Irish rugby team settle in Cape Town

first_imgAhead of their opening Test against the Springboks on Saturday, Joe Schmidt will name his starting team after the work-out.Former Ireland captain Keith Wood believes that South Africa are vulnerable this weekend…Wales have made five changes for Saturday’s opening rugby Test against New Zealand.  Sam Warburton has recovered from injury to captain the side in Auckland. Prop Gethin Jenkins, hooker Ken Owens and lock Bradley Davies also return, as well as centre Jonathan Davies. Uncapped flanker Ellis Jenkins is among the replacements.last_img read more

Colin Kaepernick to Browns? Hue Jackson claims he wanted it to happen in 2017

first_imgSince becoming a free agent in 2017, Kaepernick has not received a workout from any NFL team. But if Jackson had it his way, he would have brought the QB in that year.”I wanted him,” Jackson said, via the News-Herald. “It just didn’t work out. Obviously, those things do have to work from a finance, draft, whatever all that is. And that wasn’t my decision.”MORE: Team considering Kap projected to lose ‘20% of season ticket holders’ (Getty Images) Former Browns coach Hue Jackson claims he wanted to sign Colin Kaepernick when the quarterback became a free agent in 2017.Speaking with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer on “The Really Big Show” last week, Jackson said he wanted the Browns to sign Kaepernick, but claims the final decision was out of his hands. Kaepernick started his protest in 2016 and opted out of his contract ahead of the 2017 season after the 49ers informed him they planned to cut him. Hue Jackson https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d3/c3/hue-jackson-123117-getty-ftrjpg_19s0k0vl7bxo613cf6357x7u4r.jpg?t=-1369031264&w=500&quality=80Jackson went on to say he also wanted Kaepernick back when he was a rookie, and the coach was on the Raiders.”I’ve known Colin. When I was with the Raiders, we were going to draft him when I was there,” Jackson said. “So, obviously he’d been a really good player in the league. He had tremendous success. He is a guy who has stood for something. I think everybody is seeing exactly where he was coming from. I always thought Colin deserved an opportunity in this league, but he has to want to play. If he really wanted to play, I think he would have a chance again.”Jackson’s comments are interesting when you consider what he said at the time. When asked about Kaepernick in March of 2017, Jackson said the Browns hadn’t discussed the quarterback despite his own recent claims that he wanted to sign him. “We haven’t really discussed Colin,” Jackson said in 2017. “There’s other players at this point that we’ve had a lot of conversations about to see if we can put them on our team. Not saying it won’t come up later on. You have to exhaust everything. But at this point he hasn’t come up.”He also said in August of 2017 he didn’t want to see any players on his team join the protests during the national anthem saying, “I would hope that we don’t have those issues.”As for the Browns, they obviously did not sign Kaepernick ahead of the 2017 season and famously went 0-16 that year. Cleveland played DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler in games throughout the season at quarterback instead.last_img read more

Bigham grafting to be Jack of all trades

first_img Tags: England Boys’ Squad, Hertfordshire, Jack Bigham 2 Mar 2020 Bigham grafting to be Jack of all trades Jack Bigham is looking to kick on from a season where he threatened leaderboards, made every cut and earned his place in the England set-up.The Hertfordshire teenager is a key member of the boys’ squad for 2020 after showing fine form at under 16 level.Bigham has always been a naturally powerful hitter and it’s amazing to watch him smash drives 290 yards down the range.This winter the 16-year-old has spent time working on his wedge play with England coach Rob Watts and leaning on putting expert Mike Kanski for tips with the flatstick.Stints at the National Golf centre at Woodhall Spa have helped him focus on what he must improve for the year ahead.Now a great week of work in the sunshine at Quinta Do Lago with the boys’ squad two weeks ago (see picture below) has him energised for the opportunities that lie in store.Bigham said: “Last year I started the season strongly at the McEvoy and Fairhaven and I got picked for the under 16s v Spain.“I was undefeated and the highest points scorer in that one.“I carried on and had more top tens and made every cut and was selected again.“My game has become technically better and throughout 2019 I was consistent.“But I’m always looking to get better and I’ve been working with Rob on wedge play and Mike on putting. I’ve seen improvements already.”Bigham will combine his golf this spring with preparing for GCSEs in Business Studies, History and PE.But once the books are packed away he has his eyes on some prizes with England.“I want to play in the Home Internationals and European Boys – they are great experiences,” added Bigham who plays out of Harpenden Golf Club.“You get more of a buzz playing for your country and it’s great to win.“I used to play a bit of football, but stopped that to carry on with golf.“My dad started me off. My brother plays as well and, because he was older, I followed them up the range and I loved it from the start.“I was naturally good from the start – I could hit it straight away.“Now I do hit it far for my age. The stats show that my long game is good.”Bigham admits he loves to study Tiger Woods’ game as much for his attitude as his skills on the course.“Tiger is unreal,” said Bigham with a smile.“I’ve watched all the videos of him and he’s just different. He always wanted to win. Even when he was behind you knew he would come back and never give up.“I like watching Justin Rose and the younger ones such as Matt Wallace. He’s from Hertfordshire too and that’s good for me.“I just want to be like them. I want to be a professional.“That’s been the case for a few years.“It’s hard work – especially when you have school as well. But you have to put in the work to achieve.”There’s an obvious camaraderie within the boys’ squad this season and that was shown at the last gathering at Woodhall Spa.The fun forfeits for losing out in tasks are now part of the weekend – and Bigham and team-mate Max Hopkins earned some strange glances when they headed for dinner after one of the challenges.“Me and Max had to carry weights from the gym into the restaurant and back to the hotel!” said Bigham with a wry smile.“I only lost out by a shot. We got some funny looks!“The get-togethers are intense and that’s good. You’re always learning either with work in the gym or on the range.“I enjoy the gym work. I do that with Hertfordshire every week and it’s about finding a way to fit in a couple of more days a week to boost my power and distance.”Main photograph credit: Leaderboardlast_img read more

