Women’s CL last-16: Chelsea draw Atleti; Man City vs Fiorentina


Chelsea have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Women’s Champions League last 16 while Manchester City face Fiorentina.WSL leaders Chelsea will come up against a familiar face in Toni Duggan with the England international helping Atletico knock Manchester City out of the tournament at the same stage last season.
Emma Hayes’ side, semi-finalists in 2018 and 2019, have been in stunning form over the past year, going on a record-breaking 33-game unbeaten run which was only recently ended by a shock home defeat to Brighton.Meanwhile, Gareth Taylor’s City will also play their first leg at home, against a Fiorentina side that finished second in Serie A last season but is off the pace this term, lying fourth and 16 points off pacesetters Juventus.City, semi-finalists in 2017 and 2018, will also be buoyed by the fact the Italians were beaten 6-0 on aggregate by Arsenal in last season’s competition.
Holders Lyon, who have won a record seven titles and made it five in a row last season, face Danish side Brøndby.
The only other past champions still in the competition is Wolfsburg who face Norwegian side LSK Kvinner – the former club of interim England head coach Hege Riise
First legs are scheduled to be played between March 3 and 4, with the return fixtures expected to take place between March 10 and 11.The final will be played at Gothenburg’s Gamla Ullevi stadium on May 16.

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Manchester City were knocked out of the competition at the Round of 16 stage by Atletico Madrid and Toni Duggan last season

Full draw as follows: Wolfsburg (GER) vs LSK Kvinner (NOR)Barcelona (ESP) vs Fortuna Hjørring (DEN)Rosengård (SWE) vs St. Pölten (AUT)BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) vs Bayern München (GER)Manchester City (ENG) vs Fiorentina (ITA)Sparta Praha (CZE) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Lyon (FRA) vs Brøndby (DEN)Chelsea (ENG) vs Atlético de Madrid (ESP)Watch the Women’s Football Show on Friday at 6pm on Sky Sports Football.

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Pros Of Being A Professional Poker Player


Being a professional poker player is a daring as well as exciting decision. If you’re successful at the game and want to quit your day job to become a poker pro, it’s an enticing opportunity. However, be warned: Poker strategies and rules are difficult to work, that isn’t for everyone. If you consider taking a risk to become a professional poker player, you should please ensure that it is an educated choice. 
Here are some pros of becoming a professional poker player that might encourage you to take the next step! 
Professionally Pursuing What You Love
One of the most prevalent desires in the world is to do something that you love professionally. For anyone in the poker community saying that there’s profit in this, they’re certainly not doing it only for the money. They love the game and have passion for it. For those who don’t have that, must understand that it is a skill game and requires practice to get better. This is what encourages them to put in the research time required to excel and achieve success through the downtrends.
Also Read: Advantages of Becoming a Professional at Poker
Self Determination And Versatility
Poker players set their own schedules which is a great thing for any professional in any field of work or sport. To stave off poker exhaustion and keep you going, getting this independence will go a long time away. Also, you’ll only be accessible to yourself. Versatility is something that is quite limited in a number of professions nowadays and there’s nothing quite like poker tournaments when it comes to versatility. That’s not to suggest, of course, that it’ll be straightforward. The assumption is that when you do so, no-one will be blowing down your neck.
Earning Big Money
There is still a lot of profit to be gained by playing online poker if you can achieve a high level of experience. In terms of rake and playing rewards, there have been a few improvements in the market in recent years that have limited online poker’s profitability, but it is still possible to obtain a decent income playing poker game. Getting in and getting out of micro stakes is one of the greatest obstacles facing emerging online pros these days. In present-day games, the high rake and low rakeback eat away at the winnings of a micro stakes player, making it difficult for them to achieve a good score overall.
On the other hand, live poker has been and is likely still a highly lucrative enterprise for professional players. The live player average is much lower than the online player estimate. This may be because, in casinos, live poker is practiced and thus encourages individuals who play poker to bargain instead of because they are successful at it. Or it could be because of live poker’s social aspect. It’s a mix of both, perhaps. 
For more interesting articles about poker or poker news, keep reading PokerShots! 

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Plans for fans to attend FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals


The FA and EFL are working with Government in an attempt to get fans back inside Wembley for the two season showpieces – the FA Cup final and the Carabao Cup final.Ultimately, it will be a Government decision based on whether the coronavirus pandemic is sufficiently under control to allow a staged return of fans to football stadia.
But the hope is to have one third of Wembley full of spectators by the time the finals are played, in late April and mid-May, providing it is safe to do so.That would mean 30,000 fans in attendance for each of the finals.

