Tag Archives: press

Six Nations 2013: Brian O"Driscoll cited for stamp on Simone Favaro

O'Driscoll cited for stamp on Italy openside Favaro during Ireland's Six Nations defeat

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:15 GMT, 18 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:18 GMT, 18 March 2013

Brian O'Driscoll has been cited for stamping on Simone Favaro in Ireland's 22-15 RBS 6 Nations defeat by Italy on Saturday.

A brief statement issued by tournament
organisers confirmed that independent citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan
has decided the incident warranted further scrutiny.

The date and location for O'Driscoll's hearing has yet to be announced.

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

O'Driscoll was sent to the sin-bin for only the second time in his 14-year professional career in the first half of the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

The 34-year-old lifted his right leg and brought it down on to the chest of Favaro, the Italy openside, who yelled out in pain and writhed around on the turf.

The act was out of character for O'Driscoll, who has a fine disciplinary record, and was evidence of his frustration as Ireland slumped to a first Six Nations defeat by Italy.

However, he was lucky to have escaped a red card for an incident that clouded what is thought to have been his 125th and final Test in a green shirt.

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

The recommended suspension for a low
end stamping offence is two weeks, the mid range five weeks and top end
nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.

While the offence was serious, O'Driscoll's lack of previous disciplinary issues will count in his favour.

It will be hoped by his province
Leinster that he is available for the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final
against Wasps on April 5 and for as much of their RaboDirect Pro 12
title push as possible.

A statement issued by the Six Nations
read: 'Brian O'Driscoll, the Ireland centre, has been cited by the
independent citing commissioner for an alleged stamping or trampling on
an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (b), in the RBS 6 Nations match
between Italy and Ireland on Saturday 16th March 2013. Details of the
Hearing will be announced later.'

Meanwhile, Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Italy.

SIX NATIONS 2013: Ben Morgan will play after ankle injury, says Stuart Lancaster

Morgan on mend after ankle injury and he could be back to face Italy, says Lancaster

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

England coach Stuart Lancaster is confident Ben Morgan will play some part in the RBS Six Nations as the Gloucester No 8 continues his recovery from an ankle problem.

Morgan was injured in the opening-day victory over Scotland and has been pencilled in to return against Italy on March 10.

The 23-year-old has joined fly-half Freddie Burns on the sidelines, with his Gloucester team-mate receiving treatment for a knee problem.

Hopeful: Stuart Lancaster (left) believes Ben Morgan can return for England against Italy

Hopeful: Stuart Lancaster (left) believes Ben Morgan can return for England against Italy

'Morgan and Burns are making slow progress,' Lancaster said.

'Freddie is further down the line but they won’t play this weekend so it will be another week or so.

'Ben will be fine. It’s an ankle injury similar to the one Manu Tuilagi had. Manu was out for four or five weeks and Ben will be about the same.

'He wants to get himself right so he can push for selection against Italy.'

Centre Jonathan Joseph has been ruled out for two weeks with a toe injury, but full back Ben Foden has made good progress in his battle with ankle damage and will play for Northampton against Bath on Saturday.

In the mix: England centre Manu Tuilagi during today's training session

In the mix: England centre Manu Tuilagi during today's training session

Putting the boot in: Owen Farrell is getting his eye in while training

Putting the boot in: Owen Farrell is getting his eye in while training

Fly-half Toby Flood and flanker James Haskell missed training today because of a tight calf and flu respectively.

England resume their Six Nations against France on Saturday as the only team still capable of winning the Grand Slam.

Les Bleus limp into Twickenham on the back of successive defeats by Italy and Wales and with coach Philippe Saint-Andre under attack over selection but Lancaster insists they remain formidable opposition.

'If you look at their performances in the autumn, the three wins over Samoa, Argentina and Australia show they are not a bad side,' he said.

'They beat Australia 33-6 and Australia then beat us. While we’ll take something out of their first two Six Nations games, we’ll also take something out of those autumn internationals and make sure we’re ready for them.'

Quick feet: Mike Brown surges through the centre at Pennyhill Park this afternoon

Quick feet: Mike Brown surges through the centre at Pennyhill Park this afternoon

Captain fantastic: Chris Robshaw takes a breather during today's session

Captain fantastic: Chris Robshaw takes a breather during today's session

Comeback: Morgan pictured in his last game, against Scotland on February 2

Comeback: Morgan pictured in his last game, against Scotland on February 2

Australian government investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs in professional sport

Australia rocked as investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs, links to match fixing and organised crime in professional sport

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:26 GMT, 7 February 2013

Professional sport in Australia is set to be rocked to its core after an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation uncovered widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport as well as links to match fixing and organised crime.

A federal government press conference revealed that the ACC has conducted a 12-month investigation into the link between drugs and professional sport entitled 'Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport'.

