Dave Rennie is set to start work as Australia head coach ahead of schedule as Danny Wilson will take charge of Glasgow Warriors from next Monday.

Rennie was due to leave the Warriors at the end of the Pro14 season next month, but there has not yet been a decision on whether the campaign will resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Glasgow on Tuesday revealed Wilson will replace Rennie on June 1 in order for both coaches to give their new roles "undivided attention" when rugby union resumes.

Rennie will therefore be free to fully focus on watching Australian Super Rugby franchises in action when they get under way again.

Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys told the Scottish team's website: "We've agreed that this is the right time for Danny Wilson to formally begin his role as head coach of Glasgow Warriors.

"The original plan was for Danny to come in after Six Nations and shadow Dave and his coaching team for the rest of this campaign. We appreciate Dave's willingness to be open and supportive, as this would have given Danny an excellent head start on next season.

"However, given that the 2019-20 season remains suspended for the foreseeable future, we felt that the best thing for the club would be to let Danny get started.

"With sport in Australia planning to return soon, making the change now will also allow Dave to begin his new role as head coach of the Australian national team.

"We are grateful to Dave for everything he has done for our club over the past three seasons, and particularly for how he has been supportive of the current situation, as well as his willingness to share his vast coaching knowledge with all of our coaches."

Wales international Jonah Holmes has joined the Dragons on a long-term deal after he was released from the last year of his Leicester Tigers contract.

Holmes, who can operate on the wing or at full-back, scored 24 tries in three seasons with Premiership side Leicester.

The 27-year-old has been capped three times by Wales, and Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan hopes the region can help him become an established Test player.

Ryan said: "Jonah is a top-class international who is excited to make the move to Wales and join Dragons.

"Jonah has big ambitions, in both the domestic and international arena, and we are pleased that he believes that Dragons is the right fit for him to be able to achieve those goals."

Holmes is relishing a new challenge in the Pro 14.

He said: "I'm pleased to finalise the move and can't wait to get started in a new competition and link up with my team-mates.

"I've spoken at length to Dean, know the ambition for the future and have seen the squad that is being built. I'm excited by the challenge ahead.

"My focus is now totally on Dragons, getting integrated into the squad as soon as possible and trying to get my name on that first team sheet."

Rory McIlroy believes this year's Ryder Cup will be postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 43rd meeting between Europe and the United States is due to begin in late September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

The PGA Tour is currently suspended due to the spread of COVID-19, though the plan is for events to resume in mid-June, initially without fans in attendance.

However, world number one McIlroy is against the idea of staging the traditionally raucous Ryder Cup without fans present, which is why he is expecting the authorities to push back the tournament a year.

"My personal hunch is that I don't see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen," the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport.

"I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special.

"The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don't want to play then there is no Ryder Cup.

"I see it being pushed back until 2021 and, honestly, I think that will be the right call."

McIlroy is now based in the United States and expects to play the first three PGA Tour events when the season resumes.

Though The Open was cancelled entirely this year, McIlroy would have no qualms about returning to Europe to play in some of the more prestigious events.

"It's a tough one. There are a lot of things up in the air, but if there are some big events in autumn time, then I can," he added.

"Maybe if Wentworth gets moved to October, which they are thinking of, then I could see myself going over and playing that event.

"I was just as disappointed as everyone else that The Open got cancelled this year. I think it would have been a good date in September if we were able to play it.

"I wouldn't have concerns about travelling to Europe. I think if you stick to the guidelines then I don't see any reason why we should feel scared to travel."

Espanyol are the latest LaLiga club to offer a financial boost to supporters in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club have granted extensions to memberships to cover the 2020-21 season at no extra cost to their 27,883 members.

They have also offered season-ticket holders different options to claim back 20 per cent of the price of this season's ticket.

Individuals will be able to add a 20 per cent reduction to the cost of a season ticket for next term or earn an equivalent discount at the club's official shops or stadium tour.

As an alternative, they will also allow season-ticket holders to acquire up to 12 tickets that can then be given to a third party to be used up until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Espanyol will also offer anyone who is unemployed a discount of 20 per cent on their season-ticket cost "as we are in a moment where many people might be going through financially difficult situations".

"We want to thank all the fans for the support they have always given us and we share the desire to see you soon at our temple, at the RCDE Stadium, cheering on the team," the club said in a statement.

It comes after Leganes and Getafe announced they would extend this term's season tickets to cover 2020-21 due to the disrupted match schedule.

