Third Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown TJ Holyfield2 Stephen F. Austin F Jr. Albuquerque, N.M. Roddy Peters Nicholls G Sr. Washington, D.C. Nicholls claims two individual superlatives in Roddy Peters garnering the Newcomer of the Year award while head coach Richie Riley led his squad to a co-regular season championship en route to being named Coach of the Year. Southeastern Louisiana’s Marlain Veal is the Defensive Player of the Year, and Houston Baptist’s David Caraher wins Freshman of the Year. 2 indicates two-time all-conference selection3 indicates three-time all-conference selection Joseph Kilgore A&M-Corpus Christi G Sr. Houston, Texas All-Defensive Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown The Lumberjacks earned a trio of selections to lead the league while the Lions, Colonels and McNeese each secured two picks on the teams. UCA, Sam Houston State, Lamar, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist and Northwestern State each garnered one spot. 2017-18 All-Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Teams Jordan Capps Southeastern La. F Sr. Norcross, Ga. FRISCO, Texas – Central Arkansas’ senior guard Jordan Howard is the 2018 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, the league announced Monday along with its all-conference teams. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition. David Caraher Houston Baptist F Fr. Chapel Hill, N.C. Jahvaughn Powell Nicholls G Sr. Tallahassee, Fla. All-conference teams and individual awards are nominated and voted upon by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one’s own players/coaches is not permitted. To receive honorable mention, a player must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots. Shannon Bogues Stephen F. Austin G Jr. Killeen, Texas Marlain Veal Southeastern La. G Jr. New Orleans, La. Veal led the Southland in steals during conference competition, averaging 2.2 a game. The Lions finished first in the league in scoring defense (65.7) and were third in field goal percentage defense (.420). Tevon Saddler Nicholls G Sr. Aberdeen, Md. Aaron Augustin Stephen F. Austin G So. Suwanee, Ga. Kevon Harris Stephen F. Austin G/F So. Ellenwood, Ga. Jordan Howard3 Central Arkansas G Sr. Chandler, Ariz. Colton Weisbrod2 Lamar F Sr. Nederland, Texas Jaylen Franklin Abilene Christian G Jr. Little Rock, Ark. Howard, a senior from Chandler, Ariz., is third in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.8 points per game heading into the 2018 Southland Basketball Tournament this week. In league games this year, Howard led all scorers with a 26.4 point average and shot 91.9 percent from the free-throw line. A career year for Howard, he etched his name into the Southland record book when he became the all-time leader for three-point field goals made. He currently has 377 triples in his four-year career. Howard becomes the third men’s basketball player to win both the Southland Player of the Year award and Freshman of the Year honor (2015) in their career. First Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown Hayden Koval Central Arkansas C Fr. Prosper, Texas Howard leads the all-conference first team, earning his third All-Southland selection. Veal, Lamar’s Colton Weisbrod and Stephen F. Austin’s TJ Holyfield each earned their second selection. Player of the Year: Jordan Howard, Central ArkansasDefensive Player of the Year: Marlain Veal, Southeastern LouisianaFreshman of the Year: David Caraher, Houston BaptistNewcomer of the Year: Roddy Peters, NichollsCoach of the Year: Richie Riley, Nicholls Kalob Ledoux McNeese G So. Port Barre, La. Chris Galbreath, Jr. Sam Houston State F Sr. Chicago, Ill. In his first year in a Colonels’ uniform, Peters averaged 19.7 points per game in league action to rank second in the conference and was fourth in the Southland for assists per game with a 4.4 average. Riley, a second-year head coach, led his Colonels to their first Southland championship since 1998 and a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Caraher, a third team all-conference selection, ranked in the top five of the league in scoring and rebounding in conference action. He was fourth in scoring with 18.1 points per game and fifth in rebounding with 7.6 a game. Caraher is the only player to accomplish this feat. Second Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown Honorable Mention: Jalone Friday, Abilene Christian; Nick Garth, Lamar; John Dewey III, Sam Houston State; Mathieu Kamba, Central Arkansas; Josh Nzeakor, Lamar; Jaren Lewis, Abilene Christian; Shawn Johnson, UIW. Ishmael Lane Northwestern State F/C Jr. Port Allen, La. TJ Holyfield Stephen F. Austin F Jr. Albuquerque, N.M. Marlain Veal2 Southeastern Louisiana G Jr. New Orleans, La. Quatarrius Wilson McNeese F Jr. Mobile, Ala.
