A Lions XV to take on Australia

first_imgIn at No 10: Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton crosses for one of his two tries against Argentina last monthBy Al DymockLIKE WINSTON CHURCHILL riding a T-Rex through the season finale of Downton Abbey whilst singing a Mumford and Sons number, the autumn Internationals came to a rousing crescendo.Logic be damned: England had toppled the All Blacks at the same time as Australia claimed a third victory on their end-of-season tour. All at once you were at pains to think of anything other than the Lions tour.The Australians were diving back under the equator with surprisingly brusque wins against England and Wales while the swinging chariot was crushing Kiwis. It was beautiful in its absurdity because for one manic minute everyone thought of England as the boundless inventors and as Australia as the stuffy win thieves.Tickets for the Six Nations should sell out quicker than Peter Andre on the phone to a TV executive. However, before that, it is the English and Irish resurgence and the cataclysmic collapse of Scotland and Wales which will be on Warren Gatland’s mind.Who stood up during the autumn Internationals and consistently said: “I am a Lion”?15. Leigh Halfpenny His bravery almost got him seriously hurt against Australia in the last game of the series, but his consistency has seen him out in front of all the other candidates this autumn.Making a splash: England’s Chris Ashton14. Chris Ashton In truth picking him is a gamble. It is a gamble, however, that would get under the skin of the Australians. They would target him; get distressed by him. He might even score like he did against the All Blacks.13. Manu Tuilagi The Twickenham faithful were treated to an imperious display by Tuilagi as he slipped into 13 against New Zealand. He was brutal in his efficiency. Four tries in four autumn Internationals can’t be ignored, either. Of course if O’Driscoll gets fit, he slips to 12…12. Brad Barritt For all Tuilagi’s explosive adventure, he sometimes needs a minder. Barritt may not be the most exciting player, but his defence is solid and he guides Manu through. Until Jamie Roberts can prove he is up to it, BB is an option.11. Craig Gilroy This may be flavour of the month, but his impact has been one to savour. Even Gatland says he’s on his mind. He is quick, if a little nervy. 8. Jamie Heaslip Earmarked as a potential skipper, Heaslip is a rounded player who loves to get near the try-line. With big beasts in front of him he can damage anyone and he is maturing to a stage where he can bark orders at those beasts.Follow Al Dymock on Twitter @AlanDymock 10. Jonathan Sexton He may not be up for the IRB Player of the Year award, but his consistency and performance against Argentina sees him above the rest. You’re more assured of what you’re getting than if you picked Owen Farrell.9. Mike Phillips Much improved and still physical, but he is picked because there is nothing you can set your watch by elsewhere. There are options in England and with Conor Murray, but Gatland will be worried about who he can rely on for a whole tour.1. Ryan Grant The only player to shine for Scotland, Grant carried well and tackled brilliantly while his team-mates were sitting on their backsides feeling sorry for themselves. Not just a one game wonder.2. Richardt Strauss Okay, so he isn’t the most physical or the silkiest, but Strauss has grown on me. His arrows are better than the rest and he knows winning like the back of his hand, thanks to time at Leinster. This is Gatland’s danger position.3. Dan Cole He is so lovely and nice and scrum savvy that I want to recite poetry to the big fella. Oh Danny C, you’ve won a fan in me. When you’re bruising All Black props, I feel my heart fall through my socks.Heaven at seven: Wales’ Sam Warburton4. Joe Launchbury A loveable scamp, young Joe. He pedals about without a care in the world, handing folk off and nicking lineouts. His work-rate and potential could be utilised. He could be going vertical.5. Richie Gray His quality and level of industry have him in here, but he needs confidence and some big games if he’s to make the team in real life.6. Chris Robshaw Forget blunders; forget the number on his back. Look at what he offers. Tackling and rucking as he does may shave years off his life but he is helping destroy opposition.7. Sam Warburton The talent is there. What Sammy needs is pressure lifted so he can play with freedom. If there are leaders in the back row with him he can focus on the task at hand and forget about having to apologise for the squad all the time. NOT FOR FEATURED LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Council urged to help fund Letterkenny airstrip development

first_imgNewsx Adverts Council urged to help fund Letterkenny airstrip development Pinterest Facebook Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Google+ WhatsApp Letterkenny Town Council is to invite members of the Stevenson Family and the local aero club to a meeting next month to discuss how the authority can help with the ongoing improvement of the airstrip on Stevensons Field outside the town.Cllr Jim Lynch says the council should provide financial support, however, County manager Seamus Neely and Cllr Ciaran Brogan both warned there is no money available for work on the facility.However, Cllr Lynch says if anything, the council has hindered rathered than helped the ongoing development of the facility, and that should be rectified………..[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/lynch830.mp3[/podcast] WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twittercenter_img By News Highland – May 11, 2011 Pinterest Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Twitter Previous articleUK Supreme Court to rule on quashed conviction compensationNext articleCouncil will consider linking Windyhall Road to Pramerica Roundabout News Highland 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Facebook Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

CAL Fire mechanic becomes 8th person to die in Carr Fire, officials say

first_imgJustin Sullivan/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — An eighth person has died as a result of the Carr Fire burning through Shasta County, California, officials said.A heavy equipment mechanic for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection who was assigned to the Carr Fire — the second-largest wildfire — near Redding was killed in a car accident on Highway 99 in Tehama County early Thursday morning, the depart said in a statement.The Carr Fire has burned more than 176,000 acres over the last few weeks has destroyed more than 1,000 homes, fire officials said. Among the eight victims of the Carr Fire were a woman and her two young great-grandchildren.The largest fire glazing through the Golden State, the Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California, has burned at least 302,086 acres since July 27, making it the largest ever seen in the state. It was 48 percent contained as of Thursday morning, and authorities said it probably wouldn’t be contained before September.More than 13,000 firefighters are working to curb the blazes amid sweltering temperatures and super-dry conditions. The hot weather conditions will continue, and limited rainfall is forecast in the coming days.Across the state, 12 wildfires have burned through 667,000 acres and destroyed or damaged 2,000 structures, according to CAL Fire. More than 4,400 residents have been evacuated from their homes, the department said.On Wednesday, police arrested a man suspected of sparking one the massive wildfires raging across California as firefighters fight to contain the largest fire in state history.Authorities charged 51-year-old Forrest Gordon Clark on multiple counts, including two counts of felony arson, in connection with the Holy Fire, which has charred more than 9,614 acres of land in Riverside and Orange counties as of Thursday afternoon, authorities said.Clark is accused of setting a fire in Trabuco Canyon, which has damaged or destroyed at least 14 structures, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced after he was formally charged on Thursday.The man-made blaze was just 5 percent contained on Thursday as firefighters struggled in battling least 18 large wildfires burning throughout California.Clark was scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon. It’s unclear whether he’s retained an attorney.California’s firefighting expenses have more than tripled from $242 million in the 2013 fiscal year to $773 million in the 2018 fiscal year that ended June 30, according to Cal Fire.President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a directive ordering federal agencies to prioritize protection of life and property over endangered species in effort to free up water resources, although officials said a lack of water wasn’t a problem.“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”Some state officials criticized the president’s directive.“We have plenty of water to fight these fires,” Deputy Cal Fire Chief Scott McLean said in a statement. “The Carr fire has Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Lake and Trinity Lake just to name a few water sources. The Mendocino Complex is next to Clearlake Lake. The current weather is causing more severe and destructive fires.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more