JAMES POLSON: Au revoir. That's it from us at SportsDay Live for Thursday. Thanks as always for joining us and we'll be back from 8.30am tomorrow. It's a truncated blog for Friday as we'll be heading west for the first one-dayer against the West Indies from 2.30pm. Catch you then.
League. New Zealand are hoping a State of Origin style approach to international rugby league will result in Test football domination - and give them a stranglehold on the World Cup. The Kiwis shocked Ricky Stuart’s Kangaroos in Brisbane in 2008 to claim the showpiece event and the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) has hatched a plan based on Origin-style preparation camps to rule rugby league at the Test level.
The Kiwis held their inaugural Heritage Camp in Sydney last weekend, attended by 34 top-line players over two days, and NZRL general manager of high performance Tony Kemp said it was the first stage of a plan aimed at domination of the international arena by the Kiwis.
‘‘We have never been in a position to run a pre-season camp before and we have always looked at envy with the way those things were done in regard to State of Origin,’’ he said.
‘‘It gives us the opportunity to get the players together, to get them thinking and working on the things that we want to them to.
‘‘It was an opportunity to get our top 34 players together and to begin to develop them and have them develop together just like Origin does.’’
League. More shoulder surgery to repair nerve damage means Warriors hooker Nathan Friend will miss the start of the 2013 NRL season. Club doctor John Mayhew says is hopeful the 152-game veteran will be ready to play in eight to 10 weeks, leaving him in line to make his first appearance of the new campaign in April.
The Warriors begin their campaign against Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium on March 9, with their first home game at Eden Park on March 16 against the Sydney Roosters. Friend had surgery last August after dislocating his right shoulder in the round-24 match against Penrith.He visited a specialist on Thursday morning to have the injury assessed.
‘‘He’ll have a nerve graft next month as a result of damage sustained when he was injured,’’ Mayhew said.
On this day in 1998 ... Martina Hingis won the second of her three consecutive Australian Open singles crowns, defeating Conchita Martinez 6-3 6-3 in the final. The former world No.1 also won Wimbledon and the US Open in 1997 leaving the French as the only hole in her grand slam resume.
Who Are Ya? It's Shane Gould. First in with the correct answer was Dan from Camperdown. Drop us a line and we'll get your prizes to you. Dan's bounty of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk includes Inside The Wallabies by Greg Growden, Fixed - the inside track on Australia's racing industry by Matthew Benns and a Cricket Australia USB stick.
WhoAreYa? It's Shane Gould
JAMES POLSON: And, having mentioned the Buffalo Bills earlier, it's probably necessary for this one to get a run. I'm sorry.
Swimming. Shannon Rollason has resigned as head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) swimming program to take up a new role in Denmark. Rollason announced on Thursday he would leave the AIS after eight years to take up the position of head coach for the National Training Centre in Denmark. Rollason, part of Australia’s Olympic coaching staff, said it was a difficult decision and backed the AIS to continue playing a crucial role in the development of Australian swimmers.
Cricket. Australian skipper Michael Clarke says he’s fit to play in tomorrow’s one-day clash with the West Indies in Perth despite copping a blow to the ribs at training. Clarke, who has overcome an ankle injury, was struck by a rising delivery from fit-again paceman James Pattinson but says he feels fine and is looking forward to leading the team.
JAMES POLSON: Countdowngate. How could Ears McEvoy leave this one out of his countdown of the Top 10 Athletes Name-Checked in Song? The bloke could bat a bit, and besides, the tune features the lyric 'the critics could not comprehend this nonchalant phenomenon'. Who can go past that?
Football. A-League leaders Central Coast have suffered a blow with experienced attacker Adam Kwasnik forced to undergo season-ending knee surgery.29-year-old Kwasnik, who had stepped up in the absence of boom youngster Tom Rogic's move to Scottish giants Celtic, suffered the injury in the lead-up to last week’s 3-1 win over Adelaide United.
League. In the end, resigning with Gold Coast was a ‘‘no brainer’’ for NRL workhorse Ashley Harrison. But first he had to complete a much harder task - regaining the desire to play rugby league.
A super-fit Harrison, 31, did not look like a man who had contemplated retirement when he confirmed he had signed on until the end of the 2015 season on Thursday.
But the softly-spoken lock conceded a chronic groin problem - and subsequent pre-season surgery - had him wondering whether he wanted to don the boots again.
‘‘The back end of last year made me question whether I still had the desire to play rugby league,’’ he said .‘‘When you play with pain every week, these things pop into your head ... but now I am training probably as good as I ever have. It’s funny what can happen when you don’t have that consistent pain - I have got the desire back.’’
