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Promising young rugby player died on Friday at the age of 28, eight years after eating a slug at a party, which left him quadriplegic.


The young rugby player ate the slug at a party in 2010 when he was 19. With no knowledge of the animal being infected with rat lungworm.


He contracted eosinophilic meningoencephalitis and fell into a coma for 420 days.


Sam spent three years in hospital after falling ill, but was later released in a motorised wheelchair.


One of Sam’s friends, Jimmy Galvin, who was present at the party, described the event as a “red wine appreciation night”.


Speaking to The Project, he said: “We were sitting, having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown-ups and a slug came crawling across.


“The conversation came up, ‘Should I eat it?’. Off Sam went. Bang. That’s how it happened.”

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Floyd Mayweather has won world titles in five different weight classes and is 50-0 in an unparalleled boxing career but the American could be set for a stunning detour into the world of mixed martial arts after signing with Japanese promoters RIZIN Fighting Federation.


And the undefeated 41-year-old, who last year said his boxing career was over after beating Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, has told Reuters he could handle himself in whatever format was agreed for the fight on New Year's Eve in Saitama.


His opponent is set to be 20-year-old Japanese kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa.

Mayweather has never fought professionally under MMA rules and did not specify what format the fight would follow. He said negotiations were ongoing with Nasukawa's representatives and that his skill-set did not end at boxing.


"I can wrestle, I can wrestle little bit. I can box a lot a bit," Mayweather told Reuters in an interview Tokyo on Saturday.

"We will just see. I can do it all. I can do anything if I set my mind to it."

Nasukawa is contracted to RIZIN and competes in their championships in both MMA and pure kickboxing. He has won all four of his MMA fights.


While boxing rules restrict bouts to the use of fists, MMA rules can incorporate kicks, knees and elbow strikes, as well as wrestling, joint locks and chokes.


Mayweather was confident they would reach an agreement that would suit both fighters.


"I am pretty sure that when I speak with the guys from my team we are going to get on the same page so we can go out there and do what we have to do," he added.


Mayweather's fight against McGregor pushed his career earnings to $1 billion (769 million pounds), joining American basketball great Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods as the only athletes to have reached 10-figures in earnings, according to Forbes.


Mayweather had said in September that he was coming out of retirement for another fight with Manny Pacquiao after the two of them had been pictured talking at a music festival in Japan.

His decision to sign a deal with RIZIN was all about timing, he said.


"Everything is about timing, everything takes time and everything is about timing," he added.


"Its also all about entertainment. I love to entertain, I like for people to be entertained and who doesn't want to be entertained.


"It is good to come over to another part of the world, have fun and enjoy each other."


Mayweather expects a good fight against Nasukawa, who won his last kickboxing bout against compatriot Kyoji Horiguchi at RIZIN.13 in September.


"He is very fast, very young and I am pretty sure he wants to go out and entertain his people," said Mayweather.


"I am pretty sure the crowd is going to be on his side but I am there for a great cause. It is a special bout.


"Just for me to be in the ring with a young guy that is hungry ... It is going to be good, very, very good and I can’t wait."


(Reporting by Mayuko Ono and Kwiyeon Ha; writing by Jack Tarrant; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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 The NBA announced today that Cleveland has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2022, when the league will be commemorating its 75th anniversary.  The 71st NBA All-Star Game will take place at Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022.  The Cavaliers previously hosted NBA All-Star in 1997, when the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 1981.


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement today during a press conference at Quicken Loans Arena, where he was joined by Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and U.S. Representative, Eleventh Congressional District of Ohio, Marcia Fudge.


“Cleveland is a passionate sports city with a proven track record of hosting large-scale, global events,” said Silver.  “We thank Dan Gilbert, Len Komoroski and the civic leaders for their commitment, and we look forward to a weeklong celebration of our game.”


With the current, large-scale arena renovations underway that will be completed in advance of NBA All-Star 2022, the game and extended activities in the transformed Quicken Loans Arena will offer fans an enhanced experience.


