Aussie rugby great Catchpole dies
SYDNEY • Former Wallabies captain Ken Catchpole, considered one of the greats of Australian rugby, has died aged 78 following a long illness, Rugby Australia said yesterday.
Known as "Catchy", he played 27 Tests, 13 as skipper, and formed one of the game's enduring scrum-half partnerships with Phil Hawthorne.
He captained Australia at 21 on his international debut against Fiji in 1961 and became an influential figure in Australian rugby.
Wagner returns to Bayern Munich
MUNICH • Bayern Munich have re-signed striker Sandro Wagner from Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim on a contract that will run until June 2020, the German champions said on Thursday.
The German international progressed through the youth system at Bayern and made his senior debut in 2007, featuring in eight games before leaving the Allianz Arena in 2008. He played for several German sides before moving to Hoffenheim last year.
Crichton amputates troublesome finger
SYDNEY • South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Angus Crichton, 21, has amputated part of a troublesome finger so that he can play in next season's National Rugby League season, a report said yesterday.
Crichton, who will make a big-money switch to local rivals Sydney Roosters, has had his middle finger on his left hand cut off. He has had ongoing problems with the finger necessitating several surgeries after rupturing the tendon while playing earlier in his career.
Nash, Kidd top list for NBA Hall of Fame
LOS ANGELES • Former National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Steve Nash, 43, and Jason Kidd, 44, head the list of first-time eligible candidates for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2018, the organisation said on Thursday.
Nash, a two-time NBA MVP with the Phoenix Suns, ranks third in the NBA history with 10,335 assists. Fellow former point guard Kidd, coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, ranks second in assists (12,091) and career triple-doubles (107).
Ajax give Keizer and Bergkamp the boot
AMSTERDAM • Dutch giants Ajax sacked manager Marcel Keizer and assistant coach Dennis Bergkamp on Thursday, saying the club had "lost confidence in their abilities" after a string of poor performances.
Ajax appointed Keizer in June following the departure of Peter Bosz for Borussia Dortmund after a single season. The club axed Keizer after just 174 days, the shortest spell for an Ajax coach since Kurt Linder in 1988, who got the boot after 82 days.
Briggs in comeback to better Foreman's feat
NEW YORK • Two-time heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs on Thursday announced he would make a comeback next year after serving a doping ban.
The 46-year-old American will try to become boxing's oldest-ever heavyweight champion by surpassing George Foreman's feat at age 45.