Gatland pens new Wales contract

Head coach Warren Gatland has ended speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract to remain in charge of Wales until after the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland had been heavily linked with a return to his New Zealand homeland, but has opted instead to extend his time in Wales.

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Meanwhile, Jerry Flannery could miss Ireland’s autumn internationals after picking up a calf injury during Munster’s Heineken Cup victory against Toulon.

The hooker was making his first appearance for several months because of injury but, after coming on as a replacement for Damien Varley, was forced to leave the pitch after only 20 minutes of action. The 31-year-old will see a specialist later this week.

In rugby league, Warrington Wolves prop forward Garreth Carvell will replace his injured club captain Adrian Morley in the England squad for the Four Nations competition.

The 29-year-old former Hull FC front rower will travel to New Zealand after Morley was told he will have to return home after rupturing a biceps in the opening stages of Saturday’s 18-18 draw with the New Zealand Maori.

Carvell was involved in England’s initial training squad and played against Cumbria in a warm-up match in Whitehaven earlier this month. However, he was not included in coach Steve McNamara’s final 24-man squad for the tour.

In cricket, opening batsman Chris Gayle has been axed as captain of the West Indies, with all-rounder Darren Sammy skippering the side on their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

Gayle has been removed after three years at the helm, with selection committee chairman Clyde Butts expecting good things of Sammy.

Meanwhile, speculation over Wayne Rooney’s future at Manchester United has reached fever pitch, with many newspapers suggesting that he wants to leave Old Trafford as soon as possible.

Rooney is reported to no longer be on speaking terms with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, while talks over a new contract have been shelved.

Rooney’s current deal runs out at the end of next season and the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea are all rumoured to be monitoring the situation closely.

Ferguson has left Rooney out of the United team several times in the last few weeks, citing an ankle problem as the reason, but the England ace insists that he has been fully fit all the time.

That has led to talk that Ferguson was punishing Rooney for off-field problems which have dominated the tabloid headlines in the past few months.