Genia, Horwill on track
BRISBANE - Queensland Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie says Will Genia's recovery from a knee reconstruction appears ahead of schedule but can't confirm when he will unleash the halfback in the new Super Rugby season. And McKenzie said James Horwill (hamstring) was "on track" to start the season but could not guarantee the recovering captain a nod in their pre-season program. McKenzie was pleased with the Reds progress ahead of their trials against the Blues on February 2.
Chelsea's main man
LONDON - Demba Ba insists his arrival at Chelsea has done nothing to affect Fernando Torres's position as the main striker at Stamford Bridge. Ba made the perfect start to his Blues career following his STG7.5 million ($F21.58 million) move from Newcastle United, scoring twice in the 5-1 FA Cup third-round victory at Southampton while Torres remained on the bench. Torres is expected to be restored to the line-up when English Premier League rivals Swansea City visit west London.
Force signs playmaker
PERTH - The Western Force have ensured they won't run short of playmakers again this Super Rugby season by signing New Zealander Sam Christie as a fourth option at five-eighth. The 26-year-old Christie is a former New Zealand schoolboys representative who has had seven years with the Waikato provincial team and he was added to the Force's extended squad after training in Perth for over a month. Injuries and the pre-season axing of Willie Ripia left the team struggling for playmakers last season.