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Exclusive: Former rowing star named for shock Wallabies debut – TalkOfNews.com

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has sprung a big surprise for the first Test against England, naming journeyman lock Cadeyrn Neville to start in his Test debut.

At 33 years and 235 days, Neville will become the third oldest Wallabies debutant since World War II when he takes the field in Perth on Saturday.

The Brumbies giant, who stands 2.02m and weighs 120kg, has been picked in Test training squads since 2012 without being able to crack the match-day squad until now.

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Neville rowed for Australia at the Youth Olympics and only took up rugby after leaving school in 2009.

He played his Super Rugby for the Rebels and Reds before joining the Brumbies and has also had stints in Japan.

Most observers expected Rennie to opt for Darcy Swain and Matt Philip as his starting second row pairing but now a battle-scarred veteran gets the opportunity of a lifetime.

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“It’s hard to sum up all the ways it would be special to me,” Neville said of a possible Test debut after being named in the squad to play in England.

“I’ve had a taste of it in various forms over the years but it’s good to just go through the season and be named in that squad and just come in sort of the orthodox way.

“I’d definitely relish it, I’m keeping focused on the work that I still need to do to get there. I’m keen to rip in.”

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Neville is not the most glamorous player going around but his big frame and experience will certainly come in handy in the tight exchanges.

Wallabies forwards coach Dan McKellar highlighted Neville’s qualities after he re-signed with the Brumbies and Rugby Australia earlier this year.

“He’s had some bad luck with injuries at times but when fit, he’s been one of our best since 2020 and with his experience, he’s invaluable to our locks who are still honing their craft,” McKellar said.

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“Cadeyrn’s contribution around the environment, in team meetings and just his professionalism is something people don’t see and has a tremendous impact on the group.”

The Wallabies will name their full team at 1.15pm AEST on Thursday.

Star prop Taniela Tupou is not expected to be included as he continues his recovery from a serious calf injury.

Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa is a reliable presence at tighthead but McKellar admitted Tupou’s explosive abilities would be missed against a rugged England pack.

“It’s a big part of their DNA, isn’t it, the set piece and that physicality and brutality and it’s something we’re trying to bring to this group of forwards here,” McKellar said.

“They’ll be strong at set piece – Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Jamie George – they’re world class. It’s an enormous challenge for us.”

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The no nonsense coach also reiterated his ambitions for a developing pack that is hoping to peak at next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

“We’re trying to develop a mindset here of having the best maul in the world,” McKellar said.

“That takes time, there’s five groups of players that come from different franchises and they all do it differently, so the buy in and thirst for it has been obvious from my end.”

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Exclusive: Tips: Three Broncos called out as 'real test' looms – TalkOfNews.com

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Rugby league legend Brad Fittler expects the wobbling Brisbane Broncos to face a stern examination when they host Melbourne on Friday night, tipping three players in particular to get worked over by the fourth-placed visitors.

The Storm travel to Brisbane buoyed by the return of star halfback Jahrome Hughes, who will bolster a backline that boasts the dangerous Cameron Munster in a floating role from fullback.

That’s assuming the superstar playmaker ends up playing there, with coach Craig Bellamy clarifying that Munster would be injected into the Storm line-up wherever would best serve the team based on their opponent.

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On Tuesday Munster was named to partner Hughes in the halves, with Nick Meaney in the No.1 jersey.

However it has since been widely speculated that the multi-positional superstar will revert to fullback, where he tormented the Titans in a stunning performance a fortnight ago.

Should that be the case, Munster will have a licence to turn up wherever an attacking opportunity presents itself and Fittler tipped that to spell trouble for the right edge defence of Adam Reynolds, Kotoni Staggs and Selwyn Cobbo.

“I think the Broncos’ attack will be stronger than the Panthers were. I also think the Broncos’ right side defence – Reynolds, Cobbo and Staggs, I think it’s a real test for them,” Fittler told Andrew Johns for Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and The Eighth’s Tips.

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“Hughes is back. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll do with Munster. They’ve got him named at 6 again, but they say he’ll play fullback.”

If Munster and Hughes manage to combine off the back of quick play the balls, the Broncos will need their best defensive effort to defend their try line.

Should they crack they might find it difficult to score enough points to overcome the visitors, with Johns purring over the Storm’s defensive effort in their 16-0 shut-out of Penrith at BlueBet Stadium last Thursday.

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“I still don’t think they’re that potent attacking team but defensively… like last week they stopped like four, five certain tries,” Johns said.

