Rugby news 2021, Dan Carter retires, retirement, reaction, All Blacks, New Zealand rugby


All Blacks legend Dan Carter, a three-time world player of the year and double World Cup winner, announced his retirement on Saturday.

The fly-half, who remains the record points-scorer in both Test and Super Rugby, said he was “sad” to call it quits.

“I’m officially retiring from professional rugby,” Carter wrote on Instagram. “A sport I’ve played for 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.”

Carter, who turns 39 in two weeks, said the “timing is right”, after nearly two decades at the top.

As accolades flooded social media – with major rugby-playing nations all paying homage — the sport’s governing body World Rugby described him as “one of the best to have ever played the game”.

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Football News, cricket news: Italy striker Christian Vieri wants to come out retirement to play cricket, compares himself to Chris Gayle


Italian football legend Christian Vieri is hoping to come out of retirement at the age of 47 – but to play cricket.

The former Azzurri striker, who spent a large chunk of his childhood in Australia, has also claimed he would have been the “best batsman in the world” and compared his style to West Indies star Chris Gayle.

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Now the 47-year-old, who played for Lazio, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan across a glittering career, says he wants to take to the field for Italy’s fledgling national cricket team.

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Clarkson gives Hawthorn side of James Frawley retirement and St Kilda signing


James Frawley signing with St Kilda for the 2021 season only a month after announcing his retirement was one of the more interesting stories of the off-season.

Frawley will join the club where his uncle Danny Frawley captained for a number of years across a storied career.

The 32-year-old played six previous seasons for Hawthorn, playing 14 games in 2020.

Coach Alastair Clarkson said the two parties had “amicable” talks before Frawley’s decision to retire and is happy he gets the opportunity to represent his uncle’s club.

“You knew Spud (Frawley) pretty well and I know James really well, these guys would play until they’re 80 if they could,” Clarkson told SEN Breakfast on Thursday.

“He battled a little bit with a back at the time we had discussions and they were pretty amicable discussions.

“We thought we were at a stage where we needed to give some opportunities for some others and James thought his time as a player was coming to an end, but then the carrot gets dangled by St Kilda post retirement.

“It was a little like what Brisbane did with Luke Hodge three years back.

“(Frawley’s) been a big part of Hawthorn for five or six years and he gets another opportunity that allows him to extend his career at a club and the legacy of the Frawley name is really important and it’s going to be interesting to see how that unfolds throughout the year for him and the Saints.”

Hawthorn drafted key defender Denver Grainger-Barras with pick six in the 2020 National Draft and will be hoping he can grow into the vacant spot left by Frawley.





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Whincup content with Supercars retirement


Jamie Whincup, the most successful driver in Supercars history, is bullish about ending his full-time racing career with an eighth championship.

The 37-year-old will bring his glittering career to a close at year’s end before taking over as Triple Eight Race Engineering’s team principal from co-founder Roland Dane.

Whincup, who has won a record-breaking seven championships – two more than the next best driver – says he is almost ready for the next stage of his life.

But first, he is determined to bow out with another title.

“I would have pulled the pin at the end of last year if I didn’t think I could get to number eight,” Whincup said after Triple Eight’s announcement on Wednesday.

“I’m not there to make up the numbers; I’m there to get results and absolutely number eight is achievable.”

Whincup says the retirement call has brought about a mix of sadness and excitement.

“There’s a little bit of relief as well to finally have announced the plan so we can now just focus on executing,” he added.

“I love driving and I’m really looking forward to this year but I’m also looking forward to using my spare time … in learning this Triple Eight business.”

As well as having won the most championships, Whincup also has the most race wins with 122 victories – 12 ahead of Craig Lowndes.

Although Whincup will exit the tour full-time, he has left the door open to continue as a co-driver in enduro events, including the Bathurst 1000.

His exit is the latest announcement in a dramatic period of change for the touring car series.

Three-time defending champion Scott McLaughlin has left Australia to race in IndyCar, Team Penske is no longer involved and the iconic Holden brand has been retired.

Commodores will remain on the grid this year, but not in an official capacity, before Supercars’ next generation of cars are unleashed in 2022.

Although McLaughlin’s departure is a blow for the sport, it gives Whincup an opening to again push for the title.

The pair enjoyed a fierce rivalry, but McLaughlin has dominated in his Ford Mustang since Whincup clinched the 2017 championship in an extraordinary final event of the season in Newcastle.

Although the racing was often fiery, the two built a mutual respect, with McLaughlin constantly referring to Whincup as Supercars’ GOAT (greatest of all-time).

Whincup finished fourth in last year’s championship, with Triple Eight teammate Shane van Gisbergen and Tickford ace Cameron Waters

He secured four race wins, but endured a tough end to the season and did not finish at Mt Panorama meaning he was unable to add to his four Bathurst 1000 crowns.

Dane said it was always the plan for Whincup to take the reins of Triple Eight team since he expressed an interest years ago.

“I have every confidence that he will approach his new role with exactly the same motivation, diligence and competitive spirit that he brings to the track at every round,” Dane said



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A New Idea for Fighting Climate Change: Retirement Plans!


