Tag: European Sports News

Ex All Black names the best Wales rugby players in the current team and the one he wishes he’d played with -#WelshSportsNews

Cardiff Blues legend Xavier Rush has revealed the current Welsh player he’d have loved to play alongside most, as well as the best player he played with during his time in Wales.

The former All Black No. 8 was speaking on WalesOnline’s Welsh Rugby Podcast when he was asked about the current Wales stars that have caught his eye.

“There’s a few,” explained Rush.

“If I look at some of the players there currently, Gareth Davies has had a wonderful 24 months.

“If any team had Alun Wyn Jones in their tight five, it’s a big plus for them.

“It will be nice to see Taulupe Faletau back to his best. He’s a real inspirational player and has talent only a few are blessed with.

“Justin Tipuric has had a great 12 months since Sam (Warburton) retired. He’s played fabulous rugby.
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/ex-black-names-best-wales-18481818.amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Nightclub bouncer, actor, Fantasy Premier League master – Where are Liverpool’s league title winners from 1990 now?

Nightclub bouncer, actor, Fantasy Premier League master – Where are Liverpool’s league title winners from 1990 now?
— Read on talksport.com/football/722461/where-liverpool-league-title-winners-1990-now/amp/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Liverpool unhappy with neutral venue games…

Liverpool are left baffled by neutral games

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/liverpool-are-left-baffled-by-neutral-games-5l358stwf

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The morning headlines as powerbrokers deliver verdict on World Cup-style tournament and Welsh rugby favourite makes kind gesture – Wales Online

The morning headlines as powerbrokers deliver verdict on World Cup-style tournament and Welsh rugby favourite makes kind gesture – Wales Online
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/morning-headlines-powerbrokers-deliver-verdict-18321330.amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tour de France to start Aug. 29

The Tour de France will take place Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, the International Cycling Union announced Wednesday. Read More

Tour de France to start Aug. 29

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Tottenham have absolutely no plans to sell talisman striker Harry Kane this summer. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Spurs would be willing to …

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Tottenham have absolutely no plans to sell talisman striker Harry Kane this summer. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Spurs would be willing to …

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

How Cristiano Ronaldo has dated the world’s hottest women – from Kim Kardashian to Irina Shayk before meeting Georgina

BEFORE Cristiano Ronaldo settled down with Georgina Rodriguez, he had a reputation as a ladies’ man. The 35-year-old Juventus star was linked to a …

How Cristiano Ronaldo has dated the world’s hottest women – from Kim Kardashian to Irina Shayk before meeting Georgina

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

How Cristiano Ronaldo has dated the world’s hottest women – from Kim Kardashian to Irina Shayk before meeting Georgina

BEFORE Cristiano Ronaldo settled down with Georgina Rodriguez, he had a reputation as a ladies’ man. The 35-year-old Juventus star was linked to a …

How Cristiano Ronaldo has dated the world’s hottest women – from Kim Kardashian to Irina Shayk before meeting Georgina

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Coronavirus: Parc des Princes shows support for those on the front line

Five giant signs were installed this Friday on the Parc des Princes, the PSG wishing to pay tribute to the thousands of professionals, “deliverymen, …

Coronavirus: Parc des Princes shows support for those on the front line

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Cristiano Ronaldo says Lionel Messi makes him better, Wenger wanted him at Arsenal and Pep Guardiola thinks he’s the best around

Pep Guardiola once said about Lionel Messi’s supreme ability: “Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him, just watch him.” There are simply …

Cristiano Ronaldo says Lionel Messi makes him better, Wenger wanted him at Arsenal and Pep Guardiola thinks he’s the best around

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Jordan Henderson, Peter Crouch and Liverpool’s most underrated XI ever

Throughout history, Liverpool has been blessed by some of the greatest players to step onto the football pitch. Under their current mask, this too is…

Jordan Henderson, Peter Crouch and Liverpool’s most underrated XI ever

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

F1 2020 season now expected to start at end of May, due to Coronavirus, say Formula 1 and FIA

Following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and the postponement of the races in China, Bahrain and Vietnam, Formula 1 and governing body the FIA have said they now ‘expect’ the 2020 season to begin at the end of May – though this will be regularly reviewed.

