Issue 321 | September 6 2013
The England job just got real for Roy Hodgson
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Issue 321, September 6 2013 Radar 06 Best of the best Here’s the winner: the action sport picture of the year, as picked by the Red Bull Illume judges
08 Strike in! The story of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson is brought to the big screen in a new biopic, 42
D Day Which new (or old) sport will be in the 2020 Olympics? Squash, baseball and wrestling face off
oFeatures this coming week
20 Resting on Roy With pressure mounting, how will Hodgson cope as he bids to lead England to a place at the World Cup?
29 Rush Actors Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl discuss their film roles as James Hunt and Niki Lauda
33 Ronda Rousey The former judoka turned world number-one female MMA fighter
36 Tom Varndell
Cover image: The FA/The FA via Getty Images, Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images, David Rogers/Getty Images
We preview the Aviva Premiership by analysing all the teams and speaking to Wasps’ flying winger
54 Grooming The new fragrance from Acqua di Parma – inspired by cycling
56 Kit With the US Open final upon us, we feature the latest tennis gear
58 Gadgets A very loud Bluetooth speaker and the good Dr Dre’s latest headphones
62 Entertainment We predict great things for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (pictured) and rejoice at new stuff from Goldfrapp | September 6 2013 | 05
p08 – Here’s to you, Jackie Robinson – the first black player in Major League Baseball
p10– Squash, baseball or wrestling: which should go to the 2020 Games?
Silver boarder A
t the foot of this sky-scanning satellite dish, you will see snowboarder Xaver Hoffmann, who is simply searching for big air. This stunning photo, taken in the German mountains by Lorenz Holder, won this year’s Red Bull Illume sports photography competition. So now you know who to blame for a snowy picture and a poor reception. See more at redbullillume.com
06 | September 6 2013 |
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Free hitter T
Room for one more?
Brucie bonus T
he McLaren driver line-up hasn’t always been the bland Next catalogue-inspired personality vacuum that it is now. Over their 50-year history, some real characters have lowered themselves into some famous cars. McLaren: 50 Years of Racing is a new book released to mark that half-century – and through a combination of the words of revered F1 journalist Maurice Hamilton and wonderful archive photography, it tells the history of the team in words and wonderful archive photos. They encapsulate the early days of Kiwi founder Bruce McLaren, through the glory years of Lauda, Prost, Hakkinen and Senna, right through to their current struggles, with Jenson Button appearing on more billboards than podiums.
08 | September 6 2013 |
McLaren: 50 Years of Racing (Prestel), out now, £99
hey might not have won a trophy for eight years, but Arsenal can make a mighty fine human pyramid – and, as Arsene Wenger famously said, “building a really good human pyramid is as good as winning a trophy” (and not just because you’ll get a Europa League spot for it from next year). There’s even a gap for Mesut Ozil to slot in at the top of Arsenal’s post-goal pile-up against Manchester City last September. One man who does have a trophy is photographer Adrian Dennis – he took the snap above, which has just been announced as the winner of the Shot of the Season Award for last term in the 2013 Barclays Photographic Awards.
Adrian Dennis, Rainer W Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
he colour line in American baseball was a gentleman’s agreement (although gentleman is not really the right word) that barred black players from playing in Major League Baseball. Instead, they were limited to the Negro Leagues, until Jackie Robinson broke that boundary and took to the field for the New York Dodgers in 1947. His inspiring story is dramatised in 42, which gets its UK cinematic release next week on the back of rave reviews in the States. 42 – The True Story of An American Legend, in cinemas from next Friday
Judgement day I
n seven years, the citizens of Tokyo, Madrid or Istanbul will look back at this weekend as the point where they started that journey, familiar to Londoners, from indifference to cynicism to excitement, because the IOC will choose which of the three cities will host the 2020 Olympics. Squash, baseball and wrestling are also being put to the vote...
For – It’s one of the most popular participation sports in the country, according to research, although we fear that research might have been carried out by the Institute for Stereotypical Businessmen in 1980s Movies. We’re also pretty good at it — both Nick Matthew and James Willstrop have been ever-presents at the top of the world rankings over the last decade. Of course, they'll both be long-retired by 2020 – but they will be able to pass some of their invaluable experience on.
VISIT WWW.INTERSPORT.CO.UK TOFINDYOURLOCAL INTERSPORTSTORE
Against — It’s never been a great spectator sport. Something about two sweaty individuals moving noiselessly around a perspex box seems to turn off television viewers, perhaps reminding them of some of the more upsetting scenes from Hannibal. There’s also the issue of a venue — most sports are easily prepared for by adding nets, padding or goals to a regular arena, whereas squash would require a more bespoke set-up. Who would benefit? Egypt — who boast the current world champion Ramy Ashour, five of the top 10 men in the world, and four of the top 20 women.
10 | September 6 2013 |
For — Beloved by millions of Americans, the ‘people’s pastime’ is also one of the best junk food conveyance vectors known to man, which should fit in well with the Olympics’ usual selection of sponsors. It was officially contested between 1992 and 2008, before being voted out, with South Korea the most recent champions. It’s a joint bid from baseball/softball because the men play one and the women play the other. Everyday sexism? Against — Let’s face it, do you have any idea what’s going on? Baseball peaked in popularity in about 1930, and has never really captured the imagination outside the Americas and parts of Asia. Letting it back in for 2020 would be like letting Paula Radcliffe run the marathon again. Who would benefit? Cuba — who won three of the five gold medals between 1992 and 2008, with the others going to South Korea and the USA.
For — One of the few remaining events that tied the modern Olympics to their Ancient Greek forerunner, wrestling was given the clothesline for 2020 – so, as things stand, it will be making its final appearance in Rio in three years’ time. It’s not out for the count just yet, though. Amid fierce opposition to the move to throw it out, it’s made it through to the final stage for inclusion in 2020. Against — A myriad of weight categories and varieties meant that, much like its practitioners, the wrestling schedule ballooned into a unwieldy beast in its old age. That could work against any attempt at reintegration, as could its relative lack of a ‘wow factor’. It’s almost as impenetrable as taekwondo, but without any of the flashy moves. Maybe the ancient amateur sport just needs spicing up with the addition of a bit of flimsy office furniture? Who would benefit? Iran — hirsute Persians in leotards have been a regular sight on Olympic podiums. In fact, more than half of the country’s Olympic medals have come on the wrestling mat.
All pictures Getty Images
Radar Editor’s letter Daniel, the champion of England? Brendan Rodgers doesn’t seem much bothered www.sport-magazine.co.uk @sportmaguk facebook.com/sportmagazine
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International ‘break’ Phrase spells danger for coaches trying to swim against the tide of a club-dominated game
Acting editor Tony Hodson @tonyhodson1
no Premier League football signifies any kind of break should strike fear into the hearts of international managers taking aim at World Cup qualification this week. Thus, as we discuss in this week’s cover feature, Roy Hodgson goes into a crucial England double-header with the weight of news from last week’s domestic fixtures weighing heavy on his shoulders. Wayne Rooney and Glen Johnson are both absent through injury, but most ominous for Hodgson was the reaction of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers when asked if the in-form Daniel Sturridge would be available after battling a thigh problem. “He has struggled in the last couple of games and we need to think of Liverpool first,” said the Northern Irishman after his striker scored the winner against Manchester United on Sunday, barely hiding his lack of interest in such a pivotal week for English football. Rodgers is not paid to give a hoot about England, of course, and as I write Sturridge remains in contention to win a seventh cap against Moldova. But one thing is for sure – if England do make Brazil 2014, they will do so with little if any help from the club game.
So the transfer window slammed shut (or was tentatively closed before being reopened for a few late deals – the cheeky scamps) on Monday evening. It is sad to see Gareth Bale leave, but it will be fascinating to see how he fares in Madrid. How a naturally shy individual handles living in a foreign land, plus the internal politics and egos that seem to dominate within the Bernabeu, will determine how well his dream move goes. In his absence, we can look forward to seeing the sublime skills of Mesut Ozil gracing the Premier League. Some are questioning whether he’s the ‘right kind of signing’ for Arsenal. As one of the world’s great midfield talents (just ask Gareth Barry), I’d say he’s the right kind of signing for anyone.
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LAUNCH OF THE YEAR
Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player in history, but the second half of this season has for the first time shown the Swiss great to be in genuine decline. At 32 and with a record 17 Grand Slam titles to his name, losing to lesser players on a stage he used to dominate can’t hold much interest. With that in mind, I wonder whether his defeat to Tommy Robredo in New York this week might end up being the last time we see him in a Grand Slam.
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Great line in @Sportmaguk
@billborrows Quality piece
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@tonyhodson1 What a load
re Big Ron in Celeb BB.
in @Sportmaguk today,
resting players for the ODIs]
winner in the #Bolt v #Farah
of bollocks you have written
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getting some weird looks
is a disgrace. They are
600m in @Sportmaguk.
about Moyes in today’s
reminds me of school PE:
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professionals and it’s August.