Both Fittler and Johns tipped the Storm to win at Suncorp, in a result that would leave them four points clear of the Broncos with just two games to play and go close to cementing a top four finish.

Scroll below for the current leaderboard and Round 23 tips by Andrew Johns and all Nine’s expert tipsters!

Brad Fittler: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Raiders

Andrew Johns: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Knights

Darren Lockyer: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Broncos, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

David Middleton: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

Billy Slater: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Raiders

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Ruan Sims: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Raiders

Paul Gallen: Panthers, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

Mat Thompson: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Broncos, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

Peter Psaltis: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Raiders

Michael Chammas: Panthers, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Knights

The Mole: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

Ben Glover: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

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Exclusive: Atlanta United 1-2 RBNY player ratings: Lewis Morgan dashes Five Stripes' Playoff hopes – TalkOfNews.com

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Atlanta United’s MLS Cup Playoffs hopes took a huge hit as they fell 2-1 at home to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday evening.

With the Eastern Conference tightly packed, the Five Stripes went into this match knowing only a victory would do. However, after a fast start, Atlanta quickly crumbled, conceding two goals in four minutes to leave themselves with a mountain to climb.

Yael Averbuch West hosted none other than Christian Fuchs for the latest episode of Football Americana. The Charlotte FC captain provided insight into the creation of Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team, and bringing European culture into the American side.

First, Scotland international Lewis Morgan applied a clinical finish to a sweeping Red Bulls move on the right in the 11th minute – the same number of goals Morgan has scored so far this MLS campaign.

And just four minutes later, John Tolkin’s cross into the box evaded everybody and found its way underneath goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo to hit the back of the net. An offside flag was initially raised as RBNY striker Patryk Klimala appeared to interfere, but a lengthy VAR review showed that he was in an onside position.

The Red Bulls continued to prey on Atlanta United throughout the first half but couldn’t find another goal, while the hosts showed some life after the break with a change of shape and personnel.

However, it took until the final minute of the match for the Five Stripes to finally find a way through, with Josef Martinez finishing inside the box to take his MLS tally to 100 goals in 150 appearances – the fastest player in league history to reach a century.

It’ll be little consolation to Martinez or Atlanta United, who remain 13th in the East after 25 games and with little hope now of making the post-season. As for RBNY, they’re on 40 points and are beginning to look safe in the Playoff spots.

Here are the full player ratings from Wednesday’s clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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GK: Rocco Rios Novo – 6/10 – Didn’t cover himself in glory on the second goal but made up for it with some big saves to keep Atlanta United alive.

RB: Ronald Hernandez – 4/10 – Off the pace and an obvious candidate to be replaced at half-time.

CB: Juan Jose Purata – 6/10 – One of the few Atlanta United players who came anywhere close to decent.

CB: Alan Franco – 6/10 – Similar to his defensive partner. Both were left too exposed.

LB: Caleb Wiley – 5/10 – Offered little offensively and had a mixed night at the other end.

CM: Santiago Sosa – 5/10 – Had a thankless task trying to hold down the midfield basically on his own. Overrun.

CM: Marcelino Moreno – 3/10 – Offered very little in attack, the odd nice pass aside. Left Sosa to battle the constant RBNY onslaught.

RW: Ronaldo Cisneros – 4/10 – Neat and tidy but didn’t test the Red Bulls’ defense anywhere near enough.

CAM: Thiago Almada – 7/10 – Created a few openings but didn’t have much help from those around him. Did well on the Atlanta United goal.

LW: Luiz Araujo – 5/10 – Tried to take the game to RBNY but ran down too many dead ends. Provided the assist for the late consolation.

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ST: Josef Martinez – 5/10 – A couple of half-chances aside, barely got involved until the final moment when he grabbed his 100th MLS goal.

SUB: Andrew Gutman (46′, for Moreno) – 6/10 – Added a little more life to Atlanta United. Missing the final ball.

SUB: Brooks Lennon (46′, for Hernandez) – 5/10 – Couldn’t find his mark with his crosses.

SUB: Dom Dwyer (64′, for Cisneros) – 6/10 – Certainly asked more questions of the RBNY defense but needed better service.

SUB: Edwin Mosquera (64′, for Wiley) – 4/10 – Didn’t have the desired effect.

SUB: Amar Sejdic (85′, for Sosa) – N/A – No time to get involved.

GK: Carlos Coronel – 7/10 – Wasn’t too busy but did what he had to well enough.

RB: Kyle Duncan – 8/10 – Completely dominant down the right flank at both ends of the field.

CB: Sean Nealis – 7/10 – Barely tested, steady.

