Cheika up for Wallabies challenge

Rupert Guinness 8:56 AM   The decision of Michael Cheika to accept the Wallabies coaching job was motivated by the chance to force a change for the better rather than "throw eggs" at the game in the wake of events that led to Ewen McKenzie's resignation.

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Netball

Diamonds finish unbeaten with England win

Madi Robinson.

Jon Tuxworth 9:36 PM   Clare McMeniman became the 163rd woman to play for the Australian Diamonds in a 54-47  win over England in Canberra on Wednesday, but few have overcome more personal grief to get there. 

Johnson remains Australia's danger man 

Mitchell Johnson of Australia prepares to bowl during Day One of the First Test between Pakistan and Australia at Dubai International Stadium.

Andrew Wu 5:36 AM   Mitchell Johnson was shaping as Australia's most dangerous weapon after being locked in a grim battle of attrition on Wednesday.

Cricket

Meteors coach backs Dick to Star

Rhiannon Dick in action during the game against the West Indies at Manuka oval

David Polkinghorne 6:06 PM   Ellyse Perry's Cricket Australia XI hold off West Indies.

Union

Fardy backs Wallabies to bounce back

Scott Fardy

Chris Dutton 10:00 PM   Injured Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy will use the Super Rugby season to launch his bid for World Cup selection, admitting Australian rugby faces "a pretty strange time".

Special K's ready for Australian Open

Relaxed: Nick Kyrgios (left) and Thanasi Kokkinakis hold a tennis clinic with Hartwell Primary School students.

Timna Jacks 7:06 PM   Months after beating Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios is still nursing the bone stress injury that cut short his last season.

Bucks bullish new Magpies will fly

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley with new recruits Travis Varcoe, Levi Greenwood and Jack Crisp.

Michael Gleeson 9:43 PM   Any external pessimism about Collingwood after the exits of Beams and Lumumba is misplaced, says Nathan Buckley.

ACT Sport

Football

Referee red-carded over doubtful sending off

Referee Ben Wilson has been stood down after a questionable performance on Tuesday night in the FFA Cup.

David Polkinghorne 8:02 PM   Canberra referee Ben Williams has been stood down from officiating A-League games this weekend.

Golf

Millar to match wits with major winners in Perth

Matthew Millar is relishing a chance to take on some of the world's best in Australia's richest golf event.

Jon Tuxworth 6:46 PM   He might be a part-timer about to tee off in Australia's richest event, but Canberra golfer Matt Millar believes he can compete against a top-class field in the Perth International starting on Thursday. 

MORE ACT SPORT NEWS

Rugby Heaven

England picks serving Fijian soldier

Bath flyer Semesa Rokoduguni is set to make his England debut.

Mitch Phillips 9:10 AM   English rugby loves to trumpet its links with the military, so the RFU's marketing men will be beside themselves with the news that Semesa Rokoduguni, a serving soldier, has been called up to the squad for the four November internationals.

Former boss backs Cheika to shine

New Wallabies coach Michael Cheika,

Liam Fitzgibbon 8:48 AM   The man who gave Michael Cheika one of his biggest coaching breaks is sure the newly-appointed Wallabies mentor has what it takes to succeed at international level.

ACT BRUMBIES NEWS

League HQ

War of the word: rugby is the name of the game

Steve Mascord dinkus Dinkus

Steve Mascord 10:24 AM   Since Jarryd Hayne's departure, many Australian rugby league fans have shown exasperation that the Parramatta fullback has been referred to in the United States as "a rugby star".

Star players could stay after Manly buyout

Scott Penn is set to become Manly's new chairman.

Adrian Proszenko 9:39 AM   The battle for control of Manly has been won after the Penn faction bought out Quantum in a move that will have huge ramifications on and off the field.

CANBERRA RAIDERS NEWS

Soccer

Balotelli to be punished for half-time shirt swap

Mario Balotelli

9:45 AM   Fuming Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will take action against Mario Balotelli after he swapped shirts with Real Madrid's Pepe at halftime of Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League defeat against the holders at Anfield.

Real too strong for Liverpool

Real Madrid players celebrating.

8:50 AM   Cristiano Ronaldo's 70th Champions League goal and a double from Karim Benzema guided Real Madrid to a 3-0 win over Liverpool as the reigning champions notched a third straight victory in Group B.

Cricket

Spin twins to player crucial role: Johnson

Dangerous: Nathan Lyon caused trouble with the second new ball.

Andrew Wu 8:31 AM   Australia's ploy to play two spinners failed to reap a wicket on day one but Nathan Lyon and Stephen O'Keefe are set to play key roles in the first Test on Thursday.

Johnson Australia's danger man in war of attrition

Mitchell Johnson of Australia prepares to bowl during Day One of the First Test between Pakistan and Australia at Dubai International Stadium.

Andrew Wu 5:36 AM   Pakistan batting line-up were intent on keeping the Aussies in the desert heat for as long as possible.

Racing

Handicapper not rattled as another sheikh Cup hope rolls on

Craig Williams riding Caravan Rolls On.

Peter Hanlon 9:37 PM   A horse owned by Sheikh Fahad winning a Geelong Cup with Craig Williams in the saddle is an ominous pointer to bigger things.

King of the kids, The Cleaner sizzles in final workout

The Cleaner wins at Moonee Valley in June.

Patrick Bartley 9:17 PM   The Cleaner has breathed life into the quest to keep the Cox Plate in Australia.

Netball: Australian Diamonds vs England

The Australian Diamonds took on England at the AIS Arena for the International Test Series.

Cricket Australia XI v West Indies

The Cricket Australia Women's XI take on the West Indies at Manuka Oval.

Siddle: Australia fit and ready for Test

Peter Siddle insists Australia are fighting fit and ready for their first Test with Pakistan in Dubai.

Goalfest in European Champions League

Chelsea and Bayern Munich scored big wins while Manchester City suffered in a stunning comeback by CSKA Moscow.

Indian footballer dies after goal celebration

Bethlehem Vengthlang FC midfielder Peter Biaksangzuala has died from severe spinal cord damage.

Haka response sparks controversy

Tempers flare between the Junior Kangaroos and Junior Kiwis as the two sides come close to fighting during a pre-game haka.

Canberra United v Adelaide United

Canberra United failed to take advantage of an early Michelle Heyman goal, losing 2-3 to Adelaide United at McKellar.

Canberra Capitals v Sydney Flames

The Canberra Capitals went down the Sydney Flames at the AIS Arena on Saturday night.

ASADA issues new show-cause notices

The Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority has issued amended show-cause notices to 34 current and former Essendon players.

The life and times of Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne has enjoyed an illustrious career since bursting onto the scene with Parramatta in 2006.