25 Jun 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

5:39 am on 25 June 2021

Latest - The away goals rule in European club football is to be abolished from the start of next season.

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Photo: Photosport

The rule, used since 1965, decided drawn two-legged games by favouring the team that scored the most away goals.

All ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg will instead go to extra time and potentially penalties.

Uefa's club competitions committee made the proposal in May and it has now been approved by the body's executive committee.

It means games in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women's Champions League will no longer use the rule.

Uefa says there is now a smaller gap between the number of home and away wins as well as home and away goals scored in European competitions compared to when the rule was introduced, reducing home advantage.


Rams score crucial win

The Canterbury Rams remain in the hunt for the men's National Basketball League play-offs after beating the Franklin Bulls 87-81.

The win takes the Rams to a 7-6 record and just a win outside the top four, while the Bulls have slipped to a 4-10 record and won't be heading to Finals weekend in Porirua.

Deshon Taylor top scored for the Rams with 24 points.

Southland, Hawke's Bay, Saints and Otago currently hold the top four spots.

Roglic works on his TT form

Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic said he has worked hard on the time trial bike in preparation for the Tour de France after last year losing the race on the penultimate day's TT stage.

Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma.


The Jumbo-Visma rider looked poised to win the Tour last year as he went into the decisive stage with a 57-second lead, only to have compatriot Tadej Pogacar seize the yellow jersey.

The sight of Roglic cracking on the final climb of the 36.2km time trial was the abiding memory of a thrilling finale, and with two time trials in this year's race he is determined that history will not repeat itself.

"We've checked out both time trials and how decisive they'll be, we'll see at the end of the Tour. We saw last year they could be really crucial and big differences can happen," Roglic said.

"With this in mind, we tried to train with the TT bike and we put a lot of work in. We'll see how we'll manage it.

The Jumbo-Visma team were dominant last year in the Tour build-up but less so this time, with Ineos Grenadiers looking back to their best after winning the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de Suisse. But Roglic remains convinced his team will give him every chance to win the general classification.

There are two New Zealanders in this year's Tour, Tom Scully and Dion Smith.


Capacity for Silverstone

Silverstone will be allowed a capacity crowd for the July 18 British Formula One Grand Prix, a home race for Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton wins the 2019 British F1 grand prix at Silverstone.


The last pre-pandemic race held at the circuit with spectators in 2019 saw a three-day attendance of 351,000 and 141,000 on race Sunday.

The circuit hosted two races last year, both without a crowd, but this year's attendance is set to be the biggest of any sporting event in Britain since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March last year.

The grand prix will be the first to try out a new format, with qualifying on Friday and then a sprint race on Saturday to determine the grid for Sunday's race.

Points will also be awarded to the top three finishers on Saturday.

Silverstone, also a home GP for the majority of teams, had the biggest crowd of any race in 2019.


Thiem out of Wimbledon

World number five Dominic Thiem has pulled out of Wimbledon due to a right wrist injury that will keep him out of action for several weeks.

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 29: Dominic Thiem of Austria returns the ball during the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open on January 29 2020, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Icon Sportswire

Thiem was forced to retire from his opening match at the Mallorca Open this week - the Austrian's first grasscourt event since a first-round defeat at Wimbledon two years ago.

Thiem said on Instagram that tests found a "detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist" an injury that will not allow him to compete on the circuit for several weeks.

He will wear a splint for five weeks before beginning his rehabilitation to regain mobility as well as muscle strength.

Thiem had also pulled out of next month's Tokyo Olympics to concentrate on Wimbledon and defending his U.S. Open Grand Slam title in New York later this year.


Murray to defend Olympic title

Twice Olympic champion Andy Murray has been named in Britain's tennis team for next month's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Andy Murray wins Olympic gold 2016.

Photo: photosport

Murray, 34, will compete in the men's singles alongside Dan Evans and team up with Joe Salisbury in the doubles.

Murray was beaten in straight sets by Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun at the Beijing Games in 2008. He claimed his first Olympic gold medal in 2012 in London by beating Roger Federer, weeks after losing to the Swiss in the Wimbledon final.

Murray followed that up by beating Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro to win gold at the Olympics in Rio in 2016, but his career has been plagued by injuries over the last three years.

The Scot is ranked 119 in the world and has received a wildcard for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday.