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SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Racing have a galaxy of stars but hungry Exeter are favourites… just 

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sir clive woodward racing have a galaxy of stars but hungry exeter are favourites just

This could be the best Champions Cup final for years and deserves to be watched by a capacity crowd at one of our great stadiums. 

It hurts us all that this won’t be the case, but I can only doff my cap to players all over Britain and Europe who have been playing with intensity, focus and excitement in recent months. Watching at home, with the luxury of ambient noise, I have almost forgotten the surreal circumstances. That’s a huge credit to all concerned. 

There is so much to enjoy about this match-up, but let me focus first on the Scottish contingent at Exeter, who have played such an important part in their success. This final will be viewed with as much interest north of the border as down in England. 

Stuart Hogg has been hugely impressive for Exeter and could help decide Saturday's final

Stuart Hogg has been hugely impressive for Exeter and could help decide Saturday's final

Stuart Hogg has been hugely impressive for Exeter and could help decide Saturday’s final

Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray have been star performers throughout, while Sam Skinner and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne have been going very well off the bench. 

I was Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, I’d be sending a gift-wrapped bottle of finest single malt to Rob Baxter and his staff because the Scottish connection at Exeter is big for Scotland rugby.  

It also tells us much about the mentality of the club. It was a significant moment when Hogg announced he would be leaving Glasgow for Exeter last year. Hogg is a proud Scot and was the linchpin at the Warriors but he’s a world-class player and wanted to win big championships. I love that ambition. It was a huge move for him and his family but he was very clear in his mind. 

Jonny Gray could also have a major part to play for Exeter in the Champions Cup final

Jonny Gray could also have a major part to play for Exeter in the Champions Cup final

Jonny Gray could also have a major part to play for Exeter in the Champions Cup final

Looking back, even Jonny Wilkinson only became the complete package when he joined Toulon and enjoyed the best seasons of his remarkable career right at the end. 

I will never understand why unions impose artificial restraints on their best players. It is such blinkered thinking. 

Next on Baxter’s shopping list came Gray. After seasons of nurturing local or underestimated talent, he picked off a couple of top-quality players to complete his squad. 

Baxter is hungrier than ever and wants players with that same mindset. Hidalgo-Clyne has been a really good talent for a few years but was unsettled and moved around a bit. Now he can see the way forward, while Skinner is developing quickly as a powerhouse tight forward. 

Finn Russell has developed quickly in France and will return a better player for Scotland

Finn Russell has developed quickly in France and will return a better player for Scotland

Finn Russell has developed quickly in France and will return a better player for Scotland

All this will benefit Scotland in the long run. 

Finn Russell, pulling the strings for Racing on Saturday, has also developed quickly in France and although he had that falling-out with Gregor, he will return a better, more mature player capable of leading a strong challenge at the next World Cup. 

Hunger drives both teams. Some look on Racing as a super-rich, flash French club with an illustrious history who fell on tough times in the Noughties, struggling to get out of the French second tier. Since then Racing have always targeted Europe every bit as much as their domestic league, which demonstrates their ambition. 

They recruit and stay loyal to players who are perceived as being a bit different and awkward, unfulfilled and flawed as well as brilliant — Russell, Simon Zebo, Vilami Vakatawi, Teddy Thomas, Bernard Le Roux. 

Simon Zebo is another player who is capable of making a major impact for Racing in the final

Simon Zebo is another player who is capable of making a major impact for Racing in the final

Simon Zebo is another player who is capable of making a major impact for Racing in the final

I make Exeter slight favourites but Racing are capable of great, unpredictable things and both sides will be thinking that if they produce their best, they will win. 

So how do you ensure you play at your best? First, don’t change anything. Trust the gameplan and the qualities that have seen you reach the final. 

No side trains more assiduously and scientifically than Exeter to score tries when they get to within 5-10 yards of the line — and you absolutely can’t fault that approach. Converted tries are what win most games, so why wouldn’t you look to perfect the art of getting over from comparatively short range? 

Exeter can play the wide game - in Joe Simmonds they have the fastest emerging English No 10

Exeter can play the wide game - in Joe Simmonds they have the fastest emerging English No 10

Exeter can play the wide game – in Joe Simmonds they have the fastest emerging English No 10

It’s fundamental. You don’t leave it to chance, or individual brilliance. You examine what is required and drill it day after day until it becomes routine. That’s brilliant coaching for me. 

