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  1. Considering there's a general chat for Cricket, and the Aviva Premiership kicks off on Friday night, I thought I'd make a topic to discuss all things Rugby, rather than having ones pop up every 6 months or so for the internationals/six nations. I'll get the ball rolling: I expect Bath to give Newcastle a battering on Friday. Newcastle have got some good players in their squad, but I think Bath's backs will be too much for them. Should be a good game to start the season though Don't know who to tip for the title though, I'm hoping Tigers can win it again, but we were lucky we avoided Sarries in the final last year and that Hartley is a word removed. Quins will be strong again this year despite not having too many great players and I reckon Gloucester will do well too, Burns is a brilliant player and will have a great season IMO.
  2. Just wondered what some people's thoughts are? Does anyone here watch it or did you see any of UFC 79 on Sunday or Pride from last night?
  3. I tend to think that Roy is one of those that just can't give it up rather than being broke (unlike for example Holyfield who is broke). It's sad to see, he wants a shot at a Cruiserweight title and become the first to win titles from middle to heavyweight. Roy is one of the most outstanding athletes to ever box, the problem of course is that as he approached his mid 30s his reflexes slowed slightly and his legs weren't what they were. Getting KO'd twice in a row by Tarver and The Road Warrior finished him, I just wish he retired after that. Seeing the likes of Danny Green and Lebedev (boxers who would have been destroyed by a prime RJJ) stop him was too much for me personally LOL. His last bout against some unknown with a KO record of like 20% was truly awful, he got knocked down and won a robbery decision. He was apparently paid $40k for that. So I doubt he did it because he needed the money.
  4. Well as the footie season draws to a nerve-jangling finale, some of us will be turning our attention to cricket. So.... was anyone else at the Warwickshire bomb site this afternoon to see Chris Woakes hit his maiden century (I think it was his first anyway)? I gave up a days bike training to go an see the Bears with missus and it was a good afternoon for Warks. Any thoughts on Englands' Test Matches etc or is the football World Cup going to dominate ?
  5. announced this morning that the Birmingham bid for the games is the preferred bid for the UK, beating Liverpool (which surprised me if im honest) theres a bit more work to do in terms of feasability and cost plans etc before i think the government has a vote at the end of the month to see if they'll approve the £500m cost and formally back the bid, means it will be brum or Kuala Lumpur Brums bid also included some sort of urban street game festival thing (3x3 basketball in victoria square as an event) and an international business exhibition the city is about to boom, will post more when im not skiving work...
  6. Not sure whether the old tennis thread has been pruned but Laura Robson just knocked Kvitova out of the Aussie Open. Excellent stuff.
  7. Anyone watching the US? Rose is looking a good bet, and it's heartbreaking for those Yanks seeing Mickelson slip away
  8. Hey guys, sorry if there is already a thread pertaining to this sport but I couldn't find one. After joining and realising there is a not insignificant little group of my fellow Australians on this forum I thought I would start up a thread to discuss what is going down in what to me is the world's best sport (absence of Villa being the key draw back). It's been a pretty crazy couple of years in the AFL with the demands of managing a sporting league on a continent sized area with different state governments handling COVID to varying levels of success leading to teams playing away from their home grounds in hubs for chunks of the season, infrequent and capped crowds until this season as well as the Grand Final not being held at the MCG as is traditional for 2 years in a row. Before going any further I'll just pop this here for anyone unfamiliar with the Australian game, its designed for Americans so excuse the grating accent but it does a very good job of explaining the rules, appeal and structure of the league, with a fair few spectacular highlights thrown in as well. It's a great time to get a bit of discussion going as we are just entering the finals series on the season with Melbourne, Port Adelaide (woo!), Geelong, Brisbane, The Western Bulldogs (Footscray to give them their proper name), Sydney, Greater Western Sydney and Essendon competing for the gold of the 2021 season. So yeah, Australians and followers of the game discuss away, if it looks interesting to you and you have questions fire at will.
  9. 2021 Ryder Cup The 43rd Ryder Cup Matches will be held in the United States on September 24 to 26, 2021, on the Straits course at Whistling Straits, Haven, Wisconsin. Team Europe is the holder of the Ryder Cup after its 17½–10½ victory over Team USA in 2018 at Le Golf National. Added spice, team mates Brooks Koepka and Bryce DeChambeau hate each other with a passion and will most likely be kept apart (hopefully not). Team USA enters this team event as the favorites to regain the title, going off as 8/15 favs., Europe 2/1. Whistling Straights is arguably the best new golf course in the world and is an outstanding track that will test all players to the limit. Should be good viewing.
