There may be Gallagher Premiership and Guinness matches being played out this weekend... but for many national rugby writers and former players there's only one game in town. And that's 11 days time in Cardiff when England come calling with a potential Six Nations title and Grand Slam on the line. There's already some bullish talk emanating from across the Severn while others are attempting to keep a lid on expectations remembering 2013 when the wheels well and truly came off England's Grand Slam chariot in a 30-3 scoreline. We give you what the England-based national press and two former Red Rose players are saying about the colossal February 23 showdown between Warren Gatland's Wales and Eddie Jones' England. OWEN SLOT (THE TIMES) It was only two weeks ago that we were busy predicting the most competitive Six Nations Championship of all time. Two rounds in, we have had something rather different: one of the most one-sided Six Nations Championship openings of all time. … [Read more...] about This is what the England-based media are saying about Wales v England
Grand rapids events this weekend
By JACK BLANCHARD PRESENTED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT Send tips here | Subscribe for free | View in your browser Good Thursday morning from Brussels, where the European Council summit is entering its second day. SPOTTED: Four world leaders out on the town after last night’s summit dinner. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Belgian PM Charles Michel and Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel were spotted getting beers at Le Roy d’Espagne bar on Brussels’ Grand Place last night. Yes, really. Check out the pic. How it all went down: Playbook’s tipster in the bar says Michel and Bettel turned up first, and were drinking together outside the bar for about half an hour. Merkel and Macron left the summit on foot and took a quiet stroll together through the park — presumably carving up Britain’s future as they walked. See the pic here. They then hopped in a car and met up with the other two leaders for late night drinks … [Read more...] about POLITICO London Playbook, presented by London City Airport: Beers in the Grand Place — Deadlock continues — One. More. Year.
Rivals Wigan and Warrington go head-to-head in Super League’s title decider at Old Trafford on Saturday night. The Warriors are bidding to send popular coach Shaun Wane out on a winning note before he joins Scotland RU, while the Wolves have not won a top flight title for 63 years. This will be the sixth time the teams have met this season having clashed at Magic Weekend, in the Challenge Cup and Super 8s, with Wigan holding a 3-2 advantage. But the 23-0 cup quarter-final win by the Wolves will give them hope and Steve Price’s men should not be underestimated despite their slight underdogs tag. Here Mirror Sport looks at the key issues and where the Old Trafford showdown will be won and lost. Flying finishers Like all top rugby league matches, the arm-wrestle up front between the two sets of forwards will be crucial, as will the kicking game of the respective playmakers. But with chances expected to be at a premium, it could come down to a split second finish by the corner … [Read more...] about Super League Grand Final prediction
Ricky Evans is fancying his chances of upsetting Raymond van Barneveld when the Kettering darts player makes his Unibet World Grand Prix debut. Evans secured his first-ever appearance at one of the PDC’s major events at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin thanks to a terrific run to the final of the Dutch Darts Championship earlier this month. ‘Rapid’ was handed a first-round clash with five-time world champion van Barneveld in Tuesday’s draw and, with a short, double-in format, Evans sees no reason why he can’t take his recent good form into the major competition. “There’s not many harder draws to get but I fancy my chances,” Evans said. “It’s one of those tournaments that the top players sometimes struggle in early on because of it being double-in and a short format in the first round. “I don’t see why I can’t give it a go, I have got there on merit. “To be honest, I would have never thought I would make it … [Read more...] about ‘Rapid’ Ricky feeling confident for his Dublin debut
ON THIS DAY 1945: American golfer Byron Nelson won the Canadian Open to record his 11th consecutive tournament victory. He went on to triumph in a further seven tournaments in the year to give him a record 18 wins on the US Tour. 1957: Argentinian racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring to clinch his fifth, and last, world title. 1976: Women played cricket at Lord's for the first time, an England team beating their Australian counterparts by eight wickets in a limited-overs match. 2006: Former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill was confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa. 2007: Kent all-rounder Ryan McLaren took a hat-trick as the Spitfires beat Gloucestershire Gladiators by four wickets in the Twenty20 Cup final at Edgbaston. 2008: Kevin Pietersen was named as England's new Test and one-day captain. 2012: Jessica Ennis-Hill (heptathlon), Greg Rutherford (long jump) and Mo Farah (10,000 metres) all claimed gold at the London Olympics in the space of 46 … [Read more...] about On This Day: August 4 1989