Sport in brief: Favre inspires Vikings' passage
A ferocious defence helped Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings get past the Dallas Cowboys 34-3 and set up an NFC Championship showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
The Vikings overwhelmed Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, sacking him six times, intercepting one pass and throwing the whole Dallas offence off balance to let 40-year-old Favre engineer victory.
The quarterback threw touchdown passes to Sidney Rice in the first, second and fourth quarters and connected with Visanthe Shiancoe with two minutes to go for a fourth scoring pass of the game. The Vikings now travel to New Orleans to fight for a place in Super Bowl XLIV after the top-seeded Saints won 45-14 against the Arizona Cardinals. The New York Jets, meanwhile, upset the San Diego Chargers 17-14 to reach the AFC Championship game where they will face the Indianopolis Colts.
Experienced scrum-half Dwayne Peel was left out of the Wales squad for the Six Nations yesterday, adding to the injury worries of coach Warren Gatland who is already without first-choice No 9 Mike Phillips.
Peel injured his groin playing for Sale in the Heineken Cup against Cardiff Blues on Saturday while Phillips has been out since October with a foot injury.
Gatland named four uncapped players in the squad which begins its Six Nations campaign against England at Twickenham on February 6. Cardiff Blues scrum-half Richie Rees gets a first call-up although Scarlets' Martin Roberts is now expected to begin the tournament in the position.
Ospreys backs Tom Prydie and Kristian Phillips and Saracens prop Rhys Gill are also in the squad for the first time.
Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, who has come out of retirement to drive for Mercedes, will become world champion in 2010, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said yesterday.
The German, who retired in 2006 after winning two titles with Benetton and five with Ferrari, will be up against former world champions Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and defending champion Jenson Button.
"If I had to bet on any of them then it is clear that Michael will become world champion," Brawn said. "Michael is now more relaxed. When he retired in 2006 F1 was a burden for him. Now I can sense his old enthusiasm."
Mercedes, who have taken over champions Brawn GP, have signed Nico Rosberg as their other driver for 2010.
Captain Andrew Strauss and seam bowler James Anderson have been rested for England's forthcoming tour of Bangladesh. Current vice-captain Alastair Cook will lead a 16-man squad for the Test and one-day series in Bangladesh while Paul Collingwood will skipper the side in two Twenty20 internationals.