(REUTERS) – Cillian Willis has become the first professional rugby player to sue an English club for clinical negligence over concussion in a landmark case for the sport, his solicitor said yesterday.The former scrumhalf is taking the action against Sale Sharks over two head injuries he suffered in a game against Swansea in the LV Cup in March, 2015.The Irishman, a cousin of former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, received treatment in the first half for a head injury before receiving a second head blow.Willis was replaced in the game and never played professionally again. He had suffered previous concussions and was forced to retire aged 28.Willis’s solicitors McHale and Co told Reuters that the case is going to court but did not make any further comment.The Rugby Players’ Association said it did not know of any other cases of players taking similar legal action.Sale said they would not comment on the case which is not likely to be heard for at least 18 months.Concussion is rugby union’s most common injury. A study published by Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association said the number of such injuries suffered by professional players in England rose by 59 per cent in the 2013-14 season, the last where figures are available. On average there were 10.5 concussions per 1 000 playing hours.Concussion has also been identified as a serious problem in other sports and in the United States has been the subject of legal action by thousands of former American Footballers against the NFL.
…Shai Hope hit 101 from 120 balls(REUTERS)- Zimbabwe seamer Donald Tiripano bowled a superb final over to help his side earn a dramatic tie in their Tri-Series one-day international against West Indies in Bulawayo yesterday.The visitors lost three wickets, including two run outs, in a desperate last five balls as Tiripano gave them nothing to hit with a succession of full deliveries that restricted the West Indies to 257 for eight.Captain Jason Holder had the chance to win the game off the final ball but could not make contact and wicketkeeper Peter Moor ran out a charging non-striker Jonathan Carter.Zimbabwe celebrated as if they had won the game and well they might after the visitors had seemed sure of victory.West Indies batsman Shai Hope hit 101 from 120 balls, his maiden ODI ton in his second match, and added 162 for the third wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite (78).When he was dismissed West Indies needed 38 runs from 32 balls with seven wickets remaining, but they could not get over the line due to tight bowling and poor shot selection.Zimbabwe won the toss and made 257 all out in exactly 50 overs.Their innings was built around the third-wicket stand of 144 between Craig Ervine (92) and Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza (77), but petered out as they managed only 67 runs from their final seven wickets in 11.2 overs.With all three sides having played two matches, West Indies head the Tri-Series table with seven points from Sri Lanka (five) and Zimbabwe (two).West Indies take on Sri Lanka in their game next Wednesday at the same venue.B Chari c Holder b C Brathwaite 15C Chibhabha run out 25C Ervine c Powell b Gabriel 92Sikandar Raza c K Brathwaite b C Brathwaite 77S Williams lbw b Nurse 2E Chigumbura c wkp Hope b Holder 8+P Moor c Powell b Holder 6*A Cremer c Gabriel b C Brathwaite 8D Tiripano b Gabriel 14T Chisoro not out 0C Mpofu b C Brathwaite 2Extras (w8) 8TOTAL (all out, 50 overs) 257Fall of wickets: 1-38 (Chibhabha, 11.1 overs), 2-46 (Chari, 13.1), 3-190 (Sikandar Raza, 38.4), 4-197 (Williams, 39.5), 5-218 (Chigumbura, 43.4), 6-228 (Moor, 45.5), 7-233 (Ervine, 46.2), 8-255 (Tiripano, 49), 9-255 (Cremer, 49.3), 10-257 (Mpofu, 50)Bowling: Gabriel 10-0-45-2 (w4), Holder 10-0-47-2 (w1), Benn 8-0-45-0 (w1), C Brathwaite 10-0-48-4, Nurse 10-0-55-1, Carter 2-0-17-0.WEST INDIESJ Charles lbw b Tiripano 19K Brathwaite c Ervine b Williams 78E Lewis c Chibhabha b Cremer 18+S Hope c wkp Moor b Mpofu 101R Powell b Williams 17C Brathwaite c Williams b Tiripano 9*J Holder not out 4A Nurse run out 0J Carter run out 1Extras (b1, lb3, w5, nb1) 10TOTAL (8 wkts, 50 overs) 257Did not bat: S Benn, S GabrielFall of wickets: 1-33 (Charles, 7.3 overs), 2-58 (Lewis, 11.1), 3-220 (Hope, 44.4), 4-234 (K Brathwaite, 47.1), 5-242 (Powell, 47.4), 6-255 (C Brathwaite, 49.2), 7-255 (Nurse, 49.3), 8-257 (Carter, 50)Bowling: Mpofu 10-0-64-1 (w2), Tiripano 6-0-26-2 (w1), Chisoro 10-1-42-0, Cremer 10-0-44-1, Williams 10-0-52-2 (nb1), Sikandar Raza 4-0-25-0.Points: Zimbabwe 2, West Indies 2.Man-of-the-Match: Shai Hope.
