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    Wales stay on course for grand slam by holding off battling Scotland

    • Scotland 11-18 Wales • Wales tries from Josh Adams and Jonathan Davies Turmoil off the field, domestic game in chaos but at international level Wales continue to break new ground. Their 13th consecutive win duly came in Edinburgh and on they march back to Cardiff, a third grand slam of the Warren Gatland era still very much on. Only Ireland stand between them and a glorious send-off for their coach. Scotland put Wales through their paces – and what pace these Scots play at – coaxing more than 160 tackles from Wales in the second half. Adrift by nine at the break, and looking well beaten already, they spent most of the…

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    Rampaging Joe Cokanasiga looks like England’s own Jonah Lomu

    The winger showed off the skills to match his more obvious strength and speed and left Italy in his considerable wake Blue is not the colour to wear at Twickenham. This was the 29th time England have hosted a Six Nations Test against Italy, France and Scotland and – surprise, surprise – it duly produced a 28th success for the red rose. Whether their opponents opt for navy, midnight, sapphire or cornflower, the prevailing pattern is generally the same. To make things even worse the poor old Azzurri were also up against an English side boasting a scary amount of heavy artillery. If some of the Italian tackling was as soft as buffalo mozzarella…

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    England showed their best moves but how will they play in bigger games?

    There was much to admire in England’s attack against Italy although the big backs did show defensive frailties Twickenham seemed strangely subdued on Saturday – that is what happens when 80,000 people already know the outcome before the match – but for those who see the glass half-full it was everything we have wanted to see from England in an attacking sense. Power and pace and the right people on the ball making the right decisions, even if it is a hooker throwing miss‑passes or a tighthead prop threading it in behind the line. For those who see the glass half-empty, however, defensively there were concerns – or if I…

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    Cheltenham Gold Cup jockey Harry Cobden: I chatted football with Fergie … I didn’t understand it

    Harry Cobden is lucky. At the age of 20 he will ride Clan Des Obeaux, the joint-second favourite, in his first Gold Cup on Friday. He will also enter the Cheltenham Festival, which starts on Tuesday, as the 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls’s stable jockey in one of the most coveted positions in racing. Clan Des Obeaux is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and Cobden tells some amusing stories about hanging out with Fergie even though, as he cheerfully admits, he knows nothing about football. Just days before the biggest week of his life, Cobden also knows he is far luckier for a different reason. On 1 June last year, while racing…

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    Musher loses huge lead in Alaska’s Iditarod Race after dogs go on strike

    Nicolas Petit says dogs stopped after he shouted at them Petit also lost lead last year after getting lost in blizzard Musher Nicolas Petit lost a huge lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday when his dog team refused to keep going after he yelled at one of the animals. A dog named Joey had been fighting with a younger dog on the team during a break on the way to the Bering Sea checkpoint of Koyuk when Petit stepped in. “Joey was behind him, and he’s been kind of picking on him most of the trip, and he got a hold of him at one point … I…

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    Radical Diamond League plans will cut meeting length and ditch long races

    5,000m and 10,000m to be scrapped • Aims to make athletics more compelling to fans Radical new plans for athletics’ elite Diamond League circuit will see meetings cut to 90 minutes, fewer events, and the 5,000m and 10,000m scrapped. The new proposals, which were announced by IAAF president Seb Coe, are designed to make the sport more fast paced, compelling and relevant to fans in the way the Twenty20 format has shaken up cricket. Coe said that the plans, which will come into effect in 2020, would lead to a global calendar with one meeting a week across 13 weeks during the summer. He also confirmed that more field events would be held in…

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    Russell Westbrook confronts fan during game after ‘racial’ comment at Jazz

    Thunder star says he was told to ‘get down on my knees’ NBA All-Star has been in arguments with fans in the past Russell Westbrook got into a heated verbal altercation with a fan and the man’s wife during the second quarter of Oklahoma City’s victory over Utah on Monday night. Early in the quarter, Westbrook stood up from the bench when he felt both fans directed a racial taunt at him. According to the Thunder guard, they told him to “get down on my knees like I used to.” After that, Westbrook was seen on video cursing at the man and threatening to “fuck up” him and his wife.…

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    Battle lines drawn as English and French clubs hit out at World Rugby plans

    The leading French and English professional clubs have hinted at legal action if World Rugby proceeds with its proposed plan to restructure the international game. Major unions and the international players’ union are meeting in Dublin this week to discuss a new Nations Championship concept but club representatives have not been invited. In a joint statement Premiership Rugby and its French counterpart, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), said the clubs believe the latest World Rugby proposal runs contrary to what was agreed under the terms of the supposedly long-term agreement the various stakeholders signed in San Francisco two years ago. The agreement was supposed to cement the international calendar until 2032…

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    England turn up the mind games on Wales before Six Nations finale

    • John Mitchell predicts Super Saturday of ‘chaos’ • Harlequins’ Marcus Smith a surprise inclusion in squad England have responded to Warren Gatland’s stinging criticism that they are big-match chokers by ramping up the pressure on Wales, who bid for the Six Nations grand slam on Saturday. Wales will seal a third grand slam under Gatland on Saturday if they beat Ireland in Cardiff but defeat would open the door for England to clinch the title with victory over Scotland. England’s defence coach, John Mitchell, is predicting “chaos” when Super Saturday culminates at Twickenham while Billy Vunipola conceded the defeat by Wales in round three, which ended their own hopes of the grand slam, will be…

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    Jofra Archer will have to prove his ODI credentials, says Trevor Bayliss

    • England coach delighted with T20 bowlers in Caribbean • Joe Root will play in Yorkshire’s first two championship games Trevor Bayliss has warned Jofra Archer he will not walk straight into England’s World Cup squad, saying that the bowlers who led the Twenty20 team to a 3-0 series whitewash against West Indies had raised the bar for what is required. The Barbados-born fast bowler, who qualifies for England on Sunday, will get a chance to stake his claim for his adopted country at the start of the summer. England have to name their World Cup squad by 23 April but can make changes until the final deadline on 22 May. Archer is…