Mercedes' radical 'dual axis steering' system looks set to be banned from Formula One in the 2021 season.

The constructors' champions introduced the new technology - also known by his acronym 'DAS' - at this week's testing session in Barcelona.

Discussions over its eye-catching appearance and effect are set to continue into the 2020 campaign, with Mercedes looking to have developed a new tool to push the team even further forward at least in the short term.

World champion Lewis Hamilton was shown on his car's on-board camera to be adjusting his steering column in practice, pulling it towards him and pushing it away.

That was said to result in small changes to the toe angle of the wheels - their alignment when the steering is set straight - and Mercedes technical director James Allison has said DAS offers drivers "an extra dimension of control".

However, amid a slew of changes to Formula One's rules that will come into effect next year, there are defined restrictions on steering mechanisms.

The 2021 rules state: "The re-alignment of the steered wheels, as defined by the position of the inboard attachment of the relevant suspensions members that remain a fixed distance from each other, must be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotational position of a single steering wheel."

The BBC reported on Friday that Michael Masi, race director of governing body the FIA, confirmed the rule amendment would affect DAS.

Masi is quoted as saying on the BBC Sport website: "We will see what teams can come up with within those boundaries of what the regulations are written for in 2021

Devin Toner has been promoted to the Ireland team to play England in the Six Nations on Sunday after Iain Henderson was ruled out.

Coach Andy Farrell had initially named an unchanged team for the crunch Twickenham clash, with Ireland joint-top alongside France after winning their beating Scotland and defending champions Wales.

However, the continuity has been disrupted, as family reasons mean Henderson will be unavailable.

Towering lock Toner, who was surprisingly left out of Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad under previous boss Joe Schmidt, comes into the side for his 70th cap.

The change sees Ultan Dillane take Toner's spot among the replacements.

England are under huge pressure heading into what Lewis Moody has described as a "must-win game" against Ireland in the Six Nations.

Eddie Jones' side were lacklustre in a shock loss to France before getting their campaign up and running by beating Scotland in torrid conditions at Murrayfield.

The Rugby World Cup runners-up welcome Andy Farrell's Ireland to Twickenham on Sunday and former England flanker Moody believes the onus is on the hosts to get a result.

Speaking to Omnisport ahead of the England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, Moody said: "Without a shadow of a doubt we all expected England to drive on after the World Cup. They faltered in the first game, the Scotland game allowed us to see they can knuckle out a victory in diabolical conditions. 

"All being the well the weather conditions will be favourable this weekend and we can really see where England are at.

"Ireland will come with confidence from the first two matches, they have the energy and enthusiasm of having a new coaching staff.

"For England it's a must-win game, because otherwise all of a sudden you're going into your fourth game having lost two, only just won one and staring down the barrel of a seriously disappointing Six Nations, which they started with big expectations.

"Without a shadow of a doubt there is a lot of pressure on this England side and coaching staff, which there always is, but we need to see them crack on and Eddie take them forward."

Moody, who made 71 appearances for his country and was part of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, feels England – who won in Dublin last year – are slight underdogs for this weekend's match against an Ireland side who received a visit from U2 frontman Bono this week.

"I have to admit I'm not overly confident, I even think Ireland will come in as slight favourites," he said.

"England have not really fired so far in the Six Nations, they had that really disappointing start in France, they got what they needed in Murrayfield – which is a very difficult place to go and win.

"To knock out a win in those unbelievably horrific weather conditions was impressive, but this is the true test, this is the game that matters. They [Ireland] have a very well-organised side, with a new coach who seems to be instilling some real belief and I'm sure they've got a slight degree of vengeance from last year's upset at home to inspire them."

While England still have not found what they are looking for in this year's Six Nations, Ireland's desire to win may have been boosted by the presence of Irish singer-songwriter Bono at the team hotel.

Moody does not know exactly how the away side will benefit from that experience, but he suggested some song lyrics might provide some inspiration. 

He said: "I'm not sure what motivation that will provide, but it'll be interesting for sure. Perhaps there may be a few of his lyrics quoted beforehand, but I'm not so sure what impact that might have."

- The England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match will take place at Twickenham Stoop on February 22, kick-off 17.30 and will be raising money for Restart Rugby, RFU Injured Players Fund and the Tom Smith Testimonial Committee. Visit http://tickets.quins.co.uk for tickets and more information.

