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Day: June 3, 2020

Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up

Danny Ings said he hasn’t thought twice about missing out on an England call-up back in March. Euro 2020 fans can book England Vs Czech Republic Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The Saints ace looked certain on to be named in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for their friendlies against Italy and Denmark – especially as both Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford were nursing injuries.

But those games were called off due to the coronavirus crisis as football across Europe shut down to halt the spread of Covid-19. Speaking to the Daily Echo, Ings said: “With everything going on, I’ll be honest; it never crossed my mind once.

Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up
Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up

There are things bigger than football and everything that’s going on is crazy and something you don’t expect in your lifetime. To think about the England stuff at that time just didn’t cross my mind. But to be spoken about in those terms is always a nice feeling as a player.

“I have so much appreciation for all of the work going on in this country and around the world at the moment, so I didn’t even think about England.”

Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up
Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up

Premier League football is set to return on June 17 after teams returned to contact training last week.

Before England’s top flight was brought to a halt, Ings had netted 18 times in all competitions, with 15 of those coming in the Premier League. His streak in front of goal helped move Saints climb away from the relegation zone following a difficult start to the 2019/20 campaign.

And the former Liverpool striker reckons he’ll do everything he can to add to his tally once football resumes later this month. The 27-year-old added: “I’ll do my best to. Hopefully, I can come back and hit some good form in the last nine games.

“I’ve been looking after myself in the best way that I can so when, and if, the time comes, I’ll be ready to give it my best shot.”

As Saints’ players continue to prepare themselves for the Premier League’s return, the Saints Foundation is still actively helping the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

They pledged to deliver 12,000 meals to those in need and have also been helping deliver medical prescriptions in partnership with Southampton City Council. Ings was born in Winchester and, as a local lad, knows just how important the work being done in the community is.

“It’s massive – it is huge,” Ings explained.

Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up
Euro 2020 – Southampton first-rate Danny Ings mirrors on gone out on an England call-up

A lot of people only see football as the players playing on Saturday but there is a lot more depth to it. Having been part of Burnley’s community with my disability project I got to see all the hard work being done.

The work being done by Southampton is important. It’s the meals, the medication, and everything that the elderly could need. That’s all part of the heartbeat of a football club.

“Organizations like this need to be given the chance to survive because of everything going on with the economy. It’s vital.”

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Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?

Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?

The third member of the hooker-trio who helped South Africa achieve RWC glory in Japan in 2019, Schalk Brits, retired after the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time at Yokohama International Stadium. Rugby fans can book British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Speaking on the SA Rugby Podcast on www.springboks.rugby, Spotify or Apple Podcasts, the 39-year-old Brit said he will be keen on the tour, having represented the English club Saracens for almost a decade after joining them from DHL Stormers, based in Cape Town, in 2009.

Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?
Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?

The ever smiling hooker played 15 Tests for the Springboks three times as captain and was the oldest member of the South African team in Japan last year. He said there is as much excitement building in the UK and Ireland for next year’s tour.

“Firstly, forget about rugby! South Africa is an amazing country to come and visit,” said Brits.

“We are spoiled for choice here and South Africans in general are great people. They’re warm, open and friendly. Then, secondly, with all the tourism offerings in our country from the beaches to the wildlife and beautiful natural scenes coming here is just phenomenal. So just looking at that, it is an amazing place to visit.”

Looking at the schedule of eight matches, which includes three Tests, Brits reckons the tourists will view their trip as “payback time” after they suffered a 2-1 series defeat in 2009, which was also the last time a British & Irish Lions time lost a series.

Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?
Return time for British and Irish Lions in SA in 2021?

“Combining what we have to offer here in South Africa with rugby is massive. The Lions are a very special outfit, a Lions tour only comes around every 12 years in South Africa, so from that perspective, it’s very exciting,” said Brits.

