Sport by HussinMomed


                           | pdf edition | Tuesday April 30 2013                                                          Sport
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Bradley Wiggins targets victories in Giro
d’Italia and Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins has set himself on a possible collision course with
Sky team-mate Chris Froome after stating he wants to win this
year’s Tour as well as the Giro Page 2

Paolo Di Canio apologises to fans for
‘unacceptable’ Aston Villa defeat
Paolo Di Canio apologised to the Sunderland supporters and
demanded more hunger from his players after they crashed to a 6-1
defeat at Aston Villa Page 2

João Havelange resigns as Fifa honorary
president over ‘bribes’
João Havelange, who ruled Fifa for more than two decades, has
resigned as honorary president after being named as having
received bribes Page 3

NBA center Jason                             Lions squad 2013: Jonny                      Two Wales Rugby World           Durham rue drops
Collins becomes first                        Wilkinson threatens to                       Cup first-round games           as James Taylor
openly gay player in                         oust Owen Farrell Page 6                     expected in Cardiff            impresses again for
major US sports Page 4                                                                    Page 8                          Nottinghamshire Page 10
                                             Horse racing tips:
Johnny Wilkinson                             Tuesday 30 April Page 7                      John Connolly believes          Stuart Bingham beats
misses out on Lions                                                                       backs will be Wallabies’        Mark Davis to reach
squad for Australia                                                                       trump card against              Crucible quarter-final
Page 5                                                                                    Lions Page 9                    Page 10 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                          
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 30 2013            10:31 GMT

                                                                      in Dave’s hands to say: ‘Right, this is what we’re going to do.
                                                                      We’re going to go with you Chris, or with you Brad, or you know
Bradley Wiggins targets victories in Giro                             what, for the first week we’ll go with both of you and see what
d’Italia and Tour de France                                           happens.’ So in an ideal scenario we’d be [going] with both of us
                                                                      for that first week and let the racing take care of itself.”
• Wiggins on collision course with Sky                                   Wiggins’s trainer, Kerrison, has told the Guardian that he
colleague Chris Froome                                                believes the Giro-Tour double is within the physical capabilities
                                                                      of his protégé – and Wiggins clearly believes
• ‘We both want to win the Tour and we’re
                                                                      that as well. The only issue in his mind appears to be whether
on different paths’                                                   Froome will be in such good condition that Sky puts all its
William Fotheringham                                                  strength behind the Kenyan-born Briton instead.
                                                                         “I believe more than ever now that I can win the Giro and
                                                                      the Tour this year. The thing with the Tour is that there may be
                                                                      someone who is in a better position than me to win it, in which
                                                                      case I have to play second fiddle , which is fine. As sportsmen
                                                                      you can only do that, you can only train to be as good as you
                                                                      can be, if someone is better than you that’s tough and you have
                                                                      to get on with it. That’s the way it’s been since we sat down in
                                                                      January and talked about how this whole Tour thing was going
                                                                      to work out.”