The world of boxing will come to a standstill this weekend when Deontay Wilder faces Tyson Fury in an eagerly anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

It has been 14 months since two of boxing's most eccentric characters fought to a contentious draw for Wilder's WBC heavyweight world title.

Predictions have been rolling in from pundits, fans and fellow boxers alike prior to Saturday's blockbuster clash.

Here we take a look at how the biggest names in the sport see the bout panning out.

 

Former heavyweight champion George Foreman – I pick Tyson Fury on points

"It's going to be good for boxing. I love it. I pick Tyson Fury to win on points," he told bookies.com "Millions will watch it, and it'll probably be a controversial decision. That Deontay Wilder can punch. Oh, he can hit, and he can hit hard. I think they're going to tear the wall down there because that rematch will be seen by a lot of people."

Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO world champion – Tyson Fury has more to his arsenal

"He [Fury] has more to his arsenal so that's why I'm leaning to him. Fury can punch a bit," 'AJ' said to Sky Sports. "He's underestimated with his punching power which makes him dangerous. If you underestimate someone it makes them dangerous because you don't respect them until you get hit."

Wladimir Klitschko – I wish, believe it or not, Fury might make it

"Either Wilder is going to knock out Fury or Fury is going to win on points," Klitschko, dethroned as heavyweight champion by Fury in 2015, told The National. "Personally, I respect Wilder a lot – he was in my training camp, we spent rounds in the ring. As many knockouts as he has, you’ve probably no one else, in current times, any heavyweights, including me. I think, or I wish, that actually Fury, believe it or not, might make it."

Ex-world champion 'Iron' Mike Tyson – I'm rooting for Tyson Fury 

"I always root for him because he was named after me. That’s the natural thing to do, right? I'm biased towards him," the ex-heavyweight champ told BT Sport. "I don't care how hard you punch, it's hard to beat somebody who doesn't wanna quit."

Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz – Deontay Wilder by knockout

"Tyson Fury and Wilder are two different fighters, but I don't think Wilder will respect him in the rematch, and I see the outcome by a knockout victory," Ortiz said after being floored by Wilder in their own rematch in November.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield – At any one time Deontay Wilder can get you with one shot

"Now it's which guy is going to fight his fight like this. I think at any given time, Deontay can get you out with one shot," Holyfield told Fight Hub TV. "Tyson Fury, it's going to take him a lot of shots to get you out. He ain't gonna get you out with one. It's gonna take a lot of shots to get you out. So I think it’s going to be a little bit more difficult for him."

Three-time world champion Lennox Lewis – Right now, Deontay's looking good

"I think it's gonna be an unbelievable fight, the boxer against the puncher," Lewis told Boxing Social. No predictions. I would have to say, right now, Deontay's looking good."

Shelley Finkel, Wilder's manager – This time they will do the count correctly

"This time the count will be done correctly and you will see Deontay’s hand raised and they will announce he is still heavyweight champion, by knockout," Finkel said in quotes reported by Max Boxing.

Frank Warren, Fury's promoter – Tyson will have all the answers

"At the end of the day, Tyson got up twice from those knockdowns [in the first fight]," Warren told talkSPORT. "So he showed what he was made of and I just feel Tyson is a complete boxer. He can box, he can punch, he can be southpaw, he can be orthodox and he's a very smart guy. And I think he will have all the answers for him this time."

Joel Embiid feels his current run of form, including a 22-point display in the NBA All-Star Game, has proven he is the best player in the world.

Big man Embiid is often maligned despite averaging 23.3 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, with his highly-talented Philadelphia 76ers an underwhelming fifth in the Eastern Conference.

But the 25-year-old has had a big hand in Sixers wins either side of the All-Star break.

Embiid tallied 26 points and nine rebounds as he starred alongside Ben Simmons in a defeat of the Los Angeles Clippers, while a brilliant 39-point, 16-rebound return lifted Philadelphia to an overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, extending their winning run to four games.

In between those two performances, Embiid also managed 22 points and 10 rebounds for Team Giannis as he took on the best the Western Conference had to offer.

It was this display in the All-Star Game that Embiid felt secured his place as the league's elite performer.

"The All-Star game was fun, being there in the fourth quarter doing my thing at the end of the game," he said after seeing off the Nets, who will miss Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season.

"The game against the Clippers was a good starting spot, but the All-Star game was just proving that I'm here, I belong, being the best player in the world.

