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Brandon Brooks says he had to leave Eagles’ loss to Seahawks due to anxiety

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Brandon Brooks said he had to leave the Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday due to anxiety.

The guard, who joined the Eagles from the Houston Texans in 2016, has been open about his struggles with anxiety in the past, and said he was not ashamed of his decision to leave the game.

“I’d like to address what happened yesterday,” . “I woke up, and did my typical routine of morning vomiting. It didn’t go away like it eal Madrid.The 18 year-old Japan international will join Real after the Copa America from FC Tokyo.Kubo had been with Barca since he was eleven years of age before he was forced to return to Japan after a FIFA crackdown on the recruitment of junior pnoid have confirmed coach Zinedine Zidane’s brother has passed away.Zidane left Los Blancos’ training camp on Friday to fly back to Spain and be with his family.In Montreal, the players and coaching staff all observed a minute’s silence before startingrmally does, but I figured it would calm down once I got to the stadium. It did, but I felt exhausted. The nausea came back, and I tried to battle through it and went out for the first drive. The nausea and vomiting came back until I left the field, and tried everything I could to get back for my teammates but just wasn’t able to do it.

“Make no mistake, I’m NOT ashamed or embarrassed by this nor what I go through daily. I’ve had this under control for a couple of years, and had a set back yesterday. The only thing I’m upset about is that when my team needed me, I wasn’t able to be out there with and for them. Lastly, I appreciate the support of my coaches, teammates and fans. It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Brooks has missed five games during his career due to anxiety, and was given a formal diagnosis in 2016. Until Sunday, he had not missed time due to anxiety since the diagnosis. One of his fellow offensive lineman on the Eagles, Lane Johnson, also suffers from anxiety and the two have said they joke with each other about vomiting before games.

The Eagles’ head coach, Doug Perderson, said he fully supports Brooks. “This is not a football issue with Brandon; y came from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in their Champions League last-16 first-leg clash.Isco had given the hosts the lead but Gabriel Jesus and a Kevin De Bruyne penalty, before Sergio Ramos’ late red card, ensured the Premier Lethis is a real-life issue that he has come out and publicly acknowledged and kind of shared his story a few years back,” Pederson told 94.1 WIP on Monday. “It’s something that he’s dealing with each and every day of his life. You never really know what triggers it. We’re here to support him. We love him. It is unfortunate that it happened, but it’s something that he deals with every single day. We’re just going to continue to support him.”

The 30-year-old is considered one of the best guards in football, and signed a four year, $56.5m contract extension in November. He won Super Bowl LII with the Eagles in February 2018.

Saracens front an American gold rush still seeking the nugget of success

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The American gold rush is showing no signs of slowing down. Last week the Champions Cup organisers were the latest to announce plans to plant a flag on American soil, the Pro14 is casting a covetous eye Stateside, the Six Nations and the British & Irish Lions too. Ireland return to Chicago this autumn, having largely based their bid to host the 2023 World Cup on a promise to break America.

The list goes on: in June, the Sevens World Cup took place in San Francisco in July and in the immediate aftermath, World Rugby encouraged the USA to bid for the 2027 World Cup. Premiership Rugby solidified its relationship at the start of this season when Gallagherce James says he grew up a Blues supporter.The 20-year-old has excelled since returning to west London after a spell on loan with Wigan Athletic.Discussing growing up with siblings Josh and Lauren, he told Chelsea magazine: “We all used to play every took over as its title sponsor. The American market, it seems, is considered an endless source of riches.

Look a little closer and the pitfalls of rugby’s search for Sutter’s Mill are all too evident. Wales’s victory over the Springboks was a washout. The Sevens World Cup generated huge revenues but considerable losses for USA Rugby, which has undergone an overhaul amid the financial plight of its commercial arm, Rugby International Marketing, in which the Rugby Football Union and were investors. There is always a danger of killing the golden goose.

All of which Sport says an offer worth £8.9million has been lodged to commence the bidding on Benrahma.Brentford are braced for a number of clubs showing an interest in the 23-year-old Algerian.In his first year at Griffin Park, Benrahma smashed 11 goals and 17 brings us to the Stoop. Harlequins play Saracens at 7.30 on Saturday night as the first Premiership match to be screened live on NBC’s main channel. There will no matcA coach. The club announced the decision midday Monday. Franc Artiga, from Juvenil B, takes over the role.Valdes’s dismissal was a widely known ‘secret’ since Friday. The coach had an argument with Patrick Kluivert, the head of youth football and thah staged in the US this season, despite a four-year deal agreed last May – the next is likely to be in 2020 – so this is Rugby’s day in the sun. A chance to cement its place in the American landscape.

Ordinarily Premiership Rugby is shown on NBC Sports or Gold service but Saturday’s match is the first club fixture on free-to-air TV in the US. It will be shown at 2.30pm ET and the hope is that – with NBC demonstrating a commitment to broadcasting rugby, having acquired Six Nations and World Cup rights – viewing figures back up the optimism that abounds. “It’s a massive opportunity for us to cast a wider net,” says the New York-born former England international since 2016. “We’ve had a good two-year base, growing our ex-pat, traditional audience but now we have the opportunity to showcase the Premiership brand to a wide audience and pull in new fans – that’s our big emphasis here.”

This is a big deal for Premiership Rugby because of the huge reach NBC possesses – 116 million homes according to the former Bath, Leicester and USA No 8 Dan Lyle, who broadcasts alongside Corbisiero. On both a domestic and international level, administrators have talked plenty recently about unlocking commercial opportunities and unquestionably, this is a shop window for Premiership Rugby. “It’s about organic growth but we’re hoping it will accelerate our curve a little bit and the proof will be in the coming weeks,” says Lyle, the director of the promoter AEG Rugby. “Hopefully, if we get good numbers we can have more windows in the future.”

Rugby may have been identified as the fast-growing team sport in the US but it must be said that short-termism, and with it attempts to make a quick buck, have hindered progress. As Corbisiero says: “If you look in the past, there are some examples where people have been guilty of that but when you’re starting in a market from scratch, there is no best practice or the right way to do it. Sometimes we’ve had to make some mistakes and experience growing pains to get where we are now.”

Premiership Rugby says it is in for the long haul. If its success is to measured by attendances at matches hosted in New York (2016) and Philadelphia (2017) it has been a failure but Dom Hayes, the Premiership Rugby commercial director, argues otherwise. “We’ve tried to be the opposite of the flash in the pan scenario,” he says. “In Philly, everyone focuses on the crowd size but in the week leading up to that we had coaching programmes up and down the eastern seaboard and referee groups coming in to share expertise and best practice. We’re at the very beginning of the journey.”