“We are proud to host NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland in 2022,” said Gilbert.  “We have been working with the NBA, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to deliver this iconic event to Northeast Ohio for the last couple of years.  The transformation and new state-of-the-art Quicken Loans Arena was an important factor in the NBA’s decision to choose Cleveland for this exciting classic broadcast across the globe. The world will get to see the modern Cleveland and all of its diversity, innovation and promise for the future.”


“Along with the excitement and appreciation for the NBA selecting Cleveland and Quicken Loans Arena to host NBA All-Star 2022, we want to extend a big ‘thanks’ to our local partners at Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, and our City, County and Civic leaders,” said Komoroski.  “Their support and energy to always demonstrate what we as a community do best is at the core of bringing these major events to our city.  We have a great partnership that will deliver an experience fitting for the NBA All-Star global spotlight.  We thank the NBA for their confidence in this collective group, and we will put forth the focus and commitment to ensure that the players, fans, corporate partners, media and all who visit have an extraordinary experience in Cleveland and at the transformed Q in 2022.”


“The City of Cleveland is pleased to host NBA All-Star 2022,” said Mayor Jackson.  “Our city is no stranger to hosting successful, large, global events.  It is a good opportunity, once again, for visitors to come to Cleveland and experience all we have to offer.”


“This is great news for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County,” said Budish.  “When we made the decision to invest in the transformation of the Q, we were aiming for exactly this kind of result.  I am thrilled to see the NBA All-Star Game coming in 2022 with an expected $100 million economic impact to our region. Once again, our city and county will shine on the national and international stage and our businesses and residents will reap the rewards.”


NBA All-Star oncourt events will tip off on Friday, Feb. 18 at Quicken Loans Arena with MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars, an annual showcase for top rookies and second-year NBA players.  On Feb. 19, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the Three-Point and Slam Dunk contests.  NBA All-Star 2022 will culminate with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 20.


The NBA will host several events for fans of all ages at venues throughout the city, including The Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University and Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.  These events, including NBA All-Star Practice and the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles, will feature basketball programming and entertainment for fans as well as up-close access to NBA players, legends and celebrities.


The league will also continue to celebrate its tradition and commitment to social responsibility with a full schedule of NBA Cares events during NBA All-Star 2022. Through partnerships with schools, government and local nonprofit organizations in Cleveland and surrounding areas, the league will reach thousands of children and families and provide critical resources to community-based programs.


In 2022, the NBA All-Star Game will be televised in prime time on TNT for the 20th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 37th year of NBA All-Star coverage. The game will be broadcast worldwide in 215 countries and territories and in 50 languages.


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 (Reuters) - West Ham United have issued an effective lifetime ban on two supporters for invading the pitch at the London Stadium during their 3-1 League Cup defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.


"West Ham can confirm that following two incidents of pitch encroachment during our game against Tottenham, two individuals have been arrested and charged by the police," the Premier League club said in a statement on their website.


"Encroaching the pitch is a criminal offence that will not be tolerated by the club. In keeping with the club's zero tolerance policy, the two individuals will be banned for life from London Stadium with immediate effect."


This will not be the first time the club has issued a ban against individuals. In March, the club banned five people who invaded the London Stadium pitch during a 3-0 league defeat by Burnley.


An unspecified number of fans also suffered the same fate for directing verbal abuse and hurling coins at owners David Sullivan and David Gold during that game.


West Ham supporters have long been dissatisfied over the club's move from Upton Park which was their home from 1904-2016.


The club have endured relegation battles in their last two league campaigns and sit 13th in the table this season after a difficult start under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.


West Ham host 15th-placed Burnley in the league on Saturday

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Real Madrid were thrashed by Barcelona 5-1 at the Camp Nou in the latest edition of El Clasico, the fiercest football rivalry in Spanish football. Philip Coutinho opened the scoring while Luis Suarez helped himself to a hat-trick in a scoreline that belies reason due to the absence of Barca captain, Lionel Messi.


Real Madrid coach, Julen Lopetegui, was brought in this summer to continue from were Zinedine Zidane stopped but the 50-year-old Spaniard looks nail-on to be sacked in the morning.


In June, Lopetegui was with Spain and tipped to win the World Cup in Russia. Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, came calling and the Basque-born coach couldn’t say no, and that was the beginning of his tumultuous reign which looks certain to end and here are two good reasons why Perez should fire him.


