Former Chelsea youth player opens up on alleged racial abuse

A former Chelsea youth player has outlined alleged racial abuse at the club which turned his life into a ‘living nightmare’.

The player, known as ‘John’, disclosed his experience during six years from 1979 to 1985, aged 13 to 19, under coach Gwyn Williams. Williams has previously and repeatedly denied all allegations.

‘There were initial experiences which were very good for me, but it soon became a living nightmare because I was subjected to constant racism by Gwyn Williams over a period of six years,’ John said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday.

A former Chelsea youth player has outlined alleged racial abuse at the club from 1979 to 1985

A former Chelsea youth player has outlined alleged racial abuse at the club from 1979 to 1985

A former Chelsea youth player has outlined alleged racial abuse at the club from 1979 to 1985

‘I would be in Gwyn Williams’ care six days a week. My footballing destiny was in his hands. If you make it to pro level, if the club was going to offer you a pro contract, it would be on his recommendation.

‘He used the ‘n’ word various times, it would always have been the ‘n’ word or coon or darkie, shoe shine, sambo, all kinds of racial slurs and most of the time it was aimed at me.’

Chelsea are investigating the claims. In January, Chelsea approached Barnardo’s, the children’s charity, to commission an independent review into historic allegations of racism.

Chelsea said in a statement: ‘We take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and they will be fully investigated.

‘We are absolutely determined to do the right thing, to assist the authorities and any investigations they may carry out, and to fully support those affected, which would include counselling for any former player that may need it.’

Former youth coach Gwyn Williams (right) has repeatedly denied all allegations

Former youth coach Gwyn Williams (right) has repeatedly denied all allegations

Former youth coach Gwyn Williams (right) has repeatedly denied all allegations

The Barnardo’s review is one of three separate independent reviews commissioned by Chelsea. The children’s charity is also reviewing the club’s safeguarding procedures, from 2011 to the present day.

The first independent review was announced in December 2016 and is being conducted by an external law firm into allegations of historic sexual abuse at Chelsea, from 1950 to 2010-2011.

‘John’ alleges he experienced extensive racist language on a daily basis, from his first encounter with Williams.

He added: ‘First time I ever met Gwyn Williams I received racism from him from the get go. When he picked me up for school boy training in the club mini bus, I was greeted with the words ‘you all right shoe shine?’

‘Being a naive 13-year-old boy I didn’t know what shoe shine meant, I kind of brushed that off and thought well it’s a bit weird to call me that because I didn’t know what shoe shine meant at that particular time.’

The club have commissioned an independent review into historic allegations of racism

The club have commissioned an independent review into historic allegations of racism

The club have commissioned an independent review into historic allegations of racism

‘John’ says he suffered panic attacks and used a minor injury as an excuse to stay away from Williams, so Chelsea subsequently terminated his contract.

‘I just sunk into a deep depression after that. I didn’t want anything to do with football,’ ‘John’ added.

The interview followed allegations from players which emerged earlier this week and were supported by two white former youth players, Grant Lunn and Gary Baker.

Claims of racism were made against former Chelsea coach Graham Rix, who denies the allegations.

Yaya Toure ready to turn down big-money offers from China and the Middle East

Yaya Toure ready to turn down big-money offers from China and the Middle East to continue playing in Premier League

  • Yaya Toure wants to continue his career playing in the Premier League 
  • The Ivorian will turn down lucrative offers from China and the Middle East
  • Toure is departing Manchester City at the end of the season after eight years
  • The midfielder wants to stay in the country and is willing to play for less money 

Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail

Yaya Toure will turn down lucrative offers from China and the Middle East to continue playing for less money in the Premier League.

Toure, who turns 35 next week, is leaving Manchester City after eight years and was given an emotional farewell following his final home appearance against Brighton on Wednesday night.

The Ivory Coast star wants to stay in English football and keep his family in this country even though it means missing out on a bigger pay-day abroad.

Yaya Toure will turn down lucrative offers from China and the Middle East to remain in England

Yaya Toure will turn down lucrative offers from China and the Middle East to remain in England

Yaya Toure will turn down lucrative offers from China and the Middle East to remain in England

The Ivorian midfielder is leaving Manchester City at the end of the season after eight years

The Ivorian midfielder is leaving Manchester City at the end of the season after eight years

The Ivorian midfielder is leaving Manchester City at the end of the season after eight years

In the last two years, Toure has rejected a contract worth £520,000-a-week with Jiangsu Suning and turned down another Chinese Super League club offering £430,000-a-week.

