World Rugby has ruled out the possibility of holding an international invitational tournament in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2021 to provide relief following the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron had proposed the one-off 16-team competition to raise money "for keeping the game of rugby alive around the world", with sport suspended in recent months due to the global crisis.

The event, held in the UK in order to avoid disrupting France's 2023 Rugby World Cup preparations, would see 31 matches across June and July and prompt the postponement of the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa.

The suggested tournament - dubbed the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby' as Baron revealed his plan to the Telegraph - would reportedly aim to bring in up to £250million to support the sport as it recovers from the pandemic.

However, the  idea has been dismissed by governing body World Rugby.

A statement read: "World Rugby notes a proposal by former RFU CEO Francis Baron suggesting the organisation of a major international rugby event in the UK in 2021 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on global rugby.

"World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.

"All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global COVID-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimisation, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France."

World Rugby has already postponed all July Tests and set aside a $100million relief fund in a bid to assist those struggling the most.

J.J Watt has put together a Hall of Fame resume and been the face of the Houston Texans franchise for the last decade.

The star defensive end, however, is not about to ask the Texans to restructure his contract, despite having two years and no guaranteed money left on his deal. 

"I'm going out there to prove what I'm worth," Watt said during a conference call on Wednesday. "And I believe that's the right situation for everybody.

"I think if I went back and asked for an extension, more money, anything right now, I think that would be the wrong move."

The 31-year-old Watt is signed for the next two seasons, with non-guaranteed base salaries of $15.5million in 2020 and $17.5million in 2021.

He is a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year award winner, but Watt realises he does not have much leverage for trying to negotiate a new deal given his health the past few seasons. 

After playing all 16 games his first five NFL seasons, he appeared in more than eight games just once in the last four. He missed eight games last season with a torn pectoral muscle but was able to return in time for the playoffs. 

“I think that I fully understand and respect the situation that I’m in at the moment and what's happened in the past few years," he said. "So I’m not going to sit here and demand anything.”"

That could change, however, if Watt stays healthy in 2020 and returns to his Pro Bowl form. 

"I'm just going out there and trying to prove my worth, help this team win games, and doing everything I can to earn and make sure that these people know that I’m worth it," he said. 

Saracens have signed Wales scrum-half Aled Davies on a three-year deal.

Davies' international career appears to be over after he opted to leave the Ospreys to join the European and Premiership champions.

The 27-year-old playmaker will not be able play for his country due to the 60-cap eligibility rule and is instead heading for the Championship after Sarries were consigned to relegation due to salary-cap breaches.

Davies said: "It's a great opportunity for me at a massive club. It's a massive honour to come here and I can't wait to get started.

"It seems like there is a good team and family ethos around the club which is very attractive for me and my family.

"I'm looking forward to putting my stamp on things and making an impact, hopefully."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "Aled is an experienced, talented player and we are delighted to welcome both him and his family to Saracens.

"He is driven to take his game to new levels and we are excited he has chosen to do that at Saracens."

Davies has won 20 caps for Wales, with his last appearance coming against Uruguay in the Rugby World Cup last October.

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris will share a car for Team Redline in the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans next month.

The famous endurance race had to be moved from June 13-14 to September 19-20 after the French government advised against mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An online event will instead be held on the original dates, with Formula One drivers Verstappen and Norris joining forces to take part.

The duo are able to pull off the all-nighter due to significant delays to starting the F1 season, which is not scheduled to begin until July.

There are 50 teams participating in the race, with former Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella representing the Fondation Princesse Charlene de Monaco.

Jack Miller has joined the Ducati factory team for the 2021 MotoGP season.

After claiming five podiums for Ducati's satellite team Pramac last year and finishing eighth in the riders' standings, Miller has been promoted on a one-year contract that could be extended into 2022.

The 25-year-old will become the third Australian to race in the famous red of Ducati, following in the footsteps of Troy Bayliss and two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner.

"First of all I want to thank warmly Paolo Campinoti, Francesco Guidotti and all the Pramac Racing Team for the great support I have received from them in the two-and-a-half years spent together," said Miller in a statement.

"It is an honour for me to be able to continue my MotoGP career with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and I would like to thank all the Ducati management … for having trusted me and given me this incredible opportunity.

