Cotter to coach Scotland
New Zealander Vern Cotter has been hired to coach Scotland to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, from next year. The Scottish Rugby Union said on Monday that Cotter would take over for two years from June next year, when his contract with French club Clermont Auvergne ends. Scott Johnson, the interim coach since November last year, was appointed director of rugby, but will stay in charge of Scotland for a second straight Six Nations next year, then hand over to Cotter to give him a year’s buildup to the World Cup in England. Cotter, at Clermont since 2006, led the club to the recent Heineken Cup final and said after a Top 14 semi-final loss last weekend that next season would be his last at the club. The Scottish Rugby Union concluded the contract with Cotter months ago, chief executive Mark Dodson said, but waited until the end of Clermont’s season to make the announcement. “To have secured someone of his caliber is a coup for Scotland,” Dodson said. “It’s a measure of our standing that we have him on board.”
Werder Bremen hire Dutt
Robin Dutt was named the new coach of Werder Bremen on Monday after the German soccer association agreed to release him from the post as their sporting director. The 48-year-old is to replace Thomas Schaaf, who was the country’s longest-serving top flight coach when he was sacked by the four-times German champions earlier this month after 14 years. “I’m very happy to take my place on the bench again,” former Germany defender Dutt told the club’s official Web site. “Werder Bremen is a great club and it’s a very interesting task.” Dutt made a name for himself after guiding SC Freiburg into the Bundesliga in 2009 and keeping them there until his departure in 2011 for a season at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Neymar signs with Barca
Brazilian soccer star Neymar on Monday signed a five-year contract with Spanish powerhouse Barcelona and is to travel to Spain next week for the official presentation. The 21-year-old star, whose full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, announced his choice on his Instagram account on Saturday after receiving offers from both the Catalan club and their rivals Real Madrid. “I want to thank the Santos fans for nine incredible years,” wrote Neymar, currently a forward for the storied Brazilian team Santos. Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro said his client would be one of Barca’s highest paid players, but did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Rider killed during practice
Organizers of the Isle of Man TT Races say Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsushita was killed during practice on Monday on the road course. The British-based Auto Cycle Union (ACU) issued a statement on the race Web site to confirm the 43-year-old Matsushita was killed in an accident at Ballacrye in the north of the island. The practice session was immediately stopped. The ACU said Matsushita was an experienced rider from Saitama, Japan, who won the 2008 Motegi Endurance race and first competed at the TT Races in 2009. “Yoshi was a really popular competitor who had a large number of friends in the TT Races paddock,” ACU course spokesman Gary Thompson said. “He was a genuine and friendly character who always had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
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
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
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
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on