LaLiga officials hope to restart the competition next month, at the end of the week beginning June 8, but all matches in Spain will be held behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.

Luke Donald believes a Ryder Cup held without spectators could give Europe the edge over the United States.

The biennial contest is due to take place at Whistling Straights in Wisconsin from September 25-27 this year.

Golf has largely been at a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, but the PGA Tour plans to resume its calendar from June 11, although events are almost certain to be behind closed doors.

If the Ryder Cup can go ahead as planned but spectators are unable to attend, Europe vice-captain Donald thinks it could prove to be a disadvantage to the hosts.

Asked if playing without fans present could benefit Europe, former world number one Donald told the Sky Sports Golf podcast: "It certainly could.

"Obviously, for anyone who watched the exhibition match [involving Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady] last weekend and saw some live golf, there were only four players and there wasn't much energy there.

"I think players feed off the energy, especially the home team. They feed off that positive vibe and the crowd can play a big part, that's why it's always an advantage to be at home.

"If we were to play a Ryder Cup without any fans, then being in America it would be more favourable to the Europeans than the US team."

Leganes have renewed 2019-20 season tickets for the entirety of the next campaign for free due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga has been suspended since March but has been given the green light to return from the week commencing June 8, though all games will be played behind closed doors.

Leganes are based in Madrid, which has seen more than 67,000 cases of COVID-19 and just shy of 9,000 deaths as a result.

Due to the impact of the virus, Leganes have made all 2019-20 season tickets valid for 2020-21 in addition.

"Given the impossibility of playing the remaining matches of the 2019-20 season with open doors due to the effects of COVID-19, Leganes will compensate its subscribers by validating the current subscriptions for LaLiga matches of the 2020-21 campaign," read a club statement.

"The club, aware of the social reality that our city is experiencing, one of the hardest hit in all of Spain in terms of the level of deceased and infected ... wants, in this way, to be sensitive with all its existing season-ticket holders."

Getafe, who are also based in Madrid, made their season tickets for this campaign valid for the entirety of 2020-21 too.

Leganes sit 19th in LaLiga, three points adrift of safety with 11 games remaining.

Mitchell Starc thinks the ICC's recommendation to ban polishing the ball with saliva due to health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic could lead to boring cricket.

The ICC chief executives' committee will vote on the proposal, which has been put forward to "mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus", in June.

It has been reported the ICC will not permit the use of an artificial substance to generate movement when the ball is in the air, though players can use sweat.

Australia paceman Starc understands the concerns but thinks bowlers should be offered an alternative to ensure batsmen to not get an advantage.

"I understand that completely and hear what they're saying in terms of a foreign substance, but whether that can be controlled by the umpires in terms of they have a portion of the wax and you can only use a small amount, I don't know, but there needs to be a maintaining of the even contest," Starc said in a video conference.

"I understand what they're saying with foreign substances and that it's black and white in terms of that, but it's an unusual time for the world and if they're going to remove saliva shining for a portion of time they need to think of something else for that portion of time as well.

"Whether it be the wickets being not as flat or at least considering this shining wax to a degree, there needs to be some thought on that, I think.

"I guess you use both those things [saliva and sweat] to shine the ball. I've probably been a bit more on the sweat side, just trying to not get my hands in my mouth too much.

"But I agree completely with what Pat [Cummins] commented on last week: that contest with bat and ball, we don't want to lose that or get further away from that even contest, so there needs to be something in place to either keep that ball swinging.

"They've mentioned that it's only going to be there for a period of time and then once the world gets back to a relatively normal situation then saliva can come back into shining the ball.

"But if it's going to be a window of time there, maybe then instruct people to leave more grass on the wickets to have that contest or if they're going to take away a portion of maintaining the ball, there needs to be that even contest between bat and ball, otherwise people are going to stop watching, and kids aren't going to want to be bowlers.

"I think as we saw in Australia the last couple of years, there's some pretty flat wickets, and if that ball's going straight, it's a pretty boring contest.

"I think [ball manufacturers] Kookaburra have been developing a shining wax or something of the sort, so whether there's consideration of that, there needs to be some maintaining [of] that even contest.

"Generally, the spinners reckon that the wickets that seam a bit also spin, so maybe if you bring the bowlers back into the game, you'll tick all the boxes."

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris taking part in the Bathurst 1000 is something McLaren chief executive Zak Brown would love to see.

The annual touring car race is held at Mount Panorama in New South Wales and typically clashes with Formula One's Japanese Grand Prix in early October.

