SYDNEY - Ricky Stuart has walked out on Parramatta to take up a three-year contract to coach Canberra. The 46-year-old told the Eels board of his decision on Wednesday evening having led the club to a second successive NRL wooden spoon with just five wins all season.
SYDNEY - Australia's newest and only remaining universally recognised boxing world champion Sakio Bika has suffered an injury setback. Sydney-based Bika, who won the vacant WBC super middleweight title with a majority points decision over Mexico's Marco Antonio Periban in New York in June, hurt a shoulder while sparring last week.
BIRMINGHAM, England - Rain has stopped play in the third one-day international between Australia and England at Edgbaston. England were struggling at 3-59 when wet weather forced the players off the field 15.1 overs into the opening innings. Australia is 1-0 up in the five-match series.
MADRID - Dutch rider Bauke Mollema of the Belkin team won the 17th stage of the Tour of Spain in Burgos yesterday as Italy's Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall race leader's red jersey. Mollema, 26, attacked at the end of the 189km ride from Calahorra to take the stage win ahead of Sky's Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen and Argentina's Maximiliano Richeze, of Lampre, who were second and third respectively.
LONDON - England flanker Tom Croft has been ruled out of the whole of the northern hemisphere season due to a knee injury, his Leicester coach Richard Cockerill said on Thursday. The 27-year-old Croft, capped 38 times by England and twice a tourist with the British and Irish Lions, suffered the injury during champions Leicester's Premiership-opening win over Worcester last Sunday and has since had surgery.
DUBLIN - Giovanni Trapattoni has parted company with the Republic of Ireland after failing to guide the nation to next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil. A 1-0 defeat in Austria on Wednesday evening left Ireland with only a purely mathematical possibility of overhauling Sweden to snatch second place in Group C, and, after meeting with the Football Association of Ireland this morning, Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli have left by mutual consent.
No World Cup
WELLINGTON - Benji Marshall has ruled himself out of the rugby league World Cup in October ahead of his code swap to rugby union. When former Kiwis captain Marshall signed a two-year Super Rugby contract with the Auckland-based Blues last month he remained in New Zealand's 38-man wider squad chosen ahead of the World Cup.
WELLINGTON - Australian-born defender Andrew Durante has finally been granted clearance to play for the All Whites — six months after making his international debut. Football's governing body FIFA on Wednesday dropped proceedings against New Zealand Football after investigating claims Durante was ineligible to play for the national side.