19 Jun 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

1:17 pm on 19 June 2020

Latest - New Zealand cricketer Rachel Priest has announced her retirement from the international game and has signed to play for Tasmania in Australia's Women's National Cricket League.

Sophie Devine and Rachel Priest of New Zealand at the 2020 T20 World Cup.

Rachel Priest and Sophie Devine Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Priest wasn't offered a New Zealand central contract earlier this month.

The Central Districts wicketkeeper played 87 ODI's and 75 T20 internationals for the White Ferns.

The 35 year old says she's honoured to have been asked to add some experience to the Tasmanian Tigers squad.

-Cricket Tasmania

Cyclists pick up sponsor

A boost for two New Zealand cyclists with their Swiss team picking up a sponsor for the next four years.

Niamh Fisher-Black and Mikayla Harvey were both left in limbo when Team Bigla-Katusha lost major sponsors when the world went into Covid-19 lockdown.

However the team has announced that French fashion house Paule Ka will become their major sponsors until the end of 2024.

Fisher-Black returned to her training base last week with Harvey due to return later this month.

Races are scheduled to return next month.

-Bigla Katusha

Lee makes solid start

New Zealand golfer Danny Lee is tied for 28th after the first round of the latest US PGA golf tournament in the United States.

Lee, who missed the cut at the first event back last week, fired an opening round three under par 68.

He's four shots behind co-leaders Ian Poulter of England and American Mark Hubbard.


Swing Low may go

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is conducting a review into the singing of 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' by England fans as many are unaware of the song's links with American slavery, England rugby's governing body said.

Fans and supporters.
New Zealand All Blacks v England semifinal.

Photo: Photosport

The anthem, believed to have been written by a slave in the mid-19th century, became a mainstay with England fans in the 1980s, with its lyrics displayed all around Twickenham Stadium.

However, with widespread protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month, the RFU said it wanted to educate supporters about the song's origins.

England international Maro Itoje said earlier this week that the song had a complicated background.

"Don't get me wrong. I don't think anyone at Twickenham is singing it with malicious intent," he told The Daily Mail. "But the background of that song is complicated."


Brisbane go down again

The Brisbane Broncos have fallen to a fourth straight loss since the NRL season resumed - trounced 27-6 by the Knights in Gosford.

Newcastle are up to second on the ladder behind the Eels, with Brisbane 12th.

The Broncos are just below the Warriors, who are seeking their third win of the season tonight against the Rabbitohs in Sydney.

Both the Broncos and Warriors have two wins from five games.

NFL coaches want season delayed

Some NFL coaches want the 2020 regular season delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN's Ed Werder reported.

Of the three unnamed NFL head coaches Werder queried, one suggested a delay to the start of the season and another completely doubted the league could play in the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The third coach, per Werder, said the situation was "scary."

The coaches were reached by Werder after Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott tested positive for the coronavirus.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said NFL teams and players must accept that some level of risk exists due to the virus, sharing the sentiment of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.


Hikurangi are the New Zealand Tennis Premier League champions after beating Horokoau in the final

Rubin Statham has completed an unbeaten run in singles in the New Zealand Tennis Premier League to clinch the title for Hikurangi over Horokoau.

The 33-year-old New Zealand number one has won his eighth straight match 6-3 6-3 in 1 hour 14 over Alex Klintcharov to put his team 2-0 up.

Falck and Dylan Heap gained some consolation with a 7-6 6-1 win over Oliver Statham and Daniel Rowe in the doubles rubber for a 2-1 win for Hikurangi.

Games went with serve until the fifth game of the first set when Statham broke the 23-year-old Klintcharov to love and he never looked back.

Statham had earlier beaten Klintcharov 6-4 7-5 in the first week of competition.

Djokovic says important all players free to travel to U.S. Open

World number one Novak Djokovic says he is excited by the prospect of playing at the U.S. Open but says it would only be fair if every player eligible is able to compete.

The Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) announced this week that the U.S. Open would go ahead at the end of August without fans and with strict health protocols in place.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still peaking in some regions of the world, Djokovic is concerned that many players will not be able to travel even if they wanted to.

Several leading players have voiced their concerns about the U.S. Open taking place, especially as the U.S. has the most deaths from COVID-19 in the world.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal said he would be unlikely to travel there in the current circumstances while women's world number two Simona Halep has also indicated she will not go.


Trump backs ex-QB activist Kaepernick returning to NFL

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be in favor of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick returning to the field.

Kaepernick says no NFL teams have signed him since he left the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season because he knelt during the pre-game playing of the national anthem to protest racial injustice.