Which clubs will be at Wembley?
Tottenham face Manchester City in the 2021 Carabao Cup final on April 25
Eight teams are left in the FA Cup. The quarter-finals will see Leicester vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Sheffield United, Bournemouth vs Southampton and Everton vs Manchester City.

There has been no official comment from the FA or EFL on the matter, but it is clear both are keen to get fans back as soon as possible.
The two finals have been identified as key milestones which could act as test events for the wider game, and – crucially – ahead of this summer’s Euros.
Last month, the EFL moved the Carabao Cup final from February 28 to April 25 to give it the best chance of having supporters inside Wembley.
The FA is very keen to have fans inside the stadium for the FA Cup final on May 15, with the Euros starting just four weeks later.Wembley is due to host seven matches at the tournament – all three of England’s group games, a last-16 clash, both semi-finals and the final.Having supporters inside Wembley for the FA Cup final is seen as a key indicator of whether empty stadiums can be avoided for the upcoming tournament matches.UEFA is due to make a decision next month on how and where the Euros will be staged.

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PUBG Mobile India: Everything players know about the gameplay changes so far



The past year has been quite a rollercoaster ride for Indian PUBG Mobile fans and players. In an unprecedented move, the game was suspended by the Government of India alongside 117 other applications.The move came in like a bolt from the blue and left everyone dismayed. Players had their fingers crossed for the title’s comeback in the country. They soon received a momentary respite as the Indian version of the game was announced by PUBG Corporation. Also read: PUBG ban: When were PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite banned in India for the first time?Gameplay changes in PUBG Mobile IndiaAs per the press release by PUBG Corporation, the Indian version of the game will feature improved and customized in-game content tailored for Indian users to reflect the local needs. The changes will be incorporated to build a healthy gaming environment in the country.The Indian version of PUBG Mobile will be set in a virtual simulation training ground and will feature the following changes:

#1 – Green Hit effectIn the PUBG Mobile Indian version, the color of the hit effect will likely be locked to green, unlike the global version of the game, where the players have an option to customize the color of various effects.This is done to indicate the game’s virtual nature.#2 – Default character clothingAll the new characters in PUBG Mobile will automatically begin fully dressed. Gamers will be able to change their outfits but won’t be able to undress their characters like the global version.#3 – Feature to limit game timeOne of the fundamental changes is the feature that would restrict the game time. Though the global version of the game has some restrictions already in place, it is expected to be more stringent. This has been put in place to promote healthy gaming habits among the younger audience of the famous battle royale title.Players can follow the official social media handles of PUBG Mobile India to keep up with all the official announcements regarding the game:Instagram: Click hereFacebook: Click hereYouTube channel – Click hereDiscord: Click hereWebsite: Click here

Since then, there have been numerous updates in the form of teasers, a website, appointment of an operation team, and registering of PUBG India as a private limited company.Still, none of them have provided an exact release date. The replies to the RTIs, too, have made further revelations about the suspension of the title.Also read: “PUBG Mobile will return for sure, but the date is not clear yet”: Ocean shares update on game’s India comeback
Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:00 IST

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My Confession: Male, Age 21 (AUSTRALIA)


