Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll will miss his country's World Cup opener against Namibia on Sept. 9 after being struck in the face in Thursday's warmup game against Bayonne, Irish team offcials said yesterday.
The 28-year center, regarded as one of the finest backs in the world, sustained a fracture to his nose when he was punched during the match which the Irish won 42-6.
"Following an X-ray and scan of Brian O'Driscoll's injury, it has been confirmed that he has sustained a fracture to his sinus and a deep laceration under his right eye," a statement from the Irish Rugby Football Union said. "This is not as serious as initially feared and the injury will not require any surgery."
"The recovery period for the injury is three-four weeks which will rule O'Driscoll out of the warm-up game against Italy next Friday [Aug. 24] and Ireland's first Rugby World Cup pool game against Namibia [Sept. 9]," the statement said.
The Irish are optimistic he will be fit enough to play in his country's second World Cup game against Georgia in Bordeaux on Sept. 15 and crucially after that for the two crunch games against France and Argentina.
The top two teams from the group qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition.
O'Driscoll had to leave the field in Bayonne in the 62nd minute of what had been a bruising game when he was hit in the face by New Zealand lock Mikarea Tewhata during a general melee among players.
Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan said that the match had been extremely tough and physical with numerous off-the-ball incidents.
"There were a few foul incidents out there and that's a pity. But there is nothing we can do about that if that is the way they want to play. We can only control the way we want to play," he said.
Irish team officials said they did not intend to take the matter any further but said they would welcome an inquiry by the French Rugby Federation.
In a fraught encounter played in front of a capacity crowd of almost 15,000 at Bayonne's Jean-Dauger Stadium, Ireland ran out 42-6 winners thanks to six tries, including a Dennis Hickie hat-trick and a brace from Paul O'Connell.
Andrew Trimble also crossed for a try while Ronan O'Gara contributed 12 points with the boot.
Bayonne's only points came from a first-half penalty and drop-goal from former France international center Richard Dourthe.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes