Latest - The former All Black flanker Adam Thomson will make his debut for the Chiefs in their match against the Sunwolves in Tokyo this weekend.
Thomson who was called into the Chiefs squad as injury cover during the pre-season will start at blindside flanker.
The 37 year old Thomson last super rugby match was for the Melbourne Rebels in 2016 having previously spent eight years with the Highlanders.
Two years ago while playing in Japan Thomson suffered from lumbar discitis, a painful infection of the spine and spent 57 days in hospital.
He retuned to rugby with the Utah Warriors in Major League Rugby in the United States last year before playing club rugby in Auckland and then provincial rugby with Otago.
White Ferns match abandoned
The White Ferns final T20 cricket match against South Africa in Dunedin has been abandoned due to wet weather.
New Zealand already had an unassaible 3-1 series lead.
The side leaves tomorrow for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Burling and Tuke on top again
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have gone top of the standings heading into the second half of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world sailing championships in Geelong.
The five-time world champions banked another two race wins and a third to hold a narrow lead as the top boats move into three days of gold fleet racing.
Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn are also well placed in 10th overall, with Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie just behind in 11th.
The Nacra 17 fleet of 34 boats is racing as only one fleet all week and some teams are already starting to stack up some bigger numbers.
Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson are still the top New Zealand boat in seventh overall but lost a little ground on the leaders, Great Britain's John Gimson and Anna Burnet, while Liv Mackay and Jason Saunders remained in ninth. Gemma Jones and Josh Porebski had a much better day than their first and climbed up to 14th overall and with it all still to play for.
Meanwhile across Port Phillip Bay the Lasers endured a late finish at their world championships with multiple general recalls and reset courses. The top three New Zealand sailors all had decent days to keep themselves in the hunt, with Tom Saunders ninth, Sam Meech 14th and George Gautrey 28th.
Ngidi bowls Proteas to T20 win.
The South African seamer Lungi Ngidi bowled a remarkable last over to give the home side a one run victory over England in the first T20 international in East London.
England needed seven from their final seven balls with five wickets remaining, but collapsed in the face of Ngidi's off-cutters on a slow wicket to add five runs for the loss of four wickets.
South Africa had posted 177 for eight in their 20 overs, a record score in East London, but England were cruising when Jason Roy blasted 70 from 38 balls and captain Eoin Morgan 52 from 34.
The visitors lost their nerve at the finish, though, in what will be a tough lesson at the start of the build-up to the Twenty20 World Cup to be played in Australia in October.
South Africa's score of 177 for eight in their 20 overs was boosted by Temba Bavuma's 43 from 27 balls, his runs coming in an unfamiliar opening position.
Ferns to play Japan
The Football Ferns will travel to host country Japan as they finalise their Olympic Games preparation.
The women's national teams of Japan and New Zealand will meet in a friendly match on 11 April at Yurtec Stadium, Sendai during the FIFA international window.
The squad will have three days in camp together, including a behind-closed-doors training match on 9 April against opposition still to be confirmed.
Ranked tenth in the world and featuring star players such as Mana Iwabuchi and Yuika Sugasawa, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup champions Japan offer a hit out against world-class opposition ahead of the Olympic tournament in July.
The tour is the latest to be added in a busy period of activity for the Football Ferns with the side playing 24 times between November of 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics.
Young returns to international play
Will Young has pushed his injury-shortened 2019 programme further into the background after being named in the New Zealand XI to play India in a three-day match at Seddon Park, starting tomorrow.
The Central Stags batsman was called into the Black Caps squad for the eventually-abandoned third Test at Christchurch last summer and soon after injured his shoulder in a training accident, the surgery from which necessitated him taking the best part of eight months out of the game.
However, Young will further develop his comeback campaign tomorrow, having already enjoyed an outing for the Stags, and two first-class games for New Zealand A against India A - during which time he scored a half-century and spent an encouraging amount of time at the crease.
Joining Young will be three other emerging batsmen: Finn Allen, Rachin Ravindra and Henry Cooper, all of whom have been amongst the runs this season in various competitions.
Players from the Auckland Aces, Canterbury, and Otago Volts Ford Trophy squads were not considered for selection as they are involved in the Ford Trophy Elimination Final and Final, and both matches cut across the NZ XI match. Allen was not included in the Aces Ford Trophy side for this weekend.
Given the three-dayer is considered a warm-up match for India and not an official first-class fixture, both teams will have the option of playing more than 11 players.
NZ XI: Daryl Mitchell (Northern Knights) (c); Finn Allen (Auckland Aces); Tom Bruce (Central Stags); Dane Cleaver (Central Stags); Henry Cooper (Northern Knights); Scott Kuggeleijn (Northern Knights); James Neesham (Wellington Firebirds); Rachin Ravindra (Wellington Firebirds); Tim Seifert (Northern Knights); Ish Sodhi (Northern Knights); Blair Tickner (Central Stags); Will Young (Central Stags). 13th men: Jake Gibson (Northern Knights, Friday), and Scott Johnston (Northern Knights, Saturday and Sunday).
RFU to cut funding to second tier rugby
The Rugby Football Union says it is cutting its funding of clubs in the Championship, the second tier of English rugby union, by almost half next season.
The RFU said its contribution towards the 12 Championship clubs next season will be around $6.9 million, or $578,000 per club, down from $12.7 million pounds during the 2016-20 cycle.
Bill Sweeney, the RFU chief executive, said the Championship clubs had failed to hit objectives set out after funding was increased for the last cycle, and the decision had been made as part of a wider review of resource allocation.
He said the move was not a step towards ring-fencing the Premiership: "The gateway is still open for clubs to get into the Premiership if they have the necessary financial resources and meet the minimum standards required.
English and European champions Saracens will play next season in the Championship after being relegated from the top flight for breaching salary cap rules.
Europe spends large on footballers
Football clubs in Europe's top five member associations -- England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France -- accounted for 71.8% of fees spent globally during the 2020 January transfer window, world governing body FIFA said.
A record 170 countries had the window open last month, with a total of 4,108 international transfers being completed.
Although clubs from the 'Big Five' accounted for only 14.1% of the total number of transfers, the fees that exchanged hands were 71.8% of the global spend.
Clubs in England spent $461 million in transfers -- the highest in the world -- followed by Germany ($318 million) and Italy ($195 million). The top flight leagues were responsible for 93.1% of the spending on international transfers.
In all, the Big Five spent $1.275 billion in January -- second only to the 2018 January window when they spent $1.56 billion in total.
Finalists for women footballers of the year announced
Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, key members of the United States' World Cup-winning side, were named among the five nominees for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award.
The American duo were joined by England defender Lucy Bronze, Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema and Australia's Sam Kerr.
Rapinoe collected the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from the 2019 World Cup as the joint-top scorer and best player at the tournament in France.
The midfielder, who won the Ballon d'Or award as the world's top female player in December, is also a prominent supporter of LGBT rights and equal pay having been part of the team that sued U.S. soccer last year over gender discrimination.