Australia Wallabies lock Will Skelton has signed a two-year contract with European champions Saracens.
The 27-year-old was part of a Sarries side which also beat Exeter in the Premiership final to add to their European Champions Cup crown.
Skelton played in Super Rugby with the Waratahs and has 64 Wallabies caps to add to 60 appearances for Saracens.
“My wife is happy here, we’re both happy,” he said. “She’s playing rugby as well and enjoying it.
“She’ll take it a little bit more seriously next year and having two years is a bit more security for us as a family and we can focus on other things aside from rugby.”
Lewis Grabban scored a goal in each half as Nottingham Forest secured a first away win of the season with a clinical display at in-form Fulham.
Fulham had won three league games in a row and were in imperious form as they trounced Millwall 4-0 in midweek.
But the Cottagers trailed inside four minutes to Grabban’s close-range volley after a glorious team move.
Forest had to withstand strong home pressure after the interval but defended impressively, and Grabban’s fine strike doubled the lead and ensured victory despite Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late prodded effort and eight minutes of stoppage time.
The big striker’s fourth goal in four games set up a frantic final seven minutes, but Grabban’s heroics proved telling.
The 31-year-old’s first goal was a simple finish but was beautifully constructed.
A flowing passage of play saw the ball worked left to right then back inside to the fit-again Joe Lolley, who played two quick one-twos.
The second interchange found Jack Robinson on the left and the full-back’s inviting cross was easily turned in by the Grabban for his third goal of the season.
Fulham had the better of possession but, aside from a couple of shots from distance that went wide, they rarely threatened in a first half which saw Forest almost double their lead through Grabban’s strike and a Thiago Silva overhead kick.
Reds goalkeeper Brice Samba, on his Championship debut, had a busier second period, notably making a superb save to stop Anthony Knockaert’s downward header and pushing away a strike from Bobby Decordova-Reid.
By the time Brice thwarted Decordova-Reid, Grabban had doubled the lead, smashing the ball in at the near post after Sammy Ameobi won possession in midfield.
Mitrovic’s goal, after good work by substitute Aboubakar Kamara, proved no more than a minor consolation despite the hosts finishing with 78% possession.
Bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics has been found within the tonnes of sewage dumped into the River Thames.
Scientists at the University of Warwick are concerned that if any of the bacteria became very resistant, it could lead to infections which cannot be treated.
Thames Water said more needed to be done to manage possible antibiotic-resistance in London’s water.
They say every dog has its day, and some quick thinking from the Leyton Orient kit man ensured canine Pavo would live to fight another day.
The League Two side’s team coach was travelling to Mansfield for Tuesday’s game, on a slip road joining the A12, when Ada Martin spotted a dog racing across the busy road.
Pavo darted in front of a truck – which thankfully came to a halt – allowing the O’s kit man to run out, call to his furry friend and pick him up, with “tail wagging”.
A call to the number on Pavo’s collar found his family, with an Orient fan looking after it at a nearby hotel until dog could be reunited with owner.
Martin, a former club groundsman and mascot, will be hoping Pavo is Orient’s new lucky charm as Ross Embleton’s side look for a first away win of the season at Field Mill.
Former England, Arsenal and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has announced his playing retirement from football.
Cole, 38, was out of contract at Derby County at the end of the 2018-19 season and says he is now focused on coaching.
He made his professional debut for Arsenal in 1999 and went on to represent Crystal Palace on loan, Chelsea, Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby.
“After hard thinking it was time to hang up my boots and look forward to my next chapter,” Cole told Sky Sports.
Cole said he is currently taking qualifications with a view to move into a coaching role.
The London-born defender earned 107 caps for England and is the most decorated footballer in FA Cup history, having lifted the trophy seven times.
He also won the Premier League twice with Arsenal – including the 2003-04 season in which the Gunners went unbeaten – and once with Chelsea after moving to Stamford Bridge in 2006.
Cole won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2011-12 and the Europa League the following season.
After joining Derby County in January, he worked under the management of his former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and helped the club to the Championship play-off final, where they were beaten by Aston Villa.