‘Of course, people are going to be happy to get more money, but that’s not my point of view,’ said Toure following his Etihad send-off.

‘I want to stay in England, continue to play and continue to enjoy. I have maybe one or two years more to play. To go to China or Abu Dhabi, it looks for myself to get more money.’

Toure, who turns 35 next week, is going to assess his options once the season has finished

Toure, who turns 35 next week, is going to assess his options once the season has finished

Toure, who turns 35 next week, is going to assess his options once the season has finished

The midfielder was given a great send-off by supporters at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday

The midfielder was given a great send-off by supporters at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday

The midfielder was given a great send-off by supporters at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday

The former Barcelona player is not short of admirers in the Premier League but will weigh up his options in the weeks ahead.

‘I will have to take time, thinking as always to choose the right one,’ he added.

‘Definitely there have been other clubs but I have to compare all the situations and if it’s good for me or not.’

Asked what he will miss about Manchester, Toure said: ‘I’m not going to miss the weather! My mentality was in my head – it was sunshine.’

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Liverpool stars past and present arrive at end-of-season awards with Salah set to clear up

Liverpool stars past and present arrive at end-of-season award ceremony as star man Mohamed Salah looks set to sweep up on the accolades

  • Liverpool stars past and present have turned up at the end-of-season awards 
  • Mohamed Salah will be at the event, before flying to London for the FWA Awards 
  • The Egyptian is set to be named Football Writers Footballer of the Year
  • Full Liverpool squad were in attendance along with the legends of yesteryear 

Danny Gallagher For Mailonline

Liverpool players past and present have arrived en masse ahead of the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony.

Anfield played host to the annual event as accolades were handed out for various achievements throughout the 2017/18 campaign.

The lavish red carpet was soon in action as the first team arrived, suited and booted in official club jackets and ties.

Captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Mohamed Salah arrive for the Liverpool awards

Captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Mohamed Salah arrive for the Liverpool awards

Captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Mohamed Salah arrive for the Liverpool awards

Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Salah and Roberto Firmino all looked sharp upon their arrival

Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Salah and Roberto Firmino all looked sharp upon their arrival

Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Salah and Roberto Firmino all looked sharp upon their arrival

A beaming Jurgen Klopp led his stars into the ceremony, suited and booted in club colours

A beaming Jurgen Klopp led his stars into the ceremony, suited and booted in club colours

A beaming Jurgen Klopp led his stars into the ceremony, suited and booted in club colours

Club legends John Aldridge and Chris Lawler were among the first to arrive, before club CEO Peter Moore joined proceedings.

The Reds first team squad were lead into the ceremony by beaming manager Jurgen Klopp, who posed for the cameras for once without his trademark match-day training attire on.

Captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain James Milner weren’t far behind, while the looming stature of defender Virgil van Dijk towered over the procession of players. 

Star man Mohamed Salah arrived with close friend and team-mate Dejan Lovren, ahead of a busy night.

Salah and Lovren arrived via car, with the Croatian defender posting a humorous video of the pair enroute.

Lovren poked fun at the fact he was basically Salah’s personal chauffeur, while insisting his team-mate puts on his seat belt in order to remain safe and injury free. 

The Egyptian forward attended the Anfield bash, before later quickly making his way to London via aircraft to attend the Football Writers’ Awards.

Salah is up for Footballer of the Year award, following a dazzling return to Premier League action. 

More to follow

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‘Atrocious’ Richard Keys and Andy Gray slammed for lavishing praise on controversial Qatar World Cup

Twitter has taken aim at Richard Keys and Andy Gray after the pair spoke glowingly of the controversial Qatar World Cup during a discussion on BeIn Sports, a broadcaster based in the country’s capital.

Keys and Gray spoke to Peter Reid after the ex-England international visited with Hassan Al-Thawadi, the Qatari official head of the 2022 World Cup committee.

Reid described his tour around Qatar’s stadiums as ‘very, very impressive’ and said the infrastructure ‘will be amazing’ for the 2022 World Cup. 

