Gavins secures dramatic win at Ras Al Khaimah Championship

Daniel Gavins holes 25-foot double-bogey putt on final hole to win Ras Al Khaimah Championship title; Englishman finds water twice before sinking from distance to earn second DP World Tour victory; Gavins ends one clear of Alexander Bjork and Zander Lombard

Last Updated: 05/02/23 1:01pm

Daniel Gavins won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship title in dramatic fashion

Daniel Gavins won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship title in dramatic fashion

Daniel Gavins won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship title in dramatic fashion

Daniel Gavins holed a 25-foot putt on the final hole to claim a one-shot win at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after his hopes of a second DP World Tour victory appeared to be slipping away.

Englishman Gavins began the 18th with a two-shot lead over Alexander Bjork but then twice found the water before sinking a superb putt for a double-bogey to end on 17 under par.

With Bjork having bogeyed the last to finish on 16 under, Gavins’ only remaining challenger was 54-hole leader Zander Lombard but the South African was unable to end his round with the eagle he needed as he matched Bjork on 16 under.

Gavins’ second DP World Tour victory comes 18 months after his first – the 31-year-old having scooped the ISPS Handa World Invitational in August 2021 – with this triumph secured via an excellent week of putting.

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“I am pretty speechless,” said Gavins. “I thought [I had thrown it away]. I put two in the water and thought ‘that’s one way to end the tournament’.

“I have been struggling off the tee for the last two weeks, I’ve been battling, and it was a difficult hole to go through. Fortunately I holed out! I thought I was holing it for a play-off. I didn’t realise Bjork had made bogey.

“I was pretty relaxed all day even though my swing off the tee wasn’t great. I obviously felt it quite a lot on the 18th but other than that it was pretty calm.”

The 31-year-old followed a first-hole bogey on Sunday with five gains on the spin and then another birdie at eight to open up a three-stroke advantage over Bjork, Matthieu Pavon and Lombard.

Bogeys at nine and 12 halted Gavins’ progress and left him tied with Bjork at the top of the leaderboard but he then picked up back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 to re-establish a two-stroke advantage before edging to victory at the 18th with a seven for a three-under 69.

Lombard held a one-shot lead over Rasmus Hojgaard heading into the final round, with Gavins two shots back at 14 under, but there was a dramatic swing up top following Gavins’ birdie haul and Lombard completing a topsy-turvy front nine in a one-over 37.

The South African, chasing a maiden DP World Tour title, mixed four bogeys with an eagle and a birdie across his first nine holes before coming home in a one-under 35.

France’s Pavon made a stunning birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie start but his charge faded following three bogeys and a double across his next nine holes and he ended tied ninth on 13 under.

Rasmus Hojgaard was aiming to win the tournament a year after his brother Nicolai Rasmus Hojgaard was aiming to win the tournament a year after his brother Nicolai

Rasmus Hojgaard was aiming to win the tournament a year after his brother Nicolai

Hojgaard twins Nicolai and Rasmus had attention on them in the final round, with Nicolai looking to retain the title and Rasmus hoping to pip his sibling and ensure they became the first brothers to win the same DP World Tour event.

The 21-year-olds both shot over par on Sunday, though, with Rasmus ending in a share of sixth on 14 under and Nicolai tied 13th on 11 under.

Poland’s Adrian Meronk (15 under) and England’s Ross Fisher (13 under) shot the rounds of the day – their seven-under 65s matched only by Germany’s Marcel Schneider – as they finished tied fourth and tied ninth respectively.

Watch more live DP World Tour action from Thursday as the Singapore Classic begins. Coverage starts at 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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What’s behind captain Neuer’s public spat with Bayern Munich?

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic says the club will be speaking to captain Manuel Neuer after he criticised the German champions over the decision to release goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic.

Neuer, who has been sidelined for the rest of the season after breaking his leg on a ski trip following Germany’s elimination from the World Cup, said it felt as though his “heart was being ripped out” after he was informed his close friend was being dismissed after more than a decade at the club.

The Bayern skipper rejected reports Tapalovic was leaking information from the coaching staff and said he told the club’s hierarchy that he did not agree with the reasons put forward for the 42-year-old’s dismissal.

“That blow hit me extremely hard,” Neuer told the Athletic. “I was told by the club officials. It came out of nowhere. For Toni too. I didn’t understand that at all. It really knocked me down.