The quality of the product will determine how well it sells and another try-fest on Saturday, in keeping with the start to the season, should help. “People recognise who are as the defending champions,” Corbisiero says. “There’s almost a Patriots-esque vibe to them. It’s a great story to tell.” There are few better placed to tell it, provided the audience is listening.

Froome case has ‘damaged credibility of Wada’, says Usada chief Tygart

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The handling of is “another shard that has damaged the credibility” of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency has warned.

Travis Tyga Kante out of his squad.Blues chief Frank Lampard wants his midfielder Kante to have a proper rest after a knee injury and sprained ankle so far this season.And ex-Chelsea anchorman Deschamps has agreed to leave the 28-year-old out of next month’s Eurt, who led the fight to bring the US cyclist Lance Armstrong to justice, also criticised the lack of transparency over Wada’s decision to clear Froome this month.

“The question is whether justice was truly served or did a star get an undeserved break,” Tygart said. “Unfortunately it’s another blow to the perceived credibility of the global anti-doping movement.”

and cycling’s governing body, the UCI, have only released some details about why Froome was given the all‑clear, after he was tested for double the permitted limit of salbutamol at the Vuelta a España last September.

In an interview with the BBC Tygart insisted that was unfair to Froome, who he said faced the “worst-case scenario” where he was “caught” between being seen as having benefited from his high profile yet could also have been “unfairly tarnished”.

“Athletes should not be accused or it be inferred that they’re not clean until proven through the established process and that didn’t happen here and he deserves the benefit of that presumption of innocence.”

Tygart also claimed that in nearly 75,000 drug tes Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on their shopping list.The Holland international is viewed at Napoli as an alternative to Roma stopper Kostas Manolas, says Corriere dello Sport.Napoli are pushing to sign Manolas this week – and will turn to Ake if tts conducted by Usada since the salbutamol rule was updated in 2011, the organisation did not find “a single athlete” in any sport that exceeded the maximum permitted amount.

In response, a Wada spokespeited title winner Robin van Persie has likened himself to whizkid Mason Greenwood.Although he did feature fleetingly last season, Greenwood has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford in 2019/20 as he’s scored seven goals in 19 appearances inrson told BBC Sport: “Mr Tygart’s assessment appears uninformed, is unconstructive, and quite frankly is surprising given that Usada has itself previously taken the decision to close a salbutamol case where the athlete exceeded the threshold without a controlled pharmacokinetic study being conducted.

“In leading the fight against doping in sport, Wada is sometimes forced to make difficult decisions. This is one of those occasions. Wada is convinced that, in view of the complex and unique circumstances of Mr Froome’s case, the UCI reached a correct and fair outcome.”

Stubbornness and lack of talent: the factors that doomed USA’s World Cup

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The shock is just now beginning to subside after the US men’s national team was eliminated from contention for the next summer’s World Cup in Russia. Every result that could have doomed them on Tuesday night came about, with combining with to knock Bruce Arena’s men out.

The list of what didn’t doom the United States’ qualifying campaign is lengthy – vastly greater resources and spending power relative to the rest of the Concacaf region, first and foremost – but before the autopsy begins in earnest, below are four things that consigned the US to desperate failure.

Coach Bruce Arena’s comment that the , and the insinuation that it is somehow more challenging than in other federations, inspired much guffawing.

Those scorning Arena had justification. (Good luck surviving a bad draw in Uefa or CAF, Bruce). There’s a case to be made that Concacaf has the most lenient road to the . In few other regions could Mexico have made it to Brazil three years ago with just two wins out of 10 qualifiernal to the end of the season.Aubameyang pulled out of talks with the club over a contract extension.He won the Premier League golden boot last season and is Arsenal’s top scorer again this term, with 13 goals in 20 Premier League games so far despites, for example, or with just three, as the US would have if El Tri and Costa Rica had done them a favor on Tuesday night.

What Arena was alluding to, however, were the logistical and practical concerns that are unique to Central America and the Caribbean. In few other regions, for example, do visitors have to to get to practice the day before the match. Stories of inhospitable kickoff times and late-night phone calls to team hotels .

What that all means is that taking care of business at home is paramount. Win your home games, and you’re in, no matter what happens on those pesky road trips.

The United States failed to obey that cardinal rule. in what had previously been the fortress of Mapfre Stadium – two days after the election of President Donald Trump, some of a certain political persuasion will remind you with the same dark comedy that inspired Omar Gonzalez’s own goal on Tuesday – and in New Jersey last month.

That Costa Rica loss, especially, coming when it did, put the US in a position in which they absolutely needed an away result. As we saw so vividly, that can come back to bite teams.

earlier this month, the USMNT are plagued by a puzzling dearth of talent between the ages of 23 and 27. The reasons behind that glaring development gap are myriad – that players those ages were born before Major League Soccer came into existence, that every nation ebbs and flows with its talent production – but its impact was clear enough this campaign.

The US leaned too heavily on veterans who had clearly lost a step, like poor Tim Howard, who was so lauded for his heroics against Belgium in Brazil but has lacked his former reflexes for a while now. It has also heaped far too much responsibility onto the shoulders of 19-year-old Christian Pulisic.

Pulisic has legitimate, game-changing quality. He’s already as gifted as just about any other American soccer player, ever, and it is a great shame for football fans everywhere was that he has been robbed of a turn on the World Cup stage. Pulisic was dominant last Friday night against Panama and . He’s also young, and sometimes inconsistent, like when he struggled to establish himself in that aforementioned Costa Rica match.

Such are the dangers of leaning too heavily on players either on the back end of their careers or still growing into their prime.

To write off this collapse as merely a function of a down talent cycle is to be far nager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get his side back firing and be better than they were last term.”I understand that we’ve only picked two points up from three games but it feels like we should have a lot more,” the former defender said.”We might have totoo lenient on the powers that be. Even without difference-makers in that age group, this team had more than enough talent to qualify. MLS, the domestic league, is as strong as it’s ever been. Pulisic plays for Borussia Dortmund, one of the biggest club teams in the world.

Blame should also be pointed squarely at Arena, at former coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who oversaw the home loss to Mexico and the 4-0 hiding in Costa Rica, as well as at federation president Sunil Gulati, who hired both of them.

This has been a trend since the first time Arena was in charge.

