Tag Archives: brother

Napoli goalkeeper Matteo Gianello tells court he tried to fix match

Napoli in the dock as shamed stopper Gianello tells court he tried to fix match

PUBLISHED:

19:21 GMT, 10 December 2012

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UPDATED:

19:21 GMT, 10 December 2012

Napoli went on trial for match-fixing on Monday and could be docked points after its former goalkeeper confessed to arranging the result of a game three seasons ago.

Matteo Gianello confessed to prosecutors that he attempted to fix the match between Sampdoria and Napoli in May, 2010.

Sampdoria won the match 1-0 with a goal from current AC Milan player Giampaolo Pazzini in the 51st minute.

Confession: Gianello admitted that he attempted to fix a game

Confession: Gianello admitted that he attempted to fix a game

It was the final weekend of the season and the victory secured Sampdoria fourth place and a spot in Champions League qualifying.

Current Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro and defender Gianluca Grava were also on trial in front of the Italian football federation's disciplinary committee for allegedly failing to report the fix.

Both players, along with Napoli, deny any wrongdoing. Cannavaro is the younger brother of former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.

Jonjo Shelvey to play up front for Liverpool

He's not quite Messi but Shelvey set for 'false nine' role as Suarez serves ban

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UPDATED:

08:54 GMT, 8 December 2012

Liverpool’s lack of striking options will be starkly illustrated tomorrow when midfielder Jonjo Shelvey assumes the role reserved for Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan, who is the joint leading scorer in the Barclays Premier League, is banned for the trip to West Ham, while his normal replacement Fabio Borini remains out with a foot injury.

It means Brendan Rodgers will deploy Shelvey as a ‘false nine’ at Upton Park but the manager is not concerned it will be detrimental to his side’s hopes of winning.

Big chance: Jonjo Shelvey will spearhead Liverpool's attack against West Ham

Big chance: Jonjo Shelvey will spearhead Liverpool's attack against West Ham

Rodgers has been a huge advocate of the 20-year-old since he became Liverpool manager and is adamant that his side have enough threat to cope with the enforced absence of Suarez.

‘I saw an interesting stat that we have had 15 different goalscorers this season,’ said Rodgers, who will also be able to call on Steven Gerrard after he missed the midweek trip to Italy with sickness.

‘We are only three goalscorers behind the record for the club in a season, which is 18. There are goals there. Jonjo is an attack-minded player, he has an instinct for a goal, and we have worked that way before.’

Banned: Luis Suarez will miss Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Banned: Luis Suarez will miss Liverpool's clash with West Ham

Shelvey, who comes from a family of West Ham supporters, spent a short period at the club’s Academy when he was 12 but ended up leaving over the way he felt they treated his brother, George, who had also been on their books.

A naturally confident character, Shelvey – who made his England senior debut against San Marino in October – is looking forward to the challenge.

‘I am excited about it,’ said Shelvey. ‘I supported West Ham as a boy but it is not easy to fill the boots of a player like Luis Suarez. I will just give it my best shot. I played against Young Boys in that role and I did all right. It is the same in any successful team. The goals have got to come from all over.’

Manchester City will always be Manchester United"s little brothers – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer taunts City with 'little brother' jibe ahead of season's first Manchester derby

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UPDATED:

08:31 GMT, 7 December 2012

Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ramped up the tension ahead of Sunday’s derby by belittling rivals City as United’s ‘little brother’ who will never take their place as the ‘big brother’ in the relationship.

The first Manchester showdown of the Barclays Premier League season is already being billed as a key match in the title race ahead of the busy Christmas schedule.

The pair have already established a massive advantage at the top of the table over third-placed Chelsea.

Taunt: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) raised tensions ahead of the derby

Taunt: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) raised tensions ahead of the derby

City won the title last season in virtually the last minute of the last game, in one of the most spectacular days in Premier League history.

But Solskjaer, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances in an 11-year career at Old Trafford, believes the 19-time English champions will remain the dominant figure in the relationship.

He told the BBC’s Football Focus: ‘Manchester United have always stood up again and bounced back, it’s just in the DNA.

‘When you get disappointments you bounce back.

Bouncing back: Manchester United were beaten in midweek while City also suffered European disappointment

Bouncing back: Manchester United were beaten in midweek while City also suffered European disappointment

Down and out: Manchester City also suffered European disappointment

‘It’s always this thing about being the big brother and the little brother coming to try to overtake the big brother.

