2 Apr 2024

April sports highlights: What's coming up

10:13 pm on 2 April 2024
April sport

April is shaping up as a big month for sport. Photo: Photosport

Super Rugby Pacific rolls on, the Warriors will be looking to climb the NRL ladder and netball begins in earnest - April is another big month for sport.

Here's what's on the calendar for the month ahead.


Hong Kong Sevens

5-7 April

New Zealand Black Ferns Sevens Stacey Waaka smiles as she comes in for a try in Hong Kong, 2023

Stacey Waaka smiles as she comes in for a try in Hong Kong in 2023. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens sides head back up to the sport's most iconic venue this weekend.

While the shortened form of the game has lost a fair bit of lustre recently, this is an Olympic year and both sides need a tune-up before going for gold in Paris.

The women have Stacey Waaka back from injury to bolster their squad, while Dylan Collier makes a comeback after missing the past two events for the men.


Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners

7.30pm 6 April

Ben Old of the Phoenix

Ben Old of the Phoenix. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

What's in the water in Wellington? Both the rugby and football teams are top of the table, with the Phoenix closing in on their best season finish ever.

This weekend sees them head away to second-placed Central Coast, before returning home the following week for another big clash with Melbourne Victory.

The 'Nix are currently six points clear with four regular season matches to go.

Formula One

Japanese Grand Prix

5pm Sunday 7 April

AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson at the Japan Grand Prix 2023

AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson at the Japan Grand Prix 2023. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Liam Lawson is in the news, but not for the reasons that Red Bull team want to be reading.

Currently a reserve, Lawson has made his frustrations clear at not getting a drive in either RB team, so while it is unlikely he will be suiting up for anyone else this weekend at Suzuka, that may well change in the near future.

Meanwhile, season leader Max Verstappen will be looking to make up for a DNF at the Melbourne Grand Prix after his car almost blew up.

The Masters

11-14 April

Ryan FOX (NZL) during Wednesday practice and Par 3 Tournament US Masters 2023,Augusta National Golf Club,Georgia,USA.

Credit: Matthew Harris / Golf Picture Agency

Ryan Fox will be competing in his second US Masters. Photo: MATTHEW HARRIS

New Zealand's own Ryan Fox heads to Augusta National to compete in his second US Masters tournament.

Last year he finished tied for 26th, and is coming off an excellent 2023 season in which he won the BMW PGA Championship.

Fox will be up against the current power names in golf like Scotty Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and John Rahm.


ANZ Premiership

From 13 April

Pulse goal shoot Amelia Walmsley.

Pulse goal shoot Amelia Walmsley. Photo: Photosport

Netball finds itself in an interesting spot right now, with the domestic game admitting it is under financial pressure and needing to stay relevant due to the broadening of women's sporting options.

The ANZ Premiership opens on Saturday 13 April when Magic host the defending champion Mystics in Hamilton, while the Stars go up against the Pulse the following day.

Super Rugby Pacific

Hurricanes v Chiefs

7.05pm 13 April

Caleb Delany. Highlanders v Hurricanes, Round 6 of the Super Rugby Pacific at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand on Saturday 30 March 2024. Photo credit: Michael Thomas / www.photosport.nz

Caleb Delany leaps during the Hurricanes v Highlanders match in Dunedin. Photo: Michael Thomas / www.photosport.nz

This month sees New Zealand derby matches take a bit of a back seat but there is one big one when the Chiefs head to Wellington.

The Canes have been exceptional so far this year, fully deserving of their top of the table status, but have suffered an injury blow with Cam Roigard looking like he will be missing the rest of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have had a few weaknesses exposed so far this year, so this shapes up as being a massive challenge.

English Premier League

Nottingham Forest v Everton

12.30am 22 April

Chris Wood.

Chris Wood of Nottingham Forest. Photo: Photosport

Every game is crucial for Chris Wood's Forest, as they look to lift themselves out of the relegation zone before the season's conclusion in May.

They have Fulham, Spurs and Wolves before a big one against fellow strugglers Everton.

Wood may well play a big part in what might be another great escape - he's made a bit of a habit of playing for sides in this position in recent years.


Warriors v Titans

4pm 25 April

The Warriors celebrate Luke Metcalf's try against the Raiders at Apollo Projects Stadium in Christchurch.

The Warriors celebrate Luke Metcalf's try against the Raiders at Apollo Projects Stadium in Christchurch. Photo: Photosport

The NRL's Anzac Round game returns to New Zealand for the first time in almost a decade, which will be played in front what will surely be another Mt Smart sell-out.

However, the day's events may shine a bit of light on rugby league's rather contradictory modern attitude to World War I - quite the opposite of what it was at the time when it allied itself tightly to trade unions and socialist movements to discourage enlistment, meaning its competition continued throughout the conflict.

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