The Sport Matrix: Friday 28 June 2013


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The Independent Online

Horwill's stamp storm may disrupt Australia's hopes

Australia's captain, James Horwill, is set to face the Lions in tomorrow's second Test in Melbourne, but the lock's chances of seeing out the series are small.

The International Rugby Board is unhappy with the decision to clear the 28-year-old of a stamping charge arising from last weekend's Test in Brisbane.

Horwill was deemed not to have made intentional contact with lock Alun Wyn Jones' head. The IRB has appealed against the finding, much to the fury of the Australian hierarchy.

If the not guilty verdict is reversed, Horwill will miss the Sydney Test, the last in the three-match series.

Bill Pulver, the chief executive of the home union, said that the board's "unprecedented step" had the potential to disrupt Australia, who trail 1-0 in the series, in the lead-up to a must-win game.

Pulver said: "James Horwill was cleared as per the established process. We are surprised and disappointed that the finding is now not only under question, but deemed erroneous." MORE

Murray wary and ready for Robredo

Andy Murray rejected the notion he has a smooth path to the Wimbledon final, despite there being no top 10 players left in his half of the draw after several upsets. "Who's to say I can't lose in the next round?" Murray said ahead of his tie with Tommy Robredo today. MORE

Careful Djokovic eases through

World No 1 Novak Djokovic admitted he needed to be "extremely careful" during his 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over 156th-ranked Bobby Reynolds in the wake of several shock results this week. The result meant the former champion progressed into the third round. MORE

City target Gomez after Tevez's exit

Manchester City are eyeing the Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez, Seville forward Alvaro Negredo and Roma's Pablo Osvaldo as they try to rebuild their attack after Carlos Tevez's move to Juventus. Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo is also a target.

United's £12m bid for Baines rejected

Everton have responded to a £12m bid from Manchester United for Leighton Baines by declaring the left-back is not for sale. Everton will offer the 28-year-old a contract extension next week. MORE

Raikkonen in 'no hurry' over move

Kimi Raikkonen said he was in "no hurry" to sign for Red Bull after Mark Webber announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the season. Webber will drive for Porsche in sports cars next year. MORE

Prior calls for England focus

Matt Prior has warned England to focus on their own game rather than Australia's turmoil ahead of the Ashes. He said: "We don't know the details and we don't know the politics. It doesn't affect us at all." MORE

Robson set for Duque-Marino test

Laura Robson will open play on Centre Court against Mariana Duque-Marino today after their match on No 2 Court was delayed by rain yesterday. Serena Williams, meanwhile, beat France's Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2. MORE