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Jul 17, 2015

Soccer-Real must move past ‘division’ of Casillas exit – Benitez

MELBOURNE, July 17 (Reuters) – The controversial departure of Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas has created “division” at the Spanish giants and they must put it behind them as soon as possible, coach Rafa Benitez said on Friday.

Real were heavily criticised for a perceived lack of respect for the goalkeeper after he appeared alone at the Bernabeu media room on Sunday to announce his departure from his boyhood club after 16 seasons.

Jul 14, 2015

Rugby-Cheika still seeking answers to Wallabies quandaries

MELBOURNE, July 14 (Reuters) – Australia coach Michael Cheika is renowned for pulling off big renovation jobs in short order but his Wallabies project will still be a work-in-progress well into the abridged Rugby Championship.

Under the deadline pressure of a looming World Cup, Cheika will give a first glimpse of his plans for the global showpiece in England when he names his matchday side to take on South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday.

Jul 10, 2015

Rugby-Palu, White omitted from Wallabies squad

MELBOURNE, July 10 (Reuters) – Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has omitted scrumhalf Nic White and seasoned number eight Wycliff Palu from a 31-man squad for Australia’s opening match of the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship against South Africa.

ACT Brumbies back Christian Lealiifano was a third high-profile omission after the initial squad was shaved down from 40 following a training camp on the Sunshine Coast this week.

Jul 4, 2015

Red-hot Smith primed to seize Ashes moment

By Ian Ransom

(Reuters) – Once derided as a bouncy court jester in his maiden Ashes series, Steven Smith and his quirky batting technique are now far from a laughing matter in England.

The Australian captain-in-waiting brings a Bradman-esque run of scores into his fourth Ashes campaign and a quiet resolve to make a fool of bowlers in all corners of the world.

Jul 1, 2015

Super trophy lost, Cheika lands prized Folau

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Michael Cheika may have become jaded by jokes about being the saviour of Australian rugby but he could afford to bask in the soft glow of pride on Wednesday as he delivered Israel Folau to the promised land for another three years.

With a post-World Cup player drain set to weaken Wallaby stocks, retaining dual international Folau until 2018 was vital for the Australian Rugby Union, which has been beset by financial problems and battered by scandal.

Jul 1, 2015

Rugby-Super trophy lost, Cheika lands prized Folau

MELBOURNE, July 1 (Reuters) – Michael Cheika may have become jaded by jokes about being the saviour of Australian rugby but he could afford to bask in the soft glow of pride on Wednesday as he delivered Israel Folau to the promised land for another three years.

With a post-World Cup player drain set to weaken Wallaby stocks, retaining dual international Folau until 2018 was vital for the Australian Rugby Union, which has been beset by financial problems and battered by scandal.

Jun 24, 2015

Angry former Socceroo to fight betting sanction

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Former Australia defender Robbie Hooker has slammed the national football

federation as “hypocritical” after he was sanctioned for betting on domestic league matches when playing as an amateur in an over-35′s league.

Jun 24, 2015

Soccer-Angry former Socceroo to fight betting sanction

MELBOURNE, June 24 (Reuters) – Former Australia defender Robbie Hooker has slammed the national soccer federation as “hypocritical” after he was sanctioned for betting on domestic league matches when playing as an amateur in an over-35′s league.

Hooker, a former assistant coach of the Socceroos, was given a suspended A$1,000 ($770) fine by Football Federation Australia (FFA) for breaching the governing body’s national code of conduct.

Jun 22, 2015

Rugby-Otago’s shining misfits light up Super Rugby semi-finals

June 22 (Reuters) – Far down the coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the remote city of Dunedin might not be the first destination in mind for rugby players seeking to re-boot their careers.

Those pampered by big-city comforts might not be thrilled by the entertainment options of the Otago region’s principal town, notwithstanding its rowdy student population during term time.

Jun 21, 2015

Rampaging Highlander Naholo crashes through All Blacks door

By Ian Ransom

(Reuters) – What’s better than having a Julian Savea in your squad during a World Cup year? Two Julian Saveas, according to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who is set to blood another explosive winger in the form of Waisake Naholo.

Hansen picked Fiji-born juggernaut Naholo in his extended 41-man roster for warm-up tests before the World Cup and could throw him into the fray in a one-off match against Samoa next month.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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