His 2002 squad made the deepest run of any US team in the modern era, in the World Cup quarter-finals. At the end of his second cycle in 2006, though, the team flopped, going three-and-out in Germany. Bob Bradley also guided the US to the World Cup knockout rounds a year after a stirring run to the 2009 Confederations Cup final … and was let go midway through his second cycle after the team’s form fell off.

So Klinsmann’s trajectory should’ve been easily to chart when he inked a contract extension the year before his USforward Lucas Boye on a season-long loan from Italian side Torino.The 23-year-old spent last season on loan at Greek club AEK Athens, playing in four Champions League group games.Boye has made 41 Serie A appearances for Torino and has also previously team reached the round of 16 in 2014. Instead, he stuck around long enough to dig the hole this group could not climb out of.

Any of the three fluky plays that sank the US would’ve been extraordinary on its own.

First, Gonzalez sliced an attempted clearance off the outside of his boot and into his own net, an own goal that would’ve been stylish even if he had been attempting to score. Then Honduras boinked their game-winner off the crossbar, off the back of the Mexican goalkeeper’s head and over the line. didn’t even make it that far – replays conclusively showed that Blas Perez’s shot next made it completely over the goalline – but it was credited anyway (fans hoping for a reprieve on that one may well be disappointed: it sounds like US Soccer won’t appeal. “As far as I know there is no recourse. Decisions of the referee are final,” spokesman .)

Taken together, it’s fine to acknowledge that this was a remarkable bit of ill fortune to strike in the same night.

It’s also fair to point out that the US has so much going for it relative to its peers that it never should have been so susceptible to bad luck so late in the campaign – and that this result will have repercussions for years to come.

USA crush Puerto Rico 8-0 to clinch first ever World Baseball Classic title

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Marcus Stroman tossed six hitless innings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night to win its first in four tries.

Stroman dominated the tournament’s highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The US territory finished runners-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.

Stroman, who was named the tournament’s MVP, avenged his shakiness in the Americans’ 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.

He allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan’s double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when Stroman departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead.

Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning.

The US pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.

Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off.

Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and are hoping to make a move for Southampton defender Matt Targett.The Villa Park club are interested in strengthening their back line, as they will likely lose the 21-year-old and other loan signings from last season.One name that is interesting Dean walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S.

In that game, Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego.

The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.

Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on beforeation Mattis De Ligt is not a target for the Reds.But the London Evening Standard says manager Jurgen Klopp is still on the lookout for defensive players.It is believed the Merseyside club will only part with big money if the signing is a guaranteed their teAubameyang would leave last month.The Gunners captain was linked with Barcelona.But Leno told the London Evening Standard: “I think not too many players talked about this.“Of course there are many rumours and other people talk about this, but youam fell behind 4-0.

Fans were on their feet chanting “U-S-A” when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford’s two-run single that chased JC Romero, extending the lead to 6-0.

The US tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Burgos’ wild pitch moved runners to second and third before he walked Lucroy to load the bases a second time. Kinsler flied out to end the inning.

The Americans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen’s RBI single with two outs.

The US defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final.

The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892.

Is Kawhi Leonard the NBA’s most valuable player?

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For most of the season, Kawhi Leonard was having one of the quietest MVP campaigns in recent memory. That changed on Monday night when Leonard scored 39 points as the fought back from a 16-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets.

In the game’s final 30 seconds, he single-handedly secured the 112-110 win with a soon-to-be where he put the Spurs ahead with a three-pointer and then raced to the other end of the floor to block James Harden’s potential game-tying lay-up. The win helped the second-placed Spurs keep pace with the Golden State Warriors, while igniting a long overdue discussion about Leonard’s place in an incredibly competitive MVP race.

Leonard’s time in the spotlight was short-lived. The very next night, Russell Westbrook on the Portland Trail Blazers. He also accounted for all nine of the assists made by the Thunder’s starters in what ended up being a 126-121 home loss.

It’s rare to see two of the best players in the league put up their best individual games of the season on back-to-back nights, but it’s also not often that we have a MVP race as tightly contested as this one. Right now, at least four players have a genuine shot at the honor and their chances fluctuate on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis. Here’s our unscientific snapshot of how the race is shapinangers have signed Brighton striker Jan Mlakar on a season-long loan deal.The 20-year-old joined the Premier League side from NK Maribor in January, but was loaned straight back to the Slovenian outfit.Mlakar scored 13 goals in 26 league appearances g up so far, but keep in mind that these names could be in a completely different order by the end of the week.

1) Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Let’s start with the offensive numbers. Leonard currently averages 26.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He is the biggest reason why San Antonio have already clinched a playoff spot, something reflected in his usage rate, which measures how many plays a player uses while he’s on the floor. His , the highest in his career, although he hasn’t experienced a corresponding dip in efficiency.

That’s only part of the story. The most remarkable thing about Leonard is that he’s putting up these numbers as the reigning defensive player of the year. What made Monday’s performance so memorable was that he carried the team on his back at the same time he was guarding Harden, one of the most difficult players in the league to defend. It was as complete of a performance as you’re likely to see.

When Tim Duncan retired in the offseason, Leonard became the face of the Spurs. It’s a monumental task to replace Duncan, perhaps the greatest player of his generation, but it clearly hasn’t phased the unflappable Leonard. If anything, it compelled him to raise his game on both ends of the floor. If he doesn’t end the season as the best player in the league, he still should be considered the most well-rounded one.

2) James Harden, Houston Rockets

This has been a rough, rough season for those of us who have spent the last few years rooting against the polarizing Harden, who has answered his critics and then some this season. Harden’s a better scorer than Leonard – his 29 points per game places him just behind Westbrook and the Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas – but that production doesn’t come at the expense of his team-mates. Harden is with 11.3 per game. If the Rockets are looking more and more like a team with a legitimate shot at making the NBA finals, much of that is thanks to Harden.

In the past, the knock on Harden’s game has mostly revolved around his defense, but it’s clear just from the eye test that he’s taken huge strides this season on that end. The numbers back this up as well. For instance, Fox Sports had Harden ranked 125th overall when it came to his defensive rating. This season? He’s , moving all the way up to 53th place. He’s never going to compete with Leonard for DPOY honors, but he’s not the liability he once was.

3) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Yes, yes, I hear you: could a player averaging a triple-double only be the league’s third most valuable player? Yes, what Westbrook is doing this season is incredibly impressive, historical even. Right now he averages 32.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10 assists per game, he’s literally doing it all.

