21 Jan 2020

Today's Sports News: What you need to know

8:01 am on 21 January 2020

Latest - Repeat offenders identified as being 'high risk' of making dangerous tackles will not be sanctioned off the field while Super Rugby trials a new law this season.

Blues winger Rieko Ioane is tackled high by Sunwolves Jamie Henry in a Super Rugby match last season.

Blues winger Rieko Ioane is tackled high by Sunwolves Jamie Henry in a Super Rugby match last season. Photo: Photosport

World Rugby said last week that it would trial a suite of law amendments in several competitions this year in an effort to improve player safety.

The High Tackle Warning, which was trialled at the Under-20 World Championship last year, would be implemented in Super Rugby, which starts on Jan. 31.

Under the trial at the under-20 tournament, if a player received two warnings for high tackles they would be automatically banned for one match.

SANZAAR, however, said the trial would be used only for educational purposes this year, with repeat offenders given time to change their tackle technique.

SANZAAR will review every game to identify poor tackle technique and liaise with players and their coaches to try to change their behaviours.

Djokovic made to work at Aussie Open

Defending champion Novak Djokovic needed four sets to beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff in his first round match at the Australian Tennis Open.

HoweverRoger Federer showed no sign of rust despite having played no warm-up tournaments and the top seeds all advanced on day one in Melbourne.

Joy of Novak Djokovic


World number one Ash Barty made a nervous start to her bid to end her country's long wait for a homegrown Australian Open champion before advancing while Serena Williams and defending women's champion champion Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round.

American 15-year-old Coco Gauff dumped compatriot and seven time grand slam winner Venus Williams out in straight sets.

Andrews battle through pain

Freeskier Ruby Andrews has battled through a heel injury to finish fifth in the halfpipe at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The Queenstown athlete arrived at Leysin Mountain on crutches after suffering the injury just two days ago during training.

Andrews was unsure whether she'd be able to compete but managed to put a run together during the qualification round.

Dosed up on painkillers the 15-year-old put together another two runs for a best score of 66.00, to claim fifth.

What next for Conor McGregor?

Conor McGregor's spectacular 40-second demolition of Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone in UFC 246's main event meant the question of who next for the Irishman came even earlier than expected.

Conor McGregor during the weigh-in.


Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman and even Khabib Nurmagomedov were all quick to raise their hands as potential next opponents shortly after McGregor ended a period of more than three years without a win.

Yet McGregor was uncharacteristically vague when plotting the next step in his 2020 rehabilitation season.

With many of his suitors sitting ringside, fans and media expected the Dubliner to pick a fight, as he so often has done in the past.

Instead he was non-committal on who he would face next, offering only: "Any of them can get it."

Umaga called up to England

Rookie England first-five Jacob Umaga could soon find himself playing against his uncle's former team, the All Blacks.

Jacob Umaga playing for Auckland a couple of years ago.

Jacob Umaga playing for Auckland a couple of years ago. Photo: Photosport

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has picked eight uncapped players, including Umaga, the nephew of former All Black captain Tana Umaga, in his 34-man squad for the Six Nations.

Seven players from crisis-hit English and European champions Saracens are included but Jones says his only interest in the salary-cap scandal was how they performed for England.

England's most successful club have formed the backbone of Jones's England team since he arrived over four years ago but they are now in turmoil, with many players' futures uncertain, after they were handed an automatic end-of-season relegation from the Premiership for another breach of the salary cap rules.

Jones, a former coaching consultant with the London club, said that his job was simply to get the all the players to focus on England's opening game, away to France early next month.