'There are clear parallels between what has been discovered in Australia and the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, which underlines the transnational threat posed by doping to professional sport, both from a “fair play” perspective and as a broader integrity issue,' said the report.

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

'The ACC has demonstrated through this project that the threat posed by the PIEDs (performance and image enhancing drugs) market and related criminal activities to the integrity of sport in Australia, and organised crime attempts to infiltrate the professional sports sector in this country, exhibits many of the characteristics identified in the USADA investigation of Armstrong's activities in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

'The difference is that the Australian threat is current, crosses sporting codes and is evolving.'

Legal constraints prevent the identification of any particular code, particular teams or particular athletes, but Minister for Justice Jason Clare emphasised that no code was immune.

The heads of the major sporting bodies were at the announcement of the report with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, ARU CEO Bill Pulver and NRL CEO David Smith all voicing their shock at the outcomes of the report.

'These are serious matters that require immediate action and the development of a longer term plan,' a statement from COMPPS, which represents all the major sporting bodies, said.

'The integrity of sport as a whole, and our specific codes, is paramount. We have commenced taking action and will work closely with the government on a longer term plan.'

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

As a result of the magnitude of the inquiry, the federal government has doubled ASADA's (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) resources to tackle this issue.

Sports scientists are set to be at the centre of the ASADA investigations, while the ACC has confirmed that criminal offences have been disclosed by players during the course of their investigation.

'The ACC has identified specific high-performance staff, sports scientists and coaches within some codes who have condoned and/or orchestrated the administration of prohibited substances, and substances not yet approved for human consumption, to players,' said the report.

'In some cases, peptides and other substances were administered to players without them understanding the nature of the substances, and without the knowledge of the team doctor or club medical staff.'

Any athlete found to have breached World Anti-Doping Agency protocols faces a minimum two-year ban from professional sport.

The involvement of organised crime has also raised the spectre of match fixing with the government and all sporting codes moving to beef up integrity measures.

'The ACC has identified an increasing number of associations of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities in Australia,' added the report.

'The ACC's 2011 assessment of Threats to the Integrity of Professional Sport in Australia, noted that as the amount of money wagered on sports increases, associations with athletes or other individuals with the ability to influence a sporting contest, or provide inside information, will be increasingly sought after.'

Loic Remy denies he signed for QPR for money

I'm not here for the money! Remy denies he snubbed Newcastle to cash in at QPR

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:48 GMT, 18 January 2013

Loic Remy has denied he chose QPR over Newcastle for monetary reasons.

The France striker looked set to move to St James' Park after manager Alan Pardew made what he described as a 'fantastic offer', only to instead move to Rangers who are reported to have offered him 80,000 per week.

Newcastle great Alan Shearer expressed his surprise at Remy's decision and suggested that money was the motivating factor but the 8million capture from Marseille revealed the influence of QPR manager Harry Redknapp was key.

Got his man: Loic Remy (left) has joined manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers

Got his man: Loic Remy (left) has joined manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers

'The finance doesn't come into it at all because Newcastle offered me a very good contract as well,' Remy said.

'I've seen that a lot of people are surprised I came to QPR and say that I came here for money, but my decision was no way based on financial reasons.

'I could have stayed at Marseille because I had a good contract there. There are a number of reasons for why I had to leave Marseille for here.

'QPR were very open, they wanted me and it's great to be here.

Denial: Remy insists he has not moved to QPR for the money after snubbing a move to Newcastle

Denial: Remy insists he has not moved to QPR for the money after snubbing a move to Newcastle

'It's true that I hesitated between Newcastle and QPR. I went to meet the staff at Newcastle and there came a time to make a decision and I made that decision based on two factors.

'Firstly I already knew the coach Harry Redknapp and secondly, I'm very excited by the project QPR have here for the future.

'It's a big challenge and the team are in a difficult situation, but since Harry Redknapp has been here things have changed a great deal.'

Redknapp monitored Remy when he was Tottenham manager and went to Marseille to meet him, only to be put off by the 20m price tag being quoted at the time.

Main man: Remy (left) has been brought in from Marseille to rescue QPR from relegation

Main man: Remy (left) has been brought in from Marseille to rescue QPR from relegation

Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Liverpool told to bid for Anderlecht"s Lucas Biglia

Arsenal and Liverpool target Biglia told he can leave Anderlecht next month

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UPDATED:

07:11 GMT, 20 December 2012

Premier League clubs have been put on alert after Anderlecht told their Argentinian midfielder Lucas Biglia he can leave the club.

The 26-year-old has been closely tracked by both Liverpool and Arsenal over the last year, while there has been further interest from the likes of Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Biglia, who spent much of the summer touting himself around Europe, is valued at around 8.5m by his club.

Wanted: Lucas Biglia has been told he can leave Anderlecht for the right price

Wanted: Lucas Biglia has been told he can leave Anderlecht for the right price

And Anderlecht admit they would be willing to make a deal should a club bid the asking price.

