Irish rugby coach DECLAN KIDNEY "paid the price for Ireland's poor showing in the RBS 6 Nations" after the Irish Rugby Football Union announced it "would not renew the former Munster man's contract and had relieved of him of his role." Kidney's future "had been the subject of much speculation" after shock defeats against Scotland and Italy contributed to Ireland's fifth-place finish and its lowest ever world ranking of ninth (HERALD SCOTLAND, 4/2). New Zealander JOE SCHMIDT "is being tipped as a replacement" for Kidney. Schmidt "has coached Irish side Leinster to consecutive Heineken Cup titles and has one more year on his contract at the club." He recently distanced himself from the Irish top job after signing a one-year extension at Leinster (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 4/3). ... Second Bundesliga 1860 Munich President HEP MONATZEDER "has appointed" former goaltender coach CHRISTIAN HOLZER and tax accountant HEINZ SCHMIDT as his VPs. The 36-year-old Holzer "will be in charge of 1860's sports division" while Schmidt, 52, "will take care of the club's finances" (ABENDZEITUNG, 4/3). ... Swiss National League A club HC Lugano "has fired head coach" LARRY HURAS. The Canadian native joined the club in Oct. '11. Lugano "has not commented on a successor for Huras" (NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, 4/3).
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The manager of South African sprinter OSCAR PISTORIUS, who is accused of killing his girlfriend, said that his client "wants to resume training now that his bail conditions have been loosened." PEET VAN ZYL said, "Competing is still a way off. We need to get him back on the track. Just to get some normality back into his life" (BLOOMBERG, 4/3). ... Sao Paulo’s Brazil striker LUIS FABIANO "has lost his appeal against a four-match suspension for insulting the referee at the end of a Libertadores Cup match last month." The former Sevilla striker "was shown a red card after insulting Colombian referee" WILMAR ROLDAN at the end of Sao Paulo’s 1-1 draw at home to Argentina’s Arsenal in a Group Three match on March 7 (REUTERS, 4/3).
The AP's ROB HARRIS: "Chris Powell, 1 of the few black managers in England, said Sunderland took "bold decision" hiring Di Canio, who describes Powell as a friend"
Reuters' KAROLOS GROHMANN: "Wonder what #Guardiola is thinking of @FCBayern's dazzling run under #Heynckes. treble of on track"
Manchester Evening News' MIKE KEEGAN: "Understood club officials impressed by Emirates surface. Lots of problems with pitch this year esp Xmas period when game almost postponed."
SI's GRANT WAHL: "Sometimes scan Twitter too quickly & read "Madonna" as "Maradona." Yet whatever follows is usually plausible for either person."
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