New Brisbane Heat batsman Tom Cooper ready to fire


Heat recruit Tom Cooper plans to bring some consistency to a Brisbane BBL side that’s “very good or very bad”.

After eight seasons and 71 matches with the Melbourne Renegades, Cooper, 34, has joined a Heat team that has failed to make the BBL finals for three successive years.

The right-handed batsman and handy off-spinner said rival teams did not enjoy the prospect of playing an enigmatic Brisbane team that could go from world-beaters to flops from one match to the next.

“They’re either very good or very bad, but leading up to games you don’t know which one you’re going to get,” Lismore product Cooper said.

“It’s always a dangerous match-up, and you either get blown out of the water or have some success.

“That’s what we’re talking about now … bringing that bit more consistency to our games.

“The squad that we have, if we can do that, we’re going to go a long way to having quite a bit of success I reckon.”

Fresh from a two-week quarantine spell, Cooper was thrilled at the prospect of calling the Gabba his home ground.

“The Gabba’s an unbelievable place to play cricket. It’s up there with one of the best places to bat in the world.

“The crowd can be quite hostile to the opposition, but it’s always a great atmosphere.

“You talk to most cricketers around the world, and the Gabba will be in their top handful of places to bat, so I’m really looking forward to playing most of the home games there.”

The Heat will also play home matches at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast in a campaign starting in Canberra on Friday week against the Melbourne Stars.

The Brisbane side has named former Hobart Hurricanes all-rounder Simon Milenko as one of three replacement players to cover for the absence of Test pair Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns and Test hopeful Mitch Swepson.

The other replacements are Lachy Pfeffer and Jack Wood.

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said Milenko was a “seasoned pro”.

“It’s great to have him back in teal and around the group,” said Lehmann, who added Pfeffer and Wood gave the Brisbane squad “handy depth in key positions”.

“They are all talented players and will do a good job for us while the Aussie boys are away.”

English batsman Dan Lawrence remains in quarantine and will link with the Heat squad next week.

South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, who qualifies as a local player through residency and his wife being Australian, is out of quarantine and trained with the Heat on Thursday.





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Gordon Ramsay and Tom Felton among TikTok’s most popular in 2020


The most-watched video on the social media app, a lion walking through a safari park, has been liked more than 20 million times.

Meanwhile the biggest trend on the platform was #blindinglights, which saw NHS workers and families dance to The Weeknd song Blinding Lights during the country’s first lockdown.

This was followed by #isolationgames where TikTok users and Team GB sportspeople recreated Olympic sports in their homes and £ramsayreacts, the popular videos of chef Ramsay reacting to the food creations of other users.

( Gordon Ramsay reacts to the food creations of other users on TikTok / TikTok/ Gordon Ramsay )

Rich Waterworth, TikTok UK and EU general manager, said: “For many reasons, 2020 will be a year we will never forget.

“Across the UK, we’ve been faced with challenges we could have never predicted back in January, shaped by a tragic health crisis that has touched each and every one of us in different ways.

He added: “But throughout it all, there have been incredible moments of humanity and community and I’ve been humbled that TikTok has been home to so many of those moments, bringing people together even when we felt so far apart.

( Tom Felton has enjoyed millions of views on his TikTok account / Tom Felton /TikTok )

“As we approach the end of 2020, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and recognise our community for helping us get through a tough year.”

Mr Waterworth praised the diversity of the most watched videos, celebrating them as “a mixed bag of all the great and the good on TikTok”.

“Topping the list is a lion parading through a safari, showing that cats – the king of cats in fact – still continues to be what people want to watch on the internet,” he said.

“Our second most-watched UK video is a quarantine classic, with creators BenandKexia spending hours creating a massive domino train in their home during lockdown.”

He also highlighted how a number of celebrities had embraced the app for the first time.

“Celebs like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dua Lipa, Liam Payne and Ant and Dec have all brought their creativity and comedy to our platform this year, making the most of our creative effects and engaging with fans in unique and new ways,” he said.

