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Origin too big for Townsville: Thurston

Brisbane Even the man who helped get Townsville's new stadium built, Johnathan Thurston, does not reckon it is a good idea for it to host State of Origin games. The Queensland government has been criticised for not lobbying hard enough for Townsville as an Origin venue after the NRL announced Adelaide as a 2020 host this week. The likes of Queensland Rugby...

Storm blows away Leeds to take title

Melbourne Brodie Croft has shown there is life at Melbourne after Cooper Cronk with a stellar performance in the NRL champions' emphatic World Club Challenge win over Leeds. Croft was given first crack at the No 7 jumper made vacant by veteran Cronk's shift to the Sydney Roosters and made the most of the opportunity in last night's 38-4 victory at...

McFadden leaving Warriors at end of season

Auckland Warriors assistant coach and ex-head coach Andrew McFadden will bring his six-year stay in Auckland to a close at the end of 2018. McFadden, a Canberra Raiders stalwart in his playing days, joined the Warriors as an assistant in 2013 and became head coach in the 2014 season. He served in that role through 2015 and 2016, failing to guide the...

Ko among leaders at Australian Open

Adelaide Former world No 1 Lydia Ko knows she is getting bagged for swinging changes almost as much as her golf clubs. The New Zealander carded a four-under-par 68 in yesterday's opening round of the Australian Open in Adelaide, three shots behind South Korea's pacesetter Jin Young Ko. Another South Korean, Jiyai Shin, is outright second at five under with Australians Hannah...

Thornbury in strong position

Pyeongchang New Zealand's Rhys Thornbury has a strong chance to make the skeleton Winter Olympics medal round having placed eighth after the first day of competition. Thornbury clocked one minute 41.93 seconds over yesterday's two heats to sit safely inside top-20 cut-off, with one more qualification heat remaining. The 28-year-old, who is 1.58 seconds off South Korean leader Sungbin Yun, will vie...

Nine new Hurricanes in tour squad to South Africa

Wellington Nine new Hurricanes have been included in the Hurricanes tour squad for their taxing Super Rugby road trip. Among the players on the plane for South Africa today are three new props Toby Smith, Alex Fidow and Fraser Armstrong. Wallabies loosehead Smith has switched his allegiance after four seasons at the Melbourne Rebels while Fidow and Armstrong are both former members...

Paddon seventh in season opener

Wellington New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon has not put his foot wrong in a visually spectacular start to his 2018 World Rally Championship campaign. Paddon was seventh-quickest in the super special first stage of Rally Sweden in Karlstad, putting his Hyundai around the bespoke 1.9km course in one minutes 34.8 seconds. Paddon controlled the vehicle adroitly in icy conditions under floodlights in front...

Three more divers added to team

Wellington The New Zealand diving contingent at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has swelled to five following the addition of three athletes with contrasting backgrounds. Eighteen-year-olds Anton Down-Jenkins and Yu Qian Goh have been selected alongside 31-year-old Zimbabwe-born Shaye Boddington. They will join Lizzie Cui and Liam Stone, whose selections were announced in December. Wellington's Down-Jenkins will contest the 3m men's individual...

Tall Ferns unveil games squad

Wellington Tall Ferns coach Guy Molloy has made his preferences clear by announcing a group of players to attend a Commonwealth Games training camp. Molloy, whose appointment was announced this week, has unveiled 22 players for what will effectively be a three-day trial in Melbourne ahead of the Gold Coast Games in April. The only player unavailable for the camp on February...

NZ U20 World Rugby pool

Wellington New Zealand's title defence at the World Rugby under-20 championship will begin with pool matches against Japan, Wales and Australia in south-east France. The tournament schedule unveiled today pits the Baby Blacks against Japan in Narbonne first up on May 30. Their two other games are nearby, against Wales in Beziers and Australia in Perpignan. Beziers will host the final on June...
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