FIJI RUGBY UNION COULD QUIT

Fiji rugby union board are set to to quit in the latest row with the regime. The government had threatened to withhold three million Fiji dollars ($1.6 million) in grants for this year’s World Cup unless the board quit following an official probe that found the FRU mismanaged a fundraising lottery.

Bole, whose government seized power in a bloodless 2006 coup, said the board agreed to step down at a meeting Thursday and the FRU would elect new officials at the end of February.

In a statement posted on the government website Friday, he said funding for Fiji’s campaign at the World Cup in New Zealand could now be released.

FUSSELL EXTENDS CONTRACT

Wing Richard Fussell has extended his Ospreys contract till 2014. The 26-year-old joined the Swansea-based region in the summer from Newport Gwent Dragons on a two-year deal.

But his form has been such that he has been rewarded with a long-term deal.

“I’m over the moon. It just shows the faith that the coaches have in me to do my job on the field and as a player you can’t ask for anything more,” he said.

NEW ZEALAND RUGBY UNION CHAIRMAN RESIGNS

The chairman of the New Zealand Rugby union resigned yesterday due to health issues. Hobbs, a former All Blacks captain, was diagnosed this year with leukemia but, after undergoing chemotherapy, was found to be suffering from more serious non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Chief executive Steve Tew said Hobbs’ illness would require aggressive treatment over a longer period and, as a consequence, he had resigned from both boards.

Hobbs has been chairman of the union since 2002. He will be replaced by acting chairman Mike Eagle.

AUSTRALIA HUMILIATE THE FRENCH

Mitchell bagged a hat-trick as Australia humiliated France. The tourists ran riot in the second half, scoring six tries in 31 minutes to embarrass the reigning Six Nations champions in front of their own fans.

Les Bleus had led 16-13 at the start of the second period, courtesy of Morgan Parra’s third penalty.

But the hosts had no answer to the Wallabies’ devastating second-half surge, scoring seven tries in total.

After Adam Ashley-Cooper’s early score, the visitors’ problems at the scrum were exposed when France were awarded a penalty try and duly moved into a 16-13 lead.