‘That always happens in families and in clubs – the young player hoping to take the old player’s position – and City are hoping to overtake United. I don’t think they’ll ever be able to.'

Solskjaer, the super sub who has become a successful manager with Norwegian champions Molde, believes United will show enough of their traditional fight to wrestle the title back off their noisy neighbours.

‘The start of this season has been good, not brilliant, but United are always improving throughout the season,’ he said.

Rivalry: Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini will face each other once more on Sunday

Rivalry: Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini will face each other once more on Sunday

‘Man United have over the years, and through their history, won in dramatic fashion and in the club’s history you’ve had so many disappointments, like the [Munich air] disaster, and they have always stood up again and bounced back.’

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs has admitted both Manchester clubs head into Sunday's derby showdown still struggling to recapture last season's form.

United are three points ahead of unbeaten City, who themselves are seven clear of third-placed Chelsea.

On top: Manchester City won the last derby on their way to clinching the Premier League title

On top: Manchester City won the last derby on their way to clinching the Premier League title

Manchester City's Belgian captain Vincent Kompany (C) prepares to lift the Premier league trophy

Yet the duo have come in for strong criticism, which has intensified this week following the Red Devils' woeful defending at Reading and the Blues' dismal Champions League exit on the back of the worst performance by an English team in the competition's history.

'We are both in a similar situation,' said Giggs

'We are in a good position in the league but haven't hit the form we did in parts last season.

'That can be frustrating because we want perfection.

Knockout: United's only derby victory last season came in the FA Cup

Knockout: United's only derby victory last season came in the FA Cup

'We want to be the best team and each individual wants to be the best player.

'We must be doing something right because we are in a good position and there is the belief we can score goals.

'But that doesn't mean we should neglect our defending and not try and stop the goals we are leaking because we need to stop conceding them.'

Ben Youngs said England victory over New Zealand is benchmark for Six Nations

Youngs hopes England take their Six Nations lead from All Blacks bashing

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 2 December 2012

Ben Youngs claimed after England’s record win over New Zealand the display had set a benchmark for the Six Nations Championship next February.

But the Leicester scrum-half said the England team were disappointed at the narrow defeats by Australia and South Africa in an autumn series which also brought a win over Fiji.

'It was a great result and a great way to finish the series, but we are still disappointed because we could have been four from four.

Benchmark: Ben Youngs thinks the win should show England the way for the Six Nations

Benchmark: Ben Youngs thinks the win should show England the way for the Six Nations

'We got in a huddle after the game and said “enjoy the night”, but also we must remember it’s a benchmark for when we meet up in the Six Nations.

'We have to hit the ground running. But it’s tough. We will play Scotland at Twickenham (on February 2) in the first game and it is difficult to explode in the first game.

The win gave Youngs and his brother, Tom, their first win over New Zealand thus matching the deed of father Nick who played in the England team who beat the All Blacks in November 1983.

'I’m really happy, because I can finally shut my dad up because he beat them and now we are one up as well.'

Youngs claimed England were not worried by the draw for 2015 Rugby World Cup which takes place in London on Monday afternoon.

No fear: Youngs said England are not worried about the Six Nations draw

No fear: Youngs said England are not worried about the Six Nations draw

Despite England’s win over the world champions, they remain in the second group of teams and could be drawn against the All Blacks in the pool stages of the tournament.

'I don’t think the draw is a huge thing for us at the moment. We are a young side and are developing.

'You have to remember that in the last two finals the two teams have come out of the same pool. We will notice who we are against, but we won’t worry about rankings.'

Youngs hopes by 2015 England will be a 'team to beat' and one of the favourites. 'The World Cup is quite a way to go yet and the whole idea of Stuart’s plan is that we will be a vastly more experienced team.'

David Haye plans to carry on boxing after leaving I"m A Celebrity

Heavyweight Haye plans to fight on after stint in jungle comes to an end

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UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 1 December 2012

David Haye believes he has a 'maximum of two' fights left in him after he was evicted from the 'I'm A Celebrity…' jungle last night.

The former world heavyweight champion failed to reach the final of the show and will now turn his attention towards fighting Vitali Klitschko in a 10million super fight next year.

Haye, 32, has been out of action since knocking out Dereck Chisora at Upton Park in July but wants to prolong his boxing career before turning his hand to acting.

Out of here: David Haye left the jungle on Friday night but hopes to extend his boxing career

Out of here: David Haye left the jungle on Friday night but hopes to extend his boxing career

Having entered the jungle two weeks ago, Haye was a surprise evictee, leaving Charlie Brooks and Ashley Brooks to fight it out for the win.