Brown owns part of the Walkinshaw Andretti United team that ran a car in the 2019 edition.

Ricciardo will join McLaren from Renault after the 2020 F1 season and Brown would love to figure out a way for the Australian and Norris to take part in the Supercars event.

"I think they'd both love to do it," Brown told Supercars Sidetracked.

"I think people now know I'm a little bit different than most of the team bosses in F1 as I like to see our drivers go out and give it a go at Daytona or Le Mans, things of that nature.

"I think it'll just come down to schedule and whether they can fit it in the schedule.

"I'd love to see them do it there [in Bathurst]. Let's see. For sure, they'll get a go in my Holden."

McLaren granted Fernando Alonso leave from the Monaco Grand Prix to take part in the Indy 500 in 2017.

Boston Celtics executive director of performance Phil Coles believes there is a "significant place" for artificial intelligence and data in the NBA.

The use of machine learning and AI has helped revolutionise sport and basketball in recent years, as professional teams look for any advantage they can get.

Analytics goes way beyond recording basic stats such as points, rebounds and assists, the new metrics and data are able to more accurately quantify and predict player and team performance.

Asked about AI and data in the world of basketball, Coles told Stats Perform News: "I think there's a significant place for it. But with everything, it's about using that data well.

"There's two aspects to how well data is used. Firstly, how good is the data you collect, what's the validity and the reliability of that data? Secondly, what is the practical outcome or the improvement you can gain from that? There's no magic bullet or right answer as to how to do that. We're always looking at anything that might help us.

"Certainly, in the performance world, collecting physical data is a huge component of that. But, it's not necessarily we're looking to find a magic bullet. It's trying to have as much information as we could possibly have and try to use it as appropriately as we can in our situation."

The Orlando Magic became the first NBA team to use AI player tracking data when they signed a deal with Stats Perform in 2019.

Orlando use tracking data produced by AutoSTATS to analyse collegiate players and improve evaluation and decisions for the NBA Draft. The first-of-its-kind technology in sports, AutoSTATS delivers comprehensive player-tracking data directly from video through patented AI and computer vision technology.

The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to be take place on June 25, though that could change amid the coronavirus pandemic.

How will Coles – who heads the performance team – and the Celtics approach the draft?

"Our performance team is involved in the sense of giving as much of a full physical profile to the decision-makers as we can," the Australian said. "Obviously, [general manager and president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge leads that field and the basketball analysts are involved, a number of coaches, scouts and all of the front office.

"Our role in that is to give them as much information as we can on the physical qualities of each player, the injury histories of each player. Predicting the future in those things can be fraught with danger, but that's where having as much data as possible is useful and being able to interpret that data wisely is useful.

"Ultimately, we are one small component of a really large process. Our component is to try to define as much as we can the physical qualities of the players they're looking at."

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) hit out at the NRL's plan to reintroduce crowds in July, labelling the idea "absurd" and "dangerous" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 NRL season will resume on Thursday and Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys is hoping capped crowds can return to the league as soon as July.

As the NRL eyes fans returning to stadiums after the campaign was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, Melbourne Storm chairman Matt Tripp also revealed the club are planning for a restricted number of supporters to watch games at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

But the AMA took aim at the NRL, president Tony Bartone saying in a statement: "Put bluntly, this absurd and dangerous idea belongs in the sin bin.

"The NRL should be satisfied that it has its competition back in action, but it is unfair and unwise to put the health of the game's fans at risk. They must first monitor the health and safety of the players and officials who will be involved in the thick of the on-field action.

"Australians have done exceptionally well in flattening the COVID-19 curve, and we are not too far away from relaxing more restrictions.

"Now is not the time for sporting codes to be considering having crowds at games. They must wait until the medical experts advise that it is absolutely safe to do so – and that will not be as early as July.

"The AFL and other sporting codes are adopting the right approach, which is to wait for the expert medical advice before allowing crowds back to watch games.

"We have to be consistent in our public health messaging. Decisions on the safety of holding mass gatherings should be made by medical experts in consultation with the National Cabinet, not by rugby league administrators.

"Of course, we all want to see sport return with fans in the stands barracking for their teams. We also want to see theatre, dance, live music, cinemas, and other entertainments open to the public.

"But the public health must come first. Getting beyond the COVID-19 pandemic is bigger than rugby league - it is about the safety of all Australians."

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde is eyeing LaLiga glory following the coronavirus outbreak.

LaLiga has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though the league is hoping to resume in June.

