6 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

5:30 pm on 6 October 2020

Latest - Hurricanes second-five Ngani Laumape has joined the All Blacks' Rugby Championship squad as replacement for the injured Braydon Ennor.

Ngani Laumape

Ngani Laumape Photo: Photosport

Laumape wasn't named in the initial squad last month after breaking his arm in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

But he's made a faster than expected recovery and is out of his cast.

Ennor ruptured the ACL in his right knee during the North-South rugby match and will be sidelined for up to nine months.

Hurricanes centre Peter Umaga-Jensen has also joined the All Blacks squad as cover.

The All Blacks have assembled in Wellington ahead of Sunday's first Bledisloe Cup test.

ASB buys naming rights to Eden Park...for a week

The naming rights for Eden Park in Auckland will be gifted to a business for the Bledisloe Cup test next week.

General view of Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.  2020.


ASB Bank has secured the weeklong naming rights but will pass the honour on to help a New Zealand business in need.

Eden Park has a 117-year sporting history hosting memorable cricket, rugby, rugby league and football showdowns.

It has never had a commercial naming partner.

The new temporary naming rights partner for Eden Park will be revealed early next week.

Pacific rugby looking to Australia for help

New Zealand Rugby's decision to delay a Pacific islands entry into Super Rugby Aotearoa next year was just the latest in a history of the Pasifika nations being "shafted", the head of the Pacific Rugby Players union has said.

Former Tonga hooker Aleki Lutui is a board member of Pacific Rugby Players Welfare.

Former Tonga hooker Aleki Lutui is a board member of Pacific Rugby Players Welfare. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

NZR said last week that despite their hopes to include a Pasifika team there were concerns about player depth and financial viability from syndicates that had expressed interest in joining the competition next year.

"I think our default is that New Zealand Rugby is the Pacific's kindest neighbours," PRP Chief Executive Aayden Clarke said.

"But if you unpack it a little bit and look at the history of the decisions made, quite possibly not.

"If you look at the facts, they (Pacific nations) have been shafted by New Zealand Rugby every time."

Clarke added that it might now be more beneficial for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to look to Australia, with there being a seemingly greater willingness from Rugby Australia to accommodate them.

- Reuters

Back to the future for All Whites

Darren Bazeley's returning to New Zealand to rejoin the All Whites' coaching staff.

Darren Bazeley during New Zealand All Whites football training at North Harbour Stadium, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday 28 August 2017.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2017

New Zealand Football have appointed Bazeley as All Whites assistant coach and coach of the men's under-20 team.

Bazeley will leave his current position as assistant coach at A-League side Newcastle Jets to take up the roles with immediate effect.

The Englishman held both roles being following former coach Anthony Hudson to the United States, where they coached the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.

"I'm delighted to return to New Zealand Football and start working with the talented generation of players we have emerging. It's an exciting time for the national teams, with World Cup qualifiers and Olympics upcoming," Bazeley said.

"I enjoyed my stints as assistant Coach at both Colorado and Newcastle but now feels like the right time to come home and work with Danny (Hay) in helping to align the game here in NZ."

Gunnersaurus sacked

Arsenal supporters might have expected the departure of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi on transfer deadline day but not their beloved club mascot.

The Gunnersaurus carries an Arsenal flag.


According to British media reports, Gunnersaurus has been axed as part of cost-cutting measures at the club.

Jerry Quy, who has donned the dinosaur mascot at home matches since 1993, worked for the club and was let go as the role was deemed no longer necessary with no fans expected at the Emirates Stadium anytime soon amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gunnersaurus' departure has not gone down with Arsenal supporters on social media, with the mascot trending sixth on Twitter in the UK.

In August, Arsenal decided to layoff 55 staff members as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic but Quy, a part-timer, was not among them.

Arsenal refused to discuss personal staff information but said Gunnersaurus will "always be an important part of the club" and will return when fans are allowed back at matches.

- Reuters