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Hartley out of internationals

RUGBY: England fear Dylan Hartley could miss the whole QBE autumn international series with a knee injury he suffered at the weekend.

Hartley is definitely out of England's opening Test against Fiji on November 10, as is Courtney Lawes, and he is expected to be sidelined for up to four weeks.

England coach Stuart Lancaster would not officially rule Hartley out of the Tests against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but his involvement seems unlikely.



Tsonga victory

TENNIS: Home crowd favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2) last night to reach the third round of the Paris Masters.

The 2008 champion was forced into a final-set tiebreaker after failing to serve out the match.

Benneteau only converted three of his 11 breakpoint chances against the hard-serving Tsonga, who hit a total of 15 aces -- five in each set.

Novak Djokovic is among the favourites for the tournament, which is missing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.



Bryant boost

BASKETBALL: Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant gave his Los Angeles Lakers team mates a late boost when he pronounced himself fit enough to play in the regular season opener against the Dallas Mavericks.

The All-Star guard, who had been sidelined for eight days by

a strained right foot, had said he was "85pc" certain to take the court but would make a final

decision before game time.

The 34-year-old league veteran was kicked in his right foot during the third quarter of the Lakers' 99-92 preseason loss to the Sacramento Kings on October 21.


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