CB: Aaron Long – 7/10 – As above. Rested near the end.

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LB: John Tolkin – 8/10 – Grabbed the second goal, which was slightly fortunate, but Tolkin made his own luck with a great performance.

CM: Daniel Edelman – 8/10 – The teenager looked every inch an MLS player. Made some great forward runs and never let Atlanta settle into the game.

CM: Dru Yearwood – 8/10 – Was a powerhouse in the first half, breaking up Atlanta attacks and driving the ball forward. Forced out early in the second half with an injury.

RW: Lewis Morgan – 9/10 – Excellent finish to open the scoring with his 11th goal of the 2022 MLS season. A constant threat on the break and had Atlanta United on the backfoot all evening.

CAM: Cristian Casseres Jr – 8/10 – Two assists as part of a creative masterclass.

LW: Luquinhas – 7/10 – Was the quietest of RBNY’s forward line but still had his moments.

ST: Patryk Klimala – 7/10 – Wasteful in front of goal again but brought others into play and put some serious miles on the clock.

SUB: Andres Reyes (53′, for Yearwood) – 6/10 – Had an easy night, but got the job done.

SUB: Cameron Harper (68′, for Luquinhas) – 6/10 – A couple of bright moments but didn’t really affect the game.

SUB: Dylan Nealis (81′, for Long) – N/A – Had next to nothing to do.

SUB: Tom Barlow (81′, for Klimala) – N/A – As above.

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Exclusive: Fuming Kyrgios booed in thumping loss – TalkOfNews.com

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Nick Kyrgios was thrashed in straight sets by American Taylor Fritz at the Cincinnati Masters this morning AEST as his running feud with umpire Renaud Lichtenstein and a potential knee injury took centre stage.

The Australian’s 6-3 6-2 loss was just his second defeat since the Wimbledon final and was heavily influenced by his war of words with the match official from the outset of the match.

Kyrgios was in one of those moods and seemed to be consumed by distractions around the court rather than the play on it. He complained about “standards” while pointing out problems with the court surface, fans walking in and out between points and flickering on-court screens.

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He grew frustrated during the third game of the match as Fritz held for a 2-1 lead and started ranting towards the chair umpire about the distraction the malfunctioning screens caused.

“The highest level we play in and you guys can’t get something like that right. It’s embarrassing,” he said with a few expletives sprinkled around the message.

“Yesterday you couldn’t even clean this f—– thing up. I was drinking someone else’s water. Today the screens. What about tomorrow? Standards. Standards.”

Lichtenstein warned he would be penalised for swearing.

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“Do something about it,” he told the umpire, who responded: “I told you, I called already. And I’m gonna call again and again and again.”

Kyrgios wasn’t finished there.

At the next change of ends, he was upset about fans moving around and talking during games, and took his complaints to the umpire once more.

“People f—– walking around mid-point,” he fumed.

To which the Lichtenstein responded: “Stop using the F-word or you will get a penalty every time. Sometimes you play with them moving, sometimes you don’t.”

“Is it normal for people to leave in the middle of the point?” Kyrgios said while criticising Lichtenstein’s ability to do his job

“Announce it, you have a microphone. What’s your job, to control the match? Why aren’t you controlling the match? Why don’t you do your job properly? If everyone did their job I would have no problem.”

The in-form Aussie’s full schedule over the past few months seemed to catch up with him throughout the round of 32 match.

He required a physio to attend his knee towards the end, leading to fears he may not be at his physical peak for the final grand slam of the year at Flushing Meadows.

“You can hear the boos around the stadium. They don’t feel like he gave it his best effort out there and we’re hoping the knee isn’t too serious but he’s got to show more,” former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski said on Amazon Prime’s coverage of the match.

“He’s improved out of sight but physically he’s got to get stronger.

“You’re worried about the knee physically. It’s a lot easier to do on grass courts than hard courts.”

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Kyrgios has played 12 singles matches in August to date with his defeat to Fritz only his second during the month, having also fallen to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open.

In addition to his singles, the 27-year-old has been playing men’s doubles and won the Atlanta Open alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis before completing a historic Citi Open double with Jack Sock.

Kyrgios’ live ranking is currently No.26 and despite some believing the more action on court could be detrimental to getting through the US Open healthy and at peak fitness, US tennis great Andy Roddick had a different view regarding the Australian’s full playing schedule.

“To go through singles and doubles and not to tap out mentally or physically is a big, big sign,” Roddick said on the Tennis Channel.

“I think it puts him into the top two, maybe three, favourites for the US Open.”

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