Spots in France’s World Cup squad up for grabs

first_imgVersatility also came to Martin Corry’s aid as the utility back-five player was chosen ahead of lock Simon Shaw with Woodward left to admit: “Shaw would be in any other international team in the world and not to pick him or Graham Rowntree are the two hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my six years as head coach with England.”Austin Healey, a regular in Woodward’s squad in the preceding years, also felt the bitter pain of rejection, later describing the experience as “the most down I’ve ever been”.Contrast Healey’s emotion with that of Iain Balshaw and Stuart Abbott, neither of whom had been involved in England’s 2003 Grand Slam campaign. Nonetheless they were selected for the warm-up matches and the pair produced polished displays in the 45-14 thrashing of France in the second game at Twickenham. The South Africa-born Abbott made the World Cup squad and started the group games against Samoa and Uruguay. Though his career was subsequently curtailed by injury, a World Cup winners’ medal and an MBE isn’t a bad return for nine caps.Making his case: Iain Balshaw scores in England’s 45-14 warm-up win v France in 2003. Photo: Getty ImagesBalshaw hadn’t played for England for 18 months when he was selected for the warm-up matches. “I’d had a succession of injuries since coming back from the Lions tour of 2001,” he recalls. “For the 12 weeks before the two games against France I’d been suffering from tendonitis. So those two games were my last chance to show what I could do. I remember in the first half of the second game I just couldn’t get my hands on the ball and I was becoming desperate. Fortunately that changed in the second half and I scored a try and had some good runs.” Three months later Balshaw came on as a substitute in England’s World Cup final win over Australia.Brian Ashton was the England coach in 2007 and he needed only one of the two warm-up games against France to trim his squad. Having seen his side slump to a 21-15 defeat to France at Twickenham, Ashton decided to jettison James Haskell, Nick Abendanon, Danny Cipriani, Toby Flood, Kevin Yates and Tom Palmer before the return fixture the following Saturday. The matches between France and England in August will be crucial to determining their final World Cup squads LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS France are doing something different this year for their World Cup warm-up matches against England in August. Whereas for the back-to-back games in 2003 and 2007, the then coach Bernard Laporte had already decided on his final squad, Philippe Saint-André will make his final cut after the two clashes next month.For the past three weeks the 36 players have been run ragged first at Marcoussis and then in the Alps; for five of them the pain experienced in July will be mild compared to the agony of being informed by Saint-André on 23 August that their services are no longer required.Dreams shattered, hopes crushed, ambitions thwarted. Nothing but the humiliation of returning to your club and the prospect of watching the tournament on TV with that one question hammering away inside your head: ‘Why me?’“All the players know that the final choice doesn’t rest with them,” captain Thierry Dusautoir told Midi Olympique on Monday. “The only thing to do, it’s to put in the best preparation possible [and] not to ask youself questions.”All to play for: Thierry Dusautoir knows final squad places will be determined in the warm-ups. Photo: AFPEngland’s players are in a similar predicament ahead of the matches at Twickenham on 15 August and the Stade de France the following weekened. Stuart Lancaster has just brought his boys back from an intensive training camp in Colorado. It was a hell of a regime, by all accounts, but for 14 of the 45 players, it will have been in vain when Lancaster announces his final list of 31. According to assistant coach Andy Farrell, up to nine will be discarded before the warm-up matches and the rest after.Lancaster and Saint-André will have already inked in the bulk of their squads but the two matches will certainly make or break the fates of a handful of players.When England played France twice in August 2003 coach Clive Woodward used the games to make the final tweaks to his squad. Out went loosehead Graham Rowntree (who had propped the scrum for most of the previous two seasons) as Woodward opted for the versatility of Jason Leonard, who could play on either side of the scrum.center_img Pedal power: France’s Frederic Michalak and Sebastien Tillous-Borde during a training camp. Photo: AFP Eight years on, Haskell and Cipriani will be hoping they are more to Lancaster’s liking than they were Ashton’s. If they’re not, and they are returned to their clubs next month, their misery will be unimaginable. One rejection is bad enough, as Woodward acknowleged in 2003. “Regarding the remaining players who didn’t make it, it’s scant consolation for them that they have all made a significant contribution to England being successful.”Balshaw’s advice for the current England crop is simple: “Lancaster will know already a lot of his squad,” he says. “But the two matches against France will be important because they’ll allow him to decide on the finer details. So no one can afford to be complacent. Everyone’s trying really hard to make the World Cup and if anyone does ease up in the two warm-up games they could find themselves pushed out.”last_img read more

