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Battered Wallabies head north to put down World Cup marker SYDNEY: Australia's beleaguered rugby union team left for their end-of-season northern hemisphere tour on Friday with a new coach and players talking of giving him an unbeaten start to his tenure as he eyes the World Cup in less than a year's time.New Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was only appointed on Wednesday, two days before the team left for the five-match tour that includes tests against World Cup pool opponents England and Wales.Cheika was hurriedly ushered into the position after some delicate negotiations with his Super Rugby side the New South Wales Waratahs to replace former World Cup winning prop Ewen McKenzie, who quit last Saturday.The 49-year-old McKenzie resigned after his side snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the All Blacks in Brisbane, though a battle with his players and an unseemly disciplinary situation with Kurtley Beale had been the catalyst for the decision rather than the 29-28 ...

Japan to get 18th Super Rugby team in 2016: SANZAR SYDNEY: Japan has beaten out Singapore to win the right to host the 18th Super Rugby team when the southern hemisphere provincial competition expands for the 2016 season, governing body SANZAR said on Friday.The Singapore bid effectively conceded defeat on Thursday, leaving the way open for Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which will host the World Cup in 2019, to put together Asia's first team in the championship."SANZAR will now work exclusively with the JRFU ...

NZ union signs conditional broadcast agreement WELLINGTON: The New Zealand Rugby Union and Sky Television have signed a conditional five-year deal for broadcasting rights from 2016, the NZRU said on Friday, with the final agreement expected to be signed off by the end of November.No financial details were disclosed due to the continued negotiation of rights in other countries, NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told reporters in a conference call.Sky, which has come under increased threat from Internet television providers for ...

Everton held by Lille but remain top in Europa League PARIS: Everton retained top spot in Group F on Thursday as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Lille in Europa League action following a day of trouble and fighting in the city centre between fans and police ahead of the tie. The Merseysiders, who last won their only continental trophy in 1985 when they lifted the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup, enjoyed the lion's share of possession but lacked a cutting edge up front ...

Royals outfield defenders cram for quirky AT&T test SAN FRANCISCO: The irresistible talents of the Kansas City Royals' outfielders may be tested by the inscrutable elements of San Francisco's quirky right field when the World Series resumes on Friday.Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and Nori Aoki all had a cram course on Thursday's off-day in gauging caroms off the AT&T Park wall ahead of a Game Three that will snap a 1-1 tie in the best-of-seven championship."It's tough," said center fielder Cain, who has ...

Amla century, poor NZ batting gives South Africa series WELLINGTON Hashim Amla's composed century helped South Africa to within a sniff of reclaiming the one-day top ranking after they beat New Zealand by 72 runs to wrap up their three-match series with a game to spare on Friday.Amla's 119 led South Africa to an impressive, but not overly daunting, 282 for nine in the second match at Mount Maunganui before the home side failed to get going against a bowling attack that put them ...

Chelsea striker Costa released from hospital LONDON: Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been released from hospital following treatment for an illness, British media reported on Thursday. Costa, who has scored nine Premier League goals since joining from Atletico Madrid during the close season, has been dogged by niggly injuries in recent weeks and picked up a groin strain while on international duty with Spain. However, according to media reports the 26-year-old, who has missed Chelsea's past two games against Crystal Palace ...


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