Tag Archives: debut

Courtney Lawes signs new Northampton deal until 2015

Courtney locked into new Northampton deal as Lawes signs on until 2015

England lock Courtney Lawes has signed a new deal with Northampton that will keep him at Franklin”s Gardens until 2015.

Dressed to impress: Courtney Lawes

Dressed to impress: Courtney Lawes

Lawes, who has 13 England caps, helped Northampton win the European Challenge Cup in 2009 and last year”s LV= Cup after making his debut against Esher four years ago.

Northampton finished runners-up in the Heineken Cup last season and director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes retaining players like Lawes is key to continue competing for major trophies.

“Securing the signatures of players like Courtney for three years is very important for us as we look to make the next step up as a club,” Mallinder said.

“We have been at the right end of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table and playing in the latter stages of cup competitions in the past few years, but we want to be in the mix for the major pieces of silverware every year and to do that we need top players at Franklin”s Gardens.

Luke Benedict

“Courtney is still maturing and learning as a player, but he has shown, even at just 22 years of age, that he has all the things you need to succeed.

“He is still learning and we believe that he will continue to improve over the next few years. We”re certainly delighted that he will be doing so at Franklin”s Gardens.”

Lawes also believes his best rugby still lies ahead and that Northampton is the best place for him to achieve that.

Locked down: Lawes has penned a new deal to stay on at Northampton until 2015

Locked down: Lawes has penned a new deal to stay on at Northampton until 2015

“It means a lot to sign a new contract with the Saints because I”ve grown up around here,” Lawes said.

“It”s good to sign on again and see myself with a future at the club. I enjoy playing here and working with the coaches and want to stay here for as long as I can.

“I think I”ve improved a lot as a player in recent years, which has all come from playing here and being coached here. The coaches keep us grounded off the field and I”ve still got a lot to learn from them on the field.”

David Trezeguet joins River Plate

Trezeguet to join River as former Juventus striker heads for Argentina

France striker David Trezeguet has agreed to join Argentine giants River Plate but will not be unveiled until January.

The World Cup winning striker last played for UAE side Baniyas after leaving Spanish side Hercules.

Trezeguet is best known for his 10-year spell with Juventus.

Moving on: David Trezeguet will sign for River Plate

Moving on: David Trezeguet will sign for River Plate

“Trezeguet is already a new River Plate reinforcement, that”s clear. He passed the medical revision and will sign this week,” River said on the club”s official website.

“He will be present on River”s first training day of the New Year at the Monumental stadium on Jan. 4 … when he will be formally presented to the media as a member of the squad and wear the team”s colours of white with a red diagonal sash for the first time.”

Heroes: Trezeguet won the World Cup with France in 1998

Heroes: Trezeguet won the World Cup with France in 1998

The former Juventus ace, who helped France win the World Cup in 1998 and the European championship in 2000, said last week it was a dream for him to play for River in Argentina.

He is expected to make his debut for River in the Nacional B (second tier) in February following the summer recess.

Kell Brook sees off Luis Galarza in one-sided bout to highlight world title credentials

Brook sees off Galarza in one-sided bout to outline title credentials on American bow

Kell Brook introduced himself to American fight fans with a classy fifth-round stoppage of Puerto Rican tough guy Luis Galarza.

The unbeaten 25-year-old Sheffield fighter is nearing a shot at one of the
welterweight world titles and wanted to make a statement on his American debut in Atlantic City.

He got the job done at the Boardwalk Hall, taking occasional early shots before stamping his authority on proceedings and forcing the stoppage. The win took Brook to 26-0 with 18 stoppages while Galarza dropped to 17-3 (13 KO wins).

On the offensive: Kell Brook lands a left on Luis Galarza

On the offensive: Kell Brook lands a left on Luis Galarza

Brook tested the water in the opening moments – taking a strong right over the top for his trouble – but soon assumed control by the end of the session and had Galarza stunned briefly as a left hook hurt his opponent and a right – a split second after the bell – scrambled the Puerto Rican”s senses.

A powerful left showed Galarza”s own power in the second. Brook soon jumped in with a right hand before picking his shots brilliantly to hurt his man again.

Perfectly timed left hooks were dominating the fight for the classy Yorkshireman and when he planted his feet to let the power shots go, Galarza was in deep water.

Referee Allan Huggins was watching closely, seemingly ready to step in and end Galarza”s misery as the sparse crowd enjoyed Brook”s work. But Galarza, though cut around the right eye and swollen in several other places, survived into the fourth.

Brook was prepared to bide his time before stepping it up in the fifth.

A stiff right hand shook Galarza and after taking a step back, Brook followed it up with a left hook and sharp right combination which had Galarza out on his feet and prompted Huggins to step in after one minute and 38 seconds of the round.

Toro Rosso sign Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne

Toro Rosso boot out both drivers to bring in Ricciardo and Vergne

Drafted in: Jean-Eric Vergne

Drafted in: Jean-Eric Vergne

Toro Rosso have surprisingly cleared their decks ahead of the 2012 Formula One season by booting out Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.