THIBODAUX, La. – Austin Claunch was named the next head coach of the Nicholls State University men’s basketball program on Thursday as it was announced by director of athletics Matt Roan. Claunch’s hiring is subject to approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.An introductory press conference and meet and greet with Claunch is tentatively scheduled for the week of April 9 with additional details forthcoming.”As we vetted a strong pool of candidates, Austin Claunch stood out as the right man to lead the program,” Roan said. “Because of his high basketball IQ and broad network, I have no doubt Austin will be able to successfully recruit, develop, and coach outstanding student-athletes who will compete for championships and earn their degrees. More than anyone else, Austin understands the recipe for success at Nicholls and will provide consistency to our program while continuing its upward trajectory.”Claunch spent the past two seasons as an assistant on Richie Riley’s staff, contributing heavily to the Colonels historic 2018 campaign that included the most wins (21) since 1995 and best Southland Conference record (15-3) since 1998.”I am beyond excited to be named the next head basketball coach at Nicholls,” Claunch said. “The people of this university and all of Thibodaux have embraced me and treated me like family since the first day I arrived two years ago. I am ready to give the community a winning program built on enthusiasm, accountability and hard work. The foundation has been laid, and the future is extremely bright. I am truly humbled and honored to be leading our basketball program into the next phase.”Under Riley, Claunch was primarily responsible for guard development, specifically point guards, working daily with seniors Roddy Peters (SLC Newcomer of the Year, First Team), Jahvaughn Powell (All-SLC Defensive Team), Lafayette Rutledge (Single-season 3-point record holder) and Tevon Saddler (All-SLC Second Team). He was also the key recruiter for Kevin Johnson and Ryghe Lyons, who both started over 15 games as freshmen.Claunch’s impact at Nicholls was immediately felt as it was his scout that helped the Colonels knock off Boston College 79-73 on Nov. 11, 2016. He worked closely with Riley on offensive and defensive schemes and gameplans. Claunch created, orchestrated and conducted all basketball camps for the Colonels over the past two years.Before coming to Nicholls, Claunch served in a variety of roles at Clemson University under coach Brad Brownell from 2013-16. With the Tigers, Claunch most notably instructed All-ACC First Teamer Jaron Blossomgame and current Brooklyn Nets small forward KJ McDaniels. He also worked under Paul Hewitt at George Mason during the 2012-13 season as the director of player development.Each summer from 2007-2011, Claunch worked with former NBA player and longtime Head Coach John Lucas at his camps in Houston. He also interned in the summer of 2010 with Joe Abunassar and Impact Basketball. From 2008-10, Claunch assisted his father’s 15U and 16U Adidas Houston Select Basketball Club teams.Claunch was a four-year starter and two-time captain at Emory University on the Division III level from 2008-12. He ranks first in Emory history in career assists (580), assists per game (5.8) and minutes played (3,132). Claunch is also second in free throw percentage (.877). He was also a three-time All-Conference First Team player at Emory, and a member of the University Athletic Association’s 25th Anniversary Team. Claunch set the school’s three best single-season assist totals over each of his final three seasons.The Houston native earned his undergraduate degree in political science, with a minor in religion, from Emory in 2012. Claunch obtained a master’s degree in human resource development from Clemson in August 2015.