Poor managerial record at clubs


Lopetegui got the Real Madrid gig on the back of a strong Spanish spine to the first team of Los Blancos with five of the regular starters for the national team. He has also worked with most of them at youth level where he enjoyed success and has a reputation for improving youngsters. The record President Perez, however, failed to consider when choosing Lopetegui is his poor record as a club manager.


The man who featured for both Real and Barcelona as a player failed to make an impact as coach of Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish second division. Lopetegui got sacked after 10 games in 2003, and the team subsequently got relegated to the third tier of Spanish football. After cooling off with Real Madrid team B and the Spanish national youth sides, he got his second club appointment with FC Porto in 2014 but was sacked midway through the second season.

In a league where Porto reign supreme alongside Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, sharing silverware available amongst each other, Lopetegui’s time in Portugal yielded no silverware amidst complaints from fans and management. He also lost most of his matches against the other domestic “big two” Sporting and Benfica (won just two of seven). His time in Porto marked the first time the club would go a season trophyless in 26 years, and equalled their worst defeat in Europe- a 6-1 drubbing at Bayern Munich How these statistics went unnoticed by Perez in choosing a manager for the biggest club in world football is quite alarming.


Monotonous style of play


Lopetegui is from the Spanish school of coaches where possession is a determinant factor in their style of play. Such coaches mostly instill a short passing regime on their teams regardless of what style they had been used to previously, and Lopetegui’s previous club jobs are prime examples. While at Rayo Vallecano, he tried to change the club’s football philosophy but got booted out after 10 games. His time at Porto was also similar although he lasted more than a season.


Labelled “Lottotegui” by Porto fans due to the constant rotation of his starting lineup, and his team was also accused of hugging possession “for possession-sake” despite the knowledge that most teams in the league park the bus.


It should be said that there is no wrong in players playing to the coach’s style, however, they should be eased into it. Conte tried imposing a new style at Chelsea but reverted to a trusted formation which suited players at his disposal and got an EPL title as reward.


Mauricio Sarri is doing same presently, studying his players’ strength and weaknesses before deciding on a style of play. Pep Guardiola’s successful time at Barcelona was nurtured over the years, he only tweaked it. Moving closer to home, Zidane did not win three Champions League titles on the bounce by imposing a new style, he merely played to the strength of the players and was an excellent man-manager.


Although Lopetegui’s style initially resulted in five wins from six, including a 3-0 masterclass against Roma, it has quickly spiralled to five defeats in the last seven games.


This is a result of lower teams sitting deep before picking off their abject defence (CSKA Moscow, Alaves and Levante), while the better clubs outrightly attack Los Blancos and get rewards (Atletico, Sevilla and Barcelona). Most of the players at Real can play both possession and counter-attack football, but they are more suited to the latter. Lopetegui, however, prefers everything going through his midfield without the surprise of a shot or cross from unexpected quarters.


The full-backs gallop upfield but still return balls to the midfield and this only allows the opposition to close gaps and reshape for the next onslaught, leaving no space for the pace of Gareth Bale who is all speed and only performs in flashes. The possession-based style won him trophies at national youth team level and a 20-game unbeaten run with the Spanish senior national team, club football is, however, a different playground where managers adapt quickly to opposition formations and inflict pain through the cinch in their armour.


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Sergio Ramos insists Real Madrid’s players have been told nothing about a change of coach after their 5-1 defeat to Barcelona left Julen Lopetegui on the brink of the sack.

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Madrid were ripped apart at Camp Nou and familiar failings in defence were exposed again. Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal scored either side of Suarez’s treble while a Marcelo goal briefly threatened a comeback early in the second half on Sunday. The European champions have now managed only one victory from their last six matches and reports in the Spanish press on Sunday night indicated Lopetegui could be removed as soon as Monday, with Antonio Conte ready to take charge. “We have to wait, they have not told us anything,” Ramos said after the match.


“These are decisions not made by us so we have to keep a cool head, look at ourselves and try to change things to get better results. “We will see what happens in the coming hours and tomorrow but the players are always with the coach to the death.”

