Latest - There's been a thawing of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and the Rugby Players Association with a meeting today in Wellington to discuss an alternative to the proposed $387 million Silver Lake deal.
Earlier this month the Players Association and investment company Forsyth Barr made public an alternative to the proposed $387 million deal NZR is pursuing with US private equity firm Silver Lake.
The NZR wants to sell a 12.5 percent stake in its commercial rights to provide a cash injection to the game here.
But the Forsyth Barr proposal values NZR's commercial assets at up to 23 percent higher and claims its plan to sell a 5 percent stake could raise up to $190 million and carries less risk.
Players Association head Rob Nichol said it was a "positive meeting" and it provided them with an opportunity to explain their proposal in greater depth.
"It was just a useful meeting...(the meeting) was an opportunity to go into the more technical aspects sitting behind the NZ Inc proposal. From a Players Association perspective we certainly found it useful and hopefully New Zealand Rugby and their advisors did too," said Nichol
Nichol said the Players Association didn't seek to clarify questions they have around the Silver Lake deal as that wasn't the purpose of the meeting.
He said NZR has now gone away to further discuss the Forsyth Barr proposal and "we will all now reflect on the meeting and continue coversations in the days and weeks ahead."
Foakes out of Black Caps series
England wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes has been ruled out of next month's two-test series against New Zealand after tearing his left hamstring.
Foakes was set to play in what would have been his first home series before sustaining the injury when he slipped in the dressing room after Surrey's County Championship game against Middlesex.
He is expected to be out for at least three months.
James Bracey is now due to make his debut behind the stumps at Lord's, with England coach Chris Silverwood calling up Kent's uncapped Sam Billings as Foakes's replacement.
Nottinghamshire's top-order batsman Haseeb Hameed has also received a call-up.
England's regular keepers Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow are both being rested following their involvement in the Indian Premier League.
The first New Zealand test starts on June 2 and the second at Edgbaston on June 10.
Foakes' injury may also rule him out of the start of the five-test series against India that begins on Aug. 4.
Bernal loses time
Giro d'Italia leader Egan Bernal has lost some time to the chasing pack as he showed his first sign of weakness on the 17th stage.
Ireland's Dan Martin completed a hat-trick of grand tour victories when he prevailed in the 193km mountain ride from Canazei to Sega di Ala with Colombian Bernal losing 53 seconds.
Overall, Maglia Rosa holder Bernal, who entered the race still wondering if the back problems that hampered his 2020 season were behind him, leads Italian Damiano Caruso by 2:21 while Simon Yates climbs up to third, 3:23 behind the 2019 Tour de France champion.
There are four stages remaining.
New Zealand's George Bennett finished 10th on the stage and is now 12th overall, 19 minutes from the leader.
Tonight's 18th stage is a 231km ride from Rovereto to Stradella finishing with a number of climbs.
Zlatan fined for owning betting company
European football's ruling body UEFA has fined AC Milan's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic $84,000 for breaking the rules by having a financial interest in a betting company.
Milan were also warned and fined $42,000 for violating the same article of UEFA's disciplinary regulations.
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported in April that Ibrahimovic, 39, is a part-owner of the Malta-based betting company Bethard who he teamed up with in 2018.
FIFA's Code of Ethics state a player cannot have interests in entities or companies that "promote, broker, arrange or conduct betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions connected with football matches and competitions".
Ibrahimovic last month signed a one-year contract extension with Milan.
Real, Barca and Juve stay strong on Super League
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus released a joint statement saying they would not bow down to pressure from European football's governing body UEFA to put an end to their attempts to launch a breakaway Super League.
The clubs are the only three of the original 12 to have not distanced themselves from the project following fierce criticism from fans, football governing bodies and even governments.
UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the three clubs yesterday but the teams said they rejected the "insistent coercion" the body has maintained while the matter is still in court.
A Madrid court has asked the European Court of Justice to establish if FIFA and UEFA are breaching EU competition law by preventing clubs from creating a breakaway European Super League.
The Super League was launched with 12 clubs as founding members but Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid have since backed out and reached a deal with UEFA.