Andy Gray on BeIn Sport

Andy Gray on BeIn Sport

Richard Keys spoke glowingly about the World Cup in Qatar

Richard Keys spoke glowingly about the World Cup in Qatar

Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys (right) hailed the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar

And Reid’s comments preceded a sycophantic conversation between Gray and Keys in which they spoke glowingly of the 2022 World Cup while dismissing any political or logistical concerns around the tournament.  

‘FIFA have always wanted to have winter World Cup, well it’s winter for the northern hemisphere countries,’ claimed Gray. ‘They’ve always wanted this so players are fresh and ready to play while in a small country where travel is no problem.

Gray, who is celebrating five years since he and Keys joined Qatar broadcaster BeIn Sport, continued: ‘I was a sceptic before I arrived but since I’ve been here you get one over. 

Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film

Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film

Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film

‘Politically I know nothing about what’s happening. But from what we see culturally they are very proud about being given the World Cup and are so determined to make it a success. The infrastructure will make a huge difference.’

Journalist Nick Metcalfe described the BeIn Sport segment as ‘both funny and atrocious’, saying both Keys and Gray come across ‘dreadfully’ in a tweet.

Another Twitter user Benjamin Wills meanwhile ridiculed Gray’s comment that he didn’t know what was going on politically in Qatar and likened the discussion to producing a propaganda film for the 2022 World Cup.  

‘When you talk about the politics, it has caused a lot of consternation and jealousy,’ Keys continued. ‘There have been countries within this region that have worked very hard to take the World Cup from [Qatar].’

Keys said Qatar winning the World Cup bid will cause a 'lot of consternation and jealousy'

Keys said Qatar winning the World Cup bid will cause a 'lot of consternation and jealousy'

Keys said Qatar winning the World Cup bid will cause a ‘lot of consternation and jealousy’

Ignoring the political climate but focusing on his own experiences in the country, Keys added: ‘Culturally I’ve enjoyed being in this part of the world. 

‘If I leave my keys in the car, it will be there when I am back, if I leave my keys in the front door I know no one is going to break in when I’m away.’

The broadcaster then embarked on a bizarre three-minute rant about a state-sponsored Saudi Arabian bootlegging operation, who he hit out at for stealing and reproducing BeIn Sports’ content illegally.

The Qatar World Cup has garnered widespread criticism over the regime’s human rights violations, with some suggestions they could be prevented from hosting. 

Keys and Gray hailed the infrastructure of the stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Keys and Gray hailed the infrastructure of the stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Keys and Gray hailed the infrastructure of the stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Research carried out by Human Rights Watch found that migrant construction workers building the stadiums in Qatar were working in potentially life-threatening heat and humidity. 

The bidding process which awarded Qatar the World Cup was also marred by allegations of corruption from FIFA officials including former chief Sepp Blatter.

The 2022 World Cup will be the first tournament played in the winter to avoid Qatar’s summer weather, which can see temperatures top 40 degrees. 

Crystal Palace eyeing Everton midfielder James McCarthy

Crystal Palace eyeing Everton midfielder James McCarthy as he aims to return from double leg fracture in time to play for start of next season

  • Crystal Palace are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy
  • The 27-year-old is on course to make a remarkable recovery from his broken leg
  • He suffered the horror injury in January but may be fit for the start of next season
  • Everton are expecting a summer overhaul and may be willing to listen to offers

Simon Jones for MailOnline

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy who is on course to make a remarkable recovery from a double leg fracture.

The Republic of Ireland international suffered the horror injury after blocking a shot by West Bromwich Albion‘s Salomon Rondon back in January.

The 27-year-old had compound fractures of his tibia and fibia but surgery was successful and he is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation.

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy in the summer

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy in the summer

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy in the summer

McCarthy is now on course to return for the second week of pre-season training and is aiming to be fit to play for the start of the new season.

Everton expect another summer of change with several players expected to leave and Palace, who have made enquiries about McCarthy over recent transfer windows, will watch developments closely and monitor his return to fitness.

Everton are understood to be willing to listen to offers for the midfielder, who struggled with injury before braking his leg at the start of this year.

McCarthy has only made six appearances this season but Roy Hodgson has identified him as a prime target to bolster his midfielder options for next season.