A third man has been arrested after a teenage boy was stabbed to death in north London.
Alex Smith, 16, from Wembley, was attacked in Munster Square, Camden, on Monday night.
Police said a 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after officers carried out a warrant at an address in Islington.
Two other men, aged 23 and 18, who were held on Wednesday have been bailed until a date in mid-September.
Det Insp Jamie Stevenson said the Metropolitan Police were “keeping an open mind concerning the motive of this brutal attack”.
The 20-year-old man is in custody at a police station in north London.
How does a football club cope when their manager dies?
It is a situation which is thankfully rare – but one which befell Leyton Orient this summer, shortly after their promotion back to the English Football League.
Justin Edinburgh – the man who had led the O’s to the National League title in May – died at the age of 49 in June, five days after suffering a cardiac arrest.
For players and staff of the east London side, coming to terms with Edinburgh’s death has been a process which is still continuing.
‘You don’t know how to act’
The news was announced on a Saturday evening – and in the days that followed The Breyer Group Stadium became a place for all affiliated to the club to gather and pay their respects.
“I was able to come to the stadium and be around people sharing their grief,” said club captain Jobi McAnuff.
“It was very important, particularly in the early days, to let those emotions out; to cry, to speak about Justin and remember the good times – which would obviously set you off again.”
The shock caused by a sudden death is the first barrier to overcome and Orient’s squad met soon after Edinburgh’s passing.
“Everyone has been taken into territory they could never have imagined,” said club chaplain Alan Comfort.
“Just the disbelief of these young men – shocked to tears and rightfully so. All of them experiencing the same thing is rare.
“Having everybody together, trying to help them in some way, but watching them just begin to talk it through or work it through was the beginning.”
Orient had endured their share of trauma off the pitch in the years before Edinburgh was appointed in November 2017.
Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti had bought the Brisbane Road outfit in the summer of 2014, shortly after the O’s had finished third in League One and lost the play-off final on penalties.
Three years later, the club had been through 11 different managers, lost several key players and suffered two relegations to drop into non-league for the first time in 112 years.
Following a takeover in the summer of 2017, Edinburgh helped reunite the club, then delivered success on the pitch.
But the club would now need to appoint a successor.
‘I’d never want people to call me gaffer’
Eight days after Edinburgh’s death, chairman Nigel Travis said Orient planned to “build on” the former Tottenham defender’s coaching team when they named a new boss.
Ross Embleton, Edinburgh’s assistant, was handed the reigns as interim head coach three days later.
“I built a relationship with Justin in 18 months that was quite remarkable for how close we became, with the respect that I had for him,” said Embleton.
“The one thing I will never be able to do and I would never want to do is to step into his shoes. I’d never want people to call me gaffer because that’s what I used to refer to him.
“One thing I said to the players on the day we got them all together after Justin passed away was ‘someone has got to try to lead us towards normality again’.
“That is my job.”
One man who has been through the same situation as Embleton is Gary Simpson.
He was assistant to Keith Alexander at Macclesfield Town when Alexander suddenly died in March 2010, aged 53.
Simpson took over as manager and, incredibly, then had to deal with the death of midfielder Richard Butcher in January 2011, with the 29-year-old dying from a heart condition.
“When I heard about Justin I felt for the Orient lads and everyone connected,” said Simpson.
“It is something you don’t think you’ll ever have to come up against. I came up against it with my best mate and manager going, and then a player who was like a son to me.
“I don’t know what Ross is like but obviously he has worked with the players, and the players know him and will look to him.
“He’ll be his own man and want to put his own stamp on things as well. He’ll want to do things in Justin’s memory, like we did with Keith.
“The grief was difficult. You just go in a zone and you just deal with it.”
‘It is OK to have my meltdown’
As the squad attended Edinburgh’s funeral and his memorial service in Cheltenham on 16 July, support was constantly on hand; be it through the club itself, the Professional Footballers’ Association or the League Managers’ Association.
Club chaplain Comfort, himself a former player who spent three years with the O’s during the 1980s, has also offered a “trusted ear” and confidentiality to players and the squad.