                                                                      Paolo Di Canio apologises to fans for
                                                                      ‘unacceptable’ Aston Villa defeat
Bradley Wiggins has his sights set on a Giro d’Italia and Tour
de France double this year. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA             • Sunderland manager demands more
Sir Bradley Wiggins has said he sees his attempt to win this          hunger after 6-1 rout
year’s Giro d’Italia as the first part of a possible double that      • ‘Aston Villa had ferocity, desire, ambition
would also involve the Tour de France. To succeed would place         and dedication’
him firmly among the pantheon of road cycling greats but may
also set him on a collision course with his runner-up of last year,   Stuart James at Villa Park
Chris Froome, Sky’s designated leader at the Tour for this year .
    “That’s always been what we have set out to do, from the
start of the year, although whether I get the opportunity to do
that as leader at the Tour remains to be seen,” said Wiggins on
Monday. “That’s always been the goal. I sat down with Dave
[Brailsford] and Tim [Kerrison] and we said I’d try and do this.
This has always been about the next three months, trying to do
those two big hurdles.”
    Froome responded with a statement on Monday night,
which said: “There has been much speculation regarding the
leadership for Team Sky at the Tour de France this year. I have
made it clear that winning the Tour would be my main objective
for 2013. I have been reassured by the management at Team Sky         Paolo Di Canio made a point of going to the Sunderland
that I have their full backing and at no time has the leadership      supporters to say sorry for his side’s performance at Aston
of the Tour team been in question.”                                   Villa. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images
    Wiggins conceded that the matter of his coexistence with
                                                                      Paolo Di Canio apologised to the Sunderland supporters and
Froome at the Tour de France may seem a complex business
                                                                      described his team’s performance as “unacceptable”, after
to outsiders – the more so as Froome is in the form of his life,
                                                                      they crashed to a 6-1 defeat against a rampant Aston Villa side
having had three major stage-race wins this season, most
                                                                      inspired by Christian Benteke. The Villa striker scored a second-
recently in last week’s Tour of Romandie . But
                                                                      half hat-trick to lift the Midlands club five points clear of the
Wiggins said the question of Sky’s Tour leadership may well
                                                                      relegation zone, above Newcastle on goal difference and level
be decided as the race happens and that his hope is that he
                                                                      on points with Sunderland, who are back in trouble again after
and Froome will remain co-leaders through the first week. “I
                                                                      this crushing defeat.
don’t think it’s that confusing. We both want to win the Tour de
                                                                         Di Canio, who branded the result “humiliating”, made a
France and we’re on different paths towards that. We will get to
                                                                      point of going over to the Sunderland supporters at the final
three days out from the race I imagine, in Corsica, and Dave will
                                                                      whistle to say sorry. To compound Sunderland’s misery, they
have to make a decision as to how we do this.
                                                                      finished the game with 10 men after Stéphane Sessègnon
    “In an ideal scenario we’ll both be in incredible condition,
                                                                      received a straight red card for a clumsy, rather than reckless,
both capable of winning the Tour de France, then it all lies © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
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challenge on Yacouba Sylla. Di Canio felt that the dismissal was
harsh and said that Sunderland would be appealing against a
decision that brings an automatic three-match ban, ruling the
                                                                       João Havelange resigns as Fifa honorary
forward out for the rest of the season.                                president over ‘bribes’
    The Sunderland manager’s main concern, however, was
the manner of this defeat. Sunderland were a shambles                  • Sepp Blatter’s handling of ISL scandal
defensively, unable to handle Benteke, whom Paul Lambert,              described as ‘clumsy’
the Villa manager, described as “world-class” after the Belgium
                                                                       • Fifa president cleared of ‘criminal or
international took his tally for the season to 22 with three
predatory goals.
                                                                       ethical misconduct’
    “It’s not acceptable, it’s obvious there were two different        Press Association
teams on the field,” Di Canio said. “One team, Aston Villa, with
a ferocity, with desire, ambition and dedication, like it was the
last chance of their life. In some ways, they looked like us in the
last few weeks. It’s obvious this can happen once in football but
it’s not acceptable.
    “I know it probably can happen because [after] two wins in a
row the stomach is a bit full; they gave everything the last two
weeks but we can do much better. Sometimes when you eat a
lot you relax or you sleep but you need more food to be alive
and we need three more points minimum.”
    Di Canio acknowledged that the fans were entitled to feel
badly let down. “Obviously we have to apologise to all of our
environment because we have a big responsibility. We have
to make sure this week we are going to work like we did in the
                                                                       Joao Havelange and Joseph Blatter attend a Fifa congress
last few weeks with the blood in our eyes and make sure we are
                                                                       together in 1996 Photograph: Mike Fiala/AP
going to treat the next game like it is the last game of the season
and we need three points. Maybe now we need four or five               João Havelange, the Brazilian who ruled Fifa for more than
points.                                                                two decades, has resigned as honorary president of the world
    “When I was a footballer I did the same [apologised to the         governing body after being named in a report as having received
supporters]. It’s beautiful to go there when you celebrate, when       bribes.
you win against Newcastle and Everton, but you have to make               The long-awaited reported by Fifa’s ethics committee
sure you stand in front of everybody when you lose and when            into the scandal involving collapsed marketing partners ISL
you lose heavy like this.”                                             has named Havelange and two former executive committee
    Di Canio said he is hopeful that Sessègnon’s red card will be      members Ricardo Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz as receiving bribes.
overturned. “There is nothing. His sole [of his boot] obviously        All three have since resigned from Fifa.
finishes in Sylla’s foot but the leg is not straight. He didn’t want      The report by the Fifa adjudicatory chamber chairman
to cause any damage to his opponent at all. For sure we are            Hans-Joachim Eckert also calls the current Fifa president Sepp
going to appeal.”                                                      Blatter’s handling of the scandal “clumsy” but says it did not
    For Villa this superb victory was the shot in the arm they         breach ethics rules.
badly needed going into the final few games of the season.                The report states: “Mr Havelange has long held solely an
Lambert was effusive in his praise of his players, singling out        honorary position, which does not qualify him as an ‘official’
Matthew Lowton, who set up Villa’s second goal with a majestic         under the code of ethics. Further, Mr Havelange resigned his
pass, as “the best player on the pitch by a mile” and applauding       position as honorary president effective 18.04.2013.”
Benteke’s remarkable contribution in his first season in English          Blatter immediately issued a statement welcoming the
football.                                                              fact that he had been cleared of misconduct. He said: “I also
    “As long as [Benteke] keeps his hunger for the game, he can        note with satisfaction that this report confirms that ‘President
have a big career,” the Villa manager said. “People tend to forget     Blatter’s conduct could not be classified in any way as
he’s only young. I’ve just seen his [second] goal from [Ashley         misconduct with regard to any ethics rules’.
Westwood’s] corner and he’s jumped as high as the crossbar. He            “I have no doubt that Fifa, thanks to the governance reform
was excellent. His technique for a big lad is fabulous.”               process that I proposed, now has the mechanisms and means to
    As for the bigger picture, Villa have given themselves every       ensure that such an issue – which has caused untold damage to
chance of surviving with a display that electrified the home           the reputation of our institution – does not happen again.”
supporters. “First and foremost, the most important thing                 Eckert does, nevertheless, question Blatter’s role in the
was to win a high-pressure game,” Lambert said. “The way we            scandal however. He states: “It must be questioned, however,
played was outstanding. Right from the off we were fantastic.          whether President Blatter knew or should have known over the
I always think you can judge a team’s performance by a crowd           years before the bankruptcy of ISL that ISL had made payments
and tonight the whole place was absolutely rocking.”                   [bribes] to other Fifa officials.
                                                                          “The report states that in 1997, Blatter authorised the
                                                                       transfer of 1.5m Swiss francs (£1m) to Havelange after ISL
                                                                       mistakenly sent it to Fifa. But Blatter, who was then general
                                                                       secretary of the organisation when Havelange was president, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 30 2013             10:31 GMT

