James Haskell 'totally fine' after suffering head injury on comeback.
Wasps boss Dai Young delivered a positive fitness bulletin on James Haskell after the England flanker's long-awaited comeback from injury lasted less than a minute.
Second-half substitute Haskell appeared to be knocked out following a tackle on Leicester full-back Freddie Burns as Wasps claimed a gripping 22-16 Aviva Premiership victory at the Ricoh Arena.
James Haskell was helped from the field during the game against Leicester He was then helped off, having featured for just 49 seconds in his first appearance since suffering a serious toe injury during England's successful Australia tour last summer.
And while the initial signs are good, Haskell will face a fitness race against time for next Saturday's key European Champions Cup clash against French heavyweights Toulouse.
"He is totally fine now," Wasps rugby director Young said. "He had a real big hit and had a bang on the head, so he has got to go through the protocols.
"It was the best '36-second' comeback ever, so he is having a bit of a ribbing off the boys, but all jokes aside, thankfully he is okay. He took a nasty bang to the head. "He went in low to make the tackle, and it was pretty much head on body.”
"We've all been really eager to get him back on the field, and he's had a big build-up, but he is totally fine, laughing and joking and having a bit of banter”
This is a great must see video. O2 Inside Line invites some special guests to describe some of their favourite rugby stars and in turn the rugby players have to guess which one of them the three lads are describing.
Check out the video HERE
Will Greenwood has selected his favourite moments from the third week of the autumn internationals.
England made it 12 wins on the bounce with a comprehensive victory over Fiji on Saturday and injured flanker James Haskell, who was working as a Sky Sports pundit at Twickenham, had his suit critiqued by Eddie Jones and was then tackled by Billy Vunipola.
In Paris, Tevita Kuridrani produced an incredible finish for Australia's third try in their win against France, while Sam Davies spared Wales' blushes with a last-gasp drop goal against Japan.
The game of the weekend was in Dublin where New Zealand exacted revenge for their loss in Chicago by beating Ireland 21-9 at the Aviva Stadium. Malakai Fekitoa scored a try in either half for the world champions with the outstanding Beauden Barrett also touching down.
Click Here to watch Will's favourite five moments..
Semesa Rokoduguni will win his second cap for England in Saturday’s Old Mutual Wealth Series game against Fiji (2.30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports 2)
The Bath wing earned his first cap against New Zealand in 2014. Teimana Harrison starts at flanker and is the only change to the England pack that helped seal a first victory over South Africa in 10 years with uncapped lock Charlie Ewels named among the replacements.
“We’ve picked a side we believe can beat Fiji,” said England head coach Eddie Jones.
Jonathan Joseph returns to the team at outside-centre with Elliot Daly switching to the wing, while Alex Goode starts at full back for England.
Back row Nathan Hughes is named among the replacements along with Exeter Chiefs back Henry Slade and Worcester Warriors centre Ben Te’o.
“England at Twickenham is the game Fiji will have targeted on their tour. They are one of the iconic rugby nations of the world and we respect them enormously.
"They bring flair and an unbridled enthusiasm to move the ball at pace with running skills – if the game becomes unstructured they can be very a dangerous team. They’ll come to Twickenham with no fear and hungry to cause an upset.
“While we were satisfied with last week’s result against South Africa, there was plenty to improve on. We want a much more complete performance on Saturday – we want to be in total control of the game and tidy-up the things we didn’t do well enough last weekend. We’re looking forward to it.”
England match-day 23 for the Old Mutual Wealth Series game against Fiji
15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 20 caps), 14. Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby, 1 cap), 13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 26 caps), 12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 44 caps), 11. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 6 caps), 10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 27 caps), 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 62 caps), 1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 36 caps), 2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 76 caps), 3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 66 caps), 4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 36 caps), 5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 50 caps), 6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 52 caps), 7. Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints, 2 caps), 8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 30 caps).