McCarthy is on course to be fit for next season after leg break against West Brom in January

McCarthy is on course to be fit for next season after leg break against West Brom in January

McCarthy is on course to be fit for next season after leg break against West Brom in January

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Chelsea charged by FA for failing to control players and coaches

Chelsea charged by FA for failing to control players after they confronted referee Lee Mason in Huddersfield tie

  • The Football Association charge Chelsea with failing to control their players
  • Players and coaches confronted Lee Mason at half-time against Huddersfield
  • The referee blew the whistle before Chelsea had the chance to take a corner kick

Press Association Reporter

Chelsea have been charged by the Football Association after players and coaches surrounded referee Lee Mason at half-time during Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.

Chelsea were angered when Mason awarded the hosts a corner but then blew for half-time before it was taken.

A statement from the FA said: ‘Chelsea have been charged with failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

Chelsea players surround Lee Mason after he blew the whistle before they could take a corner

Chelsea players surround Lee Mason after he blew the whistle before they could take a corner

Chelsea players surround Lee Mason after he blew the whistle before they could take a corner

‘The incident occurred at half-time of yesterday’s game against Huddersfield Town. Chelsea have until 6pm on Tuesday [15 May 2018] to respond to the charge.’

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Antonio Rudiger led the protests. Rudiger had to be dragged away by assistant coach Carlo Cudicini.

The Blues were frustrated by time-wasting and gamesmanship throughout the game, the result of which hit their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

A number of Antonio Conte's backroom staff also spoke to Mason as he walked off the pitch

A number of Antonio Conte's backroom staff also spoke to Mason as he walked off the pitch

A number of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff also spoke to Mason as he walked off the pitch

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Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson smashes longest ever drop kick as records continue to tumble

Ederson smashes longest ever football drop kick in training as records continue to tumble at Manchester City

  • Manchester City have broken a number of Premier League records this season
  • The champions set new marks for points, wins and goals against Brighton
  • Goalkeeper Ederson is now an official Guinness world record title holder
  • The powerful Brazilian showed off his plaque on social media on Thursday 

George Flood For Mailonline

Manchester City have broken plenty of Premier League records during their incredible title-winning campaign and now goalkeeper Ederson has added a slightly quirky individual honour to that mounting collection.

Dominant City, who wrapped up their fifth top-flight title with five matches to spare last month, had already set new marks in categories such as most consecutive victories and most passes in a single match before Wednesday night’s 3-1 triumph over Brighton, in which they also smashed records for biggest points haul, most goals scored and highest number of wins. 

Pep Guardiola‘s side travel to lowly Southampton on the final day of the season and will have their eyes firmly fixed on achieving more history, including 100+ points, most away victories, most away points, best goal difference and the biggest buffer to second place.

Ederson set a world record for the longest football drop kick at the Etihad Campus on Thursday

Ederson set a world record for the longest football drop kick at the Etihad Campus on Thursday

Ederson set a world record for the longest football drop kick at the Etihad Campus on Thursday

Ederson laid down his own challenge to rival goalkeepers the world over ahead of Sunday’s trip to St Mary’s after establishing a new record for the longest ever football drop kick at City’s Etihad Campus training complex.

The Brazilian took to Instagram to share a picture of an official plaque confirming that he is now a Guinness world record title holder. While such an award does not specifically say how long the kick actually was, Omnisport suggest that it was measured at 75.35 metres – around 82.4 yards.

Ederson’s impressive technical ability – something that endeared him to Guardiola – and powerful left foot were well known before he arrived at City from Benfica in a £35m deal last summer to replace the disappointing Claudio Bravo, with a few of his enormous kicks going viral.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a superb debut season in English football, keeping 21 clean sheets in 45 appearances across all competitions and earning a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. 

Ederson has enjoyed a terrific first season at Manchester City, winning the Premier League title

Ederson has enjoyed a terrific first season at Manchester City, winning the Premier League title

Ederson has enjoyed a terrific first season at Manchester City, winning the Premier League title

A section of the City support recently willed Ederson to step up and take the penalty after Raheem Sterling was fouled during City’s typically emphatic 5-0 drubbing of Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium last month, though Guardiola refuses to indulge his wish to notch from 12 yards before the end of the campaign. 

‘That’s not going to happen,’ he said. ‘He’s a goalkeeper, there are other players. You have to respect the opponents. 