told the ethics investigation “at that time he did not suspect the    the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising
payment was a commission”.                                            his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone
    “President Blatter’s conduct could not be classified in any       else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why
way as misconduct with regard to any ethics rules,” says the          I’m raising my hand.”
report. “The conduct of President Blatter may have been                   Collins, who also played for the Boston Celtics in the NBA
clumsy because there could be an internal need for clarification,     season that has now reached the postseason playoffs – for which
but this does not lead to any criminal or ethical misconduct.”        the Wizards did not qualify – is now, he writes, “literally and
    The ethics report does not state the total sum of bribes paid     figuratively” a free agent. He continues:
but says they took place over eight years between 1992 and May            I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do
2000.                                                                 pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play
    “From money that passed through the ISMM/ISL Group, it            basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to
is certain that not inconsiderable amounts were channelled to         offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same
former Fifa President Havelange and to his son-in-law Ricardo         time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.
Teixeira as well as to Dr Nicolas Leoz, whereby there is no               Collins’s declaration comes against the backdrop of in
indication that any form of service was given in return by them.      intense public debate about of the lack of of openly gay
    “These payments were apparently made via front companies          players in American professional sports. Robbie Rogers, a
in order to cover up the true recipient and are to be qualified as    former USMNT winger who had played soccer in England with
‘commissions’, known today as ‘bribes’.”                              Leeds United, came out last month, though he concurrently
    Court documents state Havelange, now aged 96, received at         announced his decision to retire from the game
least £1m and Teixeira at least £8.4m, and in total the pair may      . Earlier this month, the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker
have received up to £14.5m. Leoz, now aged 84, was named in           Brendan Ayanbadejo, a prominent advocate of gay rights
court as having received at least £80,000.                            alongside the Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe
                                                                      p/3aa4a , said four current NFL players were preparing to
                                                                      come out . The National Hockey League has
NBA center Jason Collins becomes first                                announced a partnership with You Can Play , an
openly gay player in major US sports                                  organisation which aims to eliminate homophobia in sports.
                                                                          Explaining his decision to come out now, Collins writes:
                                                                      “… I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player
Bill Clinton states support after Washington                          lockout … the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced
Wizards center writes Sports Illustrated                              me to confront who I really am and what I really want.”
piece detailing decision to come out                                      Collins goes on to write that he decided to come out in public
• Clubs and players show support for                                  when the Massachussetts congressman Joe Kennedy, who was
Collins                                                               his room-mate at Stanford university, “told me he had just
                                                                      marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade”. Collins, who also
Martin Pengelly in New York                                           writes of having dated women and having been engaged to a
                                                                      woman, likening the experience to “telling myself the sky was
                                                                      red, but I always knew it was blue”, continues:
                                                                          I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had
                                                                      done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating
                                                                      but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn’t even cheer
                                                                      my straight friend on as a spectator. If I’d been questioned, I
                                                                      would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie
                                                                      at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not
                                                                      hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and
                                                                      understanding. I want to take a stand and say, ‘Me, too.’
                                                                          The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion
                                                                      that I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out
                                                                      to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live
Jason Collins started the current NBA season with the Boston          truthfully? When I told Joe a few weeks ago that I was gay, he
Celtics, before being traded to the Washington Wizards.               was grateful that I trusted him. He asked me to join him in 2013.
Photograph: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images                                We’ll be marching on 8 June.
                                                                          The former US president Bill Clinton, whose daughter
The Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has become, in
                                                                      Chelsea is a college friend of Collins, issued a statement of his
his own words, “the first openly gay athlete playing in a major
American team sport”. Writing in the new issue of Sports
                                                                          I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea’s classmate
Illustrated magazine , Collins says: “I’m a
                                                                      and friend at Stanford. Jason’s announcement today is an
34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
                                                                      important moment for professional sports and in the history of
    Collins said that he did not relish the prospect of being the
                                                                      the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of
first openly gay player in US team sport, but felt that he could
                                                                      a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek:
no longer live a lie.
                                                                      to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families
    “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in
                                                                      and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of
a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                        Tuesday April 30 2013           10:31 GMT