Let me give you some valuable background info first: I live at home with my Dad & my girlfriend (she’s between houses). They’re both my best friends. I am currently going through a chronic pain type disorder that appeared in both wrists & forearms since July 2020. In & out of appointments/checks every fortnight. I am unable to do much in my day, it hurts to do normal things in my day – so I am unable to work or study anymore. Painkillers are not helping. Thursday was the day, the day I basically lost my entire life savings. Since then, I’ve been using every single dollar I can get my hands on to recover this loss & I’m sure you know where I’m at now. $8 in debt & unemployed with no income. But how did I get here? I got caught gambling when I was 17/18, lost all my money then too but it was less than $1000 (my Dad was the only one who knew). Since then, I vowed to never gamble again & I didn’t until 2 weeks ago. My Dad & I were watching the cricket & he placed a $100 multi (he rarely gambles) & won $450. We both thought this was great so I put in $50 myself for the next game. I ended up losing $25 & won it back in the darts later on. I then decided to move on & not do any more as my girlfriend of 2 years (the one I’ll marry) did not approve of me gambling again. So I stopped – until my Dad persuaded me to lie & just gamble anyway behind her back. It was innocent losses, $5-$10 here & there for the next 2 weeks. It wasn’t until last week, the day after my girlfriend’s birthday, that everything went downhill. She had to work Wed & Thu which left me to be alone for 2 days. I was very down in the dumps & just felt like I had all this money & didn’t use it (which is the stupidest thing ever, I know). So I started gambling on the races. With high $1000 bets & spent hours & hours, got up $10k then back down to $5k before I bet my whole bank to get back where I started at $15k. I stopped, went in my room & realised what I did, I almost lost my ENTIRE bank. Did I stop there? Nope, you guessed it. Eventually, one thing led to another & now I’m $15k down & $9 in debt. I confessed everything to my girlfriend & Dad on Thursday. Which they were both very supportive. I had $2000 in my bank then & said I’d stop. But I didn’t, Iost $1500 yesterday & $500 today. So yes in $9 debt. Although I do not have an addiction (oddly enough I studied psychology for 2 years before this chronic pain stopped me), I have definitely fallen into the trap of gambling once again & I only risked losing my last $2000 to not win the money back, but rather I looked at it as an outlet to make money so I can provide my girlfriend & I with a future. But this was such a bad mindset to approach everything. $9 in debt. I am stopping here. I vow to, right here, right now. I have not told my girlfriend or Dad about the last $2000, but I think I will hang onto this one for now as I can make that back in selling some of my collectables that have been collecting profit over the years. So thank god for that at least. Additionally, I may receive a pension for my condition so if that’s approved, must lock my money away. I had to get all this out & it has put me in an awful lot of PHYSICAL pain to even write this due to my chronic pain condition. I don’t expect anyone to read this all as this is rather for me. Thank you. C. submitted by /u/codesfrost [comments]

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Root: Pitch not to blame for England defeat


England captain Joe Root says team “outplayed” by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can learn from the way the hosts found control with the ball and batted calmly; third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24

Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:01am

0:56

England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India.

England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India.

Joe Root refused to blame the spin-friendly Chennai pitch for England’s thumping defeat to India in the second Test – and has urged his side to learn from the difficult conditions they faced.
England were spun out for 134 and 164 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on a dusty surface as India wrapped up a 317-run victory on day four to level the four-match series at 1-1.Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin completed hundreds for India and Root says the hosts showed England a template for scoring runs on unhelpful tracks for batsmen. Root says his side must learn from the challenging conditions they faced in Chennai (Pic credit – BCCI) “I wouldn’t say it was a good pitch but it made for very exciting cricket and it was not the reason we lost the game. We were outplayed in all three departments,” said the England skipper.”For us, it’s a bit of an education. It was a surface that spun a huge amount and bounced more than we anticipated but we should take that as a learning and be better for it the next time we experience conditions that are similar.”The toss was an important one to win – but it wouldn’t have guaranteed us a win either. India showed you can score runs and found a way of managing a very tricky surface.”Our batters need to learn from how India rotated strike, while what I took from how they played was how calm and unflustered they were. When a delivery really misbehaved, they didn’t waver from their game-plan.” Ravichandran Ashwin (pictured) and Rohit Sharma scored centuries for India in the second Test (Pic credit – BCCI) Root – whose side will be looking to bounce back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 with their six-match winning streak in overseas Tests having been snapped – also felt his bowlers could have been more frugal on day one when India reached 300-6 after electing to bat.”We have to find ways of building pressure for long periods of time with the ball, bowling six balls at one batter, which India made very difficult for us.”Can we string maidens together and force wickets through very disciplined passages of play? I think India did that better than us.”On day one we could probably have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game, making it hard for them to score freely. The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 heading into the third Test, a day-night fixture in Ahmedabad from February 24 “We have to learn from the opposition, who played very well, but we are 1-1 in the series and there are two very important games to come.”We are very excited about that because of how well we played in the first game. We are very much in this series. It’s set up very nicely.”We have to stay level. We don’t get above our station when we win and it’s not all doom and gloom when we have tough weeks.”It is very important we stay level as a team. We have to learn but that is one thing we have done well in recent times so hopefully we can take that into the rest of the series.” 0:52 Root says he understands Moeen Ali’s decision to leave England’s bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root says he understands Moeen Ali’s decision to leave England’s bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root – who also confirmed that all-rounder Moeen Ali will miss the rest of the series having opted to fly home – said Ben Stokes only bowled two overs in the game for tactical reasons, not due to injury.”Ben is fit and able to bowl but, on that surface, you look at the overs of seam bowled and it was minimal,” said Root.”I’m sure Ben will have an impact on this series with the ball as he did in the first game. He can grab big moments and turn them on their head.”Pressed on whether he wanted to include the rested James Anderson, who had starred with a scintillating spell of reverse-swing bowling on day five of the first Test, Root added: “It was discussed. “But we need to look at the series as a whole. The pink-ball game looks an exciting opportunity for someone like him to have a real impact.”Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24.