Haye, who faces a wait to see whether the elder Klitschko brother will retire from the ring and pursue his political career, said: 'I've had a load of fun and that's the main thing.

'It's been about coming out of my comfort zone. Here you're just laid bare.

Luxury: The three remaining contestants enjoyed the hot tub before Haye was sent home

Luxury: The three remaining contestants enjoyed the hot tub before Haye was sent home

'It was a lot more mentally tough than I though it would be.

'There's having the camera on you the whole time, being around people that don't know – but it is the constant lack of food that is toughest.

'You can feel yourself getting smaller, skinnier and skinnier.'

Ben Youngs backs England to beat New Zealand

Youngs backs England to shock All Blacks with first win in nine years

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ben Youngs has urged his fellow England players to produce the ‘big performance’ to beat the All Blacks for the first time since 2003, at Twickenham, on Saturday.

The Leicester scrum-half is remaining upbeat despite the narrow defeats to Australia and South Africa over the past two weekends.

‘New Zealand are the No 1 side in the world and on paper people will say they are the better team, but what a great opportunity to topple over the best side.

We can do it: Ben Youngs believes England can beat New Zealand

We can do it: Ben Youngs believes England can beat New Zealand

‘We don’t play them very often. For us, there is no fear and we won’t go into our shells, we shall have a go.

‘We have a big performance in us. It’s been coming and if we get it right for 80 minutes we will challenge any team.’

Youngs insists England have made progress and singled out the improved break down play against South Africa last Saturday.

He is still shaking his head, though, at how England conceded a try after he tried to fly hack a ball out of his own 22.

The ball then hit JP Pietersen and bounced off Ben Morgan into the arms of Springbok flanker Willem Alberts.

Gutted: England lost to South Africa

Gutted: England lost to South Africa

‘I could kick that ball a thousand times and it would never happen like that. It was just one of those things.

‘We have been on the wrong end of some tough results. Test match rugby is ruthless and it showed that at the weekend when a try from a charge down was the difference – that’s what it came down to. The margins are so small.’

Youngs was thrilled to start an international for the first time alongside his elder brother Tom, the hooker.

And he had special reason to thank him when he quickly joined in to help him in a second-half spat with Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

‘I was going to drop him (Etzebeth),’ joked the scrum-half ‘but I thought he was not worth it.

‘I knew big brother would come and save me and I found myself at the back very quickly. I decided to get out very quick and leave it to all the other newts (the forwards) to pile in.’

Andrew Flintoff will be knocked out – Richard Dawson

EXCLUSIVE: I'm not here to play, I'm going to knock Flintoff out, vows Dawson

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UPDATED:

00:49 GMT, 29 November 2012

Richard Dawson has promised that Andrew Flintoff’s venture into professional boxing will be nasty, brutal and short.

The 23-year-old undefeated American has been hand-picked to take on the former England cricket captain at the Manchester Arena on Friday night.

But Dawson believes the fight could be won as early as Thursday’s weigh-in.

No messing around: Richard Dawson plans to ensure Andrew Flintoff's boxing career is short-lived

No messing around: Richard Dawson plans to ensure Andrew Flintoff's boxing career is short-lived

‘I definitely want to knock him out,’ he told Sportsmail in his first interview since the fight was announced.

‘I’m not going to play with him, I want to get in and get out. I don’t have time to put on a show because we’re in his town and I don’t trust the judges.’

Dawson, from Oklahoma, only took up the sport two years ago but has been fighting for a brighter future for significantly longer.

‘I had a pretty rough life,’ he admits. ‘My mum and dad did jail time and my sister and brother-in-law raised me until I was 18.

‘A lot of my friends are either dead or in jail and my brother is crippled after being shot in front of our house.’

Dawson, who has three other sisters and a nine-month-old son of his own, spent almost three months in prison for assault.

‘I was breaking up a fight,’ he explains. ‘The guy was on pills, he pushed me and something just clicked in my head. I had never been in trouble before.

‘That convinced me I never want to go back, I didn’t want to follow the family pattern and I feel like I’ve learned from the mistakes my parents made.’

Hitting hard: Andrew Flintoff (left) has been training with Barry McGuigan and his son Shane (right)

Hitting hard: Andrew Flintoff (left) has been training with Barry McGuigan and his son Shane (right)

Speaking at his Manchester hotel, Dawson claims boxing has ensured he now sticks to the straight and narrow.

