Tag Archives: prestigious

SJA awards: Lawrence Booth wins scoop of the year for Kevin Pietersen texts

Sportsmail's Booth wins scoop of the year at SJA awards for revealing Pietersen texts

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth picked up a prestigious gong at this year's Sports Journalists' Association awards.

Our cricket reporter – who is also the editor of Wisden – led the way with his brilliant story about Kevin Pietersen's text-message scandal last summer.

This was recognised as the scoop of the year at the awards night in London on Monday night.

LAWRENCE BOOTH

Neil Ashton

Recognition: Sportsmail cricket writer Lawrence Booth (left) won the scoop of the year and Neil Ashton (right), Jeff Powell (bottom left) and Jonathan McEvoy (bottom right) were highly commended in their categories

JEFF POWELL

Jonathan McEvoy

Pietersen was revealed to have sent text
messages to members of the South African dressing room about his then
captain Andrew Strauss – later described by Pietersen himself as
'provocative' – which caused an almighty schism in the team's dressing
room.

The scandal led to England's star
batsman being exiled from the squad for the rest of the Test series
defeat against the Proteas. It was also the final straw for Strauss, who
resigned the England captaincy soon after and retired from all cricket.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail's football news correspondent Neil Ashton was highly commended in the specialist correspondent category at the awards, while Jonathan McEvoy was highly commended as a sports news reporter. Boxing correspondent Jeff Powell was highly commended in the feature writer award.

The Mail on Sunday also picked up two prestigious awards, with Patrick Collins named as the columnist of year, while Martha Kelner won the young sports writer award.

Read Lawrence Booth's scoop of the year and his latest Top Spin column
EXCLUSIVE: KP text alert! Pietersen sent messages to opposition during Test

CLICK HERE to read the full award-winning story

The Top Spin: It's the end of an era as throwback Blackwell calls it a day (and ensures he will be a permanent one-cap wonder)

CLICK HERE to read the full column

And don't forget to read Lawrence Booth's latest Top Spin column on Tuesday morning at www.dailymail.co.uk/sport

Steven Gerrard is the best Liverpool have ever had, says Jamie Carragher

Gerrard is the best player Liverpool have ever had, says Anfield pal Carragher

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

09:47 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:47 GMT, 21 January 2013

Steven Gerrard was heralded as Liverpool's greatest player ever by team-mate Jamie Carragher after the England captain was honoured by the Football Writers' Association at a gala tribute dinner in London.

The 32-year-old midfielder collected the prestigious accolade from FWA chairman Andy Dunn, of the Sunday Mirror.

Hitting the heights: Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's greatest, says Jamie Carragher

Hitting the heights: Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's greatest, says Jamie Carragher

Tributes were paid by former manager Gerard Houllier, who brought Gerrard into the Liverpool first team as a raw youngster, and his long-serving team-mate Carragher, while former Reds boss Kenny Dalglish also passed on his congratulations as he was unable to attend.

Carragher is in no doubt of Gerrard's place among Anfield legends. 'I think we are in the presence of the greatest player ever to play for Liverpool,' said Carragher.

'People will say I am biased because we are good friends and because of the trophies we have won together, but it is a fair accolade to give him.

No 1: Carragher paid tribute to Gerrard following his latest award

No 1: Carragher paid tribute to Gerrard following his latest award

'There are guys like Kenny [Dalglish], Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, all world-class players, but the difference was they were in a world-class team – and Stevie has not played in a world-class team.'

Carragher added: 'Stevie's one strength is he has no weakness, he can run, tackle pass and score goals.

'Football is a team game, but special players do special things at special times, and that is Steven Gerrard.'

Former Liverpool striker Rush and England manager Roy Hodgson were among the guests at The Savoy, along with current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Luis Suarez"s behaviour unfortunate, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Suarez's behaviour last year was 'unfortunate', says Fergie as United and Liverpool prepare for grudge match

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 9 January 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson says the behaviour of Luis Suarez during last season’s clash with Liverpool was ‘unfortunate’ and hopes both clubs can put recent hostilities behind them for the clash at Old Trafford on Sunday.

This fixture marked marked the low point in the row that followed Luis Suarez’s racist slur of Patrice Evra at Anfield the previous October.

Having informed manager Kenny Dalglish he would shake Evra’s hand, the Uruguayan then refused, triggering a furious reaction from the Frenchman and subsequent apology from Suarez.