OF Sidney Salmans Northwestern State Sr. The Woodlands, Texas OF Ali McCoy Southeastern Louisiana So. Maurepas, La. Landry, a three-time Southland Pitcher of the Week this season and now two-time All-Conference member, produced a 1.86 ERA to go along with a .200 opposing batting average. She had 12 wins in the Southland season. Lara, one of three freshmen on the all-conference first team, batted .404 in conference play for second in the league. She tied for first in the league for hits with 36. Clement spent time at catcher, designated player and third base in her first season with the Colonels. She ended league action with a .333 batting average and crossed the plate 20 times to rank in the top eight. 2B Cayla Jones Northwestern State Fr. Missouri City, Texas Nicholls claimed the other four individual superlatives. Junior Megan Landry is the Pitcher of the Year while teammates Jewel Lara and Kali Clement are the Freshman and Newcomer of the Year, respectively. Head coach Angel Santiago led the Colonels to their first regular season championship since 1996 to be named Coach of the Year. 3B Mahalia Gibson2 Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Hattiesburg, Miss. C Taylor Fraccastoro Stephen F. Austin Sr. Orange, Texas DP Taylor Davis Lamar Jr. Nederland, Texas Pos. Name University Class Hometown UT Kaitlyn St. Clair Northwestern State So. Cypress, Texas Individual AwardsPlayer of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeeseHitter of the Year: Erika Piancastelli, McNeesePitcher of the Year: Megan Landry, NichollsFreshman of the Year: Jewel Lara, NichollsNewcomer of the Year: Kali Clement, NichollsCoach of the Year: Angel Santiago, Nicholls OF Kelsey Miller Nicholls Fr. Denham Springs, La. FRISCO, Texas – McNeese utility player Erika Piancastelli is the 2018 Southland Conference Player of the Year, the league announced Monday with its all-conference teams. All yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition. 2B Libby Morris Central Arkansas Jr. Grove, Okla. The 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament starts Tuesday at 11 a.m. CT at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La. The tournament features the league’s top eight teams for the first time in 30 years, switching from a six-team format, and begins with a four-team first round Tuesday between the bottom four seeds. The winners of the first two games will join the top four Southland teams in a traditional six-team, double-elimination bracket for the remainder of the tourney. P Lindsey McLeod Sam Houston State Jr. Austin, Texas First Team Piancastelli, one of the most prolific softball players in Southland history, becomes the first softball player to win Player of the Year all four years and is just the third to do so in any Southland sport. She joins ULM’s women’s basketball player Eun Jun Lee (1983-86) and Lamar’s men’s golfer Chris Stroud (2001-04). P Rachel Hayes Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Ocean Springs, Miss. DP Alexandria Saldivar McNeese So. Princeton, Texas UT Erika Piancastelli4 McNeese Sr. Carlsbad, Calif. Games 1-11 will be streamed live on the Southland Digital Network with Richard Dow, Bruce Merchant and Tony Taglavore sharing play-by-play duties. The games will be available via southland.org/live and Southland Conference apps. Coverage shifts to the ESPN family of networks for the championship round. Game 12 will be televised nationwide on ESPNEWS with Lincoln Rose and former Southeastern Louisiana pitcher Kati Morse on the call. If Game 13 is necessary, action will move to ESPN3. In both cases, streaming coverage is available from WatchESPN.com and ESPN apps. P Makayla Sikes Stephen F. Austin Sr. Gilmer, Texas Third Team P Alexis LaBure Nicholls Fr. Port Neches, Texas OF Kasey Frederick2 Nicholls Jr. Bridge City, Texas 1B Shelby Henderson Lamar So. Keller, Texas OF Justyce McClain3 McNeese Jr. Phoenix, Ariz. OF Morgan Felts Central Arkansas Jr. Conway, Ark. 2 Two-time all-conference selection3 Three-time all-conference selection4 Four-time all-conference selection 2B Kelly Meeuwsen3 Lamar Jr. Hillsboro, Ore. SS Tiffany Thompson Sam Houston State So. Montgomery, Texas SS Peyton Hedrick4 Abilene Christian Sr. Forney, Texas OF Kendall Talley Lamar Fr. San Antonio, Texas The senior from Carlsbad, Calif., broke five Southland career records this year: home runs, hits, RBIs, runs scored and total bases. The four-time Player of the Year led the Southland in batting average (.493), slugging percentage (1.188), on base percentage (.650), home runs (12), RBIs (28), doubles (10), runs scored (29) and walks (32). She also earned her fourth consecutive Hitter of the Year award. 