Tag Archives: travelling

Alex Cuthbert of Wales is out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

Wales winger Cuthbert out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

18:24 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 20 March 2013

Wales winger Alex Cuthbert has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring tear sustained in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations title-clinching victory over England.

Cuthbert, who scored two tries in the 30-3 rout at the Millennium Stadium, will miss at least four of the Cardiff Blues' remaining five RaboDirect PRO 12 matches.

If the injury takes six weeks to heal, he will also be sidelined for their final game against Ulster on
May 3.

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

'Alex suffered a grade two hamstring strain in the first 30 minutes of the match against England. He is expected to be out for between four to six weeks,' read a statement released by the Blues.

Cuthbert is expected to tour with the British & Irish Lions this summer and while the injury will not affect his chances of travelling to Australia, it will leave him short of match fitness ahead of the first game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

Roberto Di Matteo says Premier League are endangering Chelsea players" health

Angry Di Matteo blames Premier League for endangering Chelsea players by not postponing fixture near Club World Cup

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UPDATED:

00:10 GMT, 11 November 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has accused the Premier League of risking Chelsea's Club World Cup hopes and his players' health after it refused to postpone the club's Barclays Premier League game against Sunderland.

The European champions had asked for their December 8 clash at the Stadium of Light to be moved in order to allow them to travel early to Japan for the 10-day tournament.

But that request was this week denied, leaving a fuming Di Matteo to moan that Chelsea had not been given enough time to acclimatise to the time difference ahead of their semi-final on December 13.

Annoyed: Roberto Di Matteo thinks the Premier League are being unreasonable

Annoyed: Roberto Di Matteo thinks the Premier League are being unreasonable

The Italian said: 'You would think that the Premier League would have every interest in making sure that they give you the best chance to be successful in Japan, which would reflect very, very well on English football and the Premier League. So, I'm very surprised about it.

'I just can't my head round it. To give yourself the best chance travelling to Japan, with nine hours time difference, arriving three days before, you will need to do everything in your power to be able to ready for those games.

'The tournament starts on the sixth so the team we play in the semi-finals will have been there already for a week.

'It's a big risk in terms of health, injury risk for the players too.'

The Italian added: 'The fixture list is obviously very full.

'But where there's a will, there's a way. You see all the other federations trying to help their teams to do well in Europe.'

It is not the first time Di Matteo has been angered by the scheduling of Chelsea's fixtures, the club having campaigned furiously to avoid a 6pm kick-off in last season's FA Cup semi-final days before their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

The Club World Cup is not as highly regarded in England as European competitions but Di Matteo said: 'It's one of the biggest trophies in international club football, if not the biggest.

'Maybe, in England, it's not regarded as so big but you speak to the South Americans, you speak to the Asians, you speak to everybody else involved, it's a massive, massive competition.

Ready for battle: John Terry and Daniel Sturridge could start against Liverpool

Ready for battle: John Terry and Daniel Sturridge could start against Liverpool

'We've never won it. Obviously you need to win the Champions League to even be able to play and be involved. To win that trophy would be something special.

'It's massive. Winning that trophy would mean the world.

'It's a trophy we don't have in our cabinet and we desperately want to bring it to Stamford Bridge.'

Di Matteo could field a weakened team at Sunderland but that would risk a Premier League fine.

He said: 'If you field players from your squad, I'm not so sure you can call it a weakened side. They register a squad, 25 men.'

Risk: Di Matteo might pick reserves against Sunderland but could be fined

Risk: Di Matteo might pick reserves against Sunderland but could be fined

The Premier League discussed Chelsea's request at board level but declined to comment on Di Matteo's complaint.

Manchester United won the Club World Cup in 2008 despite also playing a league match at Tottenham five days before their semi-final.

They also went on to clinch the Premier League title and reach the Champions League final.

Mark Allen queries Ronnie O"Sullivan"s late withdrawal from International Championship

Allen queries O'Sullivan's late withdrawal from International Championship

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UPDATED:

15:22 GMT, 27 October 2012

Mark Allen has asked the first questions of Ronnie O'Sullivan's withdrawal from World Snooker's new flagship tournament in China.

The International Championship in Chengdu offers world ranking points on a par with the UK Championship and a first prize of 125,000.

