Ford to make Saints switch
RUGBY UNION: Highly-rated fly-half Joe Ford has agreed a deal to join Northampton Saints from Leeds at the end of the season.

The 19-year-old, whose dad Mike is the England defence coach, has enjoyed a fine season with Carnegie and is seen as one of England’s brightest young talents.
He said: “I’m looking forward to joining one of the biggest clubs in the country and working with coaches, Jim Mallinder, Dorian West and Paul Grayson.”

Hewat quits for Japan
RUGBY UNION: London Irish full-back Peter Hewat will leave the club at the end of the season to pursue a career in Japan.

The 32-year-old Australian has played 75 games for the Exiles, scoring 21 tries and 482 points.

“The time is right for me to move on,” Hewat said. “I wouldn’t play for any other club in Europe and I’ve always wanted to play in Japan.”

Lel pulls out of London
ATHLETICS: Three-time winner Martin Lel has been forced to withdraw from this year’s London Marathon for a second year in a row.

The 31-year-old Kenyan, who won the race in 2005, 2007, and 2008 was denied the chance to achieve a record fourth win at next Sunday’s race after sustaining a leg injury.

He pulled out of last year’s Marathon with a hip injury.

Woods submits USā€ˆOpen entry
GOLF: Tiger Woods has submitted his entry to play at this year’s US Open at Pebble Beach, on 17 June.

Woods has admitted he will take more time away from the game after finishing fourth in last week’s US Masters – his first tournament back after a five-month exile from the game.

Woods won by a record 15 shots when the US Open was last played at Pebble Beach, back in 2000, and has subsequently gone on to win two more, in 2002 and 2008.

Williams back for Italian Open
TENNIS: World No1 Serena Williams will make her long-awaited return to action at next month’s Italian Open after sitting out for almost three months with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old American has been handed a wild card to play in the event, which starts on 3 May – her first since winning her 12th Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.