Speaking to Italian press, general manager Herman Van Holsbeeck said: 'We have not formally received an offer for Lucas but we know that his agent is making moves in the transfer market.

'Biglia has two and a half years left on his contract and we would only consider letting him go if we receive an offer of €10.25m. He won't leave in January for a penny less.'

The former Independiente midfielder has been capped seven times by his country since moving to Belgium in 2006.

Jimmy Anderson puts England in control against India on Day Two of fourth Test

Anderson's three wickets put England on top as Root shines on his debut

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 14 December 2012

Jimmy Anderson put England in control of the fourth Test with three wickets as India struggled on the second day in Nagpur.

England were eventually all out for 330 with debutant Joe Root scoring 73 and Graeme Swann chipping in with an important 56.

But then it was over to Anderson who took the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag but then most importantly that of the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar for just two.

It is the ninth time that Anderson has taken the wicket of Tendulkar and it left the hosts struggling at the close of play on 87-4, 243 runs behind.

More to follow…

Main man: James Anderson celebrates dismissing Sachin Tendulkar (file picture)

Main man: James Anderson celebrates dismissing Sachin Tendulkar (file picture)

In good nick: Joe Root scored 73 in his first international innings

In good nick: Joe Root scored 73 in his first international innings

We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.
The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.
MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

MS Dhoni says Kolkata pitch for third Test will suit seam

Pull the other one, MS… Dhoni says that seam will prosper during third Test in Kolkata

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UPDATED:

13:42 GMT, 4 December 2012

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from England's tour of India due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept the mixed messages coming on the state of the pitch for the third Test against England.

Thousands of inconclusive words have been written and spoken over the past week about the conditions to be expected when play at last gets under way on Wednesday with the series level at 1-1.

It is hard to escape the likely conclusion that a slow turner – closer to Ahmedabad, where England lost the first Test, than Mumbai, where they won the second – will be presented at Eden Gardens.

If it was Dhoni's intention to confuse the opposition, however, he could hardly have chosen much more effective language than at his pre-match press conference.

His opposite number Alastair Cook, and England's remaining batsmen, may do best in fact to turn down the volume and just trust the evidence of their own eyes.

Under pressure: Dhoni's side were beaten by 10 wickets in Mumbai

Under pressure: Dhoni's side were beaten by 10 wickets in Mumbai

'The wicket looks good. I don't think there will be much help for the spinners initially,' said Dhoni.

'The fast bowlers get a bit of swing at this time of year, both at start of play and then close to stumps. So I think the role of fast bowlers will be very crucial in this game.'

Dhoni's thesis is that home advantage is a fundamental part of international cricket and one that should be fostered rather than mistrusted because it creates one of his sport's great challenges and fascinations.

'When you come to India you want to play on turning tracks, irrespective of the result,' said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

'We lost the last game, but still we want to play on wickets that suit the sub-continent – what the sub-continental challenge is all about.

'If you're not really doing that then that concept of playing around the world, and facing different challenges, goes down the drain.

'If you come to India, why do you want to play on wickets that are flat for the first three or four days

'And sometimes even five days is not enough to get a result.

'I feel the challenge is to play on tracks that turn, and assist the spinners.'

Spin kings: Swann (right) and Panesar took 19 Indian wickets in Mumbai

Spin kings: Swann (right) and Panesar took 19 Indian wickets in Mumbai

England could perhaps boast – they have been careful not to – that they beat India at their own game on a spinners' pitch in Mumbai last week.

But Dhoni added: 'It doesn't matter if we lose a few games, or if we win the series …

'The crucial thing is that a cricketer who has played five or six years can say 'I went to the sub-continent and the wickets were turning and bouncing and I scored runs or I failed'.

'We should still stick to turning tracks because that's what our strength is.

'That's what home advantage means.

'It doesn't mean that when Australia play in Australia and England play in England they win all the games – but they still stick to the speciality they have.

'It's the same for the sub-continental teams.

'Whatever the result, we'll stick to the kind of wicket that is our speciality.'

To that end, India can be expected – despite Dhoni's initial contention that pace will play a big part – to major on spin again.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh missed net practice because of flu today, and Yuvraj Singh took a blow in the nets.

But the indications from the home camp were that both should be fit for selection.

Nasser Hussain: Cook comes nicely to the boil in Mumbai

Captain Cook comes nicely to the boil in Mumbai

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UPDATED:

19:58 GMT, 23 November 2012

Give Alastair Cook a job to do and he learns on his feet very quickly. We have seen it with his batting and on Friday we saw it with his captaincy.

The difference between Cook's leadership in the first Test and here was marked. England picked the right side in Mumbai and then Cook turned to Monty Panesar early when he could have been stubborn and bowled Graeme Swann ahead of him.