Saga: Suarez and Evra's infamous spat overshadowed last seaason

Saga: Suarez and Evra's infamous spat overshadowed last seaason

Saga: Suarez and Evra's infamous spat overshadowed last seaason

Saga: Suarez and Evra's infamous spat overshadowed last seaason

Evra then shook hands with Suarez at Anfield this season, leading Ferguson to conclude the action will be confined to the actual match this weekend.

‘There will always be a certain build-up to a Manchester United-Liverpool game, simply because of the history between the two clubs, the two most successful in the country,’ he told Inside United.

‘It brings its own agenda in terms of profile and pre-match discussion.

‘Last year it was unfortunate with the Suarez behaviour. I think hopefully it is behind both clubs now and we can just look forward to the game.’

Ferguson was also full of praise for Cristiano Ronaldo, who he believes has turned into ‘the complete player’ since his departure from Manchester United in 2009.

Ronaldo has once again been overlooked for the Ballon D’Or in favour of Lionel Messi, who has now collected the prestigious award on four consecutive occasions.

Missing out: Ronaldo was pipped to the Ballon d'Or by Lionel Messi once more

Missing out: Ronaldo was pipped to the Ballon d'Or by Lionel Messi once more

However, the Portugal superstar, who won it in 2008 in recognition of his phenomenal 42-goal contribution to United’s Champions League and Premier League double, remains Messi’s closest challenger.

And, for the first time since he brought Ronaldo to Old Trafford, Ferguson will have to find a way of stopping the 27-year-old next month given Real Madrid lie in wait in the Champions League.

It will not be an easy task.

Ferguson spoke to his protege in Manchester ahead of City’s encounter with Real in November, then went to the Etihad Stadium to see the winger take the Blues apart in the opening stages of what ended up being a 1-1 draw.

And the Scot has no doubt the improvement he oversaw during Ronaldo’s six-year stint at United has continued since his arrival in Spain.

‘Maturity brings many things,’ Ferguson told Inside United.

Protege: The Portuguese made his name under Ferguson

Protege: The Portuguese made his name under Ferguson

‘When I went to see them play against City, some of his decision-making in terms of passing was brilliant. One-touch passing, good crosses.

‘In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player.

‘Now you see the complete player.

‘His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player.’

Ferguson is trying not to think about the best way to combat Ronaldo, preferring instead to concentrate on the players in his own squad and exactly who will be fit for the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 13.

‘Obviously you hope that when you draw Real Madrid it’s in the final,’ he said.

‘It will be a big, big event – we’re the two most high-profile clubs in the world and I think they will be great games.’

LIVE Ballon d"Or: Follow events as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta find out who is world"s best

LIVE Ballon d'Or: Follow events in Zurich as Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta find out who is crowned world's best player

Puskas Award for the most significant or beautiful goal and Coach of the Year Award.

18.03: Messi faces familiar foes for the most prestigious award in football. Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and past winner and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

18.00: Well here we are ladies and gents. The big question on everyone's lips is: Can Lionel Messi really win this for the fourth year running

Despite donning a suspect, spotted jacket with matching bow tie, the Barcelona man has had a near perfect few years.

In 2012, the diminutive Argentinean scored an incredible 91 goals.

Favourite: Lionel Messi is expected to pick up the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time

Favourite: Lionel Messi is expected to pick up the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time

Bradley Wiggins wins Sports Personality of the Year – Tour de France champion wants to display his BBC award in BOTH his local pubs

The best bar none… As Wiggins says he'll keep SPOTY trophy in pubs, BOTH landlords say they'd be thrilled to display Bradley's BBC gong

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 17 December 2012

Bradley Wiggins has revealed he is going to display his Sports Personality of the Year award on the bars of his local pubs.

The Tour de France winner has
promised to lend the prestigious trophy to his grandma, Mauren Cousins,
and then take it on a tour of two of the watering holes near his home in
Lancashire: the Farmers Arms in Heskin and then the Original Farmers
Arms in Eccleston.

Barry Newton, landlord of the
Original Farmers Arms, said: ‘It would be fantastic. It’s quite a large
thing and we’re only a small bar but we would definitely find somewhere
to put it.

‘We’ll see what
happens when he comes back. We would really appreciate it but it’s his
award – it’s up to Bradley to decide what to do with it.

‘A
lot of us were watching last night and we all jumped up when his name
was announced because there were so many good people who could have won
it this year. We had all been voting for him.’

Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London

Pub talk: Bradley Wiggins kisses the iconic trophy last night (left) and (right) thanks his nan in his speech

Over to you, Sue: Sue Barker (left) chats to Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London last night

Over to you, Sue: Sue Barker (left) chats to Bradley Wiggins during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 at ExCeL London last night

the Farmers Arms in Heskin

The Farmers Arms in Heskin will be the first pub that the Tour de France winner takes his award to

Nearly 500,000 people – a 30.25 per cent
share of the vote – chose Wiggins, 32, as the 2012 BBC Sports
Personality of the Year ahead of Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray last
night.

Wiggins said: ‘I am going to let my nan have it for a bit, because I've promised her, and then I have promised the local pub – the Farmers Arms in Eccleston – that they can have it for a bit.

‘They can put it on the bar, and then it's going to the Original Farmers Arms, because there are two, you see. Then I am going to take it home for a bit and maybe put it under the Christmas tree.

Ann Rothwell, landlady of the Farmers Arms, said the pub would be delighted to look after Wiggins’ award.

The Original Farmers Arms in Eccleston

'We had all been voting for him': Barry Newton, landlord of the Original Farmers Arms, said that Wiggo had a lot of support in the pub

She said: ‘It would be absolutely great. When’s he coming We were all watching last night and we would be proud to put the Sports Personality award on our bar.

‘He lives in-between the two pubs and he does bob in here now and again, but he’s an athlete, isn’t he He doesn’t frequent the pub that often.’

Suits you: Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins shows off the trophy that he'll leave at his two local pubs

Suits you: Winner of Sports Personality of the Year 2012, Bradley Wiggins shows off the trophy that he'll leave at his two local pubs

Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire in 2014

Tour de Yorkshire! Historic Grand Depart stage to be held in God's own county in 2014 (…and then it's on to London)

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UPDATED:

11:50 GMT, 14 December 2012

The historic Grand Depart of the Tour de France will be staged in Yorkshire in 2014, organisers announced today.

It follows a campaign by the Welcome to Yorkshire tourist agency to bring the prestigious event to the county.

Full details of the route will be announced in two press conferences held in Paris and Leeds on January 17, 2013.

It is believed there will be a stage in Yorkshire on July 5, 2014, starting in Leeds, and then a second stage the following day starting in the county and ending in London.

Leeds will host a Festival of Cycling to coincide with the stage.

Barnsley Wiggins Sky's Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour this year

Barnsley Wiggins Sky's Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour this year

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM T'TOUR

Allez 'Alifax. Vive la Dewsbury. How do Bienvenue.

Yes, the news that the 2014 Tour de France will begin in God's Own County is sure to provoke much mocking headline fun.

But just listen 'ere… First, Yorkshire conquered the Olympics last summer after winning gold after gold after gold (Nicola Adams, Alistair Brownlee, Jessica Ennis).

We're now putting India's cricketers to the sword in Nagpur thanks to Joe Root and Tim Bresnan. Now we've won the honour of launching the greatest race in the world.

Those of us lucky enough to have been born there – think Geoffrey Boycott, Dame Judi Dench, Richard Whitely, Sir Michael Parkinson, Arctic Monkeys, Alan Bennett, Harry Ramsden and Sooty (but not Sweep, that thug is clearly Lancastrian) – have long-since known Yorkshire is the biggest and best county.

And we'll revel in showing off our stunning scenery, cosmopolitan cities (erm… Leeds and Sheffield) and welcoming personalities.
Just don't expect us to get our round in.

Forget Le Tour, welcome to t'Tour. It'll be fan-bloody-tastic.

MARK ALFORD, Professional Yorkshireman

A statement from ASO read: 'The organisers of the Tour de France are pleased to announce that the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2014 will take place in the United Kingdom in the county of Yorkshire, before heading to London for a stage finish.

'After an outstanding 2012 for British cycling, marked by the historical victory of Bradley Wiggins on the Tour de France, the United Kingdom will again hold pride of place in 2014.

'The Grand Depart of the 101st edition of the Tour will take place on July 5 in Leeds in the county of Yorkshire.

'Seven years after the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2007 and two years after the latest Olympic Games, London will host the last stage on British soil, before the pack returns to mainland Europe.

'The details of this Grand Depart and the stages it will include will be revealed at a press conference that will take place on Thursday January 17, 2013, in two phases, in both Leeds and Paris.'