‘At first I had a real bad attitude but boxing slowed it down a lot. It helps me keep my composure, keeps me humble and keeps my confidence up.

‘My role models sold dope but now kids come up to me and talk about boxing and I feel like a role model to them.

‘But my upbringing gives me a big advantage. When I step in the ring, I know I’ve got a son who needs to be fed, I need to pay the bills and I want to take a lot of anger out after what I’ve been through and I do it in the ring.’

Dawson has had three professional fights following a one-bout amateur career although his first contest, in December last year, was not sanctioned.

It went ahead on a professional bill and MMA fighter Ryan Lopez was knocked out cold in 19 seconds. Subsequently, Jimmy Lane retired on his stool with multiple broken ribs before he was taken the four-round distance by Jamell Williams in August.

Big stage: Flintoff and Dawson will fight at the Manchester Arena which also hosted Ricky Hatton's comeback

Big stage: Flintoff and Dawson will fight at the Manchester Arena which also hosted Ricky Hatton's comeback

A clash with street fighter-turned-boxer Kimbo Slice meanwhile was called off at the last minute in May.

Turning his attention to Flintoff, Dawson is confident he can extend his winning record.

‘I don’t really know why they chose me,’ he said. ‘I guess they wanted a heavyweight who’s had three or four fights and I was the person they called.

‘I think he’s going off my amateur fight as that’s the only one I’ve got on video but I’m a totally different fighter now.

‘Flintoff is a brave guy; it takes a brave man to get in the ring and I respect him for that but once that bell rings, it’s totally different; it’s just him and me.

‘I’ve seen a clip of him sparring and he’s come a long way in five months but anyone can look good on the pads.’

Dawson believes he can exploit Flintoff’s ‘chicken wings’, where he keeps his arms and elbows out out rather than tucked in.

Trim: A slimline Andrew Flintoff

Trim: A slimline Andrew Flintoff

Modelling himself on Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones Jnr, Dawson is comfortable fighting in either orthodox or southpaw stance.

The bout in Manchester will be over the minimum professional distance of four two-minute rounds.

‘It’s as if Flintoff has told his trainers he can’t last three minutes for four rounds,’ Dawson adds. ‘He should be in the best shape in his life. If you become a pro boxer, you should be able to pick your rounds, whether it’s four or eight or 12.

‘I’m not going to say I could do 12 three-minute rounds but I’ve got the heart to do it. I’d keep banging because eventually I’ll get my rest.

‘I fight from my heart because that’s what I did growing up. If he’s never been in a fight in his life, it’s going to be hard for him to deal with someone experienced.’

Dawson admits he had never heard of cricket before he was offered the fight.

‘When I Googled it, I thought it was baseball but I’ve read about Flintoff and his cricket stuff. He’s going to have a lot of fans behind him.’

Dawson expects to weigh in at 235lbs, considerably heavier than his slightly taller opponent.

‘My dad taught me to win the fight at the weigh in and that’s what I’ll do,’ he concludes. ‘If he turns away when I look into his eyes, that’s it, it’s over.’

Stiliyan Petrov continues recovery from leukaemia

Petrov thanks Villa fans as midfielder continues battle with leukaemia

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UPDATED:

10:09 GMT, 20 November 2012

Stiliyan Petrov has thanked the Aston Villa fans for their support as he continues down the 'long road' to beat acute leukaemia.

The Villa supporters have taken to singing the Bulgarian's name in the 19th minute at each match – Petrov wore the No 19 shirt.

And the former Celtic man, who attended a charity match between a Petrov XI and a Villa Legends XI at Halesowen at the weekend – admits their backing is helping him through an awful time.

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

He told the Birmingham Mail: 'I'm on the edge of starting crying every single time (they sing and applaud). I really appreciate it.

'The fans have been very supportive from the start until now. It's already been eight months I've been on treatment.

'I still get cards and messages and the turnout at the charity game was just unbelievable. But that's Villa fans for you. They love the club and the players.'

Petrov tries to attend as many Villa matches as possible but admitted: 'I've got another priority at the moment. I'm in remission and had quite a lot of chemotherapy.

Long road back: Petrov has not played for Villa since March

Long road back: Petrov has not played for Villa since March

'I'm in a consolidation phase at the moment. I've got a few more cycles to go. It's been a long road and it's been tough.

'From the start, I knew it was going to be hard. I didn't know it was going to be that hard. At the end of this road, you become an even better person.'

