News in Brief
Lauaki walks away from car crash
Sione Lauaki fell asleep at the wheel and was lucky to escape with minor injuries on Saturday night
© Getty Images
- Sione Lauaki walked away from a car crash with minor injuries on Saturday.
Police and ambulance staff were called to the scene of the crash, which involved a sports utility vehicle that had left the road, about 4.20am, the morning after Lauaki played in the Chiefs' 25-25 draw with the Cheetahs in Hamilton.
A police statement said the 28-year old former All Black was found sitting behind the wheel in semi-concious state. He was taken to Waikato hospital by ambulance, complaining of a sore arm. The injury may keep him out of this weekend's clash with the Hurricanes. He had gone through the normal recovery session followed by a meal and a couple of drinks with his teammates, before heading home to be with his family.
The Chiefs have stated alcohol was not a factor, while no one else was hurt in the incident. An evidential blood test was taken at the hospital and sent to Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in Wellington for analysis.
Chiefs' chief executive Gary Dawson said, "Understandably Sione is shaken by this accident and we are all thankful it was not more serious."
- Andy Powell has ruled himself out of Cardiff Blues' European Challenge Cup semi-final against Wasps, although coach Dai Young is more optimistic about his No.8's chances.
The Wales international and Lion injured his calf in the Blues' Magners League win over the Dragons on Friday, a game which saw his international colleague Jamie Roberts also forced off with injury. The Blues are already without Tom Shanklin and Gareth Cooper, while Richie Rees injured an ankle on Friday. Powell told The Western Mail, ""It was quite a bit of a pop. It is a bad pull. I hope to be back in two weeks."
Young, however, is holding out hope for Powell saying, "It looks more like a muscle injury, but we are hoping it will clear up for next week. We want don't want anyone missing and be able to pick from a full-strength squad. Jamie and Richie are limping and we have to keep our fingers crossed for next weekend."
- Toulouse have announced that Tongan flanker Finau Maka, one of the outstanding forwards at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, centre Manu Ahotaeiloa and South African wing Berthus Swanepoel will leave the club at the end of the season.
- Wales and Scarlets wing Mark Jones fears his career might be over due to a knee injury that has limited his season to a handful of games.
The 47-cap Grand Slam winner has been out of action since picking up the injury training with Wales in November and will meet his surgeon at the end of the season to determine his future. "You've just got to be guided by the surgeon, really," he told the BBC. It's not been 100% since I've come back and it's been giving me some problems.
"I've got an appointment to see the surgeon in the second week in May and he's going to take a look at my knee and assess it and see where it stands in terms of being able to continue playing next season. The surgeon needs to have a look at it and what the problem is and whether it can be resurrected."
- The Cheetahs have been forced to move their Super 14 clash with the Lions from Bloemfontein to Welkom to accommodate preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
SANZAR have confirmed that the clash, which is likely to determine who finishes bottom of the table, will now take place at Northern Free State Stadium, at 3pm on May 15.
- Kieran Brookes has extended his contract with the Newcastle Falcons by one year.
The powerful 19 year old prop forward has made ten appearances for the Tyneside club who secured their Premiership status in recent weeks, he made his first start against Sale Sharks on Saturday. Falcons director of rugby Steve Bates said: "Kieran has made great strides in his first year as a professional, and we're delighted that one of England's most promising young tight heads sees his future here at the Falcons.
"He is some physical specimen at 124kg, but in addition to his size and scrummaging he also brings considerable footballing and ball-carrying ability to the table. That will improve even further with another full pre-season under his belt, and it is great news for the club that we have retained his services in the face of strong competition from elsewhere."
- Lithuania have become the unlikely holders of a rugby world record after their 77-5 win over Serbia took their unbeaten run to 18, the longest in international rugby.
The small nation leapfrogged the New Zealand team of the 1960s and South Africa's World Cup winning 1990's edition with the win. They now face a play-off against Ukraine for a place at next year's World Cup in New Zealand. Even if they beat Ukraine to extend their record, it is likely that their run would come to an end against the big guns.
Captain Mindaugas Misevicius said their focus stays on the qualifier despite the record. "It is a great achievement to win 18 games in a row but reaching the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand remains our primary objective," he said. "We will not dwell on this result too long because we have a crucial game against Ukraine coming up on May 8."
- Cornish Pirates will host Munster in the inaugral British and Irish Cup final on May 16 after overcoming Doncaster in the semi-final. The Anthony Foley coached Irish side won their last four game against Ulster.