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If the Aussies did it we’d be
presenting the Mobos”
12 | September 6 2013 |
humiliation. No good came of it
Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
hen did the phrase ‘international break’ come into being? The very idea that a weekend with
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Flats on Friday
Keeping it simple is an art
don’t know what the coach said at half-time, but it’s working!” How many times have we heard this while watching a game? A good few I’d say, and my bet is that he didn’t say much at all. One of the best coaches I ever had was the sort of bloke whose honour you defended whenever you took the field. We all played for him and felt just devastated when we underperformed, feeling we’d let him down. He would work tirelessly for us, and would never, ever be anything other than totally supportive when questioned in public. In modern parlance, he had the changing room. One thing he did struggle with was delivering information on game day. He didn’t get nervous or lack clarity of message. It’s just that there were way, way too many messages. On a Friday morning, we would each be given a ‘tip sheet’ designed to offer us key pieces of information to remember and what we call ‘triggers’. These are initial actions the opposition would take that we knew, from extensive analysis, led to certain plays. However, this sheet contained something like 50 tips. Even for your average brainiac, that’s an awful lot to take in. Then a miracle happened. A lovely chap arrived at the club one day and introduced himself to the players, one by one. Each opening chat lasted about five minutes and, frankly, some of the questions he asked were a bit odd. He was immediately labelled
14 | September 6 2013 |
a weirdo and, seeing as we had been told he was ‘sort of a shrink’, he was all but ignored from the start. Not by me, though. I like weird people and I found him intriguing, especially as I eavesdropped and his questions became more and more obscure. After a team meeting through which he stood in a corner smiling like a Stephen King clown, I asked him why on earth he was here. He casually told me that he was putting his PhD in learning techniques into action. Then he asked me if I liked cats. I think he felt my scepticism and sensed that my interest levels in him outweighed those shown by the other players. I believe that because the next weekend I didn’t receive the usual 50 tips. Instead, I got a scrap of paper with two things written on it: “If you are caught out wide in defence, work your nuts off to get closer to the breakdown.” And: “If it moves, hit it.” That was it. And it changed my game. I looked over at him as I received it; he winked. After the game I quizzed him, and his answer was simple: “You need to see your tips; telling you isn’t enough. You also, like every player, can only retain a tiny amount of information on game day due to the stresses involved, so that’s what we gave you.” Now, whenever I see a team turn things around in a second half, I give credit to the coach who handed out the tips. And I wonder just how little Sir Alex Ferguson actually used to say. @davidflatman
It’s like this… Bill Borrows
t’s a disgrace’, apparently. Obscene’. ‘It needs to be stopped’. What could it be? Civil war in Syria? Famine in Africa? Nope: ‘Deadline Day’. You’ll be distressed to learn that ex-players from clubs who have missed out on key transfers, and current chairmen who have paid over the odds, don’t like it when the summer transfer window closes a couple of weeks into the season. Tough. It is one of the best days of the year, the crack cocaine of the football calendar, and for every Lou Macari crying because Manchester United failed to buy anybody half-decent, there are 60,000 Arsenal fans beside themselves after securing the services of Mesut Ozil at the last minute – ‘O-Zil to the Arsenal’ indeed. And, as we are constantly told, it is all about the fans. Some of the Tottenham faithful might be distraught to see Gareth Bale leave, but just as many are delighted to see 70 per cent of their 2012 revenue spent on playing staff rather than parked away for a rainy day. Newcastle fans might be fuming that the club has missed a chance to strengthen, but they must look at those who run their club. Deadline day holds the men who make decisions to account. Don’t like it? Do your business earlier. It’s fair and it applies to all clubs equally – and how often can you say that about football? No doubt Michel Platini is currently in a UEFA laboratory somewhere in France attempting to engineer a method for the richest clubs to have an extra month to conduct their business (plus another fortnight for non-English clubs) – but, as it stands, it works. It could, however, be even better. In the interests of the fans, I have three key changes to make: 1 Deadline day is to be made a Bank Holiday, with people who don’t like football working unpaid extra hours to compensate for the absence of their colleagues. 2 A public vote to decide which club has had the worst transfer window – and the chief executive, manager, financial director and board of directors of said club to be forced to clean the cars of all their seasonticket holders for the duration of the season. 3 With 60 minutes to go, there will be a ritzy cup draw in Monaco, or a raffle at a local working men’s club in the home city of the champions. The Premier League will provide the only prize: £100m that must be spent in the next hour in the style of Brewster’s Millions.
All those in favour say ‘aye’. Woah! Not all at once. @billborrows
Plank of the Week Roy Hodgson, Anfield So you didn’t get into the directors’ lounge. Is that such a big deal? And then you stropped off. A quick reminder, Roy: you have two very important games coming up, and if you don’t do your job properly you will ruin our summer. Forget about the privileges associated with the job – crack on with the basics of getting us to Brazil.
Frozen in time
16 | September 6 2013 |
He’s good in the air, but Real Madrid didn’t buy Gareth Bale for his bonce. They purchased him for his traction engine left foot, zeppelin-sized lungs and Beyonce thighs. However, he’ll need to keep his head about him in Spain’s capital. Real Madrid is not entirely a meritocracy, and a few Los Blancos players may not be too delighted by the arrival of a new superstar, hogging column inches and a midfield berth. Keep your eyes wide open, Gareth lad. You’ve got the talent to handle any rival player – but the ones on your own side may prove the biggest challenge of all this year.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Road to Brazil
20 | September 6 2013 |
uper sodding Sunday. England manager Roy Hodgson will have spent this week cursing a day that saw his corn flakes and morning coffee spoiled by confirmation of Wayne Rooney’s enforced absence from Three Lions duty; his appetite for lunch ruined by the withdrawals from the squad of Phil Jones and Glen Johnson; and his afternoon tea marred by question marks over the fitness of freescoring Daniel Sturridge. And Tottenham fans thought they’d had a bad day. It was only days earlier that Hodgson had named all of the above in his squad for England’s all-important World Cup qualifying double-header against Moldova at Wembley on Friday night, and Ukraine in Kiev next Tuesday. Perhaps with one eye on the weekend’s fixtures even then, he told the FA.com: “I’m just hoping the squad I’ve selected will be with us for the next four games – that the players will stay fit and be available, because it’s a squad that looks very strong on paper.” With four games left to ensure England have a role to play in Brazil next summer, life is starting to get complicated for Hodgson. If Euro 2012 was the equivalent to the early days of a relationship, where every little foible holds some attraction and even occasional bouts of flatulence are endearing, then this can be seen as the tricky second phase of Hodgson’s tenure. Shortcomings are now noted down – to be used as evidence at a later date – and endearments are no longer bestowed for anything as facile as a digestive movement. They have to be earned. “In terms of where we genuinely are right now, draws away from home in Montenegro and Poland are decent results, but to draw at home against Ukraine was disappointing,” muses Stan Collymore, former Liverpool and England striker and now a talkSPORT presenter. “If we do have any design on getting to the World Cup, then we have to win most of our home games. Overall, I’d probably give England six out of 10 with the new manager – but there is still plenty of football left to play.” Collymore is cautiously optimistic about Hodgson’s England, but a man who played under the 66-year-old throughout his tenure as Fulham manager is a little less conservative in his assessment. “People can say I’m biased because I’ve worked with him and respect him,” says former Cottagers captain and England midfielder Danny Murphy. “But you can see the England team getting better and more organised. Yes, one or two results haven’t quite been what we would have wanted – but I still firmly believe we’ll qualify for Brazil.”
“You can see the England team getting better and more organised. Yes, one or two results haven’t quite been what we would have wanted – but I still ﬁrmly believe we’ll qualify for Brazil” Danny Murphy
England currently sit second in European Qualifying Group H. They are two points behind Montenegro, who have played one game more, and one point ahead of Ukraine – the nation considered to be England’s main challengers for the one automatic qualifying spot. While England spend Friday night playing Moldova at Wembley, Ukraine will most likely be smashing a hatful of goals past a San Marino side that has scored none and conceded 29 thus far in their qualifying campaign. All of which makes it even more critical England get their doubleheader off to a winning start against Moldova. “I think we’ve got the firepower to break them down,” said Hodgson of the game that takes place three days before the squad travel to Kiev for the second, more perilous part of their task. “But I also think Moldova are a better team now than they were in their opening game.” The match he’s referring to was also England’s first of their qualifying campaign, and it started with a bang – a Frank Lampard brace, along with goals from Jermain Defoe, James Milner and Leighton Baines, gave the Three Lions a 5-0 win in Chisinau. “We played very well that day, but we don’t really think Moldova are a team that gets beaten 5-0 – and that’s been proven by their results against the other teams in the group,” continued Hodgson. “We’re fully aware of how difficult the task will be, but that’s what qualifying is about. There will be lots of teams going into matches on Friday night knowing they need a result, otherwise their chances of qualification grow dimmer.” While Hodgson had the perfect get-out if England flopped last summer – he was employed by the FA just over a month before England’s opening game of Euro 2012, and had just two friendlies in which to assess the talent at his disposal – he is now, like every manager, entirely at the mercy of his team’s results. But that change won’t, says Murphy, affect Hodgson’s approach to the final stretch in qualifying for Brazil. “He’s very consistent,” he reveals. “Even when the pressure is really on, he doesn’t deviate from his plan or the way he coaches. He has a clear message in the way he wants his teams to play, so the results in previous games in the group won’t affect the way he continues to give that message. “He won’t be thinking: ‘We have to win, so we have to change the way we play.’ He’ll remain focused on doing the right coaching and preparation, and trust his team is good enough to win, rather than try to change the way they’re thinking and impress on them that we have to win. He won’t do that.”
Inevitably, during a coaching career that spans 37 years and includes 18 teams, including four national sides, Hodgson has amassed a wealth of experience in how to deal with high-pressure games. It’s something Murphy saw in his first season at Fulham, when the team fought relegation. “We were playing Manchester City away with a couple of games to go before the end of the season, and at half-time we were losing 2-0,” he remembers. “As the result stood, we were down. “He could have come in at half-time and ranted and raved. He could have panicked and made three subs and changed the formation, but he remained k | 21
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Four ﬁxtures over the next two months will decide whether England qualify directly for the 2014 World Cup. Ahead of Roy Hodgson’s biggest test yet, Sport assesses how he is handling the impossible job
Road to Brazil
“The best I’ve seen England play, and the most comfortable I’ve seen us, was when Gerrard was sat protecting in front of a back four, with the likes of Cleverley and Wilshere playing in a more advanced position”
Alex Livesey/Getty Images, Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
really calm. He said the way we were playing was okay, and that we didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down. “He told us to stick with it and keep playing our football – that if we were to go down, then we would do it playing the right way and doing the right things. We won 3-2, then won the last two games of the season and stayed up.” Murphy firmly believes calmness and focus are two of Hodgson’s finest qualities. “Ultimately, when a manager is calm and has belief in what he’s doing, it transfers to the players,” he says. “He’ll be passing those same messages on to the England players Right man for the job: this week – not to think Walcott can be a about what happens if danger out wide, you win or don’t win. says Collymore “Just think about performing, do what we’ve worked on, keep your shape, and do the right things – if we do, we’re better than them. That’s the best way for this England team to move forward, so that they don’t feel like every game is the be-all and end-all the media make it out to be.” Hodgson’s firm belief systems can work seemed 22 | September 6 2013 |
to work against him on the international stage, though, as he found when England were held to a 1-1 draw by the Republic of Ireland at Wembley earlier this year. Gary Lineker described Hodgson’s use of the 4-4-2 formation in that game as “a step back to the dark ages... predictable and dated”. It was also Hodgson’s preferred formation during last year’s Euros – something Collymore says was understandable, given his short time in charge. “It was a very rigid 4-4-2 featuring players such as James Milner, who
work extremely hard,” he says. “But by the time it got to the Italy game in the knockout stage, they were out on their feet.”