That’s the problem, though: he’s doing it all because he can’t rely on anybody else on his team doing all that much. Westbrook currently has an eye-popping usage rate of 42.6%. In comparison, Harden, who is also tasked with carrying his team for long stretches, has one hovering around the 34% mark. Westbrook’s racking up video-game minutes, but there’s some inflation going on here: he has far more opportunities.

Also, while this is more of an aesthetic problem than a genuine criticism of his game, it doesn’t help his case that he has a knack of putting up his gaudiest individual performances in losses.

4) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

“LeBron James: still good at basketball” continues to be the biggest “dog bites man” story in the NBA. We simply expect excellence from him on a yearly basis. All he’s doing is averaging 26.0 points per game, 8.2 reboun the elite of football.Milan are again facing missing out on Champions League qualification this season.Baresi told Gazzetta dello Sport: “If (Nils) Liedholm were here, I think he’d say we needed to be patient, because he was a very calm person, evds and 8.8 assists while his team once again has settled on top of the Eastern Conference standings. While it’s hard to rank him above Leonard, Harden or Westbrook at the moment, last year’s finals should have taught us to the most important player in the sport.

Bubbling under

James is clearly the best and most important player in the East, that’s clear, but it’s hard to single out who would be the second most important player. If the Washington Wizards continue to win, John Wall could rightfully emerge as a dark horse. Isaiah Thomas garnered some MVP talk back when he was turning every four quarter into his own one man act, but he gives back a few too many points on defense.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference, the best team in the league, the Golden State Warriors, don’t really have a MVP candidate on their team. Kevin Durant was in the mix, but he will miss of the regular season. Steph Curry has been struggling from behind the three-point line, which is a strange thing to type and an even more surreal thing to witness.

It’s odd especially when we remember that , Curry had all but wrapped up his MVP campaign. This season, however, the honor will probably be up for grabs headed into the final week of the season. Which is great. As fun as it was to watch Curry dominate the gamer United midfielder Paul Pogba.Pogba remains a top target for Zidane, but Real need to sell players this month to fund a bid for the France international.Asked about the prospect of landing Pogba, Zizou replied: “If Pogba will come? I will repeat exa all last year, anything that adds drama and suspense to the often anticlimactic end of the regular season should be celebrated.

Ben Ryan on life after Rio: ‘Base Fiji team in Cornwall – they would love it there’

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There are still some flat earthers out there who think rugby at the Olympics is no big deal. That sevens players are just failed XVs merchants, that there is nothing for the abbreviated game to teach its big brother. They should spend a lunchtime hearing about the assorted offers Ben Ryan has received since his fabulous Fiji squad won their nation’s in Rio.

This week Ryan is in the United States offering consultancy advice to one of their highest-profile basketball sides. If there is a mutual attraction there is the potential of a permanent arrangement. Every self-respecting sevens team in the world has enquired about his availability. Rumour has it that Japan were ready to shower him with yen, with even New Zealanders speculating as to whether he should take over from Sir Gordon Tietjens.

En route back home to Brentford he stopped briefly in the US and encountered complete strangers in Austin and New York who insisted on buying him drinks. They had watched the Olympics on TV and wanted to say thank you to the ginger guru with the glasses. In addition to being honour and three acres of land, the island nation is also introducing a special seven dollar bill with his face on it. There is continuing interest being shown in the US and China in turning the extraordinary Fijian rags-to-riches story into a film. A Bob Marley-inspired remix – – is already out there.

Not bad for a 45-year-old former Newbury director of rugby who was let go from the Rugby Football Union in 2013 after a difference of opinion with the then elite rugby director Rob Andrew. So, as we sit in the hotel bar directly adjoining the RFU offices at Twickenham, how many offers has he had from Premiership clubs to sprinkle a little bit of South Sea stardust on their northern hemisphere skillsets? The answer is one tentative approach from a lower-ranked side seeking an attack coach, subsequently withdrawn because of budgetary constraints. Amid the debate about developing home-grown English coaches, the risk-averse instincts of their employers remains a major hurdle.

There has in fairness been interest from Pro12 teams and the possibility of assistant coach roles with a couple of Super Rugby franchises but Ryan, who has long wanted to return to XVs coaching in some capacity, is clearly wavering. Helping basketball to instil a rugby-style culture would be lucrative and professionally stimulating. “I might know nothing about basketball but I’m looking at relationships; whether they’re overcomplicating things. To be successful you have to play the long game, have good standards and stick with them.”

If the British and Irish Lions need an innovative skills coach next summer with a track record of beating New Zealand, they should look no further. Assuming, that is, the multifaceted Ryan is still available. What a waste it would be if one of England’s brighter coaches were to be lost to another sport at the peak of his powers.

The oenitez has opened the door to future return to Newcastle United.The Spaniard still sees a future for himself in English football.He said: “I expect to do well with Dalian Yifang and after that to come back to the UK.”I don’t know when. But you are alnly consolation is he would love to coach at another Olympics: “I’d like to give XVs a crack and I think I’m a better XVs coach but going to an was amazing. To know you can go to future Olympics is definitely a pull because it’s just another level. Having had success there shows you how global the Olympics is and how small rugby is by comparison.”

Whatever he does next, Ryan can sense the entire sport changing. Sevens may not transform the world but, as with Twenty20 cricket and Test matches, it has the potential to reshape the rugby landscape. “In 2023, if the guardians of the game are doing the right thing, the ball will be in play longer. The sport will be more athletic and it’ll mean you need multipositional players.” It is Ryan’s firm belief, for example, that Tom Mitchell and Dan Bibby, the playmaking energisers of GB’s sevens side, could play in any Super Rugby midfield; most Premiership XVs coaches would declare them too small. “The clubs look at sevens here and think: ‘We’ll send someone if they’re not very good or struggling to make it.’ That’s not the case in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Fiji. If it’s for inferior players why do people like Sonny Bill Williams struggle in sevens?”

There is much, much more. Ryan fears for the future of Fiji 15-a-side rugby if urgent measures are not taken by World Rugby to stem the exodus of players to foreign leagues and international squads. He believes there should be a Pacific Islands franchise in Super Rugby, as there now is for Argentina, to develop players, coaches and administrators alike. “Ask the players and the coaches if they would like a Pacific Islands franchise and they would say: ‘Yeah.’ But Super Rugby have been paying lip service to that idea for 20 years and it’s never happened. It needs World Rugby to say: ‘You’ve got to do this’ because that would be a game-changer. For the good of the game you don’t want Fiji getting worse at 15s and better at sevens. If Eddie Jones had 95% of his team not playing in England and he only had them once in a blue moon they wouldn’t be top of the tree. There’s no way.”