Conference teams Dover, Wrexham and Gateshead drew Crystal Palace, Stoke and West Brom respectively.The lowest ranked team – seventh tier Blyth Spartans – will host Birmingham of the Championship. FA Cup holders Arsenal will start their defence of the trophy against the team they beat in May’s final.They’ve drawn Hull in the third round.Re-formed League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon get to host Liverpool – in a match which will evoke memories of the 1988 final, won by the original Wimbledon.
SAN ANTONIO >> Doc Rivers didn’t even want to be here on Saturday.When the team got a look at the first draft of the NBA schedule and saw they’d be playing Saturday, Nov. 4 in San Antonio, Rivers and his staff had a single thought.Nope.His team was already scheduled to play four times earlier in the week, and the Clippers would have to face the Spurs on the road on the second half of a back-to-back? Nope. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “This is one of the games we actually tried to get changed,” he said prior to the game.Well, maybe he owes the NBA an apology.The Clippers turned in their best offensive performance of the season by a long shot, dominating the San Antonio Spurs 116-92.It’s the most lopsided win for the Clippers this season.Blake Griffin scored 26 of his 28 points in the first half, helping L.A. blow the Spurs out early with both teams playing on the second night of back-to-backs. The Clippers quickly fell behind 8-0 in the game’s first few minutes, but that stretch was merely a wake-up call.“We played great after the first eight points,” Doc Rivers said.Griffin and the starters put together a devastating 28-4 run to blow the game open, and the Spurs never really challenged after that. And, it started with defensive energy.“We got stops … I think eight in a row and came down and scored. Then, it’s 16-8. For us, it starts on defense. We always say that, but it really does,” Griffin said. “We got out in transition, got some easy buckets, and once those easy ones go in, then it feels like you can’t miss.”The Clippers scored 73 first-half points, which according to ESPN Stats and Info, was the most scored by a visiting team during the Gregg Popovich era in San Antonio.“Blake was great, but their whole team beat us soundly, embarrassingly,” Popovich said. “They were terrific … They beat us very, very, very well.”While signs of fatigue briefly materialized in the second half for the Clippers, San Antonio’s star, Kawhi Leonard, couldn’t get anything going against Luc Mbah a Moute. Leonard finished with 14 points, while Mbah a Moute gave the Clippers 13 points to go along with his consistent defensive effort.“He did a great job,” DeAndre Jordan said. “Luc is one of our amazing perimeter defenders, our best perimeter defender. He does a lot of great things for us.”Most of the greatness Saturday came early, before San Antonio’s trip from Utah and the Clippers’ trip from Memphis started to show.The two teams combined to score 33 points in the third quarter, a stretch where Rivers said the fatigue clearly had set in.“It was just survival for us,” Rivers saidBut thanks to the improved Clippers bench, which got 31 combined points from Jamal Crawford and Marreese Speights, there wasn’t any fourth-quarter slippage. The Clippers’ starters sat the entire fourth quarter, with no one playing more than 30 minutes Saturday.“Listen, it was great to win. It’s always great to win here,” Rivers said. “But these games shouldn’t happen. You can literally see it with both teams … A national TV game with two elite teams should be with a day off, and (then) they play the game.“That’s the way you want it; that’s how we all want it.”