1B Morgan Catron McNeese Sr. Mineola, Texas Second Team P Megan Landry2 Nicholls Jr. Pierre Part, La. Piancastelli and Abilene Christian’s Peyton Hedrick each picked up their fourth all-conference selection. Nicholls’ Amanda Gianelloni, McNeese’s Justyce McClain, Lamar’s Kelly Meeuwsen and Southeastern Louisiana’s Kinsey Nichols are each three-time selections to the All-Conference teams. 2018 All-Southland Conference Softball Teams Honorable Mention – Catcher: Heidi Jacquez, Houston Baptist. First Base: Codi Carpenter, Sam Houston State; Margarita Corona, Stephen F. Austin. Second Base: Bryana Novegil, Stephen F. Austin; Alli Daigle, Southeastern Louisiana Third Base: Kassie James, Houston Baptist. Shortstop: Kate Myers, Central Arkansas; Jaquelyn Ramon, Southeastern Louisiana. Outfield: Lauren Brown, McNeese; Julie Rawls, Northwestern State; Kayla Crutchmer, Central Arkansas; Kayla Sheridan, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Megan McDonald, Sam Houston State. Pitcher: Micaela Bouvier, Northwestern State; Alexsandra Flores, McNeese. DP Alyson Bishoff Abilene Christian Sr. Belton, Texas UT Kali Clement Nicholls Jr. Thibodaux, La. 1B Kaylyn Shepherd Central Arkansas So. Mechanicsville, Va. SS Amanda Gianelloni3 Nicholls Jr. Napoleonville, La. OF Donelle Johnson Abilene Christian R-So. McKinney, Texas 3B Jewel Lara Nicholls Fr. Missouri City, Texas C Bailey White Sam Houston State R-Fr. Burleson, Texas 3B Amber Landry2 Stephen F. Austin Sr. Ponchatoula, La. OF Kinsey Nichols3 Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Alvin, Texas C Moriah Strother Nicholls R-Sr. Suwanee, Ga. P Hannah Null Abilene Christian Sr. Highland Village, Texas
On the game’s restart, Will Brand took over on the mound for UCA, retiring the Bearkats to give the Bears a chance to catch up at the bottom of the eighth inning. Wesneski made way for Relief Pitcher of the Year Dakota Mills for Sam Houston, who closed out the game with his 15th save of season and a 4-2 Bearkat win.BSB: After a 1:44 rain delay, neither team could score in the final two innings. Mills registered the final six outs. @BearkatsBSB advanced with 4-2 win over @UCABearBaseball. #EatEmUpKats #BearClawsUp #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/MDnMErpPTG— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 24, 2018 The Bearkats did not look the part of the sluggish upset-prone side that dropped its opening-round matchup to No. 8 New Orleans yesterday. A five-hit first inning paved the way for an early 4-0 lead, led by three straight RBI singles with two outs.BSB: Four-run top of the first inning for @BearkatsBSB, capped by Johnson’s RBI single. 4-0 SHSU before UCA came to the plate. #EatEmUpKats #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/DyHhr86ndC— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 24, 2018 The Bears were led by Presley who was 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI but the team could not find a breakthrough and failed to capitalize on six baserunners left on. Wesneski took the win and is now 7-3 on the year, striking out three on 74 pitches today. A rain delay suspended the game at the top of the eighth, lasting nearly two hours before the game resumed at 4 p.m.BSB UPDATE: Rain still coming down in buckets. Still lightning all around us. #TarpCam pic.twitter.com/Yu82z83e7J— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 24, 2018 Central Arkansas got on the board with a Keaton Presley RBI to score Josh Somdecerff at the bottom of the third. Cody Davenport kept the Bearkats off the board from the mound for five straight innings, striking out four. UCA halved the lead at the bottom of the fifth with a ground out RBI to make it a 4-2 game.BSB: Presley put @UCABearBaseball on the scoreboard in the 3rd. RBI single scored Somdecerff. 4-1 SHSU at that point. #BearClawsUp #SouthlandStrong pic.twitter.com/H1l064adbI— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 24, 2018 Box Score | ESPN+ Replay | Photo Gallery | Tournament HomepageSUGAR LAND, Texas – Sam Houston State survived their first game of the elimination bracket with a 4-2 win over No. 5 Central Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon. A four-run first and a strong outing from right-hander Hayden Wesneski was enough to send the Bears home and secure the top seed’s spot in tomorrow’s bracket. The Bears are eliminated from this year’s tournament while the Bearkats move on to face the loser of tonight’s matchup between No. 4 Houston Baptist and No. 8 New Orleans tomorrow at noon in another elimination game.