Petrov added: 'People say 'live every day as if it is your last' and I enjoy seeing my family, wife, kids, mum, dad, brother.

'I am battling hard. So far it's going well which is a positive thing.'

Mako Vunipola – the making of England"s prop (via Tonga)

EXCLUSIVE: After Mako Vunipola's England debut inspires a Pacific nation, will the Red Rose now reap… a Tongan harvest

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 12 November 2012

When Mako Vunipola ran on to the pitch at Twickenham for his England debut on Saturday, it was around 4.45 in the morning in Nuku'alofa, but his proud father and hordes of relatives in Tonga's capital were wide awake, savouring the occasion.

The sight of one of their own playing in the Red Rose shirt was a big deal in the Pacific-island nation. Several rugby clubs were open in the early hours of Sunday morning to show the Italy v Tonga game followed by events from London, which suddenly took on added significance for those conquering tiredness to follow the footage on TV.

Having come on as a replacement in the 46th minute against Fiji, Vunipola jnr acquitted himself well – helping England maintain their scrum dominance while also showcasing his ball-carrying clout. Thousands of miles away, Fe’ao observed his son’s efforts with great satisfaction.

Hard yards: Mako Vunipola in training with the England squad at Pennyhill Park on Monday

Hard yards: Mako Vunipola in training with the England squad at Pennyhill Park on Monday

Hard yards: Mako Vunipola in training with the England squad at Pennyhill Park on Monday

Speaking to Sportsmail, the former captain of Tonga, who now coaches the national Under 20 team, said: ‘When I spoke to my wife, Iesinga, after the game, she said Mako wanted to know what I thought of how he played. I was very happy with his performance. In the past, his weakness was that his priorities were wrong – he preferred to carry the ball rather than do the hard yards in the scrum and lineout. I told him, “If you can’t sort out your set piece then forget about England”. Mako knew he had to improve his scrummaging and he scrummaged well on Saturday.’

The 21-year-old Saracens prop and his younger brother, Billy – who is emerging as an outstanding No 8 prospect at Wasps – were both huge Polynesian children who were brought up here, first in Wales while their father played for Pontypool, then in England. Fe’ao’s exploits meant they were destined to be rugby players, but he didn’t always push them in that direction. ‘They were big and strong from when they were young kids,’ he said. ‘They stood out because of their size and the lighter boys would always try to run around them.

‘They always wanted to play rugby – it is in our family, but I tried to discourage them. I wanted them to study hard and try to become lawyers or doctors or teachers. I told them that if they played rugby, as well as all the hard physical work they would have to accept being dropped without any reason. But they were determined to be rugby players.’

England debut: Vunipola made his international bow against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday

England debut: Vunipola made his international bow against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday

England debut: Vunipola made his international bow against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday

He credits his wife with doing so
much to help her sons fulfil their potential, adding: ‘Their mum is a
Methodist minister and her faith has helped the boys a lot. She did
incredible work raising them. Sometimes, being in England, they can
become a bit arrogant and we have to tell them off and keep them humble.
They are more English than Tongan, so they only go to church because we
tell them off if they don’t!’

The Vunipola brothers began playing in Wales and Mako’s first club was New Panteg, where he appeared alongside another rising star of Tongan descent, Toby Faletau – now the Wales No 8. Recalling where it all began, Billy said: My first memory was playing touch rugby, standing in the middle of the pitch and not knowing what I was doing, at Newport High School. My dad got us into rugby and trained us up. I remember training with Toby down in Wales which was pretty cool.’

Eventually, the family moved on to
Bristol and then High Wycombe, with Mako going on to attend Millfield
School – a few years after England captain Chris Robshaw – while Billy
wound up at Harrow. Fe’ao had strong views on the thorny issue of
national allegiance, given the Tongan background, Mako being born in New
Zealand, Billy in Australia, and the pair growing up first in Wales
then on the other side of the Severn Bridge. But the boys had their own
ideas.

Little cherub: An 11-month-old Mako

Little cherub: An 11-month-old Mako

Holiodays: Mako (right) and Billy in the USA

Holiodays: Mako (right) and Billy in the USA

‘I tried to convince
them that they should play for Wales, out of loyalty,’ said Vunipola
snr. ‘As a family, we ended up in the UK because of Wales, because of my
contract at Pontypool. We lived there before moving to England so I
wanted them to play for Wales, but they said they wanted to play for
England. I couldn’t change their minds.’

