Former Auckland schoolboy Paul Lasike confirmed in Chicago Bears' final NFL roster

The Chicago Bears have confirmed Kiwi rugby convert Paul Lasike is part of their 53-man roster for the upcoming NFL season.

Lasike, 26, hasn't had an easy road to full-time status as a pro grid iron player though after being dropped by the Arizona Cardinals last year.

Lasike grew up as an elite Auckland rugby player, quickly rising to stardom in age grades, but opted out of the sport for American Football four years ago where he began his career at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Paul Lasike scores receiving touchdoown against Denver in their NFL preseason match. Source: 1 NEWS

The former Westlake Boys' High School went undrafted in the NFL before being recruited by Arizona for his powerful running style in his College years, but he failed to make the Cardinals' final roster and was soon contracted to the Chicago Bears to be part of their wider practice squad.

But an impressive and consistent preseason performance was enough from the fullback to make the final squad for Chicago this year.

Lasike simply said he was "blessed" on Twitter after the news broke.

The Chicago Bears' first game of the season is against the Houston Texans next Monday at 5am NZT.

The Bears have only one Super Bowl title which they claimed in 1985, beating the New England Patriots 46-10.

They failed to qualify for the playoffs last season after a record of six wins and 10 losses.


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Watch: MLB batter mortified after bat slips out of hands, flies into crowd and hits fan

MLB slugger Devon Travis was left visibly shaken in his game yesterday after an at-bat went horribly wrong and his bat hit a fan in the forehead.

Travis was batting in the eighth innings for the Blue Jays in their contest against the Red Sox when his bat slipped out of his hands on a big swing.

The bat managed to clear the netting which stretches down the baseline at Fenway Park in Boston, soaring nearly 15 rows into the crowd before it hit a fan.

Security rushed to the injured fan's aid with towels and a stretcher while also taking the bat away.

The injured supporter managed to stand on his own though, pumping his left fist to thank the crowd as he received a huge cheer.

Travis' night got worse with the Blue Jays going down to the Red Sox 1-0, giving the Boston franchise their 100th win of the season.


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'He's a little dog' - Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt unloads verbal tirade on 'weak minded' drug cheat Fabricio Werdrum

New Zealand mixed martial arts veteran Mark Hunt has unleashed a tirade of verbal assaults at former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night in Russia.

Hunt is headlining the UFC event at Moscow's Olympic Stadium, set to fight Alexei Oleinik on Sunday (NZ time).

He told media he was excited to fight in Russia and was extra pleased to fight someone close to his age.

"He's a clean fighter, so it's great,” said Hunt.

The 44-year-old has had a long battle against performance enhancing drugs after facing a rivals who had failed tests, namely former champion Brock Lesnar.

Hunt unloaded a war of words on Werdum after he was handed a two-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm glad that Fabricio Werdum got caught, that little b****," said Hunt.

"Go back to the favelas. F*** you, you little c***. Good job. He was supposed to be here, but that's what you get for being weak. That's what you get, Fabricio, for being a weak-minded person. See you later."

Mark Hunt v Fabricio Werdum Source: Associated Press

Werdum was meant to face Oleinik in Russia but was withdrawn after an out-of-competition test conducted in April showed the steroid trenbolone and metabolite epitrenbolone in his sample.

Hunt has fought several fighters who have failed drug tests - Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His UFC 180 fight with Werdum is topical, with the Brazilian fighter going on to win the UFC's interim heavyweight belt and then going on to beat Cain Velasquez for the undisputed heavyweight title.

"I had to lose 21 kilograms in three and a half weeks to make that a title fight," Hunt said.

"I got kneed in the head by that little cheater. Then he beats Cain in Mexico. That really upsets me about that guy.

"Then he wouldn't fight me – he's just a cheating little b***, man. He's a little dog, that guy. See you later, Fabricio. Enjoy, mother f*****.”

Hunt has a MMA record of 13 wins 12 losses and 1 draw with eight wins in the UFC, six losses and one no contest bout.


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New Kiwi baseball team attempting to lure young Black Sox softball star

The manager of New Zealand's first professional baseball team is trying to lure one of the country's best softball players back to the other side.

Steve Mintz is in the country ahead of trials for the Auckland Tuatara in three main centres this weekend and says they want Pita Rona there.

“I reached out to him and he showed some interest,” Mintz told 1 NEWS.

“We’re hoping he comes out and we’ll see what he’s got.”

Rona was tipped for big things in baseball after signing a contract with the Baltimore Orioles but he was released after two years in 2014.

The 24-year-old recently arrived back in New Zealand after touring Europe with the World Champion Black Sox where he helped the side win the Intercontinental Cup in Prague.

The Auckland Tuatara have invited Pita Rona to trials this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS


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