League Notes: NRL To Employ Bodyguards For Players During Auckland Nines
Bodyguards "will accompany players on nights out during next weekend's Auckland Nines." The National Rugby League has invested A$100,000 ($90,000) "to ensure there are no off-field dramas at the inaugural tournament." The NRL "has taken the proactive step of hiring up to 50 security guards after what has been a horror summer for the code." Several players were "charged over a range of offences during the off-season" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/7). ... The Int'l Rugby Board said that "the top four countries at the end of next season's rugby world sevens series will qualify" for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A further six of the 12 teams in each of the men's and women's events "will come from regional qualifiers, with one last place available at a final playoff tournament" (AAP, 2/6). ... Australia's national baseball teams "are looking for new nicknames and the public is being enlisted to assist in the search." Both the men's and women's sides "are currently known simply as Team Australia, but it hardly provides the identity and building the profile that some of the country's other sports are enjoying" (BRISBANE TIMES, 2/6). ... Men and women "will earn equal prize money" at next week's 2014 National Squash Championships in Manchester. The total prize money for the championships, which will be held from Monday until Feb. 16, is £22,800 ($37,200) (BBC, 2/6). ... F1 teams and the FIA "are to discuss plans for an immediate shake-up of qualifying rules to boost the spectacle." Motor racing's governing body "has convened a meeting with team managers" for Feb. 21, during the next F1 test in Bahrain, to "discuss changing the format of qualifying" for '14 (AUTOSPORT, 2/6).