Sport shorts: Wales earn bonus-point win against Georgia in Rugby World Cup and Fifa is set to crown the Best players of 2019

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 23 September

George North scored the sixth try for Wales in the Rugby World Cup win over Georgia
George North scored the sixth try for Wales in the Rugby World Cup win over Georgia 
(Image credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images )

1. Wales beat Georgia in opener

Six Nations grand slam champions Wales are off to a winning start in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Warren Gatland’s side scored six tries as they beat Georgia 43-14 this morning, and secured a bonus point to go joint-top of pool D with Australia.

Wales take on Australia in their next pool D match on Sunday 29 September in Tokyo (8.45am BST, live on ITV).

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Tomorrow Russia play Samoa in pool A (11.15am) and on Wednesday Fiji face Uruguay in pool D (6.15am).

Thursday’s first match sees Italy and Canada go head-to-head in pool B (8.45am), this is followed by England vs. United States (11.45am).

2. England seal ‘Fergie time’ bonus

England kicked off their RWC campaign with a 35-3 victory over Tonga yesterday and head coach Eddie Jones revealed that his side were inspired in part by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson visited England’s training camp ahead of the World Cup and the Scot talked to the squad about playing under pressure at the close of a match.

Jones said: “Whenever you get great people in they make an impact. One of the things Sir Alex’s teams were renowned for was ‘Fergie time’.

“His message to us was be patient and that’s what I enjoyed about our team. There was no sign of panic, they kept on playing good rugby and the try came.”

Rugby World Cup is ‘a marathon not a sprint’, says England coach Jones

3. Vettel: Ferrari are not back yet

Ferrari may have secured a third victory on the trot but Singapore Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel does not believe the Italian team will be fully “back” until they get their hands on the Formula 1 world title again.

The German said: “I’ve been around for a while now with Ferrari and I think there’s only one way for Ferrari to be back, which is when we win the championship. That’s a very harsh judgement but that’s what it is, that’s the reality.”

F1: what we learnt from the Singapore Grand Prix

4. Willett wins at Wentworth

England’s Danny Willett hit a final-round 67 to secure a three-shot victory over Spain’s Jon Rahm at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday.

The 2016 Masters champion said: “This has been a fairytale week. To win on home soil really has been amazing for me. This course produces fantastic winners and it’s an honour and a privilege to put my name alongside theirs.”

Previous winners include Seve Ballesteros, Rory McIlroy and Nick Faldo.

5. Folau to switch codes and play for Tonga

Former Australia rugby union star Israel Folau is set to play for Tonga in rugby league. The 30-year-old was sacked by Rugby Australia in May after sending anti-gay posts on social media. He will line up for Tonga against Australia and Great Britain in October and November.

6. Fans wait on Thomas Cook news

The collapse of Thomas Cook could have an impact on sports fans. Thomas Cook Sport sold tickets and travel packages for a number of Premier League clubs and the BBC reports that supporters are waiting to see if tickets will be valid for upcoming European matches.

7. Xavi wants Barca return

Spanish news outlet Diario Gol reports that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi “has asked” the club’s board to replace Ernesto Valverde with Xavi.

Barca crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Granada on Saturday, which leaves the defending champions eighth in the La Liga table.

When asked about his future Xavi said: “I don’t hide it, my goal is to return to Europe and return to Barca.”

Valverde out, Xavi in? Spanish media react to Barcelona crisis

8. Who will be crowned Fifa’s Best players?

The Best Fifa Football Awards of 2019 will be revealed tonight in Milan, Italy.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk are nominated for the Best Fifa men’s player award.

England’s Lucy Bronze and United States World Cup winners Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are nominated for the Best Fifa women’s player award.

Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo: career records and all-time goals

9. Solskjaer: Pogba is happy at United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “braced for a fresh move” by Real Madrid for Paul Pogba, but the Manchester United manager is adamant the Frenchman is staying put at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer said: “I am not worried now and I will never be worried in the future about Paul Pogba staying here.

“If it all kicks off with Madrid in January then there will be no worries then either. If we have to live with the speculation again then we will handle it like we did in the summer.

“Paul is going nowhere. He is happy here when he’s playing.”

Solskjaer warns Real Madrid: Pogba is a Man Utd player, he’s going nowhere

10. United hammered by pundits

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane and ex-boss Jose Mourinho did not hold back from criticising the team’s performance following the humiliating 2-0 defeat to West Ham yesterday.

Speaking on Sky Sports, pundits Keane and Mourinho were shocked at how awful United have been under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Keane said it was “scary how far United have fallen” and added: “I don’t know where to start. I was shocked and saddened by how bad they were.”

Mourinho, who was sacked by United in December last year, was also scathing in his post-match reaction, saying he “can’t find any positives”.

Today’s back pages: Man Utd are ‘so bad it’s scary’

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