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opinion

Reason: England intend to bludgeon

England coach Stuart Lancaster defended his selection of one-cap ex-league player Sam Burgess.

OPINION: But at least the 2003 champs are likely to be competitive, which is more than we can say for sure about France.

The most dramatic selection

OPINION: Delusional or a stroke of genius? With rugby selections it can be a fine line.

No Origin means no problem

'Heroic' Bolt saves day

cricket

Boult, Anderson need a tune-up

The Black Caps hope Corey Anderson will return from a back injury for the first test against Australia.

The countdown is on as the Black Caps cross the Tasman in October with expectations unmatched since 1987.

Hesson eyes busy summer

Black Caps coach thrilled with development on African tour as Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan series loom.

Cheteshwar Pujara produced an unbeaten 135 on day two of the third test against Sri Lanka, boosting India to 292-8.

Pujara holds firm for India

Cheteshwar Pujara recorded his seventh ton and held India's innings together against inspired bowling.

rugby

Naholo tipped for shock inclusion

Waisake Naholo showed some of his dynamic Super Rugby form in the All Blacks' test against Argentina.

6:20 AM  Winger's blockbusting talents thought to have swayed national selectors for All Blacks World Cup spot.

D-Day for ABs' hopes, fears

ABs wing Waisake Naholo could be set for a remarkable comeback with a spot in the RWC squad.

All Blacks wing Cory Jane could be on the end of a phone call he doesn't want on Sunday.

Cruel cut leaves dejected ABs

Israel Dagg and Cory Jane could be the All Blacks' biggest World Cup selection casualties.

football

Man City perfect, Chelsea lose

Raheem Sterling (centre) jumps on a teammates back to celebrate scoring Manchester City's first goal in a 2-0 home victory over Watford.

6:53 AM  Manchester City maintained their perfect EPL start as champions Chelsea suffered a shock home loss.

Pedro ups the pain levels

New Spanish signing for Chelsea rejected multiple advances of Manchester United for west London.

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini (left) deflects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot into his own net for the only goal in loss to Arsenal.

Arsenal top 10-man Newcastle

Arsenal laboured to their second win of the season with a highly-charged 1-0 result against 10-man Newcastle.

league

Weary Warriors at rock bottom

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 15:  Simon Mannering and Nathan Friend of the Warriors look dejected during the round 23 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at Pepper Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Trying to find some confidence will be key for the Warriors against the Tigers on Sunday.

Storm rebound, hold off NQ

Storm prove they're serious NRL finals contenders by knocking over heavyweights North Queensland.

Issac Luke helped the Rabbitohs win this year's Auckland Nines.

New arrivals may miss Nines

The Warriors two big recruits may both be excluded from the team for next year's Auckland Nines.

basketball

Jackson ready for hard work

Charles Jackson has gone from the Philadelphia 76ers summer league team to the NZ Breakers for his first official pro assignment.

Fresh out of college and living outside the US for the first time, 22-year-old is ready to bang bodies with seasoned pros.

Adams admires TBs captain

Oklahoma City Thunder centre reveals Tall Blacks captain Mika Vukona is one of his favourite basketballers.

Former New Jersey Nets players Darryll Dawkins, left, and Otis Birdsong share joke at an NBA game in 2012.

Ex-76ers star Dawkins dies

Former NBA star known as "Chocolate Thunder" for his powerful dunks dies of a heart attack, aged 58.

golf

Lee battles to stay in contention

New Zealand's Danny Lee stumbled to a one-over second round at Plainfield but remains in contention at the FedExCup playoffs opener.

Kiwi Danny Lee found the going much tougher on day two of the Barclays PGA tournament, but remains in contention heading into the weekend.

Danny Lee eyes golfing riches

In-form New Zealand golfer has the chance to set himself up for life at the FedEx Cup playoffs in New Jersey.

Kiwi golfer Danny Lee lines up a putt during the opening round of The Barclays  tournament in Edison, New Jersey.

Lee makes strong Barclays start

Kiwi golfer cards a four-under 66 to be among clubhouse leaders at rich Barclays tournament in New Jersey.

netball

Mystics sign Tall Fern Craig

The Mystics are hoping basketballer Megan Craig can come up big for them in 2016.

The Auckland trans-Tasman netball franchise have upsized big time with the surprise addition of 2.04m Tall Ferns basketball giant Megan Craig.

Netball the most sexist sport

OPINION: How does netball get away with discrimination and some daft prescriptive laws, asks Mark Reason.

Former Queensland Firebird Jacinta Messer will bolster the Central Pulse's defensive end next year.

Aussie Messer signs with Pulse

Pulse coach Tanya Dearns signs a third former Firebirds player for the next trans-Tasman League season.

tennis

Kyrgios risks being 'railroaded'

Nick Kyrgios (left) and John McEnroe chat during a break in a doubles game at the Johnny Mac Tennis Project 2015 Benefit Match.

John McEnroe, tennis's original superbrat, has warned Nick Kyrgios he risks being "railroaded out of town".

Tough US draw for Erakovic

Top New Zealand tennis player receives a nightmare draw for the final Grand Slam of the year in New York.

Controversial young Australian player Nick Kyrgios has drawn world NO 3 Andy Murray in the first round of the US Open.

Kyrgios draws Murray first-up

Controversial young Aussies first-round US open match against world No 3 Scot could produce fireworks.

motorsport

Late Indycar driver donates organs

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson was killed after being struck by debris at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson killed in crash helped save six lives after donating his organs, his brother says.

IndyCar star dies from injury video

Justin Wilson dies from the head injury he sustained during Sunday's IndyCar race at the Pocono Raceway.

The race car of driver Will Power (L) goes airborne during the IZOD IndyCar World Championship race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

IndyCar's too risky video

After the latest IndyCar tragedy it's time to shut down this ridiculously dangerous form of racing.

other sports

Barney, Power shine at Masters video

Raymond van Barneveld celebrates his win in Auckland on Saturday night.

Game's top heavyweights trade blows in round two of the Auckland Darts Masters.

Another gold for Bolt, Jamaica

Jamaica's Usain Bolt secured a sweep of sprint golds at an IAAF world championships for third time.

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 28:  (L-R) Matthew Centrowitz of the United States, Silas Kiplagat of Kenya and Asbel Kiprop of Kenya cross the finish line in the Men's 1500 metres semi-final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF)

Willis to make statement

NZ's 1500m star has been saying plenty with his impressive passage to the 1500m final in Beijing.

racing

Kiwi riders and horses 'at risk'

260815 Sport Photo: Rory O'Sullivan/Fairfax Former jockey Kevin Morton answered charges at a judicial hearing at Ellerslie racecourse on Wednesday.

Damning evidence on the state of the country's racetracks emerges during the Kevin Morton hearing.

Purcell 'threatened' by post

NZTR boss Greg Purcell says he was insulted by claims he had not raced 90 horsesĀ 

Kawi swoops past Ryan Mark to win the Makfi Stakes at Hastings on Saturday.

Kawi too good in Makfi Stakes

Allan Sharrock-trained horse storms away to win first Group I race of the season at Hastings.

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