The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 12 October 2011

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Yachvili named in France team

France have named an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s semi-final against Wales, including Dimitri Yachvili. The scrum-half is nursing the bruised thigh he picked up in last weekend’s win over England but coach Marc Lièvremont has declared him fit. MORE

All Blacks respect ‘mercurial’ Cooper

The All Blacks have pinpointed New Zealand-born Quade Cooper as one of the main threats ahead of Sunday’s semi-final meeting with Australia. “He’s mercurial, he’s dangerous,” coach Wayne Smith said. “When he has a really good game, you’re in trouble.” MORE

Chambers dreams of London place

Dwain Chambers retains hope of representing Great Britain in next year’s Olympics. “For British athletes, to pull on a British vest and compete in a home Olympics would be a great privilege,” he said. “It’s something I’d love to do.” MORE

Ireland stumble into play-offs

The Republic of Ireland secured a play-off spot with a nervy 2-1 home win over Armenia. The hosts went ahead against spirited opponents with a fortuitous own goal and a scrappy Richard Dunne effort, but only after the harsh dismissal of Armenia’s goalkeeper. MORE

Cavendish agrees to join Team Sky

Team Sky announced yesterday reigning world champion Mark Cavendish would join them for 2012. “Mark is the greatest sprinter of his generation and is well on his way to becoming the greatest of all time,” said team principal, Dave Brailsford. MORE

Scotland bid ends in brave failure

Scotland’s bid for a play-off spot ended in disappointment as they were beaten 3-1 by holders Spain in Alicante. Needing to match the Czech Republic’s result in Lithuania, Craig Levein’s side gave it their best but were outclassed, while the Czechs won 4-1. MORE

Bairstow shines with brutal 104

Jonny Bairstow, Yorkshire’s 22-year-old wicket-keeper, hit 104 not out from 53 balls with eight sixes, for England yesterday in their warm-up match in Hyderabad. Young Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick took 5 for 31 in England’s 253-run victory. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Imanol Harinordoquy is a man who owns one of the most ferocious spirits ever bred in the Basque country. He and full-back Maxime Médard have been hailed as the Frenchmen most committed to the idea of winning. MORE

Liverpool eager to break ranks with TV rights deal

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre wants his club to be allowed to pursue an individual international television rights deal because he feels they are disadvantaged against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in being forced to share media income with sides lower down the Premier League. The League’s last overseas TV rights deal totalled £1.4bn, and Ayre wants a bigger slice. “With the greatest of respect to our colleagues in the Premier League,” Ayre said, “if you’re a Bolton fan in Bolton, you subscribe to Sky because you want to watch Bolton; if you’re a Liverpool fan from Liverpool, you subscribe. But if you’re in Kuala Lumpur there isn’t anyone subscribing to [rights holders] Astro or ESPN to watch Bolton. So is it right that the international rights are shared equally? “There has to be some rebalance, because we are disadvantaging ourselves against other big European clubs.” The Premier League will resist any attempt to buck the system. Although Chelsea have discussed Ayre’s position, they remain in support of collective bargaining. MORE

England squad to be based in Krakow

Fabio Capello’s England squad are likely to be based in the Polish city of Krakow for next year’s European Championship. The site will allow players leisure time away from the base, something which was limited at last year’s World Cup in South Africa. MORE

ICC may delay first Test championship

The World Test Championship, scheduled for 2013, is likely to be postponed for four years. Broadcasters are less keen on screening it than was first hoped. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that “the board needs to balance several objectives”. MORE