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Ireland line up English duel

RUGBY UNION: Ireland will warm up for next year's Rugby World Cup with a showdown against England at the new Lansdowne Road.

The Aviva Stadium fixture is scheduled for August 27, just two weeks before the World Cup campaign begins in New Zealand.

"It is going to be tight but with Argentina as the first game (of the World Cup), we felt we needed a game two weeks before, not three weeks before," said England manager Martin Johnson.

Meanwhile, All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan has been given the all clear to travel to South Africa for the Tri-Nations match against South Africa at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg next week.

Cowan missed the All Blacks' win over arch-rivals Australia in Christchurch last weekend with a rib injury, which he sustained in the win over the Wallabies in Melbourne at the end of last month.

Holyfield to fight again

BOXING: Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield plans to step back into the ring in November against journeyman Sherman Williams at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit.

Holyfield (43-10-2, 28 KOs) will be 48 years old when he fights for the first time since knocking out 41-year-old Frans Botha in the eighth round in April in Las Vegas.

The 37-year-old Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs) lost a 10-round decision to Manuel Charr last October.

While in Michigan for the announcement, Holyfield will be co-grand marshal at Sunday's Carfax 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

India Games bid doubt

OLYMPICS: Australia's Olympic chief says any future Games bid from India will be judged on its ability to successfully host the Commonwealth Games, which start in New Delhi in October.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said that infrastructure problems and continuing security fears over New Delhi's hosting of the Commonwealth Games from October 3-14 would damage India's possible bid for a future Olympic Games.

Coates said that the International Olympic Committee "would certainly prefer that venues are all finished one year before" and that test events are conducted before the main event takes place.

MLB: St Louis 6 Cincinnati 1, Detriot 3 Tampa Bay 2, Atlanta 8 Houston 2 (10 innings), LA Angels 2 Kansas City 1 (10 innings), Oakland 5 Seattle 1, Florida 9 Washington 5, Philadelphia 2 LA Dodgers 0, Baltimore 3 Cleveland 1, Boston 10 Toronto 1, Colorado 6 NY Mets 2, NY Yankees 7 Texas 6, Arizona 8 Milwaukee 2, Chicago White Sox 6 Minnesota 1, San Diego 8 Pittsburgh 5, San Francisco 5 Chicago Cubs 4.