Toner replaces Henderson for Twickenham clash

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Devin Toner has been promoted to the Ireland team to play England in the Six Nations on Sunday after Iain Henderson was ruled out.

Coach Andy Farrell had initially named an unchanged team for the crunch Twickenham clash, with Ireland joint-top alongside France after winning their beating Scotland and defending champions Wales.

However, the continuity has been disrupted, as family reasons mean Henderson will be unavailable.

Towering lock Toner, who was surprisingly left out of Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad under previous boss Joe Schmidt, comes into the side for his 70th cap.

The change sees Ultan Dillane take Toner's spot among the replacements.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Australia coach Langer sees merit in games behind closed doors Coronavirus: Australia coach Langer sees merit in games behind closed doors

    Australia coach Justin Langer is open to the idea of playing games behind closed doors once cricket can resume after the coronavirus pandemic.

    Langer watched on as his side emphatically defeated New Zealand in a one-dayer played inside an empty Sydney Cricket Ground last month.

    It was due to be the first of three matches between the trans-Tasman rivals, though the series was cut short due the COVID-19 outbreak as the Black Caps returned home in time to avoid quarantine restrictions.

    While there is no immediate sign of a resumption to the international schedule, staging contests without any supporters could be a viable option in the future.

    "The Australian cricket team are so fortunate to play in front of big crowds every time we play," Langer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    "But for the love of the game, and for still being able to entertain people through TV sets or radio, then there's value in that (playing behind closed doors).

    "Yes, it's different, but we'll never, ever, ever take for granted how lucky we are, ever again. We are so lucky in what we do."

    Australia are due to play a two-Test series in Bangladesh in June, followed by a limited-overs tour to the United Kingdom that runs into July.

     

  • Coronavirus: Rugby Australia wants fair deal for players after 'positive' talks over pay cuts Coronavirus: Rugby Australia wants fair deal for players after 'positive' talks over pay cuts

    Rugby Australia (RA) declared "good progress" had been made as emergency pay talks with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) continued, though an agreement is yet to be reached between both parties.

    The governing body recently stood down 75 per cent of its workforce for three months - a move described as "the toughest decision in the game's history" - as it deals with the cost of the coronavirus crisis that has halted the Super Rugby season.

    Remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours, with chief executive Raelene Castle agreeing to a 50 per cent salary cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.

    In a statement, RA said "positive and robust" negotiations were held with RUPA again as they aim to work out a "fair and reasonable" deal for players during the unprecedented circumstances created by the global pandemic.

    "Representatives of Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players Association met again today and made good progress in the process of negotiating an emergency and interim pay deal in response to the global COVID-19 crisis," a statement read.

    "Talks were positive and robust, with both parties agreeing to continue to move negotiations forward with ongoing discussions scheduled for this week. 

    "Rugby Australia remains focused on securing a fair and reasonable deal with the players that will help protect the long-term future of our game.

    "We also welcome recent comments by World Rugby as it assists all national unions to navigate through this very difficult time.

    "The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in."

    A plan was put in place to start a five-team domestic competition during the suspension of Super Rugby, but that will not happen until the start of May at the earliest.

  • Coronavirus: Jos Buttler open to two England matches per day when cricket returns Coronavirus: Jos Buttler open to two England matches per day when cricket returns

    Jos Buttler feels players will be open to everything, including two England matches being played in the same day, once cricket returns after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The explosive batsman understands the importance of the revenue generated from international matches and a crowded schedule is likely if planned series' and tournaments in 2020 are to be salvaged.

    Buttler believes players will be flexible in the instance of an intense run of fixtures, even if it meant days where there were multiple matches taking place.

    He also thinks there will be a surge in fan interest after the break in sport, ensuring venues would sell out for games in quick succession.

    "I think we have to be open to absolutely everything," Cricket World Cup winner Buttler said to talkSPORT. "It's so difficult to plan anything because everyone is in limbo with all things going on. 

    "International cricket is going to be vital to the game and the revenue that comes into the game.

    "If we can get any [cricket played], or as much as we can, if that means two games in the same day, then we have to be open to that.

    "Everyone who is really missing their sport, hopefully when this is all over we will all appreciate it even more and want to flock to the grounds to all the different sports to watch the games. 

    "I'm sure you could fill up two grounds if you had two teams playing on the same day."

    Buttler is in the process of auctioning off the shirt he was wearing when he sealed England's historic World Cup final win over New Zealand.

    The 29-year-old was wearing the shirt, which has been signed by his team-mates, when he ran Martin Guptill out to conclude a dramatic Super Over at Lord's last July.

    It will provide much-needed funds for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, which launched an emergency appeal to provide life-saving equipment for COVID-19 sufferers.

    The highest bid now stands at £65,800, delighting Buttler, who added: "I'm auctioning off my World Cup shirt and it's obviously gone way better than I thought it would already.

    "It’s an amazing amount of money. The charity that supports the hospitals started an emergency fund to buy emergency equipment they need now because of the increase in patients due to the outbreak.

    "We thought that auctioning the shirt would be a great way to raise money for that."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.