“Whether it’s duetting with fans, going behind the scenes, or sharing more about their personality through TikTok LIVEs, public figures across sports, music and the creative industries have embraced TikTok in 2020.”

Mr Waterworth also praised the work of creators who used the platform to raise awareness about different subjects.

He commended users such as presenter Nikki Lilly and actor and comedian Michael Dapaah for their campaigning work on social issues.

“What’s… surprised us this year is how much TikTok has come into its own as a platform for campaigning and change,” Mr Waterworth said.

“Our TikTok 100 recognises creators like Nikkililly, cheethamswithdreams and michaeldapaah- for their huge contribution in raising awareness about disabilities, equality and mental health.

“As we look forward to 2021, our mission remains the same – we’ll continue to inspire creativity and bring joy to people all over the UK and to our 100 million monthly active users across Europe.”



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Collingwood defender Tom Langdon to retire


Collingwood defender Tom Langdon has succumbed to injury and made the call to retire.

Langdon has battled to overcome serious knee trouble and has decided he cannot push his body to get back to the elite level.

Tom Langdon seriously injured his knee in round nine of 2019.Credit:Getty Images

Sources said the club would make an announcement later today and Langdon would be delisted as a retirement for the purposes of list lodgement.

The 26-year-old intercept marking defender has not played since round nine of 2019 as he struggled to overcome chronic knee problems.



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Wallabies star James O’Connor will be in contention for Argentina clash, says roommate Tom Wright


“He was back in today and moving pretty well … I think he’d definitely be in the mix,” Wright said. “He’s a fair bit happier the leash has been taken off. He’s been chomping at the bit for a while.

“I’d tick him off today but they don’t give me that power.”

After a stellar debut in which he scored a try with his first touch, the Brumbies winger was brought back to earth in Australia’s dour draw that has now put New Zealand in the box seat to claim the Tri Nations when they face Argentina this Saturday in Newcastle.

“The results were chalk and cheese,” said Wright of his two outings at Test level. “Taking nothing away from the performance of the Argies but we left a lot out there in terms of opportunities and things that we created and just didn’t finish. In our review there was no lack of effort, there was just a little bit of a polish on things we didn’t finish off.”

Whether O’Connor returns or not, Wright said he idolised the 30-year-old when as a teenager dreaming of wearing the gold jersey at St Joseph’s College in Sydney.

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“The other night I was saying that it would have been crazy for him coming in at such a young age to Super [Rugby] and then straight into Tests,” Wright said. “That whole period for him happened like the snap of a finger. I was only in year seven, eight, nine … we used to just watch him and Quade [Cooper] and that Reds era into the Wallabies team where it was all young dudes running around just playing off-the-cuff footy. It’s come full circle.”

Wright is happy doing his best on the wing for now but didn’t rule out pushing for a spot in the centres next year.

“It’s a conversation I can potentially have and I’m very open to the idea,” Wright said. “I started playing a bit of centre last year too. If there’s opportunities that come up I’m very open and I know within myself I can make changes to my game.”

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Tom Brady handshake, Jared Goff, Tampa Bay vs Rams news, result


NFL superstar Tom Brady is the most hated man in the NFL right now after he was exposed by another handshake snub on Tuesday (AEST).

The legendary quarterback’s petty refusal to face rival Jared Goff after the Rams’ dramatic 27-24 win over Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers has overshadowed the 43-year-old’s spectacular choke.

Brady completed just 26 of 48 passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions.

He was 0 from seven throwing long-range passes and his interception with two-minutes left sealed the win for Los Angeles.

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After going at each other all night, Brady conveniently left the field and headed straight down the tunnel to the locker room while Goff walked out to shake hands with his opponents.

Video showed the moment Goff stood around on the middle of the field looking for Brady.

One of the greatest athletes of all time was already sulking in the dressing room.

