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14. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt to
« on: December 20, 2018, 06:10:06 PM »
With the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand only 15 months away, competition for places is already beginning to heat up. Speaking on the Rugby Club Agenda, former Lion Alex Corbisiero discussed who, on current form, would make his pack.Here are his choices... 1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)You have got two great English looseheads in [Joe] Marler and Mako [Vunipola], but both have been trading starts and neither have had that stellar game yet.Jack McGrath has been under Cian Healy for a while now, but he is really starting to grow in that role. He is starting to do a lot of things Cian does well: ball carrying, his work rate in the loose, his set piece has come on well.I thought Ireland scrummaged very well against England. He had to deal with Dan Cole and that is a good measuring stick of how a prop is coming along on the chain. 2. Dylan Hartley (England)He has been the spearhead of the England [Six Nations] campaign. Especially the last two games, he really rose to the challenge. I know how good a leader he is and I know he has got that edge to him, but I think fatherhood has given him another layer and he seems to control that edge and channel it.He has got the weight of the nation on his shoulders and he hasnt disappointed. His experience is massive. 3. Dan Cole (England)He has been the rock of England for a long time and is very experienced. There are a lot of young suitors on the charge, but there is no one quite ready who is playing who has taken that mantle from him yet. He has been on a Lions tour and he knows what its about. 4. Maro Itoje (England)This is a future world-class superstar in the making. Im excited at the thought of where he is going to be, come the end of next season when the Lions tour kick off. He is just in his infancy as an international player, but he is not far off that world-class bracket. Im excited about him. 5. Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)I played with him in the Lions of 2013 and I have got the utmost respect for him as a leader, as a character. His work rate, his experience, his team talks, all the things that he brings - I want him in my team. He is my rock behind my tighthead. His scrummaging weight as well; he ticks all those boxes. 6. Taulupe Faletau (Wales)He is a versatile back row. His work rate is second to none for a back row, so he is able to play No 6. He is good in the air at the lineout, so you are not losing by picking almost another No 8 in your back row, and he is also very good over the ball, which he has shown over the years. 7. Sam Warburton (Wales)When fit, when healthy, he is a top-quality international No 7. He can spoil the ball and playing with him gave me a real respect for him. His main skill is he is first to everything. If there is a spilled ball, he is first on it; if there is a breakdown opportunity, he strikes on it.He is a great player, a great leader and he has captained a Lions series already. He is captain of Wales and I want that experience in my team. 8. Billy Vunipola (England)He has been one of the real stand-outs of this [Six Nations] competition. He is really growing into this England squad, he has nailed down that No 8 shirt, he looks like he is enjoying it, he has got the confidence and he is going out there and physically imposing himself on everyone.I want him over there in New Zealand going out there and stomping the yard and matching their physicality with his X-factor. Billy Vunipola makes a now trademark charge Honourable mentionsIve picked no Scots and some people might give me a bit of criticism for that, but there are number of them that made honourable mentions. At loosehead, Alasdair Dickinson is definitely there or thereabouts, but its a really congested position. Rob Evans at Wales has really grown into that role as well.In the second row, Ive got Johnny Gray from Scotland. Johnny has really grown into that role, but Maros form over the last two games especially has pipped him into my squad. John Hardie at No 7 has really stood out for me, but Warburtons experience and being on a Lions tour pipped the No 7 shirt.Do you agree with Corbisieros selection? Let us know who would be in your pack by leaving a comment below, or for app users, by tweeting @SkySportsRugby. Also See: Englands Six Nations stars Corbisiero: Itoje a future captain Too soon for Webb? Sky Sports Rugby podcast Discount Jordan 1 Wholesale .In the Football Money League compiled by accountancy firm Deloitte, German champion Bayern Munich remained third but Barcelona dropped from second to fourth during its trophyless 2014.In the 2013-2014 financial year, Real generated 549. 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George scored 28 points and Indiana defeated San Antonio 111-100 on Saturday night, snapping an 11-game skid against the Spurs.SAN FRANCISCO -- If Tim Lincecum wants to win without an overpowering fastball, he knows he will have to find his way through games when he is nowhere near his best. And he was nowhere near his best Friday night. And yet, he still won. Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Hicks homered to back a wildly effective Lincecum, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2. "He was bobbing and weaving out there the whole game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Lincecum (4-3) struck out four and walked six in six innings. He allowed five hits and also had two wild pitches, escaping trouble in nearly every inning. Only 57 of Lincecums 112 pitches were strikes. "Youve got to battle when you dont have your best stuff, your best command. And today was just that," Lincecum said. "Its kind of an ugly win, but Ill take it. Joe Mauer and Chris Parmelee drove in Minnesotas only runs in the third. Sandoval hit a three-run shot in the first, Hicks hit his eighth homer off Kyle Gibson (4-4) in the fourth and drove in another run on a flyout in the seventh. Gibson gave up five runs and five hits in five innings, working quickly and in command for most of his 72-pitch outing. He struck out four and walked none. "I really got beat on three pitches, which is the frustrating part," Gibson said. San Francisco opened its six-game homestand with some pop at the plate and slick manoeuvring on the mound. Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single after Angel Pagan doubled leading off the first. Pence was originally ruled out, Bochy challenged the call and umpires overturned it after a 33-second video review. Pagan was thrown out at home on Buster Poseys grounder, but not before third baseman Trevor Plouffes throw pulled Brian Dozier off second on what wouldve been an inning-ending double play. Then, Sandoval sent the first pitch he saw over the brick wall in right to put the Giants ahead 3-0. It was Sandovals fifth home run this season. "I just focused and tried to calm myself ddown a little bit more," Sandoval said.dddddddddddd Mauer hit an RBI triple and Parmelee drove in another run for Minnesota in the third to slice San Franciscos lead to 3-2. In the bottom of the inning, Pagan tripled and scored for San Francisco after shortstop Eduardo Escobar couldnt corral Pences grounder. Despite his lack of command, Lincecum kept the Giants in control. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, still searching for consistency as his fastball has faded in recent years, walked two and threw two wild pitches in the third without allowing a run. Sandoval fielded Gibsons grounder at third and threw out Escobar at the plate before Lincecum struck out Dozier to end the inning. In the fifth, Lincecum loaded the bases before getting Escobar to hit a weak groundout to first. Lincecums saved his smoothest inning for his final one, retiring the side in order before leaving to a standing ovation from the announced sellout crowd of 41,514. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt tossed a scoreless seventh for the Giants. After Javier Lopez allowed two baserunners in the eighth, Jean Machi got pinch-hitter Josmil Pinto to ground into a double-play before pitching a perfect ninth for the save. "We were a little sloppy defensively and we missed plenty of opportunities to get some hits," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A rough start for us here, and that team over there knows how to take advantage of you." NOTES: The Giants will wait until at least Saturday to decide if RHP Matt Cain, who strained his right hamstring Wednesday at Colorado, will make his next start Monday against the Chicago Cubs. Bochy said Cain "was bouncing around pretty good" in the clubhouse. ... Mauer and Posey, who have each won an MVP at catcher, both started at first base. ... Twins RHP Samuel Deduno (1-2, 3.53 ERA), originally slated to start Sunday, will take the mound on Saturday. Ricky Nolasco will pitch Sunday. ... Ryan Vogelsong (2-2, 3.62) goes for the Giants on Saturday and lefty Madison Bumgarner starts Sunday. 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