‘Maybe he can do it in a shootout, but during the game? No.’

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Brad Shields is like Chris Robshaw but with slightly better hands

Brad Shields is the man whose selection for England has caused the most drama in the past few months.

As rumour circulated that Eddie Jones was to select a New Zealand-based player, who had played for the Junior All Blacks for his summer squad to tour South Africa, it caused an uproar in both hemispheres.

But who is England’s new flanker – and what is all the fuss about? Here, Sportsmail gives the lowdown on the bearded wonder. 

HOW DOES HE QUALIFY FOR ENGLAND?

To put it simply, Shields is English but a born-and-raised Kiwi. Both of his parents, Danielle and Nigel, were born in England but moved to New Zealand as children. His father worked in the NZ Army and was once deployed in Texas, USA in 2000. Shields’ parents moved back to England two-and-a-half years ago and now live in Berkshire. Shields also has a young daughter with his wife, who he married in 2017.

Through his parents he is immediately eligible, despite not ever playing professional rugby in England. Shields is moving to Wasps this summer, after his Super Rugby commitments are over, so will be a key figure in the Premiership.

Brad Shields has been named in England's squad for next month's tour of South Africa

Brad Shields has been named in England's squad for next month's tour of South Africa

Brad Shields has been named in England’s squad for next month’s tour of South Africa

SO WHY ARE THE KIWIS UPSET?

BRAD SHIELDS FACTFILE 

Name: Brad Shields

Born: Masterton, New Zealand

Club: Hurricanes

Age: 27

Position: Back-row

Height: 6ft 4in

Weight: 17st 7lbs 

This row all started when reports up here claimed Shields was in line for England selection. Then Steve Tew, the CEO of New Zealand Rugby, questioned that – saying that they were under no obligation to release the player before his Hurricanes contract was over.

Because Super Rugby runs until August, they wanted to keep him in New Zealand.

‘I don’t think you can jump to the conclusion that he is available from our point of view,’ Tew said in April.

‘He is signed to New Zealand and he is contracted to play for New Zealand teams until the end of Super Rugby.’

They claimed that a contract clause, signed by all Super Rugby players – called ‘Schedule Three’ – precluded players from playing in anything other than Kiwi tournaments until their contracts were up.

It is not necessarily the case that they were annoyed that the RFU, and England, were nicking one of their players – after all, the All Blacks have had the chance to select Shields for years if they wanted to as he qualifies for them on residency but they did not. However, Shields did play in the 2011 U20s World Cup for the Baby Blacks against England alongside Beauden Barrett, Sam Cane and Brodie Retallick, and against Owen Farrell, George Ford, Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola – now international team-mates.

A cynic might say Tew and the NZR had to look strong in front of their public, as New Zealand is suffering something of a player-drain at the moment with many fringe Test players going to Europe in search of lucrative deals, but also that it was a chance to try and embarrass the RFU and make them look like they do not have a strong enough system so have to bring in ‘foreign’ players to compete.

Shields (centre) played for New Zealand against England in the U20 World Cup back in 2011

Shields (centre) played for New Zealand against England in the U20 World Cup back in 2011

Shields (centre) played for New Zealand against England in the U20 World Cup back in 2011

DO THEY HAVE A POINT?

Not particularly – but yes to an extent. On the legal side, not particularly. Without going into tedious detail all rugby is governed by the laws and regulations set out by World Rugby – the sport’s governing body. Everyone signs up to it and agrees that they have the final say on all matters.

In this case World Rugby – under ‘Regulation 9’ – demand that all players eligible for Test nations be released in two specific international windows; November and June. No other deals done by clubs, leagues or unions can trump that.

Adding to that the fact that NZR allowed Piers Francis – who was then at the Blues of Auckland – to tour Argentina with England and play in both Tests, without much fuss at all, it smacks a little of hypocrisy. The Shields case is pretty much identical, but NZR chose to make a fuss this time.

On the moral side the Kiwis do have a leg to stand on – to an extent. This whole episode has caused hot debate over whether England should be picking a man who is not from our system, has not played here, and is being fast-tracked into the World Cup plans as it seems like Eddie Jones has run out of options (the coach would dispute the latter). And when the likes of James Haskell seem to be on the way out, people do get frustrated.