British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: 'Like every other cycling fan, I am thrilled the world's biggest bike race is coming back to this country.

'The huge numbers who turned out to support the 2007 Grand Depart and the London 2012 road races show the passion we have for cycling.

'I'm sure Yorkshire will give the 2014 Tour de France a welcome which will stand out in the race's rich history.'

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: 'Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole.

'We are honoured that the race organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Grand Dpart.

'It will mean less than two years after hosting the Olympics the British public can look forward to another of the world’s biggest sporting events coming to the country, and I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home grown British heroes.

World famous race: Scenes like this in France will be coming to Yorkshire in 2014

World famous race: Scenes like this in France will be coming to Yorkshire in 2014

FRENCH TO YORKSHIRE TRANSLATOR

How many seconds in front of t’peloton – Combien de secondes d'avance sur le peloton

Look at ‘em overtaking the lad from t’Hovis ad – Regardez-les dpassements du jeune homme de l'annonce Hovis

What is this t’Yorkshire pudding – Quel est ce pouding Yorkshire

What time is t’Emmerdale t’on – Quelle heure est-Emmerdale t-il

Where is the statue of t’Eric Cantona – O est la statue d'Eric Cantona

Buy your bloody own – Achetez votre propre sanglante

'Yorkshire is a passionate county of proud people and I am sure they will guarantee that their Grand Dpart raises the bar in terms of expectations for all future hosts to come.'

MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland said:
'This is absolutely fantastic news for Yorkshire, to have won the bid to be hosting a stage of the Tour de France in the same year as the first ever British winner is sensational.

'The Tour de France is one of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in the world and to think it will be coming through the cities, towns and streets of Yorkshire is so exciting and it will be a huge boost to the local economy as well as cycling.

'The Back Le Bid team have done a quite superb job and I want to pay tribute to their excellent campaign to show the organisers what Yorkshire has to offer. They have achieved something very special and historic that generations will both enjoy and treasure.'

It is the first time since 2007 the opening part of the Tour will be held in Britain. Then, one million people lined the streets of London for the opening prologue.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I am thrilled that the Tour de France will return to the UK and no location could be better than London for what will no doubt be an exhilarating climax to the British section of the race.

'This year we proved our expertise not just in hosting world class sporting events, but in winning them too, and I am sure Bradley Wiggins and several of his compatriots will be hugely excited at the prospect of the Tour returning to their home streets.'

Tour organisers Maury Sports Organisation selected Yorkshire ahead of a separate British-wide bid with an Edinburgh start, but that remains in the running for a future date, possibly 2017.

An EventScotland spokesman said: 'It is disappointing that we have been unsuccessful for the 2014 Grand Depart but it is great news that the Tour is returning in 2014 following British cycling success this year.

'Our initial plans had highlighted 2017 as our preferred date and we have had a positive indication from ASO that the year is still a possibility.

'We have developed a great British bid with strong partners, which would deliver significant benefits to the whole country and we will continue our positive dialogue with ASO in the new year and look at our next steps.'

The 100th edition of the Tour begins in Corsica on June 29, 2013.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins is the defending champion, having become the first rider from this country to claim overall victory this summer.

Some of Yorkshire's beautiful scenery


Yorkshire immortalised in the famous 1973 Hovis advert

Arsene Wenger must go: This Arsenal fan has had enough

Wenger must go! Why this Arsenal fan has decided enough is enough after Capital One Cup calamity at Bradford

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 12 December 2012

/12/12/article-2246829-1678505A000005DC-458_634x389.jpg” width=”634″ height=”389″ alt=”New low: Arsene Wenger watched his Arsenal side crash out of the League Cup at Bradford” class=”blkBorder” />

New low: Arsene Wenger watched his Arsenal side crash out of the League Cup at Bradford

Forget their current form, injuries or any other extenuating circumstances, it was a shameful night for all involved.

The League Cup quarter-final result will go down in history, the lead in those 'It's happened before' newspaper items many years from now.

'Valley of despair', one headline screamed. Valley of the damned, I'd prefer. It was the final straw.

I've known about the faults for several seasons but it took something genuinely embarrassing to finally admit as much.

For almost every other shortcoming of the last eight years, excuses have been made, but Tuesday night was inexcusable.