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อินเดียชนะ 3 ครั้งในอาหารกลางวันในวันที่ 4 ของการทดลอง 2 กับสหราชอาณาจักร


อินเดียเข้าใกล้ซีรีส์เพื่อชัยชนะที่ Chepauk โดยเก็บได้ 4 นัดในเซสชั่นแรกของวันที่ 4 ของการทดสอบครั้งที่สองกับอังกฤษเมื่อลอว์เรนซ์และโจรูตออกมาพร้อมกับอังกฤษที่ต้องการมากกว่า 400 รันเพื่อชนะการแข่งขันทดสอบ การแข่งขันครั้งก่อนไม่นานเมื่อการแสดงที่เป็นตัวเอกของ Rishabh Pant ในการแข่งขันโบว์ลิ่งของ Ravichandran Ashwin ทำให้เขาผิดหวัง หลังจากนั้นรูทก็มีเบ็นสโตกส์ให้กับ บริษัท นักหวดชาวอังกฤษผู้มีพลังทั้งหมดถูกทุบตีหลายต่อหลายครั้งและการตีครั้งเดียวของเขา – การกวาด – ไม่ทำให้เขาเป็นเส้นใน 51 ลูกที่เขาเผชิญ ในท้ายที่สุดเขาถูกไล่ออกโดย Ashwin เพียงแปดครั้งทำให้แขกจ้องมองไปที่กล่อง โอกาสง่ายๆที่จุดกลับตัว อย่างไรก็ตาม Kuldeep พบความก้าวหน้าในการเยี่ยมครั้งต่อไปของเขา นาฬิกาข้อมือทางด้านซ้ายมือทำให้ Ben Foakes ติดขาของเขาหลังรับประทานอาหารกลางวันและเห็นหนังศีรษะของเขาโล่งใจอย่างเห็นได้ชัด เขาถูกวางไว้ที่ 116/7 ในมื้อกลางวันในวันที่ 4 โดยรูทขับเคี่ยวในการต่อสู้คนเดียวโดยมี 33 ลูกจาก 90 ลูก อินเดียน่าจะจบสิ่งต่างๆได้ในเซสชั่นที่สอง Ashwin จะจับตาดูการแข่งขัน 10 ลูก สนามที่สร้างขึ้นและความแม่นยำที่น่าทึ่งของพิชเชอร์อินเดียการทดสอบนี้ไม่น่าจะถูกลากเข้าสู่เซสชั่นสุดท้ายในวันที่ 4 Moeen Ali, Olly Stone และ Stuart Broad เป็นสามมือนักแร็กเกตอังกฤษคนเดียวที่เหลืออยู่ จนถึงตอนนี้ประตูจะพิจารณาตีหัวที่สองอีกครั้งและบันทึกการแข่งขันครั้งที่ 8 ด้วย 10 ประตูในการทดสอบคริกเก็ต ถ้าเขาทำเขาจะกลายเป็นนักคริกเก็ตชาวอินเดียคนแรกและคนที่ห้า (รองจาก Shakib Al Hasan, Imran Khan, Ian Botham และ Alan Davidson) ที่จะบรรลุความสำเร็จนี้ เผยแพร่เมื่อ 16 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021, 11:43 IST.

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The Pros and Cons of Making a Living From Poker


If you enjoy poker, making a living from playing this game seems like living the dream.

Do something you love, and it will never feel like work.

But, before you go all in, you should be aware of all of the pros and cons that come with playing poker for a living.
If you’re considering getting more serious about your potential poker career, here are some of the most prominent advantages and disadvantages that come with being a professional poker player.
The Advantages of Playing Poker for a Living
You Own Your Own Time
If you’re playing poker for a living, you’re effectively choosing your work hours. Being your own boss, especially in a career path such as this, means that you’re entirely free to tailor your own time and make the best of every day.
The hassle of working night shifts or waking up early every morning to drive to work won’t be a problem if you gown down this road.