Alternatively, Ryan has an even more radical plan, albeit with some logistical hurdles. “If a Super Rugby franchise can’t happen, then transplanting a side into a domestic league in Europe – the Pro12 or the Premiership – would be the second option. Take a team of Fijian players, base them in Kent or Cornwall, and they would go. Look at somewhere like Cornwall. There isn’t a Premiership team and the islanders would love it there.”

So, reckons Ryan, would neutrals worldwide if rugby’s answer to the Harlem Globetrotters played together week in week out. “That’s how I explain it to Americans. It’s like the Harlem Globetors.PSG star Edinson Cavani has recently revealed that one of his dreams is to score a goal for Boca at La Bombonera like former Uruguayan striker Sergio Martinez.”Between River and Boca, I’m going for Boca,” Modric said on Un Metro Adelantado.”I prerotters but they’re in the NBA, winning games. It would be so exciting for the world game.”

Ryan has come a long way in every sense since his first meeting . If he is lured to basketball for a year or two and earns a truckload of dollars it could not happen to a nicer bloke. It would be even nicer to think that, one day, English rugby will wake up to the far-sighted coach right under its own nose.

Time to trust Slade as England No12?

England in Brighton, Eddie Jones’s seaside home from home. Short of relocating everyone back to Coogee Oval in Sydney’s eastern suburbs it is as close as you can get in the UK to the beachfront vibe he used to enjoy in his Randwick days. When it comes to identifying players at openside and inside-centre, however, recreating the grand old days of Wallaby plenty seems to be trickier. For whatever reason, Jones does not seem to be able to find many attack-minded English-reared 7s and 12s who fit his exacting criteria to play Test rugby in those positions. If Owen Farrell remains unavailable along with Manu Tuilagi, for example, will he trust Exeter’s Henry Slade at 12 or plump for the harder-running former league man Ben Te’o, regardless of the fact the latter has barely played this season following a concussion against Gloucester? A midfield of George Ford, Slade and either Jonathan Joseph or Elliot Daly would certainly cover plenty of creative bases, particularly with a powerful winger like Semesa Rokoduguni in the mix. Either way this is the autumn to take a closer look at England’s attacking options as opposed to playing safe.

All Blacks break the mould

People are talking about the All Blacks’ reserve XV being the second best te Napoli right back Elseid Hysaj.Spurs are reeling from the news that Juan Foyth will be out with an injury for several weeks.It leaves them short of defensive numbers, given the sale of Kieran Trippier earlier in the summer.Sky Sportssays a deal for am in the world. They may be right. What is beyond dispute is New Zealand, as the best sides do, are challenging the game’s supposed orthodoxies. When Argentina kicked off deep with 15 seconds left in the first half of Saturday’s 36-17 Test defeat in Buenos Aries, most teams would have caught the restart, taken the ball into contact and then booted it into Row Z to bring the first 40 minutes to a routine close.

Instead the All Blacks launched a thrilling attack from their own 22 that ended with a wonderful try for TJ Perenara. The sequence should be compulsory viewing for every age-group coach and player, not to mention a few Premiership ones.

Woeful Ryan Fitzpatrick throws six interceptions in Jets loss to Chiefs

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Ryan Fitzpatrick is not known for his accuracy and he excelled himself against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, throwing six interceptions as the New York Jets lost 24-3 to the .

Fitzpatrick was coming off a good game against the Buffalo Bills, in which he threw for two touchdowns and 374 yards. But against the Chiefs completed telli could’ve been a worldbeater.Eto’o was still with Inter as Balotelli, now with Brescia, was breaking through as a teenager.He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Mario loves me like a little brother, but he never showed even 10% of his qualities.”The Majust 20 of his 44 attempts and was picked off six times. He does, at least, find himself in good company: Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Joe Namath (three times) .

Elsewhere, Russell Wilson threw for 243 yards and a tore leading the race to sign Lemar.Lemar, 24, has been a long-term target of the Gunners after a bid while he was at Monaco in 2017.He joined Atletico a year later in a £60m deal but has failed to live up to expectations since moving to the Spanish cuchdown before suffering a left knee injury as the rolled to a 37-18 rout of the .

Wilson was injured with about 10 minutes to go in the third quarter getting pulled down awkwardly on a sack by San Francisco’s Eli Harold. Harold was called for a horse collar penalty, but the bigger concern was how he fell on Wilson’s left leg.

Wilson stayed down on the field for a few moments before walking off. Wilson missed the first play of his career due to injury, but returned to throw one more pass. The completion led to the third of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals for a 27-3 lead and after that Wilson’s day was done.

Wilson had a brace placed on his left knee, and he never saw the field again, giving the fio land Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish this summer.The Mirror says United are preparing to pay up to £70million to land Grealish this summer.The attacking ace has been in superb form for Villa this term after inspiring them to promotion last seasonal 1 ½ quarters of the blowout to rookie Trevone Boykin.

Wilson finished 15 of 23 passing, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. Boykin also threw the first TD pass of his career, hitting Doug Baldwin on a 16-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Baldwin had eight catches for a career-high 164 yards.

It was a big day for Seattle’s offense that slogged through the first two weeks, in the first 120 minutes of the season. The Seahawks nearly matched that total in the first 11 minutes of the game thanks to the first two touchdowns of Christine Michael’s career.

Getting the start with Thomas Rawls out because of a shin injury, Michael had TD runs of 41 and 4 yards on Seattle’s first two drives. Michael rushed for 106 yards on 20 carries, the second 100-yard game of his career.

Carlos Hyde two TD runs in the fourth quarter for San Francisco, but the 49ers had just five first downs entering the fourth quarter and missed on their first 10 third-down attempts. of 12 straight games with a touchdown pass ended as he was 14 of 25 for 119 yards and an interception.

In Philadelphia, Carson Wentz threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, a fierce defense shut down Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and the Eagles beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 to remain unbeaten.

The rookie No2 overall pick connected with Darren Sproles on a and tossed a to Jordan Matthews.

After beating the Browns (0-3) and Bears (0-2) in the first two games, the Eagles (3-0) proved they could compete with the big boys. The Steelers (2-1) averaged 31 points the first two weeks and are considered Super Bowl contenders.