"And I just intend to keep coming out every single night and playing hard, just going out and trying to win a championship."

Embiid will have the opportunity to back up his claim on Saturday when the Sixers take on conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks and All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is on course for a second straight MVP award.

"We beat them pretty bad in the first matchup [121-109 in December], they got us the last one [112-101 earlier this month]," Embiid said. "So, it's on us to go out there and try to beat them again."

Manu Tuilagi returns to England's team for the Six Nations clash with Ireland on Sunday and Jonathan Joseph will line up on the left wing at Twickenham.

Head coach Eddie Jones moves Elliot Daly from out wide to full-back, where he replaces the injured George Furbank, while scrum-half Ben Youngs is recalled at the expense of Willi Heinz for what will be his 100th Test appearance - including two caps for the British and Irish Lions.

Lewis Ludlam drops out as Courtney Lawes returns in the back row, and with Mako Vunipola absent for family reasons, Joe Marler comes in at prop as Ellis Genge has to settle for a place on the bench once again.

Tuilagi's return after missing the victory over Scotland with a groin injury beefs up England's midfield, but the selection of Joseph on the wing catches the eye, given he is a centre by trade and Jones had more orthodox options.

Joseph will win a 50th England cap, while centre Henry Slade is on the bench, having not yet played this year due to an ankle problem.

England began their campaign with a defeat to France in Paris before getting the better of Scotland at Murrayfield.

They play a first home match of the tournament against an Ireland side who have beaten Scotland and Wales already, so will be seeking to stay in contention for a Grand Slam.

Jones said: "Ireland are a very good team, extremely well coached. They are a team we respect a lot. They will bring their usual physicality and under Andy Farrell they've opened up their game a little bit.

"They are a tactically smart team. [Conor] Murray and [Johnny] Sexton, who have played 170 Tests between them, at nine and 10 will manage the game well. We've got to make sure we match their physicality and their emotion on the weekend."

England: Elliot Daly, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonathan Joseph, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade.

Nate Solder knows all about the New England Patriots' winning culture and feels that will rub off on the New York Giants following Joe Judge's appointment as head coach.

The Giants last month hired former New England special teams coordinator Judge to succeed Pat Shurmur following a disappointing 4-12 campaign.

Judge was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams on Bill Belichick's staff, though his new role with the Giants is his first as a head coach.

Offensive lineman Solder, who won two Super Bowl rings in New England when Judge was there, believes his new head coach can bring 'The Patriot Way' to New York.

"He's a disciplined guy, he's a tough guy," left tackle Solder told Omnisport.

"He's got a winning model. He's won a lot of championships, been part of a championship games.

"I think those are all things that are going to benefit us hugely going forward."

The Giants are moving on without Eli Manning in 2020, the veteran quarterback having called time on his 16-season career after he lost his starting spot to rookie Daniel Jones in 2019.

Manning led the Giants to two Lombardi Trophies but his Hall of Fame candidacy remains a bone of contention, with his supporters highlighting his titles and longevity as his detractors point to average numbers.

Solder, though, has nothing but praise for Manning's dedication to his craft.

"What an honour," he said of playing with Manning. "I got to play with Tom Brady, I got to play with Eli Manning. I'm truly blessed for that.

"I've learned so many great lessons from him in terms of competitiveness, preparation and Eli's steadfastness through so many ups and downs.

"He was so steadfast and he was just consistent every day. He was the same guy.

"That's not easy to do, especially in the isolating position of being a quarterback, with so many expectations. I thought he did an excellent, wonderful job."

First-rounder Jones certainly impressed after replacing Manning, though, finishing the season with 3,027 yards passing with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games.

"I think he's absolutely going to be better in his second year," Solder said of Jones.

"He did a lot of great things this year. It's tough to be a quarterback in this league, he's got a lot to learn, but he's very committed to getting better and I think that's going to pay off."

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook bemoaned always being considered "the bad guy" and queried why more players were not punished in the incident that led to his ejection against the Golden State Warriors.

Nine-time All-Star Westbrook's night ended prematurely when he received two technical fouls in Houston's 135-105 victory.

The second of those technical fouls came in the fourth quarter after Westbrook caught Damion Lee with a stray arm.

The situation was only exacerbated when Westbrook then argued with players on Golden State's bench, including the injured Klay Thompson, before confronting Kevon Looney prior to being ejected.

"I hold myself to a very, very high standard," Westbrook told reporters afterwards.

