon's appointment," said warriors CEO Cameron George.

"He loves the club and wants to put his heart and soul into the right areas to improve our immediate and long-term future.

"We all know about his qualities as a player and person. He's exceptional and will add fantastic knowledge and value to our football department, complementing our mix of new voices, new energy and new ideas as we head into the 2020 season."

George said the ex-Warriors captain and five-times player of the year will work with players from pathways and development level through to the NRL squad.

Since retiring Mannering has worked in assistant coaching roles with the Kiwi Ferns in 2018 and the Brisbane Broncos in the WNRL last year.

Phoenix to donate to Australian Fire Relief Fund

The Wellington Phoenix will donate $2 for every ticket purchased, and $1,000 for every goal scored by the Phoenix, in this weekend's A-League match against Western Sydney Wanderers to the Australian Bush Fire Relief Fund.

Phoenix fans show their support.

Phoenix fans Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Sky Stadium will also match the Phoenix's $2 per ticket sold.

Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome said that the club stands in solidarity with its Australian colleagues.

"New Zealand and Australia stand shoulder to shoulder in times of disaster and need, and what is happening in Australia at the moment demands a response.

"The Hyundai A-League as a whole has committed to the cause and some of our players have already raised funds to support the relief efforts.

"We applaud the efforts of the entire football community and are happy we can play a small part - especially given this coincides with the visit of Western Sydney, with New South Wales being the most affected state.

"We will be making a donation on behalf of Welnix and the Board for every ticket sold and ask that season ticket holders and all fans attending make a similar contribution to the cause on game day."

There will be cash collectors at the game.

India may host Birmingham Commonwealth Games events

The 2022 Commonwealth Games could see shooting and archery staged in India several months before the main event starts in Birmingham.

The unprecedented proposal has been put forward by India, who had threatened to boycott Birmingham 2022 after shooting was excluded from the Games.

If approved, the idea would avert that risk.

BBC Sport understands the results of the competitions would count towards the official medal tally.

The change will be considered by the Commonwealth Games Federation over the coming weeks.

It could be accepted by its executive board as soon as next month, and then put to a full vote of the CGF's 71 member associations.

India has agreed to pay for the cost of hosting the two competitions - thought to be as much as $40million.

Warne to auction baggy green

Former Australia great Shane Warne will auction his prized 'baggy green' Test cap to raise funds for bushfire relief efforts as fires blaze across the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne Photo: Photosport

Hundreds of fires have scorched more than 6 million hectares (15 million acres) of bushland, killing 24 people and an estimated 500 million animals, and destroying over 1,000 homes over the last few months.

Australian sports figures and several international tennis players who arrived in the country for tournaments ahead of the Australian Open have raised funds in support of relief and recovery efforts for victims.

"Everyone is in this together and we continue to find ways to contribute and help on a daily basis," Warne, who hails from Victoria, wrote on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B69sWpwFR7H.

"This has lead me to auction off my beloved baggy green cap (350) that I wore throughout my test career ...

"I hope my baggy green can raise some significant funds to help all those people that are in desperate need."

Warne is test cricket's second-most successful bowler with 708 wickets in 145 tests -- behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800).

The baggy green is given to a test player when he makes his international debut and cricketers usually wear the same cap throughout their career. The late Don Bradman's baggy green fetched $445,000 in 2003.


Terranova leads Dakar as Alonso suffers Saudi setback

Argentinean driver Orlando Terranova led the Dakar Rally after the second stage in Saudi Arabia on Monday while double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso smashed his Toyota's suspension on a rock and dropped to 48th.

Alonso had been fourth in his Hilux pickup after 100km but the Dakar debutant lost two-and-a-half hours to repair a broken wheel on the 367km stage from Al Wajh to the desert city of Neom.

The Spaniard, with co-driver and five-times Dakar winner Marc Coma, had been 11th overnight.

Terranova, driving a Mini, finished second in the stage won by Toyota's South African Giniel De Villiers to carve out a lead of four minutes and 43 seconds over Spaniard Carlos Sainz in a Mini buggy.


Conway ton powers Firebirds to emphatic win

Devon Conway's outstanding season continued with an unbeaten century that propelled the Wellington Firebirds to an emphatic 10-wicket win over the Otago Volts in their domestic T20 cricket clash in Dunedin.

Conway made 101* off 49 balls to lead his side to victory with 21 balls to spare at the University of Otago Oval. His knock included 3 sixes and 15 fours, the last of which brought up his century and was also the winning runs.

After a lean start to the Super Smash, Conway is now the leading run-scorer in the competition with 373 runs at an average of 74.6.

The South African-born batsman qualifies to play for the Black Caps in September and an international call-up may follow soon after if his impressive run of form continues.

The win moves the Firebirds to 24 points, six clear of the second-placed Volts with two matches to go.

They are all but assured of a top-three finish and a spot in the finals and will be looking to remain in top spot to earn hosting rights for the Grand Final on January 19.

The Volts are also still in good shape to qualify for the finals but will likely need at least one win from their remaining fixtures against the Central Stags and Canterbury Kings.

Svitolina, Kerber fall at first hurdle in Brisbane

American Danielle Collins stunned former champion Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1 in the opening round of the Brisbane International as Germany's Angelique Kerber also bowed out.

World number five Svitolina entered the match as heavy favourite to progress but looked far from her best and failed to convert any of her four break points in the opening game.

Collins took her chances with aggressive hitting to grab an early break and went on to claim five consecutive games and clinch the opening set.

Fourth seed Svitolina struggled with her first serve throughout the match and Collins targeted her soft second serves to dominate the second set.

After losing the first game, Collins powered through six straight games to seal victory in 56 minutes.

It was a significant result for Collins, who has struggled for form since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in October.

The victory was Collins's third against a top-10 opponent and will lift her confidence ahead of the Australian Open, where she reached her maiden Grand Slam semi-final last year.

Earlier, home favourite Samantha Stosur upset former world number one Kerber 7-6(5) 7-6(4) in a tight clash between former Grand Slam champions.

Djokovic, Nadal march on with convincing wins at ATP Cup

Novak Djokovic braved extreme humidity to overcome tricky opponent Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2 at the inaugural ATP Cup team event in Brisbane.

World number one Rafael Nadal was also in a punishing mood and kept his preparations for this month's Australian Open on track by dismantling Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-2 6-1 in Perth to seal the tie for Spain.

Roberto Bautista Agut had given Spain the lead after an equally one-sided 6-1 6-2 win against Franco Roncadelli in the $15 million ATP Cup, which features 24 nations competing in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney over 10 days.

The world's top players have assembled for the ATP Cup and are using the event to prepare for the year's first Grand Slam, which starts in Melbourne from Jan. 20.