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In brief: Leinster given Wembley test

RUGBY UNION: English powerhouse Saracens have confirmed plans to stage two high-profile fixtures at Wembley this season, including a clash against Leinster. Brendan Venter's men will head to the English national football stadium for their Heineken Cup clash with Leinster on October 16, followed by a St Stephen's Day extravaganza against league rivals Wasps.



Bolt ends his season

ATHLETICS: Usain Bolt has brought his season to an early close to avoid risking a serious injury which could hamper the defence of his world titles in Daegu, Korea, next year. The Jamaican triple Olympic champion was diagnosed with a tightness in his lower back and has followed medical advice by pulling out of the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Zurich and Brussels.



Sharapova seals win

TENNIS: Maria Sharapova battled to a 6-4 1-6 6-2 victory over in-form Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the second round of the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. While 10th seed Sharapova was successful on her Cincinnati debut, top seed Jelena Jankovic opened the defence of her crown with victory at the venue, a 6-4 3-6 6-1 second-round win over Russia's Vera Dushevina.



Lance out of Trail 100

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong has pulled out of the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in Colorado, a high-altitude race he won in record time last year.

Armstrong's spokesman, Mark Higgins, said that the cyclist is still feeling lingering effects of a hip injury suffered in a crash early in the Tour de France. Higgins said Armstrong also wants to spend time with his family before his children begin school.



KP 'must find county'

CRICKET: England will require star batsman Kevin Pietersen to join a new county by next season as a condition of the team's contractual policy.

Pietersen's controversial severing of his ties with Hampshire from the end of this summer has resulted in the county twice refusing to pick him when he has been released to play by England.



Agony for Harrison

SWIMMING: Ryan Harrison narrowly missed out on making the final of the 200m freestyle at the European Long Course Championships in Budapest yesterday.

Harrison clocked 1:49.04 to finish 10th overall, an agonising 0.12 secs away from sneaking into today's final.

Grainne Murphy, Melanie Nocher, and Andrew Bree are all in the pool today.


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