Neuer
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Neuer and Tapalovic celebrate winning the Champions League

“Toni was always a team player with us, everyone saw it that way. He wasn’t working for me for eleven and a half years, but for the entire goalkeeper group, for the coaching staff and for the club. We were always able to separate work and private life. I understand that it might sound like I’m not being objective or not believable, but I can really tell the difference.

“For me, that was a blow – when I was already down on the ground. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. It was the most brutal thing I’ve experienced in my career. And I’ve experienced a lot.

“There was no reason that I could comprehend. Things were said that I don’t agree with. Nothing I heard would have ruled out the possibility of people talking to each other and sorting things out.

“This is about the human side of things, the way a valued employee was treated. At Bayern Munich, we want to be different – a family. And then something happens that I have never experienced before. It’s a sad thing for everyone: for the club, for Tapa, the staff and all of the goalkeepers, including me. Nevertheless, I want to say: I’m a human being on one hand, and I’m a professional on the other.”

Oliver Khan has hit back at Manuel Neuer after his comments about the club's actions
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Oliver Khan has hit back at Manuel Neuer after his comments about the club’s actions

Over the weekend Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn criticised Neuer for his comments and Salihamidzic said the 36-year-old had “put his personal interests here above the interests of the club”.

Salihamidzic told Bild: “I understand that Manuel is personally affected. But I would have expected a different behaviour from him, especially as a captain. [The] Tapalovic decision, which was also difficult for us personally, had nothing to do with Manuel in this matter, and we explained that to him.

“If there are any consequences, we will first talk to Manuel about it himself. The disappointment that he describes about Tapa’s release also prevails with us because Manuel has put his personal interests here above the interests of the club. But we will do it internally and discuss it reasonably with him.”

On January 23 Bayern released a statement saying Tapalovic had been dismissed “with immediate effect”.

Salihamidzic said in the statement: “As our goalkeeping coach, Toni was involved in the successes of recent years. We would like to thank him for that. Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways. We wish Toni Tapalovic all the best for the future.”

Jones: I was among best in Europe at Luton… But I’ve compromised

Nathan Jones has defended his credentials as one of Europe’s statistic-leading managers at Luton but admitted he has “compromised” since joining struggling Southampton.

Jones has overseen a run of six defeats from seven games since he became Ralph Hasenhuttl’s successor in November, with Southampton sat rock bottom of the Premier League and three points from safety.

Travelling Saints fans called for the Welshman to leave the club during a shambolic 3-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday, but Jones came out fighting.

While admitting his own mistakes since his arrival, the ex-Luton boss defended his managerial record and highlighted his previous success in the game which had earned him the job in the first place.

“I’ve compromised,” he said. “I’ve compromised in terms of certain principles because of one, personnel, but two, the way that people want to play and so on.

“I’ve compromised because of fans, and so on, a few little things but – no more. I’ve been very successful playing a fluent style, Luton were a real aggressive front-footed side. Statistically, there weren’t many better than me around Europe in terms of aggression, clean sheets, defending the box, balls in the box, xG, all those sort of things.

“We were pound-for-pound the best because we were spending next to nothing and producing so much. And I’ve gone away from that.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Brentford and Southampton

“Maybe it’s because of the Premier League or how things look – players, internationals and stuff like that. I’ve had to compromise certain things and I’m not going to do that again.”

Southampton are the fourth-lowest scorers in the Premier League this season and have conceded almost two goals a game across their 21 matches so far, a run Jones has been unable to arrest since his arrival – failing to keep a single clean sheet in those seven league games to date.

When asked to pinpoint the source of Southampton’s problems, he added: “The same things have been happening for a year, are still happening. They’ve been losing games in the Premier League and conceding goals not defending the box well enough, not scoring enough goals, and it’s been exactly the same.

“We were brought in to do something different because with a shoestring budget [at Luton], we were scoring, defending the box well, out-pressing teams and finishing. We were doing the basics so well. That’s why I was recruited – to transfer that into the football club. I haven’t at the minute. That will change.”

Asked if he will have the time at Southampton to implement those changes, he said: “I don’t know. It’s not a question for me. I hope so.

“I look at that team and I don’t see myself in that team. That’s the biggest thing, that’s going to change.”

James’ rise to fame – interview with Keith Dambrot and Dru Joyce III

Just 36 points are standing in the way of LeBron James and the NBA’s all-time points record, so we sat down with his high school head coach Keith Dambrot and lifelong friend Dru Joyce III, to chat all things basketball, including the 38-year-old’s steady rise to fame on the court.