"I think the refs, the fans, the media, the NBA are put in a position now that I'm not allowed to really do much. Obviously I'm an emotional guy.

"If you watch the clip, obviously I hit Lee but it wasn't on purpose. I'm going to the glass, he got hit. He said something to me, I said something to him.

"I'm standing there, a guy [Juan Toscano-Anderson] comes to snatch the ball out of my hand. Guys come running to me, I didn't move.

"But I'm always the one who gets painted to be the bad guy in the whole situation.

"They asked me to walk towards the Warriors bench. I'm just over there walking towards the bench and then one of the little young fellas tells me, 'Why you walking over here?'

"I turned around and said, 'What did you say?' So now everybody's running over to me, then I'm walking towards the thing, then Looney steps in front of me.

"I feel like I'm in a position where it's like, 'Oh, well. Russ is being Russ', which nobody knows what that means.

"But I've got to do a better job of holding myself to a very, very high standard. I'll make sure I leave no room for error to allow somebody to paint me out to be a guy that I'm not."

However, Westbrook, who had 21 points and 10 assists before his exit, felt he was singled out and that others should have been punished too.

"I just think it's unfair, though, that after all of that, I'm the only one who gets a tech or kicked out," added Westbrook, who leads the NBA with 13 technical fouls this season.

"That's not fair, I don't care what nobody says.

"There were so many other people involved in it that were doing so many things that weren't okay but I'm the one that gets the tech, gets ejected, and everyone else is cool and gets back to play.

"But I take responsibility and I hold myself to a very high standard."

The Crusaders went top of the Super Rugby standings following a 33-13 triumph over the Highlanders in Christchurch on Friday.

The champions of the last three seasons ran in three tries inside the opening 26 minutes and had secured a bonus point before half-time.

Codie Taylor, Tom Christie, Braydon Ennor and George Bridge all went over, with Michael Collins' effort and a Josh Ioane penalty all the Highlanders had to show for their first-half efforts.

The Highlanders trailed 26-8 at the interval and their cause was not helped by Shannon Frizell's sin-binning six minutes into the second half for a tip-tackle on Ennor.

They were still the next to score through Jona Nareki, but Sione Havili dotted down for the Crusaders' fifth try six minutes from time to cap a comfortable victory.

Serge Betsen laughed off Wyn Jones' claim that France will "cheat" in the Six Nations showdown on Saturday and urged Les Bleus to keep their discipline on a revenge mission in Cardiff.

Wales prop Jones fanned the flames this week by stating that the defending champions know France will "hit and chase and cheat" in the scrum.

France head coach Fabien Galthie accused Wales of a "lack of respect towards our scrum, towards our team, towards French rugby, towards our nation", while manager Raphael Ibanez described Jones' barbs as a "blatant, childish attack".

Betsen says joint-leaders Les Bleus are best advised to let their rugby do the talking when they bid to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive.

Asked about Jones' comments, the former France flanker told Omnisport: "That made me laugh, because it is an attempt to create disruption and get into the head of your opponents.

"Communication is a key aspect of the game, but I believe none of the French players responded to that. My view is better to be quiet and play at your best than start talking about things that are not the truth.

"Saying that, we are not really in the press outside of France because we are not speaking, we are not talking a lot about what we are doing, and we talk after the game."

A moment of madness from Sebastien Vahaamahina cost France dearly the last time the two nations met in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Oita Stadium in October.

Les Bleus were leading 19-10 at half-time and looked to be heading into the last four before lock Vahaamahina was dismissed for elbowing Aaron Wainwright, with Wales going on to win 20-19.

While a host of players who will feature at the Principality Stadium were not involved in that painful encounter, Betsen says it should make them even more eager to give Wales a taste of their own medicine.

"I think that red card gave them a lot of experience of high level. It is a great opportunity for all those players who felt that frustration of losing," he added.

"It will be very challenging for France, it is a young side, with players who have not experienced playing in Cardiff.

"At the highest level it is all about keeping your nerve, maintain your discipline."

Deontay Wilder told Tyson Fury "we know your secrets" ahead of their rematch as the heavyweight world champion aims to expose a cut the challenger sustained in his last fight.

The highly-anticipated second bout appeared to be in danger of being delayed when Fury suffered a deep cut during the third round of his points win over Otto Wallin in September.

Fury later claimed he needed 40 stitches for the wound and it was noted by Wilder that he wore sunglasses during Wednesday's news conference.