England faced a similar situation last summer with New Zealand over fly-half Piers Francis

England faced a similar situation last summer with New Zealand over fly-half Piers Francis

England faced a similar situation last summer with New Zealand over fly-half Piers Francis

AND WHAT IS ENGLAND’S STANCE?

England – and more particularly Jones – could not care less where a player comes from, as long as they qualify. Jones may change his mind on some things, but on the issue of picking foreign-born players, or those who have qualified on residency, he is always very clear.

Today he said: ‘My responsibility is to pick England qualified players. I get a list and I pick the best out of that list. I don’t decide the regulations.’

The likes of converted-Kiwis Ben Te’o, Jason Woodward, Willi Heinz and others have been picked in squads before.

And really you would say he is right. If players qualify, he can pick them. Whether it sits comfortably with you that the England head coach can sometimes disregard the carefully constructed ‘pathways’ to the England side – via junior teams, and the domestic league – is a different matter.

Ben Te'o (left) is one converted Kiwi who has made the switch from New Zealand to England

Ben Te'o (left) is one converted Kiwi who has made the switch from New Zealand to England

Ben Te’o (left) is one converted Kiwi who has made the switch from New Zealand to England

SO, CAN SHIELDS PLAY AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA?

Absolutely. NZR have reluctantly relented and eased their stance. On Wednesday night head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said: ‘We have taken some time to carefully work through the complexities of this request, to ensure that we gave appropriate consideration to his specific circumstances.

‘In the end, we are happy with the terms of his temporary release. We are extremely disappointed that the RFU chose to take this unusual step in seeking this release given that Brad has not yet played rugby in England.’

But he could not resist firing a shot at England.

‘It seems highly unusual that they can’t find players within their own county to pick,’ he added.

Really, though, if it ever came to it World Rugby would intervene, show the Kiwis ‘Regulation 9’ and it would be over bar the shouting.

WHERE HAVE I SEEN HIM BEFORE?

Unless you are an avid Super Rugby fan – where Shields has been part of one of the best sides in that competition, the swashbuckling Hurricanes from Wellington, since 2012 – you would have last seen him in the 31-all draw between his Kiwi capital franchise and the British & Irish Lions. Shields had a fine game captaining the Hurricanes against Warren Gatland’s men from No 8 in the midweek game, the one before the second Test in Wellington which the Lions won against the All Blacks.

Shields captained the Hurricanes to a 31-all draw against the British and Irish last summer

Shields captained the Hurricanes to a 31-all draw against the British and Irish last summer

Shields captained the Hurricanes to a 31-all draw against the British and Irish last summer

WHAT ARE HIS STRENGTHS?

Shields is a hard, combative player who can play blindside flanker or No 8. He is not only a workhorse, but can carry ball and is skilful outside too. Think of a Chris Robshaw with slightly better hands and you are almost there. He is very fit too – he recently set a record at the Hurricanes in their ‘Surf to Peak’ challenge – a 1km sprint, 21km cycle and 2km run to the top of Mount Victoria in Wellington.

However, he has never played Test rugby – which is worlds away from Super Rugby – so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to a tighter game.

WILL HE TRAIN MUCH WITH ENGLAND BEFORE THE TOUR?

Not really. Like Francis did last summer Shields will just fly straight from New Zealand to South Africa to join up with England before the tour in early June. He will not come to England first or attend the national squad’s pre-tour Brighton training camp. He is unlikely to feature in the first Test – as he will not be up to speed – but could well play in the next two.

Chris Robshaw is a player similar to Shields - although the latter is a little more skillful

Chris Robshaw is a player similar to Shields - although the latter is a little more skillful

Chris Robshaw is a player similar to Shields – although the latter is a little more skillful

AND WHAT WILL HE DO AFTER THE TOUR?

Shields – again, like Francis – will return to New Zealand, complete the Super Rugby season for the Hurricanes and then up sticks and move to Coventry, where he will link up with Wasps who will then be in the last throes of their pre-season before the 2018-19 season.

WHAT HAS EDDIE JONES SAID ABOUT HIS SELECTION?

After picking him the head coach said: ‘Shields is a good hard working player who plays for the best team in the Southern Hemisphere. He is a considerable influence in their team, a team that has a lot of skill and talent. He’s a hard working gritty player and a great back up to Chris Robshaw.’

