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British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland holds talks with Stuart Lancaster over coaching role

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STUART LANCASTER is in line for a coaching job with the Lions after holding talks with Warren Gatland.

The ex-England boss hasn’t coached at Test level since the disastrous 2015 World Cup.

 Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster are old Six Nations rivals

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Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster are old Six Nations rivalsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

But Lancaster has turned his career around at Irish giants Leinster – and is one of the most sought-after brains in the game after helping them win the 2018 Champions Cup.

And Gatland, the 50-year-old’s arch enemy when at Wales, is now keen to get him to help out on next summer’s Lions tour of South Africa.

Gatland said: “I’ve spoken to Stuart and we’ve had a couple of conversations.

“I think you’ve got to take your hat off to Stuart. He finished with England, then he’s gone away and he’s done some professional development; gone around and looked at other sports, and then he’s taken up this role with Leinster.

“There’s definitely for him a lot of things that he would have learned from that experience.There’s no doubt what he’s done and the impact that he’s had since his time with Leinster.

“He’d say that he’s definitely improved as a coach and I have a huge amount of respect for him.

“We met before the last tour and he spoke to me about his opinions on the Leinster players and the Irish players and gave me an insight into them and I appreciated that.

“He’s definitely one person that I’ve spoken to and had a couple of conversations with him, but there’s a number of other people that I’ll be looking to talk to.

“The first step is to get clarity from unions and the bosses and then potentially club CEOs about who is available, who isn’t available.

“If you weren’t picking someone from an international setup and you were looking at someone from a club setup, then you’ve got to look at what’s their availability in terms of that timing of the year and they’ve got club games on and you’ve got selection meetings and all those sorts of things.

“So there’s a lot of things, a huge number of things to consider, and hopefully in the next couple of months we will be able to put all that together.”

Speaking on the Sky Sports rugby podcast Gatland also reassured Saracens stars like Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje that their places on the tour were safe – even though they will be playing in the Championship next season against students and part-timers.

Gatland added: “We understand that maybe playing in the Championship is not going to be quite the same level, but hopefully those players are going to get a significant amount of international rugby between now and the tour.

“And if you look at them, a lot of them are pretty experienced and pretty seasoned campaigners as well.

“Maybe the positive thing about the Saracens players is they’re going to play some Test matches, they’re going to be playing some Championship matches.

“But they’re going to come on tour really refreshed and really excited and probably maybe in better shape than a lot of other players because they haven’t had quite the same level of intensity.

“I’m just speculating about that at the moment. It’s just a matter of wait and see.

“It’s not as if those players aren’t experienced or haven’t achieved at the highest level, and a lot of them who have been involved with England or been on previous Lions tours have been very much at the top of the game.”

Warren Gatland talks about the return of full crowds to New Zealand Rugby after coronavirus lockdown

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Donny van de Beek celebrates Man Utd transfer by forking out on £150,000 luxury Range Rover SVAutobiography

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donny van de beek celebrates man utd transfer by forking out on 150000 luxury range rover svautobiography

DONNY VAN DE BEEK has splashed out £150,000 on a swanky new Range Rover.

Manchester United’s new star wasted no time in investing in the luxury set of wheels after his £39million transfer from Ajax went through earlier this month.

Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover

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Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover
The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels

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The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels
The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

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The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

Pictures from the Guy Salmon dealership in Knutsford, Cheshire show a black Range Rover SVAutobiography sitting on the forecourt with Van de Beek’s name on it.

A green “SOLD” sticker was attached to the windscreen with the Dutchman’s name spelled incorrectly.

It read: “MUFC – Van der Beek. Sales executive name: Chris Aven.”



The flash motors are available from £140k for the basic model up to an eye-watering £177k for personalised packages.

SunSport understands Van de Beek paid £150k for his.

United fans across the world are excited to see Van de Beek play for the first time against Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to start the 23-year-old alongside Bruno Fernandes for the Old Trafford clash.

Elsewhere, former United No1 and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar can see similarities between Van de Beek and Old Trafford legend Paul Scholes.

GL GRAPHIC man utd wages

Asked what United can expect from Van de Beek, the ex-keeper told MUTV Group Chat: “He can play in different positions in midfield.

“He can be a six or an eight or a ten, he has a great eye for goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box.

“I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30-40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals.

“Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole is creating for United.

“I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play].

“He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.”

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Ray Parlour says the Mason Greenwood mistake has been dealt with at Man Utd

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A Premier League stadium is safer than your living room right now so it’s hard to understand delay in allowing fans

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IT IS becoming increasingly difficult to see what the delay in bringing back spectators to football is all about — except optics.

At a time when the Government is promoting the “Rule of Six” and the country is subject to various local lockdowns, people will be scratching their heads, asking: “How can I not be allowed to meet with more than five other people I know but can go to a football match with thousands of people I don’t know?”

Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

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Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

I can see what a difficult and conflicting message that might send out, which the Government might like to avoid.

Except that a Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room.

Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Yes, of course there are sound reasons why numbers have to be phased in, like the access to public transport (despite the fact that millions of people are being urged to go back to work).

