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
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
Gareth Bale to Chelsea: Real Madrid to be 'tempted by £75m offer' this summer
Manchester United transfer news: Chris Smalling and Phil Jones face uncertain future with contract renewal talks on hold
Malaysia Grand Prix 2015 LIVE: Sebastian Vettel wins in just his second race with Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton second and Nico Rosberg third
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...