For the first time since the team’s 2006 debut, Toro Rosso will start a campaign with an all-new line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne – both products of the Red Bull Junior Driver programme.

After wielding the axe, team principal Franz Tost said: “I am pleased we have been able to reach an early decision on our drivers for next year because it means we can all give our full attention to 2012 without any distractions.

“Over the past year both Daniel and Jean-Eric have proved their worth and I expect them to make a significant contribution to the team’s performance next year.

“Daniel has the benefit of having actually raced in grands prix for much of this year, while Jean-Eric proved he could adapt quickly to the demands of driving a Formula One car (in Friday testing).

“As they have both worked with the team and its engineers very recently, this should allow us to get up to speed right from the start of winter testing in a couple of months’ time.”

Attempting to explain away his shock decision, Tost added: “One has to remember when Toro Rosso was established in 2005, it was done so with the intention of providing a first step into Formula One for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme.

“It is therefore part of the team’s culture to change its driver line-up from time to time in order to achieve this goal.”

The onus will particularly be on Ricciardo, who competed in 11 races over the second half of last season for Hispania Racing after the Spanish team dispensed with the services of Narain Karthikeyan.

On his way: Jaime Alguersuari has no future at Toro Rosso

On his way: Jaime Alguersuari has no future at Toro Rosso

The 22-year-old Australian said: “This is a really big deal for me and something I have wanted ever since I was driving for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings at the races in the first part of last season. To be honest, I am still jumping up and down with excitement at the news. I can’t wait to get to work once testing begins.”

Vergne, who joins fellow Frenchmen Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Charles Pic (Marussia) on the grid next season, admitted Christmas had come early for him this year.

The 21-year-old said: “I must thank Red Bull for all their support so far and for believing I am ready to take on the ultimate challenge of racing in Formula One.

“Having driven for them a few times this year and also testing for Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi (young driver test), I definitely feel ready to make the move, even if I know there is a big difference between testing and actually racing.

“I enjoyed working with the guys at Toro Rosso this year and I can’t wait to be part of the team for real. Sitting on the grid in Melbourne next March cannot come soon enough.”

Swiss Buemi competed in 55 grands prix over three seasons for Toro Rosso, but the 23-year-old managed only 15 points and 15th place in the drivers’ standings last season.

Spaniard Alguersuari, meanwhile, drove in 46 races, and was just one place and 11 points better off than Buemi over the course of this year.

Manchester United watch Jetro Willems at PSV Eindhoven

United turn to PSV youngster Willems as Fergie searches for the next Evra

Manchester United are watching 17-year-old PSV Eindhoven defender Jetro Willems.

Sir Alex Ferguson is scouting around for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra, who will be 31 in May.

The Red Devils boss sent his brother, Martin, to see the Dutch left-back in action against NAC Breda at the weekend, according to The Mirror.

Rising star: Jetro Willems (left) has impressed for PSV Eindhoven

Rising star: Jetro Willems (left) has impressed for PSV Eindhoven

PSV won the game 1-0, and Willems impressed by setting up the decisive strike for Dries Mertens in the first half.

Willems, a Holland youth international, joined PSV last summer from Sparta Rotterdam on a three-year deal. He has made seven appearances for the club so far.

United”s squad has been hit by injuries this season, and Ferguson cannot afford Evra to suffer a setback as there is little proven cover for Old Trafford”s first-choice left-back.

Fabio da Silva is an option but has yet to convince he is the right man for the job long-term. Ezekiel Fryers, 19, is the other player in the squad capable of playing in the position, but only made his Premier League debut in Saturday”s win over Wolves, coming on as a substitute for Evra in the second half.

Victor Moses on course to make international debut

Wigan”s Moses on course to discover Promised Land after impressive display at Hawthorns

Victor Moses is still in the international wilderness… but if he produces many more showings like the one he turned in at the Hawthorns, it won”t be for much longer.

Wigan Athletic”s winger turns 21 on Monday and finally came of age with a display full of trickery and devilment that enabled Roberto Martinez”s men to claim another notable scalp following their success at Sunderland a fortnight ago.

Moses scored once and was clipped by Steven Reid inside the penalty area, leaving Jordi Gomes to convert the winner after West Brom”s right-back had curled a deft free-kick past Ali Al Habsi.

Unique talent: Moses looks set to finally make his full international debut

Unique talent: Moses looks set to finally make his full international debut

Moses was called up by Nigeria for a friendly earlier this season but that was postponed and although thas authorities have cut through the red-tape, his international future has not yet been decided.

After playing for England at Under 21 level, someone, somewhere may have a decision to make.

“I got a call-up,” he said, “but something happened with the paperwork.

“Nigeria haven”t qualified for the African Cup of Nations, so…we”ll have to wait and see.

“At the moment, I can still play for England because I”ve not played for Nigeria, so like I say, we will have to wait and see.”

Moses has played for England at Under-21 level and Martinez is confident he can persuade the winger to pen a new deal with the Latics.

“If Victor is an important player in the Premier League, everything else will be solved,” said Wigan”s boss. “He was very close to making his debut for Nigeria.

“It”s a difficult decision for him but he”s just going to see it pan out naturally as he concentrates on his club football.