Pittsburgh was 19-2 against rookie quarterbacks since 2004. But Wentz is no ordinary rookie.

Everyone is jumping on the Wentz wagon in Philadelphia. And he was the No3 quarterback until Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota just eight days before the season opener.

Sproles finished with six catches for 128 yards and Kenjon Barner and rookie Wendell Smallwood each had their first career rushing TDs.

Roethlisberger had 257 yards passing, one interception and no TDs after tossing six in the first two games. Brown caught 12 passes for 140 yards, most of which after the outcome was decided.

Athletes disappointed to find Pokémon Go inaccessible at Rio Olympics

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So the plumbing and electricity in the athletes’ village took several days to fix. Who cares?

But no ? That’s an outrage!

If there were ever a more “first world problem” for the Zika-plagued, water-polluted Rio Olympics, it’s Brazil’s lack of access to the hit mobile game, which has united players the world over.

Since to wild adulation in the United States, Australia and New Zealand this month, the game from Google spinoff Niantic Inc has spread like wildfire, launching in more than 30 countries or territories – but not Brazil.

For athletes and other visitors caught up in the wave, not having access is just one more knock against an Olympics that officials are racing to get ready. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday.

“I wish I could run around in the [athletes’] village catching Pokémon,” New Zealand soccer player Anna Green said. “I just can’t get it on the phone. It’s fine, but it would have been something fun to do.”

What will she do instead? “Train,” she replied.

Niantic didn’t reply to a request for comment on when the game might be released in Brazil. Ao Martinez says he deserves a shot at being their No1.Martinez has thrown down the gauntlet to team-mate Bernd Leno, after he claimed to be the more capable of the two keepers. Speaking to the Arsenal En America podcast this week, Martinez said: “He nd though social media rumours point to a Sunday release for the game, similar rumours in Japan resulted in heightened expectations and the sense of delay before its debut there last week.

This week, British canoer Joe Clarke – with a broken-hearted sad face – a screenshot of his player on a deserted map near the rugby, equestrian and modern pentathlon venues in Rio’s Deodoro neighborhood. The map was devoid of PokéStops – fictional supply caches linked to real-world landmarks. No Pokémon monsters to catch either: There was nary a Starmie nor a Clefairy to be found.

“Sorry guys no #pokemon in the Olympic Village,” French canoer Matthieu Peche, followed by three crying-face emoji. Getting equal billing in his Twitter stream was a snapshot of a letter of encouragement from French President Francois Hollande.

Players with the app already downloaded elsewhere appear to be able to see a digital map of their surroundings when they visit Rio. But without Pokéstops or Pokémon, the game isn’t much fun. It would be like getting on a football field – soccer to Americans – but not having a ball to kick or goals to defend.

Many competitors in the athletes’ village took it in stride, though. Canadian field hockey player Matthew Sarmento said it would give him more time to meet other athletes. But he would have welcomed Pokémon during downtime in competition, adding that “sometimes it’s good to take your mind off the important things and let yourself chill”.

Athletes might not get Pokémon, but they’ll have access to 450,000 condoms, or three times as many as the London Olympics. Of those, 100,000 are female condoms. Officials deny that it’s a response to the Zika virus, which has been linked to miscarriages and birth defects in babies born to women who have been infected.

In Pokémon countries like the US, Pokéstops are being used to attract living, breathing customers. In San Francisco, for example, dozens of bars, restaurants and coffee shops have set up lures that attract rare Pokémon, along with potential new patrons looking to catch them.

That’s presumably one reason why Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes – plagued by a host of bad news from player robberies to faulty plumbing – urged Niantic investor Nintendo to release the game in Brazil.

“Everybody is coming here. You should also come!” Paes , adding the hashtag #PokemonGoNoBrasil – “Pokémon Go” in Brazil.

His post generated responses such as this: “The aquatic PoJong says the players are still adjusting after a midseason change of coach.Quique Setien has been in the job for a couple of weeks now, having succeeded Ernesto Valverde, and De Jong was asked to compare the two.”There are differences,” the Dutchmankémon died with superbugs.”

Paes didn’t respond to requests for interviews.

One video circulating virally, with more than 3.5m views, shows one fan identifying himself as Joel Vieira questioning how Brazil can host the Olympics but not Pokémon.

“I can’t play! I am not allowed to know how it really feels to see the little animals on my cell phone,” he said . “Because we don’tl.The midfielder penned undisclosed terms this morning.Emery told Arsenal’s website: “Joe has progressed a lot in the last year. “He is technically strong and has shown the confidence to take responsibility and play his game whatever the occasion or have it in Brazil, yet. But we are having the Olympics.”

The Olympics kick off next Friday. Will Pikachu be there to witness it? The world is watching with baited Poké-breath.

Philadelphia issues official apology to Jackie Robinson, 69 years on

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is officially apologizing to Jackie Robinson for the shameful way he was treated in the City of Brotherly Love.

The City Council pashead with plans to sign Brighton defender Ben White.The Eastbourne Herald s on the losing end of the final of the African Cup of Nations against Algeria, the Senegal winger is ready to leave Rennes for England.Sarr is eager to see the move happen and has made this clear to Rennes.Watford will now step up negotiations, says ays Liverpool are eyeing Brighton centre-back Ben White but don’t expect them to make a move next month.The Seagulls have reassured Leeds United that the 22-year-old will finised a resolution Thursday naming April 15 as a day to honor Robinson’s achievements and to apologize for the racism he faced while visiting Philadelphia in 1947.

April 15 is the day Robinson broke the color barrier by becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In Philadelphia, Robinson was refused service by a local hotel and then taunted by manager Ben Chapman, who, along with players, hurled racial slurs at Robinson each time he came to bat. Chapman led the bench in abusing Robinson, telling him to “go back to the cotton field.”

42,the head of their youth scouting setup, Steve Morrow.The former Gunners defender, who helped them win the 1993 League Cup, was informed that his services are no longer needed.The Arsenal-AXE-head-youth-scouting-Steve-Morrow-Gunners-ditch-1993-League- the 2013 biopic starring Chadwick Boseman, highlights the hateful reception Robinson received in Philadelphia.

The apology will be presented to Robinson’s widow, Rachel.

NFL moves touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passes new ejections rule

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The has moved touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passed a new ejections rule – despite objections from coaches.

NFL owners voted to move the ball spot on touchbacks after kickoffs to the 25-yard line, to try to limit the number of returns after injuries on the play rose in 2015. They also ruled that players will be subject to automatic ejection if they commit two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. Specifically, a “player penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls” will be “disqualified”.

