The Sports Matrix: Friday 11 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Rugby League

Leeds visit Leigh tonight for a Challenge Cup quarter-final, evoking memories of the the hosts' victory in the 1971 final. Dave Hadfield examines how both sides have progressed since that famous Wembley upset. MORE

West Indies wilt in tour warm-up

West Indies got off to a dismal start in their Test warm-up match yesterday, when they were bowled out for 147 by the England Lions in Northampton. Jack Brooks and Stuart Meaker took three wickets each before the hosts ended the day on 40 for 1. MORE

Khan camp slams 'disgrace' Peterson

Amir Khan's promoter labelled Lamont Peterson "a disgrace" after the American's failed drugs test forced next week's title fight to be called off. "Thousands of fans are out of pocket," Richard Schaefer said. "And we have lost hundreds of thousands." MORE

Hodgson brings in Watson as coach

The England manager Roy Hodgson has continued to assemble his backroom staff, installing Dave Watson as a goalkeeping coach. Watson, 38, played for Barnsley before working with the current national No 1 keeper, Joe Hart, as a coach at Birmingham. MORE

Goal-line help inches closer

The use of goal-line technology has moved a step closer following successful trials in Southampton yesterday. Fifa will make the final decision in July, with the first use in Britain potentially coming in England's World Cup qualifiers, starting this autumn. MORE

Team GB limited to Giggs by United

Manchester United have told the Football Association that Ryan Giggs will be the only over-age Old Trafford player permitted to join Britain's Olympic squad. Clubs reserve the right to withhold players from the Games as it is not on the international calendar.

Venky's denies Rovers sale claims

Blackburn Rovers owners, Venky's, have insisted they will not be walking away from the club, despite the club being relegated under the poultry firm's 18-month reign. "These allegations of selling the club are wrong," co-owner Venkatesh Rao said. MORE

Nadal threatens to boycott Madrid

Rafael Nadal was surprisingly beaten by Fernando Verdasco in the Madrid Masters third round, before criticising the blue-clay surface. "If things continue like this I am very sad," he said. "But next year will be one less tournament in my calendar." MORE

Lancaster: Tour builds toughness

England coach Stuart Lancaster believes the trip to South Africa provides a learning opportunity for his young players. "This trip gives us the opportunity to build team toughness," he said. "Nothing beats coaching players on the training field." MORE

Wenger laments 'sad day' as Rice departs Arsenal

The Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has spoken of his admiration for Pat Rice, who yesterday confirmed he is stepping down as the club's assistant manager. The 63-year-old has been involved with the north London side for 44 years as a player and then a coach, making over 400 appearances at right-back and serving Wenger as assistant since the Frenchman's arrival in October 1996.

"It's difficult to measure," Wenger said of Rice's contribution to Arsenal. "He's just been tremendous. It's a sad day. Arsenal have been privileged to have him as a player, captain, [and] coach, and I'm very grateful for his contribution to my period here."

Rice will be replaced by former centre-back Steve Bould, who helped Arsenal win the double under Wenger in 1997-98. MORE