Coach Dambrot starts things off by mentioning LeBron James as a household name at a local Jewish basketball camp – a camp introduced to him by childhood friend Dru Joyce III, aka Lil Dru.

“The guy picked up on things immediately. Three games into his freshman year I thought he had a chance at being a pro and I think by his sophomore year we all knew he wasn’t going to college,” said Dambrot.

When James followed Joyce and the rest of the ‘Fab Five’ to St Vincent-St Mary High School, Dambrot was entering his second season coaching the school.

Two seasons later, a school with relatively little basketball pedigree sat as back-to-back state champions with Dambrot set to join a Division One college programme.

“He resurrected my career,” said Dambrot. “He made me a college coach again. Typical of him, everything he touches turns to gold.”

“He knew how good he was, and he knew the attention would come with it.” said Joyce

Cameras crowd around LeBron James after he scored 31 points in a 65-45 win over Virginia's Oak Hill Academy Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002
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Cameras crowd around James after he scored 31 points in a 65-45 win over Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy in 2002

Staying local for high school, James rejected an invitation to the All-American high school basketball camp – a place for the USA’s best prospects to gain national attention.

Why? Because none of his friends were invited. A level of loyalty to his co-stars that James is praised for two decades later.

Joyce went on to have a great pro career of his own. Playing most of his basketball in Europe, Joyce retired as the all-time assist leader in the Basketball Bundesliga. He is now part of Dambrot’s coaching staff for the Duquesne Dukes – a Division One college in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Playing basketball alongside James from a young age, Joyce sees flashes of the player he once called his team-mate.

“The things you see now I witnessed at 11-years-old, just on a smaller scale. He’s enhanced his tools and his fundamentals have sharpened – his game has become perfect.”

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LeBron James, Dru Joyce III and Willie McGee appear in their high school gym in 2009 to promote the documentary film ‘More Than A Game’

Through his 20 seasons in the NBA, we have seen adaptations and development within James’ game, allowing him to be a volume scorer his entire career.

When a 22-year-old LeBron reached the NBA Finals for the first time, the San Antonio Spurs dared him to use his jump shot. As a result, he shot 36 per cent from the field and the Cavaliers were swept.

Seven years later and now at the Heat, James hit a pull-up mid-range dagger over Kawhi Leonard to secure his second championship in two years, this one against the Spurs.

Shooting 40.6 per cent from three that season, James was a much bigger threat away from the paint, while also being at his peak athletically.

In a situation where a young Leonard had to pick his poison, he went under a screen and with James confident in his jumper, Leonard had to sit and watch his hopes of a first career title vanish.

However, despite being a great scorer, it has never been his thing.

“When he first came into the NBA, I thought he’d be more Magic Johnson, not Michael Jordan – that’s what me and Dru’s dad trained him to be,” said Dambrot.

When comparing James to other greats Dambrot added: “There’s a lot of great players, but there are very few players that can make others better.”

But where does this talent come from?

Describing LeBron’s basketball brain, Joyce and Dambrot likened it to the same thing – a sponge.

Dambrot said: “This is going to sound absurd but I’m saying it anyway. Everybody looks at LeBron and says he’s the freakiest athlete they’ve ever seen – but mentally, that’s where he’s a freak. I’ve never seen someone understand the game better than him.”

Cameras crowd around LeBron James after he scored 31 points in a 65-45 win over Virginia's Oak Hill Academy Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002
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Cameras crowd around James after he scored 31 points in a 65-45 win over Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy in 2002

Preparing for his record-tying 19th All-Star appearance, LeBron has been on a monumental scoring streak since his 38th birthday.

What is special about this is that James will become the highest scorer in the NBA while still at the top of his game, something fitting for a man who personifies longevity.

To finish the interview, I asked Dambrot and Joyce what it will mean to them, seeing someone they call their friend become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

“His commitment to his people is second to none,” Dambrot said. “When he wins, we’re happy for him – it feels like a family member is playing.

“When he passes Karem, it’s going to mean a lot to me. I just want him to pass it and go win another title.”

“He’s family. I’m going to be proud,” said Joyce. “I want the best for him. It’s going to be awesome to witness it but like Coach said, I want him to win another championship after.”

Former England skipper Edwards to coach Mumbai in Women’s IPL

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards will coach Mumbai Indians in the first edition of the Women’s Indian Premier League when it is held across March.

The five franchises were sold for £465m last month with existing IPL teams Mumbai, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals securing sides.

