Latest – Senior All Black, Joe Moody, has become the latest player to extend his contract with New Zealand Rugby, signing on through to the end of 2024.
Photo: AFP or licensors
Moody, 33, debuted for the All Blacks in 2014, having made his Super Rugby debut the year before.
He’s played 57 Tests and 100 Super Rugby matches.
“It’s a bloody good footy scene here in New Zealand and I’ve got a great set up down here in Christchurch, so looking forward to getting stuck in again over the next few seasons and playing my part,” he said.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster says the signing is great news.
“He’s a hugely respected member of our squad and goes about his work in a quiet, understated way.
“We look forward to working with him in the seasons to come and I know he will be fully committed to being the best he can possibly be,” Foster said.
Moody has also extended his contracts with the Crusaders and Canterbury.
Americas Cup hosting spat continues
Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton has attempted to clear the air with Royal New Zealand Yacht squadron members in the ongoing saga of whether the next Americas Cup regatta could be staged in New Zealand.
Dalton spoke to a gathering of 200 members last night, to clarify what he called a lot of misinformation perpetuated by Mark Dunphy and former Team New Zealand board member Jim Farmer, who believe a financially viable event could be staged in Auckland.
But in his update, Dalton strongly disputed that, and said if the event was held in Auckland there would be a $50m shortfall.
“You can bet your bottom dollar ETNZ will inevitably lose and this will lead to its demise when up against the budgets and strength of teams like Alinghi, INEOS Britannia, Luna Rossa and American Magic”, he said.
Dalton also had another strong message for Dunphy and Palmer.
“For some time we have been well aware of some of the lengths they have gone to and their extreme objectives both here and off shore.
“It is for these reasons that ETNZ will never have any relationship with Mr Dunphy or his associates even if he were to magically find the missing $50m needed to meet the full and actual costs of hosting the event and successfully Defending AC37,” he said.
Discussions continue with potential offshore hosts.
No joy for NZ Sevens stars in 2021 awards
New Zealand sevens stars Sarah Hirini and Scott Curry have missed out on World Rugby’s Sevens player of the year awards.
Photo: Photosport/ Kenji Demura
France’s Anne-Cécile Ciofani won the women’s prize with Argentina’s Marcos Moneta named the top men’s player.
Hirini led the Black Ferns Sevens to Tokyo Olympic gold while Curry helped guide the All Black Sevens to silver in Japan.
Verstappen defiant ahead of Formula One season finale
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen feels he is being singled out by Formula One stewards and has vowed to not change the way he drives ahead of a winner-takes-all title showdown with Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen was handed two time penalties at the last race in Saudi Arabia for leaving the track while defending the lead against Hamilton and for a later collision with the Briton.
“Clearly things don’t apply for everyone,” Verstappen said.
“Things I did in terms of defending, two other guys also did and they didn’t even get a mention or a penalty.
Verstappen and Hamilton head into Sunday’s race at the Yas Marina track level on points, only the second time in the sport’s history that has happened, but with the Red Bull driver leading 9-8 on race wins.
The 24-year-old is gunning for his first Formula One title while his British rival is eyeing a record eighth.
Olympic Games shake up ahead of Los Angeles 2028
The sports of skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing that first featured at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been included in the initial sports programme for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.
But weightlifting, boxing and modern pentathlon did not make the cut of the initial 28 sports and must meet certain criteria in 2023 to be included, IOC President Thomas Bach told an online news conference at the end of an executive board meeting.
: New Zealand’s David Liti at Tokyo 2020 Photo: AFP or licensors
An IOC session in February will approve the initial programme. The three sports that are left out will be up for re-inclusion at the IOC session in 2023.
Skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing made their Olympic debuts in Tokyo this year, with the Games delayed by a year due to COVID-19, and were a major success among young viewers.
They are already a part of the programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
For weightlifting and boxing their exclusion is a major blow as the international federations struggle with governance, finance and corruption issues and have been repeatedly warned by the IOC to reform or risk their Olympic spots.
Both will need to show improvement in terms of financial transparency and governance to get back into the Olympics.
Big man back for Breakers
Yani Wetzell is ready to debut for the Breakers after missing the opening game of the Australian National Basketball League while he continued his recovery from Covid-19.
Wetzell will take the floor against his former side the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday and says he’s fit enough to play a full game.
The centre says it’s a “dream scenario” to play his first game for his hometown club against the side that gave him a start in the league.
The Breakers opened its Australian NBL season last weekend losing to the Phoenix 89-65.
Jockey cops hefty ban for bullying
Irish jockey Robbie Dunne has been banned for 18 months, with three months suspended, after being found guilty of bullying and harassing fellow rider Bryony Frost over a seven-month period last year.
A three-person panel found 36-year-old Dunne guilty of distasteful targeting and deliberate harassment on and off the course, and ruled that there had been “occasional cases of dangerous bullying”.
Dunne was found by the panel to have threatened Frost by promising to “put her through a wing (of a fence)” and he was also accused of using misogynistic language towards her.
ITF to pull out of China
There will be no World Tennis Tour events held in China in 2022, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) source has confirmed to Reuters.
The source did not say if the move was linked to concerns over the health and safety of doubles star Peng Shuai.
In the last full season in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, China hosted about 25 ITF womens and 15 mens events.
World Tennis Tour events, previously known as Futures events, are professional tournaments below the elite level.
The ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour offers approximately 500 tournaments across 65 countries offering prize money from $15,000 to $100,000.
Phoenix women after first win
With a point from their first ever game the Phoenix are now targetting their first win of the A-League women’s competition.
The Phoenix started with a draw with Western Sydney, while tonight’s opponent Newcastle, lost to Sydney in their opening game.
Teenage forward Ava Pritchard says they’ve been continuing to work on pressuring the opposition when they’re trying to bring the ball out of defence.
Pritchard says that’s all part of their philosophy of working as hard as they can and hopefully the results will follow.
Meantime, Phoenix men’s coach Ufuk Talay says his side doesn’t have to change much for tonight’s A-League game in Newcastle.
The Phoenix picked up a draw and a win in their first two games, but were beaten last weekend by Western Sydney.
Talay is happy with how they’re playing, despite the loss last weekend.
Pele to be discharged from hospital
The daughter Brazilian football legend, Pele, says her father will be home from hospital for Christmas, after a scheduled procedure as part of his treatment for a colon tumor.
The three time World Cup winner, who’s now 81-years-old, underwent an operation to remove the tumor in September.
Sao Paulo’s Hospital Albert Einstein said at the time he would also need to undergo chemotherapy.
But Kely Nascimento says her father will be home in two or three days.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele has suffered from a series of health issues in recent years, including hip surgery, which left unable to walk unaided.