On this day in 1993 ... the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena. The match was the start of a golden run for the Texans when they won three championships in four seasons. Quarterback Troy Aikman was named MVP.
Football. Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse has announced his shock departure from the A-League club. When the 27-year-old was told he wouldn’t be re-signed for next season, he decided to leave the club immediately.
‘‘It goes without saying that I am disappointed I won’t be at the Jets anymore,’’ Wheelhouse said in a statement on Thursday.
Read the full story from our pals at the Newcastle Herald here.
Cricket. Ricky Ponting has put fulltime retirement on hold to nominate for the lucrative Indian Premier League.The former Australian skipper and his successor Michael Clarke have attracted the highest reserve price of $386,000 for next month’s auction in Chennai.
On this day in 1944 ... John Inverarity, Australian cricket's chairman of selectors was born in Subiaco. Invers, as he's known to his mates (we think), was played 223 first-class matches including six Tests for Australia. He was also a maths teacher and principal but few are aware of his foray into acting during the 1980s. SportsDay Live has managed to uncover some previously unseen footage...
Rugby. Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is taking the opportunity to test his new squad members in Saturday’s pre-season Super Rugby warm-up against the Hurricanes in Timaru.
With many of the more experienced players still working their way back to match fitness, seven rookies will make their first appearance in the starting line-up. Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Dominic Bird, Shane Christie, Jordan Taufua, Jeremy Su’a and Kieran Fonotia will run on for the Crusaders.
With new captain Kieran Read being rested, experienced Crusader George Whitelock will lead the team. The Hurricanes are also making full use of their extended squad, although the match will be halfback TJ Perenara’s first after breaking his ankle last June. The match will be played over 20-minute quarters, with rolling substitutions.
Athletics. Controversial runner John Steffensen has been suspended for the second time in little more than two years for bringing track and field into disrepute.The Athletics Australia (AA) board banned the 2006 Commonwealth Games 400m champion from all international and domestic competition for six months.
The suspension will end on August 1. An earlier investigation by an independent tribunal rejected claims of racial vilification and discrimination made by Steffensen before the 2012 Olympics.
‘‘The board took into account Steffensen’s statements and also his previous three-month suspension in 2010 before unanimously determining that a six-month suspension was appropriate, considering the seriousness of the breaches,’’ AA said in a statement.
American football. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologised on Wednesday for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl media day interview a day earlier.
‘‘The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,’’ he said in a statement released by the team. ‘‘It has taken me seeing them in print to realise that they are hurtful and ugly.
During an interview on Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave.
The interview on Tuesday began with Lange asking Culliver about his sexual plans with women during Super Bowl week.Lange followed up with a question about whether Culliver would consider pursuing a gay man.
‘‘I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that,’’ Culliver said during the one-minute taped interview. ‘‘Ain’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do."
Cricket. National selector John Inverarity is confident injured opener David Warner will recover in time to take part in Australia’s Test tour of India, while Usman Khawaja is a strong chance to make his Test return in the first match of the series. ‘‘The indications are that [Warner] will certainly be OK for the first Test starting on the 22nd of February,’’ Inverarity said.
Khawaja hasn’t played in the Test side since December 2011, but is a strong chance to be named in the XI for the first Test against India in Chennai. ‘‘I was in Canberra the other day when he got 69 against the West Indies and played really well,’’ Inverarity said. ‘‘So I think Usman is a very good chance of being in the first Test team.’’
Football. Remember Zinedine Zidane's jaw-dropping headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the final of the 2006 World Cup? It seems the French great's son, didn't fall far from the tree.
Young Enzo Zidane was sent off nine minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute for Real Madrid's Under-18s, for petulantly kicking out at an opponent on the ground. The old man must have been proud.
Boxing. ESPN's respected boxing writer Dan Rafael has written a column on what Daniel Geale's next move is likely to be. It's worth a read here.
"Forget Mundine’s nonsense. This is about Geale, a fine fighter who romped to victory in an encore to his upset split decision win against Felix Sturm (in Germany) in September to unify middleweight belts."
League/Boxing. NSW coach Laurie Daley has brushed aside comments made by Anthony Mundine questioning his Aboriginal origins. Mundine, who quit rugby league in 2000 to become a fighter, said ahead of his IBF middleweight world title defeat by Daniel Geale on Wednesday that the State of Origin coach has never proudly claimed his Aboriginal heritage. However, Daley, who will coach the Indigenous All Stars team in next week’s annual clash against the NRL All Stars in Brisbane, refused to get involved in a war of words with the former St George Illawarra and Brisbane star.