Two new franchises were also purchased and will be based in Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

Edwards – who captained England to the T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup titles in 2009 and to three Ashes series wins – has impressed as a coach since retiring as a player, leading Southern Vipers to two Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy titles and one Charlotte Edwards Cup success.

The 43-year-old has also coached Southern Brave to back-to-back Hundred finals and this winter led Sydney Sixers to the final of the Women’s Big Bash League.

Southern Vipers celebrate with the Charlotte Edwards Cup
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Edwards coached Southern Vipers to the Charlotte Edwards Cup title in 2022

Edwards will be supported at Mumbai by bowling coach and mentor Jhulan Goswami and batting coach Devieka Palshikaar.

Women’s IPL auction set for February 13

The Women’s IPL player auction is set to take place on February 13.

Each side can buy a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 18 players, including seven overseas cricketers.

Sophie Devine, New Zealand (PA Images)
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New Zealand captain Sophie Devine says the IPL is ‘the next stage’ for women’s cricket

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said: “You talk about glass ceilings and I think the WPL is going to be the next stage. I am really excited about it.

“As female cricketers, this is something we have never been through before. On every scale, it’s going to be awkward. That’s the word we have spoken about.

“Some people are going to get picked up; some people won’t, and you are going to get a value attached to what you are worth which, as human beings.

“It is not the nicest [thing], to be perfectly honest but it’s also a job and it’s what we’ve put our names in for.”

Bale impresses at Pebble Beach but will miss out on final round

Gareth Bale holes monster putt on the 13th hole at Pebble Beach; only professionals will now play in final round which will end on Monday after high winds halted Saturday’s play; Peter Malnati heads pro field, ahead of Bale’s playing partner Joseph Bramlett

Last Updated: 05/02/23 8:36am


Gareth Bale holed a monster putt on the 13th hole at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday

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Gareth Bale holed a monster putt on the 13th hole at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday

Gareth Bale holed a monster putt on the 13th hole at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday

Gareth Bale impressed again at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am but will miss out on the final round with only professionals permitted to play on what will now be a Monday finish.

High winds in California caused play on Saturday to be suspended at all three courses being used for the tournament – Monterey Peninsula, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach.

Organisers say the third round will commence at 8am local time (1600GMT) with the fourth, which will feature the top 65 pros and ties, then getting under way at 1230 local (2030GMT).

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Bale’s playing partner Joseph Bramlett is tied for second on 10 under after 13 holes of his third round, two shots behind leader Peter Malnati, who is at 12 under after 13.

Bramlett and Bale are tied for 16th on 15 under in the Pro-Am event, with former Wales, Tottenham and Real Madrid footballer Bale’s third-round highlights including a monster putt on the 13th hole.

Speaking later on, Bale, whose golf has been praised by major winners Jon Rahm and Matthew Fitzpatrick, said: “The last couple of weeks have been amazing. People giving me compliments on my game is incredible, they have a put a bit too much pressure on my shoulders!

“I am a big golf fan and appreciate what these players do on the golf course. It is great to play with them, interact and watch what they do.

Watch the best of Bale's third round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California

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Watch the best of Bale’s third round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California

Watch the best of Bale’s third round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California

“Just watching him [Bramlett] strike a ball is just something else. The power, the touch. He has been incredible and he is an even better guy, which is more important. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”

Bale added: “At my house in Wales, I have a replica of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon and the 12th at Augusta, minus the water as it is a bit close to the house!”

This is the first time the Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been suspended due to wind since 2014.

Malnati heads the field after carding six birdies and no blemishes across the 12 holes of his third round so far, with the American picking up three straight gains at Pebble Beach before play was suspended.

“I got to play eight holes before the weather got bad, so that was nice,” said Malnati, who is chasing a first PGA Tour victory since 2015.

“Pebble’s hard if you’re out of position, but it’s gettable if you’re playing well. I’ve been playing pretty well this week, which is nice.”

Bramlett, who is also playing Pebble Beach, added: “The weather was wild. It was fairly calm for maybe our first seven, eight holes. Then when we got to nine, it started blowing and then it’s survival mode.”

Bramlett is joined at 10 under by fellow American Keith Mitchell, with Ireland’s Seamus Power six shots off the pace at six under after shooting one over through 14 holes at Pebble Beach.

Watch continued coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am live on Sky Sports Golf from 3.30pm on Sunday.

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Serrano, Baumgardner become undisputed world champions

Amanda Serrano and Alycia Baumgardner have become undisputed world champions following points victories in New York on Saturday night.