The Briton's cutman Jacob 'Stitch' Duran has since revealed Fury has had mesh web inserted into the soft tissue above his eye but stressed "it won't be an issue" in Las Vegas on Saturday.

However, Wilder believes the problem is more serious than Fury or his camp are letting on.

"That's definitely something that I'm targeting," he said.

"When a fighter has a wound that, we feel, is not all the way healed - no matter what he says - because as a fighter being in here, as a veteran being in the game, you see so many different things and you can acknowledge a lot of things and you know.

"It's like him coming to the press conference, he changed up something. He wore a hood and he wore glasses. He's covering up something. Fury, we know your secrets. We know what's going on.

"That was just one of those things where he was just trying to cover up.

"He didn't want me to see how severe the cut was. You hear all the rumours as well that he didn't allow his sparring partners to hit him in the face, they just did body sparring and different things like that.

"That just shows a strong indication that something happened in that camp, something happened with his eye.

"Credit to him, he's a warrior, he's still coming, he's still trying to cover it up and come Saturday night is going to be ready to show up and present himself as, what he calls himself, the lineal champion."

Wilder will be denied the chance to have a closer inspection of Fury's eye on Friday as the traditional pre-fight face-off at the weigh-in has been cancelled after the pair confronted each other on stage on Wednesday.

WBC champion Wilder, whose record stands at 42 wins and one draw from his 43 fights, will be hoping to make the 11th successful defence of his title.

The only time he did not emerge victorious was in the original meeting with Fury back in December which ended in a contentious draw.

Of Fury's 30 fights, that was the only bout he has not won too.

Family loyalty will go out of the window when England and Ireland do battle this weekend, and France face a major test of their Six Nations title credentials against Wales.

Ireland beat defending champions Wales 24-14 in Dublin last time out, while France also made it two wins out of two with a 35-22 triumph over Italy.

The joint-leaders will not have home comforts for the first time in the tournament, with the third round of matches seeing Les Bleus travel to Cardiff on Saturday and Ireland taking on England at Twickenham on Sunday.

England captain Owen Farrell could inflict a first defeat on his father, Andy, since he become Ireland head coach.

Winless Scotland and Italy do battle on Saturday at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, where the hosts go in search of their first points of the tournament.

We take a look at what promises to a be pivotal round of matches with some standout Opta data.

 

Italy v Scotland

- Scotland have won six of their last seven Six Nations games against Italy, their solitary loss in that spell coming at Murrayfield in 2015 – the Azzurri’s last victory against any side in the Championship.

- Seven of the last eight Six Nations meetings between Italy and Scotland in Rome have been decided by seven points or fewer.

- Italy have spent 40 minutes in possession in the Six Nations this year, longer than any other side, making the most carries (300) and metres (857) in the process; in contrast, Scotland have spent the least time in possession during this campaign (33m 56s).

- Scotland have missed just 25 tackles in this year's Six Nations, fewer than any of their rivals and as a result boast the best tackle success rate (91 per cent).

 

Wales v France

- Wales have won eight of their last nine Test matches against France, this after winning just two of their previous 12 clashes with Les Bleus before that run.

- France and Scotland (7/7) are the only sides who boast a 100 per cent scrum success rate on their own feed in the Six Nations this year, while Wales have recorded the worst success rate at that particular set-piece - with 11 from 15.

- France’s Bernard Le Roux has made the most tackles of any player in the tournament with 38, one more than Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones.

- No player has beaten more defenders in the Six Nations this year than France's Antoine Dupont (10, level with Stuart Hogg), while he also has the second-most offloads with seven.

 

England v Ireland

- Ireland are the only side to hold a winning record over England in the Six Nations (winning 11 and losing nine); however, they suffered a record 57-15 to the Red Rose in their last meeting before the Rugby World Cup.

- England have lost just one of their last 19 home games in the Six Nations (W17, D1). That one defeat came the last time they hosted Ireland in 2018.

- Ireland have won 95 per cent of their lineouts in the Six Nations this year (19/20), which is the best rate of any team. However, England have stolen the most lineouts (5) in the Championship.

- Maro Itoje has hit 74 rucks in the 2020 Six Nations, more than any other player, and has also won the most turnovers with six.

Giannis Antetokounmpo starred as the Milwaukee Bucks resumed their NBA season with a comfortable win, while the Houston Rockets cruised on Thursday.