COULD HE BE A WORLD-CUP BOLTER FOR ENGLAND?

Absolutely. If Shields can prove he is the combative, yet skilful, man to glue together England’s troublesome back-row he definitely has a shot to secure a seat on the plane to Japan next year. 

Eddie Jones has defended his decision to include Shields in his England squad

Eddie Jones has defended his decision to include Shields in his England squad

Eddie Jones has defended his decision to include Shields in his England squad

Liverpool man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives positive update on knee surgery ‘success’

‘Knee surgery was a success and the hard work has already begun’: Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives positive update on operation while watching team-mate’s secure Champions League final spot

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee surgery has been a ‘success’, says the player 
  • The attacking midfielder has issued an update for fans via social media
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain had to watch Liverpool’s clash with Roma from hospital
  • The Reds lost in Rome but secured a place in the Champions League final in  Kiev 

Danny Gallagher For Mailonline

Alex Oxlade_Chamberlain has handed Liverpool a boost after confirming surgery on his injured knee has been a ‘success.’

The midfielder was ruled out of the remainder of the Reds’ season and England’s World Cup after injuring himself in the semi-final first leg clash with Roma at Anfield.

The 24-year-old took to the operating table last week to speed up the recovery process, and has delivered good news on the outcome with his first social media update since the procedure.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has confirmed his recent knee surgery has been a success

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has confirmed his recent knee surgery has been a success

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has confirmed his recent knee surgery has been a success

The midfielder was ruled out for the season after injuring his knee against Roma at Anfield

The midfielder was ruled out for the season after injuring his knee against Roma at Anfield

The midfielder was ruled out for the season after injuring his knee against Roma at Anfield

‘Watching the boys in Rome last week taking us one step closer to something very special,’ Oxlade-Chamberlain wrote on Instagram.

‘Knee surgery was a success and the hard work has already begun.’ 

The player uploaded a photo of himself in a hospital bed, while Liverpool played in the background in their crucial second leg against the Italians in the Eternal City.

The Reds are hopeful of having their No 21 back in time for the beginning of pre-season, following the conclusion of the World Cup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a successful season since joining the Reds from Arsenal

Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a successful season since joining the Reds from Arsenal

Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a successful season since joining the Reds from Arsenal

Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a successful season at Anfield this year following his switch from Arsenal, scoring five goals and pitching in with seven assists.

Liverpool meet Real Madrid in Kiev on May 26 for their eighth European final, in which they will bid to win the famous trophy for a sixth time.

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Manchester City lead chase for £53m Napoli star Jorginho

Manchester City lead chase for £53m Napoli star Jorginho with Arsenal, United and Tottenham also interested

  • Napoli are ready to spark a transfer tussle with the sale of £53m-rated Jorginho
  • Manchester City are frontrunners as Pep Guardiola seeks to replace Yaya Toure
  • Arsenal, Tottenham and Man United have watched the midfielder extensively 

Jack Gaughan for MailOnline

Jorginho is set to become the subject of a top-six battle this summer, with Napoli willing to sell the midfielder for around £53million.

Premier League champions Manchester City are believed to be frontrunners for the Italy international after keeping tabs on him all season.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have also watched Jorginho extensively, with the player’s representatives sounded out by all of them.

Napoli's Jorginho is wanted by the majority of the Premier League's top six clubs this summer

Napoli's Jorginho is wanted by the majority of the Premier League's top six clubs this summer

Napoli’s Jorginho is wanted by the majority of the Premier League’s top six clubs this summer

Pep Guardiola is on the hunt for a new midfielder given Yaya Toure is departing at the end of his contract. City are also looking for a long-term successor to Fernandinho.

Liverpool have also been credited with interest as Jorginho’s stock continues to rise after an impressive campaign in Serie A.

The 26-year-old believes Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri would want to take him to his next club should he land a job in England.

City, committed to giving Guardiola more funds, had focused on Shakhtar Dontetsk’s Brazilian Fred earlier this year but were threatening to pull the plug on that deal.

United have also kept close contact with Fred’s agent, Gilberto Silva, over the past few months.

The midfielder will be free to leave Napoli if a club agrees to meet the £53m asking price

The midfielder will be free to leave Napoli if a club agrees to meet the £53m asking price

The midfielder will be free to leave Napoli if a club agrees to meet the £53m asking price

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