Northampton sign Niekerk
South Africa flanker Joe Van Niekerk signed a three-year contract with English rugby club Northampton on Monday. Van Niekerk, capped 46 times by the Springboks since 2001, will start with Northampton depending on next month's announcement of the South African World Cup squad. He hasn't played for South Africa since last year's Tri-Nations after suffering a back injury and a neck injury, which kept him out of the November tour of Europe. The 27-year-old has been with the Cape Town Stormers in the Super 14 since 2005. Northampton hope Van Niekerk will help it return to the English Premiership after relegation this season. Meanwhile, Worcester announced it signed All Blacks winger Rico Gear for three years.
Yanks sign Chinese players
The New York Yankees signed a pair of Chinese players, saying on Monday they were the first players from China signed by a team in US Major League Baseball with the approval of China's baseball federation. Liu Kai, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, and Zhang Zhenwang, a 19-year-old catcher, are to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium news conference on July 6 and then will report to the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. Liu has played for Guangdong Province in China's six-team league and has been chosen for the national team. Zhang played for the Tianjin Lions, winning league titles in 2002, 2005 and last year. Zhang appeared in one game at last year's World Baseball Classic but did not have any at-bats. "We have scouts worldwide and we have seen both players in the past," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
MLB suspends Lee, Young
Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young were suspended for five games each on Monday following a Major League Baseball (MLB) bench-clearing brawl last weekend. Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry was suspended for three games for his role in Saturday's fight at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Philadelphia Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith was suspended for three games and catcher Carlos Ruiz for one following an argument in Sunday's game against Detroit. The players' union appealed Ruiz's suspension, meaning his suspension can't start until after the case is decided. Chicago and San Diego were off on Monday, giving Lee time to decide whether to contest the discipline. In Saturday's game at Wrigley, Lee was hit by a pitch from Young, walked to first, had words with the pitcher, then threw a punch. Young swung back and the benches emptied.
Orioles fire manager
Sam Perlozzo was fired as manager of the Baltimore Orioles on Monday as the last-place team was mired in an eight-game losing streak. Perlozzo's firing was announced at a press conference. Bullpen coach Dave Trembley, who has served as a minor league manager in the organization, was the interim manager when the Orioles began a six-game trip in San Diego yesterday. Perlozzo was victimized by an underachieving bullpen and a punchless offense that ranks last in the American League in home runs. Baltimore was 27-27 and second in the American League's East Division on May 31 before losing 13 of 15, including the final eight games of a 1-8 homestand that ended on Sunday.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen