Aussies name captain
Veteran rugby union test lock Matt Cockbain was named yesterday to captain Australia A on its two-match tour of Japan next month. Cockbain, not among the Australian squad for the opening three tests of the year in Australia next month, is one of seven players with Wallaby experience in the 24-man "A" squad. He is also one of 12 Queenslanders in the touring party, including 20-year-old halfback Josh Valentine, who has been made vice-captain. Other former Wallabies in the team are props Nick Stiles and Fletcher Dyson, breakaway David Croft, hooker Adam Freier, lock Justin Harrison and winger Mark Bartholomeusz. The team will play a President's XV on June 5 and the Japanese national team on June 8.
Kim Byung-hyun to play
Kim Byung-hyun will come off the disabled list to start for the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday in San Francisco. Kim (1-5), converted from a closer to a starter this season, has been sidelined since April 30 with a bruised right ankle. He made three rehabilitation starts for Triple-A Tucson, and strained a hamstring in his last outing Wednesday. The Diamondbacks had thought the hamstring problem would delay Kim's return for seven to 10 days, but the soreness went away sooner than expected. "He came the day after the hamstring injury and went through a lot of conditioning drills and some running drills and looked a lot better than we had anticipated," manager Bob Brenly said. "So what was initially a great area of concern went away." Kim will start in place of Miguel Batista, who is serving a 10-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 20.
Romanians get no pay
Players of relegated Romanian side Sportul Studentesc Bucharest who are owed more than a year's wages have asked the Professional Soccer League (LPF) for their freedom of contract, a LPF official said yesterday. "Almost the whole team, or 18 players, have yet to receive a total of more than US$200,000 for the 2001-2002 season," LPF General Secretary Valentin Alexandru said. He said the LPF would soon decide on the matter. Romanian soccer has suffered from a chronic lack of funds in the last few years and dozens of first and second division players staged an unprecedented demonstration over unpaid wages in the streets of Bucharest in December. Sportul Studentesc, 15th in the first division, lost 4-3 away to Steaua Bucharest on Saturday and were relegated along with bottom team UT Arad before Wednesday's final round of matches.