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 9 caps), 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 43 caps), 18. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 1 cap), 19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, uncapped), 20. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 1 cap), 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 63 caps), 22. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap), 23. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps).
The 2016 Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards will celebrate and reward the outstanding achievements and the exceptional successes of the many sporting stars from the area.
Recognising sportspeople from all disciplines and of all abilities from across the region. The Sports Awards will show to the wider community that Coventry and Warwickshire is home to some of the most successful sporting talents and rising stars in the country today.
The awards presentation dinner, take place on Wednesday, 5 October 2016 at The Ricoh Arena. Supported by businesses and organisations from across the West Midlands. who recognise the importance of supporting sport in their local community.
The evening will be a stylish and high profile affair. As we welcome a host of sporting personalities to present each award.
2016 is set to be a fantastic year for sporting stars from across the Coventry and Warwickshire region.
Good luck to all those shortlisted!
Painting portraits of well-known rugby players is Leanne Gilroy's speciality and her debut solo exhibition at the Lewis Gallery in the renowned Close at Rugby School is well worth a visit between now and 23 September.
A percentage of her sales will go to the Matt Hampson Foundation and the oil paintings of, among others, Jonny Wilkinson, Jonah Lomu, Richie McCaw and Erika Roe, Twickenham's most illustrious streaker, are all striking pieces of work. Gilroy is even working this week on a portrait of James Haskell; there has to be a joke about crayons in there somewhere.
Leanne gained a first class honours degree in Illustration in 2010 and has been producing commissions ever since, her most recent being a high profile commission from World Rugby and an international rugby player. Leanne’s practice incorporates the use of a variety of textures and colours in multiple layers to produce portraits of great likeness and detail. She captures the essence of each individual and combines this exactness with a free and abstract contemporary style.
In September 2016 Leanne is embarking on her debut solo exhibition titled ‘In This Place’. Through her paintings, she captures and portrays iconic moments and great players from the game of rugby union; exhibited in the place it all began. Born and raised in the town, and passionate about the game and its heritage, Leanne is perfectly placed to explore and promote the game through her unique style of painting.
Exhibitions and Art Events
September 2016 – ‘In This Place’ – Debut solo exhibition – The Lewis Gallery, The Close, Rugby School, Rugby.
February 2016 – ‘Radius’ – kookooshaboo Exhibition – Floor One Gallery, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby.
September 2015 – present – Collection of paintings and limited edition prints exhibited at Anna Lorimers Gallery, Henry Street, Rugby.
March 2015 – present – ‘Rugby’s Got Balls’ by kookooshaboo – 5 sculptures located in the centre of Rugby.
June 2015 – present – kookooshaboo healing arts workshops – Hospital of St Cross, Rugby
September 2015 – January 2016 – Two paintings selected for the Rugby Open Exhibition – Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby.
September 2011 – September 2015 – Collection of paintings and limited edition prints exhibited at Vanilla, Rugby.
May 2015 – July 2015 – kookooshaboo workshops – Clifton Primary School, Clifton Rugby.
May-July 2013 – Edge Arts Collective Shoe workshops – held at various schools across Northamptonshire.
June 2012 – Edge Arts Collective Jubilee Arts Workshop – Lutterworth, Leicestershire.
February 2012 – Edge Arts Collective Exhibition – Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire.
November-December 2012 – Edge Arts Collective Exhibition – Verve Gallery, Rugby.
June 2010 – D&AD New Blood Exhibition – Truman Brewery – London
June 2010 – Degree show – The University of Northampton
March 2010 – Regional finalist – Lloyds TSB Art of Nurture competition. Exhibition held at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
June 2009 – Art Exhibition – Daventry Library
September 2008 and 2009 – 15x15x15 Exhibition – The Gallery – University of Northampton
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has described England captain Dylan Hartley as a man who has the right qualities needed to lead his side in New Zealand next year.