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced the Chinese round of the calender to be postponed last month. Then on Thursday, the opening race of the season in Melbourne was also called off, after a McLaren team member tested positive for the virus.

Today, the Bahrain Grand Prix, which was due to take place next weekend, and the first ever Vietnam Grand Prix, scheduled for the beginning of April, have also been postponed.

Ross Brawn explains the decision to cancel the Australian Grand Prix
A joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA, the race organisers and the relevant governments involved, said: “Following the announcement of the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation this week and the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.”

All parties said they were hopeful the races could be staged at a later date, and in light of the impact the virus is having, the statement added that it is expected the F1 season can begin at the end of May.

“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local health authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.

“As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed.”

Lewis Hamilton won last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix on his way to the World Championship
Chase Carey, Formula 1 Chairman and CEO, said the safety of the fans and people working in the sport was paramount.

“The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and it’s right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions,” he said. “We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans. The Bahrain Grand Prix is an exciting race in our schedule, and we look forward to being back there as soon as we can. We are also looking forward to Vietnam’s inaugural race and bringing the spectacle of F1 to one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

FIA President Jean Todt added: “Protecting people first. Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information currently available to us.

“We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motor sport community.”

— Read on www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.2020-season-now-expected-to-start-at-end-of-may-say-formula-1-and-fia.2n6qLwDR90AcXuzVuu7lEa.html

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Welsh Sports News – Ireland international claims England are ‘the most unlikeable team in recent memory’ after Six Nations conduct – Wales Online

Former Ireland rugby star Alan Quinlan has slammed the England rugby team’s behaviour during the Six Nations.

Quinlan criticised coach Eddie Jones and the likes of captain Owen Farrell and prop Joe Marler in a stinging newspaper attack.

He was speaking after three England players, Marler, Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes, all faced citing hearings on Thursday after the 33-30 victory over Wales.

Skipper Farrell’s conduct has also come under the microscope after he sparked the mass scuffle that resulted in Marler grabbing Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals by pushing George North in the chest.
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/ireland-international-claims-england-the-17925943.amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Jordan Henderson back for tonight’s Champions League Second Leg match against Atletico Madrid…

Champions League

Champions League

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is fit to return for their Champions League last 16 second leg with Atletico Madrid at Anfield.

The midfielder has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in the first leg – which Atletico won 1-0.

Goalkeeper Alisson is out with a hip injury for the defending champions.

“Not a lot of the Atletico players have played at Anfield before and that is what we want to use,” explained Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“Our crowd will be our advantage and we have to use it with the performance on the pitch. 

“It has to be exceptional because they defend deep and have counter-attack threat. Each player can be dangerous. 

“I have the highest respect for them but there are always ways and we have to find them tomorrow night. We have to show we have really learned from the first game.”

Liverpool have lost three of their past five games in all competitions – more than the rest of the season combined.

But Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win over Bournemouth has taken them to within two wins – or two Manchester City defeats – of the Premier League title.

City play Arsenal in the league at the same time as Liverpool’s tie.

“Our full focus is on our game,” added Reds left-back Andy Robertson – who is fit after missing the Bournemouth game through injury. 

“We can’t affect anything that’s going on over in Manchester tomorrow night. 

“If we win here, that’s all that matters. Of course, if we get one step closer if they do drop points then so be it. But one eye won’t be on that game, it’s a different competition – it’s the Champions League and we know it’s do or die.”

Atletico have only won three of their previous 11 games in all competitions and sit outside the Champions League places in La Liga.