Brady’s repeated refusals to show his respect to opposition quarterbacks when bested on the field has called his sportsmanship into question.

The most successful quarterback of all time and increasingly the biggest sore loser in the league.

Hall of Fame NFL great Shannon Sharpe called Brady out on Twitter after the petulant display.

“I guess Brady doesn’t know Goff well enough to shake his hand after losing,” Sharpe wrote.

“Yet, he knows every QB after he wins. Brady is full of what the elephant left on the show ground. His attitude is bulljive and it’s time to call his A** out on it.”

Brady was also spotted darting for the locker room after his team’s loss to Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears earlier this year. A trend is emerging.

Brady has previously attempted to explain his handshake snub of Foles.

“I didn’t even think about that,” Brady said earlier this year.

“I think Nick Foles is a hell of a player and a Super Bowl champ and I don’t know one reason or another why I wouldn’t do that. Sometimes I’ve run off of the field, sometimes I haven’t. Sometimes if I have a personal relationship like I have with Drew [Brees] and Justin [Herbert] and Aaron [Rodgers] over the years… I don’t know. I don’t think it’s anything in particular but I have great admiration for Nick and I think that he’s a hell of a player. They’re off to a great start.”

Brady’s refusal to shake hands with anyone but his chums and after victories left him open to ridicule on Tuesday.

NBC NFL writer Patrick Daughertywrote on Twitter: “Tom Brady ever going to get called out on his heading straight to the locker room s***? Thermonuclear controversy if it is any number of other quarterbacks”.

Sharpe continued to stick the boot into Brady on Wednesday in his Undisputed TV show with commentator Skip Bayless. His stinky performance was just as criticised as his sportsmanship.

He was ripped for repeatedly finding Rams defenders.

He now has nine picks in 11 games this year. He had eight picks in 16 games last season.

When asked what responsibility Brady has to accept for the loss, he said: “9.5 out of 10. Tom has played bad, it’s as simple as that. Your boy looked awful last night and I don’t want to hear anything about the defence. Brady has happy feet, and he doesn’t want to be hit.”

Despite his turbulent season, Brady’s Buccaneers are still right in the race for the playoffs at 7-4 and currently sit in the wildcard spot with five games remaining.



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Tom Brady Passed Twice on One Play. And It (Sort of) Worked.


It’s one of the first rules you learn when you get taken into the backyard and taught how to play football:

You can only throw one forward pass each play.

On Monday night, Tom Brady tried to get away with breaking that rule. And in a way, it worked.

Early in the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, Brady’s Buccaneers had a third-and 10 at their 34-yard line. Brady threw over the middle, but the ball was blocked at the line of scrimmage by linebacker Terrell Lewis.

A lot of good things have happened to Tom Brady in his life, and here came another. The deflected ball, which could have gone in almost any direction, caromed directly back to him. Brady reacted with lightning speed, snatched the carom out of the air and … passed the ball again?

Yes, perhaps because of a brain freeze, or maybe because he thought no one would notice, Brady tried his second pass of the play. That’s a violation of the rules of the N.F.L., the X.F.L., the Canadian Football League and just about every type of organized football down to your cousin’s youth league.

Brady’s second pass was completed to Mike Evans, but the officials were less than impressed. Flags flew, and Brady was called for a penalty.

But wait. Evans was brought down two yards short of a first down. So with the Buccaneers now facing fourth and 2, the Rams declined the penalty. The play, and the double completed pass, stood.

N.F.L. drive charts rarely make for interesting reading, but this one will forever. Tucked near the start of the fourth quarter, it dryly notes exactly what happened:

“T.Brady pass short middle to T.Brady to TB 25 for -9 yards. T.Brady pass short middle to M.Evans to TB 42 for 8 yards.”

It goes on to note that “Statistically, no completion for first pass as a result of the declined penalty.” So Brady, at least, will be spared the negative yards on the catch, which would have only reduced his own passing total.

