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Parisse to star for Baa-Baas

ITALY skipper Sergio Parisse and Springbok centre Jaque Fourie were among the first five players named by the Barbarians to face the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong before this year's tour of Australia.

Number eight Parisse's international team-mate Martin Castrogiovanni, a prop, was also named along with Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i and France back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy.

The Barbarians, who will be coached by three-times Lions tourist Dai Young, will play England at Twickenham on May 26 before departing for the Lions encounter in Hong Kong on June 1.

The Lions will play three matches against the Wallabies in June and July in their quest to win a first Test series since 1997.


Kiwis gain upper hand on English

Cricket: England were responsible for their own downfall as they descended to 167 all out inside two sessions against New Zealand at the University Oval.

The tourists' false start to this three-Test series, and their double Ashes year, featured a string of regrettable shots – as well as four wickets each for Neil Wagner and debutant Bruce Martin.

Only Jonathan Trott, among the frontline batsmen, and then tailenders James Anderson and Steven Finn delayed New Zealand for long.

Anderson and Finn reduced England's embarrassment, in the highest stand of the innings for the ninth wicket, but England will have to bowl well to get back on track.


Hamilton 'will boost Mercedes'

MotorSport: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expects Lewis Hamilton to drive Mercedes on this season following their pre-season form.

Mercedes surprised during testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya where Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg finished third and first respectively on the timesheet.

"Their car looks quick, and with Lewis joining the team they will naturally take a step forward," said Horner.

NBA: Charlotte 78 Brooklyn 99, Cleveland 104 Utah 101, Indiana 81 Boston 83, Atlanta 107 Philadelphia 96, Miami 97 Orlando 96, Detroit 77 NY Knicks 87, Memphis 91 Portland 85, New Orleans 102 LA Lakers 108, Minnesota 87 Washington 82, Dallas 112 Houston 108, San Antonio 101 Chicago 83, Phoenix 71 Toronto 98, LA Clippers 117 Milwaukee 101, Golden State 87 Sacramento 83.