the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope
that everyone, particularly Jason’s colleagues in the NBA, the
media and his many fans extend to him their support and the
                                                                      Johnny Wilkinson misses out on Lions
respect he has earned.                                                squad for Australia
    John Amaechi, a former NBA player for the Cleveland
Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz who came out           • Wales flanker Sam Warburton named as
after his retirement from the game, used Twitter to say tinyurl.      captain for tour
com/cffee8y : “Congratulations to Jason – sport couldn’t hope for
                                                                      • No place for England and Quins captain
a more eloquent & positive role model.”
    In his piece for Sports Illustrated, Collins goes on to discuss
                                                                      Chris Robshaw
his family’s attitudes to his decision and the influence of his       Staff and agencies
religious upbringing. “I take the teachings of Jesus seriously,”
he writes, “particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and
understanding.” He also writes that after he was traded from
Boston to Washington, in February, he “took a detour to the Dr
King memorial. I was inspired and humbled. I celebrate being
an African-American and the hardships of the past that still
resonate today. But I don’t let my race define me any more than
I want my sexual orientation to. I don’t want to be labeled, and I
can’t let someone else’s label define me.”
    Collins, who is 7ft and 255lbs, also discusses his aggressive
playing style, which the magazine highlights with a picture
of him defending, for the (then) New Jersey Nets, against
the great Shaquille O’Neal. “On the court,” Collins writes, “I
graciously accept one label sometimes bestowed on me: ‘the
                                                                      Jonny Wilkinson lines up a penalty for Toulon during the
pro’s pro.’ I got that handle because of my fearlessness and my
                                                                      Heineken Cup semi-final victory over Saracens. Photograph:
commitment to my teammates. I take charges and I foul – that’s
                                                                      David Rogers/Getty Images
been my forte.
    I go against the gay stereotype, which is why I think a lot of    Jonny Wilkinson has missed out on a place in the 37-man Lions
players will be shocked: That guy is gay?                             squad for the tour of Australia. Sam Warburton of Wales, as
    Collins’ words may cause extra interest in the aftermath of       expected, has been named captain.
the Rutgers basketball scandal, in which coach Mike Rice was             The 33-year-old Toulon fly-half had suddenly leapt into
fired and the university’s athletic director           contention after a starring role in Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-
resigned , after video emerged of Rice abusing         final when he kicked all 24 points against against Saracens.
players physically and with homophobic taunts.                        But that proved too little too late as Warren Gatland named his
    After discussing his decision to delay coming out until the       squad for this summer’s Test series down under.
end of the season, Collins writes: “My one small gesture of              Saracens’ No10 Owen Farrell, who was overshadowed by
solidarity was to wear jersey number 98 with the Celtics and          Wilkinson in the Heineken Cup semi-final but who steered
then the Wizards.                                                     England with a rare maturity in the recent Six Nations, is the
    The number has great significance to the gay community.           lucky beneficiary.
One of the most notorious antigay hate crimes occurred in                Warburton, 24, was understandably delighted to be named
1998. Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student,               as captain: “Warren gave me a call a week ago on Sunday. It’s the
was kidnapped, tortured and lashed to a prairie fence. He died        hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep,” he said. “It’s been eating
five days after he was finally found. That same year the Trevor       me apart not to tell anyone.”
Project was founded. This amazing organization provides                  The head coach Gatland added: “For the past four or five
crisis intervention and suicide prevention to kids struggling         years he’s been the most successful captain in the northern
with their sexual identity. Trust me, I know that struggle. I’ve      hemisphere. He’s an absolute pro who leads from the front.”
struggled with some insane logic. When I put on my jersey I was          The England captain, Chris Robshaw, also misses out along
making a statement to myself, my family and my friends.               with his fellow international captains Kelly Brown of Scotland
    Alan Gendreau, an openly gay kicker from Middle                   and Ryan Jones of Wales. There were, however, surprise call-
Tennessee, was not picked up by an NFL team in the 2013 Draft         ups for the Scotland wing Sean Maitland, the England prop , which took place last week. He has said         Mako Vunipola and the 2005 Lions tourist Matt Stevens.
that he aims to secure a training camp tryout instead.                   The inclusion of Stevens is a massive surprise. He missed the
                                                                      2009 tour while serving a two-year drugs ban and retired from
                                                                      England duty after the 2011 Rugby World Cup but he has been
                                                                      included as one of three tight-head options.
                                                                         There are nine Irishmen in the travelling squad but there was
                                                                      no place for the Ulster hooker Rory Best, with England’s Dylan
                                                                      Hartley and Tom Youngs selected along with Wales’ Richard
                                                                         Scotland provide three players — the New Zealand-born wing
                                                                      Maitland, the lock Richie Gray and the full-back Stuart Hogg. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday April 30 2013             10:31 GMT