While some argue that the talent (or lack thereof ) at England’s disposal rules out playing a more expansive system, Collymore disagrees. He points to a performance by England in their first match of 2013, their first win over Brazil in 23 years crafted with a system he describes as 4-1-4-1, with captain Steven Gerrard playing the pivotal anchor role in front of a back four. “Hodgson has always played 4-4-2,” says Collymore. “But in European and world football you have to have a specialist defensive anchor man, and Gerrard can play that role very well. Then you have Theo Walcott on the right of midfield, and maybe Danny Welbeck on the left, who can also be a danger from corners and set-pieces. That allows Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley – both young, enthusiastic players who are good in the final third – to create chances for whoever the striker may be. “The best I’ve seen England play, and the most comfortable, was when Gerrard was sat protecting in front of a back four, with the likes of Cleverley and Wilshere playing in a more advanced position.” Collymore believes Hodgson should make full use of the nation’s attacking talent because, while England are a side that has proven hard to beat k Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Road to Brazil
While it’s possible that Hodgson might let some of England’s attacking talent loose at Wembley on Friday night, he is likely to err more on the side of caution against Ukraine a few days later. Defeat for England in Kiev would leave their conquerors in the driving seat of Group H, and heap the pressure on to England for their final two qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. But Hodgson is maintaining his calm stance. “A game only becomes must-win when you know that if you don’t win it then you’re not going to qualify,” he said to theFA.com. “That will mean being outside of the top two, because if you’re second in the group you still have another bite of the cherry in the playoffs. As far as I’m concerned, that’s when my idea of the must-win game kicks in. I’m hoping that won’t ever happen.”
We have lift-oﬀ: Hodgson and Gerrard congratulate Cleverley and Baines after the 5-0 win in Moldova
Hodgson can sometimes seem to give off too much equanimity for his own good – but Murphy insists that, should England leave Kiev having suffered a first defeat in their World Cup qualifying campaign, the players won’t be left in any doubt as to his true feelings. “He won’t panic, but he’ll be angry,” he says. “He channels that anger into something productive quite quickly, though. So instead of getting involved in confrontation straight after the game, he might leave it until the post-match analysis. He normally watches it back in a group meeting, giving feedback and looking at things in a more calm environment to ask okay, where did we go wrong? “He’ll be aware that there comes a point in this group stage where you can’t keep making mistakes and having things go wrong, but he knows that everything doesn’t depend on the Ukraine game. If they lose it’s definitely not the end of the world,
Double trouble With Wayne Rooney nursing a head injury and Daniel Sturridge reporting for national duties with a dodgy thigh, England’s attack could be led by Danny Welbeck, at least for the first – and arguably more straightforward – leg of England’s qualifying double-header. England scored five goals with no reply against Moldova in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign – featuring one of Joe Hart’s three clean sheets in his last 11 games for England – and will
24 | September 6 2013 |
expect Friday night���s return leg at Wembley to push them three points nearer to Rio. The game in Kiev three days later is the one Roy Hodgson will be more anxious about. Last time England played there in October 2009, Ukraine ended their 100 per cent record in World Cup qualifiers with a 1-0 win in which England goalkeeper Rob Green (right) was sent off after 13 minutes. Hodgson will see four points as an acceptable return from these two games, knowing that anything less would place enormous pressure on England’s final two qualifiers at Wembley next month. Elsewhere in England’s group, Friday sees Poland host Montenegro in Warsaw while Ukraine take on the worst-ranked team in the world, San Marino. The latter then face Poland on Tuesday, leaving all six teams level on eight games played. The last two are then to come in October.
but if they win they doesn’t make them the best team in the world either. “I think players like the even keel he brings. He does get passionate though, and of course he’d be frustrated with defeat – but he’ll do all he can to make sure he takes that away from the players, because at England level the pressure on the players is immense.” For Hodgson and his team, the end of a campaign that began 12 months ago is finally in sight. And as his relationship with England reaches the delicate stage where one bad move could end a relatively harmonious partnership, Hodgson will be looking for as smooth a conclusion as possible. If all goes to plan, England’s two upcoming games should act as stepping stones to that conclusion. If they don’t, Hodgson knows he can expect to be picked apart, foible by foible. Sarah Shephard @sarahsportmag
HoDgSon’S poSSible Xi v MolDoVA Hart Walker Cahill Jagielka Cole Gerrard Carrick Wilshere Walcott
Montenegro England Ukraine Poland Moldova San Marino
P 7 6 6 6 7 6
W 4 3 3 2 1 0
D 2 3 2 3 2 0
L 1 0 1 1 4 6
PTS 14 12 11 9 5 0
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(since the 2010 World Cup, England have lost just three games over 90 minutes – all friendlies), they are not yet one with the ability to turn tight draws into narrow victories. “I know there are people saying we need to make Wembley a fortress,” says Collymore. “But in international football now, if you’re pragmatic, sit back and look to keep things tight, teams like Montenegro and Poland have the individual ability to hurt you. “But if we go out there and say we’re going to be proactive and let them worry about us, second-ranked nations don’t always have the resources to be able to cope with that over 90 minutes. It’s vitally important that, whether it’s in Kiev or at home against Moldova, Montenegro or Poland, we have attacking options on the pitch and more of an ability to score goals. England are capable of that, but Hodgson needs to express to the players that that’s the way we’re going to go.”
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Championship, which had the pair battling for the driver’s title, would have been riveting enough without the events at the Nürburgring. In that race, Lauda’s Ferrari crashed and exploded into a ball of flame, leaving him in a coma in hospital, fighting for his life. Remarkably, Lauda returned to racing just six weeks later in Italy (missing only two races), his burns still raw. He went on to push Hunt all the way to a memorable championship-deciding race in Japan. The story of the contrasting duo needs little Hollywood embellishment and has been brought to life with elan in Rush, directed by Ron ‘please don’t mention Happy Days’
Howard. The film‘s best feature, alongside some blistering racing scenes, is the performance of the two leads: Daniel Bruhl as Lauda, Chris ‘please don’t call me Thor’ Hemsworth as Hunt. Sport sat down with the two actors to discover how they slipped smoothly into the skins of their characters.
In researching James Hunt, what did you discover that helped you identify with him? Chris Hemsworth: “I loved his honesty. Whether what he did was right or wrong, he had a willingness to not give a shit and not be restricted by social etiquette or opinions. What was fascinating about James was that, regardless of how outrageous his actions were at times, everyone I spoke to about him loved him. I think it’s because he wasn’t hiding anything. His attitude was: ‘This is who I am – take it or leave it.’” > | September 6 2013 | 29
Rush Films Limited/Egoli Tossell Film and Action Image
ames Hunt was a charismatic English playboy whose private life was even faster than his racecar. Niki Lauda was a steely, calculating Austrian. The 1976 Formula 1 World
Rush Could Hunt, with his undisguised love of the high life, have survived in the modern world? CH: “Ron [Howard] has this quote about the 1970s: ‘It’s when the driving was dangerous and the sex was safe.’ Now, in F1, it’s the other way around. As the industry grows, it’s a lot riskier to be caught doing various things because of all the money the sponsors are throwing at it... I know in our [film] business, you can’t get away with any of the things that people used to. Because of the internet and the immediacy of information, everything is magnified a thousand times.”
He sounds like quite a character. Were you intimidated on first meeting him? DB: “For about the first half an hour, I was. He’s got this Viennese, dry sense of humour. It’s close to English humour, funnier than we Germans – because as you know, that can’t be too difficult. But I sensed that he liked the idea of me playing him. He was clever enough to know that the more he helps me, the
In no rush: the real-life Lauda (left) and Hunt (centre) catch some rays before the Argentine Grand Prix in 1977
s a w nt but u H es boy, of m a “J play ton a as a eRe” H w t e n R i tHenflict co
30 | September 6 2013 |
better he will come across in the movie. Now he’s getting older and a bit milder, he actually asked me in Vienna just a couple of days ago: ‘Do you think I was really such an asshole, like I am in the movie?’ It was really sweet. I said: ‘Yes, you were.’” Was Niki open in talking about the accident at the Nürburgring and his injuries? DB: “Yes, although he doesn’t remember the crash. There’s a bit of memory concerning his days in the hospital and the priest coming and giving him the last rites, but it’s blurry. We spoke about fear and overcoming fear. He said that when he came back at Monza, he tested the car and could do a lap only in second gear – that he was trembling. He was looking around [on leaving the car] to check that nobody had seen him in this state. He left, went to a room, closed the curtains, lay down and just analysed his fear for an hour. Then he was able to race.” CH: “That’s so different to James, because I think he would avoid confronting fear or the looming threat of death, which all the drivers lived with. He dealt with it by distracting himself, whereas Niki is about looking fear right in the eye.” There are some spectacular race scenes in Rush. How much of the driving did you do? CH: “A lot more than we expected. At first it was all insurance and safety and so on – and then through the filming process, they’d say: ‘Just jump in the car quickly and do this.’ So we ended up doing a lot more driving than we probably should have. But that was one of the best parts of the movie.” DB: “They were Formula 3 cars and the chassis was Formula 1, but they really are fast enough. It wasn’t just going in and out of the pits, it was often doing full laps. Also, my wheel came off the first time, when I tested. That was very strange.” CH: “I was standing about a hundred metres away, watching Daniel fishtail into this corner [of the track]. The wheel came off, then the car starts bouncing along – it was very close to tipping over – and there was his head popping out of the chassis. I’m thinking: ‘This
is not going to end well if it tips.’ There’s also this wheel bouncing off toward various people. It was like watching an actual scene from the movie’s story.” DB: “It showed me the power of the machine and how difficult it is to control such a car. It’s a beast. I like to drive fast. On the autobahn in Germany, we don’t have [speed] limits, so it’s easy to drive quickly – but it’s totally different when something unpredictable like this happens.” James and Niki were fierce rivals, yet they formed a friendship. How do you think such contrasting chaps were able to get along? CH: “There was a bit of a ying and yang thing between them. They had such high respect for one another, although you couldn’t have had two more different approaches to life. I think James appreciated the discipline that Niki showed, because there are many layers to James. Yes, he was a playboy, but there was a ton of conflict in there – and a big insecurity about not getting the respect he felt he deserved. But he maybe respected Niki’s different approach to things... how he distanced himself from it all.” DB: “I think Niki partly envied the flamboyant, rock and roll star attitude of James. But Niki also told me that because F1 was so dangerous back in the day, it was important to rely on the other drivers. Niki said that no matter how fast they were going, he always felt he could trust James as a driver – that James wouldn’t do anything stupid. Their sense of humour is something that they shared too. Niki actually went into James’ room in Japan [before the final race of 1976], opened the door very early in the morning, and said: ‘Today, I’m going to be world champion!’ Just to f**k with him.” CH: [Laughing] “There’s a great interview with James where he tells that story and he’s mimicking Niki’s Austrian accent. But it’s a pretty dangerous thing to do: bursting into James Hunt’s bedroom. He might well have had some company...” Alex Reid @otheralexreid Rush is in cinemas from Friday September 13
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You’re in a different position, Daniel, because Niki Lauda is alive and well. Did you spend much time with him? Daniel Bruhl: “Yes, he called and invited me to Vienna. He said: ‘Just bring hand luggage, in case we don’t like each other.’ He can be as undiplomatic as he is in the movie, so I was happy that he liked me, because it could have gone either way. He could have told me: ‘You’re an asshole – piss off!’ Fortunately he opened up, was generous with his time and supported all of us throughout filming.”