Madrid were two points behind defending champions and bitter rivals Barcelona through 27 matches at the time of postponement.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc in Spain and across the globe, and Madrid star Valverde told Real Madrid TV: "We must keep on training hard for the rest of the season and hopefully we will win the league.

"I'm looking forward to representing this jersey again and showing why we're here and fighting for the goal of being champions.

"We have to be professional, eat and take good care of ourselves and train together. This is something we can do together, not only the team but the whole country, supporting us and going forward with a lot of strength. We have to train hard and support each other so that we are all ready when the games return."

Madrid had also lost 2-1 to Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before the season came to a halt.

The Champions League could return in August and Uruguayan Valverde added: "We have the desire, the will and the excitement to go back to that game and fight to turn it around in order to qualify. We can never lack drive at this club to go for everything."

 

The Tampa Bay Rays returned to Tropicana Field, where limited workouts were held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally and in the United States, with the start of the MLB season delayed since March.

The Rays last completed voluntary workouts on March 17 before opting to leave their Spring Training base in Port Charlotte, Florida due to the crisis.

But the Rays took part in a voluntary and very light workout on Monday as MLB officials look to get the 2020 campaign underway.

"I think they were excited just to get back to something that they're used to, given that it was unusual circumstances," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was good to see smiling faces."

Austin Meadows, Willy Adames, Manuel Margot, Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos, Jose Alvarado, Michael Perez, Jose Martinez, Ryan Yarbrough, Brendan McKay and Nick Anderson were among the players in attendance on Monday.

Before entering the stadium, players and coaches were asked questions about their movement during the pandemic, while temperatures were also checked.

While the clubhouse, batting cages and gym were off limits, players were able to play catch, run on the field and lift some free weights that were relocated outdoors.

"I think this was a really good start for a first day and a first week," Cash said. "I know [general manager Erik Neander] has been adamant about taking it slow and precautionary. We all agree with that -- maybe take the baby steps and see where we are after the three of these [workouts]."

Rays All-Star Meadows added: "I think today was a step in the right direction, just being able to show up to the field. We want to have something routine-based.

"It's almost June and not being on a routine -- being able to go to the Trop today definitely felt like things were starting to move in the right direction and hopefully we can come up with something soon."

Meanwhile, fellow American League franchise the Houston Astros also opened their facilities for individual workouts at Minute Maid Park on Monday.

"I would never want to speak for the players, but the sentiment from everybody is we all want to be back there safely and find a way to get going," Astros general manager James Click said. "It's a big week."

Henry Cejudo expressed his gratitude to "Uncle" Dana White and confirmed "Triple C is out" after officially vacating his UFC bantamweight title.

Cejudo announced his shock retirement after retaining his title with a defeat of Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on May 9.

Ali Abdelaziz, Cejudo's manager, later stated that he did not believe the 33-year-old had really quit.

Yet Cejudo is no longer listed as the bantamweight champion and on Monday reiterated he is walking away from the sport, giving special thanks to UFC boss White.

He tweeted: "Thank you for the awesome experiences uncle @danawhite

"I will forever be grateful. Thank you for taking a chance on the sport that people thought would never make it.

"To all my coaches and fans it been a wonderful ride. Triple C is out "

Petra Kvitova is not in favour of playing at a grand slam behind closed doors, claiming she would rather see the events cancelled than be held without fans.

The WTA and ATP Tour have been heavily disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many tournaments postponed – the French Open having been pushed back to September – and others, including Wimbledon, cancelled altogether.

Kvitova is returning to the court in a tournament in her native Czech Republic this week, which will be played without fans in attendance.

However, the possibility of featuring in a grand slam behind closed doors does not appeal to the two-time Wimbledon champion.

"I have my age and of course I would like to play another grand slam, but if it's like this, I'd rather cancel them," Kvitova, 30, said at a news conference.

"Playing a grand slam is the greatest thing there is and playing without fans who are our engine doesn't look nice to me and the grand slam doesn't deserve it."

The event Kvitova is taking part in this week features eight men and eight women, who will not shake hands before or after their matches, while ball boys will not be allowed to hand towels to the players.

"We are here to reintroduce tennis not only to the Czech Republic, but also to the world," Kvitova added.

"The hardest thing will be to find the rhythm, we haven't played a match for a very long time.

"I hope nobody expects us to play fantastic tennis, because it may happen or it may not."

The world number 12 opens her tournament against doubles specialist Barbora Krejcikova on Tuesday.