Exeter can play the wide game when the situation demands. In Joe Simmonds they have the fastest emerging English No 10, Henry Slade is now England’s leading centre, Hogg is world class and they have pace on the wings, plus Jack Nowell to throw into the mix. 

They have all those options but the most reliable way of scoring seven points is the short-range try after clinically battering the opposition into submission on their own line. 

In a coaching and technical sense, Baxter has revolutionised that aspect of the game. 

Exeter's Director of Rugby Rob Baxter insists on his side battering the opposition into submission on their own line

Exeter's Director of Rugby Rob Baxter insists on his side battering the opposition into submission on their own line

Exeter’s Director of Rugby Rob Baxter insists on his side battering the opposition into submission on their own line

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend should be hugely thankful for Exeter's Scottish connection

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend should be hugely thankful for Exeter's Scottish connection

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend should be hugely thankful for Exeter’s Scottish connection

I will be fascinated to see if Exeter tweak their policy of turning down very kickable pots at goal to go for the corner. The wise coach looks to make no changes for a final, but you need to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Will the Chiefs make that slight adaptation? There will be a temptation to go for goal but they must be clear in their minds before the game what the call will be. 

As for Racing, they will need to score 25 or 30 points to beat the Chiefs. I don’t see them dogging it out and scraping through. They must get on the front foot and go on the offensive. 

On their day, Racing can score three or four tries against any defence in Europe. And if they do that on Saturday, they will come very close. It’s an intriguing dynamic but I’m backing Exeter to do what they do best. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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LA Dodgers baseman Justin Turner pulled from field after testing positive for Covid DURING World Series-winning game

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la dodgers baseman justin turner pulled from field after testing positive for covid during world series winning game scaled

LA DODGERS’ third baseman Justin Turner dramatically tested positive for coronavirus during his side’s World Series-winning game on Tuesday.

Turner was suddenly removed from play in the 8th inning as his side wrapped up their 3-1 win in game six of the World Series to seal their championship victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Justin Turner, pictured during Tuesday night's game, was removed from the field in the 8th inning after testing positive for coronavirus, MLB said

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Justin Turner, pictured during Tuesday night’s game, was removed from the field in the 8th inning after testing positive for coronavirus, MLB saidCredit: Getty Images – Getty

But as celebrations at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, began, multiple reports emerged revealing Major League Baseball sources had confirmed Turner’s sudden removal from the game was due to him receiving a positive Covid-19 test.

The shocking revelation – in the final game of the already beleaguered 2020 season – raises questions about MLB’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and threatens the feasibility future sporting events as the disease continues to spread.

Turner – a talisman in the Dodgers squad – was grouped with fellow players in the dugout and on the field throughout the game, which was played in an empty stadium.

The win for the Dodgers is their first World Series victory since 1988 and comes after eight consecutive post-seasons.

More to follow…

For the latest news on this story keep checking back at Sun Online.

The Sun is your go to destination for the best celebrity news, football news, real-life stories, jaw-dropping pictures and must-see video.

Download our fantastic, new and improved free App for the best ever Sun Online experience. For iPhone click here, for Android click hereLike us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Ryan Garcia called out by pregnant girlfriend after allegedly kissing TikTok star Malu Trevejo

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ryan garcia called out by pregnant girlfriend after allegedly kissing tiktok star malu trevejo

RYAN GARCIA has been labelled a “piece of s***” by his pregnant girlfriend after he was caught kissing another woman.

The unbeaten lightweight boxer was seen kissing TikTok star Malu Trevejo outside of a restaurant in Los Angeles.

Ryan Garcia was seen kissing TikTok star Malu Trevejo

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Ryan Garcia was seen kissing TikTok star Malu Trevejo
Ryan Garcia allegedly told girlfriend Drea Celina that he was busy training for his next fight

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Ryan Garcia allegedly told girlfriend Drea Celina that he was busy training for his next fight

Garcia’s girlfriend Drea Celina is due to give birth to his second child in just seven weeks.

But Garcia, 22, was filmed with Malu during a night out with friends.

It is understood that the incident happened on October 24 outside of the trendy N10 Restaurant – owned by Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero.

The viral video shows boxing phenomenon Garcia leaving the building with the social media star, who turned 18 this month.

Garcia and Malu are seen kissing and hugging each other in front of onlookers.