Hit giRl Ronda Rousey, the world’s number one female MMA fighter, on dislocating elbows and offering advice to the guys going fRom judo to mmA “It got to the point where judo training didn’t make me happy. I was miserable with the lifestyle required to be among the best in the world in judo, and I just realised that I wasn’t willing to be unhappy every day for four years to possibly be happy one day at an Olympics. I won my medal [an Olympic bronze in 2008] and that was great, but it wears off and you return to real life. Now I treat every single MMA fight as if it was an Olympic match. That’s one edge I do have: I learned a lot of lessons and developed a lot of good habits from my first run at a career through judo. I know that I’m able to deal with real pressure.”
Acting, modelling, figHting “People ask me if my other activities are a distraction — but I don’t know why everyone thinks that I had no distractions before! I was working three jobs and training full time for my first year. It’s not that I have more work now – I just have different, more glamorous work. When I’m training, I’m totally focused on that. Also, I like giving myself extra challenges and making people doubt me, because it makes a fight more interesting. If I just keep defending my title over and over and over, I feel like people will just get kinda bored of it. It’s more exciting for everyone if I keep putting that little bit of doubt in their minds.”
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tHe ultimAte figHteR “Filming the show [reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs Team Tate] was a huge experience. I was very happy developing the relationships that I did with the people on my team, but I don’t think you could pay me $10m to do it again. My gym is usually my safe place, where I’m able to me normal and be myself — and they kind of took it over and bastardised my safe haven! There were times they [the people making the show] tried to mess with me, and get reactions and drama out of me.”
mAle suppoRt “Other fighters have been so, so respectful. I’ve got more acceptance from the men in MMA than I ever did when I was in judo. I never had a single guy in judo come up to me — a reputable fighter — and ask me how to do something. Whereas the first day I met Jon Jones, he was asking me for advice. These guys in MMA are real gentlemen, and the epitome of what a martial artist should be.”
totAl focus “The only thing I worry about if I’m doing an arm bar on an opponent and that person isn’t giving up is that if I dislocate their elbow, it actually makes it easier for them to get out. So if they’re not giving up, I’m actually worried that they’ll get away. In the past, I’ve let people dislocate my elbow, found a way to get out and continued, then ended up winning. So I assume that the other person is just as stubborn as me and, until it’s over, I don’t really have any emotions going on during a fight. I’m problem-solving and that’s it.”
tHe switcH “As a fight gets closer, I feel I become less of my full personality and more this fiery side. While in camp, usually half the time I’m regular, chillingat-the-beach Ronda – and then the other times I’m fighter Ronda. But as the fight gets closer, I’m just into that fighting mentality all the time, and it gets tiring. I can feel my whole personality change as soon as the fight is over.” Alex Reid The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs Team Tate kicked off on BT Sport 2 on Thursday September 5, 11.30pm. It will repeat on Friday September 6, 11.30pm. The series will air every Thursday on BT Sport | September 6 2013 | 33
Here we go again Jan Kruger/Getty Images
It’s been one hell of a summer for the oval-ball game, and with the Rugby World Cup due on our doorstep in two years, things are only going to get bigger. The return of the Aviva Premiership, then, couldn’t come soon enough – and the new faces, old favourites, revamped rules and unfamiliar TV coverage are welcomed with open arms when they arrive tomorrow. Ahead of the big kick-off, we take a look at the challenge awaiting the various contenders, from Twickenham chasers to survival hopefuls, and pick out some of the new boys you would do well to keep your eye on. First, though, we sat down to chat to the man who crossed the whitewash more than [almost] everybody else in last season’s Premiership – yup, it’s Wasps flyer Tom Varndell. >
| September 6 2013 | 35
Aviva Premiership Tom Varndell
Eyes on the tries Tom Varndell’s 13 tries last season helped Wasps to their highest league ﬁnish for three years. On the eve of the new season, the ﬂying winger tells us he’s ready for more
This weekend sees the London double-header [Wasps v Harlequins and London Irish v Saracens], which is always a big deal. Which other matches do you look out for when the fixture list is announced? “Leicester Tigers is the obvious one. They’re my former club and I always have friends and players there that I know, so it’s nice to get one up on them. Other than that, being a London-based player makes all the London games big. It’s nice to get one up on Sarries, too, with them throwing the money around. So you look for the London ties and the Leicester games, really.” BT Sport have taken over the TV coverage this season. Do the players genuinely care about stuff like that? “Yeah, because we watch rugby, too. The main thing I’m concerned about is that I have to change my subscription! To be fair, as players, it’s important how the game is watched by people. As long as BT can deliver what they’re saying, then they’ll be buying into the game and increasing viewer numbers. That’s only going to be good for the game – we’ll see at the end of the season how it works.”
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36 | September 6 2013 |
“There aren’t many jobs out there where you’re in at 8.30am and you’re laughing, smiling and joking around from the minute you get there until the minute you leave” The real action begins tomorrow. How has your pre-season been? “It’s been up there with one of the toughest we’ve ever done. We’ve definitely stepped it up. The coaching team think we weren’t fit enough as a team last year, and we did peter out towards the end of the season after starting fantastically well. As a result, this pre-season has seen a massive fitness and weights focus. We’ve got to go through some pain with each other to tighten up the squad and build up some team spirit and morale. It’s gone really well, and I’ve really enjoyed it.” Is that the key missing ingredient to push this side on, then? “It’s just tightening it up, yeah. Our attacking game has not been an issue. We know we can score tries across the backline, and we’ve got a very dynamic forward pack. We’ve got some quality players in, and we were maybe just lacking a little bit of leadership and experience in that backline to really get us firing, so [fly half] Andy Goode should help that. He’s so experienced, he kicks his goals, his territorial kicking game is fantastic and his passing is brilliant. We have a good mix of youth and experience now.” How’s Andy’s (famously terrible) hair looking? “As lovely as always. Silky and smooth.” As a club, have you sat down and talked about your aims for the season? “It’s about kicking on from the year before. We know where we let ourselves down. We lost games that we shouldn’t have lost – such as Northampton at home, when we lost in the last play. We can’t have that this year – we have to be able to grind out the wins and hopefully hold on for those wins. A prime example was Quins on the first day – we’d done so much good work and built up a great score, then we let it slip. We can’t afford to do that this year if we want to compete with the big boys at the top of the league.” You’ve had a few tough transitional years. Is this a big year for the team? “Yeah, Dai [Young, director of rugby at Wasps] has highlighted it this summer. We’ve had two years of survival – we had our position in the league under
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threat two years ago, and last year saw a lot of financial issues around the club. We have a new owner now, they’ve done up bits and pieces of the training facilities… we have got no excuses. This is the season when it’s time to practise what we preach. We’ve said that we have all this potential, so now it’s time to realise that potential and really kick on.” How much fun is it for you playing for this backline? “It’s brilliant. It’s definitely reignited my hunger and desire. You have these younger players coming through – Christian Wade, Elliot Daly and Sam Jones – and they just play with a smile on their faces. It makes me more relaxed and the players just sort of bounce off each other. Especially me and Wadey – we work very well with each other. I’m excited, I genuinely am. I’m buzzing for the season. It’s never a chore coming to training – there aren’t many jobs out there where you’re in at 8.30am and you’re laughing, smiling and joking around from the minute you get there until the minute you leave. It’s a fantastic place to be, and I can’t wait to get the season started.” You’re closing in on Mark Cueto’s Premiership try record [Varndell has 73, compared to the Sale Sharks winger’s 78], and he’s said this is his last season. “Yeah, I’m so glad he’s retiring! Hopefully I can nab that off him by the end of the year. But, at the end of the day, it’s about me performing consistently well for the club, dotting down tries when I get the opportunity and doing the best I can. That’s all I can do.” You’re only 27, but England must have felt like a distant memory before your recent call into the training squad [Varndell’s previous cap came in the 44-12 defeat to New Zealand in 2008]. Do you think about England a lot? “Well, it’s not like I don’t think about it, but I never sit there and worry about the England squad and whether I’m in it – I just try and play as well as I can. If you’re playing well, you normally get picked to play for your country. This is the year I want to do that. If I play well and keep scoring tries, there’s no reason Stuart Lancaster won’t pick me.” What are the key things you’re looking to improve? “I want to keep scoring. I’ve got to keep scoring tries. As a winger, that’s the aim. You’re like a striker in football chasing goals. I want to improve my tally from last year. Defensively, I want to be as tight, if not better than last season, too – I think I was around the 88 per cent completion rate, so I want to get into the 90s. I want to be seen as a good all-round player and an exceptional finisher. I’ve got to be seen as being busy and coming off my wing a lot as well. You know, you can’t just be a winger, you’ve got to be an all-round player – that’s what I’m looking to do.” Mark Coughlan @coffers83
By players, for players
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Saturday AViVA premiership: WAsps v hArlequins tWickenhAm Bt sport 4.30pm
All pictures Gerry Images
Aviva Premiership The Teams
Bath won once on the road last time out, yet lost just twice at home – and it’s that hot and cold form that cost them a [proper] place in Europe. The arrival of George Ford is exciting, while Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson join a backline that loves to play. The pack possesses power but maybe lacks a bit of quality, and a lot rests on how quickly a bond is formed between Ford or Tom Heathcote and whoever gets the nine shirt (Peter Stringer, Micky Young and Martin Roberts will fight for that shirt). Then there’s Gavin Henson – whether hero or villain, we expect to see a lot of him this year.