MATCH FACTS

  • Liverpool have never lost against Atletico Madrid at Anfield in two previous European meetings, drawing 1-1 in the Champions League group stage in 2008-09 and winning 2-1 in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final in 2009-10.
  • Seven of Atletico’s 13 visits to England have ended as draws (W2 D7 L4), with Los Colchoneros unbeaten in their last four matches there (W1 D3) since that Liverpool defeat in April 2010.
  • On each of the last two occasions Liverpool have lost away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match, they have progressed to the next round – against Chelsea and Barcelona in the semi-finals in 2006-07 and 2018-19.
  • Atletico have progressed from four of their five previous Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg, failing only in last season’s last 16 tie against Juventus (2-0 first leg, 0-3 second leg).
  • Jurgen Klopp is yet to lose a home Champions League game with Liverpool (W11 D4).
  • If Liverpool go out, it would be the first time since a run of four seasons between 2004-05 and 2007-08 that the Champions League holders have failed to go beyond the last 16 in consecutive seasons, with Real Madrid having going out at this stage last season against Ajax.
  • Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in seven goals in five Champions League knockout appearances at Anfield (three goals, four assists), averaging a goal or assist every 54 minutes.
  • Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak has conceded only 37 goals in his first 49 Champions League appearances; the record for fewest goals conceded by a goalkeeper in his first 50 appearances is held by Dida (35), followed by Victor Valdes (38).

For more on this or other news please follow the link.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

This week’s Champions League Fixtures…

Please find details of this week’s Champions League Fixtures featuring Tottenham & Liverpool. These are the second leg fixtures of the last 16 round (first knockout round).

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

France blow best Grand Slam chance in a decade…

There will be no Grand Slam. France’s best chance in a decade to pull that off was ruined at Murrayfield by a stellar Scottish performance, featuring a brace from Sean Maitland and a back-breaking red card for the France tighthead prop Mohamed Haouas for a punch at the end of the first half, from which the visitors never recovered. 

The outcome also capped off a good weekend for England, who have now gone top of the Six Nationstable on points difference ahead of France with one round to go.

As Haouas departed here, rightly sent off for a punch to the head of Scotland’s Jamie Ritchie after the two came together in a ruck, you sensed that France were once again destroying another golden opportunity. Haouas’ mindless act brought back memories of Sebastian Vahaamahina’s own implosion in Oita at the Rugby World Cup, red carded for an elbow on Aaron Wainwright that killed off France’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

Haouas’ exit, a third penalty by Scotland fly-half Adam Hastings and then a well-worked try to put Maitland over in the corner all came in the space of less than five minutes. Collectively it felt like a knockout punch, not only in the context of the match but for France’s Grand Slam hopes as well, even with the second half still to come. Maitland’s second try shortly after the interval – made by a fine break from Chris Harris, slipping past Paul Willemse then combining with Ali Price – hammered that point home.

For more on this and other news please follow the link.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Steven Gerrard jokes he’s ‘on the next penalty’ as Rangers’ spot-kick woes continue in Europa League win

Scotland News - ScotBiz Blog

Scotland News - ScotBiz Blog

Steven Gerrard jokes he’s ‘on the next penalty’ as Rangers’ spot-kick woes continue in Europa League win

Steven Gerrard joked he would take Rangers’ next penalty after watching his side fail to convert from the spot during their Europa League match on Wednesday.

It didn’t affect the result of their round-of-32 tie, though, as Ryan Kent’s second-half strike saw Gers win 1-0 at Portuguese side Braga and go through 4-2 on aggregate.

Kent’s left-footed strike puts Rangers into the round-of-16

The penalty, taken by Ianis Hagi, was saved by Braga keeper Matheus but was the only negative part of the evening for Gers.

It does raise more concerns going forward as that was Rangers’ sixth penalty failure in ten attempts this season and their fourth miss in their last five.

The misses have come from a variety of players, too – captain James Tavernier was taken off penalty duties after his third miss of the season, then Alfredo Morelos in the Betfred Cup final, Scott Arfield and now Hagi have failed to score. Jermain Defoe is their only successful scorer.

Hagi is the latest Rangers player to fluff his lines from the spot

After the game, Gerrard, who scored 82 per cent of his 57 penalties at Liverpool, joked he may need to show the Rangers players how it’s done.

He told BT Sport: “I’m on the next one!

“We are trying to find a solution in that area, penalties are tough especially in pressure situations.