"I look forward to starting riding again this year, and I am ready to fully commit to the responsibility of being an official Ducati rider in 2021."

Ducati Motor Holding chief executive Claudio Domenicali added: "Since he arrived in the Pramac Racing Team, Jack has grown steadily, proving himself one of the fastest and most talented riders in the championship.

"So we are happy that he has agreed to ride the official Desmosedici GP bike of the Ducati team next year.

"We are convinced that Jack has all the right skills to fight continuously for the positions that matter, in every race, starting already this season with the Desmosedici GP20 of the Pramac Racing Team, and taking a further step forward next year thanks to the support of the Ducati Team."

Current Ducati team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci will likely spend the 2020 season battling it out to retain a place alongside Miller for next year.

A fight between boxer Dillian Whte and UFC star Francis Ngannou could happen in 2020, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Hearn intends to hold talks with UFC president Dana White about organising a fight he claims to have received huge demand for.

Whyte, the WBC interim heavyweight champion, made his first and only mixed martial arts appearance in 2008 and scored a knockout in just 12 seconds, while Ngannou has stopped each of his past four UFC opponents in the first round – three of the past four inside 45 seconds.

After Ngannou suggested he wanted to test himself against one of boxing's top heavyweights, Whyte said: "Don't talk about it, let's just do it."

Having initially been sceptical about the idea, Hearn revealed the bout is on the cards for this year.

"I never really thought we would take this too seriously, but in the last week we have to take this seriously," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"The aim for Dillian Whyte is to become a world boxing champion, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Dillian Whyte against Ngannou towards the end of this year.

"Obviously we know [Alexander] Povetkin is next, but whether it's October, November, December.

"I'm going to be reaching out to Dana White and saying: 'Tell me how this works? Can we actually do this? Are we doing it in a ring? Are we doing it in a cage? Are we doing one round of each?'.

"It's really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there's a really good chance it could happen."

Hearn said Whyte and Ngannou would display "brutality at its absolute rawest" and provide a greater spectacle than the previous crossover fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor in 2017.

"There's not just interest online, there is huge interest everywhere for that fight," said Hearn.

"When I first started discussing it, it was just something that had been mentioned. Fans of both disciplines have always said: 'Whyte against Ngannou is a cracker'.

"I've started to receive a lot of interest from numerous people about staging that fight now. I think it does colossal numbers.

"It's the first real, genuine crossover fight. I know we had Floyd and we had Conor, but this is a different kind of fight. This is a different kind of experience. This is brutality at its absolute rawest.

"This fight does huge numbers. It's got the boxing fans, it's got the MMA fans, it's got the intrigue. It's got everything."

Cronulla Sharks might not have released Josh Morris had they been informed of Bronson Xerri's positive drugs test closer to the time it occurred, says chief executive Dino Mezzatesta.

Centre Xerri, 19, was provisionally suspended by the NRL on Tuesday after returning a positive A-sample for exogenous testosterone, androsterone, etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol, having been tested by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in November last year.

Mezzatesta stated the club had received no notification during the intervening six months and has expressed his concerns to Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys.

The suspension came just four days before the Sharks resume their NRL campaign against Wests Tigers after the stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Mezzatesta hopes the remainder of the process does not drag out over a similar time frame.

He also indicated the Sharks might not have released Morris from the final year of his contract to join Sydney Roosters had they been aware of the situation regarding Xerri.

Asked about the length of time between the test and Cronulla being informed, Mezzatesta said: "That's a matter really for the NRL to take up with ASADA, but it does seem like a long process.

"Our hope is that the process isn't anywhere near as long to conclude. It could be more damaging not only for the individual and club, but the code itself. We should be celebrating the return to the game and that's what we should be focusing and concentrating on.

"That's why we'd hope there's an expedient outcome for all concerned.

"It's an interesting question [about Morris] and that's one of the reasons why we're quite disappointed in the length of time that it's taken to notify, not only the NRL, but the club. Things may have been completely different for us.

"So absolutely, had we been notified early, we may have well taken things very differently in our approach to our playing roster."

Mezzatesta insisted there is no problem with the culture of the Sharks, who saw 12 players from their 2011 squad accept one-year suspensions for "unknowingly and unwittingly" taking prohibited substances.