FAVORED FLAGSTAFF RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE II, $200,000 SAN CARLOS STAKES BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS AS ESPINOZA & SADLER TEAM FOR SEVEN FURLONG WIN IN 1:22.64ARCADIA, Calif. (March 7, 2020)–With an avalanche of late money coming his way, the John Sadler-conditioned Flagstaff ran accordingly, as he stalked the early pace and rallied four-deep turning for home en route to a 1 ¼ length victory in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Flagstaff got seven furlongs in 1:22.64.Fourth behind a dueling threesome that consisted of stablemate St. Joe’s Bay, Law Abidin Citizen and McKale, Flagstaff was never threatened by the late running Roadster, who flew to be second.Off at even money in a field of six older horses, Flagstaff, a 6-year-old gelding by Speightstown, paid $4.00, $2.40 and $2.20.Owned by Lane’s End Farm and Hronis Racing, LLC, Flagstaff, who is out of the Gone West mare Indyan Giving, notched his first graded stakes win and improved his overall record to 11-5-3-2. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $403,785.Roadster, last year’s Santa Anita Derby winner, ran out of real estate, finishing one length in front of stablemate McKale. Off as the second choice with Mike Smith up at 2-1, he paid $3.00 and $2.60.McKale, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, was off at 7-1 and paid $4.00 to show while finishing one half length in front of Law Abidin Citizen.Fractions on the race were 22.27, 45.04 and 1:09.54.
FORMER Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti’s transfer fee cost him any chance of the Tottenham job.Spurs considered the Napoli boss, 60, for the vacancy but the word from Italy was that his club would need a big payout and also keep him until the new year.1 Carlo Ancelotti was initially considered by Spurs chiefsCredit: EPAThat left the door wide open for Jose Mourinho to step in and take charge.Argie Mauricio Pochettino was not just sulking with his Tottenham bosses before he left — he was blanking old mates everywhere.Poch ignored calls and texts from old mates to their disappointment as he went into a dark mood.South American sources reveal he virtually cut himself off in his latter months at White Hart Lane.Form deserted Spurs in 2019, eventually leading Daniel Levy to relieve Pochettino of his duties.Mourinho was hired just 11 hours after the 47-year-old was sacked.And it was the dream start for the Special One on Saturday.He lead Spurs to their first away win in the Premier League since January as they triumphed 3-2 over rivals West Ham.LATEST TOTTENHAM NEWSHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongGossipSPURRED ONTottenham table contract offer for Bayern Munich’s teenage starlet Taylor BoothExclusivePASS THE TESTEngland’s NRL-based stars urge bosses to make room for a Test this yearGoals from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane saw Mourinho’s side race into a resounding three goal lead.But defensive lapses allowed the hapless Hammers to pull two goals back – reminding the Special One of the work that will be required at his new club.Meanwhile Ancelotti’s Napoli have endured a disappointing start to the season in Serie A – winning just five of their opening 13 games. Mourinho praises Spurs star Dele Alli as the Special One wins his first match as Tottenham boss
TOP Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham will miss out on pre-season games in Asia after the International Champions Cup fell victim to the coronavirus.This summer’s tournament is set to be smaller, with matches just in Europe, North America and Australia.3 New Man Utd hero Mason Greenwood shone in the ICC last summer, hitting the winner against Inter MilanCredit: AFP or licensors3The three Premier League giants took part in the popular competition last year, with 18-year-old striker Mason Greenwood making his United breakthrough.But the BBC say ICC organisers believe there is too much uncertainty over the virus outbreak to include games in Asia this time around.The schedule has yet to be finalised but matches set for the USA are unlikely to be affected.3A spokesman for ICC promoter Relevant Sports told the BBC: “The health and safety of fans, clubs, players, staff and partners are our top priority.”Asia remains a key component of our global growth strategy and we look forward to hosting matches in the market in the near future.”Meanwhile, as the virus begins to spread rapidly across Europe, the Swiss Football League has been put “on hold” until March 23.It comes as Uefa chiefs spent just “two minutes” in talks with Prem bosses on the impact of the virus spreading.most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticEurope’s football rulers declined to say if Champions League ties later this month could be played behind closed doors.And doubts also surround Euro 2020 play-offs at the end of March involving Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic.Many sporting events in Asia have already been called off or postponed due to the virus, while there are fears over this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and possibly even Euro 2020.