  10. It's almost upon us,the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics (formerly known as the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics) one year late and with absolutely no hype. Or fans. So far it's mostly been negative stuff with local protests, athletes and coaches saying the game should be cancelled, Covid cases in the Olympic village, extremely strict regulations and now a Uzbeki man who has been arrested for rape near the Olympic stadium. As per usual they will be handing out 160.000 condoms to the athletes but due to Covid restrictions they are not allowed to have sex until after the games And to make sure this doesn't happen they have introduced these cardboard anti-sex beds in the Olympic village. Good luck with that one. https://www.sportbible.com/news/news-athletes-given-anti-sex-beds-at-tokyo-olympics-20210717
  11. Wimbledon starts today. Live coverage TV 13:45-18:00, BBC One 10:30-20:30, BBC Two 11:00-19:00, BBC Red Button 11:00-21:00, Connected TV, BBC Sport website & app
  12. We've got a running thread, and as I can't find a cycling thread I thought I'd start one. Are there many on here that are active participants? I've been getting quite keen on my cycling over the last few months and I'm considering picking up a new bike soon. I've done the Devon and Cornwall coast-to-coast routes in the last three weeks and I'm considering cycling Barnstaple to Glastonbury when it stops raining for long enough. Any recommendations for bikes (hybrids) or anyone got any good routes or stories to share?
  13. Couldn’t see a snooker thread so will just note in here that Ronnie O’Sullivan has reached 1000 career century breaks. To give that some context, Stephen Hendry has the second highest with 775. I know snooker isn’t a particularly hotly discussed subject on here and Ronnie is an acquired taste at the best of times, but just thought the achievement was worth acknowledging.
  14. Anyone getting involved and if so what are you backing in the big race.
  15. Is anyone having a nibble at the nags tomorrow or throughout the week? Why don't you jot down your picks and tips and we can all be losers together? First away at 13:20 and SkyBet are doing their risk free £10 bet, so if you lose you get your tenner back as cash in your account. I'm on Metier with Sky Paddy Power are also doing a 'free' £5 bet on the 13:20 for those with an account. I've taken Soaring Glory with them. Appreciate It looks the one to beat but at even money it's way too short to take. Who ya'll backing?
  16. With 4 days until the first official team launch of the season at Ferrari, it's high time we created this season's Formula 1 thread - to enormous cheers around the Off Topic arena. Don't mention it guys, really, it was my pleasure Firstly we'll start with the launch dates 1. Ferrari 11th Feb 2. Renault 12th Feb 3. Red Bull 12th Feb 4. McLaren 13th Feb 5. Mercedes 14th Feb 6. Alpha Tauri 14th Feb 7. Racing Point 17th Feb 8. Williams 17th Feb 9. Haas 19th Feb 10. Alfa Romeo 19th Feb TEAM CHANGES The first thing you'll notice from the above list is no Toro Rosso, but someone called Alpha Tauri. Red Bull have renamed their junior team in-line with their Alpha Tauri fashion label. From the team changes point of view that's the only one on the grid this season. There are no engine supplier changes this season either. All the teams are using the same provider they had in 2019. DRIVER CHANGES It's a very stable grid from a driver line-up point of view as well. Only 2 changes and no swapping around. Esteban Ocon returns to the grid after his enforced hiatus and replaces the outgoing Nico Hülkenberg at Renault. The only rookie of the season, 24 year old Canadian, Nicholas Latifi comes in at Williams alongside George Russell, replacing Robert Kubica. Latifi came runner-up in F2 to Nyck De Vries last season (NDV heads to Formula E). Kubica will become reserve driver for Alfa Romeo. TEAM DRIVERS Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Charles Leclerc Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Max Verstappen Alexander Albon McLaren Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris Renault Daniel Ricciardo Esteban Ocon Alpha Tauri Pierre Gasly Daniil Kvyat Racing Point Sergio Pérez Lance Stroll Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen Antonio Giovinazzi Haas Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean Williams George Russell Nicholas Latifi CALENDAR The calendar is currently expanded to 22 races with a coronavirus-shaped asterisk beside the Chinese GP in April. New venues this season are Vietnam and a return of Zandvoort and the Dutch GP for the first time in 35 years. Very disappointingly there will be no German GP this year. 1. Australia Melbourne 15/03/2020 2. Bahrain Sakhir 22/03/2020 3. Vietnam Hanoi 05/04/2020 4. China Shanghai 19/04/2020 * (race postponed) 5. Netherlands Zandvoort 03/05/2020 6. Spain Barcelona 10/05/2020 7. Monaco Monte Carlo 24/05/2020 8. Azerbaijan Baku City 07/06/2020 9. Canada Montreal 14/06/2020 10. France Paul Ricard 28/06/2020 11. Austria Red Bull Ring 05/07/2020 12. G Britain Silverstone 19/07/2020 13. Hungary Budapest 02/08/2020 14. Belgium Spa-Francorchamps 30/08/2020 15. Italy Monza 06/09/2020 16. Singapore Marina Bay 20/09/2020 17. Russia Sochi 27/09/2020 18. Japan Suzuka 11/10/2020 19. USA Austin 25/10/2020 20. Mexico Mexico City 01/11/2020 21. Brazil Interlagos 15/11/2020 22. Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 29/11/2020 * Depends on coronavirus outbreak Rule changes this year are relatively small with the 2021 season on the horizon where the sport will change massively on and off the track. SPORTING REGULATIONS 1. The expanded calendar means teams are allowed to use 3 MGU-Ks over the course of the season now, up from 2 in 2019. 2. The bigger calendar also means reduced testing. Pre-season testing in Barcelona is down from 4 days to 3, and the mid-season testing has been abolished altogether. 3. Teams will no longer be able to hide their cars during testing (using screens) and the window where mechanics cannot work on the car has gone up from 8 hours to 9. 4. Free practice sessions can be used towards super licence points with 100km per session equalling 1 super licence point, up to 10 points per season. 5. There will no longer be any electronic chequered flag, after last season's Japanese booboo which saw it go off a lap early. Back to real flags only. Proper order! 6. Weighbridge and jump start penalties have been relaxed, allowing for more steward discretion. TECHNICAL REGULATIONS 1. To reduce risk of punctures, the outside 50mm of front wings can no longer contain any metal. 2. Brake ducts must be designed by the constructor and not out-sourced i.e. they are now a 'listed part'. 3. The amount of fuel in the car that is not within the fuel tank has been reduced from 2,000ml to 250ml. 4. Driver aids at the start line have also been reduced. 90% of torque is now down to the driver's command, and clutches must be 'pull-type'. 5. There will be a new little sharkfin on the rear of the engine cover with the driver's number on it for ease of identity for fans.