“We have some younger players but we will try to find the next solution … and if all else fails I take them myself!”

Rangers are through in the Europa League but their form from the spot will be a worry

Rangers now must wait to learn who their round-of-16 opponents are and they could be pitted against long-time rivals Celtic if the Hoops get through their tie against FC Copenhagen on Thursday.

And Gerrard says he and his players will be “ready for whatever comes our way.”

He added: “This is a team who finished top of the group and hadn’t lost to anyone else under this manager.

“Over the course of the match, the players deserve this, this is no fluke. It is something that has been earned with sheer hard graft.

“I am proud of the players – to a man they were outstanding.

“It is one thing giving a team a game plan, but you have got to trust them to carry it out. I thought they were faultless, certainly out of possession.

“The game plan was to go out and soak it up at times but also carry a threat.

“What we need to do is enjoy tonight.

“We will be really proud when we sit there and we’ll be ready for whatever comes out way.”

— Read on talksport.com/football/675337/steven-gerrard-jokes-next-penalty-rangers-europa-league/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Steven Gerrard challenges Ryan Kent Rangers as he locates his unknown Braga hero

Steven Gerrard challenges Ryan Kent Rangers as he locates his unknown Braga hero

Overjoyed Steven Gerrard threw a paternal arm around his players and told them that they made him proud.

The Rangers boss has amassed praise on his team for their heroes in Braga as they secured an extraordinary 1-0 victory and passage in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Ryan Kent’s second half gave the Light Blues a 4-2 aggregate victory when they became the first Scots since Celtic against Blackburn in 2002 won both stages of a knockout round in Europe.

The Rangers are tied in Nyon, although Gerrard refuses to consider taking on Neil Lennon’s team at this stage if they see Copenhagen tonight.

Gerrard has taken a verbal stick for his players in the past few weeks as internal waste has almost cost them a chance to win the Premiership this season.

But he has done nothing but pay tributes on them in Portugal for an extraordinary victory and performance of immense tactical nous, even if Ianis Hagi has missed his sixth free kick from the 10 assigned this season.

Gerrard said: “The players made the game plan and gave it to the fans and the club.

“For now, it’s about enjoying the win against Braga. We look forward to the draw on Friday and will be proud of whoever we run into.

“The players deserve all the praise that comes to them as they have taken a little in the past few weeks.

“It was a big change for a man out of control. They also went out and injured a really good team on the ball, so the job is done.

“I am very happy. The players had to make the maximum effort.

“We have played against

a high-level opposition, which is probably the best form in which it has been present for some time.

“They have a really bright young manager who knows what he’s doing while he overtook their group in the Europa League and was the top scorer.

“However, my players have been exceptional for a man in both games. I am really proud of them. “

Gerrard took one of the biggest bets of his nascent managerial career when he dropped Niko Katic and replaced rookie George Edmundson.

He was rewarded with an exceptional defensive performance when the 21-year-old hooked up with Connor Goldson and just smelled the guests.

Gerrard added: “Everyone has committed themselves to the defensive form and what was needed tonight. Against the best players and one of the best teams, you can’t do it with one unit.

“Allan McGregor was a great artist for us – I wouldn’t have sat here in this competition if it wasn’t for him.

“The collaboration of the two central backrests was also impeccable. George has been deeply involved but there is a way to experience Europe.

“At some point a manager has to trust you, whatever the challenge is. He came forward and imagined it and delivered with the help of Connor, who played as a captain, a leader.

“He’s someone who has had a bit of a stick since the weekend in St Johnstone, along with all of us, so going back and publishing that kind of performance was great.

“Connor was exceptional and he and George were supported by two full-backs on both sides who clashed with some really dangerous and first-class operators.

“The rear five were exceptional, shielded from the three in front of them. From a defensive point of view the game plan was delivered by them, so they deserve credit. “

Kent scored his first goal in Europe for the Rangers, giving them a victory that will increase the country’s UEFA coefficient and cash in his club with around £ 3 million in revenue.

In the first half he lost a team, but remained composed to win the winner in a game in which Flo Kamberi also shone on his first start in Europe.