Back in action after the All-Star break, the Bucks improved to 47-8 with a 126-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double of 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Khris Middleton poured in 28 points.

Eric Bledsoe went eight-of-14 from the field for his 19 points and Brook Lopez contributed 18 for the Bucks.

The Rockets were untroubled by the Golden State Warriors in a 135-105 thrashing.

James Harden (29 points and 10 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points and 10 assists) finished with double-doubles.

All five of Houston's starters finished with double-digits for points, with Robert Covington adding 20.

 

Young red-hot as Embiid lifts 76ers

Trae Young had a career-high 50 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 129-124 win over the Miami Heat.

Joel Embiid's double-double of 39 points and 16 rebounds helped the Philadelphia 76ers past the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 after overtime.

Malik Monk's 25 points off the bench helped the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 103-93.

 

Bulls' slump continues

The Bulls' loss was their seventh straight as they were left with a 19-37 record and in 11th in the Eastern Conference.

 

Young from deep

Young went eight-of-15 from three-point range in a dazzling display.

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 126-106 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 103-93 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-105 Golden State Warriors

 

Grizzlies at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) resume their campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies (28-27) at the Staples Center on Friday.

Dominic Thiem survived another test to reach the Rio Open quarter-finals, while Milos Raonic's run at Delray Beach continued on Thursday.

Thiem, playing his first tournament since reaching the Australian Open final, was pushed by Jaume Munar before winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 on the clay in Brazil.

The Austrian top seed, who won the ATP 500 event in 2017, needed two hours, 41 minutes to advance, having also dropped a set in his opener.

Thiem will face Gianluca Mager in the quarter-finals after the Italian qualifier's 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over Joao Domingues.

Borna Coric moved into the last eight courtesy of a 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-5) win against wildcard Thiago Seyboth Wild.

The fifth seed will meet Lorenzo Sonego, who upset second seed Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5).

At the Delray Beach Open, Raonic – the 2017 runner-up – served 11 aces in a 7-5 6-3 win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe that sent him into the quarter-finals.

Steve Johnson awaits the Canadian after overcoming 2017 champion Jack Sock 6-4 5-7 6-1.

Frances Tiafoe, the 2018 winner, and Ugo Humbert set up a last-eight meeting with straight-sets victories over Tommy Paul and Miomir Kecmanovic respectively.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs confirmed Jason Demetriou had agreed to a contract extension that is set to see him succeed Wayne Bennett as head coach in 2022.

Bennett joined the Rabbitohs ahead of last season, leading them to the preliminary finals before a loss to the Canberra Raiders.

The 70-year-old will see out his contract, which runs until the end of 2021, with South Sydney, with Demetriou set to take over.

"The South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed that current assistant coach Jason Demetriou has agreed to terms on a contract extension with the South Sydney Rabbitohs with a view to succeeding Wayne Bennett as head coach of the club post the 2021 season, a plan which has been in place since coach Bennett's appointment at the club," a Rabbitohs statement read on Friday.

"Coach Bennett is contracted to the Rabbitohs until the end of the 2021 season with Demetriou lined up to take over the head coach role for the pre-season preparations leading into season 2022.

"The club will maintain its focus on the 2020 and 2021 seasons under coach Bennett and preparing for next Saturday's pre-season feature match, the 37th Charity Shield against the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee."

Demetriou, 44, followed Bennett – who was sacked as England coach earlier this month – to the Rabbitohs from the Brisbane Broncos ahead of 2019.

South Sydney will begin their 2020 season against the Cronulla Sharks on March 14.

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have never been more dangerous than now ahead of their showdown, according to former light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward.

Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight title in an eagerly awaited rematch with Fury in Las Vegas, following on from their controversial draw in December 2018.

Ward, who retired in 2017 with an undefeated record, said Wilder and Fury had only become better since their previous bout.

"In my days of following the sport I have several memories of big heavyweight fights, but I don't know if I can remember a heavyweight fight with fighters in their prime, at this stage in their career," he told Omnisport.

"I do believe that Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are in their absolute prime, their absolute peak and even since the first fight, both fighters have bolstered their reputations, they're more popular than they've ever been. I feel like both guys are more dangerous than they've ever been.

"There's just a lot riding on this and you can feel it in the air in Las Vegas that neither fighter can afford to lose and I think both fighters are going to do whatever they have to do to get their hand raised Saturday."

