Junior Paulo has stopped Neville Costigan in the 2nd round at the All Star Fight Night event in Townsville
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Paramatta Eels powerhouse Junior Paulo has had a request to to skip his side’s pre-season training so he can prepare for an upcoming boxing bout denied.
The prop is set to don the gloves against former Raiders and QLD star Neville Costigan at the All Stars Rugby League fight night on February 12 in Townsville.
But despite his hopes that Eels coach Brad Arthur will allow him to skip pre-season to focus on the fight, the Eels on Sunday tweeted that he would return to pre-season training ‘as agreed’.
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Paulo had told The Daily Telegraph: “I am two weeks into a seven-week fight camp and I am hoping to continue the boxing training full-time.
“I have been training six days a week and I am hoping I will be able to continue instead of returning to the Eels pre-season. I haven’t heard back yet but I am hoping he (Brad) will be okay with it. I think he knows that the preparation I am doing for this fight will have me coming back at my best for the season.”
But the Eels responded with a public statement on Twitter, writing: “The Eels and Junior Paulo have always maintained that his first priority is to be ready for our trial against the Panthers in February.
“All of his training is being monitored and overseen by the Eels high performance department to make sure his [sic] ready for the 2021 season.
“Junior will be returning to pre-season training in January as agreed.”
Paulo had claimed that boxing training would have him fitter than ever for the new NRL season.
“I am training harder than ever and it will be the best preparation I can have for the 2021 season,” he said.
“The fittest I have ever been is before my fight in 2016 and I respond well to the different style training. I think Brad knows that this type of training will have me at my best for the start of the season.”
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It will be just the 27-year-old’s second fight – the first was a loss to Paul Gallen in 2016 – but Paulo has signalled his intent to become a full-time boxer once his NRL career concludes.
“I have given it a bit of thought and I would like to take it up full time one day. League is all I have ever known and boxing is something I definitely want to pursue once I finish football.”
In what would be another juicy all-NRL clash, Paulo also said he’d like to face off with Maroons star Jai Arrow in the ring.
It emerged on Tuesday that Liverpool and Manchester United have held discussions over the creation of a new £4.6billion tournament, backed by Fifa, that would replace the Champions League.
Reports claim five Premier League clubs have been approached by the people behind the radical plans, with more than a dozen teams from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France and in talks about becoming founder members of the competition.
It comes a week Premier League clubs rejected Project Big Picture proposals that would have given more power to the ‘Big Six’ in England.
Reacting to the talks of about a new European Premier League, Neville told Sky Sports: “Football is going to eat itself soon, because the fans will turn away. It is getting to the point where the people who love the game are starting to dislike large elements of what they are actually supporting. And that cannot be allowed to happen.
“I am not against pioneering approaches and I am not against even some aspects of Project Big Picture last week.
“However, it is all about timing, it is all about communication and how you would deliver this, and communicate this this message, not just to your fellow members in the Premier League but your fellow members in the football community in this country and also to the fans, the most important people.
“All this does is create unease, the idea that a £5billion package is being put together to set up a new league when lower clubs are trying to stay in existence. It seems to be another wound for football. It does not feel the right time to be talking about this.
“I am for progression of football, new competitions, new formats. But we have got to look after the fabric of the game and what it means to the communities in this country. And every single week at the moment there is a new announcement which takes it away from that.”
“My view on that, Madam Chair, is that to me it was quite clear that from March 28 … under the emergency management structure, the Department of Health and Human Services [was] the control agency,” he replied.
“Our department had a role in assisting the Department of Health and Human Services and they had some discrete responsibilities for those logistical type matters that I have referred to.
“I wouldn’t seek to characterise it in any way other than … as I say, there was to my understanding, one department which was in charge, if you like, and had overall responsibility, and my department, whose role was to assist the control agency, which was in this case DHHS.”
He said it would have been preferable if the Health Department, and not his own Jobs Department, had overall responsibility for contracting the work in the hotels.
The Jobs Department was in charge of contracting security guards and cleaners for the hotels.