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Tourism as a driving sector of the European Union economy

first_imgThe delegation met with Elisa Ferreira, the new European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, and discussed the importance of tourism as a driver of the European Union’s economy, with particular emphasis on the sector’s potential to contribute to job creation and ambitious climate goals. the new European Green Deal agreement. At the same time, as the UNWTO marked the Year of Tourism and Rural Development, the role that this sector can play in rebuilding and promoting sustainable development in rural areas across Europe was highlighted. Tourism is not an end in itself if we live only on rent and we encourage imports, on the contrary, tourism must be the impetus for the development of other industries. And that is exactly why tourism should definitely have a special focus and place in the EU. Better positioning of tourism in European institutions was the topic of discussions in the EU Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels, which were also attended by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Frano Matušić together with a delegation led by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili. The greatest power of tourism is precisely that it connects various industries vertically and horizontally, and it is imperative to create added value for other industries through tourism. From the banal production of eggs, salads, tomatoes that must come from the rural local area, ie the economy to the sale of wine, olive oil and production – wood industry, product design, IT services, creativity and cultural industry (KIK), continue a series of (center_img The delegation also included Albanian Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi and Portuguese and Spanish Secretaries of State for Tourism Rita Marques and Isabel María Oliver Sagreras. As a reminder, Europe is the most visited tourist region in the world, and France, Spain and Italy are the world’s leading tourist destinations, while Germany is the world’s leading emitting market.last_img read more

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Crystal Palace block Wilfried Zaha’s move to Arsenal due to takeover fears

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Crystal Palace block Wilfried Zaha’s move to Arsenal due to takeover fears Zaha is valued at around £80m (Picture: Getty)It’s likely to cost around £200m to invest, while any investors must be willing to take on the planned expansion of Selhurst Park.AdvertisementAdvertisementSuch an investment would be dependent upon staying in the Premier League and losing Zaha would be catastrophic to the club’s hopes of remaining in the top flight.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalOn top of their desire to keep Zaha is the fact that Manchester United retain a 25% sell-on clause in the forward’s contract, meaning any fee will be heavily reduced.Zaha made his intentions clear at the end of last season and expressed a desire to play in the Champions League.Arsenal, of course, cannot offer that this season but Zaha is a boyhood fan of the club and wants to remain in London.MORE: Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal in transfer battle to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jacob Bruun Larsen Wilfried Zaha is keen on joining Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Crystal Palace will refuse to grant Wilfried Zaha his wish of joining Arsenal due to fears that his departure could put a potential takeover at the club in jeopardy.The Ivory Coast international has pleaded with the Eagles to let him join the Gunners, who are exploring ways of boosting their budget to sign the £80m-rated forward.Palace are sympathetic to Zaha’s wishes but they are under no financial pressure to sell and have just made £50m profit from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s move to Manchester United.Palace chairman Steve Parish is searching for new investors at Selhurst Park to buy-out wantaway sharehodlers Josh Harris and David Blitzer.ADVERTISEMENT Metro Sport ReporterSunday 30 Jun 2019 9:29 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link659Shares Commentlast_img read more

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Saabrown confident Phobians will win trophies in 2015

first_imgA leading member of the newly created executive group of Hearts of Oak, Adu Brown Nyame popularly known as Saabrown is optimistic that the club will win laurels in 2015.The Phobians in the past five years have been a shadow of the team that conquered Africa in the 2000 and won the maiden edition of the Confederation Cup in 2004.Constant hiring and firing of managers coupled with administrative lapses have not helped the Phobians’ course in recent times.This time, they have employed experienced tactician Herbert Addo to restore their lost glory alongside a competent managing director Gerald Ankrah But the philanthropic Saabrown is confident success will come in the New Year.“The new year is an opportunity for all of us to start a new page,” Saabrown told JOY Sports. “I am confident this particular team in 2015 we will win trophies and give joy to the fans.”Hearts begin their 2014/2015 First Capital plus Ghana Premier League campaign against promoted West African Football Academy on 18 January, 2015.last_img read more

