News in Brief
McAlister signs with North Harbour and Blues
April 26, 2009
Sale Sharks' Luke McAlister evades the tackle of Wasps' Joe Simpson during their Guinness Premiership match at Edgeley Road in Stockport, Manchester on December 26, 2008.
New Zealander Luke McAlister has been playing with Premiership side Sale for the last two seasons © Getty Images
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Tournaments/Tours: Super 14

  • Returning All Blacks fly-half Luke McAlister has signed with North Harbour and will play his Super 14 rugby for the Blues next year, it has been reported.

    It ends speculation McAlister may have ended up at the Hurricanes, who made strong overtures, after the former international announced his decision to return home from England, where he has played since 2007. The Sunday Star-Times newspaper today reported that McAlister has already signed with his former union North Harbour, meaning the Blues will get first call on his services.

    McAlister is due back in New Zealand at the end of the English domestic season next month. The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) last week relaxed its eligibility criteria to enable McAlister to be available for selection for the Tri-Nations series against South Africa and Australia, starting in July. He will only play in the earlier home series against France and Italy in June if current contenders were ruled out by injury.

  • Racing Metro 92 will be playing in France's Top 14 next season after securing the Pro D2 title on Sunday.

    Two tries from Sereli Bobo and another from Nic Berry secured a 33-12 victory over Bordeaux-Begles that guaranteed Pierre Berbizier's side the French second division title.

  • Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards allayed fears over the ankle injury Danny Cipriani sustained during Saturday's 34-3 Guinness Premiership victory over Gloucester.

    Cipriani, who could be involved in England's summer series against Argentina, was withdrawn at half-time but Edwards insisted the problem was minor. "It's not that serious. He's just rolled his ankle a little bit after someone fell on it," he said.

    Cipriani turned the same ankle that required surgery following a fractured dislocation sustained at the end of last season. The 21-year-old is due to have a pin removed from his right ankle and Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan insisted the decision would be made with the player's best interests at heart.

    "We'll do purely what is the best for Danny and that will be done in conjunction with the club, not just England" he said. "It's got to be a medical decision over the timing of it."

  • The Rugby World Cup qualifying process continued in South America this weekend with Chile, Brazil and Uruguay battling for the right to face the loser of the Canada v USA encounters to secure the Americas 2 berth in Pool C with Australia, Ireland, Italy and Europe 2.

    Chile thrashed Brazil 79-3 in their qualifier clash on Saturday while Uruguay beat Paraguay 85-7 in a game that will not count towards their bid for a place at RWC'11.

  • Chiefs No.8 Sione Lauaki was cited for dangerous play during Saturday's 33-27 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria.

    Lauaki was cited for a high tackle on Bryan Habana in the first half of the match, which resulted in Lauaki being yellow carded by match referee Craig Joubert. The hearing will take place in Cape Town on Monday.

  • Plymouth Albion player-coach Graham Dawe has been cleared of serious injury after X-rays revealed he had not suffered a broken neck as was initially feared.

    The 49-year-old former England international appeared as a second half replacement in his side's National League One clash with Leeds but was carried from the field on a stretcher just six minutes later after a collision with opponent Mike MacDonald. He has since been released from hospital.

  • New York Athletic Club will have the chance to defend their Rugby Super League title after clinching a finals berth with a clinical 38-5 win over cross town rivals Old Blue. The result, and Life's win over Charlotte, ensures the defending champions will finish second in the Blue Conference, irrespective of what happens in next weekend's final round. Old Blue must now win in the final round over Charlotte to earn a play in the play offs.

    The Dallas Harlequins have kept their season alive with a 28-7 win over Boston in Dallas. Boston now must win against the currently undefeated Life University and hope other results go their way if they are to feature in this season's finals. Life University have clinched the top seed in the Blue Conference with a round to play after they remained unbeaten with a 41-0 hammering of Charlotte.

    San Francisco Golden Gate had too much firepower for Old Puget Sound Beach, running in 11 tries in a 73-25 victory that gave them outright first position in the Red Conference. Belmont Shore snatched a 17-16 victory over Denver to retain second place in the Red Conference, meaning a home final can be ensured with a victory in the final round.

    The Santa Monica Dolphins have fallen just short of an upset victory going down in injury time 29-25 to the Chicago Lions in Chicago, a result which clinches a play off berth for the Lions.


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