SON HEUNG-MIN will be forced to self-isolate for two weeks on his return from South Korea over continued fears surrounding the coronavirus.The Tottenham star was given permission to return to his homeland last month to undergo surgery for the broken arm he sustained in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa on February 16.2 Son Heung-min will self-isolate on his return to the countryCredit: ReutersThe 27-year-old flew to Seoul, just 150 miles from two of the worst affected areas in the country, for the operation before government protocols on travel to and from South Korea were introduced.Son had wanted the same surgeon who helped him recover from a similar injury he suffered in 2017 that left him with a metal plate in his right arm.Boss Jose Mourinho said: “I think the normal advice comes from the authorities, comes from the government. I’m not going to make any comment, I’m nobody, I’m no specialist.”I just get the legal advice and what my club gets from authorities, and of course we follow everything.”That’s why I’m saying that Sonny when he’s back from Seoul we will have to follow the protocols and we are not going to have him immediately here.(Where he will be?) “I don’t know how to be specific with that, I just know we have to follow some safety protocols.”Sonny when he’s back from Seoul we will have to follow the protocols and we are not going to have him immediately hereJose Mourinho on Son Heung-minSon is currently recuperating in Korea and is due back in England this week.Yet the former Bayer Leverkusen ace will be kept away from Tottenham’s Enfield training ground for two weeks as he regains fitness.Son had initally been ruled out of action for the rest of the season with a fracture he sustained in the win at Villa Park when colliding with Ezri Konsa.But Mourinho has now revealed that he could feature at some point with a cast.He added: “That’s another hope but of course we’re far from it.”Mourinho is already without Harry Kane until the final weeks of the season at the very earliest, following a hamstring injury on New Year’s Day.However, SunSport revealed that the England captain is targeting a return in early April as he bids to play in Euro 2020 this summer.Most Read in FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticMAKE YOUR DEBUT Bet £5 get £20 in free bets for new customers at LadbrokesMeanwhile, the Premier League may be forced to hold emergency crisis talks to decide whether Liverpool can be crowned champions if coronavirus wipes out the end of the season.The Reds are currently just 12 points away from clinching their first title since 1990, which will become nine should Manchester City lose a game.While there is no suggestion the campaign will be axed, there is no contingency plan in the league’s own regulations which addresses what would happen if the season had to be scrapped before it is completed.Harry Kane shares training video and insists he is ‘making gains’ after injury in huge boost to Tottenham and England
With Madness entertaining the sold-out crowd at the break, madness also reigned on the pitch as Russia shocked Scotland, Wales drew with Fiji and the series qualifier tournament had fans on the edge of their seats. Australia will be happy with their performance on Saturday as they followed up their day one win over Samoa with victories against South Korea and England to ensure their place in the quarter-finals against Argentina.The other quarter-finals on Sunday will see Fiji play Canada, USA face England and a mouthwatering encounter as South Africa take on New Zealand.Elsewhere in the World Rugby series qualifier competition, Chile, Germany, Papua New Guinea and Spain progressed to the semi-finals on Sunday. The day began with the announcement that the next Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, USA will take place from July 20-22, 2018. Pool AAustralia kicked off proceedings on day two with a comfortable 52-0 win over invitational team South Korea but it was their 12-10 winning performance against England in their final pool match of the day that sparked rapturous cheers in a packed out Hong Kong Stadium. Rookie of the year 2015-16 Henry Hutchison scored twice as Andy Friend’s outfit finished top of their pool for the first time since Dubai last December.Despite their loss to Australia, England had already secured their place in the Cup quarter-finals with a 12-10 win over Samoa earlier in the day, with Gordon Tietjens’ side pushing them close.Pool BSeries leaders South Africa finished with a clean sweep of three wins from three in the pool stages, beating Kenya 35-10 on the morning of day one with a hat-trick from Werner Kok the highlight of the match. Damian McGrath’s Canada side proved a different level of competition though, keeping the score level at half-time with Justin Douglas’ try cancelling out Dylan Sage’s score to keep it 7-7 at the break. The familiar Blitzboks momentum shone through late in the second half though, with scores from Ruhan Nel, Cecil Afrika and Siviwe Soyizwapi sealing the win 26-7. McGrath’s Canada side had beaten France 28-14 earlier in the day and beaten Kenya 17-14 on day one to make sure they will be in the business end of things come the third day in Hong Kong. Pool CFiji topped Pool C but were