   The management, which includes England’s Andy Farrell             with not everyone in Ireland convinced Sam Warburton is a
and Graham Rowntree as well as Gatland and Rob Howley, are           better bet than Paul O’Connell or Brian O’Driscoll as Gatland’s
keen to give every member of the tour party a chance to force        on-field lieutenant. It is understood just eight Englishmen will
his way into contention for a Test place, the opening fixture        make the cut, compared with 15 Welshmen and, potentially, a
pitting the Lions against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.     dozen Irishmen. There could be as few as three Scottish tourists
Lions squad to tour Australia                                        – Stuart Hogg, Richie Gray and Ryan Grant – on the 10-match
   L Halfpenny, S Hogg, R Kearney, G North, A Cuthbert, T            tour which commences against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on
Bowe, S Maitland, B O’Driscoll, M Tuilagi, J Roberts, J Davies,      1 June.
J Sexton, O Farrell, C Murray, M Phillips, B Youngs, G Jenkins,          Among those set to receive disappointing news are James
C Healy, M Vunipola, A Jones, D Cole, M Stevens, D Hartley,          Hook, the Wales utility back who plays his club rugby for
R Hibbard, T Youngs, I Evans, R Gray, AW Jones, P O’Connell,         Perpignan, and the Saracens winger Chris Ashton, whose
G Parling, T Croft, T Faletau, J Heaslip, D Lydiate, S O’Brien, J    inconsistent form this season has cost him a tour spot.
Tipuric, S Warburton (capt).                                             The management, which includes England’s Andy Farrell
                                                                     and Graham Rowntree as well as Gatland and Rob Howley, also
                                                                     spent Monday weighing up the pros and cons of taking a lineout
Lions squad 2013: Jonny Wilkinson                                    specialist such as Geoff Parling or an additional back-row
                                                                     forward in Robshaw. Parling appears the likelier tourist.
threatens to oust Owen Farrell                                           Gatland has long expressed a preference for pacy open-sides
                                                                     and is expected to invite Wales’s Justin Tipuric and Ireland’s
• Warren Gatland names party for Australia                           Sean O’Brien to travel alongside Warburton.
on Tuesday                                                               Injuries in the closing weeks of the domestic season could,
• Fifteen Welshmen expected to form bulk                             of course, require certain plans to be amended and, overall, the
                                                                     squad mix has remained fluid to the end. A brutal weekend of
of squad
                                                                     European semi-finals, for example, appears to have propelled
Robert Kitson                                                        Munster’s Conor Murray into the squad at the expense of Danny
                                                                     Care, his quicksilver Harlequins rival. Murray has the vision and
                                                                     strength, if not necessarily the blinding pace, to be an asset and
                                                                     will by vying with England’s Ben Youngs to be Mike Phillips’
                                                                     Test understudy. Youngs has enviable natural ability but no
                                                                     Munster scrum-half has ever lacked for spirit or attitude.
                                                                         The reality that six props will be required, following the
                                                                     expansion of Test matchday squads to 23, should also bode well
                                                                     for Mike Ross, the Leinster tighthead who, at times, has had to
                                                                     carry the weight of all Ireland on his shoulders. He and Grant
                                                                     of Glasgow may not have the bullocking ball-carrying game of
                                                                     England’s Mako Vunipola but they have vastly more experience
                                                                     and will not be fazed by the wily opponents awaiting them.
                                                                     Alex Corbisiero’s injury-ravaged season has undermined his
                                                                     chances of a tour spot and Paul James has just missed out.
Sam Warburton is among the candidates to lead the Lions in
                                                                         There might also have been a case for including the South
Australia, where they will be looking for a first series win since
                                                                     Africa-born Ireland hooker Richardt Strauss but Gatland has
1997. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
                                                                     apparently decided, perhaps from personal experience, that
A 38-man British and Irish Lions squad will finally be unveiled      players reared overseas need to have been immersed in the
on Tuesday after an intense 11th-hour debate over the potential      northern hemisphere game for a minimum of five years to
inclusion of Jonny Wilkinson. It is understood the last two          understand fully what the Lions jersey means. The hooking
remaining places in the tour party heading for Australia boiled      berths, instead, are set to be filled by Wales’s Richard Hibbard,
down to an elimination contest between Wilkinson, Owen               England’s Tom Youngs and Ireland’s Rory Best, with everyone’s
Farrell and their England colleague Billy Twelvetrees, with the      fingers crossed that the collective lineout throwing matches the
unlucky loser consigned to the standby list.                         trio’s contributions around the park.
   The England captain, Chris Robshaw, meanwhile, is under               Fitness will be another prerequisite, with Dan Lydiate,
serious risk of joining Scotland’s Kelly Brown and Ryan Jones of     Paul O’Connell and Richie Gray having all satisfied the
Wales, fellow international captains, in being left at home.         medics of their readiness for Lions duty. All have had injury-
   Until a fortnight ago the 33-year-old Wilkinson had been          troubled seasons but Lydiate was the Six Nations player of the
ruled out of contention but his outstanding display as captain       tournament in 2012 and O’Connell has been outstanding for
of Toulon in Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final         Munster since returning from back surgery. Gray, whose move
has complicated Warren Gatland’s final selection. The plan had       from Sale to Castres next season has been confirmed, has not
been to employ Twelvetrees, who has won only two starting            made the impact he would have hoped in the Premiership but
caps for England as a centre, as a makeshift third fly-half behind   the harder tracks of Australia might just be better suited to his
Farrell and Jonathan Sexton. Wilkinson’s compelling display          rangy talents.
has now left Farrell, in particular, sweating on Tuesday’s               That may also explain why Twelvetrees has catapulted
announcement.                                                        himself into the frame. The 24-year-old was outstanding in
   The official unveiling of the captain is also eagerly awaited, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday April 30 2013   10:31 GMT

