While You Were Sleeping: AM Sport headlines - April 3

The Herald sports section lead for April 3, 2013.
The Herald sports section lead for April 3, 2013.

A brief look at the sports stories that are making news this morning.

In the paper

Japan lures younger players
The Herald leads with the continuing trend of young rugby players signing with Japanese clubs, on the back of Blues lock Anthony Boric's decision to join Mitsubishi DynaBoars. The power of the yen and relative merits of Japan are proving too good to turn down for an increasingly young and talented crop of players in New Zealand.

Did you know?
It is understood that a junior All Black can earn up to $600,000 a season in Japan, almost three times more than in New Zealand.

Big losses to Perth 'count for nothing'
For two sides so evenly matched, it seems anomalous the Breakers and Perth have played out four very one-sided games this season.

Did you know?
Don't expect a close one on Sunday night in game one of the ANBL finals. The Breakers and Wildcats have had an average winning margin of 19.5 points in their four games this season.

Friend prepares to battle through rest of season
Nathan Friend hopes to get used to the winning feeling again after the Warriors' 20-18 defeat of the Cowboys on Monday night, but he will also have to get used to having little feeling in his troublesome shoulder.

What now?
Don't worry Nathan. There's only 21 games left in the season.

Overnight news

Erakovic defeats Hantuchova
New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic has made a strong start at the Family Circle Cup tournament defeating Daniela Hantuchova in the opening round.

What this means:
Erakovic now faces Australian Sam Stosur in the second round in Charleston.

Ireland coach sacked
Declan Kidney has been sacked as Ireland coach, ending a four year tenure.

What this means:
New Zealand's Joe Schmidt, who has guided Leinster to two European Cup triumphs, is amongst the names mentioned as Kidney's replacement.

Liverpool to play Victory
English Premier League giants Liverpool have confirmed they will travel to Australia to face A-League side Melbourne Victory at the MCG on July 24.

What this means:
Another chance for All Whites attacking midfielder Marco Rojas to impresse European scouts? The match will be played just four days after fellow Premier League heavyweights Manchester United face an A-League All Stars side at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Looking ahead
- The Champions League quarterfinals kick off this morning with Bayern Munich hosting Juventus and PSG playing Barcelona in the first legs. nzherald.co.nz will have livescoring from 7.45am.
- Set of Six league blog. Justis Kamu looks at six talking points from the NRL action over the past week.

By the numbers

6th Indian Premier League starts tonight, with Kolkata Knight Riders hosting the Delhi Daredevils.

10 horses have died in the past 12 Grand Nationals at Aintree, due to be raced this weekend.

84 points scored by Wigan against Hull KR in a Super League match.

Quote of the day:
"Talk about racism? That is absolutely stupid; stupid and ridiculous."
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio rejects the notion that previous sympathies for fascism make him a racist.

- nzherald.co.nz

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