O'Sullivan withdrew on medical grounds, prompting World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Jason Ferguson to say it would mean 'huge disappointment' for the Chinese supporters.

Northern Irishman Allen, among the likely title contenders after overcoming a passport blunder to travel out, wrote on Facebook: 'So ronnie pulls out of china again!! Thoughts'

Outspoken: Mark Allen

Outspoken: Mark Allen

The 26-year-old added in a later post: 'Don't understand why he enters though. If he doesn't wanna play don't enter. It affects draws, rankings, sponsors, seedings and all.'

O'Sullivan's condition was not disclosed – but he was able to play an exhibition match against Jimmy White in Liverpool on Thursday. Last year he suffered badly with glandular fever and pulled out of the Haikou World Open in China and the PTC finals in Ireland.

The Chigwell man has expressed a dislike for the heavy schedule and travel demands on players in the game, with the ranking system in its present guise placing an emphasis on the importance of players turning out each week.

Despite winning the German Masters and World Championship this year, by taking a four-month break from competition following his Crucible triumph O'Sullivan has drifted out of the world's top 16. His ranking – currently 17th – will continue to slide for not travelling to China.

While the 36-year-old recovers at home, Allen will be looking to claim his second major ranking title, having won his first also in China at the Haikou Open earlier this year.

Missing out: Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the International Championship

Missing out: Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the International Championship

That came after Allen, on arrival in Haikou, launched a fierce attack on the tournament and local people which saw him reprimanded by World Snooker.

He almost missed the trip this time, having taken his wrong passport initially, leaving behind his visa.

But Allen is a player full of confidence and form, having recently won a minor tournament in Belgium by defeating world number one Mark Selby in the final.

'That win has been a long time coming,' Allen said.

'I was really struggling earlier in this season, but I've spent a lot of time with my coach Terry Griffiths up at South West Snooker Academy.

'He's helped me get my mind right. And I've practised hard leading into this event. I had a good attitude throughout.

'I'm really pleased to be playing well again. We've got some very big tournaments coming up, the International in China next week and the UK Championship is not far away.'

In the title hunt: Allen has a chance of victory in China

In the title hunt: Allen has a chance of victory in China

A dark horse for the eight-day Chengdu tournament is Stuart Bingham, who enjoyed 6-0 wins over both Selby and Neil Robertson in the Premier League in Guildford on Thursday, firing in four century breaks.

He and fiancee Michelle are due to marry next year, and Bingham's 16,000 one-night winnings will cover the cost.

'We're getting married in Cyprus in May so that pays for everything,' Bingham said.

'In practice everyone can play like that but to do it on the main stage was unbelievable.

'I've beaten the world No 1 and former world champion – well I hammered them.'

Absent from China along with O'Sullivan will be Stephen Lee. The world number seven has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by the WPBSA into betting matters.

The action in Chengdu sees former world champions Shaun Murphy, Robertson and Ken Doherty all start their campaigns.

Kevin Pietersen exile: England get ready to welcome KP back into the fold

Flower gets ready to welcome KP back into England fold

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 2 October 2012

England team director Andy Flower is hopeful of a positive resolution to the Kevin Pietersen saga this week.

Pietersen has not played for England
since making 149 in the second Investec Test against South Africa in
August after a storm over his text messages to South Africa players
which allegedly contained 'derogatory' references to then England
captain Andrew Strauss.

Back in: England's Kevin Pietersen set for recall for India tour

Back in: England's Kevin Pietersen set for recall for India tour

That saw him miss out on their failed World Twenty20 title defence, the upcoming tour of India and a central contract for the new season, but Flower is optimistic an agreement has finally been reached.

'The situation is ongoing. I think it's nearing an end now – in a positive way, I hope,' he said.

'There's been a lot of formal communication between the ECB and Kevin, and there will be a press conference I would imagine in the next 36 hours which will enlighten you a little further.'

The expectation of an imminent reconciliation has even led to speculation Pietersen could be added to the party travelling to India later this month.

Flower did not rule out such an eventuality but would not be drawn on the specific details of Pietersen's likely return.