dry, firm conditions against Scotland at the start of the Six        Exeter
Nations but England preferred the doughtier Brad Barritt at            5.35 Jawhary
inside centre in the latter part of the campaign. Barritt played       6.05 Comeonginger (nb)
well in defeat for Saracens against Toulon and remains an              6.35 Top Smart
outstanding defender but the ankle injury which forced him off         7.05 Adrenalin Flight
the field in the second half has struck at an untimely moment.         7.35Wishes And Stars
Twelvetrees, who switched from Leicester to Gloucester only            8.05 Midnight Whisper
last summer, is also an accomplished goalkicker should the
need arise.
                                                                       2.00 Carina Palace
    Farrell, for his part, must be wishing he had tweaked a
                                                                       2.30 World Record
hamstring in the warm-up and avoided a direct showdown with
                                                                       3.00 Roserrow
Wilkinson less than 48 hours before the Lions announcement.
                                                                       3.30 Royal Betty
The 21-year-old Saracen also had a tough day at the Millennium
                                                                       4.00 Yahilwa
Stadium when Wales trounced England to take the Six Nations
                                                                       4.30 Declamation
title and is clearly still learning how to shape
                                                                       5.00 Final Delivery
games at the highest level. To go with only two specialist
fly-halves might seem an acceptable punt from Gatland’s
                                                                       5.15 Benefit Game
perspective but the tour party could easily be exposed should
                                                                       5.45 Whispering
Sexton pick up another injury and Farrell’s confidence not make
an instant reappearance.
                                                                       6.15 Brampour
    It is also worth bearing in mind the minimal amount of
                                                                       6.45 Cevaro
preparation time the Lions have to play with. Training camps
                                                                       7.15 Juno The
in south Wales and Ireland will not be attended by the entire
squad, which is due to fly out following the Premiership and
                                                                       7.45 Be All Man
RaboDirect Pro 12 finals on 25 May.
                                                                       8.15 Ron
    Gatland is keen to give every member of the tour party a
chance to force his way into contention for a Test place but,        Yarmouth
aside from the opening fixture in Hong Kong, there will be only        2.10 Lady Lydia
two Saturday games prior to the first Test in Brisbane on 22           2.40 Different
June.                                                                  3.10 Claim
    That explains why Gatland has been so reluctant to invest          3.40 Galician
in French-based players, with the Top 14 final scheduled for 1         4.10 Malekat Jamal
June. One or two ex-pats, not least Clermont’s Nathan Hines,           4.40 King Of Wing
are worth putting on standby but only Gethin Jenkins, set to           5.10 Big Kahuna
leave Toulon and return to Wales this summer, and Wilkinson
will await Tuesday’s announcement with any great expectancy.
    As for the captaincy, it remains the ultimate accolade for
any British or Irish player. The 24-year-old Warburton will have
done well if he has seen off O’Connell and O’Driscoll, even
though the latter pair presided over the respective defeats
in 2005 and 2009. Gatland will need a committed lieutenant
determined to atone for previous failures. The holy grail, for all
concerned, is a first Lions series win since 1997.

Horse racing tips: Tuesday 30 April

Galician running in the 3.40 at Yarmouth hit
a personal best but was just denied in the
handicap at Pontefract last week.
Chris Cook
                                                                      The Guardian digital edition
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Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday April 30 2013           10:31 GMT

                                                                     reneging on promises to take the tournament to non-rugby
                                                                     venues and new parts of the country. While aAn agreement is in
Two Wales Rugby World Cup first-round                                place to use Manchester United have pulled out of the running
games expected in Cardiff                                            to host matches at Old Trafford, and Manchester City’s Etihad
                                                                     Stadium is expected to replace it on the stadium shortlist.
• Commercial considerations trump                                       An England Rugby 2015 spokeswoman said: “This is all
Australian objections                                                speculation at the moment – nothing is finalised until the IRB
                                                                     has approved the list of venues and the match schedule, and we
• Prior NFL agreement means no quarter-
                                                                     are still going through that approval process.” The final venues
final for Wembley                                                    and schedule are expected to be announced on Thursday.
Owen Gibson                                                             The traffic in international coaches went into overdrive
                                                                     Meanwhile on Monday when Ireland confirmed that the New
                                                                     Zealander, Joe Schmidt, was taking the reins in Dublinover as
                                                                     head coach, while Scotland hired Jonathan Humphreys, the
                                                                     former Wales hooker, as theiras been appointed as Scotland’s
                                                                     forwards coach and will a Welsh forwards coach.
                                                                        A three-year deal means that Schmidt, the former, who
                                                                     coached Leinster coach, to two Heineken Cups in three
                                                                     seasons,will take Ireland to the 2015 World Cup in England and
                                                                     then on to the 2016 Six Nations.
                                                                        Jonathan Humphreys, the former Wales hooker, has been
                                                                     appointed as Scotland’s forwards coach and will join the
                                                                     management team in time for the quadrangular tournament
                                                                     with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June.