"There's no issue here at the club. Although there's a history, we're very confident with the protocols we have in place, with the systems we have in place," he said.

"It's unfortunate that this matter has arisen for a young individual associated with our club. Our priority now is his welfare and the support of that young individual. We certainly have no concerns about our club at all, not at this time and certainly not in the future.

"I've spoken to Bronson and spoken to his family. He's obviously very shaken, he's got a long road ahead. He needs to take some advice but he's fully aware that he has our full support."

Cronulla Sharks centre Bronson Xerri said he was "devastated" after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Xerri, 19, was provisionally suspended by the NRL on Tuesday after returning a positive A-sample for exogenous testosterone, androsterone, etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol, having been tested by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in November last year.

The teenager said he was shattered by his ban just days out from the Sharks resuming their season against Wests Tigers on Saturday.

"I'm devastated but I'm bound by the system so there is not much more I can say at this stage," Xerri said in a statement on Wednesday.

"There is a process in place that I am required to follow.

"I'm shattered I'm not playing with the boys this weekend and I wish them all the best for Saturday."

Having made his NRL debut last year, Xerri played 22 games and scored 13 tries for the Sharks in 2019.

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson would not guarantee on Tuesday that coach Bob Boughner will return next season.

Wilson would only say that he was going to be thorough after the Sharks went 14-20-3 under Boughner following Peter DeBoer's dismissal on December 11.

Wilson spoke after the NHL announced that the Sharks would be one of the seven teams that would not be part of the 24-team return to play this season. San Jose finished last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for only the second time since 2002-03.

"We are still in the process," Wilson said. "I've talked to all our players. I've been talking to Bob quite a bit lately, talking about just how we want to play and some adjustments, and some things that were learned through not only our team this year, but around the league, what works and what doesn't.

"So, it's a process that's ongoing. Very difficult to come in and coach a team halfway through the year. You don't necessarily have all the ingredients in your staff that you want around you. I think he came in and did a very good job."

Boughner previously coached the Florida Panthers from 2017-2019 and compiled an 80-62-22 record.

The Force have agreed to play in an Australia-based Super Rugby competition, which is set to begin on July 3.

The 2020 Super Rugby season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and with travel restrictions in place around the world, New Zealand has launched its own domestic competition and Australia is doing likewise.

The Force spent 12 seasons in Super Rugby before being cut from the competition in 2017.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rugby Australia (RA) confirmed the Force had officially signed to play in the Australia-based competition, which it is aiming to stage from July 3 through to September 19.

"We are very pleased that Western Force has come on board for Vodafone Super Rugby AU and we look forward to releasing the final elements of the competition, including the season draw, in due course," RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said.

"We remain in dialogue with the Sunwolves around their potential involvement in the competition, but we now know that we have at least five teams secured and will continue our discussions with Fox Sports and our commercial partners over the coming days."

It means the Force will join the Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs in Australia's competition.

Incoming RA chairman Hamish McLennan said: "The return of the Western Force in an Australian-based competition is a great story.

"We are grateful for Andrew Forrest's support and understand that decisions made by Rugby Australia in 2017 were painful for sports fans in Western Australia and the Force players, and we are sorry that they haven't been able to share in the rivalry against their fellow Australian teams.

"I would love to continue to work with Andrew into the future as we use this opportunity to innovate and reinvigorate rugby right across the country.

"Our Australian derby clashes are always up there with the most popular matches each season and it will be great to see those rivalries ignited again in a national competition. Wallabies spots will also be on the line as Dave Rennie and his coaching team run a keen eye over the competition ahead of the international season.

"The players are hard at it in preparation and we can't wait to get the season restarted on July 3."

Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claimed he had accepted a fight against Mike Tyson.

Tyson, 53, is reportedly preparing for a stunning return to boxing, with a bout against old rival Evander Holyfield, 57, spoken about.

Fury, who won the WBC heavyweight title by beating Deontay Wilder in February, said he had accepted a fight against Tyson.

"I did get a phone call with a chance to fight Mike Tyson and I was like, 'What?'" the Brit told BT Sport.

"I had a phone call saying, 'Would you like to fight Mike Tyson in an exhibition fight?' I was like, 'Hell yeah!' I don't think anything materialised out of it to be honest.

