The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 20 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Tuilagi set to miss Six Nations

England are almost certain to be without Manu Tuilagi for the Six Nations, with the powerful centre’s groin injury taking longer to heal than anticipated.

Tuilagi picked up the injury against Exeter in September before exacerbating it in the European Rugby Champions Cup win over Ulster a month later. But the initial prognosis was that one of England’s most potent threats would be back before Christmas.

However, Tuilagi remains on the sidelines and has admitted a return by the end of next month would be an optimistic target, effectively ruling him of out proving his form and fitness to be part of Stuart Lancaster’s plans for the forthcoming tournament.

“I’m not sure,” said Tuilagi of his possible return date. “With this you have to just take it day by day and make sure it’s better before you try to come back. There are good days and bad days. Some days it feels brilliant and you wake up the next day and it doesn’t feel so good.

“That would be all right [to return] at the end of February. That’s ideal but, as I said, for me I have to get this right.”

Manu Tuilagi is a BT Sport ambassador

Murray backs his rival Matosevic

Andy Murray has backed Marinko Matosevic, whom he plays in the Australian Open second round, after his criticism of female coaches. Murray said: “He’s just a bit different. When someone’s different, people want to have a go at them but he’s a good person.”

Warner defends role in Sharma row

Australia batsman David Warner has defended his decision to tell Rohit Sharma to “speak English” during their confrontation in a triangular series match against India. It cost Warner half his match fee but he said: “If people get on the wrong side of me, I’m not going to back down.”

QPR say they will not sack Redknapp

Harry Redknapp will remain as manager of second-bottom Premier League club QPR after chairman Tony Fernandes dismissed reports he was set to sack the 67-year-old. “I believe Harry is the best man to get us out of the position we find ourselves in,” Fernandes said. “He is the man to move us forward. We will do our best to strengthen where we can to give us the best possible chance."

Rangers caretaker McDowall resigns

Kenny McDowall last night tendered his resignation as Rangers caretaker manager for “personal reasons”. The club announced that McDowall would serve a 12-month notice period under the terms of his contract. He succeeded Ally McCoist, who stood down last month.