SAN DIEGO >> On the same day they acquired veteran leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins, the Dodgers dealt their leadoff hitter in 2014, Dee Gordon, to the Miami Marlins.According to multiple reports Wednesday, Gordon and pitcher Dan Haren were going from the Dodgers to the Miami Marlins for four players: left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, utility player Austin Barnes, right-handed pitcher Chris Hatcher and utility player Enrique Hernandez.The trade, like the Rollins trade, has not been formally announced by either team. There is good reason to believe that a third or fourth team could become involved in one or both trades, which general manager Farhan Zaidi hinted in his media briefing Tuesday.Zaidi also said Tuesday that Gordon “is our second baseman” and the Dodgers were not offering him in trades. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error That must have changed at some point overnight. Heaney was reportedly coveted by multiple teams. The 23-year-old was the ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft. He pitched in Double-A, Triple-A and eventually reached the majors this past season, throwing 29 1/3 innings and allowing 19 runs for the Marlins.Hatcher, 29, made 52 appearances out of the Miami bullpen and posted a 3.38 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 56 innings.Hernandez, 22, played six positions in his rookie year, and was part of a five-player trade between the Astros and Marlins in July. He posted a combined .248/.321/.421 slash line.Barnes, 24, is a native of Riverside who has played four minor-league seasons in the Marlins’ organization. Last year at Double-A he slashed .296/.406/.507.All four players are under team control for 2014, an attractive option for a Dodgers club looking to create a more flexible roster. Since the Dodgers’ 40-man roster was full when the day began, they would certainly not be able to take on five players while trading only two. At least one further move is necessary to complete the picture. What will the roster look like once it’s complete?“I don’t think any of us know what it’s going to look like,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “I think there’s a lot going on right now.”Dodgers executives cancelled their daily media briefing Wednesday evening as details of the trades leaked.If true, the trade with the Marlins leaves the Dodgers’ roster without a clear-cut second baseman and only three pitchers who started more than two games for them last season.Gordon, 26, led the National League in stolen bases with 64. He was eligible for arbitration and was tendered a contract by the Dodgers for 2015 but had not signed.Gordon made his first All-Star team in July with a strong first half, but a second-half slump left him with a .326 on-base percentage for the season, well below the norm for an All-Star caliber leadoff hitter.“Part of his struggles is just part of being a young player,” Mattingly said. “They’re going to grow and go through stretches where they get tired. It’s cat and mouse, back and forth. You have success, (opposing pitchers) start chasing him in a different way. … He has to make the adjustments back. That’s what was part of his second half last year.”Coincidentally, Gordon made two community appearances in a Dodgers uniform on Wednesday in Los Angeles.Haren, 34, rejoined the Dodgers by exercising a $10 million player option in his contract for 2015. He went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 2014.“I thought he saved us the way he pitched early,” Mattingly said of Haren. “He had a bunch of wins early in the season. I think he hit an extended four or five-game stretch that he struggled, got off track a bit mechaniccaly. But you still were comfortable with Danny because you know he’s not going to panic, not going to worry. I loved what he brought to this club, his makeup. I thought he had a tremendous year last year.”The two trades would allow the Dodgers to save more than $12 million in salary according to some reports, but those do not take into account which players the Dodgers would send to Philadelphia to complete the Rollins trade.McCarthy close to signingThe Dodgers and free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, according to multiple reports Wednesday.The 31-year-old is 52-65 in nine major-league seasons with the White Sox, Rangers, A’s, Diamondbacks, and Yankees.
