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England rugby squad’s workload puts welfare at risk, warns players’ union

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:55
• Elite squad members face burnout with unprecedented demands, critics warn
• ‘Something has to give or the players will,’ says Quins director Conor O’Shea

The Rugby Players’ Association has warned that the game limit for England’s Elite Player Squad members is too high and that top-flight players face risks to their long-term health unless everyone in rugby union puts welfare first.

The Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby will shortly announce the details of the new heads of agreement, which governs the management of the EPS, and the limit will remain at 32, the figure set when the agreement was first struck in 2008.

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Rugby union’s brutal reality: the physical and mental toll of an elite playing career | Michael Aylwin

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:50

Life as an elite rugby player offers a great career, says George Chuter, but he warns ‘the human body can’t take that sort of punishment and come away scot-free’

When George Chuter headed to the bar at Welford Road after a match, he would mix with the Leicester players of the 1950s and 60s and note their replacement body parts and aching limbs. “The degradation their bodies suffered in a much less impactful era brings it home to you what we’ve got coming,” he says now, two years on from the end of an 18-year rugby career of 440 matches that dates back to the dawn of the professional era.

Related: England rugby squad’s workload puts welfare at risk, warns players’ union

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Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool hoping for Dortmund-style comeback against Villarreal – video

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:45

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp looks ahead to Thursday’s Europa League semi-final with Villarreal, in which they will try to repeat their Borussia Dortmund comeback. Klopp also praises Leicester City’s ‘unbelievably cool’ Premier League title success

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Obertan and Marveaux leave Newcastle

BBC Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:43
Newcastle United release French wingers Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux two months before their deals end.

Allen aims to grab Europa lifeline

BBC Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:26
Glentoran take on Coleraine for the right to face Cliftonville in Tuesday's Europa League play-off final.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid deserved to beat Manchester City

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:24
• ‘We created more chances and were more intense’ says forward
• ‘Zinedine Zidane is doing a fantastic job. I hope he continues’

Cristiano Ronaldo felt Real Madrid were worthy winners over Manchester City because they “created more chances and were more intense”.

Real progressed to the Champions League final against Atlético Madrid when Gareth Bale’s shot was deflected into the net off Fernando’s foot for the only goal of the semi-final tie.

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Cavaliers bury Hawks in Game 2 with record-breaking effort from deep

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:10
  • Cleveland drain record-breaking 25 three-pointers in 123-98 win
  • Unbeaten in playoffs, Cavaliers now lead 2-0 in best-of-seven series

Your shot, Warriors.

Dropping jumpers from every corner and angle, the Cleveland Cavaliers drained an NBA record 25 3-pointers – the most in any regular season or playoff game – during a 123-98 runaway win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their second-round series.

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BBC Sport agrees new Badminton deal

BBC Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:03
BBC Sport has agreed a new deal to extend its coverage of the Badminton Horse Trials until 2020.

Johnny Manziel turns self in and posts bond in domestic violence case

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 05:58
  • Former Browns quarterback turns self in Wednesday in Texas
  • Manziel to face first court hearing in domestic violence case

Johnny Manziel is expected to make his first courtroom appearance in Dallas after his indictment in a domestic violence case.

The 23-year-old former Cleveland Browns quarterback will learn details of his release Thursday, one day after he reported to a Dallas-area jail for booking and a mugshot. Police in Highland Park released the mugshot Wednesday afternoon.

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Talking Horses: Thursday’s best bets plus all the latest racing news

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 05:57
The Derby favourite US Army Ranger (3.10) is expected to win the Chester Vase convincingly

The ground at Chester has dried to good all round ahead of the second day of the May Festival meeting, and another warm afternoon is in prospect as US Army Ranger, the narrow ante-post favourite for the Derby, goes on trial for Epsom in the Group Three Chester Vase.

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The Premier League teams' ineptitude index 2015-16 | Tom Bryant

Guardian Sport - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 05:50

Enough of hailing Leicester City. Now is the time to appreciate the most inept teams in the Premier League, assessed across 12 categories, and to wonder how the Foxes won the title after making a hash of 276 throw-ins

Welcome to the Guardian’s second Premier League ineptitude index. Last season we established that QPR, Burnley and Everton were the most incompetent sides in the division by using a series of measures and a whole load of stats provided by the ever-excellent boffins at Opta. This season, they’ve sent more numbers for us to abuse.

Related: Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to splash £79m on Antoine Griezmann?

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