almost tripped up by a fierce performance from Wales in their first match on day two. Having lost to the Welsh in Sydney earlier in the series (which broke Wales’ 14-match losing streak against the Pacific islanders), Fiji were aware of the threat and Luke Morgan was on song scoring twice in the first half to give his side a 10-5 lead at half-time. Vatemo Ravouvou scored early in the second half to put Fiji ahead 12-10 after his conversion also landed, but Morgan tipped the game back in favour of Wales. A late try from Amenoni Nasilasila brought the scores level, making it a thrilling 17-17 score line. Gareth Baber’s side faced a strong New Zealand outfit in their second pool match, a side who had beaten Japan 40-14 earlier in the day to qualify for the quarter-finals. Despite a barnstorming try from New Zealand debutant Joey Ravouvou, it was his namesake Vatemo who clinched the winning try for Fiji and put a 17-14 win on the board.Pool DUSA went unbeaten in Pool D, beating Scotland 19-14 early on day two thanks to a hat-trick from Perry Baker to secure their spot in the Cup quarter-finals. Mike Friday’s side produced a dominant performance against Argentina in their final pool match, with the returning Mike Teo showing his class from the recent Americas Rugby Championship by bagging two tries in his side’s five-try, 33-5 win. Argentina had fortunately secured their Cup quarter-final place with a 17-12 comeback win over Russia earlier in the day. Russia’s Vladimir Ostroushko and Vitaly Zhivatov scored in the first half and combined with Dmitry Sukhin’s conversion made it 0-12 at half-time. However, Santiago Gomez Cora’s side bounced back quickly with Fernando Luna, German Schultz and Matias Ocsaduk all scoring to help make it 17-12 at full time.QualifiersDay two of the Hong Kong sevens finished with four thrilling quarter-finals as the eight teams battled out for a chance to be a core team on next year’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. After pool play, Guyana, Tonga, Jamaica and Sri Lanka had been eliminated.South American rivals Chile and Uruguay faced off in the first qualifier in a tense affair that saw two men in the bin. Chile scored first but Uruguay fired back to leave the teams level 7-7 at the midway point. But a try from Lucas Westcott stretched the gap and Francisco Neira – the man who just completed his business studies degree – put Chile in the business end of the qualification tournament, despite a consolation try for Uruguay. It finished 21-12 and Chile took their place in the semi on Sunday.Their opposition was to come from the next quarter-final as Germany faced off against Hong Kong, who were, unsurprisingly, backed by a passionate local support. In what turned out to be a breathless affair, Germany’s Sebastian Fromm opened the scoring with a superb break after just two minutes. However the hosts grew into the game and Jamie Hood levelled the scoring in the dying minutes. The game was headed for extra time when Hong Kong chipped ahead only for the Germans to counter-attack, making space for Bastian Himmer who broke away to score and silence the home support. 14-7 it finished and Germany will face Chile in the first semi-final on Sunday. It started badly for Uganda – a poor kick off resulted in a try for their opponents Papua New Guinea as AA Clements broke through the line. However the African side equalised with a try from the energetic Govle Ramathan and the momentum saw them cross the line right at the break – Solomon Okia rewarded for his hard work in attack to leave it 10-7. Gaino Kapana then scored with 3 minutes left to make it 14-10 to PNG and, despite a frantic finish, Papua New Guinea held on for the win.The final match of the night saw Spain take on a plucky Namibian side. Spain, unbeaten so far in the tournament, went ahead in the first half with tries from Joan Losada, Pol Pla and Lucas Levy leaving it 21-0 at half time. Second half tries from Losada and Levy saw Spain take their place in the semi-final with a 33-0 win.
The announcement came as French and British authorities expressed relief that England’s victory over Wales in Lens passed without any serious spectator trouble.The two England fans were among 35 people injured during three days of clashes in Marseille between England and Russia fans before their game last Saturday.One of the badly hurt fans, in his 50s, is reported to have been hit on the head with an iron bar.”We are still looking for those responsible for these events which are considered attempted murder,” Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said.Investigators are studying security camera footage to track the attackers.Mr Robin said the Marseille violence “was in large part provoked by particularly violent Russian supporters who wanted to show their supremacy over the English supporters.”French riot police fired tear gas and baton charged beer-fuelled England fans in Lille on Wednesday night when they crossed with Russian, Wales and Slovak fans in the city. Thirty-six arrests were made and 16 people were injured.But England’s 2-1 victory over Wales in the nearby city of Lens passed without serious incident.Lens closed its schools and most shops followed in a near lockdown. The drink still flowed freely for the match however.