After the shocking footage went viral, his girlfriend shared a statement to her social media page.

Drea, who has since made her Instagram account private, wrote: “Meanwhile, I go visit my family he tells me he’s training hard for this fight.

“But IG SHOWS ME THIS.

The pair enjoyed an intimate moment together outside of the restaurant

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The pair enjoyed an intimate moment together outside of the restaurant
Malu Trevejo has racked up 8.5million followers on her Instagram page

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Malu Trevejo has racked up 8.5million followers on her Instagram page
TikTok star Malu Trevejo turned 18 this month

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TikTok star Malu Trevejo turned 18 this month

“Seven weeks left until I give birth and this piece of s*** stay being disgusting.

“While he barely even sees Rylie his daughter with @catherinegamez…

“@kingryang is a HORRIBLE EVIL HUMAN.”

According to a report shared by HITC, Garcia responded with his own statement.

It read: “Just clearing some things I seen regarding Malu and Drea.

“Andrea and I aren’t engaged but we were still trying to fix our relationship.

“Malu and I went there as friends and we got caught up in the moment but there isn’t anything there, I didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

“This is my personal life and I’m not going to speak on this ever again.”

Ryan Garcia's girlfriend shared this statement to her Instagram story

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Ryan Garcia’s girlfriend shared this statement to her Instagram story
Ryan Garcia boasts a perfect boxing record of 20-0

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Ryan Garcia boasts a perfect boxing record of 20-0Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Garcia’s first child, with former flame Catherine Gamez, was born in March 2019.

Malu, who has 8.5million Instagram followers, has also given her side of the story.

She said: “I met up with him because he was a very nice guy, he was very sweet.

“Yeah he told he had a kid, but he never told me that he was engaged and he never told me that he had another baby coming.

“But he’s a really nice dude and I didn’t know that.

“Let’s just not get into that. I just woke up and I’m seeing all this s***.

“Did not know he was engaged and I texted him and ask him why he didn’t tell me and he said because they’re on and off.”

Garcia is preparing for his return to the ring on December 5 when he will face Luke Campbell for the WBC’s interim title.

The American has an incredible record of 20-0 including 17 knockouts so far.

JH BOXING TABLE v2
UFC legend Micael Bisping blasts ’embarrassing’ video of Ryan Garcia confronting YouTuber Jake Paul with fight contract

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Marcus Rashford reveals impressive muscles as he launches Nike underwear line

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marcus rashford reveals impressive muscles as he launches nike underwear line scaled

KIDS’ food champion Marcus Rashford shows he’s a bit of a beefcake himself as he launches Nike’s latest underwear line.

The Man United and England forward took a break from campaigning for free holiday meals for poorer schoolchildren to share this snap on Instagram.

Marcus Rashford revealed his impressive muscles in a pair of red Nike underwear

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Marcus Rashford revealed his impressive muscles in a pair of red Nike underwearCredit: S Goodwin 2019
The footballer showed off his enviable physique as he launched Nike’s latest underwear line

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The footballer showed off his enviable physique as he launched Nike’s latest underwear lineCredit: S Goodwin 2019

The busy 22-year-old has a lot on his plate.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the footballer is set to miss out on a BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination, despite his remarkable charity work.

Rashford is odds-on favourite with the bookies for the award after earning plaudits for his tireless campaigning for disadvantaged children to receive free meals during school holidays.

But the reports claim the star is likely to be overlooked as the Beeb’s guidelines state only ‘sporting achievements’ can be considered – despite the name of the award.

The kids’ food champion wowed in a pair of black boxers covered in the Nike logo

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The kids’ food champion wowed in a pair of black boxers covered in the Nike logoCredit: S Goodwin 2019

That would leave Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton a strong contender after the Mercedes ace beat Michael Schumacher’s long-standing wins record at the Portuguese GP.

Rashford forced the Government into a U-turn over the summer holidays after fighting for the free school meals programme to be extended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

And he took on ministers again as many vulnerable children head into the half-term without the safety net of food provided at school.

The Man United star forced the Government into a U-turn over the summer holidays after fighting for free school meals to be extended

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The Man United star forced the Government into a U-turn over the summer holidays after fighting for free school meals to be extendedCredit: PA:Press Association
Man Utd’s Marcus Rashford helps out at food charity after MPs reject bid to extend school meals

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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