PERTH - The Western Force has signed former Melbourne Rebels hooker Heath Tessmann on a short-term Super Rugby contract as injury cover for Ben Whittaker. Whittaker, who is expected to battle it out with Nathan Charles for a regular starting role in the No.2 jersey, is expected to miss the early rounds of the season because of a broken foot. Tessmann, 28, has been training with the Force throughout the pre-season, and will stay on the senior list until Whittaker has recovered. The Queensland-born rake played 10 games for the Rebels during 2011 and 2012.
LONDON - Four of England's leading clubs have written to officials calling for European governing body UEFA's financial fair play rules to be introduced into the Premier League. A letter from Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool to league chief executive Richard Scudamore calls for full spending controls — where clubs must break even — without wealthy owners being allowed to cover clubs' losses. But Premier League champions Manchester City, and Chelsea are understood to be opposing any such spending controls.
LONDON - Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson has included 10 uncapped players, including fast-tracked former Crusaders back Sean Maitland, in a 35-man squad for the Six Nations rugby tournament. The Australian was promoted from within the backroom staff after head coach Andy Robinson resigned following Scotland's morale-sapping 21-15 loss to Tonga in Aberdeen in November. Johnson's task was complicated last week when veteran scrum-half Mike Blair retired from Test duty and experienced centre Nick de Luca was sidelined for two months.
Rory joins Nike
ABU DHABI - Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are on the same team now — at least when it comes to sponsorship. Nike yesterday confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in golf, announcing it had signed a multi-year deal with the top-ranked McIlroy for the Northern Irishman to use the company's equipment and apparel The deal means Nike now has golf's two biggest names representing its brand, as Woods has been with the sportswear company since turning pro in 1996. The deal with McIlroy was announced in a lavish ceremony in the United Arab Emirates.