The sporting week ahead (03/06/12)
Sunday 03 June 2012
This is a candidate for the quietest sporting Sunday of the year. No Test cricket, no grand prix, only the dregs of the England friendly to pore over.
Ole, ole, ole. After 10 years away from tournaments the Irish are on the march again, this time under the aegis of a septuagenarian Italian. Giovanni Trapattoni oversees the Republic's final warm-up against Hungary in Budapest today.
The rugby union season ended last Wednesday. Six days later the summer season starts with Scotland facing Australia in the first Test of their tour to the Southern Hemisphere.
New manager, but will it be same old England at Euro 2012? Today Roy Hodgson's side depart from Luton for the charms of Krakow. Quite why the Football Association decided to base them 822 miles away from where they will play most of their games remains a mystery. It was always a mad plan, and will no doubt be unmasked as such over the next couple of weeks.
Nothing is more guaranteed to send England's cricket team into a collective funk than the sight of a mystery spinner licking his fingers. Today we should catch first sight of Sunil Narine in a Test setting at Edgbaston. The 24-year-old off-spinner has already taken 14 wickets in eight ODIs and prospered in the IPL. Now is his moment: you can almost hear England's timbers rattling.
And so to Poland and Euro 2012. There comes a time when you must forget all the talk of rip-offs and racists and think about the football. All very well in theory but Poland v Greece and Russia v Czech Republic are not most people's ideas of opening-day show-stoppers. It could be worse, England could be playing, but for that we must wait until next week. I predict it will be short and not sweet: out at the group stages. There we are, said it.
The day when the serious football starts with Holland v Denmark and Germany v Portugal setting the benchmark. Hodgson will still be talking a good game. In rugby, Stuart Lancaster's England will do well to keep the score down when they rub up against the Springboks in the First Test in Durban. Wales stand more chance against Australia than Ireland in New Zealand.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers required fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...