‘‘For me, I know that 'Choc' was promoting his fight and he is a guy that I have never had an issue with,’’ Daley said. ‘‘What Anthony says and does, I cannot control. I recognise him as a wonderful talent not only on a rugby league field [but also] in a boxing ring. I have been around, I know who I am, I know where I am from and my family do as well.’’
Who Are Ya? Time for the competition with the prize of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk. Today you can win a copy of Inside The Wallabies by Greg Growden, Fixed - the inside track on Australia's racing industry by Matthew Benns and a Cricket Australia USB stick. Log on and send your entries in, via Twitter @SMHsport with hashtag whoareya or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Are Ya? It's the next clue
Football. Melbourne Victory midfielder Marcos Flores admits he used to be jealous every time he came up against Ange Postecoglou’s champion Brisbane Roar team.Now he is coached by Postecoglou, Flores believes the Victory are growing into an outfit capable of emulating their coach’s deeds at the Roar - and giving him an A-League championship three-peat. ‘‘We are improving. You can see from the first week we are making steps forward every week,’’ Flores said on Thursday.
Tennis. Stat time. Here is a list of the age of men's tennis players when they won their sixth grand slam title.
(total of slams in brackets)
Bjorn Borg (11) - 22 years, 1 month
Rafael Nadal (11) - 22 years, 8 months
Mats Wilander (7) - 23 years, 10 months
Pete Sampras (14) - 23 years, 11 months
Roger Federer (17) - 24 years, 1 month
John McEnroe (7) - 25 years, 7 months
Novak Djokovic (6) - 25 years, 8 months
DOMINIC BOSSI: Football. Lucas Neill is set to be released for the second time in less than a year after United Arab Emirates based-club, Al-Wasl, confirmed their intentions to axe the Socceroo captain this morning via Twitter. The under performing club will dump Neill in favour of 20 year-old Iraqi defender, Ahmed Ibrahim, to fulfil their final allocation of four foreign players. Ibrahim impressed for his nation at the recent Gulf cup where Iraq finished second to UAE and was brought signed by Al-Wasl to propel them up from ninth place. The 34 year-oId Neill played just 11 games since joining Al-Wasl last August after being released by rival club, Al-Jazira and will begin searching for his sixth club in less than five years.
Basketball. A full book of 12 NBA matches to be played today. The match between Eastern Conference heavyweights Miami and Brooklyn is the best of them. The game comes after Nets bench player Reggie Evans bagged the Heat, suggesting they aren't true champions until they win the title in an 82-game season. Let's see how LeBron and D-Wade respond.
Football. Socceroo defender Jade North is set to make his long-awaited debut for the Brisbane Roar in Friday night’s clash with A-League leaders Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium.North was signed by the defending champions from Japan three weeks ago but has yet to appear as coach Mike Mulvey opted to build up his fitness. Mulvey has confirmed the 31-year-old former Newcastle and Wellington player will team with Matt Jurman in central defence against the Mariners.
American football. Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict on child sex abuse charges. Judge John Cleland's 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.
Golf. Karrie Webb desperately wants to become an Olympian in 2016 when golf makes its Games debut in Rio.
The most successful Australian golfer in history says the thought of being an Olympian, living in the Olympic village and mixing with the best athletes in the world, will ensure she keeps swinging the clubs for at least another three years.
The winner of seven majors and a career grand slam, Webb will headline this week’s Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines - a tournament she has won seven times.
The former world No.1 declined to put a timeline on how long she would continue playing golf but said she would definitely keep going in the hope of competing at the 2106 Rio Games. ‘‘Golf at the Olympics is definitely a carrot,’’ said the 38-year-old Queenslander who is already in golf’s Hall of Fame.
Richard Hinds: Boxing. You don't have to like Anthony Mundine. As if you didn't know. Not before he lost to Daniel Geale. And certainly not after.
Mundine has always invited our ridicule. Dared us not to be disgusted by his ill-chosen words and his preposterous preening.
Who Are Ya? Time for the next clue with the prize of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk. Today you can win a copy of Inside The Wallabies by Greg Growden, Fixed - the inside track on Australia's racing industry by Matthew Benns and a Cricket Australia USB stick. Log on and send your entries in, via Twitter @SMHsport with hashtag whoareya or via email at email@example.com.
Who Are Ya? It's clue number three.