Then there is the congregation of supporters before and after the games.

But we are not talking about late-night ravers here, we are talking about sensible football supporters who can to go to an activity in a safe way.

My plea for the return of sizeable crowds is by no means all about the loss of revenue although the sums are eye-wateringly large.

Lost match revenue for the Premier League stands all in at about £80million a MONTH.

KH GRAPHIC STADIUMS FANS RESTRICTIONS

It also rests on the loss of watching the best of football from where millions of people derive the greatest pleasure — right there in the stadium.

Reacting to the good and even the not-so-good.

Your team belongs to you and you to the team. Is there anything more stirring?

The history of Covid-19 and spectator sport began in March when the number of cases arising from the last Cheltenham Festival was never published.

But crowds of 60,000 or so a day over five days must have accelerated the rate the disease spread.

That, the Twickenham rugby international the previous Saturday and a serious infection striking Prime Minister Boris Johnson are seen as key events in transmission that led to lockdown.

Once so permissive, it is hardly surprising the Government is now very cautious.

Fans watch a match while social distancing

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Fans watch a match while social distancing

Several times it has tentatively agreed to allow small attendances at snooker, rugby, cricket and football only for it to pull out the day before on several occasions.

This week it put its foot in the water again, giving permission to some English League clubs to open the gates to 1,000 fans each.

So, while it is possible that from October 3 small crowds are to be allowed at some or all matches — after all, it is working in Germany as their clubs’ stadiums can now operate at 20 per cent capacity — it seems unlikely.

Even with an agreed Premier League common standards approach to getting the supporters in, which includes those attending wearing face coverings, screening measures (health questionnaires and temperature checks), contactless tickets and payments, agreed transport strategies, test-and-trace arrangements and sanction regimes for individual fans and clubs who don’t follow the rules.

The bottom line is the clubs of the Premier League and EFL are run by responsible people.

We know how easily the virus can be passed from person to person and we are well aware of ways to prevent this happening.

A Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room. Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Karren Brady

The precautions taken against players catching it have been exhaustive and highly successful.

Staff have become expert testers and players, with very few exceptions, have not strayed.

The Government trusted us to restart last season and we should by now have earned its support in staging matches in front of crowds.

Frankly, 1,000 spectators in, say, West Ham’s London Stadium — which has 66,000 seats — is so wide of that objective it rivals me in high heels shooting for goal from 25 yards. It is both laughable and irrelevant.

We could raise that number by 20 times and deal with the problem of social distancing both inside and outside the stadium.

It could, of course, all happen a lot quicker if we had even a dependable testing system, never mind world-beating.

Over to you, Boris.

Marcelo Bielsa defends making Kiko Casilla captain after Leeds fans hit out at decision over racism shame

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Floyd Mayweather once KO’d heavyweight with brutal body shot during a sparring session as training secrets are revealed

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FLOYD MAYWEATHER once dropped a heavyweight in sparring after just 30 seconds with a body shot, it has been revealed.

The 43-year-old unbeaten ring legend was renowned for his intense training sessions that lasted hours and would even take place in the early hours of the morning.

 Floyd Mayweather is said to have once dropped a heavyweight in sparring

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Floyd Mayweather is said to have once dropped a heavyweight in sparring

Mayweather was a pioneer for HBO’s ’24/7′ and Showtime’s ‘All Access’ pre-fight shows that would follow fighters with unprecedented access to their preparation.

But the American would have one restriction – there could be no filming of his sparring sessions.

Former Mayweather training partner Dmitriy Salita, now a promoter, has lifted the lid on what went on during these secret spars, as he revealed the five-division champion once floored a cocksure heavyweight with ease.

Salita told EsNews: “We were at the gym just hanging out, it was after one of Floyd’s fights.

“This guy comes into the gym, a heavyweight and said, ‘I wanna get some boxing’ and he was just talking a lot of smack.

GL COMEBACK KING v6

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“There was no-one big enough to spar so Floyd was like, ‘Leonard [Ellerbe], get my stuff from the car’.

“Floyd got in the ring with him for 30 seconds and does his shoulder roll and block and just hits the guy with a body shot, and drops him, a heavyweight.”

Former sparring partner Salita revealed Mayweather would spar four-minute rounds, with just 15 SECONDS breaks in between.

Mayweather retired officially in 2017 after beating UFC star and ring debutant Conor McGregor, but did return for an exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tension Nasukawa a year later.

Despite leaving the sport on a perfect 50-0 record, the former pay-per-view king announced last November that he was “coming out of retirement in 2020” to work with UFC boss Dana White.

Mayweather said he would “absolutely” be interested in rematching McGregor or fighting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but insisted he would not face a recognised boxer.

Despite the comeback talks and clips of him returning to training, the 43-year-old was hit with double tragedy as his former partner and mother to three of his kids Josie Harris died a week before his uncle and ex-trainer Roger passed away.

Mayweather then announced online his attention had switched to becoming a trainer, having been inspired by Roger, as he took his son Kouran and nephew Chris on the pads.

Floyd Mayweather turns trainer after being inspired by uncle Roger following his death and takes nephew, 14, under wing

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