Gatland was appointed coach on Wednesday for a second time with hopes of winning on foreign soil again. Within the first day taking the role, he commented on the England captaincy, giving a positive assessment of Hartley's credentials for the job.The other contendersChosen for the last tour as captain was Wales' captain, Sam Warburton. His fellow Welshman Alun Wyn Jones led the side in the final test while Warburton was nursing his injury.
However, times have changed since then.Some players have improved while others haven't reached the potential they showed down under. Doubts have been raised about Jones' place in the starting lineup because of the sudden rise of England & Saracens pair Maro Itoje and George Kruis.
Meanwhile the likes of James Haskell, Justin Tipuric and John Hardie are battling with Warbuton for the openside flanker role. Ireland's hopes of captaincy are thin with Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip not being the best in their positions. Although Peter O'Mahony is seen by some as the man for the captaincy, recent injuries don't help his case.
Gatland's comments in speaking about the England hooker have lead many to believe that he already knows his captain. The Lions coach was quick to cite Hartley's improvement in discipline while also highlighting the importance of players in the squad possessing a winning mentality. This is something Hartley is familiar with having not lost with England since taking over as captain.
James Haskell talks injury, England and Wasps, and also answered your questions live
James Haskell admits the pressure will be on Wasps to perform this season following the arrival of several high-profile signings this summer.
Kurtley Beale, Willie Le Roux, Danny Cipriani and Kyle Eastmond have all made the move to Coventry, joining the likes of Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson in a back-line brimming with danger men.
The addition of all that attacking talent has seen Wasps installed as second favourites behind champions Saracens to win this season's Aviva Premiership title and Haskell says the onus is now on the players to justify the hype.
Haskell told Sky Sports News HQ: "It is very exciting for the club. Obviously Wasps have had a huge turnaround from where we were three or four years ago. Boys weren't getting paid, things were pretty negative and the club almost had to fold.
"Derek Richardson, the owner, came in and relocated us to Coventry. We've had some amazing reaction to that. So many fans are travelling from the old days. We are getting 17,500 people to games.
"Accordingly we have signed some big, exciting players - Danny (Cipriani) being one of them. He is one of the best fly-halves in England. It will be really good to get to see him firing.
"Kurtley Beale is one of the best-known players in world rugby. We've got Willie Le Roux coming.
"I think it will be great but it does pile more pressure onto us. We have to make sure we perform."
Wasps finished third in the table last season before losing 34-23 to Exeter Chiefs in the play-off semi-finals.
Haskell won Premiership and Heineken Cup titles with Wasps early in his career but the club have not tasted silverware since he returned to begin his second stint with the team in 2012.
That is something Haskell, who is facing four to six months out after he required reconstructive surgery on his big toe, is determined to change.
"We went well last season but we fell at the final hurdle," said the 31-year-old.
"Lots of boys don't play to take part, they play for silverware. I was lucky enough in my early career to have those opportunities and we are all super hungry to get back to those days."
Wasps captain and England international James Haskell tells Sonja McLaughlan about the time he made it onto a 5 live phone-in as James from Coventry.
After hearing a debate about the legacy of the Rio Olympics, Haskell phoned up Nicky Campbell's Your Call to contribute but nobody recognised the England rugby star.
Haskell said: "The bloke said to me on the phone, 'what is your name' I said James Haskell. He said 'what do you do' I said I play rugby.
"Then somebody called me back and said they were going to put me on and the best thing was
Nicky said, 'we have got James from Coventry. I think you said you play a bit of rugby?' I went yes I do.
"I do not know who was more embarrassed me or him but I just wanted to make my point, maybe because I am injured and had no-one to talk to I thought I would share it with the nation."
The clip is taken from 5 live sport on Tuesday 30 August 2016 - Listen Here
England rugby stars Dylan Hartley, Mike Brown and James Haskell talk about overcoming difficult times in a video in which they wear the new Canterbury England kit