The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 11 October 2011

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The Independent Online

RFU may look at off-field issues too

As England returned from New Zealand yesterday, the chances increased that a special general meeting of the Rugby Football Union’s council will be called to examine recent events at the RFU, in addition to Rob Andrew’s rugby-focused review. MORE

Muliaina and Slade out of semi-final

New Zealand will go into Sunday’s semi-final against Australia without two more players: Mils Muliaina has a shoulder fracture, while Colin Slade has torn a groin muscle. Wing Hosea Gear and Bath’s Stephen Donald have been added to the All Blacks’ squad. MORE

Williams hails nerve of youngsters

Wales wing Shane Williams has praised the youngsters who have driven the team to the semi-finals: “These boys are far more prepared for the challenges we’ve faced than I would have been at their age.”

Rooney writes own defence over ban

Wayne Rooney has written his own letter of apology for his red card against Montenegro for the appeal for leniency when Uefa rules on the striker’s Euro 2012 ban on Thursday. His apology will be the centrepiece of the Football Association’s defence. MORE

GB will punch its weight for 2012

Britain’s chances of boxing medals at the 2012 Olympics are well set after the team won three silvers and one bronze medal in the World Amateur Championships in Azerbaijan. British boxers have qualified in five weights for the Olympics. MORE

Famous Newcastle sign sold on eBay

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is selling off the letters of the ‘Newcastle United’ sign that used to adorn the East Stand of St James’ Park on eBay, and is donating the proceeds to charity. The sign has been replaced by one advertising Sports Direct. MORE

Swann: KP never right to captain

Graeme Swann has written in his autobiography that Kevin Pietersen “was never the right man to captain England”, and that in Andrew Strauss, England have “ended up with the right man”. Swann is rested for today’s one-day warm up in India. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Warren Gatland’s team have created a new sense of the Welsh game, shaped around heads as composed as calm young fly-half Rhys Priestland, who has come so late but with such natural authority into heart of the team. MORE

Scottish and Irish ready for Euro 2012 play-off deciders

Scotland and Ireland both have their destinies in their own hands this evening, but Craig Levein’s side are in unquestionably a harder position. While Ireland only need to draw with Armenia at home, Scotland may need a result in Spain (depending on how the Czech Republic fare). Levein insisted that his team would not be intimidated by their hosts: “They won’t be overawed by the occasion. We have players who play week-in, week-out in the Premier League and we have players with self-belief and those two things help.”

Recession ‘may be good for football’

QPR owner Tony Fernandes believes the recession could help clubs make better business decisions. “It is always good to come in in a recession, and I believe we are going to have that double-dip,” he said. “There is a bit more sensibility coming in.” MORE

Massa: FIA must be firm on Hamilton

Felipe Massa has told the FIA to keep watch on Lewis Hamilton after a collision between the pair in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. “The FIA need to take care of it,” Massa said. “They have penalised people for much less and this time they didn’t do it.” MORE