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Dobbs MVP again

first_imgJUSTIN DOBBSAllderdice Justin Dobbs, from Allderdice once again was selected as the Most Valuable Player in City League play and his coach Andrae McDonald beat out USOs Kevin Reid as the Coach of the Year. However, unlike last season, Dobbs barely beat out teammate Ben Mickens for the coveted honor. USO is composed of University Prep at Milliones, Sci-Tech, and Obama Academy. It’s called University Prep during the football season because they practice there, and Obama during the basketball season because they practice at Obama Academy.Allderdice and USO dominated City League play with the Dragons winning the regular season with a 13-1 record and USO right behind them at 12-2. No one else was close with Carrick and Oliver being the only other teams to finish at or above .500 with 7-7 City League records.These two teams dominated in every category as both scored well over 900 points for the season with the closest team being more than 100 points behind.Allderdice had two players on the first team, one on the second team and two were honorable mentions. USO had two on the first team, and two on the third team with Carrick, Perry and Oliver having three, Westinghouse two, and Brashear and Langley one each.Even though Dobbs easily won the award last season, this season teammate Ben Mickens was extremely close in the balloting.Even though the team as a whole was dominated by underclassmen four of the five first team members are seniors, with Dobbs, Mickens and Dontae Forte being the only three players to make last years’ team.Even though these two teams dominated the City they didn’t do as well outside of the League. Allderdice had an 18-7 overall record and USO was 17-6, giving them 5-6 and 5-4 records outside the league.With the merger of Perry and Oliver it should be a three team race next season.last_img read more

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Mallard’s Source for Sports, NHLPA join forces to fulfill hockey dreams for children

first_imgThe NHLPA and Mallard’s Source for Sports is pleased to announce that Source For Sports will be serving as the “Official Equipment Supplier” of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Goals & Dreams Game Changer Award program.  The NHLPA Goals & Dreams Game-Changer Award assists individual families who find themselves in unique financial situations due to economic or social reasons such as job loss, divorce and more.As the official equipment supplier for this award, Source For Sports will fit and supply the hockey gear for these deserving applicants.  “No one should be left out of hockey because they can’t afford it said Dale Donaldson, owner of Mallard’s Source for Sports in both Nelson and Castlegar. “We are very excited to partner with the NHLPA and help give back to people in our community and help all kids enjoy the game of hockey.”Source For Sports will also assist with fulfilling regular NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment grants, beyond those included as part of the NHLPA Game Changer Award Program.  NHLPA Goals & Dreams assists volunteer-based grassroots hockey programs that help economically disadvantaged children play the great sport of hockey.  NHLPA members and Source For Sports share in the belief that more children should have the opportunity to play hockey, a sport that educates players in teamwork, commitment, discipline and physical fitness. “We are excited to partner with Source for Sports to help even more children play the great game of hockey,” said Devin Smith, Chairman of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.  “This new partnership will provide children the joy of walking into a Source for Sports store to pick out brand new gear”.“We have deep roots in our hockey communities right across Canada, and this partnership with the NHLPA will allow children to continue the hockey tradition that many of us enjoyed growing up,” added Brad Hause, President of Source For Sports.In 1999, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) launched the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love.During the past 12 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 25 countries have benefited from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams donations of full sets of hockey equipment; the players’ program has also assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas world wide.To date, NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $20-million to grassroots hockey programs around the world making it the largest program of its kind.For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.To learn more about the NHLPA Goals & Dreams and Game Changer Award programs and for information on how to apply for a grant through the NHLPA visit: http://www.nhlpa.com/giving-back/goals-dreamslast_img read more