Betterment is what’s called a robo-adviser: It offers consumers a few portfolios of stocks and bonds, then automatically shifts how assets in a portfolio are “weighted” for each customer’s goals, so that a 30-year-old, say, has more stocks in her retirement fund than a 60-year-old. It has about half a million customers and $22 billion under management.

Divestment wasn’t wrong, Khentov thought, but it was inadequate. The fight against climate change requires transforming the physical stuff of the world—its engines, refineries, foundries, everything we call economic infrastructure—in the next 30 years. That would require more than just an oil change, so to speak. It would require changing every company—including Betterment.

The protest led him to create something that, as far as I know, is unique among major 401(k) providers and robo-advisers: a specifically climate-focused portfolio. (This week he published a blog post explaining what went into making it.) Any American can invest in it, including with a retirement account such as a Roth IRA. (Before we get any further, I should specify: Nothing in this column constitutes financial advice.)

Even if you don’t have any retirement savings, the new Betterment climate portfolio is worthy of your attention, I think. Unlike many would-be pro-climate investment products, it represents a sincere attempt to think through what will actually change the economy.


To very quickly catch you up, there are two big trends in investing circa 2021. The first is that investors are choosing broad, low-fee, diversified funds that track the overall market rather than searching for the very few companies that do disproportionately well. The second is the laudable but frankly kind of nebulous idea that people want to invest in line with their values. This is usually called investing for “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG, funds. Over the past few years, hundreds of billions have poured into ESG funds.

Betterment has promoted and boosted these two trends. Its “core” portfolio tracks major indices, and, in 2017, it launched an ESG-inspired portfolio.

ESG funds are seen as inherently climate-friendly, but they’re really not—or, at least, they usually have a broader ambit than climate alone. Many ESG funds track companies based on how well they perform on a scorecard, which might look at a firm’s carbon footprint alongside questions of “good corporate governance” that climate-focused investors don’t necessarily care about. Some ESG funds invest more in companies if they have a woman on the board of directors—which is a worthwhile idea, except that ExxonMobil’s board has three.

The basic idea of ESG is good, though—and, I would add, goes to the heart of what retirement means in the first place. Perhaps for older readers—and I mean this with no slight—the middle decades of the 21st century remain notional. But I, God willing, would like to celebrate my 59th birthday in 2050, and under current law, I have to start taking money from my 401(k) in 2063.

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NRL 2021: Brandon Smith release, Melbourne Storm, Harry Grant, hooker, Craig Bellamy, Cameron Smith retirement


Melbourne Storm star Brandon Smith has opened up on the reasons behind his pending release and how coach Craig Bellamy responded to his shock request.

The Storm confirmed in December that Smith had been “given approval to explore opportunities with other NRL clubs” for the 2022 season — the final year of his contract.

It’s understood the Bulldogs, Titans, Broncos and Wests Tigers have all expressed interest in the fiery hooker’s services, however Melbourne will require a player of similar standard in return in order to let him go.

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The 24-year-old has played understudy to skipper Cameron Smith ever since he joined in the club in 2017. It was expected he would one day inherit the famous Storm No.9 jersey once his namesake retired but after Harry Grant’s sublime season, the curious case of Melbourne’s next hooker isn’t so clear-cut anymore.

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Ray Warren to make call on retirement before season kick-off


Nine are yet to formalise their official league line-up for the 2021 NRL season, and Warren knows he will need to give an answer in the coming weeks. For the first time, he stopped short of declaring he is a certainty to be heard in 2021.

“I’m fearful of retirement because you don’t know what it is like until you dip your toe in the water, but then I’m fearfully protective of the good run I’ve been given and I don’t want to damage whatever reputation I may have built,” Warren told the Herald.

Phil Gould’s on-air chemistry with Ray Warren is infectious.Credit:ninevms

“That’s pretty much your equation right there. I go from year to year, I know I’m getting older, and I don’t want make a fool of myself and undo what I might have done.

“I’ve had a really good run, that run has lasted 55 years. I’ve told Nine I’ll take the summer to make up my mind. I do still enjoy it, and anyone who works with me will tell you that – I still get excited.”

It is well documented Warren has a fear of flying, and tries to avoid covering interstate games when possible. He also continues to battle with nerves in the days leading up to games, something that has gradually worsened over the years.

“I don’t know whether it is nerves or fear,” he said.

Ray Warren with Channel Nine colleagues Warren Ryan, Darrell Eastlake, Ken Sutcliffe and Michael Cleary in 1989.

Ray Warren with Channel Nine colleagues Warren Ryan, Darrell Eastlake, Ken Sutcliffe and Michael Cleary in 1989. Credit:Fairfax Media

Matt Thompson has been Warren’s understudy for a few years, while Peter Psaltis, who is based in Brisbane and sounds eerily similar to Thompson, was regularly heard last year during matches in Queensland because of COVID.

Nine could yet be tempted to use Warren for big games like Origin. Last year’s decider played at Suncorp Stadium was Warren’s 96th straight interstate fixture, but one he needed to call remotely for the first time in his career from the Sydney studios.

