Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed Melbourne will continue to host the Australian Grand Prix as the opening event of the season until 2020. Victoria state premier Denis Napthine announced Sunday his government had signed a five-year deal from 2016 which guarantees the race will remain at Melbourne’s Albert Park until the end of the decade. Napthine said the agreement with Formula One organizers included clauses ensuring the Australian event will be the first of the season and the race will be staged during the day. Napthine said there was “enormous competition to have Grands Prix as major events around the world” and Melbourne had taken a hard line in negotiations. Ecclestone congratulated Melbourne “on the excellent way in which it presents Formula One to the world.”
Uruguay, Russia to playoff for 2015 WCup berth
Uruguay defeated Hong Kong 28-3 in a Rugby World Cup qualifier on Saturday to book a playoff tie against Russia for the final berth at the 2015 tournament. Flyhalf Felipe Berchesi scored a try and two penalties and scrumhalf Agustin Ormaechea kicked 12 points to lead Uruguay past the number two-ranked side in Asia after the hosts struggled to breakdown Hong Kong in the first half. Uruguay now plays Russia, who earlier beat Zimbabwe 23-15 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, in a two-legged tie with the aggregate winner booking a place in Pool A alongside Australia, England, Wales and Fiji. Russia competed at its one and only World Cup in 2011, while Uruguay last played on the sport’s biggest stage in Australia in 2003.