Talks: England coach Andy Flower

Talks: England coach Andy Flower

'We don't close doors to anyone,' he
said. 'If we get over that first stage first and get some of the formal
legal proceedings out of the way, then we'll get on to the cricket
thereafter.'

England's top order, shorn of Pietersen's presence, failed to produce the runs required in Sri Lanka as the reigning champions' participation in the World Twenty20 ended at the Super Eight stage with defeat by the hosts on Monday.

And Flower admitted: 'Last night was a quarter-final, effectively, and we weren't good enough to beat Sri Lanka on their home soil.

'There were little sparks of positive play but they were more streetwise than us and obviously deserved to win the game.

'It's sad that we're leaving this early, but that is the fact of life.'

Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad was keen to pick out the positives on offer despite England's failure to reach the last four of the tournament.

Another one bites the dust: Dananjaya took the wicket of England captain Broad

Disappointment: England were knocked out of World Twenty20 by Sri Lanka

Steven Finn's bowling, Luke Wright's much-improved batting and – against Sri Lanka – the strokeplay and know-how of Samit Patel all suggested England have the talent to do better.

Patel's maiden Twenty20 international half-century took England to within 19 runs of Sri Lanka's 169 for six in a final Super Eight match they had to win to progress to the knockout stages.

'The way Samit played the spin was very encouraging,' said Broad.

'He looked a class act out there, and if we could just have hung around and stayed with him we knew the last four or five overs can go for anything here – because the ball just flies away.

'He did really well. His big strength is the way he plays the spin and how he hits over the off-side; he made some really good spinners go for a few runs here.

'That's a huge positive for us, not just as a Twenty20 team but as an England cricket side for the future.'

Tottenham freestylers invade London

Who needs Modric anyway AVB has ace up his sleeve with Tottenham freestylers

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UPDATED:

09:11 GMT, 25 July 2012

Many commuters travelling to London have been disrupted by the Olympics in the last week – but it’s not just the London 2012 Games that are making their presence felt.

Two teams of freestylers, decked out in the new Under Armour Tottenham kits, have invaded the streets (and trains) of north London showing off their fancy football tricks and skills.

Scroll down for video

Handy skills: The Tottenham freestylers showed off their neat tricks and flicks on the streets and trains of north London

Handy skills: The Tottenham freestylers showed off their neat tricks and flicks on the streets and trains of north London

Handy skills: The Tottenham freestylers showed off their neat tricks and flicks on the streets and trains of north London

Onlookers
look baffled as well as impressed as the two teams kicked and flicked
their way through familiar territory to Spurs fans, including the train
stations of Seven Sisters and White Hart Lane as well as Tottenham High
Road outside the stadium.

The
two sides, wearing the home and away kits, featured freestyle world
champion Andrew Henderson as well as world renowned Abbas Farid and
performed separately before clashing inside the White Hart Lane stadium,
before the video ends promising more to come.

The new Under Armour kit suits the freestylers as it is made from stretch woven fabric with ventilation panels to give them greater flexibility, while keeping them cool.

But that would all go over the head of Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas who would be more interested in checking out which urban trick master could replace the want-away midfielder Luka Modric.

UEFA offer hope to Newcastle fixture nightmare

UEFA offer hope to Newcastle in fixture nightmare after failing to move Chelsea clash

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UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 5 July 2012

Fixture headache: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Fixture headache: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Newcastle United have been thrown a lifeline to their early season fixture headache by UEFA.

Europe's governing have refused to
move Newcastle's first Europa League fixture after their Barclays
Premier League game at Chelsea on Saturday, August 25 was scheduled for live television coverage with ESPN.

Metropolitan Police have also turned
down Newcastle's request to move the game back 24 hours to Sunday,
August 26, leaving Alan Pardew and his side with two testing games in
three days in the opening weeks of the new campaign.

However, UEFA confirmed that Newcastle could still move their first
game on their return to European competition if their opponents are
willing to approve the switch. The draw for the play-off games will be
made on August 10.

A UEFA spokesman told Sportsmail: 'UEFA is not in a position to change the requested fixture from Thursday to Wednesday or Tuesday. However, after the draw ceremony for the play-offs, if the opponent agrees to reschedule the match date to the Tuesday 21st August before 18:30 CET, the UEFA Administration will be open to consider the request.