“As a few weeks pass, it is possible you just have to start getting on with life – as the players are,” said Comfort, the incumbent vicar at St John the Evangelist in Upper Holloway.
“You can feel guilty that there was Justin and now he is not there, and it has only been a few weeks.
“You try to help them to keep talking about him and say it’s normal to go on and enjoy your football and keep going.
“And yet it is also normal to keep talking about Justin and remembering and laughing, because he made them laugh.”
“Talking about it sounds like an easy thing to do, but it’s not,” Embleton, 37, added. “There have been so many unusual feelings and so many unusual moments.
“The lows and emotions come at strange old times.
“I have a lot of people around me here who have been through the same emotions that I have, but we are all blokes that come to work every day and we are all proud.
“Sometimes we feel as though you don’t find it so easy to talk. I think the biggest thing I am learning is that it is OK to have my meltdown when I have meltdown.”
Orient also have Martin Ling to call on, their director of football who has spoken publicly about his struggles with depression.
“You know Martin will allow and want people to be able to get the right help and have the right amount of time to be able to work things through because he knows, in his scenario, he didn’t always have that,” said Comfort.
“It led to things for him that he had to work through for years. The club, and the football staff particularly, in that sense are in the hands of somebody who is going to be very helpful.”
Embleton added: “The players are humans and they have all experienced something I would never wish on anybody else at any time.
“We have to understand the boys will have their struggles and tough periods. We need to know we have each other’s support.”
Returning to playing
Ling said the League Two fixture release day was “tinged with sadness” because of the absence of Edinburgh, who had led the club back into the EFL.
Orient opened the campaign with a 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town at an emotional Brisbane Road on Saturday, 3 August.
Visiting fans had raised money for a banner in tribute to Edinburgh, while Orient fans spelled out ‘JE3’ via a card mosaic and there was a minute’s silence before kick-off.
Robins fans also presented a donation to the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation, which has been set up by Edinburgh’s family.
Fittingly it was Josh Wright – the last player signed by Edinburgh – who scored the only goal of the game.
The 29-year-old was close to his former manager, having played under him at Gillingham and invited Edinburgh to his wedding last year.
“It has been like a big blur and it is only as time is going on that things are setting down, as they do with time and things heal,” he said.
“It is hard to explain because there are no answers. There never will be. You will never be able to understand it and believe it.
“I feel awfully and terribly sad about the circumstances that Justin isn’t with us, but we have to use that to galvanise us.”
McAnuff, who has taken on the role of interim player-coach, thinks the return to playing gives the players “a focus”, and thinking of Edinburgh will provide motivation to the squad.
“We have got to use it to channel those emotions and use it as a positive to spur us on,” said the 37-year-old midfielder.
“There should certainly be no points during the season that we need that extra bit of geeing up given what has happened.
“At the same time we can’t rely on it – that is not just going to win us a game. We are not going to get any sympathy from any of the other teams we come across.
“But Justin is certainly with us and we carry him with us in everything we do and, as a club and individuals, that will certainly be the case going forwards.”
Simpson says Alexander’s mid-season death helped his Macclesfield side, who were battling against relegation in League Two, become a “tight-knit group” and survive the drop.
“We pulled together and it gave us a focus – that we wanted to put the club in a safe position for him,” Simpson, 58, said.
Keeping Edinburgh in mind
While football moves on and the season continues, Orient are keen to remember Edinburgh, with their former manager retaining a profile on the club website which is kept “in loving memory”.
The nature of grief is such that it manifests itself in different ways, and can return at a later date.
“This was a person who loved the club and loved this group of players,” said Comfort.
“The reality is, for many of them, they didn’t get the chance to carry on that relationship and that will always be a loss for them – the loss of a person and a footballing influence.
“I think it will make and shape many of these young men in ways that were impossible without such an event.
“Losing people is a grown-up moment. In there is a loss of someone so important, yet they are having to find ways to understand it and then learn and grow up as people.
