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The Sport Matrix: Monday 17 June 2013

Pardew future in doubt as Kinnear makes shock return

Alan Pardew’s position as manager of Newcastle United was placed into doubt yesterday when the club made the controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football.

Kinnear, right, has not been involved in football since he was taken to hospital when he was the Newcastle manager in 2009, after which he had a heart bypass operation.

The 66-year-old confirmed in an interview he has signed a three-year contract to become the director of football, a move that will be announced formally today. Kinnear insisted he, and not chief scout Graham Carr, would be in charge of transfers.

The surprise decision to appoint Kinnear is seen as having the capacity to undermine Pardew, who endured a difficult campaign last season. Kinnear is expected to be a regular face at the club’s training ground.

“I’ve been manager of the year three times and had a great football career, so I think I’m ideal for this situation,” Kinnear said. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to come back.

“It’s an interesting role for myself and I don’t think I could be at a better club to do it.”

Murray wins third Queen’s crown

Andy Murray overcame injury worries to beat Marin Cilic and claim a third Aegon Championships title in five years. The Scot lost the first set after slipping on the wet grass court, before recovering to show some fine form in seeing out the match 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. MORE

England secure semi-final place

England confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy after overcoming New Zealand – and the elements – at Sophia Gardens. The hosts were bowled out for 169 inside 24 overs, before restricting New Zealand to 159 for 8 in reply to earn a 10-run victory. MORE

Williams enters Lions den... for now

Shane Williams was yesterday’s surprise call-up to the British and Irish Lions tour, although the Wales veteran has only been added for tomorrow’s match with the Brumbies. “Shane is playing in Japan, which means he can get here quickly,” coach Warren Gatland explained. MORE

Barwick: Capital gains not crucial

Brian Barwick believes it would not be the end of the world if London did not have a Super League club. “I don’t think it would be the ultimate withdrawal,” the RFL chairman said. “I’d do everything to help. If in five or 10 years it hasn’t taken off, I’d want to take a really adult decision.”

Federer rediscovers winning feeling

A first tournament success in 10 months showed Roger Federer is in fine form for Wimbledon as he won the Halle Open for the sixth time. The 17-time Grand Slam winner overcame Mikhail Youzhny for his first win since last August. MORE

Patel on century duty for Outlaws

Samit Patel helped maintain Nottinghamshire’s perfect start to the Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign as his first ODI ton in three years clinched a six-wicket win over Warwickshire. Elsewhere in Group A, Northants beat Sussex to move up to second.

McFadden treble leads Ireland romp

Fergus McFadden scored a hat-trick as Ireland overcame Canada 40-10 in Toronto yesterday. England secured a 2-0 series win over Argentina on Saturday, while Japan were surprise 23-8 victors over Wales and South Africa beat Scotland 30-17.

Hardaker out to claim full-back role

Zak Hardaker aims to use tonight’s match with Widnes to forward his claims for a starting place at full-back with England after filling in at centre last week. “Full-back is the position I’m playing,” the Leeds player said. “And I’ll hopefully do that.”

Pirlo and Balotelli give Italy victory

Goals from Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli helped Italy beat Mexico 2-1 in the Confederations Cup at the Maracana, Javier Hernandez scoring for Mexico. Brazil beat Japan 3-0 in the Group A opener on Saturday.

Opinion: James Lawton

Leigh Halfpenny has mastered the art of the Immaculate Conversion so completely that it was good to be reminded, by two tries of biting resolution, that he is also a masterful all-round rugby player. MORE

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