Mitchell Chapman called up
Mitchell Chapman has been added to the Australia squad on tour in Europe to cover for injured lock Dan Vickerman, Australian Associated Press reported yesterday. Chapman is a former captain of the Australian Schoolboys who can play either lock, flanker or No. 8. Vickerman was ordered home to undergo a shoulder reconstruction after aggravating an injury in Saturday's 29-29 draw with Wales.
Italy and Toulouse prop Salvatore Perugini was suspended for five weeks on Monday for recklessly striking an opponent with his head. Perugini was cited for the incident in Toulouse's loss to Ulster on Oct. 21, and banned by a disciplinary committee of the European Rugby Cup through Dec. 11. The penalty means Perugini, an international since 2000, will miss Italy's Test against Australia this Saturday in Rome, and following matches against Argentina and Canada. He was replaced in the Azzurri squad by Viadana's Matias Aguero.
Nathan Hines cited
Perpignan's Scottish international lock Nathan Hines was cited for "dangerous play" by Stade Francais on Monday. The Australian-born second row forward is alleged by Stade -- who lost 11-10 and their unbeaten record in the Championship on Saturday -- to have kicked Canadian lock Mike James in the face. "Hines was the instigator of a violent incident, far from where the ball was when he kicked Mike James in the face," the statement from Stade read. The Championship's disciplinary commission may decide not to pursue the case but in any event they have another hearing with Hines, who will be 30 on Nov. 29, over two incidents during the 25-10 defeat by Biarritz earlier this season. Biarritz accused Hines of foul play on French international Imanol Harinordoquy and team-mate David Couzinet.
Johnston added to squad
Saracens center Ben Johnston was added on Monday to England's squad for this weekend's Test match against Argentina at Twickenham. Johnston, who captained England Saxons against Canada in Toronto this year, was to join training yesterday on the eve of his 28th birthday. Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Mark Cueto (Sale), Perry Freshwater (Perpignan) and Tom Rees (Wasps), who missed the world champions' 41-20 November series-opening defeat against New Zealand at Twickenham on Sunday because of injuries, are back in the squad along with Toby Flood (Newcastle) and Bristol's Dan Ward-Smith. Johnston won the first of his two full England caps against Argentina in 2002 after his career had been interrupted by a knee injury. After Saturday's match against the Pumas, England conclude their November program with back-to-back fixtures against South Africa.
India VP to open stadium
Guyana's new cricket stadium for next year's World Cup will be officially opened by Indian Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat today. India provided a US$6 million grant and US$19 million in loans for the 15,000-seat Providence Stadium, which will host Super 8 matches during the World Cup next March and April. Guyana and India historically have had close ties, and nearly half the 750,000 people in Guyana, a former Dutch and British colony, are descendants of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Shekhawat is making a weeklong visit to the South American country and Trinidad and Tobago.