Fast-changing 49ers making waves on and off the field

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers made a splash before free agency even began. Franchise rushing leader Frank Gore is gone. A former Australian rugby star is here. Star linebacker Patrick Willis announced his retirement Tuesday and fellow defensive stalwart Justin Smith might follow. And Colin Kaepernick is still the quarterback despite[…]

Reds ban, fine fullback Karmichael Hunt after cocaine conviction

High-profile rugby star Karmichael Hunt was banned for six weeks and fined Aus$30,000 (US$23,500) by the Queensland Reds following a drug conviction Thursday in a case that rocked Australian sport. The 28-year-old, a former rugby league international who switched to Super Rugby’s Queensland Reds from Australian Rules team Gold Coast Suns this year, pleaded guilty[…]

AP source: Australian rugby star agrees to deal with 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne has agreed to a contract with the San Francisco 49ers, a person with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because a formal announcement is not planned until Hayne signs. He is expected to receive $100,000[…]

Tait and Taylor make Bayonne switch

French side Bayonne announced Monday the signing of England back or wing Mathew Tait on a two-year contract as well as All Black fly-half Tom Taylor, who agreed a three-year deal. Tait will join the Basque club, currently 10th in the French Top 14, in the summer while the New Zealander will arrive on November[…]