Good day: Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar

In control: Alastair Cook

Cook employed attacking fields with men round the bat and realised how important a position gully was on a pitch that turned and bounced.

It was all going well for England until Cheteshwar Pujara spoiled their day and I genuinely don't know what I would do to get him out at the moment. I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of him in the next few years.

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Second Test in Mumbai due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Perhaps Cook could have been a bit more ruthless with Stuart Broad and left him stewing at long leg because he leaked runs whenever he bowled and, in a relatively low-scoring game, those runs could be vital come Monday or Tuesday.

Sometimes you have to be unpopular with a player as a captain and, even if it had meant bowling Panesar and Swann into the ground, Cook should not have turned to Broad as much as he did because it was clearly not his day.

It is difficult to put your finger on what's wrong with Broad but these pitches have been unresponsive for seamers.

In the summer it seemed his pace was down but he blamed the speed gun and then England said he had reduced his pace deliberately to concentrate on accuracy. He bowled very well in subcontinental conditions last winter, and it would have been harsh to leave him out here after one bad game (batsmen get several chances), but he is clearly going through one of those difficult spells.

Rafa Benitez first Chelsea press conference – live video

Watch Rafa Benitez's first press conference as Chelsea manager LIVE

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UPDATED:

17:26 GMT, 22 November 2012

Rafa Benitez speaks for the first time to the media at his official unveiling as Chelsea manager after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

The former Liverpool boss has his work cut out if he is to win over the fans. The press conference is due to start at 5.30pm at Stamford Bridge.

England Asia spin nightmare rumbles on in India defeat

England take leave of senses as Asia spin nightmare rumbles on… and on

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UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 19 November 2012

Alastair Cook may have expressed it in slightly more diplomatic terms, but the reason England lost this Test by the whopping margin of nine wickets was that they took collective leave of their senses in their first innings.

Never mind that they had lost the toss, which was hardly Cook's fault. Nor that they had picked the wrong team, which partly was.

No, the damage was done in the space of 13 balls on the second evening, when a debutant, a nightwatchman – with 20 minutes to go, for goodness' sake! – and a top-order batsman who had been hoping beyond hope he wouldn't be required to bat that night kickstarted the England-can't-play-spin-in-Asia bandwagon.

Plenty to ponder: England have been found wanting in the face of spin again

Plenty to ponder: England have been found wanting in the face of spin again

And it was compounded on a third morning on which English paranoia was at its most heightened. Kevin Pietersen batted like a hyperactive child, Ian Bell played the worst shot of his Test career, and even Cook drove at an off-break that, by definition, was turning away from him.

From 97 for 7 in reply to 521 for 8, only face could be saved – not the game.

India v England – pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the first Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

England partially achieved this thanks to a four-hour interlude on Sunday afternoon, when Cook and the equally resourceful Matt Prior proved that Ravi Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are not, in fact, Erapalli Prasanna and Bishan Bedi, or even Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.

But their sixth-wicket stand of 157 was the exception here, not the rule. And the rule is an increasingly tedious one: England are very slow indeed at learning how to combat spin in Asia.

Unless this series takes an unexpected twist in the second Test at Mumbai, Andy Flower will be looking at an annus horribilis following two years of near-perfection.

In 12 Tests so far this year, England have lost seven and won only three – two of them gimmes at home against West Indies. Put more damningly, they have won one serious Test out of nine, the Pietersen-inspired heist in Colombo. It’s grim stuff.

Grim viewing: KP's much-heralded return failed to produce rewards

Grim viewing: KP's much-heralded return failed to produce rewards

Broad's petulant tweet shortly after play today betrayed their frustration: 'And before u listen to too many ex playing 'experts' being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test series in India….#28years'

Yet it would surely help if England picked a side capable of competing in the conditions. Since all the pre-series talk was about turning pitches, why did they think it a reasonable idea to go into the Ahmedabad Test with only one front-line slow bowler

England in India – Test fixtures

Second Test – Mumbai, November 23-27

Third Test – Kolkata, December 5-9

Fourth Test – Nagpur, December 13-17

Cook had the good grace to admit they may have got that wrong, but will they be brave enough to make not just one change to their bowling attack for Mumbai, but two If Steven Finn is fit, he must play, but as one of only two seamers. Monty Panesar has to come in too.

And since Jimmy Anderson again proved his pre-eminence in this game – conceding more than a run an over less than both Broad and Bresnan – that would mean an attack of Anderson, Finn, Swann, Panesar and Patel.

If India can thrive with two seamers, two spinners, plus a few part-timers from Yuvraj Singh, so can England. Stubbornly stick to the old gameplan in Mumbai, and their latest attempt to conquer India will be over almost before it has begun.

Full Monty: Panesar is a certainty to return for England in the second Test

Full Monty: Panesar is a certainty to return for England in the second Test