| 3.5°C Dublin

Ulster Rush to bolster pack Wales won't panic Robin rocking again

RUGBY: Ulster have bolstered their pack further ahead of next season with the signing of former New Zealand number eight Xavier Rush from the Cardiff Blues.

Rush (32) has agreed a two-year deal with Ulster and he will join the former South Africa lock Johann Muller in moving to Ravenhill on July 1.

"Success in northern hemisphere rugby is built around the pack of forwards," said Ulster's director of rugby operations David Humphreys.

"Over the past number of seasons, Xavier has been one of the outstanding back row forwards in European rugby and his ball carrying ability and leadership qualities will further strengthen Ulster's pack for next season."

Wales won't panic

RUGBY: Shane Williams insists no panic buttons have been pressed in the Wales camp following the deflating RBS 6 Nations defeat against England.

Wales coach Warren Gatland will names his team this evening for next weekend's Millennium Stadium appointment with Scotland. And it is expected to include lock Alun-Wyn Jones, whose sin-binning at Twickenham cost Wales dear as England scored 17 unanswered points while he was off the field.

Gatland was critical of the Lions Test forward in his immediate post-match analysis, but indications are that Jones will be retained.

"I know he will bounce back stronger," said wing Williams.

"I think he has learned his lesson, and there is no-one more gutted than Alun. I hope he is playing on Saturday."

Robin rocking again

TENNIS: World number eight Robin Soderling registered his first ATP World Tour victory of 2010 at the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam.

The Swede enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2009 but, suffering from elbow tendinitis, crashed out in the first round of the Chennai Open and the Australian Open last month.

He was a late entry into the Rotterdam event and it looked as though his poor run would continue when he lost the opening set to Florent Serra but he came through strongly in the end to triumph 4-6 6-4 6-1.

Germany's Florian Mayer needed nearly three hours to defeat Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (8/6) while Andreas Seppi of Italy saw off qualifier Stephane Bohli 6-1 7-5.

Meanwhile, eighth seed Elena Vesnina advanced to the second round of the Open GDF Suez in Paris. The Russian was always in control against Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru as she eased to a 6-1 6-4 success.


NBA - Orlando 123 New Orleans 117; Golden State 117 Dallas 127; LA Lakers 101 San Antonio 89.