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Stu Forster/
Getty Images
Wales are expected to find out that they will be playing at least
two of their Rugby World Cup group stage matches at home,
when the schedule is unveiled this week.
    The argument over whether Wales should be allowed to play
any of their pool games at the Millennium Stadium has raged
since the draw was made last year, with Australia particularly
vociferous in their objections.
    But after the withdrawal of Old Trafford as a venue,
commercial considerations mean that both Wales’s matches
against the two qualifiers making up their group alongside

England and Australia – one of whom could be Fiji – are likely to
be played there to ensure sell-out games.
    The stadium will also be used for two quarter-finals, with
Twickenham hosting the other two, both semi-finals and the
final. It had been hoped that Wembley might be able to host
one of the quarter-finals but that has been ruled out because
of an agreement with the NFL that will restrict the football           Eat right
venue to pool matches in the Rugby World Cup. Although the             Join the Guardian’s health and
Olympic Stadium had also been considered as an option to host
a quarter-final, it is believed that both London-based quarter-
                                                                       dieting club, Eat Right and
finals will be played at Twickenham, which has greater capacity.       we’ll design you a personalised
    Organisers have promised to sell at least 2.9m tickets for the
48-match tournament, leading them to hold up to five games
                                                                       healthy eating plan from just
at the Olympic Stadium, which will have a capacity of at least         £2.99 a week. Membership
56,000, and up to eight at the Millennium Stadium, which has a
capacity of 74,500.
                                                                       includes shopping lists, menus,
    The Rugby Football Union has promised to raise at least            expert advice and 24 hour
£80m in profit to return to the International Rugby Board (IRB),
a figure backed by a government guarantee, leaving the England
                                                                       support to help you achieve
Rugby World Cup 2015 chief executive, Debbie Jevans, with the          your health and fitness goals.
challenge of balancing revenue generation against a vow to use
the tournament to grow the game.
    The exclusive use of the Millennium Stadium and
Twickenham from the quarter-finals onward will help meet
minimum attendance guarantees and revenues but risks © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 30 2013              10:31 GMT

                                                                      three weeks without a game when the series starts in Brisbane.
                                                                      In contrast the Lions will be battle-hardened after the season in
John Connolly believes backs will be                                  Europe and a series of warm-up matches.
Wallabies’ trump card against Lions                                       “I do not think the Lions’ preparations will be hampered by
                                                                      playing teams in the build-up that are without their leading
• Former Australia coach says Lions have                              players. They will make up for that in training and they have
the physical edge                                                     had nine months of tough rugby. It is Australia who will be
                                                                      disadvantaged and the Lions will expect to have the physical
• Gatland will not be ‘too Welsh’ when
                                                                      edge in the first Test.
picking tour squad                                                        “Warren Gatland likes his sides to be physical and
Paul Rees                                                             confrontational and he has a wealth of options in all areas of the
                                                                      pack. The Wallabies are not as strong at forward as they were in
                                                                      2001 and the Lions will look to dominate up front and control
                                                                      the line-out. The breakdown will be closely fought and it could
                                                                      come down to the refereeing.
                                                                          “The way the scrum and breakdown are controlled will be
                                                                      crucial and we saw in the Six Nations that different referees
                                                                      have different approaches. The Wallabies will be smart when it
                                                                      comes to the officials. To me, referees are having too great an
                                                                      influence on matches and they are going to be a factor.”
                                                                          Wales will have the biggest block of players in the Lions
                                                                      squad, at least 15, which was not the case when the coaches
                                                                      first met after the opening two rounds of the Six Nations. But
                                                                      Connolly does not expect Gatland, the Wales head coach who
                                                                      has taken a sabbatical this season to focus on the tour, to let his
The captain and scrum-half, Will Genia, is one of Australia’s
                                                                      heart rule his head.
trump cards against the Lions, claims John Connolly.
                                                                          “Gatland is too smart to make it too Welsh,” he said. “He will
Photograph: Anthony Phelps/Reuters
                                                                      put country to one side. All he is interested in is winning the
Kurtley Beale returned to training with Melbourne Rebels this         series and he has a really good group of players to pick from.
week after serving a six-week suspension for attacking the            Tribalism used to be an issue in the amateur days but not any
franchise’s captain, Gareth Delve, on the team coach and the          more. It is a different world now and it will be all about the
former Australia coach John Connolly expects the full-back to         Lions.”
play a key role in the series against the Lions.
    The Lions, who name their 38-man squad on Tuesday, are
firm favourites to win their first series since 1997. Connolly, who
spent six years coaching in Europe from the end of the 1990s
with Stade Français, Swansea and Bath, believes the Wallabies’
best chance of repeating their 2001 triumph lies in their backs.
    The Australia coach, Robbie Deans, is out of contract at the
end of the season. He wants an extension to the 2015 World
Cup but, after six years in charge, Connolly feels there will be a