Serrano – whose rematch with undisputed lightweight world champion Katie Taylor has been announced for May 20 in Dublin – defeated Erika Cruz via unanimous decision to add the WBA featherweight title to her WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring belts.

Baumgardner now holds all the titles in the super-featherweight division after a unanimous victory over Elhem Mekhaled, who had entered the contest as WBA champion.

Serrano was given a real scare by Cruz, who braved a nasty cut on her forehead to take the fight the distance before Serrano won 98-92, 98-92, 97-93 on the scorecards as Cruz saw her 14-fight winning streak come to an end.

Mexican star Cruz’s cut was caused by an accidental head-butt in the third round after she had been the busier fighter and landed more punches across the first two.

Amanda Serrano vs Erika Cruz (Pic credit - Ed Mulholland/Matchroom)
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Cruz (left) suffered a nasty cut in the third round but fought on gamely (Pic: Matchroom)

Serrano grew stronger as the fight progressed and blood poured from Cruz’s head, with the latter dropping to the canvas in the final round after a tangle of legs.

But Cruz continued to throw punches of her own at a feverish pace.

Serrano said afterwards: “She’s a Mexican champion, we knew that. That’s what we expected. That’s what we trained for.”

Baumgardner floored Mekhaled twice en route to her victory, which was her eighth in a row since a sole professional defeat to Christina Linardatou five years ago.

Mekhaled was dropped twice in the third round and hurt in the seventh as Baumgardner earned a comprehensive 99-89, 99-89, 98-90 win.

Mekhaled troubled Baumgardner at times and was arguably the better fighter in the final couple of rounds, appearing to stun the American at one point, although she was unable to earn a knockdown.

Speaking afterwards, Baumgardner said: “I showed discipline and grit. Hard work. I had to fight who I had to fight and I came out successful. I want to challenge myself. That’s the only way I’m going to know where I am and how I can be better.”

Other results on the card included UK-based Australian Skye Nicholson beating Tania Alvarez on points at featherweight and Somalian contender Ramla Ali outpointing Australia’s Avril Mathie at junior featherweight to move closer to a title shot.

NRL to Super League 2023 – part 2

Our second part of a look at the players who have joined Betfred Super League clubs from the NRL for the 2023 season; watch 66 Super League matches live on Sky Sports in 2023 and stream on NOW TV

Last Updated: 02/02/23 6:09pm

Paul Vaughan is one of two forwards Warrington have signed from the NRL

Paul Vaughan is one of two forwards Warrington have signed from the NRL

Paul Vaughan is one of two forwards Warrington have signed from the NRL

In the second part of our look at the players who are swapping the NRL for the Betfred Super League in 2023, we profile Hull Kingston Rovers, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves’ new recruits…

Tom Opacic (Hull Kingston Rovers)

Tom Opacic has joined Hull Kingston Rovers for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

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Tom Opacic has joined Hull Kingston Rovers for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

Tom Opacic has joined Hull Kingston Rovers for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

Signed from: Parramatta Eels

Position: Centre.

Major Honours: None.

Opacic was denied the chance to sign off his time at Parramatta with an NRL Grand Final appearance by a hamstring injury, so will no doubt be eager to hit the ground running in east Hull after signing a two-year deal. The centre has also represented Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys, making 83 NRL appearances in total.

Sauaso ‘Jesse’ Sue (Hull Kingston Rovers)

Signed from: Newcastle Knights

Position: Prop/second-row/loose forward.

Major Honours: 10 caps for Samoa.

The Samoa international carved out a reputation as one of the most feared forwards in the NRL in stints with Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and Newcastle, and is particularly highly regarded for his work in defence. The 30-year-old brings experience of 172 NRL games to the Robins as well.

Rhys Kennedy (Hull Kingston Rovers)

A look at what Rhys Kennedy will bring to Hull Kingston Rovers in the 2023 Betfred Super League season

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A look at what Rhys Kennedy will bring to Hull Kingston Rovers in the 2023 Betfred Super League season

A look at what Rhys Kennedy will bring to Hull Kingston Rovers in the 2023 Betfred Super League season

Signed from: Brisbane Broncos

Position: Prop.

Major Honours: None.

Kennedy, 28, is another player who has been brought in to boost new Hull KR head coach Willie Peters’ options in the pack. The 6ft 6in, 17st prop brings plenty of presence to the team as well, having being the tallest player in the squad of previous club the Broncos.

Wesley Bruines (St Helens)

Signed from: South Sydney Rabbitohs

Position: Three-quarter.

Major Honours: None.