It was not the first time since joining Tampa Bay this year that Brady, 43, seemed to struggle with a bedrock football rule. In October, he appeared to lose track of the one about being allowed four downs each series. After failing to convert a fourth down against the Bears, he remained on the field and held up four fingers as if he thought he had another play.

The Buccaneers lost that game, and they lost Monday night as well, 27-24. But at 7-4, they are still in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.

If Tampa Bay makes the postseason, Brady will need to remember that the rules of football apply there, too.



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How the Queensland Reds landed the signature of Michael Lynagh’s son, Tom


“We were pretty keen to move on it,” Cordingley said. “You need as many good No.10s in your program as possible.

“We had done some background on him and knew he was a fair player. The [highlights] package that was there was just a part of the [due] diligence we did around him.

“We have Australian coaches in the current system that have some experience over there in England that knew Tom and we were pretty keen to progress.”

The 17-year-old – who is still a student at London’s Epsom College – has signed a deal that will keep him at Ballymore until the end of 2023.

Cordingley was careful to compare Tom to his father, but revealed the kind of talent Reds fans can expect to see in the 2022 Super Rugby season.

“He’ll create his own path, but he appears to have a real point of difference around his speed and his acceleration, which is fundamental for inside back roles,” Cordingley said.

“He appears to have a fair bit of strength based on his size and we are impressed with his all-round kicking game, as well.”

Given that skill set sounds ideal for the southern hemisphere style of play, the Italian born, English raised playmaker was eager to make the move to the team where his father played more than 100 games.

“He’s a very quietly spoken kid, but he thought his game suited southern hemisphere rugby,” Cordingley said.

“He liked what he saw in Test matches played between the Wallabies and All Blacks and thought that was more suited to his physical ability and skill set.

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“He’s backing himself in, which is great, and he’s a quietly confident young man. We’re excited to be getting him on board.”

The Reds plan to have one of Lynagh or fellow teen Taj Annan – who has also signed until the end of 2023 – take the reins at No.10 when James O’Connor decides to move on.

“We’re signing him for a reason,” Cordingley said. “We think he’s capable of being able to deliver for the Reds and hopefully for the Wallabies down the track.

“We made it really clear – which was good – that we want James O’Connor to stay through to the next World Cup. But that doesn’t stop Tom from putting his hand up.

“He’s keen to work in the same squad as James, learn from James and, at the appropriate time, he will get a crack.”

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Tom Lynagh, son of former Wallabies captain Michael, signs with Reds


Tom Lynagh, the son of former Australia captain and World Cup-winning five-eighth Michael, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Queensland Reds, his father’s former team, the Super Rugby side said on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old, currently at English club Harlequins, will join the Reds after next year’s Super Rugby AU competition.

Tom Lynagh, left, and father Michael Lynagh playing for the Wallabies.

“Like his father, Tom is a very astute five-eighth, but he has certainly created his own path,” Reds general manager of professional rugby Sam Cordingley said in a statement. “Tom has genuine X-factor with ball in hand, which is supported by his point of difference in speed and acceleration.

“His kicking game is also impressive both out of hand and at goal. As a developing talent Tom is held in the highest regard internationally given he qualifies for multiple nations. We are really pleased that he has committed to the Reds and Australian rugby.”



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AFL 2021: Rule changes, new rules, zones VFL, players reaction to new rules, interchange rotations, Steve Hocking, Mason Cox Twitter, Mitch Robinson, Tom Gribble


AFL players have taken to social media to voice concerns over the league’s newly announced rule changes, while one VFL player has lashed out at headquarters for treating second-tier players as “lab rats”.

The AFL on Wednesday announced a number of notable rule changes for the 2021 season, headlined by interchange rotations being reduced from 90 to 75.

Responding to the announcement on social media, Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson and American recruit Mason Cox were worried about the impact the changes will have on the game’s umpires.

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Grand Final





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