Conte is available after he was sacked by Chelsea in July. He had led them to the Premier League title in his first season but they finished fifth in his second, and missed out on Champions League qualification.

The Italian would be taking over a Madrid team that now sits ninth in La Liga and seven points behind Barca, who returned to the top of the table. Ramos insisted, however, the title is not lost yet.


“There are people that would believe, others that wouldn’t,” Ramos said. “I have won La Ligas from 10 points behind. The key to success is to work. Madrid never gives up when it can turn the situation around.”

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Lewis Hamilton said he felt humbled to become a five times Formula One world champion on Sunday, and the enormity of his achievement had yet to sink in.


The Mercedes driver joined the late Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only men to win at least five titles after finishing fourth in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.


More people have walked on the moon than have won five crowns in a championship that started in 1950; Only Schumacher has won more than the man who could one day surpass even the German.


“Let me just try and realise that I’ve won this one,” commented Hamilton when asked about Schumacher’s seven.


“It’s very, very weird. I remember when I won a championship in Formula Three, and even then it didn’t register. I hope this kicks in soon, I definitely feel more excitement coming as I think about it more.”


Hamilton has won 71 races, 20 fewer than Schumacher, and four titles for Mercedes in the past five years. The first was with McLaren in 2008. Despite coming to Mexico with a 70-point advantage and needing only to finish seventh to wrap things up, he expressed amazement at where he now found himself.


“Right now I feel very, very humbled by the whole experience,” he said.


“It’s hard to realise it at the moment. It’s something that of course I dreamed of, but I never in a million years thought that I would be standing here today as a five-time world champion.”


Thanking everyone on his team, his family and father for their faith and sacrifices, Hamilton said it had definitely been his best season yet.


“It was a goal,” he explained.


“When I won the championship last year I was, like, ‘how can I improve, how can I be fitter, more focused, manage my time better, just be a better all-round driver not just in the car but also with my team in the garage, with the engineers, back at the factory?’

“I think this year I’ve been able to lift them all up.

“I don’t know if that’s something that comes with age, maybe experience helps, but I honestly feel I’ve performed my best this year. I’m very happy with how it’s gone.”

Hamilton thanked the team also for their belief and hard work.

“For me, I feel like I can drive anything and I feel like I can take the car to places that nobody else can,” he said.

“But to do that you have to get the car in the right place, and ultimately you’ve got to work with the team to help unleash what’s great within them and unleash the greatness in yourself.”

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GQ Mexico is about to give you a flight lesson.

Kalisto is featured on the cover and in the latest issue of the lifestyle magazine, which is available on newsstands in Mexico tomorrow.

In the feature titled “El Arte del Vuelo” (“The Art of Flight”), the masked luchador talks about his origins in Mexican lucha libre, the injury that almost ended his life and career, and the pride of representing his heritage in WWE.

Take a look at Kalisto’s photoshoot for the magazine here.


(WWE)

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When Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho returns on Saturday to Stamford Bridge to face former club Chelsea, much would not have changed about him regarding his recent comments.

He had said “it’s not about me” after his team’s thrilling comeback win over Newcastle United, but this is unlikely to be heeded this time.

Mourinho’s words, spoken after United fans chanted his name in appreciation of the 3-2 victory, may have reflected a weariness at the constant focus on his position at Old Trafford.

But the spotlight will unavoidably be on the Portuguese again.

The manner of United’s win, with three goals in the final 20 minutes of all-out attacking football, has raised the question of whether he will change.

The change is for him to embrace a more positive style of play.

Nothing in Mourinho’s history suggests that is likely and the prospect of facing Maurizio Sarri’s in-form team at Stamford Bridge is a strong deterrent against a cavalier approach.

Second-placed Chelsea are unbeaten, level on points with champions Manchester City and challengers Liverpool and with their Belgian forward Eden Hazard in scintillating form they will start as clear favorites.

Manchester United are already seven points behind the leading trio, having lost to Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United on the road and Tottenham Hotspur at home.

Surely, Mourinho will be keen to ensure they avoid defeat in west London.

Chelsea have not lost at home to United since October 2012, losing just two of the 16 meetings between the two since then.