"I think he's definitely serious about doing some fights or whatever. He's fought Holyfield twice so they're both old now aren't they?

"I think they're a bit long in the teeth, but then again who am I to say anything, what anybody's capable of after everybody's unbelievable stories. I wouldn't try and kill anybody's dreams of doing anything they want if they're both fit to fight and medically fit then let them do what they've got to do, it's their life not mine."

Former heavyweight champion Tyson last fought professionally in 2005, having lost twice to Holyfield in two epic fights in 1996 and 1997.

Australia and New South Wales representative Cameron Murray has extended his contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs until at least the end of 2025.

Murray has played 62 NRL games for the Rabbitohs since making his debut in 2017, while he featured for the Blues three times last year and made his first appearance for the Kangaroos.

The 22-year-old lock extended his deal with South Sydney for another four seasons, it was announced on Wednesday.

"It's very exciting for me and a great relief to have a large chunk of my future sorted now, and to know it will be at this club that I love is very special for me and my family," Murray said.

"I count my lucky stars at how everything has fallen into place and I have no intention of letting this go or slackening off. It means way too much to me, to play for this club and to represent it every day.

"For almost the next six years at least I will be a Rabbitoh and the journey is really only just starting for me.

"It's very exciting and I can't wait to represent our members on the field once again, starting this Friday night against the Roosters."

The Rabbitohs, who won one of their opening two games of the NRL season, will resume their campaign against the Sydney Roosters on Friday.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey is still seeking a long-term contract extension, but he says he will not hold out and will attend training camp.

Ramsey earned his third straight Pro Bowl selection last season and is widely considered among the best in the league at his position.

Acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in October for two first-round picks, Ramsey totaled 33 tackles, four passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception in nine games for the Rams this past season.

Ramsey will make $13.703million this upcoming season in the fifth year of his rookie deal and the Rams have already said they realise he deserves to be one of the NFL's highest-paid cornerbacks.

"It will get handled," Ramsey said on Tuesday in a video conference call.

"The Rams know where I stand, and that's all that matters. They've been in contact with my agent. They're on the same page. They know what's up … Everybody knew what type of situation it was going to be once they traded for me. I think it doesn't need to be talked about that much. It'll get handled."

Ramsey's contract could end up exceeding the five-year, $82.5m deal that the Miami Dolphins gave Byron Jones in March that made him the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

"There's a lot of dialogue," Rams coach Sean McVay said on a video conference with reporters. "The anticipation in acquiring him is that he is a Ram for a long time. We went and got this guy with the hope that it's not a short-term thing."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Tuesday the league will conclude the 2019-20 season with a 24-team playoff to crown a Stanley Cup champion.

Bettman unveiled the league's return-to-play plan, revealing that the regular season is finished and when medical experts determine it is safe for games to resume, the NHL will dive right into the playoffs in two yet-to-be-decided hub cities.

In the unique playoff format, the top 12 teams from each conference ranked by points percentage when the season went on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 will make the playoffs.

The top four teams in each conference will compete in a round-robin tournament to determine final seedings. The teams seeded five through 12 would participate in a play-in tournament featuring a best-of-five series to determine who advances to face the top four seeds.

In this format, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers are the top teams in the Eastern Conference, while the St Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars are the Western Conference's top clubs.

The remaining 16 teams will match up as follows – in the East it will be Pittsburgh v Montreal, Carolina v New York Rangers, New York Islanders v Florida and Toronto v Columbus. In the West, it will be Edmonton v Chicago, Nashville v Arizona, Vancouver v Minnesota and Calgary v Winnipeg.

“We believe we have constructed an overall plan that includes all teams that, as a practical matter, might have had a chance of qualifying for the playoffs when the season was paused," Bettman said. "And this plan will produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion who will have run the postseason gauntlet that is unique to the NHL."

It has yet to be decided if the first and second round will be best-of-five or best-of-seven series, but the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will each be best-of-seven series. 

The hub cities under consideration are Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St Paul and Pittsburgh in the United States; and Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. A decision on the hub cities will depend on government regulations and COVID-19 conditions in those areas.

In addition to not announcing locations for games, the NHL also did not disclose any possible dates for games to return. 

"Obviously, we anticipate playing over the summer and into the early fall," Bettman said. "At this time, we are not fixing dates because the schedule of our return to play will be determined both by developing circumstances and the needs of the players." 