Tweaks, as opposed to total reinvention, is the order of the day yet again for the Chiefs, where Rob Baxter relies on a small squad to pitch in for each other. Flying wingers Tom James and Fetu’u Vainikolo arrive to add flair out wide, but it’s the youngsters who hold the most interest after playing key roles in England U20s’ recent World Championship win – so expect to see more of Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Henry Slade in particular this season. A top-four push will be the aim, but the Chiefs might find themselves overtaken by sides that have strengthened better.
Conor O’Shea is not a man prone to rash decisions, and Quins bring a similar look to last season, despite coming up short in Europe and the Premiership. Nick Kennedy and Paul Sackey bring a wealth of experience from France, but it’s rediscovering their up-tempo carrying game that is key this year. Their scrum could be an issue unless Paul Doran-Jones stays fit, because James Johnston is not easy to replace. The good news? Captain Chris Robshaw bounced back from an England snub two years ago to lead his side to a Premiership title. Can the lack of a Lions trip have the same effect?
The Shedheads might not like to hear it, but we can see another season of frustration in the West Country, because the top four still looks just out of reach. That being said, the Cherry and Whites have made two shrewd signings in Matt Kvesic and James Hudson, and they retain one of the most exciting backlines in the league. With the pack they possess, and the dangermen out wide, a lot will rest on the pivotal trio of Ben Morgan, Jimmy Cowan and Freddie Burns providing the link between the units. Keep those three fit, and give them a freedom to play, and Gloucester will be a dangerous beast.
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
Lock-cum-flanker brings a powerful game and an impressive workrate to the West Country. The power of Bath’s pack around him could see him focusing on his own game and making a huge impact.
The all-action hooker shone for England U20s, and is likely to get the chance to bring his tenacity to the Prem this season. A big ball-carrier who won’t take a step back – expect full honours before long.
Oft-unsung Toulon star returns to domestic shores, and could form a potent second-row partnership with George Robson, with Parling-esque attention to lineouts. Ball-carrying skills will fit right in at the Stoop, too.
After shining for England, Kvesic starts life as a top-four challenger. A genuine number seven (boy, have we heard that phrase a lot recently), he will harry and carry his way into a regular England number seven shirt.
Predicted ﬁnish: 7th
Predicted ﬁnish: 8th
Predicted ﬁnish: 5th
Predicted ﬁnish: 6th
9/1 Chris Ashton to be Premiership’s top tryscorer 18+ GAMBLEAWARE.CO.UK
38 | September 6 2013 |
By players, for players
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Aviva Premiership The Teams
The biggest challenge the champions face is starting their season without Richard Cockerill on the sideline, as he continues a nine-match ban that started (ludicrously) in pre-season. Luckily for the ‘vocal’ Cockerill, his side look pretty set to continue where they left off, with a familiar squad boasting six Lions fresh from a successful trip Down Under – and an opening salvo aimed at the weaker trio of Worcester, Bath and Newcastle could be fruitful. Captain Toby Flood misses the start of the season with concussion, but he will return with a point to prove after a red-shirted snubbing this summer.
The Exiles have signed a sponsorship deal that sees a section of the Madejski dubbed ‘poo corner’ this season, and it might prove quite fitting in the months ahead. Last season was disappointing for Irish fans, and the number of star names who have upped sticks (Jonathan Joseph, Matt Garvey and Alex Corbisiero, to name just three) won’t have helped, while a pre-season injury to Tom Homer is a huge blow. The good news? Retaining the electric Marland Yarde, Tomas O’Leary and Ian Humphreys returning from fitness and Jon Fisher’s pre-season form can go in that drawer, but it’s the filing cabinet of negatives that could spell trouble.
Dean Richards is back, and if he could have hand-picked an opening trio of games, then Bath and Sale followed by a visit to his old stomping ground of Welford Road wouldn’t be far from it. Richards knows the game better than most, and has built a side on the back of promotion in a way that London Welsh failed to, with experienced faces coming in from the fringes of rival squads. Mike Blair is the pick of the new faces, but a big pack is the Falcons’ major weapon – and Richards knows they need to make Kingston Park as horrible a place to visit as it always has been. In a nice way, of course.
When Northampton lost the Grand Final at Twickenham in May, George North and Alex Corbisiero looked set to have an impact this season. Fast-forward three months, and one Lions campaign, and the duo look like they could hold the key to the Saints getting back to the big stage. Ryan Lamb’s departure should allow Stephen Myler to grow into the 10 shirt – at last – but with the power they have up top, expect the Saints to pummel teams into submission before unleashing a backline that boasts ball players everywhere, from Ben Foden at the back right up to Lee Dickson at nine.
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
When Richard Cockerill signs a hooker, it’s worth taking notice, and the man from London Welsh is sure to challenge Tom Youngs and Rob Hawkins for the shirt. His tenacity is certain to make him a fans’ favourite.
With the new scrum rules, immovable props could be back in favour, so Hagan’s arrival from Leinster is a big plus. His power will be important in solidifying the scrum, giving the backs a platform.
Flanker comes with a point to prove after injury kept his Saracens impact to a minimum. His open-field carrying is outstanding, and he could prove a key link between the power of the pack and the flair of the backs.
The Folau swatter arrives in the Midlands ready to wreak havoc on the Premiership. We expect him to have an instant impact on a side that has missed a natural finisher since Chris Ashton’s departure.
Predicted ﬁnish: 2nd
Predicted ﬁnish: 12th
Predicted ﬁnish: 10th
Predicted ﬁnish: 3rd
7/4 Leicester Tigers to win the Grand Final 18+ GAMBLEAWARE.CO.UK
40 | September 6 2013 |
By players, for players
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Aviva Premiership The Teams
After last season went from top-four dreams to relegation fears within the first few months – not to mention the first few managerial shuffles – it’s a more grounded Sale side that approaches this season. A strong and dangerous backline never really clicked into gear in the last campaign, and a lot depends on whether Danny Cipriani can impose his game on the side. The (lack of) strength in depth in the forwards could prove to be the side’s undoing, but the powerful runners will cause damage. After last season, though, a tight-knit unit that will pull together might be just what the Sharks need.
After taking a big step forward in silencing critics of their negative style, Saracens will expect to push on again now they’ve settled on the infamous plastic pitch – and it’s hard to see anyone stopping them. James Johnston and Billy Vunipola arrived in a ‘two fingers up to their rivals’ style unveiling, but the duo can play huge parts in adding solidity and ball-carrying to this pack. In the backs, Joel Tomkins is the man to watch as his union skills continue to develop, while Owen Farrell played some of his best rugby in the latter stages of the Lions tour – he is set for another huge season.
There’s a buzz in the air at Wasps (lol!) ahead of the new season, now that the financial worries of last year have been sorted with new owners and a new shirt sponsor. The playing side of things has a familiar feel, but it’s one that is certainly not lacking in experience after the past few years. Andy Goode’s arrival will shore up a side that has lacked international class at times, while the loss of Billy Vunipola means Sam Jones is under pressure to make an impact. Elliot Daly’s injury is a blow, but this is a big season for the men from (sort of) London – consistency is key to their ambitions in Europe.
Dean Ryan’s permanent appointment at the helm leaves the Warriors as a bit of an unknown quantity this season, with Ryan’s impact seeing 16 leavers and 13 new faces already. Jonathan Thomas takes the captaincy, and the former Osprey is likely to thrive in the Premiership, while Ignacio Mieres brings Premiership experience to the 10 shirt. If Ryan’s time with Scotland is anything to go by, don’t expect the Warriors to play expansive rugby. After years of struggling to impose themselves in the top flight, a move further up the table will do – but this season might just be too soon.
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
One to watch
The Canadian winger has pace to burn and proved in the last campaign that he knows how to score tries from minimal ball – a skill that could prove very useful indeed in this Sharks side.
The second Vunipola to pull on the red and black jersey had a huge impact with Wasps last season, and brings a ball-carrying game that will get this side on the front foot. The plastic pitch is sure to suit him.
His Twitter feed will tell you that he picked up the ‘best trainer’ award in pre-season, but it’s Goode’s ability to run the backline that saw him brought in. With such a young unit outside him, that will be a huge plus.
Recruited by former coach Richard Hill, the Auckland Blues eight could thrive under Dean Ryan’s tutelage. Ryan has always loved a strong ball-carrier at the base of the pack; the Kiwi certainly ticks that box.