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Saints face Spartans in showdown to decide BCIHL champion

first_img“We faced TWU five times during the regular season and saw firsthand the tremendous growth and improvement they experienced over the course of the year,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.”We like to think of ourselves as a group that’s very tough to out-work, but they’ve certainly provided stiff competition in that area.” The Saints will also have to be weary of a pair of TWU rookies who have proven themselves to be breakout stars in the BCIHL this season. Forward J.P. Villeneuve carried the Spartans offensively during the regular season and was a difference-maker in both of the Spartans’ first round wins over SFU, scoring five of his team’s seven goals in the series.On Tuesday, the 22-year old’s status as one of the league’s elite players was cemented when he was named a co-winner of the BCIHL’s Most Valuable Player award and picked unanimously as the Rookie of the Year. And in goal, Trinity Western is sure to continue to lean on Silas Matthys after the Swiss product posted a 1.67 goals-against average and .957 save-percentage in three first-round games.The 21-year old is also well-known to Saints shooters after a pair of outstanding performances in Castlegar late in the regular season.On February 14th, Matthys turned aside 60 of 63 shots in a narrow Selkirk win. And on March 1st, with the Saints needing a victory to clinch a first place regular season finish, he stopped 48 of 51 shots in an eventual overtime loss. “Matthys and Villeneuve are both top-end players in our league, but the rest of their team hasn’t gotten anywhere near enough credit for how well they defend, their discipline level, and their willingness to get the puck to dirty areas in the offensive zone and make things unpleasant on their opponents defensively,” Dubois explained. “So we enter this series with a very healthy respect level for how tough a team they are to play against and we know they’ll have some new wrinkles in their game this weekend. Their compete level is so high that it will neutralize some of the areas where we typically have an advantage on teams if we come into these games at anything less than 100% intensity. There’s just no room to make soft plays against them.” But just as the Spartans are sure to offer a tough test for Selkirk, so too will the Saints challenge a TWU squad that failed to post a win in the five-game season series between the teams. Selkirk boasts nine of the BCIHL’s top 20 scorers and has three forward lines that have posed a consistent offensive threat this season.The squad scored a league-best 133 goals during the regular season while also setting a BCIHL record for the fewest goals allowed in a season with 53.The Saints’ power-play and penalty killed both ranked tops in the league during the regular season and the team hasn’t lost a regulation contest since November 22nd, a stretch that now spans 16 games. The entire BCIHL Finals series will be played in Castlegar, with Game 2 set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Game 3, if necessary, to take place at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for all games will be available in advance at Mallards Source for Sports in Castlegar or from the Recreation Counter at Selkirk’s Castlegar campus, as well as at the door on game nights. Playoff tickets are for $10 for Adults and $6 for Selkirk students & staff, seniors, and children/youth 6 & older. All three games against the Spartans can also be viewed live online at www.FastHockey.com. The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program will look to capture their second consecutive B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championship this weekend when they take on Trinity Western University in a best-of-three 2014 League Finals series beginning Friday.Faceoff for Game 1 is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Castlegar Rec Complex. While many had assumed that the Saints were bound to face Simon Fraser University in the finals for the second time in as many seasons, Trinity Western spoiled the second-place Clan’s postseason plans on Sunday with a 4-1 victory in Game 3 of their semi-final series in Burnaby. So what should Selkirk College fans expect from a Saints-Spartans series?It’s bound to be a prototypical playoff battle, as both teams earned their spot in the championships by putting together full 60-minute efforts that featured hard work and intense, hard-hitting action at both ends of the ice.last_img read more

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PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $32,393 INTO FRIDAY AT SANTA ANITA

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (May 5, 2016)–There is a Pick Six carryover of $32,393 into Kentucky Oaks Day, Friday at Santa Anita. With nine races on tap Friday, the Pick Six will cover races four through nine.First post time on Friday is at 2 p.m. and the afternoon’s headliner is the Grade III, $100,000 American Stakes, which has been carded as race six.Approximate post time for race four, the beginning of the Pick Six, is at 3:30 p.m. PDT. Santa Anita’s admission gates will open early on Friday at 7:15 a.m.For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.last_img read more

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2 days agoMaguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocol

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Maguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocolby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Maguire says Manchester United have spoken about the UEFA racial abuse protocol ahead of Thursday’s clash with Partizan Belgrade.The Serbian giants played their last two European home games behind closed doors after racist abuse by supporters.”We will trust Uefa to follow their protocol,” Maguire said.”Sofia was a sickening atmosphere, something I don’t want to be part of again.”We’re positive tomorrow night will be a great atmosphere, one we’re all looking forward to playing in.”If something does goes off, then we’ll follow the three-step protocol and I’m sure there will be people on and off the pitch doing their bit to make things better for the future.” last_img read more

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