England dumps players
England coach Andy Robinson dropped six World Cup winners on Tuesday for the Six Nations game against Ireland this weekend after his team was beaten 31-6 by France. With flyhalf Charlie Hodgson out of Saturday's game at Twickenham from an injured hamstring, Robinson dropped fullback Josh Lewsey, center Mike Tindall, scrumhalf Matt Dawson, hooker Steve Thompson, prop Julian White and lock Danny Grewcock. Of the six axed players who won the World Cup in November 2003 and have 300 test caps between them, only Lewsey wasn't on the bench alongside former captain Lawrence Dallaglio. Substitute Andy Goode takes over at flyhalf, while Robinson named Tom Voyce at fullback, Stuart Abbott at center and Harry Ellis at scrumhalf. He recalled Andrew Sheridan at loosehead prop and shifted Matt Stevens to tighthead, with Lee Mears the new hooker. Grewcock was replaced by the experienced Simon Shaw, and flyhalf Dave Walder came on to the bench. England is third in the Six Nations, behind France and Ireland.
Eagles release Owens
The Philadelphia Eagles released wide receiver Terrell Owens on Tuesday, ending a tumultuous, two-year relationship with the five-time NFL Pro Bowl selection. Owens was due a US$5 million bonus for being on the team's roster on Wednesday, so the Eagles had to cut him or trade him before then to avoid paying it. The move was a formality because Owens was kicked off the team in November following a series of incidents and infractions, including repeated criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb. The Eagles gave Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, permission to talk with other teams in January. The former All-Pro met with the Denver Broncos. Miami and Dallas reportedly have interest in Owens, and Kansas City president Carl Peterson has said he'd consider giving him a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
Bundesliga profit rises
The Bundesliga's income rose by 19.1 percent last season even as the number of foreign players in the league fell to its lowest level in five years, figures released on Tuesday revealed. The 36 first and second division clubs making up the Bundesliga earned 1.52 billion euros (US$1.81 billion) as German football reversed a downward spiral which began when Kirch Media -- its biggest television contract went bankrupt. The Bundesliga hopes the league can now reverse its slide in European play. In the past four seasons, only one team has reached a Champions League quarterfinal. Before the Kirch bankruptcy, four German teams reached the final in six years, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund winning.
Culpepper goes to Miami
The Minnesota Vikings traded three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection Daunte Culpepper to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, granting the disgruntled quarterback's wish to leave the team after a subpar season that ended with a serious knee injury. Vikings spokesman Tom West confirmed the deal, but did not give specifics. Several media reports say Minnesota received a second-round pick in return. Culpepper had asked to be traded or released by Minnesota, where he was chosen for the NFL's post-season all-star game three times in seven seasons. But his relationship with the organization had deteriorated swiftly in recent weeks, when Culpepper said he was upset by the tone of an e-mail from the club's front office.