Your “offices” are the online poker tables and live poker tournaments you choose to participate in.

Just keep in mind that you must maintain great discipline in such a job, as not to lose yourself in the flexibility and freedom of your own time.
No Salary Ceiling
The biggest reason most poker players want to go professional is the unlimited profit available for those who dare to claim it.
Although money shouldn’t be your primary motivator, it’s hard not to think about the multi-million prizes at the biggest poker tournaments in the world.
Even if you are just starting out playing online on real money poker sites, there are still countless options with prizes significantly more extensive than what most working people can earn in their day jobs.

Plus, the best part about this is that there’s no salary ceiling on how much you can bring home each month.
Living and Traveling Anywhere in the World
Another great advantage of playing poker for a living is that you can experience the feeling of always being on vacation while traveling for work and making money in the process.
If you plan on becoming a full-time poker player, you can look forward to frequently traveling to some of the biggest and most exciting cities in the world.

From Las Vegas and London to Barcelona and Monaco, you make your own schedule as packed or free as you wish.

Moreover, as a professional poker player, you have unlimited freedom in choosing a location where you want to settle down.
If you want to make your home in a sunny and warm place, you can select a popular poker destination such as the Caribbean.
This will allow you to enjoy endless summers while still being very close to some of the most popular and rewarding poker tournaments.
The Disadvantages of Playing Poker for a Living
No Guaranteed Income
The most significant benefit of a day job is that you know exactly how much money you’re earning every month.

When you switch up your day job for a professional poker career, this safety net disappears.

While it’s true that you’ll be able to win massive amounts of money potentially, there’s no telling when or even if this will come.
Instability of income is a typical tradeoff in many careers that offer a higher profit ceiling.
If you like playing it safe and can’t risk running a negative balance for a few weeks or months, pursuing a career in Texas Hold’em probably isn’t the best way to go.

That said, if you’re ready to accept the swings and have the mindset to handle the pressure of unstable earnings, you can turn this disadvantage into your advantage.
The Road to Success Can be Arduous
Watching Daniel Negreanu toy with his opponents makes it seem almost effortless. But, most of us forget that we’re watching the end result of years of studying the game and the psychology of their competitors.

All professional poker players have experienced great highs and lows throughout their long journey.

Don’t go into it thinking that it’s going a smooth ride all of the time. Confidence is a must-have, but you should continuously work on your skills to back this up.
Of course, some players have achieved great success in their first few years of playing the game, but these are outliers.
If you’re aiming to make poker your lifetime career, you need to arm yourself with patience and always remember that you’re in it for the long run, and variance will catch up with you eventually.
Stable Budget Needed to Start
Although poker offers you the opportunity to win a lot of money, you also need to have adequate starting capital before you even consider devoting all of your attention to the game.
The lack of money is one of the more significant reasons why most players don’t commit to playing poker professionally.
For many players, it can take years before they can get to a consistent level of winning in poker. If you don’t have the capital to start or a stable day job to cover your poker losses, you can quickly grow tired of the stress and grind.
It’s crucial to remember that success isn’t guaranteed and that you should never risk the money you can’t afford to lose. Learning good bankroll management is a must!

Are you Ready to Become a Professional Poker Player?
The hard truth is that not everyone is cut out to be a world-class poker player. But, with enough patience and work, you can make a great living from playing poker.
This is because, ultimately, the pros heavily outweigh the cons, and most players who truly commit to studying and learning the game can succeed in it.

If you’re passionate about poker and ready to put your energy into it, nothing is stopping you from making a career out of it.

To get some help on your path, check out the best poker training sites out there, as you’ll find plenty of great resources here.