Predicted ﬁnish: 9th
Predicted ﬁnish: 1st
Predicted ﬁnish: 4th
Predicted ﬁnish: 11th
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42 | September 6 2013 |
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Former Scotland and British Lions captain Gavin Hastings is widely acclaimed as one of the greats of his generation. Now armchair rugby expert for Unibet, he gives us his tips on this year’s Aviva Premiership
t’s no surprise that Unibet make Leicester Tigers their 7/4 favourites to lift the Premiership trophy this season, but don’t be surprised if Saracens (5/2) give them a fright. Harlequins (5/1) will always mount a strong challenge, as Conor O’Shea is such a great man. I would be most surprised, indeed shocked, if the winner didn’t come from one of these three sides. Saracens may have felt a little hard done by last season, having finished as league leaders only to lose in the playoffs. But that is the nature of the playoffs; they always make for an exciting climax to the season. Leicester had six or seven players away with the Lions over the summer, whereas Quins had a lot fewer, so their key men are fresher coming into the new season. It’s a long campaign, and while it’s good to have the top international players in your team, sides like Leicester must ensure they don’t become overreliant on them.
Top try scorer Tom Varndell (8/1) will score plenty of tries. I remember watching him with the England Sevens years ago, and he has a huge amount of pace. It will be interesting to see how George North gets on at Northampton Saints, and he certainly won’t be short of confidence after an excellent Lions tour. He’s available at a generous 16/1, and is my choice. Top points scorer Nick Evans is sure to have another solid season after topping this market in the last campaign. But I think Freddie Burns could enjoy an even stronger campaign for Gloucester. He’s a big price at 7/1. Battle for London There could be some intriguing battles among the London clubs this season – and it’s tough to separate them, so it’s great
that Unibet have made a market where you can bet on the top London team. My money is on Saracens at 8/15.
The odds To win the Grand Final
The strugglers You have to say that Newcastle Falcons (2/1 to finish bottom), London Irish (11/4) and Sale Sharks (4/1) will struggle, while Exeter Chiefs (25/1) could also be fighting for Aviva Premiership survival. I just don’t think Newcastle have the depth in their squad of some of the others, though. They look the most likely team to finish bottom. With Unibet, you can bet on up to 45 markets on every live televised Aviva Premiership game this season. Visit www.unibet.co.uk/sport to open a Unibet account, read more of Gavin Hastings’ thoughts on the new season, and to get your 100% deposit bonus of up to £50
Visit www.unibet.co.uk/sport now to get a 100% deposit bonus (up to £50)
7/4 5/2 5/1 13/2 11/1 16/1 20/1
Leicester Tigers Saracens Harlequins Northampton Saints Gloucester Bath bar
Top try scorer 8/1 17/2 9/1 14/1 16/1 16/1 20/1
Tom Varndell Christian Wade Chris Ashton Charlie Sharples George North Vereniki Goneva bar
Top points scorer 5/1 11/2 7/1 8/1 9/1 10/1
Nick Evans Toby Flood Freddie Burns Gareth Steenson Andy Goode bar
7 Days OUR PICK OF THE ACTION FROM THE SPORTING WEEK AHEAD
SEPT 6-SEPT 12 HIGHLIGHTS » Football: World Cup Qualifiers » p46 » Rugby League: Hull FC v St Helens » p48 » NFL: Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints » p48 » Boxing: Ricky Burns v Ray Beltran » p50 » Cricket: England v Australia, 1st ODI » p50
FRIDAY AtHLEtICS | DIAMOND LEAGUE: BRUSSELS | KING BAUDOUIN StADIUM | BBC tWO 7PM
Bolt and beats in Brussels
The King Baudouin Stadium brings down the final
four occasions he's run in the King Baudouin Stadium
same event for the first time in Diamond League
curtain on the 2013 Diamond League series, with
since, however, he's gone home a winner.
history. Kevin, his twin brother Jonathan and younger
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
16 Diamond League disciplines set to be decided in
Elsewhere, the women's high jump and men's pole
sibling Dylan Borlee made up three-quarters of
Brussels on Friday evening (some were decided
vault both present world-class fields. The former is
Belgium's 4x400m team at the recent World
in part one of the 'finale' in Zurich last Thursday).
headlined by London 2012 gold-medallist Anna
Championships in Moscow, where they finished fifth
Chicherova and two-time world champion Blanka
in the final. Maybe a fourth Borlee brother should be
be gold. More specifically: triple Olympic and world
Vlasic (who also won an Olympic silver medal in
produced to complete the quad?
gold-medallist Usain Bolt. He's competing in Belgium
Beijing), while the latter sees the current world
for the sixth time in his career since making his debut
champion Raphael Holzdeppe go up against Olympic
party has been given some extra oomph: Jamaican
there in 2007. Then, the Jamaican finished third in
champion and world silver-medallist Renaud Lavillenie.
reggae artist Sean Paul is set to join Bolt on the decks.
Diamonds aside, the headline act will – as always –
the 200m in 20.14s, beaten by the American pair of Wallace Spearmon and Xavier Carter. On each of the 44 | September 6 2013 |
The 400m is set to provide the evening's grand finale, and will see three brothers competing in the
It being the final meeting of the season, the after
We're sure the Swedish women's handball team will be around somewhere, too. Probably. Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
World in motio Europe
Elsewhere in Europe
No team from our fair continent has managed to secure their place in Brazil
Italy can secure top spot in Group B
just yet, and with three or four games left for most and the worst of the nine
if they collect six points from the
second-placed teams missing out on the playoffs, it will be hard for anyone
visits of second-placed Bulgaria
to mathematically secure their place with this group of games. However,
(Friday) and third-placed Czech
several teams will be able to rest a little easier come Tuesday evening.
Republic (Tuesday). The Republic of Ireland have two massive games in Group C, at home to Sweden (Friday
FRIDAY | gRoup A: ScotlAnD v BelgIum | HAmpDen pARk | SkY SpoRtS 3 8pm
7.45pm, Sky Sports 2) and away in Austria (Tuesday) – six-pointers
Scotland have managed to join the Faroe Islands and San Marino as one of only
both, against the teams they’re tied
three teams in Europe who can no longer mathematically make it to the World
on points with in the battle for the
Cup. Well done lads. They can salvage some pride tonight against undefeated
runners-up spot behind Germany.
Group A leaders Belgium, who boast one of the strongest squads in Europe on
In Group D, the Netherlands have
paper, with a glut of Premier League stars. Scottish striker Kenny Miller has retired
won six from six and conceded just
from international football on a high after his goal against England at Wembley,
twice. They will confirm their
but there are new faces for this game, and the one in Macedonia on Tuesday
World Cup place if they can beat
(BBC One Scotland, 7.30pm). Watford winger/full-back Ikechi Anya has been
the bottom two teams in the group
called up for the first time and could make his international debut. The Belgian
– Estonia (Friday) and Andorra
squad includes 11 Premier League players – Christian Benteke and captain Vincent
(Tuesday). If Switzerland can stay
Kompany got the goals in their 2-0 home win over Scotland last October, but the
unbeaten they’ll be almost assured
latter misses out through injury here. Still, there’s a sense this Belgium team are
of the same in Group E – they play
going places with the same speed Scottish football is departing; it will be
third-placed Iceland at home and
fascinating to see how their young talent is gelling.
then fourth-placed Norway away. In Group G, things are much more straightforward. Bosnia-Herzegovina
tueSDAY | gRoup A: WAleS v SeRBIA | mIllennIum StADIum | SkY SpoRtS 1 7.45pm
have two games against Slovakia – win either, and they’ll secure a
Gareth Bale has expressed his desire to gain match sharpness by linking up with
top-two finish. The smaller Group I
Wales for their trip to Macedonia tonight (Sky Sports 3, 6pm), and this home
fixture list gives France a chance to
game against Serbia. Presumably he’ll have to head back home to pick up some
go top ahead of Spain, as they play
stuff from his mum’s house and sort out travellers’ cheques and stuff, so he might
twice (against Georgia on Friday and
as well. Madrid’s newest signing has scored four of his country’s six goals in
Belarus on Tuesday), while the
qualifying, including a consolation in the 6-1 defeat away to Serbia, and would
champions of everything have just
seem to be vital to their slim-to-no hopes of a playoff place. Serbia have had
the away trip to Finland on Friday.
a poor qualifying campaign by their standards, but are rebuilding with the likes
The Finns earned an unlikely draw
of Man City defender Matija Nastasic and Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic.
in Spanish territory – if they repeat the feat at home, the defending
Also in Group A... Croatia will be guaranteed a top-two spot if they beat fierce
champions could find themselves
local rivals Serbia in Belgrade tonight – a result that would help Belgium achieve
facing the dreaded playoffs.
the same, regardless of their result in Glasgow. If you’re wondering why we’ve ignored England, it’s not because
FRIDAY | gRoup F: noRtHeRn IRelAnD v poRtugAl | WInDSoR pARk, BelFASt | SkY SpoRtS 4 7.45pm
we're sick to death of them – Roy Hodgson's task is covered
Norn Iron will be in buoyant mood after beating Russia at Windsor Park a few weeks ago for their first Group F victory, but they’ve got group leaders Portugal tonight – and that means facing Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be looking for a strong performance to reassert himself as the best ‘powerful yet skilful Real Madrid forward who can operate either wide or in a more central position’ in the world. They’re strengthened by the return of West Brom’s Chris Brunt from All pictures Getty Images
suspension, as well as Jonny Evans and Kyle Lafferty from injury. Defeat will all but end their slim hopes of qualification, especially because second-placed Russia, managed by Fabio Capello, still get to play Luxembourg twice. Also in Group F... Luxembourg will get a visit from Northern Ireland on Tuesday (Sky Sports 2, 7.15pm). Despite that win over Russia and a brave draw in Portugal, Michael O’Neill’s men somehow managed to draw the home game 1-1. 46 | September 6 2013 |
in more detail from page 20.
“Brilliant! It’s an international week!” said no one, ever, although with the World Cup qualifying campaign nearing its conclusion across the globe, there’s plenty of non-English interest between now and Tuesday. We’ve picked out some of the games to keep an eye on
KEY GAME: PErU v UrUGUAY | fridAY 3.30AM
The four automatic places look pretty much sewn up with a handful
Luis Suarez could get his first
of games to go – Argentina,
competitive start of the season
Colombia, Ecuador and Chile are in
against Peru, who (we assume)
them at the moment. Uruguay,
are still reeling, like we are, from
Venezuela and possibly Peru look
the international retirement of
like contending for fifth, and an
Nolberto Solano four years ago.
intercontinental playoff against
Peru are two points behind Uruguay
Jordan or Uzbekistan.
in the race for the all-important playoff spot, so this game is vital. They lost the reverse fixture 4-2 in Montevideo last June, however, so will need to turn the tables if they are to travel to Venezuela on Tuesday in a positive frame of mind.