Originally from Dewsbury, Bruines is another English player returning to these shores after a spell in Australia, having spent last season with the Rabbitohs’ development team. The 19-year-old has represented Yorkshire at U17 level and the England Community Lions side.

Renouf Atoni (Wakefield Trinity)

Signed from: Sydney Roosters

Position: Prop.

Major Honours: None.

Atoni began his career with Canterbury, making 43 NRL appearances before switching to the Roosters for 2022. He did not make any appearances for them last year, but is eager to prove himself in Super League after signing a one-year deal at Wakefield with an option for a second.

Kevin Proctor (Wakefield Trinity)

Signed from: Free agent

Position: Second-row.

Major Honours: 1x NRL Grand Final, 22 caps for New Zealand.

The New Zealand international and 2012 NRL Grand Final winner had been without a club since having his Gold Coast contract terminated in controversial circumstances in July but has signed a one-year deal with Trinity. Proctor brings a wealth of experience and ability to the back-row and will likely be a key player as Wakefield aim to avoid another year in the relegation battle.

Josh McGuire (Warrington Wolves)

Josh McGuire explains why he chose to sign for Warrington Wolves and follow in the footsteps of rugby league icon Adrian Morley

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Josh McGuire explains why he chose to sign for Warrington Wolves and follow in the footsteps of rugby league icon Adrian Morley

Josh McGuire explains why he chose to sign for Warrington Wolves and follow in the footsteps of rugby league icon Adrian Morley

Signed from: St George Illawarra Dragons

Position: Prop/second-row/loose forward.

Major Honours: 1x Rugby League World Cup, 1x State of Origin, 8 caps for Australia, 7 caps for Samoa.

The versatile forward arrives at the Halliwell Jones Stadium with over 250 NRL appearances to his name from spells with Brisbane, North Queensland and St George, as well as being a World Cup winner with Australia in 2017. McGuire will bring strength to the Wolves’ pack as well.

Paul Vaughan (Warrington Wolves)

New Warrington Wolves signing Paul Vaughan on how he ensures he gets the best out of himself every week after joining for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

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New Warrington Wolves signing Paul Vaughan on how he ensures he gets the best out of himself every week after joining for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

New Warrington Wolves signing Paul Vaughan on how he ensures he gets the best out of himself every week after joining for the 2023 Betfred Super League season

Signed from: Canterbury Bulldogs

Position: Prop.

Major Honours: 2x State of Origin, 6x caps for Italy, 2x caps for Australia.

Another big-name Australian recruit for the Wolves in 2023, Vaughan should prove a big asset for them in the front-row. The 31-year-old has made over 200 appearances for Canberra, St George and Canterbury, and has been part of two New South Wales State of Origin triumphs.

Twiston-Davies looks to have leading chance at Hereford

The Nigel Twiston-Davies team will be disappointed if they don’t leave Hereford with a Sunday winner in the shape of the unexposed handicap hurdler Jasmiwa, live on Sky Sports Racing.

4.03 Hereford – Twiston-Davies team could strike with Jasmiwa

Not many come into this race with much form, so last time out winner Jasmiwa will surely be a popular choice in the Cazoo Handicap Hurdle (4:03) for the Nigel Twiston-Davies team.

The five-year-old was very impressive at Ffos Las on handicap debut and remains in the same grade under Sam Twiston-Davies, albeit off a 7lb higher mark.

Sure Listen was a shock 40/1 winner at Taunton in December, and carries just 10st 2lb so could be dangerous under James Best.

3.03 Hereford – Prime Pretender to finally get off the mark?

The Jacob Cooper Handicap Chase (3:03) looks as good a chance as any for the frustrating Prime Pretender, going for glory at the 14th attempt.

Adam Wedge takes the ride as he moves up in trip for Evan Williams but faces Out The Glen who managed to win on three occasions last year.

Out The Glen (Olly Murphy) and Icaque De L’Isle (Richard Bandey) have also ran with plenty of credit in recent starts and will need noting.

3.33 Hereford – Quality veterans contest tight handicap

Plenty of old favourites line up among nine declared for the Black Mountain Botanicals Handicap Chase (3:33).

Evan Williams and Adam Wedge have another decent chance with Court Royale, who has been freshened up following a win and placed effort at the end of last year.

Quite a few of his rivals return after disappointing runs, but not Kim Bailey’s Starovski, who looks to land a first victory over fences after a third last time out – David Bass takes the ride.

Watch every race from Hereford, live on Sky Sports Racing on Sunday 5 February.