Mourinho has suffered four defeats in six games against his former club since taking over at United.

But, as he reminded the media in his recent demand for more “respect”, Mourinho won three Premier League titles in his two spells as Chelsea manager.

The former Porto and Real Madrid boss has never been afraid to play defensively when visiting top rivals.

So, for all the hope that he might try to replicate the ‘gung-ho’ second half display against Newcastle United, it would be no surprise if he were to revert to type on Saturday.

Manchester City will expect to pick up three points at home to a Burnley side that will feature former City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

City have not lost at home to the Clarets since 1963 and have lost once in their last 19 meetings in all competitions.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will also be expecting maximum points when he faces off with close friend David Wagner as the Reds travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Huddersfield are 18th in the table, have yet to win during this campaign and have managed to score only four goals.

Fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur visit London rivals West Ham on Saturday while in-form Arsenal host Leicester on Monday looking for a 10th successive victory in all competitions.

Sunday’s game features Everton at home to Crystal Palace.

(NAN)

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Raheem Sterling scored twice as England delivered one of their finest victories of the modern era by beating Spain 3-2 in Seville on Monday. 

Away from home, and against a Spanish side in scintillating form under their new coach Luis Enrique, this was certainly England’s best win under Gareth Southgate and, perhaps, their most impressive since thrashing Germany 5-1 in Munich in 2001.

Marcus Rashford was the other scorer in a breathless opening 45 minutes here, which witnessed Spain conceding three on home soil for the first time in their history.

Paco Alcacer, on as a substitute, headed in before the hour to spark hopes of a comeback but England were home and dry by the time Sergio Ramos scored in the 98th minute, with the last action of the match.

It means England keep alive their hopes of finishing top of Group 4 in the UEFA Nations League, the position Spain had needed only a point to all-but guarantee would be theirs.

It was a night for streaks ending and records tumbling. Sterling’s opening goal was his first in 1102 days for England, even more remarkable given he added his second 22 minutes later.

The last time England won away against Spain was 1987 and that was when they last scored against Spain away from home too, Gary Lineker on target.

With an average age of just over 23, this was also the youngest England starting line-up in the 21st century and that will be the most exciting aspect for Southgate.

For Spain, defeat represents something of a reality check. “Waving the flag for goals,” read Marca’s front page on Monday. They had scored 12 in three games since Luis Enrique took charge.

But Eric Dier set the tone early on. He left Sergio Busquets, sluggish throughout, hopping out of his first pass and then slid through Ramos, who was also out of sorts.

After a frantic start, England settled and in the 13th minute, scored. Under pressure at the back, they played keep-ball until the risk was too great and Jordan Pickford drove forward to Harry Kane.

With Spain caught upfield, he was able to turn and find Rashford whose quick switch set Sterling free. He finished into the top corner.

“We are staying up,” sang the away support as Thiago Alcantara danced around England’s midfield with flicks and tricks. But to little effect.

Instead, Harry Kane showed the value of a top-class centre-forward for England’s second. He outmuscled Ramos to win Pickford’s punt downfield, outpaced Nacho to the loose ball with a superb reverse pass in behind. Rashford only had to finish.

Spain’s early confidence was gone and England added a third before the interval, which was greeted by whistles from the home fans.

Ross Barkley’s sumptuous ball over the top caught Ramos napping again and Kane squared for Sterling to tap in. “Are you Scotland in disguise?” came the taunt from the corner.

Spain were sent out early for the second period, among them Alcacer, who replaced Saul. He scored with his first touch, heading in Marco Asensio’s corner, given away after a fumble by Pickford.

It was a nightmare few minutes for England’s goalkeeper, who then dallied and was tackled by Rodrigo.

Pickford scrambled the ball away but probably fouled Rodrigo in the process and Spain were adamant they deserved a penalty. The referee was not convinced.

England played for time, with a handful of players going down with injuries, and Spain’s pressure gradually eased. Rodrigo shot wide in the final 10 minutes. Asensio went even closer.

Marcos Alonso then deflected onto the bar deep into injury time and Ramos headed home in the 98th minute. But there was not even time for a restart. England’s win was complete.

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