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Chabal ruled out for Murrayfield Welsh await verdict on Byrne for Twickenham Ireland take Twenty20 revenge on Afghanistan Sorensen shoots up the rankings in Grand style

Rugby: France lock Sebastien Chabal has been forced to pull out of Les Bleus' RBS Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield with a back injury.

The 32-year-old's place in the squad has been taken by Toulouse's Yoann Maestri.

Chabal did not take part in training over the weekend in a bid to help him recover from the injury. However, the French Rugby Federation confirmed that the Racing Metro lock, who won the first of his 52 caps against Scotland back in 2000, will not be fit in time for Sunday.

Tigers' Murphy agrees two-year Munster deal

RUGBY: Leicester Tigers' Johne Murphy is to join Munster at the end of the season after agreeing a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old Kildare man and Ireland A international has made 93 appearances for the Tigers, scoring 27 tries.

Munster coach Tony McGahan said: "His strong ball carrying, strong individual defence and finishing ability are some of the attributes we are looking forward to Johne bringing in."

Welsh await verdict on Byrne for Twickenham

RUGBY: Wales hope to discover in the next 24 hours whether or not banned full-back Lee Byrne can face England in next Saturday's RBS Six Nations opener. The outcome of Byrne's appeal in Glasgow to an ERC independent panel could impact on Welsh hopes at Twickenham.

Wales are currently training with two different line-ups -- one that includes Ospreys full-back Byrne, and one that does not.

Ireland take Twenty20 revenge on Afghanistan

CRICKET: Ireland got revenge over Afghanistan yesterday at the start of a Quadrangular Twenty20 tournament in Colombo. After two recent defeats by the same opposition, Ireland needed to restore authority and did so by passing their opponents' total of 121-9 with even more to spare than five wickets and 11 balls suggests.

Sorensen shoots up the rankings in Grand style

TENNIS: Ireland's Louk Sorensen has improved 71 places, from 284th to a career-high 213th, in the updated ATP singles world rankings after his outstanding run in the Australian Open.

NBA: Boston 99 Washington 88, Milwaukee 97 Miami 81, Memphis 95 LA Lakers 93, Phoenix 109 New Orleans 100, Denver 112 Sacramento 109 (Final OT), Utah 104 Dallas 92, Portland 98 Charlotte 79.