Explaining that decision, Mako said: ‘I wanted to play for the country I was growing up in. My father wanted us to strive for the best and that’s why we went for England. When we moved over we concentrated on getting into the England set-up.’

While the Tongan background is a firm part of their identity, there has been no doubt about the siblings’ ultimate target, with Billy adding: ‘We know where we are from so it’s just about whether people in England will like us playing for England. Everything has been pretty positive. We know where we come from but it has been a dream to play for England.’

Perhaps the biggest challenge along the way has been the need to work hard to hone their giant physiques. Much has been made about the big strides made by Mako when he spent last summer back in Tonga and Fe’ao suggested that all the graft has been the key to his older son’s sudden rise to Test status. That and his set-piece work.

Big catch: A Wallabies jersey-wearing Vunipola

Happy family: Vunipola's mother Singa with sisters Tiffany (left) and Anna (right)

Happy family: A Wallabies jersey-wearing Vunipola (left) and mother Singa with sisters Tiffany and Anna (right)

‘He came over to Tonga with his own programme and put it to good use,’ he said. ‘Mako hates doing long-distance running but that is what they wanted him to do and he did it. He’s now down to around 120kg, but at one time he weighed 140kg. Him and Billy were both fat and were told to slim down. They had to start watching their diet. I thought Billy would be the first to make it into the England team, but Mako has proved me wrong by improving his scrummaging.’

While the work ethic has been enhanced over time, there was always abundant natural talent. John Mallett, now coaching at Millfield, remembers an audacious display of skill from Mako, unheard of in a prop. ‘I’m still laughing at the day he dropped a goal from the halfway line in training, with a coat over his head,’ said the ex-England prop. ‘He was always doing little stunts but that was exceptional.’

Saracens coach Alex Sanderson has seen Mako’s development at close quarters over several years and soon knew this was a rare talent, albeit one who ‘looked like he was 30 when he was still a schoolboy’. ‘I’ve always had an eye on him since I coached him in the England Under 18s,’ he said.
‘I’ve always known about his potential. In that team we had Mako at loosehead and Joe Marler on the tight. Mako has had to grow up in the last season because of the demands in the Premiership. He’s now a big man who can hold his own in the tight and do his stuff in the open play.’

The shirt fits: Mako aged 17 (left) with brother Billy aged 16 (right) in England Under 18 kit

The shirt fits: Mako aged 17 (left) with brother Billy aged 16 (right) in England Under 18 kit

On Thursday, Stuart Lancaster is due to name his England team to face Australia in the second QBE International. Despite the fact that the country’s premier loosehead prop, Alex Corbisiero, is now back from long-term injury, the head coach insisted that Mako is ‘definitely in the mix’ to retain his place in the match-day 23. If he does, there will be another sleepless night for many in Tonga. ‘It’s normal for Tongans to play for the All Blacks, but for a Tongan to move further away and play for England is new, so people here are really excited about it,’ said Fe’ao.

‘The Tongan people put England on a high pedestal in every aspect of life and rugby started in England, so for a Tongan boy to play for England is unbelievable. Now that the door is open I’m sure more Tongans will aim to follow in Mako’s footsteps. There are loads of young Manu Tuilagis and Mako Vunipolas in the islands, who will now aspire to play for England.’

For Test teams visiting Twickenham in the future, that is an alarming vision.

Michael Hills fails breath test at Newmarket

Hills misses final races of career after failing breath test at Newmarket

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 3 November 2012

Michael Hills was forced to miss his intended farewell at Newmarket after failing a breath test before racing.

The 49-year-old had five booked mounts at Headquarters, his final rides before he retired from the saddle.

However, he was stood down for the day by the stewards after returning a positive test before the action began.

Over and out: Michael Hills with brother Richard at his retirement presentation

Over and out: Michael Hills with brother Richard at his retirement presentation

While the Flat season officially ends next Saturday, Hills confirmed he will not ride on into the final week.

He announced only last month he would retire at the end of the current campaign.

He has ridden over 2,000 winners and signs off the same year as his twin brother Richard, who decided the time was right to call it quits in March.

Michael Hills won the 1996 Derby on the William Haggas-trained Shaamit and was champion apprentice in 1983.

Among the best horses he rode were Royal Applause, trained by his father Barry, and Pentire who won the King VI And Queen Elizabeth and Irish Champion Stakes.

Among his other big-race winners were La Cucaracha, First Island, Handsome Sailor and Equiano.

His final winner came only on Friday when he partnered Winter Song, trained by his brother Charlie, to victory at Newmarket.