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SPORT | IN BRIEF

Dredge and Wilson lead in Qatar
GOLF: England’s Oliver Wilson and Bradley Dredge, of Wales, fired opening rounds of 67 to take a share of the lead at the Qatar Open.

Both defied windy conditions to post five-under-par rounds, Dredge joining Wilson at the top of the leaderboard after a run of four birdies in the last five holes.

Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood is a shot behind, along with Swedish pair Robert Karlsson and Alexander Noren, and Germany’s Marcel Siem.

Wilkinson bags new Toulon deal
RUGBY UNION: England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has signed a year-long contract extension with French side Toulon until at least the the end of next season.

Wilkinson is the leading individual scorer in the Top 14 with 177 points while the injury problems that have blighted the England international’s career seem to have eased.

Wilkinson is currently training with England in preparation for the Six Nations opener against Wales on 6 February.

Denman opts for Newbury Chase
RACING: Denman will not compete in Saturday’s Argento Chase at Cheltenham after all, opting to wait to race at Newbury next month instead.

Paul Nicholls’ charge is in preparation for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March and will go for the Aon Chase at Newbury on 13 February.

Palace docked 10 points
FOOTBALL: The Football League have confirmed that Crystal Palace have been deducted 10 points for going into administration on Wednesday.

The deduction sees Palace slip from ninth in the Championship table to 21st, three points clear of the relegation zone.

Neil Warnock, meanwhile, has agreed to stay on as Eagles chief after discussions with administrator Brendan Guilfoyle.

O’Sullivan breezes through
SNOOKER: World No1 Ronnie O’Sullivan needed only 55 minutes to book his place in the third round of the Welsh Open with a 5-0 crushing of Jamie Cope.

Two-time winner O’Sullivan rallied to breaks of over 50 in four of the last five frames to seal victory.
Elsewhere, world champion John Higgins is also through after beating Graeme Dott 5-1, while fellow Scot Stephen Maguire beat Barry Hawkins 5-1.