He said it was his expectation that the Health Department would provide infection prevention advice to the contractors, although the inquiry has heard that this didn’t happen in many cases.
“I agree it would have been preferable for the agency which has overall responsibility to have the contractual management responsibility. I think that would have been better,” Mr Pakula said.
The Minister said he didn’t raise this opinion with anyone towards the end of the program in June.
“And did anyone in your department, or indeed in any other department, raise that with you?” Ms Coate asked.
“No, Madam Chair,” Mr Pakula replied.
“It’s, it’s something that has been the subject of a conversation between me and the secretary of my department in recent times, where he’s expressed the view to me that, you know, in an ideal world that in future it would be better for the agency which is in overall control to hold the contracts, and I agree with that perspective, but it’s not something that was raised with me in earlier times.”
England head coach Phil Neville has named seven newcomers in his 30-strong September training squad.
Among those receiving their first call-ups are defenders Lotte Wubben-Moy, Manchester United’s Millie Turner and Manchester City’s Esme Morgan.
United forward Ella Toone and midfielder Katie Zelem are included along with Chelsea’s Niamh Charles and Liverpool forward Rinsola Babajide.
Chelsea striker Fran Kirby returns after recovering from a viral illness.
Several players from overseas clubs have not been included because of quarantine restrictions including Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid) and Nikita Parris (Lyon).
The camp takes place from 15-21 September at St George’s Park before the Lionesses take on Germany on 27 October in Wiesbaden – their first match since March.
“This is a critical moment in our development,” said Neville.
“Every camp from now on is aimed at building a team capable of competing for the highest honours in world football, including the home Euros in 2022 and the World Cup in 2023.
“It is important that we offer as many opportunities as possible for some of the country’s best young talent to stake their claim for a place in the senior England squad for this exciting three-year period.”
Midfielders: Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
Forwards: Rinsola Babajide (Liverpool), Rachel Daly (West Ham United, loan from Houston Dash), Bethany England (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (N/A), Ellen White (Manchester City)
Sarina Wiegman is to replace Phil Neville as head coach of the England women’s football team next year, the Football Association (FA) announced on Friday.
The 50-year-old Dutch woman will take charge of the Netherlands in next year’s Olympics before assuming control of England.
The former Dutch international defender will be in charge when England hosts the 2022 Euros, the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the following Euros in 2025.
Wiegman was the FA’s preferred choice ahead of reportedly two-time World Cup winning former USA coach Jill Ellis.
Ellis’s second World Cup triumph came at the expense of Wiegman’s Dutch side last year.
“Sarina was our number one choice,” said Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football.
Wiegman said she was delighted to be taking over a side whose country had been at the forefront of developing women’s football in recent times.
“I’m delighted and honoured to join England Women next year,” Wiegman said in a statement.
“England is the cradle of football and the major developments in women’s football globally over recent years have been led by the FA.
“I’m very much looking forward to contributing my experience and expertise to this ambitious team.”
Under Wiegman, Holland won the 2017 European Championship as hosts.
Wiegman – who in 2001 became the first Dutch footballer to be capped 100 times – says she wants to bow out on a high next year.
“The ride with the Oranje Lionesses has been amazing so far, but we haven’t reached our final destination yet,” she said.
“There are two more goals: qualifying for the Euros in 2022 and challenging at the Olympics next summer.
“That would be a fitting completion for me of everything we’ve strived to achieve in women’s football in my home country.
“I will do my utmost to add another chapter to their remarkable journey before making my next step.”
Neville coached England’s women to fourth place at the 2019 Women’s World Cup but the former Manchester United’s star waned as their form slumped following that.
He announced in April he would be stepping down when his contract expires in July next year.
There is a possibility he could be the Team GB coach at the Olympics in Tokyo next July – postponed from this year due to the coronavirus pandemic – but the FA are not taking any chances as he has indicated he would like to coach a club.
The Games run from 23 July to 8 August.
The FA said it will talk to the other home nations over the post for the Olympics and a decision will be announced in “due course”.