Unhappy hunting ground: Wenger had a night to forget at the home of the League Two outfit

Unhappy hunting ground: Wenger had a night to forget at the home of the League Two outfit

For a team like that to put on a performance so lacking in every ingredient essential to competitive sport, blame falls at the door of one man; the man who prepared them.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. A man, a revolutionary so woven into the fabric of one of world football's most prestigious clubs, who has surpassed the achievements of all those who came before him in 126 years of glorious history. A man whose name should replace that of 'Emirates' on the stadium his genius helped build. He deserves better than this.

But while Wenger has earned the right to depart on his terms, the longer the 63-year-old refuses to walk, if only from the dugout to the boardroom, the less attractive the proposition he hands over becomes.

Arsenal is not a hard sell to prospective employees – more than a century of success has seen to that.

They should be looking no further than the very top drawer for their next manager. Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will expect an approach, and fans should have every reason to assume a name of that calibre will come in.

Paying the penalty: Arsenal's big names had to come to terms with their Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford

Paying the penalty: Arsenal's big names had to come to terms with their Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford

Wenger himself has done his part to prepare for the smoothest of transitions. But in this money-no-object-era, principles and integrity can only get you so far, and all his fine work of the last 16 years is in danger of being undone.

How would Klopp or Guardiola feel about home games in front of a three-quarter full stadium compared with near 100,000 at the Nou Camp or the infamous south stand at the Westfalenstadion

Would either be enthralled at the prospect of spending time picking up the pieces of shattered confidence strewn across London Colney, or working with players slavishly devoted to a previous manager rather than the club The answer, of course, is no.

These are worrying times at Arsenal brought on by the fact Wenger's lost his mojo. He's lost it in the transfer market, on the training ground and even in public.

Reflecting on the shootout defeat at the Coral Windows Stadium, he said he couldn't fault his team and then walked out of the broadcast interview.

Well I can pick plenty of holes. So, too, can those who travelled to support the spiritless, disinterested, shoddy excuse for a team – an almost full-strength one, no less – put out by a manger clearly desperate to win the competition this year.

Dud: Gervinho summed up Arsenal's night with a shocking miss in front of goal

Dud: Gervinho summed up Arsenal's night with a shocking miss in front of goal

And herein lies a problem. No-one has ever been held accountable for their mistakes under Wenger. In his admittedly admirable approach, he's not so much the first line of defence, but the only one, the bodyguard, the father figure for those who let him down with such worrying frequency.

With no fear of repercussions for a poor day at the office, standards inevitably slip. If your position isn't under threat – something accentuated by the dearth of quality throughout the rest of the squad – why raise your game

In the transfer window, the myth that Wenger doesn't spend exists because he sells his most valuable assets at a high price. In fact he merely replaces the departed with several significantly inferior others.

What is true is that he no longer spends wisely; you can get two Javier Hernandez's for one Gervinho, for example.

Wenger used to know where to find a deal, now all he seems to find are duds. And no longer do I believe he can turn it around.

Don't look now: Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen missed the final penalty

Don't look now: Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen missed the final penalty

On the rare occasions his team does click, it can barely hold a flame to the Invincibles team. The difference is as stark as the speed of the decline, lacking the flair and thrill, and the steal and bloody-mindedness of the 2004 Wenger vintage.

Neither does he. The smile, the suave soundbites, the touchlines jigs, even the technical area temper tantrums, they're all gone, beaten out of him by the initial burden of the Emirates Stadium move and then the Russian roubles and Arab oil money injected into the Premier League.

There is no shame having been beaten in this distorted landscape, when plenty of others would simply have walked away at the first time of asking. That isn't his style, and we're forever grateful for that, as we are for his unwavering commitment to our cause. But it is that blinkered obsession with 'the right way' that could now cost us all dear.

Sorry, Arsene, it's for the best.

Saturday debate: Owen Farrell surprise candidate for Player of the Year

Saturday debate: Farrell was a surprise inclusion on shortlist for Player of the Year… who would you have picked

PUBLISHED:

22:52 GMT, 30 November 2012

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 1 December 2012

After Owen Farrell's shock candidacy for the IRB Player of the Year award, we ask a panel of rugby experts who they would choose as their winner for the prestigious award.

ROB WILDMAN Daily Mail rugby reporter
Australia captain Nathan Sharpe: He's postponed retirement to lead the Wallabies in an adverse year hit by injuries to key men like Will Genia and David Pocock.

