The five day training camp which concludes today in Fiji comprised 30 under 23-year-olds from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, who played in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge.The association’s Aayden Clark said the combine taught players how to deal with contracts, agents and life as an overseas based professional.He said the association is advising the players about the contracts on offer.”There’s some good ones too. Fantastic opportunities for the players. Thats the process that we are working through now as they show interest and also the next week or two will be critical for that,” said Aayden Clark.”It is not just a financial decision for the players. It is a whole raft of factors around whether its going to be the opportunity that they should take or not.”Mr Clark said young players from the Pacific often take overseas contracts without doing their due diligence.”At the moment we spend a lot of time and resource supporting players who have done that and found themselves in a bit of a sticky situation,” said Mr Clark.”There is a long list of things that can happen in an environment where a player feels a bit isolated, gets injured or is just lacking the usual support that they have from their family,” he said.”We have young players who leave overseas on a promise that they got on Facebook messenger with nothing really solid around what is going to be happening once they arrive in a differrent part of the world, so that is a big concern for us”.”This is the opportunity for us to try and prevent having to put in the intensive work later on down the track.”World Rugby in partnership with the Pacific Rugby Players Association are running the combine its general manager Peter Horn says the selected players have been identified by overseas rugby unions and clubs.”We are helping them connect with those clubs and World Rugby is providing a relocation package which supports the player to engage with the club and a relocation allowance to support them to have a soft landing,” Mr Horn said.”So one key thing that we are worried about is ensure that a player from a Pacific Island heritage integrates really well in the right club the right environment,” he said.”They can then actually develop as a rugby player, go on to higher honours in the future, potentially playing for the national program again and going to the world cup.”Peter Horn said the combine model has been borrowed from professional sporting codes in America.
With scores locked at 14-all and the Cowboys primed for a field goal, Lowe simply put his head down and ran hard at tiring defenders for the match-winning try as the home side scraped through a hotly-contested match.The win complemented the Cowboys’ World Club Challenge victory a fortnight ago and sets the 2015 champions up for their first road trip to Parramatta next weekend.With the expected heavy rain today not eventuating, the playing surface was in good condition despite steady showers over the preceding two days. As a result conditions were dry, if not humid, and any thought of a muddy slogfest was put to bed by kick-off.Running towards the northern grandstand end, the Sharks had the better field position in the opening exchanges, helped in no small part by the concession of three Cowboys penalties in the opening 10 minutes.Despite coughing up plenty of possession through ill-discipline, there was nothing shoddy about the Cowboys’ goal-line defence, the home side repelling wave after wave of Sharks attack, whose astute kicking game forced two dropouts in quick succession.But some poor Sharks’ ball control and a midfield penalty soon had North Queensland down the right end of the field, with hulking lock Jason Taumalolo crashing over in the 14th minute, but in the first use of the referral bunker, the ref’s on-field decision to award a try was overturned.The Cowboys persisted though and three minutes later, centre Justin O’Neill – fresh from scoring a double in the World Club Challenge – crossed for the club’s first four-pointer of the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership.It was a marvellous team effort, starting with Johnathan Thurston, who opted to run instead of kick on the last tackle.Thurston found halves partner Michael Morgan, who shifted the ball to Lowe to put in an enterprising grubber kick behind the Sharks defence, to which O’Neill won the race for his 48th career try and 14th in Cowboys colours.Thurston added the extras and it took just four more minutes for the Cowboys to double the Sharks’ pain as O’Neill’s centre partner Kane Linnett crossed out wide.Thurston nailed the conversion for a 12-0 lead but the home side, in front of 15,519 members and fans, continued to press and winger Kyle Feldt crossed out wide, only for the sideline official to rule the final pass from Morgan forward.Cronulla, though, would get on the scoreboard two minutes from half time as halfback Chad Townsend swooped on a Lachlan Coote mistake to slide over, with halves partner James Maloney piloting the kick over for a 12-6 scoreline at the break.An early penalty in the second half from the Sharks’ Michael Ennis resulted in Thurston taking a shot for goal, and extending the Cowboys’ lead to 8 in the 44th minute.The Sharks responded a few minutes later as Jack bird crashed over after running on to a sharp inside