“What I will say is that he is an important player for us. He”s special. There are not many players who can make things happen.

“Managers want athletes, people who work offensively and defensively and Victor, when he gets the ball to his feet, he rolls back the years and that really excites me.

“The fact is, he has the talent to be whatever he wants.”

Put it there: Wigan boss Martinez has heaped praise on Moses after his goal

Put it there: Wigan boss Martinez has heaped praise on Moses after his goal

Put it there: Wigan boss Martinez has heaped praise on Moses after his goal

Roy Hodgson was not displeased with the Baggies” showing. He chose to partner Peter Odemwingie up front with Shane Long. Yet the pair are still not working in tandem.

West Brom”s boss believes it is simply too soon to be writing them off as a partnership.

“They haven”t played many games together,” he said. “It”s a question of waiting to see what develops.

“I think it would be wrong to start talking about whether or not they do gel until they have played ten games together.”

West Brom travel to Blackburn and Newcastle before returning to the Black Country to face Manchester City on Boxing Day.

Three tough fixtures either side of Christmas that will have a direct bearing on whether or not by the midway point of the campaign they can count themselves as part of a survival scrap once more.

“There”s going to be very little difference between the top half and bottom in terms of points,” added Hodgson. “I am confident because there won”t be much to choose between those in 10th or 17th, either.

“I think it will be a question of a couple of victories. Wigan won at Sunderland and here and all of a sudden they are out of the relegation zone and not far behind us. That”s what two quick victories do for you.”

Matchzone: The lowdown on the action from the Hawthorns

Snooker: Judd Trump wins UK Championship title

Trump is the champion! Judd keeps nerve to beat Allen and claim UK title

Judd Trump continued to deliver on his huge promise by winning the first major title of his short career on Sunday night – and a second ranking event of a breakthrough year.

The 22-year-old Trump overcame the characteristically brave defence of Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen to win the williamhill.com UK Championship at York’s Barbican Centre.

Feeling champion: Judd Trump celebrates with the trophy after winning the UK Championship

Feeling champion: Judd Trump celebrates with the trophy after winning the UK Championship

His 10-8 victory in the first all-left-hander ranking final since Tony Meo beat Dean Reynolds 22 yearsago in the British Open moved Trump up to No 5 in the world rankings aswell as earning him 100,000, taking his calendar year prize-money to 350,000.

Great things were predicted for Trumpfollowing his sensational run to the World Championship final at the Crucible in May, where he came up just short against John Higgins, having won his debut title at the China Open just weeks before.

Trump has coined the phrase “naughty snooker” in this event, and after easing through his early rounds he wasforced to play better by the 25-year Allen in a high-class encounter, his beaten opponent earning much credit in defeat.

Allen, who trailed 8-3 at one point and was bidding to be the first man from the province to win a full ranking title since Dennis Taylor memorably beat Steve Davis in the 1985black-ball final at the World Championships, hit four centuries to givehimself hope.

But with Trump’s nerve wobbling he regained his composure just in time to compile a match-winning break of 91.

Too good: Judd Trump at the table during Sunday

Too good: Judd Trump at the table during Sunday”s final against Mark Allen

Trump said: “It sounds brilliant to be called UK champion. Mark pushed me the whole way, and it was a good job I had a big lead.

“It is the best anyone has ever played against me, so luckily I took my chance at the end.

“It’s hard to say what has sparked this year, just confidence really, I have more every time I play on TV.”

Allen said: “I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t do much wrong. Judd was just too good. I was in the zone with the centuries, and almost didn’t know what I was doing.

“But how Judd held himself together in that last frame was brilliant, especially for his first major title. I’m disappointed to lose, but sometimes you have to say the other guy was better.”

Allen’s best performance in a rankingevent had come, ironically, after having been so critical of this year’s shorter UK format in the early rounds, one strand of a wider attack on World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn that stirred up such a storm.

And in beating Adrian Gunnell, Ali Carter, Marco Fu and Ricky Walden to reach last night’s final, he once again confirmed the promise of a 2009 run to the World Championship semi-finals where, as in the UK final four last year, he lost to Higgins.

Second best: Mark Allen still had a fine week at the York Barbican

Second best: Mark Allen still had a fine week at the York Barbican

Trump, without ever reaching his high-octane best in the opening exchanges, hit back strongly after seeing Allen steal the early initiative in the showpiece.

Breaks of 56 and 141 helped the Irishman into a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval – but his opponent,fortified by the year’s experience of high-pressure matches, refused tobuckle.

nd Trump responded with four frames in succession, helped by runs of 52, 75 and 61 to take a 5-3 lead into the decisive evening frames.

Both men received a standing ovation on emerging into the arena for the late session, but of two players who both seem to thrive on the bigger stages it was Trump who found some of the “naughty snooker” he had promised pre-match on Twitter.

Allen was left watching in dismay from his chair as his opponent caught fire, and breaks of 109, 78 and 74flowed effortlessly from the cue of the new world No 5.

Allen clawed back to 9-8 with three centuries in four frames, but a 91 from Trump won him the title.