Sport shorts: Tiger Roll will go for third Grand National win
Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 6 September
1. Tiger Roll will go for third National win
Trainer Gordon Elliott says star horse Tiger Roll will return to Aintree next April to compete for a third successive victory at the Grand National.
Speaking about Tiger Roll’s schedule ahead of next year’s National Elliott said: “We are going to have to mind him now and pick and choose where we go.
“He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle [in Navan in February] again.
“He will go back to Cheltenham [in March] for the Cross Country race and then we’ll go for the Randox Health Grand National.”
2. Ireland and Wales battle for top spot
Ireland take on Wales for the second weekend in a row with both teams knowing they’re in with a chance of overhauling New Zealand at the top of the World Rugby men’s rankings.
Should Ireland beat Wales in Dublin they would go into the Rugby World Cup as the world’s No.1 side. Wales need a 15-point margin victory if they are to regain top spot.
This weekend’s international fixtures (all times UK)
- Friday 6 September: Japan vs. South Africa (10.45am); Scotland vs. Georgia (7.30pm); England vs. Italy (7.45pm)
- Saturday 7 September: New Zealand vs. Tonga (3.35am); Australia vs. Samoa (10.30am); Ireland vs. Wales (2pm)
- Sunday 8 September: Canada vs. United States (3am)
3. Packers win NFL opener
The NFL season started last night with the Green Bay Packers beating the Chicago Bears 10-3. Green Bay tight end Jimmy Graham scored the only touchdown in the low-scoring fixture.
4. AJ: I have made drastic changes
British boxer Anthony Joshua has made “drastic” lifestyle changes after losing the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr.
The duo will have a rematch in Saudi Arabia on 7 December and Joshua said: “Boxing was always the easiest part for me. The struggle was always keeping my life in check. There will be no aftershock after the first fight. I will be smarter. Getting knocked down was good.
“I have made some drastic changes, lifestyle stuff. Family, circles, what is important, priorities. The effort it takes to stay on the straight and narrow is challenging.”
5. Can Serena equal the slam record?
Serena Williams will get another chance to win a record-equalling 24th grand slam title when she goes up against Bianca Andreescu in the US Open women’s singles final tomorrow night. The final will be Williams’s fourth chance to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles.
6. Home nations in Euro 2020 action
The UK’s home nations will play Euro 2020 qualification matches this weekend. Tonight Wales host Azerbaijan in group E and in group I Scotland take on Russia. Tomorrow England play Bulgaria in group A.
7. Leclerc fastest in FP1 at Monza
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fastest in this morning’s first practice session at the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix. A number of incidents and rainy weather hampered the drivers at Monza, but Leclerc set the pace with a time of 1min 27.905secs to finish the session ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest.
8. Gunners target Juve’s Rugani
It hasn’t taken Unai Emery long to realise that Arsenal’s defensive frailties are as grave now as they were last season despite the acquisition of David Luiz and the jettisoning of several gaffe-prone Gunners.
It’s reported that the Arsenal head coach is poised to open his cheque book once more in the January transfer window. On his target list is Daniele Rugani from Juventus.
9. WSL season starts this weekend
The 2019-20 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season begins this weekend. City face United in a Manchester derby at the Etihad on Saturday, then on Sunday Chelsea host London rivals Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. All 132 Barclays FA WSL and selected FA Women’s Championship matches will be live on the new FA Player.
Saturday 7 September
- Manchester City vs. Manchester United (3pm; Etihad Stadium; live on BT Sport 1)
- Bristol City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (3pm; Ashton Gate Stadium)
Sunday 8 September
- Chelsea vs. Tottenham (12.30pm; Stamford Bridge; live on BBC Sport)
- Birmingham City vs. Everton (2pm; Solihull Moors FC)
- Liverpool vs. Reading (2pm; Prenton Park)
- Arsenal vs. West Ham (2.30pm; Boreham Wood FC; live on BT Sport 1)
10. Smith smashes England
England face an uphill task to win back the Ashes after Steve Smith put on another batting masterclass. The Australian “battered” England on day two of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, scoring 211 as Australia declared on 497-8.
It was “double trouble” for England as Smith was dropped by Jofra Archer on 65 and survived a dismissal off a Jack Leach no-ball. If England are to salvage the Ashes they will need their batsmen to step up today.