Sport Allan Massie: This has been a dead season for a crop of young players
Everton dealt blow ahead of Spurs tie, £14.5m-rated ace won't get undeservedly axed – opinion
Everton have confirmed that Allan will not make his return from a hamstring injury in the FA Cup, allowing Carlo Ancelotti to avoid undeservedly axing Tom Davies.That’s according to the Liverpool Echo’s Adam Jones, who notes that the 30-year-old is not ready to make a return following hopes he could be declared fit and made available for selection on Wednesday night when Jose Mourinho’s Spurs visit Goodison Park to contend for a place in the Quarter-Final.
The two signings Glasgow have announced this week should offer some cheer to their supporters deprived at present both of the opportunity to attend matches and, equally sadly, of success, though at the moment of writing one hopes they have managed to beat Ulster last night.
Neither of the two signings for next year would be classified as marquee ones even though the flankerhas a fair number of Wallaby caps and , the young full-back from New Zealand, comes with an impressive record. So it looks as if both may be the sort of acquisition Glasgow need. Certainly neither falls into the category of a player looking for a couple of well-paid seasons before retirement.
Wilson must seal Rangers future for £13k-p/w titan who "comes up with the big moments" - opinion
Rangers must secure Allan McGregor's future after Alex McLeish's latest contract claim.Reports in recent weeks suggested Steven Gerrard’s side are planning on offering the 38-year-old a new deal, with the Ibrox boss himself claiming that the club will hold talks with the veteran goalkeeper about his long-term future.
Of course many would prefer to see young Scottish players coming forward, and indeed both Glasgow and Edinburgh have a fair number of these already, some of whom have made impressive or at least encouraging starts to a pro career this season.
But the pandemic will have consequences so far perhaps only briefly realised by many of us. While professional rugby has managed to keep going at both club and international level, this has been a season in which everything else has stalled: no inter-schools rugby, no amateur rugby, no semi-pro rugby. Hope that there might be some return to action in the spring seems to be fading fast. The result is that there has been a dead season for a crop of young players, those from whom the next set of recruits to the pro game would by now have been identified. No age-group internationals this season. Of course, only a minority of those capped at age-group level will eventually play Six Nations rugby. That’s always been the case. Vacancies are comparatively few, given that an international career at the top level may last eight, ten, even a dozen years.
Allan Campbell is a top player and a 'shining example' to others, says Motherwell boss Graham Alexander
The Motherwell boss praised Campbell after the 22-year-old racked up 150 appearances on WednesdayHowever, Alexander says whatever level Campbell finds himself playing at will have been earned, because of the hard-work and dedication he puts into his game.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to happen this week on the SRU’s Rugby Record of 2010-11. Twenty-four players represented Scotland in the 2010 Under-20 Six Nations. Of the 24, seven have gone on to play for Scotland; David Denton, Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Rob Harley and Duncan Weir - not a bad crop.
Video: Scotland captain Stuart Hogg 'bitterly disappointed' with defeat (Daily Mail)
The under-19 side played two matches, beating both Italy and France. Hamish Watson is the outstanding star to have emerged from that squad which also included Weir (again) and David Cherry, capped for the first time as a replacement at Twickenham this month.
Some 26 players took part in a Five Nations under-18 festival. Mark Bennett, Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland were among them. A few other have played for pro clubs and among others who took part in an under-17 festival at Wellington College Adam Ashe, Jamie Bhatti, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Rory Hughes and Scott Steele have all won full caps, while Tommy Allan also represented Scotland then before opting for Italy. That group did pretty well, beating England and Canada but losing to France.
Allan 2.0: Brands should seal Ancelotti reunion for £176k-p/w gem on Everton’s radar – opinion
Marcel Brands should seal a Carlo Ancelotti reunion for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot amid claims of a possible £26m summer transfer to Everton.According to France Football, via Sport Witness, Ancelotti is willing the Toffees to meet Juve’s €30m (£26m) asking price to acquire the services of the French midfielder.
Those eligible who were playing age-group rugby in 2010-11 are obviously now in the second half of their twenties and though there may be the occasional late developer such as Cherry, in general someone who hasn’t established himself in the pro game by the age of 25 is unlikely to do so, all the less likely because he will probably be making his career outside the game. This falling away from representative rugby is natural. Many are called, comparatively few chosen. The sad thing this season is that nobody is being called at all.
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'We will not go back - we have to die some day': India's protesting farmers remain resolute .
There is no let up by farmers protesting at the Singhu border in Delhi. © Getty India's farmers say the laws are a big threat to their livelihoods The passion remains the same and the numbers have grown. A large number of women protesters can be seen marching and shouting slogans against the government.It has been more than 70 days since the farmers laid siege on the three borders of the national capital.They have left their fields, families and crops to camp in the dead of winter and voice their concerns about the three agricultural laws passed by the Indian government.