“I know the UK boys are frothing at the mouth to come and play here for the Lions against South Africa. I think they will view it as payback time for the previous Lions tour defeat. For them, playing the Rugby World Cup winners in South Africa will be an exciting challenge and I think they will be a very dangerous outfit.”

South Africa

Mbonambi, who started the RWC playoff matches in the No 2 jersey but sadly had to leave the field in the final early due to an injury, was still at school when the Lions visited South Africa in 2009.

“I was in high school and watched all the games on TV because unfortunately, I couldn’t attend any of the matches,” said Mbonambi.

“I still have memories of guys such as ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Bryan Habana, and all those legendary Springboks in action against the Lions. I made it my goal to one day be part of something special like that. I think it is the goal of every South African rugby player to play against the Lions.”

The powerful Marx is just as excited for next year’s tour.

“My biggest memory of the 2009 Lions tour was when Jaque Fourie scored in the corner at Loftus Versfeld to clinch the series, he said. The tour only comes around every 12 years for us here in South Africa, so it will be a great honor for me to play against them and to experience that.”

The first three podcasts, which feature Rassie Erasmus, Branco du Preez, Aled Walters, Jacques Nienaber, Cheslin Kolbe, and Handre Pollard, can be accessed here.

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Frank Lampard head coach of Chelsea has his secret weapon to fire Chelsea to Champions League place

The 24-year-old has yet to play for Chelsea’s first team this season

For Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the break in Premier League football came at a bad time.

The 24-year-old ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in May 2019, during a post-season friendly against New England Revolution.

Loftus-Cheek missed the Europa League final and has spent the whole year in an attempt to recover and get back to first team action. Football fans from all over the world can buy online Champions League Tickets to enjoy its stunning performances.

After a few set-backs, Loftus-Cheek finally got back to action when he played in a behind-closed-doors match against Brentford.

He then made his first public appearance for the U23s in March, getting through 90 minutes and winning a penalty against Everton in PL2.

After being on the bench for the first team but being an unused substitute, Loftus-Cheek played another behind-closed-doors match at Cobham.

Frank Lampard head coach of Chelsea has his secret weapon to fire Chelsea to Champions League place
Frank Lampard head coach of Chelsea has his secret weapon to fire Chelsea to Champions League place

The midfielder was close to a return before football was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It was frustrating for sure. I’ve put a lot of hard work into getting fit and had just finished what was kind of like my pre-season.

“I was training with the group and then doing my own stuff afterwards with the fitness coaches, which was really hard trying to get fit to play as quickly as possible.

“I’d been doing that for weeks and weeks and started to feel like I was very close but then lockdown came. It was frustrating but that’s life. I’ve just had to carry on keeping fit.”

After a long lay-off, Loftus-Cheek will be desperate to get back to playing, but when football returns where will he fit in?

The one thing which was keeping the England international from getting back into Lampard’s team was match fitness, but that might not be a problem.

Chelsea’s last match was at the beginning of March, meaning that all the Chelsea players and those around the Premier League will be struggling with a lack of match fitness.

It almost puts Loftus-Cheek on a level playing field with the rest of the squad, meaning he has a better chance of playing a bigger part.

The other thing which might be in his favour is the fact that the Premier League could allow more substitutes per match.

Loftus-Cheek is set to play a bigger role once the campaign gets back under way, but the question remains over what position he might play.

There are three options for the way that Lampard might use him.

The first is in the number ten roles, a position which has mainly been played by Mason Mount this season.

Frank Lampard head coach of Chelsea has his secret weapon to fire Chelsea to Champions League place
Frank Lampard head coach of Chelsea has his secret weapon to fire Chelsea to Champions League place

Meanwhile, if Lampard goes for a three in midfield formation, Loftus-Cheek might be used on the left of the midfield.

The last position could be out on the wing, a position he has played on a few occasions for the Blues.

Loftus-Cheek will feel like a new signing when football returns, and his role could have a massive impact on a Champions League place.

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