Richard Hughes (file photo). Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport
Early Doors

The Morning Score: Friday

It’s finally here! Friday, in all its end-of-the-week glory. Start it all off by catching up with the biggest stories doing the rounds this morning.

1. #RWC2011 New Zealand coach Graham Henry has named his starting XV for the semi-final against Australia, with captain Richie McCaw named at openside despite having been a doubtful starter for the game. Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui return from injury to take their places at full-back and No11, respectively, while last week’s makeshift half-back pairing of Piri Weepu and Aaron Cruden remains unchanged.

2. #RICHARD HUGHES Top jockey Richard Hughes says he will relinquish his licence unless the controversial new rules, governing use of the whip, are revised. His revelation came after he was banned for the second time inside a week at Kempton on Thursday evening.

3. #ROONEY Harry Redknapp says that Fabio Capello should bring Wayne Rooney to the European Championships despite the three-match ban he incurred for kicking out at a Macedonian player in England’s final qualifier. The Tottenham boss believes England will reach the later stages of the tournament and Rooney will be an exceptional weapon to have.

4. #PREMIER LEAGUE After the international break, the Premier League returns this weekend. We’ll have all the team news here, as Steven Gerrard prepares to start his first game of the season for Liverpool against Manchester United at Anfield.

5. #TAXING RAFA Finally, Rafael Nadal will give the Aegon Championships – commonly used as a warm-up event for Wimbledon – a miss next summer due to the English tax system. He will play at the Gerry Weber Open at Halle in Germany instead.

Read: McCaw and Dagg to start for All Blacks >