Cricket. Australian squad to tour India. M Clarke, S Watson, J Bird, E Cowan, X Doherty, M Henriques, P Hughes, M Johnson, U Khawaja, N Lyon, G Maxwell, J Pattinson, P Siddle, S Smith, M Starc, M Wade, D Warner.
Cycling. The International Cycling Union did all it could to stall its doping investigation into Lance Armstrong, the US anti-doping agency chief says. ‘‘At every turn the UCI attempted to obstruct our efforts to reveal the truth,’’ US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart told a special hearing of the Bundestag sports committee on Wednesday.
The cycling body still ‘‘appears to be irresponsibly trying to script a self-interested ending to this affair’’, Tygart said.
Super Bowl. It's going to be the Harbowl. Here's the trailer mash-up of the movie.
League. The Gold Coast Titans have re-signed Queensland Origin lock Ashley Harrison for a further two years.
Harrison is locked in until the end of 2015, becoming the NRL club’s latest re-signing following the retention of Test forward Greg Bird, winger David Mead and five-eighth Aidan Sezer.
Harrison, 31, has played 247 NRL games, including 88 for the Titans since arriving in 2008.‘‘I have got through the pre-season really well coming back from groin surgery and my body is feeling great,’’ Harrison said.
Dominic Bossi: Football. Brett Emerton appears certain to miss Sydney FC's clash against Newcastle Jets on Saturday due to a back injury.
The Socceroo veteran did not train again as he received treatment to his lower back. The injury is less serious than first thought but Sydney coach Frank Farina is not prepared to risk him.
"Emmo most probably will be out for the weekend," Sydney coach Frank Farina said. "He's had an injection on a disk in his back and his hamstring looks ok... We really want that to settle down particularly with another two games at home."
Terry Antonis and Blake Powell are on stand-by to replace the injured Emerton. Powell came on for Emerton In the first half against Melbourne Victory last week while Antonis played a full 90 minutes in the youth team's 4-3 win against Perth.
Cycling. Frank Schleck has blasted his one-year doping ban as ‘‘too severe’’ after he was sanctioned for failing a drugs test on last year’s Tour de France.
The 32-year-old Schleck, who was third on the 2011 Tour, tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide.
Schleck can appeal the sanction, which was back-dated to July 14, 2012, but if the punishment stands he will miss the 2013 Tour when it gets under way on the Mediterranean island of Corsica on June 29.
‘‘I am disappointed by the verdict. I think that the decision to suspend me for one year is too severe considering the fact that the council acknowledged that I unintentionally consumed a contaminated product,’’ said Schleck.‘ ‘Unfortunately the provisions of the UCI are such that an involuntary contamination is sufficient in order to pronounce a punishment’’
Who Are Ya? Time for the second clue with the prize of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk. Today you can win a copy of Inside The Wallabies by Greg Growden, Fixed - the inside track on Australia's racing industry by Matthew Benns and a Cricket Australia USB stick. Log on and send your entries in, via Twitter @SMHsport with hashtag whoareya or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Are Ya? It's clue number two.
League. The NRL has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Holden.
Holden will support every level of the game from grassroots through State of Origin and the Kangaroos.
“This is such an exciting time for rugby league. We have in place a strong foundation for growth and there are tremendous opportunities ahead for everyone in the game, including our corporate partners,” NRL Interim CEO Shane Mattiske said.
Tennis. Rafael Nadal is looking forward to returning to action in the first clay-court tournament of the year in Chile next week, but the Spaniard admits his injured knee is still a source of some pain.
After missing seven months with the injury and then being forced to sit out the Australian Open due to a stomach virus, Nadal will take part in the ATP event in Vina del Mar as a wildcard.
The 26-year-old told reporters after a training session in his native Mallorca on Wednesday that he is excited at the prospect of returning to top-level tennis, but there are nagging doubts as to how his knee will respond.‘ ‘I’m looking forward to competing again and taking part in a top-level tournament,’’ he said.‘‘I hope the knee responds well and that it tolerates the demands of professional competition.
Boxing. What should Anthony Mundine do now?
Poll: What should Anthony Mundine do following his loss to Daniel Geale?
- Box on
Total votes: 48749.
You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.
Poll closed 8 Feb, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Who Are Ya? Time for a competition with the prize of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk. Today you can win a copy of Inside The Wallabies by Greg Growden, Fixed - the inside track on Australia's racing industry by Matthew Benns and a Cricket Australia USB stick. Log on and send your entries in, via Twitter @SMHsport with hashtag whoareya or via email at email@example.com.
Who Are Ya? Here's the first clue in today's competition.