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Aslan Karatsev of Russia Continues an Unlikely Run at Australian Open


MELBOURNE, Australia — He is the mystery man who few in the sport had heard of just days ago. But Aslan Karatsev of Russia has landed in the semifinals of the Australian Open.In one of the most unlikely runs in the history of modern tennis, Karatsev on Tuesday became one of the few players to make the final four of a Grand Slam after surviving the qualifying tournament when he beat an ailing Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in four sets 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.Karatsev, 27, who was born in Russia, moved to Israel as a child, then returned to Russia as a teenager to pursue better tennis training, according to The Times of Israel. He had been playing in the tennis hinterlands for several years with little success. He had never qualified for a Grand Slam before this tournament. He won three straight matches at the Australian Open qualifying event in Doha to win a spot in the main event and came in ranked No. 114 in the world. He has never been ranked higher than No. 111.Dimitrov appeared to have the match under control after the first set but suffered what looked to be back spasms in the third set and appeared to be on the edge of retiring for the rest of the match.Just four other players have made the semifinals of a Grand Slam after getting through the qualifying event.Ahead of the Australian Open, he played doubles for Team Russia in the ATP Cup, a team event in which players represent their countries. Russia won the competition, but not because of Karatsev, who lost all three matches in which he played with two different partners.His teammates noticed that he was playing as well as they had ever seen, and yet none of them would have predicted anything like this.“We felt like he could do something amazing,” Daniil Medvedev, Russia’s top player and the No. 4 seed in the Australian Open. “To be honest, being in your first Grand Slam main draw? Making quarters is something exceptional. He’s not over yet.”He certainly is not.Karatsev will take on the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev, which is scheduled for Tuesday night.

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McGeechan’s Lions XV: Russell, Farrell the 10-12 axis