ball from Ben Barber, making the score 14-12 after the conversion attempt sailed through the uprights.With the Sharks starting to again win the battle for territory, forward leader Luke Lewis left the field with an injury, followed minutes later by Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein who copped a heavy head knock.With troops thinning, both sides slowed things down but discipline continued to cost the Cowboys, and a penalty with 20 minutes remaining had the scores level at 14-all.An exciting showdown loomed as the home side fought desperately to get their premiership defence off to a positive start.A missed Sharks drop-goal attempt 13 minutes from full time had the crowd breathe a sigh of relief as both sides were quickly running out of gas in the season-opener.But Lowe’s 74th-minute try proved the match-winner as the Cowboys stole a late march on the Sharks to triumph in Round 1.The Sharks had one last roll of the dice, but Lachlan Coote showed tremendous courage to effect a strong tackle on prop Andrew Fifita at the death with the big forward pressing hard. Fifita would then knock the ball on for the final play of the game.NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS 20 (Justin O’Neill, Kane Linnett, Ethan Lowe tries; Johnathan Thurston 3 goals, pen. goal) def CRONULLA SHARKS 14 (Chad Townsend, Jack Bird tries; James Maloney 2 goals, pen. goal) at 1300SMILES Stadium. Crowd: 15,519.
The Roosters captain was named starting hooker in Mal Meninga’s side for the February 10 showpiece event and is a strong candidate to lead the side onto the park with the ‘C’ next to his name. Fresh from the Four Nations tour that saw him make his Kangaroos debut, Friend said the All Stars captaincy wasn’t something he had considered, and was more focused on getting to play alongside some of the NRL’s most talented stars. “It’s a pretty awesome team and there are some big players in there,” Friend told media at the team announcement at Rugby League Central on Wednesday morning. “I’m really looking forward to gelling with some new guys and learning some things off some different players. I got to tour and you learn so much off tours like that so I’m sure this week will be no different.”Friend made his international debut off the bench in the Four Nations opener against Scotland which the Kangaroos won 54-12, and while he didn’t feature after that, the 26-year-old still cherished every moment of the tour. “It was the trip of a lifetime, and to get a debut is something I’ve been trying and striving for my whole career. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I was pretty proud to get a game over there. I’ve heard that blokes have been [on tour] and not played. I was lucky enough that Mal gave everyone a game. “It was an awesome experience – not just the game itself – but the whole tour. It was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun.”Fresh from his first year as stand-alone Roosters skipper, the 2016 Jack Gibson Medallist said the Four Nations tour not only helped him develop as a player, but he also had the opportunity to study how some of the game’s finest leaders operate.With the likes of Kangaroos, Maroons and Storm skipper Cameron Smith, as well as Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston rallying the troops in the UK, Friend said he picked up some valuable lessons from the best in the business. “You learn off blokes like ‘Smithy’ and ‘JT’ and Cooper Cronk and blokes that have been around for so long and are at the top of their games and have been for so long. It’s good to experience how they prepare and do their thing,” he said.”Just seeing how they interact or pump boys up for games and that sort of stuff – even just how they carry themselves – you can learn a lot from those tours, and I did. I’ll try to use some of the stuff that we did over there back at the Roosters. “I only played one game, but the boys that played did really well and I think that’s because of the culture that Mal created. “It’s something that we talk about a lot in footy and it’s something that we want to get right at the Roosters this year to get back to the top of the ladder.”It was a tough year and it didn’t go our way, but I think for us, we stuck together and we didn’t go and blame this bloke or that bloke. There was no blame game and we were all in it together. “It didn’t go how we wanted it to and it’s on us now to train hard in the pre-season and prove ourselves next year.”Friend admitted he wasn’t 100 per cent sure whether he would stay on as stand-alone skipper or if the Roosters would revert back to a co-captaincy model, but indicated he would prefer the first option. The nuggety No.9 said no matter what happened, he could rely on senior players like Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and others for advice. “I enjoyed the role on my own last year,” he replied when asked about the captaincy. “I’m not sure 100 per cent sure what we’re doing this year, but either way… there are blokes in our team who might not have the ‘C’ next to their names, but they’re leaders. “We’ve got a couple of boys who have been around for a few years now and most decisions and things that I’m thinking are bounced off them anyway.”It’s something that I hope to keep improving on and I’m looking to hopefully getting a few more wins next year.”
