| 11.7°C Dublin

In brief: Rees banned for Six Nations

Wales scrum-half Richie Rees will miss this season's entire Six Nations Championship after the Cardiff Blues star was hit with a 12-week ban for making contact with the eye area of Northampton's Dylan Hartley in a Heineken Cup pool game in December.

Gloucester lock Dave Attwood has also been ruled out of England's opening two games against Wales and Italy due to a nine-week suspension for stamping on La Rochelle prop Petrisor Toderasc in a Challenge Cup clash at Kingsholm.


WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye claims he is "done with the Klitschkos" and has branded IBF and WBO title holder Wladimir a "coward" for opting to fight Dereck Chisora in a rescheduled bout on April 30 rather than unifying the belts in a 2011 showdown.

A bemused Haye said in a statement: "We agreed to a date of July 2 at a venue in Germany with both Sky Sports and RTL and everybody appeared happy with the deal. We made a few concessions to remove past stumbling blocks and were happy to do so, as it finally looked like the fight would get made.

"Even through negotiations, though, it was clear Wladimir was looking for the coward's way out. He would often come up with new obstacles and problems to overcome, and I never once sensed he fancied it."


India's determination to avoid defeat yesterday killed off any chances of a thrilling finale in the third and final Test against South Africa.

With the series between the world's top two teams evenly poised at 1-1 and India needing 340 to win in 90 overs, the stage had been set for a dramatic fifth day.

But India's batsmen abandoned their usual free-flowing strokes and instead seemed happy to tap away defensive shots as they crawled to 166-3 in 82 overs before settling for a draw.


Flu victim Rafael Nadal benefited from a first-set timeout with the doctor to dispatch Latvian Ernests Gulbis and join old foe Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open yesterday.

The World No 1, who has been suffering from a fever all week, recovered and played on to win 7-6 6-3, setting up a meeting with Russian Nikolay Davydenko or big-serving Ivo Karlovic for a place in the final.

Irish Independent