KEY GAME: USA v MExico | TUESdAY 1.06AM
Three of six teams will survive 'the Hexagon' and make it to the World
Clint Dempsey will make his first
Cup, with the fourth-placed team
national team appearance since
facing off against New Zealand.
returning to the States to join the
Mexico currently sit third, behind
Seattle Sounders against Costa Rica
the USA and Costa Rica, and their
on Friday, or in this one against fierce
two games hold most interest – the
rivals Mexico in Ohio. The Mexicans still
first, against Honduras in fourth, is a
lead the head-to-head records, but it’s
must-win if they want to avoid the
generally been too close to call in
playoff. The second, which we focus
recent years – as illustrated by the tight
on over to the right, is the always
0-0 draw earlier this year. Javier
fiery meeting with the USA.
Hernandez hasn’t had much game time for Man Utd this season, but will hope he can break that scoreless deadlock.
KEY GAME: GhAnA v ZAMbiA | fridAY 4PM
It’s the final round of group games, with the 10 group winners going
Zambia had a fairytale Africa Cup
through to two-legged playoffs
of Nations in 2011 – winning the
which will decide the five spots.
tournament as outsiders, 19 years on
Ivory Coast, Egypt and Algeria are
and just a few miles away from where
already there, and South Africa will
a plane crash claimed the lives of their
join them if they can beat Ethiopia
entire squad. Ghana’s own fairytale
at home. Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana,
ending was denied them at the World
Cameroon and Senegal will do
Cup in 2010, by the hand of panto villain
likewise if they can avoid defeat,
Luis Suarez. Since then they’ve failed to
while Congo need to beat Niger or
live up to the promise of a very talented
hope other results go their way.
squad – but if they can avoid defeat here then they will secure their place in the playoffs.
Asia Japan, Australia, South Korea and Iran have already qualified, so this week sees the final pair of matches in the Asian qualification cycle – a two-legged playoff between Jordan and Uzbekistan to decide who goes into the playoff with the fifth-placed South American team. On paper, the Uzbeks have the advantage – several of their squad play in the Russian Premier League, including Anzhi’s Odil Ahmedov (right), who was fans’ player of the year over Samuel Eto’o in 2011. | 47
7 Days SUNDAY NFL | ATLANTA FALCONS @ New OrLeANS SAiNTS | MerCeDeS-BeNZ SUPerDOMe, New OrLeANS | SKY SPOrTS 2 HD 6PM
Southern Showdown Last season’s NFC South
quarterback Drew Brees, who
champions, the Atlanta
told the press: “I love the fact
Falcons, travel to face bitter
that Sean is back, and that he is
rivals the New Orleans Saints in
taking the reins, and that he is
Sunday’s season-opener at the
going to be the voice in my ear.”
The Falcons won their first
The Falcons and the Saints
eight games in 2012, finishing
have alternated as divisional
the year 13-3 before losing the
champs for the last four years,
NFC Championship game to
and shared the spoils in last
the San Francisco 49ers.
season’s two match-ups. The Saints, who finished with
Sky’s TV coverage continues when the Green Bay Packers
a disappointing 7-9 record in
face the San Francisco 49ers at
2012, have Sean Payton back as
Candlestick Park (9pm). The
coach after a year’s suspension
Packers will be hunting revenge,
for his part in the New Orleans
as it was the 49ers who ended
bounty scandal (in which
their Super Bowl quest last
several Saints players were
season, beating them 45-31 in
accused of operating a ‘slush
the divisional playoffs. They will
fund’ that paid out bonuses
need to contain quarterback
for injuring members of the
Colin Kaepernick, though, after
opposition). Payton’s return is
he rushed for 181 yards and two
much to the delight of
touchdowns in that clash.
SUNDAY FOrMULA 1 | iTALiAN GrAND Prix | MONZA | SKY SPOrTS F1 & BBC ONe 1PM
Little red racing good? Sebastian Vettel may seemingly be on his way to a fourth
frustrated Ferrari faithful for at least another season. The
consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ championship, and his Red
Spaniard would need to register a first race victory since at
Bull team on their way to a fourth straight constructors’
his home Grand Prix in May if he is to do so, however, with
equivalent, but the sport is about to turn the red of Ferrari
the Ferraris still struggling to match the race pace of the
for the weekend.
all-conquering Red Bulls.
No set of racing fans can match the passion of the tifosi
Indeed, Alonso would do well to look over his shoulder at Lewis Hamilton, who sits only 12 points behind his old McLaren
at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, and it will be much the
sparring partner in third. The Mercedes driver will be aiming
same this Sunday. It may be asking too much of Fernando
for a fifth straight pole position, but he doesn’t need us to tell
Alonso (below) to claw back the 46 points by which he
him that only one of the previous four has been converted
currently trails championship leader Vettel, but a third
into a race victory. He did win round here 12 months ago,
win around the Monza track would perhaps appease the
however, so there is hope. It springs eternal, apparently.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images, Mark Thompson/Getty Images
when the prancing horse of their beloved Ferraris rock up
48 | September 6 2013 |
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7 Days Saturday Boxing | Ricky BuRns v Ray BeltRan | secc, glasgow | sky spoRts 1 8pM
Burns aims to relight ﬁre Scotland’s WBO lightweight title-holder
Lundy in 2012. The 32-year-old Beltran also
Ricky Burns may be unbeaten in his last 21
trains at LA’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club,
fights, but in his last bout he came as close
where he’s sparred with Manny Pacquiao,
to losing as a victorious boxer can. Burns
and fights with the busy, all-action style
struggled with the reach and power of
the gym is renowned for.
Puerto Rico’s Jose Gonzalez; only his iron
Beltran will not be in Glasgow just for a
will and conditioning got him through
payday, then, but Burns has an excellent
a torrid seventh round, before a weary
workrate too. Providing he can relocate the
Gonzalez withdrew from the fight on his
rhythm missing in his last performance, the
stool after nine rounds with a wrist injury.
30-year-old should extend his winning run.
Burns will look to put on a more
Fight aficionados should also cast an eye
convincing display against optimistically
on the undercard, where Luke Campbell –
nicknamed ‘Sugar’ Ray Beltran on Saturday.
probably the most gifted of London 2012’s
The Mexican-American’s record of 28 wins
Olympic boxing team – takes on Lee
against six losses is not imposing, but he
Connelly in his second professional fight.
caused an upset against contender Hank
Campbell won his first in 88 seconds in July.
Friday cRicket | england v austRalia: fiRst odi | Headingley | sky spoRts asHes Hd 10.15aM
The glass-half-empty take on England’s
being a long-term part of England’s
players – and young pace bowlers such as
squad for their five-match ODI series against
Chris Jordan, Jamie Overton, plus ex-Ireland
Australia is that a squad missing the rested
For others, such as the touted 23-year-old
international Boyd Rankin – will be
James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad,
Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, a strong
Graeme Swann and captain Alastair Cook
display in this series could even sneak them a
means this is halfway to an England reserve
spot on the Test squad heading to Australia
guns, they do have their biggest weapon of
side. A glass-half-full (probably of warm
for this winter’s Ashes. Steven Finn (above)
all to call on. Kevin Pietersen is in the squad,
beer, which will soon be downed and the
will certainly be looking to show the selectors
and with the 2015 World Cup taking place in
glass used to form part of a giant ‘snake’)
that his form has improved, after he played
Australia – where he has an excellent record
view is that this offers an excellent audition
just one Test against Australia this summer.
on the fast pitches that suit his batting –
opportunity for fringe contenders and young players, so they can stake a claim to
50 | September 6 2013 |
The series has an unavoidable ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ feel, but at least these
motivated to prove a point. Also, while England are resting several big
one-day internationals will be very much on KP’s radar for the next 18 months.
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Scott Heavey/Getty Images, Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
The future boys
2 0 1 3
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Wembley W 52 | September 6 2013 |
WInnERS hen England and Scotland renewed their age-old rivalry at Wembley on August 14, in a thrilling tie between two Vauxhallsupported and sponsored nations – and a match that was broadcast live on talkSPORT in conjunction with Vauxhall – it was England who emerged victorious after 90 minutes. But during the half-time break, there was a different outcome, when England fan Nick took on Scotland fan Ronnie in a dramatic penalty shootout to decide the winner of Vauxhall’s Design An Adam competition. With the match tied at 1-1, a packed Wembley crowd were thoroughly warmed up for some half-time entertainment – and the kilt-clad Ronnie and his England-supporting competitor Nick were well equipped to provide it as they went head to head in a bid to win a unique Team Adam.
lead. Nick levelled proceedings again with a low drive that sent Douglas the wrong way, before Ronnie stepped up for his chance to make it three from three. Displaying nerves of steel, the Scot hit the same spot for a third time — the ball grazing Beasant’s fingertips as he desperately tried to get Nick back on terms. But it wasn’t enough: England 2–3 Scotland. The England fan stretched out his legs as he placed the ball on the spot for a fourth time. Hitting it to the same side as his first penalty, Nick played it too safe and the ball headed just to the right of the keeper, giving Douglas a straightforward save. Ronnie’s next penalty could win him the Scotland Team Adam. So what did he do? You guessed it, he went back to the same spot for a fourth time and beat Beasant yet again, wheeling away in delight as he realised he was taking a brand new, unique Vauxhall Adam back to Scotland with him.