The automatic ejection proposal was suggested by NFL commissioner Roger ribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.The United manager signed Agnaldo for Molde, with the Brazilian currnager Edinburgh passed away on Saturday at the age of 49 – the same age Ginola was when he suffered a cardiac arrest back in 2016.In the wake of the tragic news, the Frenchman spoke fondly of his old friend and Tottenham teammate and the impact Ediently on-loan in Finland with RoPo.He told ESPN Brasil: “I could have gone back to other teams in Brazil, but I chose to stay in Europe and a lot of myGoodell just before the Super Bowl.

Both rule changes will be reviewed after the 2016 season before the NFL decides whether to make them permanent.

The owners were concerned about player safety on kickoffs t to Crystal Palace confirmed their relegation.The veteran manager praised the efforts of his troops over the course of the season and spoke passionately about the transformation since he took the reins.”You have heard this lot (Cardiff fans), they h– but the decision to move the touchback up five yards could have the opposite effect.

Some coaches suggested that the number of kickoff returns could actually increase, with kickers using “mortar kicks” that drop close to the goal line and require a return.

, two veteran special teams coordinators told the Chicago Tribune the new rule will lead more teams telling the kickers to get as much hang time as possible while landing the ball near the goal line in an effort to cover a kick and pin the offense inside the 25 or even inside the 20.

Coaches also claimed that opponents will bait players into committing penalties that qualify for the ejection rule, but owners say that won’t happen. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: “I think it points to our emphasis on good sportsmanship.”

Largest police union renews call for NFL to end concealed-carry ban

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The United States’ largest police union has written to the National Football League asking the sporting body to reconsider its ban on carrying concealed firearms at its stadiums, in the wake of heightened fears of terrorist attacks.

The National Fraternal Order of Police has been lobbying the unsuccessfully since 2013, when the ban was introduced. But the recent attacks in Paris by Islamic State-affiliated operatives have prompted another push.

One of the Paris saw three suicide bombers attempt to enter the soccer stadium where the French national team, watched by their president, François Hollande, was playing a match. They were foiled as they tried to gain access, and blew themselves up.

Union president Chuck Canterbury sent a letter to the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, on 20 November, urging him “to rescind this policy, which weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans”.

“The terrorist attacks and threats of attacks from organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) are selecting targets based on the amount of death and injury they can inflict – mass murder and casualty events,” Canterbury wrote.

The letter : “Well-attended venues and areas are being deliberately targeted by the radical killers who do not intend or expect to survive the assault. Law enforcement, even when working r 1-1 Europa League draw at Vitoria.Martinez was just four minutes away from keeping his 11th clean sheet in an Arsenal shirt. The Argentine stopper had made a string of fine stops during Wednesday’s Europa League clash with Vitoria but then in the factively with highly trained and skilled security professionals, cannot be certain that all threats will be detected and neutralized.”

On a more local level, the Ohiregrets.Foster has enjoyed late career success with the Hornets.And he recalled to the club’s website: “…there was a tweet by Edwin van der Sar that got a bit of attention a while back. I said that goalkeepers are the hardest workers and he repliedo Fraternal Order of Police has the state’s leading football teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, to overturn the policy.

The unions are especially keen for off-duty police officers to be permitted to takh Manchester United for the signature of Jadon Sancho.The 19-year-old forward spent two seasons at City’s academy after leaving Watford in 2015.BILD says Old Trafford chiefs have already met with Borussia Dortmund bosses to discuss a transfer, but Une concealed firearms to football games.

In New York City, the Sergeants Benevolent Association police union, has started a petition to overturn the ban on the basis that it “compromises public safety”, according to a local .

And Detroit police union leaders have also written to the NFL, saying: “Law enforcement officers often carry a weapon while off duty not only for their own personal protection but to provide a critical response when circumstances call for immediate police action,” according to a Detroit media .

The letter went on to say: “Current events, not least the unconscionable acts of terrorism we have recently experienced, only add to the desirability of having readily ­available armed law enforcement officers, even if they are not officially ‘on duty’.”

Currently, only the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys have been granted an exemption from the ban – the NFL concluded that Texas state law the league’s policy.

An attempt to overturn the ban in Minnesota was by an appeals court.

The NFL explained in a to Canterbury in 2013 that while the organization had every respect for members of law enforcement and did not consider off duty officers carrying firearms to be a risk to the public or players, “we believe that public safety inside our stadiums is best served by limiting the carrying of firearms to on-duty law enforcement officers specifically assigned to work the game”.

A spokesman has that stance in response to the latest flurry of lobbying by police unions.

Longtime nemesis Antonio Cromartie says Tom Brady shouldn’t be suspended

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Tom Brady received support from an unlikely quarter on Thursday when New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie came out in defense of the embattled quarterback during an appearance on ESPN.

“Honestly, I don’t think he should be suspended,” Cromartie , ESPN’s two-hour weekday morning debate program, when asked about the fairness of the NFL’s punishment for Brady’s role in Deflategate. “Nobody is safe no matter who you are. Roger [Goodell] is going to do what he wants to do. It don’t matter what the rules say, he’s gonna make his own rules as he goes, and it shouldn’t be like that.

“But at the end of the day, we as players gave him the freedom to do whatever he wants to do. We signed the [current Collective Bargaining Agreement]. So we had our own fault for doing it. We should have been more detailed. We shouldn’t have rushed into things. We should have pushed it to another month and a half and made the owners lose money, and then you go from there.”

Four years ago, when Cromartie made headlines by calling Brady an “asshole” ahead of a playoff game between the Jets and Patriots, it would have been difficult to imagine support coming from a less likely figure.

“Fuck him,” Cromartie . “I hate [him].”

On Thursday, it was Goodell who bore the brunt of Cromartie’s anger. Perhaps, as they say, the enemy of my enemy really is my friend.

“In the rulebook, ths been left out of the club’s preseason tour.The left back will remain in England, while the rest of his teammates head to Asia for their preseason preparations.Per The Telegraph, Rose is set for a move away from Tottenham in the coming weeks.The 29-ere’s no suspension in the rules,” Cromartie said. “There’s only a $25,000 fine, so I don’t see how you can try to lay the hammer down on someone when the rule states for itself there’s no suspension for it. Are we trying to go back to the Spygate and get more from ity.The Arsenal-next-manager-Mikel-Arteta-Man-City-assistant-Pep-Guardiola-EXCLUSIVE”>Daily ExpressArsenal-next-manager-Mikel-Arteta-Man-City-assistant-Pep-Guardiola-EXCLUSIVE”> says Arteta is in the middle of a tug of war between Manchester City andthat? Or are we just leading back to us, saying ‘Well, I have full control of everything. I made the rules as it goes, rather than follow the rules of what’s already been written.’”