Football. French youngster Raphael Varane headed in a late goal for Real Madrid to level the Spanish Cup semi-final first-leg against Barcelona as the Spanish giants drew 1-1 on Wednesday.
Cesc Fabreagas had earlier given Barca a lead in a breathless match in the Santiago Bernabeu that his side looked to be running away with until the leveller. Varane was Madrid’s star all evening, clearing off the line in the first half and making countless other defensive interventions in an entertaining encounter.
Real boss Jose Mourinho decided to partner Varane and Ricardo Carvalho in the centre of a depleted defence, with Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao out through suspension and Pepe injured.
League. NRL to announce sponsorship deal with Holden at press conference this morning.
American football. The Manti Te'o fake girlfriend saga keeps on giving.
A California man who has admitted to fabricating US college football star Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend in an elaborate hoax has told talk show host Phil McGraw he felt a deep romantic love for the football player, McGraw said on Wednesday.
Chloe Saltau: Cricket. The first instalment of Shane Warne's much-anticipated bible for the betterment of Australian cricket proposes a player-led mutiny against rotations and a ''dream team'' to run the game that includes only one survivor from the present off-field administration.
Boxing. Sonny Bill Williams steps back from his earlier Tweet about the Mundine-Geale fight.
Sorry about the tweet last night. Emotions were running high just very disappointed for my brother and that's how I saw the fight.— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) January 30, 2013
Football. Wayne Rooney’s double helped Manchester United restore their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League as they came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Southampton took a shock third minute lead when Michael Carrick’s poor back-pass left David de Gea in trouble, with Jay Rodriguez dispossessing the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the net.
However, United were only behind for five minutes with Rooney equalising after the England striker was played in by Shinji Kagawa. And Rooney made it 2-1 in the 27th minute after a Robin van Persie free-kick was headed back across goal by Patrice Evra.
Elsewhere, Chelsea blew a 2-0 lead as Reading climbed out of the bottom three after ’supersub’ Adam Le Fondre scored two late goals in a 2-2 draw.
Arsenal also came from 2-0 behind at home to Liverpool to force a 2-2 draw that did little for the top four ambitions of either club.
Tottenham remained fourth thanks to Gareth Bale’s superb leveller in a 1-1 draw away to Norwich. Fifth-placed Everton closed to within a point of Tottenham after a 2-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion. Fulham beat London rivals West Ham 3-1 at Craven Cottage.
Off to Japan? ... Berrick Barnes may be leaving the Waratahs at the end of the season. Photo: Getty Images
Rupert Guinness: Rugby. Star Wallabies and Waratahs back Berrick Barnes is understood to have committed to playing in Japan as soon as this year's Super rugby season over and is on the verge of signing a contract with the Panasonic Wild Knights.
League. This brings new meaning to the term 'ice bath'. Wakefield are using modern medical technology in an attempt to help playmaker Tim Smith recover from an ankle injury in time for this weekend’s opening Super League game at Bradford.
The Australian halfback, who was the Wildcats’ player of the year after inspiring them to reach the 2012 play-offs, was expected to miss the start of the new season after damaging ankle ligaments against St Helens earlier this month.
But the club have turned to cryotherapy, which involves the treatment of injuries through exposure to freezing cold temperatures, in a bid to speed up Smith’s recovery and coach Richard Agar will give him until Saturday to prove his fitness. ‘‘The club have invested in a cryogenic compression machine,’’ said Agar at Wakefield’s pre-season media day. ‘‘He’s had round-the-clock work on his ankle.
Boxing. Maybe Sonny Bill Williams was watching a different fight.
Football. Arsenal staged a second-half comeback against Liverpool to draw 2-2 as both teams missed a chance to close in on the Champions League qualification places in the English Premier League on Wednesday.
Arsenal’s calamitous defending allowed Liverpool to race into the lead after five minutes through Luis Suarez, and Jordan Henderson was given the space to extend the lead on the hour. But Liverpool collapsed, with Olivier Giroud beginning Arsenal’s comeback with a header in the 64th minute and Theo Walcott equalised three minutes later.
Boxing. Anthony Mundine is refusing to back down from claims he was "robbed" of the IBF middleweight boxing title, labelling victorious Daniel Geale a "cash cow" and dismissing critics as "blind".
Hit man ... Daniel Geale puts a shot on Anthony Mundine last night. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Good morning and welcome to SportsDay Live. There will be the wash-up from last night's Anthony Mundine-Daniel Geale fight, the results from the EPL matches, Real Madrid v Barcelona and the announcement of the cricket squad for the Indian tour plus news as it happens, views, polls and a Who Are Ya? competition.