  17. I think this is a topic that will be definitely more common in the coming months. I think its something Football will need to take more seriously as more research is done. A lot of the 1966 World Cup team have suffered dementia and more modern players like Alan Shearer has said he is quite worried about this from the amount of headers and aeriel duels he faced. Its also not football, Thompson from the 2003 rugby team has been dignosed at 43 and filing a lawsuit along with 10 other players of a similar age. Ice Hockey, American football have had issues in the past so you have to wonder when it will stop. Is it time to make sports safer
  18. Really happy this is being held right now. A sense of normalcy. Tough luck for Perez today, would have had his first Jersey tonight. Where is Nairo Quintana? Alaphilipe is my pick.
  19. So, the world Championships in Doha Qatar. Non competing women not allowed to wear shorts of tank tops in or around the stadiums. Russian athletes not allowed to compete under Russian flag due to doping. Only about 30 in total allowed to compete but under neutral flag. Kenya who are already under extra surveillance have been exposed by German ZDF handing out EPO to runners on a massive scale clicky And the US of A is once again sending a host of stars who have been banned for doping or been cleared by the USADA as they fear civil court. Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman the biggest names this time. Same goes for a lot of other countries. There will also be some now doubt fantastic performances in the 40 degrees Celsius stadium. And while Athletics fans are not football fans it will still be a big event used as sort of a trial before the big WC in 2022. As for Sweden the big hope for gold lies with Mondo Duplantis in the pole vault and Daniel Ståhln in the discus throw.
  20. What sporting records do you think are great or have such longevity it's hard to imagine they will be broken. I used to think Bob Beaman's long jump in the 1970 Olympics would take some beating, I think it took about 30 years to be beaten. I recently read about Joe DiMaggio and his 56 game hitting streak. Didn't know what it was but the hitter must get to first base without getting out. I know it doesn't sound much but the most home runs in a season is 73, In cricket you have players scoring 1000 runs a season so getting to first base is important. You only get three strikes and the base is further apart than the wicket, nearly half as much again. It would be like facing Courtney Walsh/ Holding/ Jimmy/ Akram/ Lee every week and have to score 1.5 runs at least in the first three deliveries each time. He did this for 56 games. Next year will be the 80th anniversary of the record. He is still 25% in front of the second place. In the last 40 years there has been a 39 and 44. I can't imagine this will ever be broken. I also don't think Murali's wicket record will ever be broken, Mainly due to more ODI and 20/20 means fewer test matches.
  21. I think has been mentioned in another thread but maybe an open discussion about it. Think its hard to look past Roger Federer he is such an immense athlete and still going at 37. For example he is 8 months older than John Terry and Tennis is a more physically demanding sport than Football. Just incredible Other names to be included could be Gretzky, Serena Williams and if they keep it up consistently for another 6 or 7 years Ronaldo and Messi
  22. Power balance wristbands - worn by cricketers, that had a hologram in them, to "enhance performance blah blah blah" Snoods Kinesio tape for injured muscles that you'd see plastered on quad muscles, lower backs etc. In my opinion they are no more effect than a placebo one. Anyone else think of other such gimmicky or fashionable sporting "aids" past or present ?
  23. That time of year sports fans. Wetherby kicks off the jumps season this weekend, Cue Card, Coneygree, Our Duke, Lil Rockerfella, Ptit Zig out to name a few. See Willie Mullins "Melon" is also out for a spin in Ireland tomorrow.
  24. Commentator described Jelle Klaseen as the Cristiano Ronaldo of darts. Surely he meant Adam Johnson, right ?
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