Cromartie is not the first Patriots rival to back Brady. Bernard Pollard and Terrell Suggs have also come out in support of the Neify for the Champions League.“Deciding to leave the Milan bench isn’t easy, but it’s a decision I had to make,” Gattuso told La Repubblica.“There wasn’t a precise moment when I came to this decision: it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of w England quarterback.

Sergey Kovalev too powerful for Bernard Hopkins in title fight

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Never in an unparalleled 26-year career had Bernard Hopkins been on the losing end of a definitive beatdown. Until Saturday night.

Time didn’t catch up with the 49-year-old Hopkins, who lost every minute of a light heavyweight title unification fight with Sergey Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall. The north Philadelphian’s skills and reflexes are still intact. Instead, it was a stronger, primer fighter who appears poised to dominate the division for years to come.

Kovalev dropped Hopkins in the opening round and outboxed him comprehensively in the middle stages before hurting him badly in the final round. When the bell sounded with Hopkins in full retreat, the judges’ scorecards were merely a formality. All three gave the fight to Kovalev, who unified three of the major 175lbs titles and redoubled his reputation as one of boxing’s most formidable seek-and-destroy punchers.

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who turns 50 on 15 January, entered with the WBA and IBF versions of the 175lbs championship, which made him the oldest champion in boxing history. No longer.

“He was a really tough opponent.” said Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs), who added Hopkins’s titles to his WBO belt. “He is very good at keeping distance. I really respect him for the fight, but he needs to stop his career, because he’s already done a lot in the boxing world and he needs to give an opportunity to younger fighters to be champions. I’m next.”

Saturday marked Hopkins’ eighth consecutive fight against an opponent born in the 1980s, but none of those foils were considered as dangerous as Kovalev, a heavy-handed Russian who had never been defeated, scored all but two of his victories by knockout and literally less than three years ago.

The 31-year-old’s power was beyond dispute – the oddsmakers had installed him as a 3-1 favourite – but some believed he was too linear and plodding to solve the slippery defence of the man formerly known as “The Executioner” and now known as “The Alien.”

Yet Kovalev, improbably, managed to outbox a master boxer. “He used his reach and his distance and that was the key to the victory,” Hopkins said. “He has very good mechanics and patience.”

A cautious opening round for both fighters rapidly gave way to a flashpoint of action when Kovalev connected with a right hand to the temple that sent Hopkins to the canvas for the fifth time in his career. He was up quickly, but absorbed another punishing right hand shortly after that made him hesitant to open up.

Early on, Hopkins succeeded in using deft footwork and veteran wile to make Kovalev appear less than his best, no small task against a knockout machine whose previous 13 fights had ended inside the distance. Yet after two rounds, he had landed only six punches.

By the fourth, Hopkins was in survival mode, moving laterally on the ropes and slipping punches in the corner but offering little in return.

As the rounds wore on, it became clear Kovalev was too much for Hopkins. No amount of smoke and mirrors could solve his opponent’s relentless advance. Occasionally, the Philadelphian scored with a slick counter or shrewd lead, but the moments of success proved too sparse.

Kovalev had never been taken past the eighth round in 26 pro fights. These were the rounds Hopkins had been waiting for — the opportunity to drag his opponent into deep waters aafter defeat at Brighton.Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have all been linked with moves away in the summer but none of those outgoings came to fruition, leaving their Spurs careers in limbo.Jenas said: “I love Mauricio and rend test his conditioning — yet he was no closer to solving Kovalev in the final act than in the first.

Not content to sit back in the final round despite a wide lead on the scorecards, Kovalev instead went for the knockout. Both fighters exchanged fire with the crowd of 8,545 on its feet, yet it was Hopkins — appearing truly vulnerable for the first time in 66 pro fights — who caromed off the ropes in wait of the final bell. Never in six previous losses had Hopkins, a stingy dictator of pace even in defeat, been in serious trouble. Not so Saturday night.

Kovalev landed 38 punches in the final round, the most in a single round against Hopkins in 41 fights tracked by CompuBox. The future Hall of Famer finished on his feet. Barely. Another 15 seconds might have demanded the referee’s intervenAmazon’s December 2019 debut as a domestic broadcast partner for the Premier League peaked with an audience of approximately two million viewers for the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, according to online media outlet Digiday, reports, /.The figure is comparable to the audience on pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports when the two clubs last played each other in March.tion.

“Tonight he was the better man,” said Hopkins, who landed 65 of 195 punches (33%), compared to 166 of 585 for Kovalev (28%). “Cut and dry.”

For Kovalev, a unification bout with the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson makes sense, though it’s doubtful the Canadian will be in a hurry to make that fight after watching Sez.The Sun says the Gunners have reportedly joined Inter Milan in the race for £25million-rated Perez .Napoli are also thought to be chasing the Spanish forward, 25, after netting a career best 12 Premier League goals this term.Arsenal boss Unai Emeaturday’s dominating performance against one of the finest technical boxers of his generation.

When pressed on his future, Hopkins – less than 10 weeks from – was glib. “Asking me to fight again right now,” he said, “is like asking a woman who was just in nine hours of labor to have another baby.”

transfer interest.Zielinski remains keen on a move

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reliever told reporters Friday that he is dealing with biceps tendinitis in front part of shoulder. Adams is not worried about the injury and believes it .Adams has not pitched since Thursday. He has pitcherevealed a call frool boss Jurgen Klopp wanted to praise all his young players as they emerged with a 1-0 win over Everton at Anfield.The Reds faced a tricky FA Cup clash in the third round against their bitter rivals.Matters were complicated by Klopp resting several om Manchester City.Petar Tomovski says City have made an approach.“He is a player who can play in the Serie A straightaway. Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchecandidates about replacing Arsene Wenger as manager.Unai Emery was eventually the man chosen for the Emirates job after it had initially appeared that former Arsenal player Mikel Arteta would spectacularly take over.The names, in alphabetical order, ngladbach called me for him,” Tomovski told Italian d twice since returning from the disabled list with a back injury. The right-hander has a 3.92 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 23 appearances.