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Sale Sharks announce signing of Josh Strauss

Sale have announced the signing of Scotland international Josh Strauss, with the Glasgow Warrior agreeing terms on a three-year deal with the Sharks.

Strauss has joined from Glasgow Warriors. Credit: PA

The 30-year-old South Africa-born back-row has made 11 appearances for Scotland and has been hailed as a "world-class" signing by the Sharks' director of rugby, Steve Diamond.

"He has been performing well for both Glasgow and Scotland over the past five years and will compliment the squad in the ball-carrying department," Diamond said.

"He is a leader and a very powerful athlete. The new owners Simon Orange and Ged Mason are keen to help Sale Sharks become one of the leading clubs and signings like Josh will help our cause."

Strauss was ruled out of the Six Nations after Scotland's meetings with Ireland and France with a knee injury.

The player added: "Since coming to the UK I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to play in the Premiership, which is a highly-rated competition by players in South Africa.

"I signed for Glasgow and needed to sign for a second term in order to qualify to play for the national side. I have really enjoyed my time with the Warriors but I asked my agent to look around in the Premiership for me."

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Leeds and Huddersfield managers banned

Monk and Wagner have both been banned for two games. Credit: PA

David Wagner and Garry Monk have been handed touchline bans by the Football Association for their roles in the touchline melee that marred Huddersfield's win over Leeds earlier this month.

Terriers boss Wagner has been handed a two-game ban while Monk will serve a one-match suspension after the pair were sent to the stands following a clash that sparked ugly scenes at the John Smith's Stadium.

Both clubs were fined £10,000 and warned about their future conduct after admitting FA charges of failing to control their players during Huddersfield's 2-1 win.

An FA statement read:

Huddersfield Town and Leeds United have each been fined £10,000 and warned as to their future conduct following their game on February 5, 2017.

Both clubs admitted an FA charge of failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour in or around the 89th minute of the fixture. Furthermore, Huddersfield manager David Wagner and Leeds manager Garry Monk will serve touchline suspensions of two matches and one match respectively with immediate effect after being charged for misconduct in relation to the same game.

Mr Wagner admitted entering the field of play in or around the 89th minute, in contravention of FA Rule E3, but denied a further breach that his behaviour upon his return to the vicinity of the technical area amounted to improper conduct. However, this breach was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today.

He was also fined £6,000 and warned as to his future conduct. Mr Monk admitted a breach of FA Rule E3 in that in or around the 89th minute, his behaviour amounted to improper conduct. He was also fined £3,000 and warned as to his future conduct.

– FA statement

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Liverpool captain Henderson ruled out Leicester trip

Henderson will miss Monday's showdown with Leicester. Credit: PA

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out of Monday's visit to Leicester with a foot problem.

Press Association Sport understands the England international was injured in training on Friday following a challenge from a team-mate.

Henderson was sent for a scan as there were initial fears he could have broken a metatarsal, which could have potentially ended his season, and that has revealed heavy bruising but no fracture.

It means he will not be in the squad at the King Power Stadium and is now a major doubt for Saturday's visit of top-four rivals Arsenal.

Aston Villa show loss of £81m for last financial year

Aston Villa recorded a loss of over £81million for the last financial year, according to the club's latest accounts.

Aston Villa are going through tought times on and off the pitch. Credit: PA

The figures for the 2015/16 period show that with an operating loss of £81.3million the deficit more than trebled, up from £26.6million, before Villa were relegated from the Premier League.

The club's statement states losses of £79.6million due to "exceptional items" but provides little explanation as to what these are, other than to say "for the impairment of tangible fixed assets and intangible assets".

Turnover fell from £115.7million in 2014/15 to £108.8 million, with the club attributing the drop in revenue to a reduction in their share of money from the FA Premier League's broadcasting agreements as a result of the final league standings.

Villa were relegated from the Premier League for the first time last season after finishing bottom of the table and are playing outside of the top flight for the first time in 30 years.

Dr Tony Xia completed his takeover of the club on June 14, 2016 so any figures associated with his purchase will not show until the 2016/17 accounts are published

Jonker leaves Arsenal to become Wolfsburg manager

Dutchman Andries Jonker has left his job as director of Arsenal's youth academy to become the new head coach of Bundesliga strugglers Wolfsburg.

Jonker has left Arsenal to become Wolfsburg's new manager. Credit: PA

He replaces Frenchman Valerien Ismael, who left the club on Sunday after the 2-1 home defeat by Werder Bremen left them 14th in the table.

The 54-year-old Jonker has signed a deal with Wolfsburg which will see him remain as coach until 2018.

Sporting director Olaf Rebbe told the club's official website: "Andries Jonker knows VfL Wolfsburg well and maintained regular contact with the club even after his move to London.

"Both factors were vital in us achieving this top solution so quickly. He is an internationally experienced coach and an expert tactician, who provides the best possible requirements to get VfL back on track quickly and sustainably."

The 2008/09 Bundesliga champions decided to make a change after Ismael, a former defender with the club, won six games in 17 matches in charge having taken over from Dieter Hecking in October 2016.

Jonker, who was assistant to Felix Magath at Wolfsburg from 2012 to 2014, has also coached at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

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