Bettman is hopeful players would be able to voluntarily return to their practice facilities in early June and an official training camp would begin in mid-July before teams report to their hub cities.

"Let me assure you that the reason we are doing this is because our fans have told us in overwhelming numbers that they want to complete the season if at all possible," Bettman said. "And our players and our teams are clear that they want to play and bring the season to its rightful conclusion."

In this return to play plan, Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa and San Jose would be the only seven teams whose 2019-20 season would be over and would not participate in the playoffs. They would enter the draft lottery, as well as the eight teams that get eliminated from the play-in round.

John Wall last played in an NBA game exactly 17 months ago but the Washington Wizards point guard says he is fit and ready to go again.

"I'm 110 per cent. I'm healthy," he said on Tuesday during a conference call.

Wall has not played since December 26, 2018, missing the remainder of the 2018-19 season and all of the 2019-20 season while recovering from surgery for bone spurs in his left heel and a torn left Achilles tendon.

The 29-year-old has appeared in just 73 games since the start of the 2017-18 season.

"I'm itching to get back out there," Wall said.

Though the five-time All-Star is eager to return to the court, Wall said he is "taking [his] time with the rehab" and is not planning to return if the 2019-20 season restarts.

The Wizards' plan has been for him to focus on being at full speed in time for the 2020-21 season.

A return this season would also seem to make little sense for a Wizards team unlikely to challenge for a playoff spot.

Preliminary discussions have taken place between the NBA and the Walt Disney Company about resuming the 2019-20 season at an isolated site near Orlando, Florida in late July, but the league still has not settled on a format for a return.

It has been reported the NBA would like teams to reach a total of 70 regular-season games – about five more for most clubs – to fulfil contracts with local broadcast affiliates.

The Wizards have played 64 games, and at 24-40 they sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, five and a half games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff spot.

"I don't know what the protocol the organisation or the coaching staff want me to be on," Wall said. "I will kind of just let them make that decision, them and my agent."

It has not been announced how the 2019-20 NBA season will be concluded if games resume, but Portland star Damian Lillard says he will not play if the Trail Blazers do not have a shot at a playoff spot.

Preliminary discussions have taken place between the NBA and the Walt Disney Company about resuming the 2019-20 season at an isolated site near Orlando, Florida in late July, but the league still has not settled on a format for a return. 

It has been reported the NBA would like teams to reach a total of 70 regular season games – about five more for most clubs – to fulfil its contracts with local broadcast affiliates.

The Trail Blazers have played 66 games, and at 29-37 they sit in ninth place in the Western Conference, three and a half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Speaking to Yahoo Sports, Lillard said: "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team.

"But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."

The NHL has proposed a 24-team playoff bracket, and Lillard would be open to something similar.

“If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the number seven and number 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect," the five-time All-Star said.

Lillard, who is fifth in the NBA in scoring this season with a career-best 28.9 points per game, also likes Portland's chances to make a deep run if the team is the playoff picture.

The Blazers advanced to the Western Conference finals last year, and should have center Jusuf Nurkic and power forward Zach Collins in the line-up when games resume after the two combined to miss all but three games due to injuries before the season was paused.

"It would suck not to get in the playoffs because our thing was, we had fought ourselves back into position to get a spot," Lillard said.

"We had our starting center and starting power forward coming back, so we had a lot to look forward to and for a great reason. Now, they're healthy and have extra time to train and rehab while everybody's rusty.

"So now, they won't be coming back as the only rusty players. And if everybody's rusty, we can come in here and beat everybody.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is certain there will be a 2020 NFL season - and he remains hopeful of fans being able to watch from the stands.

The NFL season is set to kick off on September 10, and the league is hopeful it will begin on time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some NFL teams were able to open their facilities for key staff, medical personnel and rehabbing players last week, but there is still no word on when all players and coaches will be cleared to attend their team's complexes.

"I think there definitely will be a football season this year," Ross said on Tuesday during an interview on CNBC. "Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium?

"Right now - today - we're planning to have fans in the stadium.

"But I think the NFL is very flexible so that we will be able to start on time and bring that entertainment that is really so needed to all of us in this country."