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“The biggest fear I have is to make a mistake and not know you have made it,” Warren said. “It’s all well and good to make a mistake and then go back and correct it. But when you make one and you don’t know, I think that is described as senility.”

The late, great Richie Benaud was still commentating cricket on Nine in his early 80s. Martin Tyler is two years younger than Warren and still has one of the most recognisable voices in English football.

Warren revealed last year during a game how he had had a run-in with US rap megastar Snoop Dogg on a flight, which became one of the most-read stories on the Herald website in 2020.

“I’m more filthy on Snoop now because he didn’t ask me to take part in those Menulog ads,” Warren quipped on Thursday. “I’m ready for a re-match.”

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NT ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming announces early retirement, citing ‘challenging’ year


The Northern Territory’s first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has announced his retirement, two years before his term is due to end.

Ken Fleming QC was appointed as the head of the NT’s anti-corruption watchdog in July 2018 and plans to relinquish the role in July this year.

“It is with regret that I announce my retirement as the Northern Territory Independent Commissioner Against Corruption,” he said in a statement.

“2020 was a challenging year for many people, and for me reinforced the importance of being close to family.”

During his tenure, Mr Fleming has overseen the establishment of the powerful corruption-fighting unit, which last year commenced 56 investigations into allegations of serious and systemic misconduct.

His office has publicly released three reports into its investigations, the most notable of which found the NT’s long-serving former Speaker Kezia Purick responsible for breaches of public trust that amounted to “corrupt conduct”.

Former Speaker Kezia Purick rejected adverse findings made against her by the ICAC Commissioner.(ABC News: Michael Donnelly)

Ms Purick resigned from her role following the finding that she had inappropriately interfered with the creation of a political party.

But she told Parliament last year that she did not accept ICAC’s findings against her, saying she had not been afforded natural justice.

Mr Fleming’s time as ICAC Commissioner has not been without controversy.

In late 2019, he relinquished his oversight role in an investigation following the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker at Yuendumu, after making controversial comments.

Another significant ICAC report looming

In September last year, Mr Fleming flagged the release of a “major report” in November 2020 that “may just fill all of your expectations and longings”.

But the report, including what it related to, was yet to be made public.

Mr Fleming on Thursday said he remained confident his office would continue to fulfil its mandate once he departed in the middle of the year.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to have served as the first NT Independent Commissioner Against Corruption and to have established an office dedicated to preventing, detecting and responding to improper conduct within the Northern Territory.”

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner, whose government established the ICAC, thanked Mr Fleming for his “outstanding service”.

“Commissioner Fleming is experienced, intelligent and intrepid — qualities that made him the perfect person for such a challenging role,” Mr Gunner said.

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Serena Williams retirement, Ion Tiriac weight comment, Alexis Ohanian response ahead of 2021 Australian Open


Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian has accused Madrid Open owner Ion Tiriac of being racist and sexist after he told the American legend to retire.

Former Olympic tennis ace turned billionaire Tiriac recently urged Serena, 39, to retire based on her age and weight.

“At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago,” Tiriac said on Romanian TV. “Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire.”

It’s not the first time Tiriac has referred to Williams’ weight. In 2018, when asked about the state of women’s tennis, he took a jab at the 23-time grand slam winner by saying: “With all due respect, 36 years old and 90kg …”

At the time, Williams hit back saying: “It’s an ignorant comment and it’s a sexist comment. Maybe he’s an ignorant man.”

But after Tiriac’s most-recent comments, Ohanian – Williams’ husband and father to three-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia – let rip on Twitter.

Reddit co-founder Ohanian mocked 81-year-old Tiriac – the third-richest man in Romania.

He Googled his professional tennis record – with zero Grand Slam singles wins – before tweeting: “Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Tiriac thinks.”

Ohanian added: “Had to Google it … turns out my 3 year old has more Grand Slam victories than this.”

After one Twitter user appeared to attempt to defend Tiriac, Ohanian let loose once again.

Ohanian wrote: “Keep defending your racist, sexist clown.”

He later added: “2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family.”

Williams needs just one more Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s incredible record.

She also boasts 16 Grand Slam doubles titles and four Olympic gold medals.

Tiriac, meanwhile, never made it past the fourth-round at a Grand Slam in singles.

He did win the 1970 French Open doubles title, however.

– The Sun



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NRL 2021: Melbourne Storm Harry Grant; Cameron Smith retirement, Brandon Smith


Dally M Rookie of the Year Harry Grant has joined his teammates at Melbourne Storm’s pre-season as speculation over Cameron Smith’s future continues to drag on.

The Storm were back at AAMI Park for the first time in over six months and immediately began preparations for life without their talismanic captain.

Smith has yet to make a decision on his future despite appearing to farewell Suncorp Stadium during a lap of honour following the Storm’s win against Canberra Raiders in the 2020 finals.

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Grant returns to the Storm after spending 2020 on loan to the Wests TigersSource: Getty Images

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