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Robinson named as Sale coach

Sale name Jason Robinson as their new head coach for next season, with Kingsley Jones as director of rugby.


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  • 2012 Games events could be moved

    London 2012 officials are considering proposals to move some events to save money, BBC London has learned.

    It is believed officials are looking at moving the badminton event to the 6,000-capacity Wembley Arena instead of constructing temporary venues.

    The economic downturn has put pressure on the Games’ planners to stick to the £9.3bn budget, prompting the rethink.

    The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) said it is examining all options.

    BBC London’s Olympics Correspondent Adrian Warner has learned officials have been looking for some time at scrapping their original plans to build a temporary arena near to the 02 in Greenwich, south-east London, to stage badminton and rhythmic gymnastics competitions.

    Limited space

    There had been proposals to move the two sports to ExCel indoor arena in Docklands, east London, which is already staging a variety of 2012 events, but lack of space ruled out the move.

    Now officials are considering taking badminton to Wembley Arena, where the All-England championships were staged between 1957 and 1993.

    Mr Warner said: “This temporary arena was due to cost around £40m.

    “There are a few problems with limited space for back-of-house facilities which the Olympics needs but the arena is perfect for sports like badminton because it holds around 6,000.”

    Polish Music Festival at Wembley Arena

    Wembley Arena hosts pop concerts and can hold 6,000 people

    Although the later stages of the Olympic football finals will be played at Wembley Stadium, the adjacent indoor arena in north-west London was originally dismissed as a 2012 venue during the original bid.

    The arena’s distance from the Olympic village in Stratford, east London, and its lack of space for hospitality facilities led to its rejection.

    The one-hour travel time from the village to Wembley remains an issue but Olympic officials believe they may be able to find solutions on the back-of-house issues.

    BBC London understands international badminton officials are likely to look favourably on the venue, if there is enough lounge space for players to rest between games, as it hosted the All-England championships.

    A spokesman from Locog said: “Clearly in the current economic climate it is prudent to look at our temporary venues to see what other alternatives may exist using permanent structures.

    “This process is under way. No decisions have been made and it is by no means definite that these sports will move but, in the current economic climate, examining all options is the sensible thing to do.”

    Any change of venue has to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    But Mr Warner said he believed the IOC may not oppose the move in the current economic climate.

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