Jean-Clair Todibo could have a new destination in the coming days. According to Bild, the sports director of Schlake 04, Jochen Schneider, has abandoned the concentration of his team in Fuente Álamo (Murcia) to meet with representatives of Barcelona and discuss the signing of the French central.The German team is from day 2 in Spanish lands, where it will be until tomorrow, stay that the German team has taken advantage of to approach positions with Barcelona and take an interest in the situation of the player. According to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Italia, It will be transferred to Schalke 04 for the next six months.This means of the transalpine country ensures that Milan works to achieve a transfer that includes a purchase option but Todibo himself is not clear about the possibility of staying in the San Siro team if he wishes to do so and pays his transfer. Getting a plant remains one of the priorities of the Lombard group in this market and according to this means, if it is not Todibo, it will be another who arrives.The Schalke also needs a reinforcement for the center of the rear and it seems that the Frenchman sees the option of Germany with better eyes than the offer that Milan puts today on the table. Todibo would join Schalke for the remainder of the season in search of adding the minutes he cannot enjoy in Barcelona. This season he has only played three games under Ernesto Valverde in which he has added just 167 minutes.
The players and the coaching staff did not go to a fancy restaurant, but, as a semi-professional team, they had lunch at the Vega de Acá facility itself, specifically, in front of one of the doors that gives access to Tribune. The players shared a good chat time after the winter innings with a major challenge: Huesca, Cádiz, Fuenlabrada and Depor. Few people have more experience than José María Gutiérrez in the world of football. The Madrid coach is aware that the Almeria squad is not going through its best moment after just getting a point of the last nine, being already five games in which the rojiblancos have not shown their best version. Hence the preparer of Torrejón de Ardoz organized a meal at the Stadium of the Mediterranean Games itself after training.
The fire caused by the club when supposedly hiring a digital company to create opinion states in favor of Bartomeu and his board and discredit players, environment and former players have also arrived at the Blaugrana dressing room. As AS has learned, the WhatsApp group of players was activated in the afternoon to comment long and hard this information, revealed exclusively by the colleagues of the SER chain, which also pointed directly to two of the captains of the staff, Leo Messi and Gerard Piqué.The reactions were the most varied: from directly messing and revelry to the most absolute skepticism also going through the restlessness in some cases and the concern in others. And it is that within the locker room it is not understood how the club is mired in this spiral of controversies and scandals one week yes and another also, which prevents players from having a week to work with peace of mind, and more now thinking that the Champions League and the Classic are just around the corner. If it is not the secretary general, Eric Abidal, speculating openly about a certain passotism in the training of some players in the Ernesto Valverde era – with Messi’s blunt response through social networks -, Bartomeu is now, designated as the main responsible of an initiative, which at best can be considered more than doubtful. The truth is the feeling of tiredness in the template begins to be very clear, aware that it is they who are enduring with wires the institutional balance of the club, since a elimination of the Champions League or a defeat in the Classic could have dire consequences within the entity. And evidently the board knows it, so, as noted ‘Sports world’, Bartomeu plans to meet directly with those affected by this information, Messi and Piqué, to put out the fire and we suppose to give some coherent explanation of this new mess.And it is that in the dressing room begins to have dissenting voices that they don’t understand the path this board is leading. From the frustrated signing of Neymar, the refusal to reinforce in the winter market despite leaving up to three players, the way in which the march of Ernesto Valverde was managed with the included pumpkins of Xavi Hernández, the public insinuations of Abidal that players were the ones who lowered their thumbs on the continuity of Valverde and now the information that points out that from the club itself the ban was opened to shit or scoff directly at the staff’s assets, They are serious enough for the staff to ask for explanations and responsibilities. And, it seems, Bartomeu is willing to give them.
