Press Association Folau has been in stunning form at full-back for the NSW Waratahs, but has been chosen on the right wing by the Wallabies with Digby Ioane, who has recovered from knee surgery, lining up on the opposite flank. With Beale deemed not ready to start against the Lions following his return from alcohol-related problems, Deans has opted for O’Connor at fly-half with Berrick Barnes taking the number 15 jersey. It will be only the second time O’Connor has played a Test at 10, with the other appearance taking place alongside Will Genia against Wales in 2011. Scrum-half Genia and the selection of Adam Ashley-Cooper were the two certainties in the Wallaby backline, with the presence of Lealiifano one of the main talking points in the build up to the team announcement. The 25-year-old playmaker also features at fly-half for the ACT Brumbies and has edged the more defensive Pat McCabe to form a centre partnership with Ashley-Cooper. Lealiifano’s inclusion indicates the Wallabies are seeking to play a more expansive game against the Lions. Australia team to face the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday June 22: B Barnes (NSW Waratahs); I Folau (NSW Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), C Lealiifano (Brumbies), D Ioane (Queensland Reds); J O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), K Douglas (NSW Waratahs), J Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), B Mowen (Brumbies), M Hooper (NSW Waratahs), W Palu (NSW Waratahs). Replacements: S Fainga’a (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), L Gill (Queensland Reds), N Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), P McCabe (Brumbies), K Beale (Melbourne Rebels) The starting XV picked by coach Robbie Deans features three debutants in full-back Israel Folau, flanker Ben Mowen and inside centre Christian Lealiifano. Folau is competing in his first season in professional rugby union, having already represented Australia at rugby league and played in the AFL. Australia have picked James O’Connor at fly-half for Saturday’s opening Test against the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium with Kurtley Beale included on the bench.
…. FIBA makes calendar changesTHE Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) tournament, of which Guyana are the defending champions, is likely to be held in 2021, just before the Olympic Games, following a video conference meeting yesterday with FIBA’s Executive Committee, following which, several changes were made.The most recent Central Board meeting, which occurred on March 13, confirmed the suspension of all FIBA competitions and also delegated the FIBA Executive Committee to make any necessary adjustments to the FIBA Calendar initially approved by the Central Board in 2015, following the change of dates to the Tokyo Olympic Games.FIBA welcomed last week the confirmation of the revised dates for Tokyo 2020, July 23 – August 8, 2021, and thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its collaborative and timely resolution to this complex situation.After careful analysis of the possible scenarios and following the recommendations of the Regional Offices and of the Competitions Commission, the FIBA Executive Committee pointed out that the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will be played in the period between June 22 and July 4, 2021 (exact dates pending IOC approval).The FIBA EuroBasket 2021 and the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 are rescheduled to the period between September 1 and 18, 2022.In order to limit workload for players and maximise the opportunities within the calendar, national teams participating in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers will play the two games originally scheduled for September 2022 at the end of August 2022, during the preparation phase of the FIBA EuroBasket and FIBA AmeriCup.All other remaining dates of Qualifiers for the Continental Cups 2021 and for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 remain unchanged.The FIBA Afrobasket 2021 (August 24 – September 5) and the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 (August 17-29) are rescheduled by one and two weeks respectively, in August 2021, to avoid the calendar clash with the Tokyo Olympic Games.The FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2021 is rescheduled to June 20-27, 2021, prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games and on similar dates as the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 (June 17-27 2021).The four Women’s Continental Cups will qualify a total of 16 teams that will compete in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournaments in February 2022.The dates of all other FIBA Senior Tournaments at world and continental level, as well as their Qualifiers, for the period 2020-2023 remain without change.The FIBA U-17 Basketball World Cup 2020 in Bulgaria has been rescheduled to the same dates as the FIBA U=17 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2020 in Romania (August 15-23). A final decision on these tournaments will be made in mid-May depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said that he was “very pleased that, in a very challenging period, FIBA has been able to conduct an internal consultation process so fast and confirm an updated calendar for our senior tournaments within almost 2 weeks from the IOC’s announcement of the new dates for the Olympic Games.The President and I are grateful to our National Federations, our Zones and all other stakeholders for their swift collaboration.”“The outcome is a calendar of FIBA major events which remains very attractive for our fans, with a balanced distribution of top events, keeping always in mind the welfare and availability of players. I am looking forward to the day when the basketball community will be able to get back on the court.”FIBA’s Executive Committee noted that they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis and evaluate the options for the lifting of the suspension of FIBA competitions when the situation allows for it.
American Dalilah Muhammad, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas and the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan are also up for the award.Sprinter Fraser-Pryce won the world 100m and 4x100m titles in world-leading times of 10.71 and 41.44 in Doha, while Hassan broke the world mile record with a time of 4:12:33 in Monaco.Triple-jumper Rojas won nine of her 12 competitions, including gold at the World Championships with 15.37m, while Muhammad set a new world record of 52.16 in the 400m hurdles in Doha.Britain’s world heptathlon gold medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson missed out on the shortlist, having featured among the initial 11 nominees.In the men category, two Africans are listed in the top five shortlist. They include; Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei who won world cross-country title in Aarhus and also picked the world 10,000m title in a world-leading 26:48.36. Cheptegei won the IAAF Diamond League 5000m title this season.The other African is Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge who won the 2019 London Marathon in a course record of 2:02:37. He also ran 1:59:40.2 to win the 42.195km marathon in Vienna.America’s Sam Kendricks who won world pole vault title and cleared a world-leading 6.06m to win the US Title is also on the list.Kendricks won 12 of his 17 outdoor competitions this season, including the Diamond League finalAnother American athlete, Noah Lyles, who won world 200m and 4x100m titles at the Worlds in Doha and also ran a world-leading 19.50 in Lausanne to move to fourth on the world all-time list is in the race for the top honour.He won Diamond League titles at 100m and 200m.Norway’s Karsten Warholm who won the worlds 400m hurdles title in Doha and was undefeated indoors and outdoors at all distances, including at the Diamond League final and the European Indoor Championships completes the list of nominees.He clocked world-leading 46.92, the second-fastest time in history.According to IAAF, the winners will be determined through a three-way voting process.“The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via our social media platforms.“The Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result.”Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closed on 5 November.The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the World Athletics Awards 2019 in Monaco on Saturday 23 November.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei is one of five finalists for the Female World Athlete 2019 award.Last month the Kenyan broke Briton Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record, running a time of 2hrs 14mins 04secs to win the Chicago Marathon.Kosgei, 25, also became the youngest winner of the London marathon in April.