on thE SPot
First up to the penalty spot was Nick, looking relaxed in a white polo shirt and jeans as he stared down the man charged with stopping him from scoring: former Scotland goalkeeper Robert Douglas. Off a short run-up, Nick struck the ball low and to the keeper’s right. It was beyond Douglas’ reach, but the England fan was denied by the post, giving a wry smile as he made way for Ronnie’s first attempt. The Scotland supporter was greeted by the familiar face of England legend Dave Beasant in goal – but he was unperturbed, putting his head down and smashing the ball straight into the bottom right-hand corner, giving Beasant no chance. Ronnie punched the air with delight as he wheeled away, glancing at the giant scoreboard that read: England 0–1 Scotland. With the pressure on him to equalise, Nick gave himself a slightly longer run-up and hit the ball high and to the goalkeeper’s left this time. Douglas dived the right way but couldn’t stop it, and the shootout was all square at 1–1. Not for long, though, as a cool Ronnie wasted no time in producing an almost exact replica of his first penalty, sending Beasant the wrong way to take a 2–1
“I’m over the moon,” said Ronnie after receiving the keys from Vauxhall’s Sponsorship Marketing Manager. “Stepping out at Wembley and winning a penalty shootout against the auld enemy is something I could have only dreamed about, but it has come true tonight. I am grateful to Vauxhall for making it happen.” The story wasn’t over for Nick, though, as he got a surprise knock on the door of his Essex home a week later from Dave Beasant, who arrived with the England Team Adam. “After losing the shootout at Wembley I was devastated, and thought my chance to win the car had gone,” he said. “But then I get a knock on my door and it’s Dave Beasant with the keys to my brand new Adam. I’m shocked and overjoyed!” Vauxhall sponsor live coverage of all the Home Nations internationals on talkSPORT, so tune in to keep up to date with their progress.
hoW thE adaMS WERE Won A
s proud sponsors of the England and Scotland teams, Vauxhall gave supporters of both sides a chance to win specially designed England and Scotland Adam cars that the likes of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and James McArthur had played a part in designing. On the night of the England versus Scotland game at Wembley, 20 lucky fans from each nation won the chance to be in the crowd while the two finalists – Nick and Ronnie – were invited to take part in a half-time penalty shootout to win their car.
foR MoRE on thE coMPEtItIon and MoRE chancES to WIn PRIzES, hEad to: www.vauxhallfootball.co.uk & youtube.com/vauxhallfootballtv folloW uS
Extra timE Making the most of your time and money
P60 rooney mara: girlfriend and getaway driver in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
La bomba acqua di Parma Colonia assoluta
Acqua di Parma pays homage to Italian bicycle culture with this 10th anniversary special edition. That explains the bottle’s spokes decoration, but what about the fragrance? It opens with bergamot blended with juicy red orange, moves into a heart of orange blossom, jasmine, lavender, and rosemary, and fades into a base of American cedar and sandalwood. Practically guaranteed to transform you into a wildly gesticulative, incorrigibly romantic fashion victim on two wheels. £110, 180ml | houseoﬀraser.co.uk
54 | September 6 2013 |
Neither should anyone’s son. Or Grandad. No cousins or nephews. Not the boys from the rugby club or the lads from the pub. No boyfriends or husbands or father-in-laws. Not the chap from the chip shop or the noisy lads at the back of the bus. Not your best mate. Not a single stranger. No one whatsoever. No one should face cancer alone. With your support, no one will. Text DAD to 70550 and donate £5 today.
Texts cost £5 plus your network charge. We receive 94p of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission first. Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). MAC14175_07_13
The US Open men’s ﬁnal signals the end of the Grand Slam tennis calendar, but you don’t have to retire your racket yet. Grab some of this garb to stay looking good on the baseline
adipower Barricade 8
A long way from the plimsolls we wore for PE, these offer stability claws for grip, extra cushioning for comfort and an Adiwear outsole to help them last. In short, they’re ace! £95 | adidas.co.uk
Dunlop performance Shorts
As long as they are comfy, half the length of our trousers and keep certain areas away from a public showing, we aren’t too fussy about shorts. These come with a mesh lining and an elasticated waistband to tick off all the boxes. For this price, you can’t ask for much more. £10 | sportsdirect.com 56 | September 6 2013 |
Wilson claim Victory polo
Looking a bit like Italy football tops used to look back when shirts were shirts, men were men and we walked, barefoot, 10 miles to school every day, Wilson’s lightweight, sweatwicking shirt boasts laser-cut inserts for optimum comfort. All together now, goalllllllllllllllllllllll… £40 | prodirecttennis.com
nike rF Trophy V-neck Tee
A shallow neck, no-sew shoulder and side seams all add to a comfy, abrasion-free feel in this smart tee, also available in three other colours. And the RF on the breast? According to our best sources, it’s something to do with some chap called Roger Federer? Nope, us neither. £25 | prodirecttennis.com
uniqlo nD Track Jacket
Far be it from us to accuse tennis players of being prima donnas, but do they really need a jacket for the 12-second walk to their seat? Anyway, this top from the Novak Djokovic line (also in black) will do the job nicely if you want to be ‘that guy’ next time you’re on court. £50 | uniqlo.com/uk
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iPad edition on Newsstand now
ANOtHer BriCk iN tHe WAll Hey! Reader! Check out our pick of the best new tech on the market, including this brick-like speaker
Divoom Onbeat 500
A seriously loud Bluetooth speaker, the 13-watt Onbeat 500 sits at the top of the new Divoom range, which includes five speakers of various sizes, shapes and potencies. Its particular unique features are the built-in microphone for phone calls and NFC tech that, with a simple tap, lets you pair it with your smartphone – or, if you’re easily confused, with your Zones 1-3 Travelcard. £139 | JD Williams stores
Moga Pocket Android Gaming Controller
Snap your Android phone into this portable controller and choose from a library of games that have been specially enhanced to work with it. It comes with free downloads of Sonic and Pac-Man, turning your commute to work into a mad hunt for gold rings or small dots. £40 | game.co.uk 58 | September 6 2013 |
Beats Studio Headphones
The Studio headphones have been given a full check-up by Dr Dre, who is really risking having his licence to practise medicine revoked by spending so little time at his day job. They include improved sound, a new design and a 20-hour rechargeable battery that you can juice up with a plug or by USB. Clear! £270 | HMV stores
Plays all the games designed for the 3DS, but without that pesky third dimension giving you a headache. As well as the illusion of depth, Nintendo’s latest handheld console also lacks the hinge of the 3DS – so it doesn’t fold in half. Still, at this price, who cares? We just hope the 1DS will be even cheaper. £109 | Out October 12
Sky+ HD Box with Wi-Fi
Roaring broadband speeds mean that streaming straight to your TV is a viable option. The good news for Sky customers is that their new box has built-in wi-fi for on-demand access to full boxsets, movies and iPlayers. The bad news is that your entire DVD collection is now obsolete. Ah well. From £49 | sky.co.uk
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enda Perez, an American model who currently hosts the UFC’s The Best of Pride Fighting Championships on Fuel TV in the States, is the modern-day answer to Cassandra of Wayne’s World fame. Because her passions extend far beyond ﬁsticuﬀs in the octagon to Joan Jett, who she ‘wants to be when she grows up’, and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, both of whom she made a point of bumping into at the HarleyDavidson 110th anniversary celebration (making them nearly as old as Tyler) in Milwaukee last month. It’s not quite Wayne and Garth crowdsurﬁng in the same city at an Alice Cooper gig, but she did challenge Jett to a UFCstyle punch-up in a hastily assembled octagon in Wisconsin. Not.
Extra time Kenda Perez
60 | September 6 2013 | Apix Syndication
STIng In THe TAle
Rooney Mara and Ben Aﬄeck’s little brother excel in a taut new indie drama, while we also get concerned about bees
AM Arctic Monkeys
A dirt-poor outlaw couple are involved in a stand-oﬀ in 1970s Texas: she takes the shot which hits a cop, he takes the rap. That’s the set-up to Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, but this mix of drama-thriller, romance and western is crafted via subtle rises in tension rather than grand action scenes. Ruth (Rooney Mara), gives birth to a daughter, and when her partner Rob (Casey Aﬄeck) can’t bear to be apart from his girls, he breaks out of jail to come and ﬁnd them. Meanwhile, the lawman he was imprisoned for shooting has developed tender feelings towards Ruth. A delicate game of cat-and-mouse is in play as we await Rob’s
Tales of Us Goldfrapp
Apparently disappointed by their glam-pop ﬁfth album Head Music, Goldfrapp return not with a bang, but with a whisper. Thankfully, that whisper is the gossamer croon of Alison Goldfrapp, muttering ethereal tales over lush strings and piano. For fans who prefer the duo at their haunting, delicate best, this sounds like a return to top form. Out Monday 62 | September 6 2013 |
return. Winning praise at the Sundance Film Festival for its rich, golden-hued visuals and deftly drawn characters, this is a ﬁlm that will inspire devotion from those who admire the moody storytelling and yawns from those who ﬁnd it too self-indulgent. But when awards season comes around, don’t be surprised if Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is garnished with several halos. Out today
Man on the Run Tom Doyle
Respected music hack Tom Doyle tells the story of Paul McCartney when Macca cut a nomadic ﬁgure in the 1970s: hiding out in his Scottish farmhouse, being busted for drugs and desperately ﬂeeing The Beatles’ shadow. He also released some brilliant, banned and sometimes baﬄing records... including one under the name Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington. Superb. Out now
Iron Man 3
How to top 2012’s all-conquering Avengers ﬂick? By hiring Shane ‘Lethal Weapon’ Black to write a script full of one-liners for Robert Downey Junior to motormouth through – and include a splendid twist. The result: a ﬁlm that’s a lot more joyous than a story of Tony Stark’s life falling apart really should be. Blu-ray extras include Black oﬀering audio commentary. Out Monday
More Than Honey
Bees. They do more than just make your toast taste better. These buzzy honeymakers are vital to our planet’s ecosystem, so we should be mildly concerned that they’re dying oﬀ. This new documentary looks into why, but the stunning macro-photography and oddball interview subjects make it far more than a stodgy scientiﬁc exercise. Out today
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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
“It sounds like Dr Dre,” Alex Turner told NME of their latest work – and, listening to key tracks from ﬁfth album AM, you see where the frosty primatein-chief is coming from. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? has a choppy, muscular backbeat. Josh ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ Homme – who lent a hand in AM’s creation – surely approves. This dark, throbbing, slightly alien sound suits the Arctic Monkeys, who’ve carefully edged away from typical indie fare, but without giving up the meaty hooks that provide such a ﬁne backing for Turner’s sneered baritone. Inform the good doctor: the transformation is a success. Out Monday