change even if Australia win the series.
    “Robbie is under pressure,” said Connolly. “I know the board
of the Australian Rugby Union did not unanimously back him
after the last World Cup and I am not sure he will survive even if
the Wallabies win the series. There are options, not least Ewen
McKenzie and Jake White, and the big thing against him is a lack
of consistency in selection and in performance.                         Fantasy League Classic
    “He needs to beat the Lions to have any chance of staying
on and that will mean bringing back Kurtley Beale and playing
                                                                        Manage a squad of 16 players
Quade Cooper, someone he fell out with last year, at outside-           and a budget of £75 million.
half. They, along with Will Genia, the world’s leading scrum-
half, are our trump cards but the question is whether we will
                                                                        £75,000 worth of prizes to be
win enough ball with the Lions very strong in the tight five.”          won in weekly, monthly and
    Connolly was the Queensland coach when the Lions toured
Australia in 1989. It was a time when some of the then Test
                                                                        overall competitions. Beat your
squad played the tourists twice before the first Test but Deans         nearest and dearest in a friends
will be taking his squad into camp in the first week of June and        league.
is unlikely to release anyone for the warm-up games.
    “My fear is that the Wallabies will be a bit rusty going into
the first Test,” said Connolly. “The last Test they played was at
the beginning of December in Wales and they will have gone © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                        Tuesday April 30 2013              10:31 GMT

                                                                       when he makes them.
                                                                           If Taylor’s exclusion from the England Performance Squad
Durham rue drops as James Taylor                                       represents nothing more than a desire to herd in bowlers
impresses again for Nottinghamshire                                    rather than batsmen once those on contracts and incremental
                                                                       contracts have been accounted for (all of which has been
• Nottinghamshire 320; Durham 34-1                                     fully explained to him), then there is still concern about his
                                                                       instinctive penchant to explore the leg-side even from around
Mike Selvey at Trent Bridge
                                                                       off stump. A high proportion of his runs here came on the leg-
                                                                       side and not all of them because he was being spoon-fed.
                                                                           While it may succeed at one level, and his desire, work ethic
                                                                       and temperament may not be in doubt, the judgment of Miller
                                                                       and others has to be whether it is something that international
                                                                       bowlers might better exploit. The absence of Kevin Pietersen
                                                                       means there is a spot up for grabs and the Lions match against
                                                                       New Zealand, in which squad contenders as his replacement
                                                                       have been named, might have some significance. But in the first
                                                                       instance the place has to be Jonny Bairstow’s to lose.

                                                                       Stuart Bingham beats Mark Davis to
                                                                       reach Crucible quarter-final
James Taylor made 97 for Nottinghamshire against Durham
in front of the England selector Geoff Miller at Trent Bridge.
Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
                                                                       • Basildon player triumphs 13-10 at the
                                                                       World Championship
The sun shone for most of the day at Trent Bridge but brought
little warmth. It was a day when the smattering of spectators
                                                                       • Davis disappointed with his error-strewn
sat anorak-swaddled and, in the field, players stood hunched,          game
hands thrust deep into pockets.                                        Press Association
    In such conditions catching is a chore rather than a pleasure
with the prospect of brittle bones suffering. Whether it had a
bearing on Durham’s fortunes is a matter of conjecture. Good
catches were held in the slip cordon, none better than the
blink-of-an-eye effort from Will Smith in the gully that got rid
of the Australia opener Ed Cowan for 40 off 43 balls, which
constituted breakneck speed for him. So it could be done.
    But dropped chances, five of them, four of which were by
Ben Stokes, cost them dear too. Cowan had been missed at third
slip by Stokes in the first over of the day. There was an early let-
off too for Steve Mullaney, who had made only six when Stokes,
at third slip once more, put down a sharp chance to his right.
And finally, they gave Stuart Broad a second crack after Stokes,
yet again, put down another chance, low to his right this time,
when the batsman had only one.                                         Stuart Bingham on his way to victory over Mark Davis at the
    Mullaney went on to make 80 and share in a fifth-wicket            World Snooker Championship. Photograph: Steven Paston/
partnership of 111 with James Taylor that resurrected the              Action Images
innings after four wickets had fallen for 94, while Broad was          Stuart Bingham reached his first Crucible quarter-final as
able to make 46 and add 84 for the seventh wicket, also with           he edged past Mark Davis at the World Championship on
Taylor. Nottinghamshire were finally dismissed for 320, leaving        Monday. The 36-year-old Basildon player is making his seventh
Durham 10 overs to negotiate which they did for the loss of            appearance in Sheffield and from 10-10 at the mid-session
Mark Stoneman, reaching 34 for one. Broad bowled three overs           interval he won the next three frames to triumph 13-10.
and then, with the close in sight, left the field with a “tight            Bingham began his late surge to victory with a break of 111
groin”, the result of edging a ball when batting although no           in the 21st frame, before fending off Davis. “I played well in bits
cause for alarm.                                                       and very poor in other bits,” he said. “I thought it was going to
    Taylor, following his century against Derbyshire in his last       be another second-round defeat but I had the little spurt at the
innings, took the opportunity to make more runs, 97 of them,           right time at 10-all.” Davis was disappointed with the way he
with the national selector Geoff Miller in attendance. Placing         played.
oneself directly in the shop window is no bad thing, although              “I was relying on Stuart’s mistakes to win 10 frames,” he
Miller can avail himself of much more information about                said. “I feel I’m so really close to absolutely flying but it wasn’t
players – technical, physical and mental – than his selectorial        to be. We both kept making mistakes and it carried on for every
predecessors: it is about not just runs but the manner in which        session.”
they are obtained, and what goes through a batsman’s mind © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 

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