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opinion

Hinton: Play Smith at fullback

Is it time for Highlanders star Ben Smith to be restored to his favoured position of fullback for the All Blacks?

OPINION: It's time for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to play Ben Smith in his best position, writes Marc Hinton.

Bidwell: Hard luck, Oceania

OPINION: Two games to qualify for 2018 World Cup? You'd take those odds, as world's No 136-ranked team.

Webster: Sharks haven't learnt

Robson: First-five conundrum

cricket

Elliott stars for Black Caps

Grant Elliott top-scored as the Black Caps wrapped up their preparations for their Zimbabwe one-day series with another big win.

6:28 AM  Unbeaten 54 leads consistent effort in second warmup win ahead of ODI's against Zimbabwe.

Nevill gets nod ahead of Haddin

Peter Nevill has got the nod ahead of Brad Haddin as Australia's wicketkeeper for the third Ashes test.

Michael Clarke of Australia walks to a nets session in preparation for the third Ashes test.

Edgbaston pitch excites Clarke

Green Edgbaston pitch excites Aussie skipper Michael Clarke ahead of third Ashes test.

rugby

Guildford set to join Tahs

Zac Guildford has been starring for Hawke's Bay in their early Ranfurly Shield defences this season and has attracted the attention of the Waratahs for a Super Rugby recall.

6:57 AM  Troubled former All Blacks wing offered Super Rugby lifeline in Sydney by former coach at Crusaders.

TKB extends Chiefs deal

All Blacks hafback Tawera Kerr-Barlow will stay with the Chiefs for the next two Super Rugby seasons.

Stephen Donald is seen by French giants Toulon as an answer to their problems at first-five while the Rugby World Cup is played this year.

Toulon lining up Beaver

7:39 AM  All Blacks 2011 Rugby World Cup hero latest star linked to a shift to the French and European champions.

football

Nelsen: NZF have 'duty of care'

New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen listens to the national anthem before a game against Belarus at the 2012 London Olympics.

All Whites great urges NZ Football to take their fight against Oly Whites expulsion to the highest court.

Drogba joins Montreal Impact

Former Chelsea striker joins growing list of famous internationals at Canadian MLS club.

UEFA President Michel Platini is expected to put his name forward this week for the Fifa presidency.

Platini to announce Fifa bid

UEFA president Michel Platini to announce this week that he will stand for the presidency of Fifa.

league

Benji in line for Kiwis recall

Is it 27 Kiwis tests and done for in-form Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall?

It's a good thing Benji Marshall isn't donning a kilt and changing his allegiance to Scotland.

SBW keeps Bulldogs guessing

Canterbury have invited Sonny Bill Williams to the club's 80th anniversary, but will he attend?

Geoff Toovey has a 57.6 percent winning record in charge of Manly but has been axed with a season remaining on his contract.

Manly greats slam sacking

Manly Sea Eagles legends have come out swinging in defence of the sacked coach Geoff Toovey.

basketball

Adams 'bit of a bonus anyway'

Steven Adams won't play for the Tall Blacks this year, but coach Paul Henare says they'll have him whenever he is ready.

Tall Blacks coach laments top Kiwi big man's call to miss Olympics qualifiers in favour of NBA pre-season.

Dellavedova re-signs with Cavs

Australia NBA Finals cult star enjoys 20 per cent pay rise in new deal with runner-up Cleveland.

The Tall Ferns have failed to fire ahead of their Olympic qualification meet with Australia.

Tall Ferns toppled again

A blistering final quarter could not stop the NZ women’s basketball team falling to Japan.

golf

'Unbelievable' win opens doors

Ryan Fox reaches for his putter on the 18th in the fourth round of Le Vaudreuil Challenge.

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox still pinching himself after backing up top 50 British Open finish with a win.

Day thwarts Canadian hopes

Australian golfer Jason Day birdies three holes in a row to claim victory by one shot at Canadian Open tournament.

Ian Poulter work on his putting with his father Terry ahead of this year's British Open at St Andrews.

Poulter gone cold with putter

7:31 AM  Less than three years after he inspired 'miracle' Ryder Cup win, Englishman says touch has deserted him.

netball

Silver Ferns thrash SA again

Shannon Francois of the Silver Ferns passes under pressure from Precious Niemand of the Proteas.

Silver Ferns experimentation doesn't halt 67-28 win over South Africa.

Ferns ease past South Africa

New Zealand survive second-quarter scare from South Africa to cruise to a 68-44 victory in Hamilton hit-out.

Kayla Cullen is fully focused on the wing defence position ahead of the Netball World Cup in Australia, after having been told by Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu two years ago that she's too short to be at goal defence.

Cullen out to prove her wares

Silver Ferns youngster is having to force her way into the side as a specialist wing defence on coach's advise.

tennis

Nadal wins opener in Hamburg

Rafael Nadal was forced to come from a set down to win his first round match in Hamburg.

6:50 AM  Top-seed overcomes sluggish start to beat Fernando Verdasco in first round of German ATP event.

Tomic marches into semis

Troubled Aussie's Claro Open title defence on track after easy 6-1 6-4 win over Japan's Tatsuma Ito in Colombia.

Australian No 1 Bernard Tomic secured his third ATP title by winning the Claro Open in Bogota, Colombia.

Tomic retains Claro Open title

Australian completes a tumultuous fortnight to successfully defend his title at the Claro Open in Bogota.

motorsport

Vettel wins for Ferrari, Bianchi

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel looks skyward in dedicating his Hungarian Grand Prix victory to the late Jules Bianchi.

Off day for Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Rosberg opens way for a surprise F1 result in Hungarian Grand Prix.

Barrier 'harder than it looks' video

Ex-MotoGP world champ Casey Stoner breaks his shoulder and ankle in a spectacular crash.

Formula One drivers, team principals and family of Jules Bianchi gather on the starting grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix in tribute to the late racer.

Drivers, Bianchi family tribute

Arm in arm, family of late racer link with Formula One drivers for silence on the starting grid in Hungary.

other sports

Surfer survives 'heaviest wipe-out'

Niccolo Porcella wipes out on a monster wave in Teahupoo.

It's being described as perhaps the heaviest wipe-out in surfing history.

AFL racism: 'It's banter'

Racist AFL fan tell indigenous player "go back to the zoo" and calls it banter.

The Tokyo Olympic stadium design that has been scrapped due to rising costs.

Cost warnings ignored

Japan's new Olympic stadium's ballooning costs blamed on uncompetitive selection of contractors.

racing

Group I stars on show at trials

Ryan Mark is one of the Group I stars launching a spring campaign at Ruakaka,

Trials at Ruakaka have attracted Group I performers as they launch spring and early summer ambitions.

P Miss warms for Aussie

An exhibition gallop by outstanding mare Pondarosa Miss will be an attraction at Te Awamutu.

In the dock: Trainer Mark Kavanagh.

Cobalt hearings to be open

Racing Victoria has allowed hearings for five trainers to be open to the media on Wednesday.

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