Both Wilder and Fury claim they should have been victorious in Los Angeles nearly 15 months ago, with the former twice knocking down the Brit.

Ward, who beat Sergey Kovalev twice at the end of his career, said the adjustments Fury was looking to make could mean a shorter fight.

"Rematches are all about taking away some adjustments, like what was your takeaway from the first fight and you have to be honest with yourself, even if you don't share with anybody else," he said.

"You've got to be honest about where you got hit, why you got hit, if the guy was strong, if his punch was a lot heavier than you thought. That way you can make the adjustment then you take the takeaway, make the adjustment and then obviously come fight night the hard work is about executing.

"I think Deontay Wilder has definitely worked on a few things, I hear him talking about being more patient, I've heard word out of his camp that he's trying to work on his jab and how to disguise and hide his power a little bit more. I think those are great adjustments. You don't need major adjustments in rematches, you just need the right ones.

"Tyson Fury, on the other hand, he's talking about making polarising adjustments. He doesn't want to box nearly as much as he did the first time, he's talking about coming in bulkier, coming in heavier, 14 and a half pounds north of what he came in the first fight.

"That tells us that he wants to toe the line and attack and fight Deontay Wilder and if he does that it's going to be a short night for either guy, I just don't know which one it's going to be."

Tyson Fury has promised to fall back on old tricks as he aims to defeat Deontay Wilder in the pair's highly anticipated rematch in Las Vegas.

In December 2018, the pair fought out a controversial split draw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Wilder knocked Fury down twice – in the ninth and 12th rounds – yet he beat the count on both occasions.

Defending WBC heavyweight champion Wilder has since revealed Fury kept muttering "dosser", seemingly as a distraction tactic, during the bout.

The 31-year-old Briton has since used the phrase "you big dosser" consistently while calling out Wilder and other fighters, including during a short stint in WWE in 2019.

On Thursday, Fury attended a media gathering wearing a suit embroidered with the catchphrase – an insult he says he intends to use again at the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday.

"Yes, I think I'll be using 'the dosser' again in this fight," Fury told Omnisport. "I've got my 'big dosser' suit on.

"At any given moment I'm going to be pulling out the 'big dosser' line in the fight, don't worry about that."

This will be Fury's third fight in Vegas, a city where he intends to see out his professional career within the next two years.

"Most definitely," Fury said when asked if relocating to Vegas, and bringing a large contingent of support with him, had helped add extra motivation following his comeback.

"I look out and there are thousands of fans who have travelled, British and from all over the world, to see this fight."

Rory McIlroy opened up a two-stroke lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship to continue his good form on Thursday.

The world number one, who has started 2020 with two top-five finishes, carded a six-under 65 in the opening round at Club de Golf Chapultepec.

Starting on the back nine, McIlroy made an eagle at the par-five 11th before holing five birdies, with his only blemish coming with a bogey at the fourth.

McIlroy, runner-up last year, is two shots clear of Americans Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.

"It was good. All aspects of my game were working pretty well. I drove the ball well, and I took advantage of that," McIlroy said.

"I think the big thing was I putted well. I didn't putt so well at Riviera [at the Genesis Invitational] last week. I went back to my old putter, I was trying a new one last week.

"It didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to, but I was comfortable on the greens today and holed some nice ones coming in."

Watson is a three-time runner-up at the tournament and made five birdies and a bogey during his round, while Thomas finished second in 2018.

Louis Oosthuizen, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners and Bryson DeChambeau, who carded three-under 68s in their first rounds, are tied for fourth.

Three-time winner Dustin Johnson endured an awful start by opening with a five-over 76.

The defending champion made a double bogey and four bogeys to go with his birdie as he was left in a tie for 62nd.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will undergo surgery on his shoulder and miss the rest of the NBA season.

Irving has missed a large part of his first campaign in Brooklyn due to a shoulder injury, making just 20 appearances in 2019-20.

And the 27-year-old will miss the remainder of the season as he undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder, the team announced on Thursday.

"He's obviously upset about this and we're here to support him, support the process moving forward with him and the rehabilitation," Nets general manager Sean Marks told a news conference.

"He saw specialists including our own people at HSS and it's been a group consensus that at this point in time and this juncture that this is the best cause of action."

Irving averaged 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his 20 games this season.

Brooklyn are 25-28 and in seventh in the Eastern Conference ahead of facing the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

Page 1 of 320
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.