“You’ll have people who have experienced their own personal losses and in a moment when you lose somebody who is important again, it reminds you of someone you might have tried not to think about as much.
“For some of them it is a very reflective moment and it can be troubling.”
For Embleton, Edinburgh will remain an inspiration.
“Whenever I get emotional or Justin pops into my mind, I try to remember what an incredible geezer he was,” he said.
“Justin had an exterior and an aura and a presence that impacted everyone that he met. He is never going anywhere and will stay with us forever.”
The Crown Prosecution Service will receive an extra £85m over the next two years, to help deal with a rise in violent crime in England and Wales.
It comes as Boris Johnson launches a review of sentencing of some dangerous and prolific offenders.
He said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments “fit the crime” if the public was to have confidence in the justice system.
Lawyers said the new money did not make up for 10 years of “relentless cuts”.
The news fuels speculation ministers are preparing for a general election with a series of spending commitments and new initiatives.
On Sunday the prime minister promised to create an extra 10,000 new prison places and expand stop-and-search powers.
But Downing Street said it is not planning an early election.
Announcing the sentencing review, Mr Johnson said: “We have all seen examples of rapists and murderers let out too soon or people offending again as soon as they’re released.
“This ends now. We want them caught, locked up, punished and properly rehabilitated.”
The review, which will begin immediately, will look at whether violent and sexual offenders are serving sentences that reflect the severity of their crimes.
It will report back in the autumn.
‘Protect the public’
Under the current system, criminals sentenced to 12 months or more generally serve the first half of their time in prison and the second half “on licence” in the community, where they may be subject to recall.
Dangerous offenders can be given extended sentences, which mean they must serve two-thirds before being eligible for parole.
Justice secretary Robert Buckland said the review will focus on those violent, sexual and prolific offenders who are not currently given these extended sentences.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Johnson “wants to see prison being used appropriately to protect the public”.
But sentencing decisions should still be based on individual circumstances not “targets or numbers”, Mr Buckland said.
Opposition parties warned there was no easy fix for the current rise in violent crime.
Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said increasing prison sentences would merely “overcrowd prisons and waste millions of pounds”.
She said: “For years, Labour and Tory ministers have made sentences longer and longer, without any evidence that they prevent crime.
“It may sound tough, but it hasn’t made our communities any safer.”
The incentive of early release is seen by many as critical for keeping order in prisons.
Sir David Latham, a former judge and chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Prisons are significantly overcrowded and the risks of violence in prisons have increased very substantially over the last few years.”
Last year saw record levels of assaults on prison staff as well as a rise in self-harm by inmates.
Sir David said the way to ensure the safety of the public was by monitoring offenders after release with effective probation services. “The essence of early release is that there should be proper control over that prisoner,” he said.
But he denied that sentencing needed to be tougher. “Sentencing has in fact increased over the last 20 to 30 years quite substantially,” Sir David said.
Downing Street said the extra £85m for the CPS – which prosecutes criminal cases in England and Wales – will help staff respond to the rise in violent crime and an “explosion of digital evidence”.
Director of public prosecutions Max Hill QC said the money came at a “crucial time” for criminal justice.
Mr Hill said: “Our work is changing, and this new funding will provide the increased capacity to enable us to respond effectively to challenging trends we currently face.”
A spokesman from the CPS said the money would also help deal with the higher caseload they were anticipating as a result of Mr Johnson’s plan to recruit 20,000 more police officers.
In 2018-19 the CPS received £528m in government funding, but lawyers said the additional funding over two years was only a “modest first step”.
Chris Henley, chair of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “The criminal justice system is severely underfunded, as a result of relentless cuts over the last 10 years.”
He said more money was needed for the prosecution system and the courts to “restore public faith”, as increasingly “those who commit crime walk free and the innocent risk being convicted”.
Labour’s shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, accused the prime minister of “clearing the ground” for a general election rather than creating real solutions for the criminal justice system.
She said: “Anyone can promise tens of thousands of police officers, if you’re not saying exactly how you’re going to fund it. There’s been a whole series of these promises and Boris doesn’t explain how he will pay for it.”
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