'Written approval is required from the opponent club as well as the respective national associations of both teams. Please note that should Newcastle United FC be drawn to play the match on the 23rd of August and the opponent does not agree to change the match date, the match will be maintained as such.'

Draining: Newcastle face travelling to London just 48 hours after playing Euro tie

Draining: Newcastle face travelling to London just 48 hours after playing Euro tie

Newcastle's visit to European champions Chelsea is one of six televised matches involving Pardew's team selected by the broadcasters.

But with Europa League qualification bringing extra demands, Pardew had hoped to move the game to the Sunday.

A Newcastle spokesman said: 'Prior to the TV selections being made and in accordance with normal procedure, the club made an application to move the Chelsea game to Sunday, August 26.

'Unfortunately, the Metropolitan Police refused this request on the basis of other scheduled activities in and around London at this time.

'The club and the Premier League subsequently made representations to UEFA to request that our Europa League match be moved from the Thursday to the Wednesday in order to avoid the team having to play two games in three days. UEFA unfortunately rejected this request.'

The Newcastle boss will now be hoping their play-off opponents will accept any fresh request to move the game.

Blackburn owners dither over Steve Keane

Keane stays for now as Blackburn owners dither over future of manager

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 23 May 2012

The future of Blackburn manager Steve Kean may not be decided until next month after co-owner Venkatesh Rao admitted everything was in 'confusion'.

Speculation about the Rovers boss has increased following the club's relegation from the Barclays Premier League, but despite the Scot travelling to India to meet executives of club owners Venky's, his situation remains unclear.

Staying put: Under-fire manager Steve Kean

Staying put: Under-fire manager Steve Kean

Kean was back at the club's Brockhall training ground on Tuesday and Rao said a decision on his future may not come for a while.

'Still everything is in confusion so I would say in the next month we will have a proper situation to talk about,' he told Sky Sports News.

'In the next month let us see what happens. We are talking about various things, so many, about the manager, about the players, about staff, about the club.

'Nothing will be said right away so I would say kindly bear with us for some time and then the whole picture will be clear.

Confusion: Venkatesh Rao (right)

Confusion: Venkatesh Rao (right)

'Getting relegated is not good news for anybody and we have to come back very strongly, and I hope that by taking the right decisions we have to come back at any cost.

'Right now we are totally in shock so let us take it step by step.

'We are still rectifying the whole thing as a club and we are in the middle of the process.'

England reveal India tour schedule

England have chance to banish sub-continent blues on India tour

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UPDATED:

11:03 GMT, 22 May 2012

The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced England's winter tour to India will comprise of four Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s.

England will leave the country on October 25 for a three-day training camp at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai before heading to India four days later, with the first Test set to begin on November 15 in Ahmedabad.

Tough test: England captain Andrew Strauss

Tough test: England captain Andrew Strauss

Following further five-day matches in Mumbai, Kolkata and Nagpur, England will then play two T20s in Pune and Mumbai on December 20 and 22 respectively before travelling home for Christmas and returning for the ODIs in the new year.

The first 50-over game begins on January 11 in Rajkot, with all five clashes set to be day-night encounters.

England went top of the Test world rankings as Andrew Strauss led the team to a 4-0 whitewash over the World Cup winners last year.

A similar result appears highly unlikely given England's woes on the subcontinent last winter – they were thrashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates before drawing the two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

In a spin: England were thrashed by Pakistan

In a spin: England were thrashed by Pakistan

They will be looking to take some momentum into the winter, however, following home series with West Indies and South Africa.

Managing director, England Cricket, Hugh Morris said: 'This will be England's first full tour of India since 2008 and I am sure that cricket fans in both countries will be eagerly anticipating an exciting series of contests in all three formats of the game.

'ECB will also be seeking to finalise an England Performance Programme camp in India before Christmas which will help prepare members of both our Test and T20 squads.'

Euro 2012: England to go commando – John Ruddy

What a load of pants! Ruddy reveals England squad will go commando for Euro 2012

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UPDATED:

08:56 GMT, 22 May 2012

England rookie John Ruddy has revealed Roy Hodgson’s men will be going commando to Euro 2012.

The Norwich goalkeeper received his first call-up when he was named in Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

And Ruddy, who impressed with a string of top performances for the Canaries last season, admitted he will be travelling light.