Power play

first_imgThe official attendance for Saturday’s game was 9,190 and it is my opinion that the fans satisfied their football addiction and got their money’s worth. The atmosphere was pro family and definitely pro Pittsburgh. Ticket prices are buyer friendly and I suggest that if you want to get that football “monkey” off your back, then take your family, friends and neighbors and mosey on down and check out a Power game. If you like offense; you will love the style of play of the Power. They took care of business beating the Iowa Barnstormers, 58-28 for their initial AFL win (they lost their home and season opener 58-52 in overtime to the Philadelphia Soul). I was impressed by two local college players who made the team, fullback Joshua Rue from Duquesne University and former Pitt Panthers defensive back Josh Lay. Both players had above average performances and if they remain healthy have a chance to have solid AFL and possibly NFL careers.Elizabeth I think I lost the “Big One” again.The look on the face of Pitt coach Jamie Dixon as he and his team were about to go down to Butler University 71-70, reminded me of the late Redd Foxx when he portrayed the character Fred Sanford on the TV series ‘Sanford and Son’. Every time Fred was faced with adversity he would call up to his late wife and say, “Elizabeth I’m coming up to join you.” Redd would then clutch is chest as if his heart could only pump one or two more beats before his introduction to Jesus was about to commence.Before the game, Dixon appeared as if he was too busy picking out the right suit, spending far too much time observing himself in the mirror, making sure that every single hair was in place. His “mirror” time might have caused him to miss the introduction of a lifetime to a higher power which was crucial because in the end Dixon needed all of the help he could muster up. The University of Pittsburgh has a serious character flaw when it comes to recruiting and utilizing athletes that perform on their men’s basketball or football squads. They want publicity for their program and coaches but they sort of covertly shun pushing personal accolades because what do you know, an athlete might want to declare for the NBA or the NFL before their four years of college “eligibility” is exhausted.As I was exiting the Power game, one of “Pittsburgh’s Finest” was manning a traffic light at the corner of Washington & Centre Ave a few feet south of the Consol Energy Center. I made a sarcastic remark and criticism about Jamie Dixon’s strategies almost always failing in the big games. He said to me as serious as one of Fred Sanford’s imagined heart attacks; “you can only coach them; you can’t play the game for them too.”I instantly flashed back to the recent Big East tournament loss to UConn and the 2009 NCAA tournament loss to Villanova. During the final seconds, Dixon decided to call a half court press when the Wildcats were about to inbound the ball with almost no time left. “Nova” read it like a bad romance novel, inbounded the ball almost three quarter lengths of the court to one of their best shooters and bingo, there goes the ballgame. Was that flawed strategy the players fault? In fact Pitt had just called a timeout to draw up a defense for the play, what a waste!Pitt took the same path with Dixon as they did with former football coach Dave Wannstedt. They gave them perverted money because it was possible they could have been “lured” away. Wannesdt ended up getting canned anyway. He, like Dixon, was a great recruiter but along with their coaching strategies, they both seem to melt under the lights of primetime. When the going gets tough, their coaching mechanisms get ghost. Let’s hope Jamie Dixon will never have the “big one” because, hey it is only basketball, but will any of his squads ever “win” the “big one?”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com.) With the NFL collective bargaining agreement on hold, Pittsburghers have to get their football from somewhere and it seems that the Pittsburgh Power might satisfy the football “jones” of most of “dem dere Stillers” fans, well at least for the time being. However, if this NFL “work stoppage continues beyond mini-camp you just might be hearing some “here we go Power” chants “dawntawn.” The Power seems to have a pretty good product to please their fan base. The ownership group is led by the former Steelers Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann. The team appears to have an excellent marketing strategy but there appears to be one glaring flaw. I suggest the team concentrate most of their ticket sales in the lower bowl of the Consol Energy Center so that it will appear as if there are more fans for the television cameras.last_img read more