Sport Opinion

Richard Moore: Cycling can be a difficult sport to predict

A year ago, when Geraint Thomas claimed the yellow jersey of Tour de France leader in the Alps, I confidently dismissed his chances. I said it was “fanciful” to even imagine that somebody who had never even finished close to the podium could win the Tour de France.

Australia head coach Michael Cheika during a training session. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty

Allan Massie: Rugby Championship will be vital source of World Cup learning for the north

Most of us would, I hope, hate the thought of the Six Nations being regarded as preparation for a World Cup rather than as the great tournament it is, but the Southern Hemisphere’s Rugby Championship has neither the history nor the allure of the Six Nations, and there’s no doubt that all four countries – New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina – see the truncated Championship which kicks off today as, principally, an opportunity for preparation and experiment. There’s more reason to regard it as such because it is of course that much nearer to the World Cup than the Six Nations was.

Founding directors of Hibernian Supporters Ltd pictured at Easter Road in 2015. (L/R) Gordon Smith, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern Kenny MacAskill, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster, Charlie Reid, Stephen Dunn and Jim Adie. Picture: SNS

Charlie Reid: Hibs fans must work together to reach HSL goal

Like everyone else I had mixed feelings on hearing the news that the club had been bought over. I was delighted to hear about the very welcome investment in the club, it’s been badly needed for years. On the other hand, I was very disappointed when I realised that HSL had fallen short on our principle aim of achieving a 25.1 per cent ownership stake.

Alex Dunbar is joining Brive in the French Top 14. Picture: Bruce White/SNS

Allan Massie: Alex Dunbar’s Brive encounter is a flight of French fancy

It is the time of year when most of the news is about things off the field. Yesterday one learned that John Jeffrey has just been appointed chairman of the Six Nations Committee,on which he has served for a number of years, as indeed on World Rugby and the SRU itself also. JJ has come a long way into the ranks of the Great and Good since, along with his mate Finlay Calder, he was described as a “scavenger” by England’s coach, Geoff Cooke. A long way also from that night when he and England’s mighty No 8 Dean Richards indulged in some passing practice up and down North Bridge with the Calcutta Cup instead of a rugby ball. I don’t really know what the remit and powers of the chair of the Six Nations Committee may be, but I trust that JJ will greet proposals for change with a healthy Borders scepticism, offering our characteristic defence of the status quo: “it’s aye been”.

Opinion 2
Colombia's Egan Bernal is co-leader of Team Ineos. Picture: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Time may be right for Colombian Egan Bernal in Tour de France

Thirty-five years ago a 23-year-old Colombian, Luis Herrera, won the Queen stage of the Tour de France on the climb of Alpe d’Huez. As Herrera approached the summit on his own, having attacked and dropped the French heroes Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault, the Colombian stock exchange suspended operations to allow the whole country to watch the conclusion to the stage.

Lahinch Golf Club will put on a great show when it hosts the Irish Open, promises Paul McGinley. Picture: Getty.

Martin Dempster: Irish Open still world-class event despite American absence

D on’t you just wish you could sometimes be in two different places at once? This week is a perfect example because I’d love to be heading to Lahinch for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, but that’s not possible due to Open Championship final qualifying at Fairmont St Andrews then Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open qualifying at Longniddry taking priority over the next few days.

Asa Hartford's transfer to Leeds was scuppered when a hole in his heart was discovered. Picture: SNS

David Turnbull can take hope from the tale of Asa Hartford

David Turnbull, everyone agrees, needs support right now. Good people around him. Family, friends, team-mates. Motherwell and, you would like to think, the wider football community. And of course the surgeons who will hopefully enable him to resume a career of high promise, relegating this on-off-on-off transfer saga to the status of odd interregnum.

Opinion 3
Hooker Ross Ford retires as Scotland's most-capped player. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Allan Massie: Ross Ford a ‘splendid servant to clubs, country and the game’

It is in character that Ross Ford should have announced his retirement in a dead week of the close season. One would have liked to see him take his leave after sixty or seventy minutes of an international match at a packed Murrayfield so that he could receive the grateful and admiring applause that he deserves. But he has never been a player to seek, let alone hog, the limelight .For him, a match has always been about the team, not himself.

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