Gerrard added: “We need that level of Ryan contribution. Recently there have been many opinions about Ryan about what kind of shape it is on.

“But it offered a great time for us and he could have had two.

“People do not give him the merit he deserves in terms of the amount of race he does for us, but he came great and scored the important goal.

“Hopefully this will make his trust in the world of good because there will be times when people are not happy with him and he is a bit up and down.

“It’s part of being a footballer in a high-level club, but some of the opinions I read recently about Ryan are ridiculous. He is the best player.

“Flo also did a really disinterested job for the team.

“Sometimes when you’re alone in Europe you have to sacrifice yourself. You have to run hard and lift the ball for us to create dangerous situations.

“That was probably the biggest game Flo played and I was really happy for him. He came in to replace Alfredo and he deserved to play. “

Kent, Kamberi and Hagi took all the super opportunities to score in the first half, but the Rangers remained composed after the break and the former

Liverpool star Kent collected the reward.

Gerrard added: “Worried about missed opportunities? When you have such moments, you will always think of going halfway.

“But the game came out exactly as we thought in terms of Braga playing five and moving the ball very quickly.

“What I was really happy with was that we were carrying a threat when the ball was shot. I was still confident that more opportunities would come.

“Braga beat Porto in a cup final, beat Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Wolves. They are a high class opposition and we have beaten them twice in a week. “

Gerrard’s mind is already fixed on the complicated Scottish Cup tie at Tynecastle on Saturday night.

He said: “The most important thing now is that we have to back up this performance and go to Hearts and qualify for another competition. This is the priority. “

— Read on www.newsarchyuk.com/steven-gerrard-challenges-ryan-kent-rangers-as-he-locates-his-unknown-braga-hero/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Alexandre Lacazette: the forward will not push to leave if Arsenal fails to reach the Champions League

Alexandre Lacazette: the forward will not push to leave if Arsenal fails to reach the Champions League

Alexandre Lacazette has scored 33 Premier League goals in 86 appearances for Arsenal since arriving from Lyon in 2017

Alexandre Lacazette will not push to leave Arsenal if they do not qualify for the next Champions League season.

When asked if his contract had a safeguard clause for such a scenario, the France striker said he didn’t know.

“I have a contract with the club, so I don’t make sense to leave,” he said. “Everyone is happy with me at the club.”

Lacazette, 28, joined Lyon’s Arsenal in 2017 and has never played in the Champions League for the Gunners.

Arsenal are ninth in the Premier League, seven points behind Chelsea in fourth.

They could also qualify for the next Champions League if they win the Europa League, and take the lead 1-0 in Thursday night’s home game with Olympiakos at the Emirates Stadium thanks to the Lacazette winner in Greece.

Lacazette has only scored twice in ten appearances with new manager Mikel Arteta and has been a substitute in the last two league games.

“Many people can talk,” said Lacazette, whose current contract expires in 2022. “There’s always something to say, so I don’t really think about it.

“If the manager, the coach, my teammates are happy with me, that’s the most important thing.”

— Read on www.newsarchyuk.com/alexandre-lacazette-the-forward-will-not-push-to-leave-if-arsenal-fails-to-reach-the-champions-league/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Chelsea XI vs Bayern Munich: Confirmed team news, predicted lineup and latest injuries |

Chelsea XI vs Bayern Munich: Confirmed team news, predicted lineup and latest injuries | Chelsea boss Frank Lampardwill be without N’Golo Kante for their Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Bayern Munich this evening.

The French midfielder suffered an adductor injury early in the 2-0 defeat against Manchester United and the 28-year-old has been ruled out of action for three weeks.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-xi-vs-bayern-munich-confirmed-teams-predicted-lineup-latest-injuries-a4371301.html?amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Coronavirus: Several football games in Italy called off after second death

Coronavirus: Several football games in Italy called off after second death –

A number of football matches in Italy have been postponed over fears of the spread of coronavirus.

A woman from the northern region of Lombardy is the second person in Italy to die from the virus in the past 24 hours.