England call: John Ruddy (right) earned his place after impressing for Norwich

England call: John Ruddy (right) earned his place after impressing for Norwich

‘I’ve been told to take boots, gloves, trainers, a few casual clothes and toiletries,’ the 25-year-old told The Sun. ‘I’m under the impression everything else will be provided for me.

‘We’ve got suits and they’re providing underwear for us. It’s surreal but that’s what being in the England squad is all about. The way you get looked after is second to none.’

Ruddy, who will miss England’s friendly against Belgium on June 2 to get married, admitted it took a while for the news to register.

Rookie: Ruddy hopes to learn from his experience at Euro 2012

Rookie: Ruddy hopes to learn from his experience at Euro 2012

‘I was a bit worse for wear on the Sunday night,’ he added. ‘I was recovering so it took a while to sink in when I got the call from Ray.

‘Val, the secretary at the club, had also phoned me just to give me a heads-up.

‘I didn’t have time to think it was a prank. I thought with all the keepers available it wouldn’t really happen.

No 1: England keeper Joe Hart

No 1: England keeper Joe Hart

‘It still hasn’t sunk in. On Sunday I was in the car listening to the radio and they were talking about the brochures the England squad are meant to be getting about behaviour and so on.

‘I thought “I’ll be getting one of those” and then it sort of hit me.

‘That was when I realised for the first time that I am in the England squad.’

Ruddy is also relishing facing the likes of Wayne Rooney in training and practising with keeper Joe Hart.

'It is going to be a massive opportunity for me to come up against world-class players and work with world-class players,' he said.

‘I think Joe is the best keeper in the world and Robert Green is world-class.

‘I know a lot was made of the last time he played for England but he still has so much to give.

‘I can’t wait to get started. My call-up is the icing on the cake after an exceptional two years at Norwich.’

Ireland name squad to tour New Zealand

Kidney names three rookies for Ireland's three-Test clash with world champions New Zealand

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UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 21 May 2012

Ireland head coach Declan Kidney has named three uncapped players in his 29-man squad for the three-Test summer tour of New Zealand.

Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick and Munster duo Mike Sherry and Simon Zebo have all been included for the series, which gets under way on Saturday, June 9.

Kidney has left four spaces available, with a second row slot being held for Paul O'Connell as he continues to recuperate from a knee injury that ruled him out of the squad to face the Barbarians on May 29.

Kiwi challenge: Declan takes his side to face the world champions this summer

Kiwi challenge: Declan takes his side to face the world champions this summer

Ireland meet the invitational side at Gloucester's Kingsholm ground before travelling to New Zealand, with uncapped trio Fitzpatrick, Sherry and Zebo all selected.

Kidney was not able to call on the services of his Leinster contingent for the non-cap fixture as the province meet the Ospreys in the RaboDirect Pro12 final on May 27.

Ireland squad for summer tour of New Zealand

Forwards: R Best (Ulster), S Cronin (Leinster), S Ferris (Ulster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), C Healy (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), M Ross (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), M Sherry (Munster), D Tuohy (Ulster).

Backs: D Cave (Ulster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster), R Kearney (Leinster), F McFadden (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, captain), R O'Gara (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), J Sexton (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), S Zebo (Munster).

But with Leinster capturing their third Heineken Cup in four years with a 42-14 triumph over Ulster on Saturday, they are unsurprisingly heavily represented for the tour to face the All Blacks.

Eleven players have been selected in total, the most notable of which sees Brian O'Driscoll return for the first time since the World Cup following a shoulder injury and he has been confirmed as captain for the tour.

O'Driscoll, Fitzpatrick, Sherry and Darren Cave are the four new faces to the squad that was chosen for the RBS 6 Nations.

Cave will be hoping to add to the two caps he picked up in the North American tour in 2009.

The other three vacant slots will be filled before the squad departs for New Zealand.

They are expected to be filled by South African born prop Brett Wilkinson, who will replace the injured Tom Court, Ulster back rower Chris Henry and Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss.

Ireland will first face the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland, with Rugby League Park in Christchurch and Hamilton's Waikato Stadium the other venues on June 16 and June 23 respectively.