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Football: Pochettino confirms Southampton commitment

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday that he intends to stay at the club despite the resignation of his ally Nicola Cortese as executive chairman. Cortese left the club on Wednesday evening, with club owner Katharina Liebherr installing herself as non-executive chairwoman. Speaking in May, Pochettino had declared that he would leave the club if Cortese ever did, but he told reporters on Thursday that he wanted to remain in his position.

Kitimat residents to vote in April plebiscite on Northern Gateway project

KITIMAT, B.C. - The District of Kitimat will hold a plebiscite on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in April to gauge support for the controversial project. Chief administrative officer Ron Poole says residents will vote on April 12, with advanced polls on April 2 and April 9. The dates were set this week when councillors approved the question, asking residents if they support the final recommendations of the Joint Review Panel, which issued a report in December saying the pipeline should be approved subject to 209 conditions.

RugbyU: Tui to join Lyon from Exeter next season

New Zealand Maori prop Hoani Tui is to join Lyon next season from English top flight side Exeter Chiefs, the French second division leaders said Wednesday. The 29-year-old first came to Europe with Italians Calvisano in 2008 before moving to Exeter in 2010 as the Devonshire outfit made their return to the English Premiership. Lyon, who count iconic former France forward Sebastien Chabal amongst their squad, are currently seven points clear at the top of the French Pro D2 and looking good to move back up to the Top 14 next season. fjt/nd/bc/dj

RugbyU: North helps Northampton take top spot

Northampton surged to the top of the English Premiership on Friday as Wales wing George North inspired a 23-9 win over Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens. After a hard-fought first half ended level at 6-6 following two penalties apiece from Northampton's Stephen Myler and Quins' Nick Evans, it was time for North to take over.

RugbyU: England flanker Johnson signs Exeter extension

England international flanker Tom Johnson has signed a contract extension with Exeter Chiefs until 2017, the English Premiership club revealed. The three-year contract extension will take the popular 31-year-old up to a decade with the South west club. "Getting the deal done now means I have three and a half seasons of rugby left, which is great," Johnson said. "That is a long time in a player's career, so now it means I can just knuckle down with the hard work and help continue the curve that the Chiefs are on."

RugbyUnion: Deacon forced into retirement following 'deadly' illness

Leicester forward Brett Deacon said doctors revealed his severe case of immune system disease lupus that forced him into premature retirement could have cost him his life. The 31-year-old who played for the Tigers between 2003 and 2010, before a two year spell at Gloucester and then returning to Leicester in 2012, confirmed his retirement on Wednesday, following medical advice. He has now taken up a role in Leicester's academy. Deacon admitted on Thursday specialists told him he was fortunate not to have suffered a heart attack as a result of his symptoms.

RugbyU: Saints hit with North Wales release fine

Northampton Saints were hit with a £60,000 (71,500 euros, $98,300) fine for releasing star wing George North to play for Wales, Premiership Rugby said Wednesday. Saints allowed North to play in Wales's 30-26 defeat to Australia on November 30, a match that was played outside the International rugby Board's (IRB) official Test window. Northampton were forced to release North due to the terms of their contract with the player, but Premiership Rugby rules stipulate that teams may not free players to other nations for Tests played outside the IRB's window.

Football: Referee takes a tumble at St James' Park

A Premier League referee took his cue from the players when he went down clutching his face during Newcastle United's 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday. Mike Jones was caught in the face by Moussa Sissoko as Newcastle's French midfielder urged Southampton goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga to get back to his feet late in the game at St James' Park. Having been apparently caught in the nose, the official put both hands to his face and then collapsed to the ground as a posse of Southampton players looked on bemused.

Paralympics: Rio ready to emulate London success

International Paralympic Committee chief Philip Craven believes Rio de Janeiro is poised to emulate the success of the London Paralympics at the upcoming 2016 games. Craven, visiting Rio to view the venues, said Wednesday he was excited to see Brazil's efforts at raising awareness as well as putting on an extravaganza to rival London. "This city and this country is a tailor made for transformation," said Craven, recently elected for a fourth term as IPC president.

Hull applies to FA to change name to Hull Tigers: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League Hull City have applied to the English FA to change their name to Hull Tigers from next season, the BBC reported on Wednesday. Club owner Assem Allam wants to re-brand the 109-year-old Yorkshire club but the move has provoked a fierce backlash among fans. Egyptian-born businessman Allam changed the name of the club's holding company from Hull City Association Football Club to Hull City Tigers in August.
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