Sharpe has thrived on the responsibility and guided the Wallabies to a draw against the All Blacks and their satisfying recent win over England at Twickenham.

Surprised Owen Farrell is a shock candidate for Player of the Year

Surprised Owen Farrell is a shock candidate for Player of the Year

STEVE HANSEN All Blacks coach
New Zealand centre Conrad Smith: He is Mr Consistent and not only does a lot of work but it's always tidy work, always in the right place at the right time. Sometimes players like that are overlooked.

JERRY GUSCOTT Ex-England centre, now BBC pundit All Blacks No 8
Kieran Read: the best NZ forward, does everything you want of a back row. Well worth watching today.

LUKE BENEDICT Daily Mail rugby reporter
Wales full back Leigh Halfpenny: Has the same commitment to training as his boyhood idol Jonny Wilkinson and is as metronomic with the boot.

Ever present for Wales during the highs and lows of 2012 – his peerless kicking was essential to their Grand Slam.

His favourite expression is to 'own the skies' and he can jump far higher than his 5ft 10in frame should allow. A truly natural footballer.

Could be: Sportsmail's Luke Benedict believes Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny should have taken the prize

Could be: Sportsmail's Luke Benedict believes Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny should have taken the prize

CONOR O'SHEA Harlequins director of rugby
Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien (right): How about the Leinster star He has been a consistent force for his club in their European Cup success and has also become one of Ireland's best.

He's a terrifically competitive customer, though injury has ruled him out of recent autumn games.

JEFF PROBYN Ex-England prop, talkSPORT pundit
Argentina powerhouse Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe: Fly halves and captains are always getting this award.

Let's go for a forward. Nobody has helped Argentina get into the Rugby Championship more than this back row. His workrate and non-stop style have been brilliant to watch and he has kept a losing team buoyant.

Jessica Ennis shortlisted for Athlete of the Year

Golden girl Ennis shortlisted for prestigious award after stunning Olympic success

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UPDATED:

12:23 GMT, 6 November 2012

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis is among the three finalists shortlisted for the 2012 World Female Athlete of the Year.

The 26-year-old, who won gold in front of her home crowd at this year's London Games, is in contention for the award alongside American sprinter Allyson Felix and New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams.

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Olympics

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Olympics

Felix was a double Olympic champion with victories in the 200m and 4x400m relay, while 2008 Olympic champion Adams was awarded a second successive gold after Nadzeya Ostapchuk was stripped of the title following a failed drugs test.

The shortlist for the men's award was announced on Monday, with Usain Bolt, Aries Merritt and David Rudisha in contention.

Done it! Ennis will now hope to be named Athlete of the Year

Done it! Ennis will now hope to be named Athlete of the Year

The winners of both categories will be announced on November 24 in Barcelona.

G4S nominated for award despite London 2012 Olympics security failure

Sports Agenda Extra: We needed troops to step in yet G4S could land 2012 Games gong

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 5 November 2012

Bungling security firm G4S, who caused by far the most problems at London 2012, are remarkably on the short-list for a prestigious honour for their botched Olympic work.

The beleaguered company, who failed by massive numbers to provide enough temporary security staff for the Games – the shortfall being 35 per cent on the worst days – are somehow among the finalists at the International Sports Event Management's awards dinner on Wednesday at London's Cumberland Hotel.

National service: Armed Forces had to step in following the failure of contracted security firm G4S to provide 10,000 trained security staff for the Games

National service: Armed Forces had to step in following the failure of contracted security firm G4S to provide 10,000 trained security staff for the Games

To make G4S's appearance at the flagship occasion even more unlikely, their entry relates to setting up temporary accommodation for the army during the Olympics.

And the military only had to be called in because G4S had failed by such a huge margin to train and provide the necessary personnel contracted in the 236m deal.

Speaking up: G4S chief executive Nick Buckles, gives evidence on Olympic security staffing to the Home Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons earlier this year

Speaking up: G4S (below) chief executive Nick Buckles, gives evidence on Olympic security staffing to the Home Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons earlier this year

Private security guards G4S secure the entrance to Alexander Stadium, the US athletics team training camp for the London 2012 Olympic Games

One insider described G4S as 'deluded' for even entering the Event Overlay and Facilities award category although it was considered inconceivable that they would win.

The other more worthy short-listed candidates are London 2012 and caterers PKL Group for Games related achievements and De Boer International for the Qatar Masters golf.