Sport shorts: Eddie Jones to lead England at 2023 Rugby World Cup and Barcelona want Neymar-Griezmann deal

Ten things from the world of sport on Thursday 2 April

England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones
England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones 
(Image credit: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images )

1. Jones reveals big ambition

England head coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension that will see him lead the nation until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

The Australian was appointed England chief in November 2015 and in four years he has won two Six Nations titles, including the grand slam in 2016.

He also led England to last year’s Rugby World Cup final where they lost 32-12 to South Africa.

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The 60-year-old has unfinished business and he said: “The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing.

“We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

“I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years but the circumstances are right. Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that.

“I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

“Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It’s a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

“We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it’s a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward.”

2. Murray: I’ll be back at Wimbledon

British tennis ace Andy Murray is “very sad” that Wimbledon has been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak but he has vowed to return next year.

The two-time winner said on Facebook: “Very sad that the Fever-Tree Championships and Wimbledon have been cancelled this year but with all that is going on in the world right now, everyone’s health is definitely the most important thing.

“Looking forward to getting back on the grass next year already! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy #StayHomeSaveLives.”

‘Devastated’: Roger Federer reacts to Wimbledon cancellation

3. BBC to air memorable moments

The BBC will broadcast classic sporting moments including the opening ceremony from the London 2012 Olympic Games, the best of Euro 96 and Andy Murray’s maiden triumph at Wimbledon in 2013.

Barbara Slater, BBC director of sport, said: “In these unprecedented and difficult times we are delighted to bring some of the most incredible sporting events from years gone by to our audiences over the next few months.

“From glorious moments at the Olympics including the magic of London 2012, thrilling Euro 96 matches, wonderful Wimbledon moments and the best of World Championship snooker, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

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4. The Open is still on the schedule... for now

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, has denied reports that The 149th Open at Royal St George’s will be cancelled. However, while no decision has yet been made regarding the golf major in July discussions are ongoing.

Slumbers said: “We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement. Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve.

“We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can.

“We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation.”

5. Klopp lined up to replace Low

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is being earmarked by Germany as the successor to Joachim Low.

The Daily Mirror reports that Klopp is committed to Liverpool until 2024 but apparently the German Football Association is determined to bring him back home to take over from Low.

Rashford wants to play alongside Sancho in Man Utd’s attack

Brazilian striker Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £200m fee in August 2017

(Image credit: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

6. Barca want Neymar-Griezmann deal

Sky Sports reports that Spanish champions Barcelona are hoping to strike a part-exchange deal with Paris Saint-Germain that would see Neymar return to the Camp Nou and Antoine Griezmann go to the French capital.

Barca value France international Griezmann at £88m (€100m) while PSG reportedly value Neymar at £135m (€150m).

7. Runners confirmed for Virtual National

The 40 runners have been confirmed for Saturday’s Virtual Grand National.

Oddschecker says Tiger Roll is the clear favourite at 5/1, ahead of Any Second Now (10/1) and Burrows Saint (12/1).

Tiger Roll will also go head-to-head against Red Rum in a Race of Champions featuring 40 legendary National horses.

Virtual Grand National 2020 guide: runners and betting odds

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8. Wolff denies Aston Martin rumours

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has denied reports that he could leave to join Aston Martin’s works team in 2021.

Aston Martin will make its return to F1 next year and with Wolff out of contract at the end of the 2020 season it’s speculated that he could be brought in to lead the new outfit.

Wolff said: “There is no truth to the rumours that I’m going to be CEO of Aston Martin. I’m in a partnership with Daimler in the F1 team and that’s my priority.”

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9. Stokes hits back at ‘utter lies’

Metro reports that England cricket hero Ben Stokes has launched a broadside at what he calls the “utter lies” being spread about him and some of his team-mates.

A report on ESPNCricinfo alleged that England’s centrally contracted players had “declined the offer to accept a temporary pay cut” as part of cricket’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

10. Back pages: Prem wages war

The Times and the Daily Mirror carry the comments on their back pages of MP Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.

Knight has accused the Premier League of “living in a moral vacuum” after several clubs furloughed non-playing staff while continuing to pay the astronomical salaries of their players.

“Wages war” is the Mirror’s headline, as is the Daily Express’s, with both papers reporting that in fact several clubs want to do their bit to help those in the sport less fortunate than themselves.

Today’s sport headlines

Premier League heads for civil war over pay cuts

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