The outcome of the league championship is pending various scenarios and possibilities in view of the events. Initially, several cases are considered, including play the remainder of the competition, transferring the Euro Cup to the year 2021, leave the championships deserted as if nothing had been played, finish the competition on the 27th day that has been reached or only valid the first round with an ‘all against all to a party’. Contemplated all this, in the possibility of closing the championship on day 27 the champion, the places of the Champions League and of the Europa League and in part the descent conditioned by the promotions would be resolved. And in this sense is where the possibility that Real Mallorca was saved comes in despite being currently the second to last in the table, which in normal conditions would lead to the descent.However, the fact that only two teams from Second Division directly ascendBecause the third must earn a promotion in a playoff, it is what could save the Majorcans. If the competition is over, two teams would ascend directly and the third would be deserted for having to play a playoff than for events, it would not be played, so the third in discord to descend, neither would it descend as there was no third ascent.Now it’s all speculation and it will be necessary to see in what the events derive but to this bizarre end as one of the possibilities is what Mallorca would hold on to not descend as long as the option to finish the championships was chosen.
They have been ten very difficult and complicated days, nights of solitude in which the fragility of human life is seen up close. I have been fortunate to receive the love and encouragement of hundreds of friends who have sent me their messages of solidarity and affection, of soccer players, agents, managers, presidents, journalists, the media, both from Spain and from America and from my dear Portugal.I want to thank everyone, thank you very much for helping me in such difficult times in the solitude of a hospital, and isolated before the unknown. To all I want to send a message of thanks, I can never forget so much love and support.I must warn of the seriousness of this disease, which is very serious, and leaves us no choice but to wait at home for this pandemic to pass with the least possible human damage.I encourage the many sick and hospitalized people to continue fighting and fighting for their lives, that it can be done !!!!! “ Navarrese businessman Luis Oliver, shareholder of Extremadura, received hospital discharge on Monday after several days admitted to the San Francisco de Asís hospital in Madrid, where he tested positive for the coronavirus after presenting symptoms. Oliver sent the following statement to the media:“Today, March 30, 2020, I have the good fortune to communicate, thanks to the excellent health and medical staff of the San Francisco de Asís Hospital in Madrid, who work, like all of Spain, in extreme conditions, that I have been discharged from hospital for having overcome the Covid-19 virus.
“I was playing soccer with my son and the ball fell into the street. My son went looking for him and the police told him that he was going to fine him for being on the street “, Marcelo said with a laugh. And is that Modric telephoned, somewhat annoyingly, the Brazilian player to tell him about his little altercation with the Police, during the coronavirus alarm state. Fortunately, although Marcelo did not count it, but it seems that the story ended well and everything could be clarified. And finally, there was no fine for Modric’s son. There is no soccer but any time is good to tell funny anecdotes of the days of confinement. During a live on Instagram, Marcelo told his partner Vinicius a most curious story that features his partner, Luka Modric.. And is that the left side of the Real Madrid He related what happened to the Croatian midfielder near his home days ago with the police.
Atlético turns 117 today and there are numerous congratulations on social networks celebrating it. 117 years of the great love story of many lives, including one of the iconic captains that the club has had in its history, Gabriel Fernández, Gabi, ‘El Capi’ for six seasons, the second most, behind another icon, Enrique Collar (10). “The best way to touch the sky with your hands! Happy 117 years “, Gabi wrote with a photo of that time she got on Neptune to celebrate that Godín had scored a goal at the Camp Nou that made Atlético Liga champion 18 years after the double. Footballers such as Thomas, Mario Hermoso or José María Giménez, third captain, have shared in their Instagram stories the institutional video of Atlético to celebrate its 117 years. “Today is not one more day … Today we are 117 years old! 117 years of history. 117 years of memories. 117 years of fidelity. 117 years of passion, “wrote the Monkey Burgos, second coach. “Happy 117 years, Atleti!” Congratulated Manu Lama, youth center-back and one of the heroes of the Youth League in Rangers this season. “117 years growing, adding, and getting stronger together! A great feeling! from generation to generation…“Simeone poured his emotions on Twitter to congratulate the event on the rojiblanco club.”117 years of struggle and sacrifice, for many more“It was the way Saul fourth captain congratulated him this midday. Gabi Al-sadd Midfield playerSpain