Currently in the United States, there is no scheduled start date for games in MLB, NBA, NHL or MLS, as some cities have still not yet loosened their social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

"We all miss our sports," Ross said. "The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we're all looking forward to it. I know I am."

The debate over who is basketball's G.O.A.T has been reignited.

The release of 'The Last Dance' - ESPN's docuseries on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls - has brought Michael Jordan's exploits back to the forefront of people's minds.

And the suspension of the current NBA season due to the coronavirus pandemic means current superstar LeBron James has, for the time being at least, been unable to respond on the court.

However, this week marks three years since James, then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, sunk a deep three-pointer in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to pass Jordan and become the NBA's all-time playoff points leader.

Stats Perform has crunched the numbers on the two icons of the game to look at how they compare when the spotlight shines brightest.

 

PILING ON THE POINTS

That record-breaking shot from beyond the arc against the Boston Celtics moved James beyond Jordan's all-time haul of 5,987 points in his 212th game.

However, his boyhood hero's tally came in just 179 games, with Jordan having averaged a staggering 33.4 points per game, compared to James' 28.9.

There are still multiple postseason records Jordan holds too, including most points in a game (63 - which he accrued in the Bulls' incredible double-overtime loss to the Celtics in 1986) and consecutive games with at least 20 points (60).

Despite having seven-time All-Star Scottie Pippen also on the roster, Jordan was clearly the go-to guy for the Bulls on offense and he led them in scoring in 168 of his 179 playoff appearances.

James has led his teams in scoring (including ties) in an NBA-record 189 playoff games - out of 239 appearances - despite calling Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving team-mates at specific points.

 

JAMES: AN ALL-AROUND THREAT

While Jordan comes out on top in points per game, James has the edge in most other categories.

The current Los Angeles Lakers star averages more rebounds (8.9 to 6.4), assists (7.1 to 5.7) and blocks (0.97 to 0.88) per playoff game than Jordan, who does average more steals (2.10 to 1.75) - and it was robbing Karl Malone of the ball that famously helped MJ deliver championship number six 22 years ago.

James is, marginally, a more efficient postseason shooter, scoring from .491 of his attempts compared to Jordan's .487, though the two are neck and neck (.332) from three-pointers.

The all-around threat of James is perhaps best highlighted by the fact he has 23 playoff triple-doubles - second only to Magic Johnson's 30 - while Jordan made just two across his illustrious career.

 

COUNT THE RINGS

Of course, the ultimate goal for any successful team is to end the NBA Finals holding aloft the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, something Jordan has done on six occasions, twice as many as James.

Jordan went 6-0 in Finals - and was named MVP of each series - while James has a 3-6 record - and three Finals MVP awards - across stints with the Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

The Bulls' success in the 1990s - when they twice three-peated - means Jordan won 66.5 per cent of the playoff games he appeared in, a number that James (currently 65.3 per cent) will surely soon eclipse with his Lakers team primed for a deep playoff run when this season resumes.

Would another three rings see James surpass Jordan in the eyes of many? For now, it remains a fascinating debate.

Dave Rennie is set to start work as Australia head coach ahead of schedule as Danny Wilson will take charge of Glasgow Warriors from next Monday.

Rennie was due to leave the Warriors at the end of the Pro14 season next month, but there has not yet been a decision on whether the campaign will resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Glasgow on Tuesday revealed Wilson will replace Rennie on June 1 in order for both coaches to give their new roles "undivided attention" when rugby union resumes.

Rennie will therefore be free to fully focus on watching Australian Super Rugby franchises in action when they get under way again.

Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys told the Scottish team's website: "We've agreed that this is the right time for Danny Wilson to formally begin his role as head coach of Glasgow Warriors.

"The original plan was for Danny to come in after Six Nations and shadow Dave and his coaching team for the rest of this campaign. We appreciate Dave's willingness to be open and supportive, as this would have given Danny an excellent head start on next season.

"However, given that the 2019-20 season remains suspended for the foreseeable future, we felt that the best thing for the club would be to let Danny get started.

"With sport in Australia planning to return soon, making the change now will also allow Dave to begin his new role as head coach of the Australian national team.

"We are grateful to Dave for everything he has done for our club over the past three seasons, and particularly for how he has been supportive of the current situation, as well as his willingness to share his vast coaching knowledge with all of our coaches."

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