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SPORT | IN BRIEF

Nicholls rap for McCoy critics
RACING: Paul Nicholls has dismissed suggestions that Tony McCoy shouldn’t ride Denman in next month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup as “nonsense” and “twaddle”.

McCoy came in for criticism last month after being unseated by the 2008 Gold Cup hero in the Aon Chase at Newbury.

But Nicholls said: “It’s the biggest load of twaddle I’ve ever heard. He’s the champion jockey and was just unlucky.”

Saints complete Clark signing
RUGBY UNION: Northampton Saints have clinched the signing of Leeds Carnegie flanker Calum Clark for next season.

The England Under-20s captain was raised through the Leeds academy but admitted the chance to join the Saints was too good to turn down.

Modi threatens to axe players
CRICKET: Indian Premeir League chief Lalit Modi has warned any player who withdraws from this year’s competition over security fears is jeopardising their involvement in future seasons.

A number of players, particularly from Australia, have expressed concerns following a report into the tournament, but Modi said: “No one can dictate to us how we should conduct our tournaments."