Sale’s 2,000th strikeout came on his 6,527th batter faced. That is the fastest to reach the number breaking Pedro Martinez’s record of 6,834, according to Ryan M. Spaeder.Batters faced to 2,000 career strikeouts:Chris Sale – 6,527*Pedro Martinez – 6,834Clayton Kershaw – 7,224Max Scherzer – 7,277Randy Johnson – 7,284Nolan Ryan – 7,915Roger Clemens – 8,796Steve Carlton – 10,721*fewest batters faced to 2,000 strikeouts in baseball history— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) August 14, 2019Almost more impressively, he accomplished the feat in nearly 150 innings less than Martinez (1,626 to 1,771 1/3) which was also an MLB record. Red Sox’s Chris Sale (3-8) sounds off on ‘absolutely embarrassing’ first half Chris Sale not optimistic umpire will be held accountable for missed calls: There’s nothing MLB is going to do Chris Sale threw a very special pitch Tuesday.On a 1-2 count to Oscar Mercado in Boston’s matchup with the Indians, Sale was able to get a swinging strike on an 81-mph slider to the rookie center fielder. That pitch marked the 2,000th strikeout of Sale’s career.That in and of itself isn’t all that special. Eighty-three pitchers have now eclipsed the number, but it was the speed in which Sale did it that was remarkable. Related News Chris Sale is the fastest pitcher (1,626 IP) to record 2,000 career strikeouts, breaking @45PedroMartinez’s record of 1,771.1 IP. pic.twitter.com/CkumzdJvqg— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 14, 2019The strikeout was Sale’s 211th of the season.This is the seventh straight season in which he has struck out at least 200 batters. And at his current K rate this season, he has a chance to once again break 300 strikeouts which would be his second time to accomplish that feat in the last three years.
Sammy Watkins proved a crucial asset for the Chiefs en route to a Super Bowl win this past season, making 14 catches for 288 yards and a touchdown in three games.The wide receiver’s playoff success came amid a tumultuous career in which he’s been traded twice and injured almost every season. According to a worthwhile feature story read about him by Bleacher Report , his first few seasons in the NFL were more difficult than many realized. Watkins said he drank every night over his first two years with the Bills, his addiction and spiraling depression contributing to his health problems.”I would go out and get wasted,” Watkins told Bleacher Report. ” Wasted wasted.”MORE: Vegas has high expectations for Dak Prescott Bleacher Report details how Watkins found a sense of purpose and spiritual rebirth following his unhappy start in the league. Many of the views he shares in the story about the universe are unconventional, but they’ve seemingly helped him settle into adulthood.Watkins has been a reliable big-play threat for the Chiefs when healthy over the past two seasons, and he’s still just 26 (soon to be 27), so he figures to continue in his role as an explosive outside option for a while.His darkest times behind him, he can now focus more on his dual passions: Shredding cornerbacks in football and sharing theories on human existence with anyone who will listen.
Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, will remain in control of the club for the “long term.”The Glazers completed their controversial takeover at Old Trafford in 2005, with their ownership the subject of intense focus ever since.Fans have planned a protest against the Glazers ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting against Liverpool with United languishing down in 12th in the table.Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been linked with making a takeover bid for the club. However, Woodward rebuffed talk of a takeover bid.“Based on what I see, they’re in it for the long term,” Woodward told the United We Stand fanzine of the Glazers.“With regards to offers or asking prices, my understanding is that there have been no discussions for a price for the club or anything like that.“Every conversation we have is based on the long-term.”Woodward also defended the Glazers record of leveraging huge debts upon the club. “The debt is a long-term, structured and similar to some other football clubs. It’s a fixed amount for a fixed period of time which results in it being fairly cheap to service,” he added.“It’s just under two per cent our annual revenue each year, so it doesn’t really have any impact on us.”Woodward has also been the subject of fierce criticism for his recruitment of players and managers in the six years since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.United have not won a league title since Ferguson left and finished outside the top four in four of those six seasons.“I understand the scrutiny; it’s part of the job,” said Woodward.“We have to do everything that we possibly can to get back to winning the Premier League.“We are not successful until we do. Second is not success, we have to win the Premier League.”Share on: WhatsApp
TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer describes her golfing adventure and urges more women and girls to follow her and Get into GolfWhy did you want get into golf?It baffles me as to why women in general aren’t playing as much golf – they’ll go and join a gym, they’ll go to a spin class but they wouldn’t think ‘I want to go and play golf in my free time’.So my aim is to show that we should be going to play golf, it is possible and it is something that is just as enjoyable as all the other activities women do in their spare time. Golf can appear to be one of the least-accessible activities at the moment and it does seem to be such a male-dominated sport so let’s change that!I’ve always wanted to play golf, and I decided that 2018 was the year I was going to learn. I’ve never played before so I wanted to know if it’s possible and if I can do it. Luckily I’ve recruited some friends to help me try and achieve it, and the PGAs of Europe added the extra challenge of giving me just a few months to go from a complete novice to competitor in front of spectators at the European Tour’s GolfSixes!In at the deep end then! How did you prepare?The PGAs of Europe and love.golf got me started. love.golf is a programme designed specifically to focus on coaching women. I am also a regular at a driving range near to where I live and did a lot of extra practice there particularly as I was learning over the months when we had snow, rain, hail and general freezing weather conditions….sometimes I just needed to be under cover!How had you progressed by GolfSixes?By the time of the Golf Sixes, I had definitely improved – getting more confident with my driver and a lot more consistent with my irons. My putting was also much better….it was nerve-racking to play with so many pros on the day but I loved every minute and despite first tee nerves under the eye of a fairly large crowd, I soon relaxed. There was a great mix of people playing in the pro-am alongside me – admittedly they were much better and far more experienced than I was – and they were really encouraging and supportive of the fact that I was new to the game. I would love to play in the tournament again next year – this time just be a lot better! Haha!How were your first tee nerves?The first tee nerves really do get to you…at that stage I was nervous teeing off in front of anyone let alone a large crowd cheering you on whilst you did it. Not surprisingly I messed it up and it rolled off the tee….oh dear!What’s happened since then with your golf?Since then, I have played more, practiced more and worked on various disciplines from my swing, grip and stance to really learning how to relax whilst hitting the ball. I have played a lot on golf courses with a few friends too and that has been a huge contributing factor to my improvement. Watching and learning from others – making mistakes with others and laughing about them so as not to take it too seriously and also witnessing friends also make errors only boosts your confidence that it happens at times to everyone.I have also played in a couple more tournaments – the big one was the Celebrity Cup weekend at Celtic Manor. That was without doubt the best golfing experience I have had so far in terms of the incredible course on which we were playing, dealing with the pressure of the competition, huge crowds on every hole, great camaraderie between players and for me playing so intensively helped me improve even more.What do you enjoy about golf?I love the time out, away from emails, phones, general stresses – this is like a period of calm where your focus is entirely on the game. I guess for that reason it’s a form of meditation, where you can switch off and train your mind to think only about your swing, and then once that’s out the way – you start thinking about your next shot. It’s also a lot of fun, whilst challenging, the latter being an element I really embrace as I am constantly striving to improve.What are your golfing goals?I suppose one of my golfing goals is to encourage more girls to take up the sport – it is such a shame that it is seen as a game played predominantly by middle aged men, but things are moving forward – there is much being done to try and change the perception and find ways to make it more accessible to women, in particular those who haven’t played before. If you are keen to learn, there should be an easy route to go down into order to give it a go.On a personal level, my main goal is to improve – I have been working hard and playing as often as I can. I am now a member of a couple of clubs and so want to build up the confidence to play with other members and by doing so hopefully I can work on bringing down my 36 handicap. I truly love this sport and can’t believe it has taken me so long to give it a shot. 2019 is going to be a rather big year with the Solheim Cup being at Gleneagles and as a Scottish girl who now truly loves golf, I am hugely excited about what might be ahead.How are you sharing your golfing adventure?Throughout my initial learning period, I was sharing my golf experiences on social media and the PGAs of Europe were also documenting it as we went on using #FalconerForeGolf. You can follow on my instagram account @jennifalconer.What would you say to any woman or girl considering playing golf?You need to just give it a go – see what you’re missing out on, I am certain that you will love it! It’s an amazing opportunity to have ‘me time’ whilst learning a new skill, you really have to focus and in doing so you push all stresses about life to the side for that time you are on a golf course. What’s more, you have a great laugh with friends, you meet new people, you are outside in the fresh air and it’s a great way to keep fit….make sure you wear a fitness tracker – you’ll be in awe at yoursteps!!• Inspired by Jenni to Get into Golf? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find free and low cost beginner activities across the country.Caption: Tips from the top: Jenni Falconer (centre) with Georgia Hall and Charley Hull (image courtesy PGAs of Europe). 1 Aug 2018 Women and Girls’ Golf Week: TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer on her golfing adventure Tags: Get into golf, Jenni Falconer