Sir Ian McGeechan has selected his British and Irish Lions team to face world champions South Africa this summer.
The legendary Lions coach highlights who made the biggest impressions during the first two rounds of the Six Nations as competition for places in Warren Gatland’s squad intensifies…Back three: ‘You need gamebreakers in South Africa’It’s only been two weekends of the Six Nations, but in the back three there are some significant names and there have already been some very good performances in that area. Stuart Hogg scored twice against Wales on Saturday It has to be Stuart Hogg at full-back, he’s in outstanding form and he’s confident. He’s making fewer errors, he’s good under the high ball and I think against South Africa you need players who can break the game up.We know how good a player Elliot Daly is, he’s just not where he was a couple of years ago.I want to mention Liam Williams as well, because I think when he went to full-back at the weekend, it changed the Welsh attack. It helped Louis Rees-Zammit in what he did as we all. I like Williams in the backfield, I think he’s a genuine game-changer. 0:18 Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones says this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for Louis Rees-Zammit after his match-winning try against Scotland Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones says this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for Louis Rees-Zammit after his match-winning try against Scotland At the moment, I’d have Rees-Zammit on the right wing on form, and the other wing I’d have is Duhan van der Merwe.Then you’ve got the back-up of Anthony Watson who can be a winger or full-back, Williams, and James Lowe who comes into the equation.Warren Gatland’s going to be spoiled for choice in the back three. Duhan van der Merwe evades the tackle of Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny Midfield: ’12 is a position that’s open’Good team performances often highlight good players, but England aren’t firing on all cylinders so some of the players are not showing genuinely how good they are and can be.Henry Slade is a player who I really like watching, I think he’s got a lot of talent, but some of the England players at the moment have struggled a little bit because tactically they haven’t honed everything collectively.So I think Slade is there or thereabouts, but I think Chris Harris on form over the two games should be there at outside centre. Chris Harris hands off Wales’ Owen Watkin in Edinburgh The issue we’ve got is that 12 is a very open position in all the teams. Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are a settled combination in Ireland, whereas Wales have had disruption through injuries.Nick Tompkins I like, so there are players there who I think can make a statement in the remaining games of the championship, but I would put Owen Farrell at inside centre because I think you also need a goal kicker in a Test team.You’ve got to be prepared to win it by penalties as well as tries, if you need to. Farrell, with his experience, played very well in New Zealand for the Lions at 12 with Johnny Sexton at 10. Owen Farrell switched to inside centre for England’s win over Italy Half-backs: ‘Boks would be scared of a Lions team with Russell’Finn Russell at fly-half, you’ve got to go for him. I think South Africa would be worried if they saw a Lions team with Finn Russell in it.Yes, they may feel they could challenge him and cause issues with his decision-making, but I think he’s matured tremendously since he’s played with Racing 92, and all the messages coming out of the Scotland camp are about how good he’s been in training; talking to other players, getting ideas across and decision-making, which is so important for a 10. Finn Russell is playing his way into Lions contention Go back a few years and there was one Gregor Townsend who did the same.He’s a tremendous passer of the ball and is very good at running support lines and can take the first player on, but it’s the variety of his kicking game that could be so important on the highveld as well as at sea level.Gatland’s got some challenges at scrum-half. Dan Robson coming on actually showed a little bit of buzz and speed for England, and Ireland I think will go back to Conor Murray when he’s fit. Wales are still working out their scrum-half – there was a change almost at half-time which was interesting. Ali Price’s smart kick over the top created Scotland’s first try against Wales Over the last two weeks, I would go with Ali Price. He’s a natural link with Russell and he’s got a good kicking game, but he’s also quick and will have a go at forwards on the front foot. He’s not afraid of attacking the spaces either side of the breakdown.Front row: ‘You can’t be pushed all over the place in South Africa’In South Africa you have to have a good set-piece. Not necessarily dominant, but you can’t afford to be pushed back and be all over the place. You have to have parity at least. Kyle Sinckler has won 44 caps for England since making his debut in 2016 Tadhg Furlong is a player I really like, similarly Andrew Porter, but Kyle Sinckler gets in at tighthead prop for his impact.Sinckler is good with ball in hand, so you’ve got all the bonus of a very good footballer in open play, but technically you’ve got a good tighthead as well.I’ve gone with Wyn Jones at loosehead. I think technically, scrummaging wise, he can be challenged a bit, but given the form of the current props, it was between him and Rory Sutherland. Mako Vunipola needs to be playing games, he’s off the pace at the moment. George Turner outplayed Jamie George at Twickenham, says Sir Ian McGeechan George Turner carried well at the weekend. he tackles well and his game involvement is very high. I’ve been very impressed with him.He was good against England, if not better than Jamie George, and was again very positive against Wales at the weekend so he’s my choice at hooker.Second row: ‘Beirne benefitting from O’Connell’s influence’Alun Wyn Jones is an amazing player. I don’t think he’s the best second row, but for influence alone he’s so important to the Welsh team. Tadhg Beirne celebrates after scoring Ireland’s first try against Wales Along with Jones, you’ve got Jonny Gray, who’s going well with Scotland, and I’ve been impressed with Scott Cummings as well.Obviously James Ryan has been brilliant since breaking onto the scene, and Iain Henderson has been playing well.It’s an area where I think Gatland is going to be spoiled for choice, but for my second row I’ve gone with Tadhg Beirne and Maro Itoje.Itoje gave a lot of penalties away against Scotland which is back to what he was doing a couple of years back, but he was much better against Italy on Saturday. Maro Itoje wears the No 4 jersey in Sir Ian McGeechan’s Lions XV There is a slight question mark over Itoje on form, but I think Beirne has had two good games for Ireland and I think he’s benefitted greatly from having Paul O’Connell on the coaching staff.Back row: ‘You want someone scrambling for the ball’I thought Rhys Ruddock almost put himself in the picture at blindside flanker with the way he performed against France. You need an aggressive one in the back row – CJ Stander, who can play there, has also been playing well. Will Jamie Ritchie be in the Lions’ Test XV against the Springboks? Jamie Ritchie didn’t play at the weekend, but he would be my frontline player. I think Ritchie as a young back rower has a very good presence; he’s physical, he’s big and he’s quick. I’d have Stander on stand-by, he’s been leading the way for Ireland with carries.Hamish Watson is my openside, without a doubt. Over two games he’s been outstanding, and the sort of player you want scrambling around the ball and on the floor against South Africa.I think Tom Curry will be there, I do like him as a seven, and the other one I like is Justin Tipuric, who I think is underestimated in the impact he has. In the last 20 minutes at Murrayfield, he was outstanding. Scotland openside Hamish Watson is McGeechan’s pick in the No 7 jersey Taulupe Faletau is my No 8. I thought he played well at the weekend, and the longer the game went on the better he got.At times he’s been a bit peripheral and not involved, but I thought he was dominant. He had double-figure carries and double-figure tackles against Scotland. That’s what you want from your No 8. Billy Vunipola won’t be far away when it comes to the final measure, but over those two games I think Faletau has been one of the influential players in Wales’ two wins.Sir Ian McGeechan’s Lions XV: 15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland), 14 Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), 13 Chris Harris (Scotland), 12 Owen Farrell (England), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), 10 Finn Russell (Scotland), 9 Ali Price (Scotland), 1 Wyn Jones (Wales), 2 George Turner (Scotland), 3 Kyle Sinckler (England), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 5 Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), 6 Jamie Ritchie (Scotland), 7 Hamish Watson (Scotland), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Wales).

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