Sport In Brief: 14/02/2009

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The Independent Online

Bradford fail to land Bird after visa is refused

Bradford's season has been thrown into disarray on the eve of their opening Super League match by the refusal of a visa to Greg Bird. The State of Origin stand-off had applied to join the Bulls before a court case in April, where he will face charges of wounding, assault and lying to the police.

He does not now intend to re-apply for a visa until after his case is dealt with, meaning that it could be mid-summer at the earliest before he is cleared to join the Bulls, even if he is exonerated.

Dave Hadfield

Murray content with his form

Andy Murray will face Mario Ancic for a place in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam today after Marc Gicquel retired in the third set of their quarter-final yesterday. The British No 1 took the first set on a tie-break but Gicquel, ranked 55 in the world, levelled impressively only to succumb to a thigh injury with the score at 7-6, 4-6, 3-0. Murray admitted it was not the way he wanted to win the match but was happy with his form and his serve, despite only managing 41 per cent of first serves. "It's never nice to end a match in this way," he said. "I thought it was a good match with many chances. I am very satisfied about my serve."

Chambers will not launch legal bid

Dwain Chambers (below) has held out an olive branch to the new head coach of UK Athletics, Charles van Commenee, pledging not to disrupt the build-up to the 2012 Olympics with another legal challenge to the British Olympic Association bylaw banning past doping offenders from selection. Van Commenee will attend the European Indoor Trials in Sheffield this weekend where Chambers lines up as the favourite for today's 60m, having clocked a lifetime best of 6.52sec at the Birmingham Games a fortnight ago.

Simon Turnbull

Loeb nips in at end to take lead in Norway

Sebastien Loeb holds the lead at the end of the opening day of the Rally of Norway, having moved ahead of Mikko Hirvonen on the final stage. The reigning world champion had trailed his Finnish rival for most of yesterday, but posted a time 9.9 seconds faster than Hirvonen on the return run through the Kirkenaer stage to secure a slender overnight advantage of 2.6sec.