Cremonese’s Serie B match against Ascoli and Piacenza v Sambenedettese in Serie C are among those postponed.

Serie D matches and a number of amateur and youth games in the Lombardy and Veneto regions are also called off.

The Cremonese squad had already travelled to Ascoli’s Cino e Lillo Del Duca Stadium in the central Marche region of the country before being informed that the game had been postponed.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/football/51596258

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Nations Rugby | Bono and O’Connell visit Ireland camp ahead of England clash

Bono meets up with Ireland squad


Former captain Paul O’Connell is also with Ireland this week
Andy Farrell’s side are looking to make it three wins from three against England
With two wins from two, Ireland could not have hoped for much more from their start to the Guinness Six Nations.

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LIVE: Kick-off approaches at Twickenham Preview: England v Ireland Jamie Heaslip: My Greatest XV
And ahead of a potentially pivotal trip to Twickenham to take on England, Andy Farrell’s side have been preparing with a visit from Irish pop royalty.

None other than Bono, the lead singer of U2, was in camp with Ireland this week, chatting to the Ireland squad after being asked in by Farrell.

And the Ireland head coach explained that bringing in the music legend was more than just a chance to rub shoulders with a superstar.

He told IRFU TV: “We’re unbelievably privileged. He was top of the wish list. He was great, he put real time and effort into it. He’s a private guy who doesn’t really do these things. But he loves his rugby. His wife Ali came along as well and she loves her rugby as well.

“He told us some stories and we got a lot out of it. He’s a proud Irishman so we connect to that. The key for us is making sure we do the homework and the guests that come in, we get something out of it. So the lads certainly did their homework and asked the questions and got the answers that they wanted from it.”

Bono was not the only person to join up with Ireland this week, with former skipper Paul O’Connell also attending training.

O’Connell, who called time on his playing career in 2016, has spent time coaching in France and took the opportunity to come into the camp and chat to the players.

And Farrell believes the former Ireland captain can help his players, while also getting something out of the experience himself.

He added: “It’s great to have Paul with us. We invited Paul in to see what he thinks about the environment, just get a general feel, to be there as a sounding board from the lads.

“We’re getting some good feedback from him and he might learn a few things along the way himself. It’s great to have some past players and somebody that the boys really respect.

“We have an environment that loves people coming in. We like people asking questions so we can answer them and explain them to ourselves as well. It’s great to have him in and he’ll be here until Friday and he’ll give us some feedback.”

— Read on www.sixnationsrugby.com/2020/02/19/ireland-call-on-rock-and-rugby-royalty-to-prepare-for-england/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Rugby News 🏉📰

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs are set to return to England’s starting XV for Sunday’s pivotal Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham, according to reports.

The Leicester pair are expected to take over from outside centre Jonathan Joseph and scrum-half Willi Heinz when head coach Eddie Jones names his side late on Friday morning.

Tuilagi is likely to be included in the wider midfield channel, rather than at inside centre, even though Henry Slade is back in selection contention after injury.

That means George Ford and Owen Farrell will continue their 10-12 alliance despite the physical threat posed by Ireland’s imposing centres Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw.

Italy 🇮🇹 make one change for their game against Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Italy have made one change to the starting line-up for this weekend’s game against Scotland.

Alessandro Zanni comes back in at at lock for Dean Budd, who now drops to the bench.

Zanni has played 118 Tests for Azzurri and played against Wales.

Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Matteo Minozzi, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Sebastian Negri, 6 Jake Polledri, 5 Niccolò Cannone, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Giosuè Zilocchi, 2 Luca Bigi (c), 1 Andrea Lovotti; Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Giovanni Licata, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Giulio Bisegni.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Jurgen Klopp review of last nights 1-0 loss away to Atletico Madrid 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿⚽️📰

MA News

MA News

Jurgen Klopp says he deserved his yellow card from referee Szymon Marciniak – but claimed the Polish official found it difficult to cope as Liverpool were beaten by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The referee cautioned Klopp in the second half as the Reds boss grew frustrated with what he deemed to be histrionics and play-acting from several Atletico players in their 1-0 win over the European champions at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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