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Favourite to stay a Viper.

Ice hockey: Crowd favourite Andre Payette has turned down approaches from several clubs to rejoin Newcastle Vipers for the coming Elite League season. The 29-year-old winger, nicknamed 'The Wild Thing' because of his aggressive style, was the Vipers' most high-profile signing of last summer. "We are delighted to see the return of Andre for a second season," player-coach Rob Wilson said. The club have also re-signed back-up netminder Mark Lee but Wilson has confirmed he will not be signing Cardiff Devils' former Italian international Vezio Sacratini.

Open selections

GOLF: Britons Lee Westwood and Greg Owen are among 12 players who have been handed a start in next month's US Open championship. The pair had been expecting to fight it out with 118 others for a dozen places at the American qualifying tournament. But the event was cancelled because of bad weather and the Open spots were given to the top 12 in the world rankings, meaning the British pair are in.

Cortese signs

RUGBY UNION: Northampton have signed Argentina international hooker Matias Cortese on a two-year deal. Director of rugby Budge Pountney said: "We decided we needed extra cover in the hooker position as Steve Thompson and Dylan Hartley may be called up to the England and under-21 sides during the Six Nations period."

Hansen return

ATHLETICS: Ashia Hansen, the former European and Commonwealth triple jump champion, is planning to make her comeback this summer after being sidelined by injury for the last two years. Hansen, 34, has been out of action since rupturing a tendon in her left knee at the European Cup in Poland. She is now hoping to qualify for August's European Championships in Gothenburg.

Proud Scottish

CRICKET: Scotland emerged with credit from their historic first one-day-international against Pakistan but it was the visitors who claimed the victory at the Citylets Grange, Edinburgh, after recovering from 93-5. A shock looked on the cards when Inzamam-ul-Haq's side, chasing 204 for victory, lost their first five wickets without 100 runs on the board. But an unbroken stand of 112 between Muhammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq carried the tourists to their target with 6.1 overs to spare. Their rescue act followed a superb new-ball spell from Paul Hoffmann who claimed three for 22 from his 10 overs.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2006
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