Novak Djokovic kept it quiet that he was able to train almost every day during lockdown as the world number one did not want to "infuriate other players".

Djokovic is back in Serbia after spending two months in Marbella, as the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from returning to his homeland.

The 17-time grand slam champion, who is set to host and play in the new Adria Tour next month, did not want to make it public that he had been able to stay more active than most of his rivals during his time in Spain.

He said at a press conference in Belgrade on Monday: "Unlike many other players, I was able to train almost every day because we resided in a house with a tennis court.

"I refrained from posting clips on social networks because I didn't want to infuriate other players. I am fit and in good shape, so I am looking forward to the Adria Tour, which I am organising."

Djokovic, who turned 33 last Friday, revealed that Alexander Zverev is the latest player who has committed to playing on the Adria Tour.

The world number seven has agreed to play in the June 13-14 event in Belgrade and could be on court in Zadar, Croatia a week later.

Djokovic added that matches in Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina have not yet been 100 per cent confirmed.

The events have been arranged to raise money for "humanitarian projects across the region" as well as helping tennis players get back in shape during the ATP Tour suspension.

Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov are among the other players who will feature.

Manny Pacquiao has suggested Floyd Mayweather Jr is jealous of his prolonged career after the American labelled the veteran welterweight an "old man".

Mayweather was critical of younger fighters "chasing" a bout with 41-year-old Pacquiao, who won his most recent fight against the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to claim the WBA super welterweight title last July.

However, Pacquiao has little regard for Mayweather's comments, claiming the 43-year-old, who last fought in 2017 against UFC star Conor McGregor, wishes he was still fighting.

"He is just envious because he's already retired. We're still active and have a crown," Pacquiao told The Manila Times.

"I'm not thinking about that yet. I'm concerned first and foremost about our countrymen. No retirement [plans] yet. I'm still training, God is good."

With the majority of sporting events currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pacquiao – who is also a senator in the Philippines government – is focused on helping his country's people during the crisis. 

"I'm concerned first and foremost about our countrymen and about how to resolve this [coronavirus] pandemic," he added.

NBA icon Patrick Ewing has been discharged from hospital and is recovering well after contracting coronavirus.

The 11-time All-Star revealed on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolating in hospital.

Ewing's son, Patrick Ewing Jr, gave a positive update on the Georgetown coach and New York Knicks great's condition on Monday.

He tweeted: "I want to thank all the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us since his diagnosis.

"My father is now home and getting much better. We'll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines.

"I hope everyone continues to stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones."

Ewing won a national championship with Georgetown in 1984 and won gold medals with Team USA at the 1984 and 1992 Olympics.

The former Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic center was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) have established a framework for the second phase of a return plan that includes teams reopening their practice facilities and beginning small group workouts in June.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL has been suspended since March.

Though it has not yet been determined exactly when Phase 2 - the transition period following self-quarantine - will start, or how long it could last, the new protocols include a maximum of six players taking part in on-ice workouts at one time.

While there will be no coaches or team personnel on the ice, players will not be required to wear face masks while exercising or on the ice, but they must do so when entering and leaving the facility, or at times when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Player participation in the phase is voluntary, and teams are not permitted to require players to return to their club's home city so they can complete a quarantine requirement in time to participate in Phase 2.

Testing of asymptomatic players and club personnel will be done in the context of excess testing capacity, so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests.

On Friday, the NHLPA said it had authorised further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format.

In that proposal, the top four seeds in each conference - determined by their standings points percentage when the regular season was paused on March 12 - would automatically advance into the traditional 16-team structure.

The remaining 16 teams would have to compete in a best-of-five play-in round to complete the playoff bracket, with the location of the games has yet to be determined - the most likely plan seems to be playing in two "hub" cities, one for each conference.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that the league had narrowed its list of potential venues to eight or nine sites. Several cities submitted proposals to the NHL to become a hub and they include Las Vegas, Toronto, Minnesota, Edmonton and Vancouver.

"I don't think anybody has a fixed timetable, particularly in North America right now," Bettman said during a keynote interview for the Leaders Week sports business conference.

"We have been working very hard since we took the pause on March 12 to make sure that whatever the timing is, whatever the sequencing is, whatever physical ability we have in terms of locations to play, that we're in a position to execute any or all of those options. There is still a great deal of uncertainty."

Trinidad and Tobago Bodybuilder Dexter Simon has always defied the odds and managed to emerge victoriously.

Page 3 of 291
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.