LITESPORT LONDON IRISH are facing serious back problems before their epic trip to Heineken Cup champions Leinster in Dublin on Friday night. Boss Toby Booth has guided his side into second spot behind perfect Sara- cens in the Guinness Premiership this season but the Exiles win over Sale last week has left him struggling for a back-line at the RDS. First they lost wing Adam Thomp- stone, who needed gas-and-air on the pitch after fracturing and dislocating his left ankle. ThenhisreplacementPeterRichards was sent off three minutes from time and today came the news the former Waspsutilitybackwillbebanneduntil 12 October for elbowing Neil Briggs during their gruelling 11-8 victory. Thompstone, 22, may need surgery similar to Danny Ciprianis plate-and- screws operation on the same injury sufferedforWaspsagainstBathinMay, 2009. London Irish issued a statement saying: Adam will undergo surgery on a fracture dislocation of his left ankle.Heisexpectedtobeoutof action for up to four months. All at London IrishwishAdamasuccessfuloperation and a speedy recovery. With England backs Topsy Ojo and 32 Tuesday, 6 October 2009 London Lite Inbrief Watson earns Ponting praise lRICKY PONTING hailed the performance of the real Shane Watson after he hit a second successive century to guide Australia to the Champions Trophy title with a six-wicket win over New Zealand. The all-rounder smashed an unbeaten 105 to take the defending champions past the 201 target set by the Kiwis. In the last few months weve started to see the real Shane Watson, Ponting said. Korea move is not for McLaren lMCLAREN boss Martin Whitmarsh has questioned the wisdom of including a Korean Grand Prix on next years Formula One calendar. Yeongnam has been pencilled in as a provisional date for next season, bringing the 2010 calendar to 19 races We hear stories its four or five hours from anywhere, theres no infrastructure, no hotels, no-one can get there -- its going to make it difficult for fans. Long faces rap over bet claim lSEAN LONG has been told he could face a misconduct charge if he fails to co-operate with the Rugby Football League over his latest gambling allegations. Banned in 2004 for betting against his own club St Helens, Long claims in todays Guardian that players are still betting, adding: Why not? RFL communications manager Craig Spence said: He has to give us those names or he could face a misconduct charge. Injured Wasps quick recovery lLACHLAN MITCHELL, who was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital after injuring his neck during Wasps win over Northampton at Adams Park on Sunday, has suffered only mild concussion the club announced today. It was originally feared the 22- year-old Australian full-back had suffered a serious injury. Both he and Danny Cipriani could be in contention to face Racing Metro at home on Sunday. Serena back on top of the world lSERENA WILLIAMS will regain her world No1 ranking after she beat Russias Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the China Open today. Dinara Safinas defeat yesterday by world No226 Zhang Shuai -- the lowest-ranked player ever to beat a world No1 -- means Williams will go top again when the new rankings are announced on Monday. Serena said: Im happy to be there. I think Ive earned it. guinness premiership P W D L F A Pts SaracenS 5 5 0 0 100 70 20 London IrISh 5 4 0 1 149 59 19 WaSpS 5 4 0 1 102 76 16 NhAmPtoN 5 3 0 2 108 80 15 Leicester 5 3 1 1 81 64 15 Worcester 5 2 0 3 85 87 10 GLoucester 5 2 0 3 90 101 9 BAth 5 1 1 3 76 86 8 sALe 5 1 1 3 69 88 8 harLequInS 5 1 1 3 63 91 7 NeWcAstLe 5 0 3 2 63 79 7 LeeDs cArN 5 0 1 4 43 148 2 HeinekenCup FridayLeinstervLondonIrISh(8pm,SS2) SaturdaycardiffBluesvharLequInS (1.35pm,SS2) europeanCHallengeCup SundaySaracenSvrovigo(3pm), WaSpSvracingMetro(3pm) WeeKenD FiXTures ExilesgotoDublinwith chronic back problems Delon Armitage already on the wounded list, Booth admits: We are going to be tested from the outset. Leinster in Dublin means we will be testing ourselves against the best. With big-spending French club Brive and the Llanelli Scarlets also in Pool 6, Leinster captain Leo Cullen said: London Irish are a very strong physi- cal side with a number of powerful runnersandtheyaresuperblycoached by Toby Booth. They will be a real handful and a huge challenge but, as we also like to play a brand of attacking rugby it should be some match. It was tough enough winning the Heineken Cup last season but I guess itisgoingtobeeventougherdefending it -- we certainly wont have any ele- ment of surprise this time. The squad is desperately hungry to build on the success of last season but the standard of teams simply gets bet- ter every year and the French teams in particular have recruited very heavily and will be a massive challenge. We were a bit ragged getting out of our group last season and it wasnt always the prettiest. We could have easily gone out in the quarter-finalsbutbeingabitunderthe radar might have helped us and we certainly rode our luck a bit. Harlequins,freshfromtheirfirstwin of theseasonagainstBathonSaturday, will also carry the flag for London into Europes top competition. Quins face the Blues in Cardiff on Satuday in the far simpler Pool 5, with Albi and Montauban the other contenders. out for four months: london irish wing adam Thompstone is given gas to ease the pain after breaking his ankle last Friday by neal collins AllthatJazzattheArenaforlocalheroDeng Basket case: luol Deng, 6ft 9in, from South norwood LUOL DENG is fit to lead the Chicago Bulls in his home town tonight. Britains second-best-paid sportsman (behind Lewis Hamilton), born in Sudan but raised in South Norwood, Deng was forced to miss this summers European Championships with a stress fracture suffered in February. But the 6ft 9in Londoner, paid 120,000-a-week, will face the Utah Jazz in an pre-season contest at the O2 Arena. Its not 100 percent but its definitely starting to feel better with each practice, Deng said. I want to play the whole game but weve got to be smart -- its still pre-season and Ive just come back. Deng played 25 minutes for the Bulls in a pre-season game against Indiana on Friday night, his first action since February. The 24-year-old has appeared as an international for Britain at the Arena before but always wanted a chance to play an NBA game in front of the people who helped kick-start his career. He said: There were so many great people here who helped me and its exciting that theyll get to see me here in an NBA game, wearing my Chicago Bulls jersey, right at home where it all started. True to their colors, a group of Bulls players went to see Arsenal beat Blackburn 6-2 at on Sunday, while Jazz took in Chelseas 2-0 win over Liverpool. Bulls rookie Taj Gibson said: Extremely exciting game to watch. We got a taste of how overseas people love their football. by harry lane lchicago Bulls v utah Jazz, esPN, 7.30pm H index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html