Sale Sharks have pulled off a major coup by signing England centre Manu Tuilagi.

Tuilagi, 29, had been linked with a move to France or a code switch to rugby league after failing to agree terms to extend his stay with Leicester Tigers.

The British and Irish Lion will be eligible to continue his England career, though, after joining Sale on a deal until the end of the 2020-21 season.

Tuilagi could end the 2019-20 campaign as a Premiership champion, with the Sharks second in the table as they prepare to return to action on August 14, more than five months since the coronavirus crisis brought the season to a halt.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "We contacted Manu's agent and Leicester Tigers last week to discuss the player's current position.

"After discussions on Friday, all parties – Leicester Tigers, Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks – agreed that the player was a free agent and was able to enter into negotiations with another club.

"Manu will be a fantastic commercial and playing addition to our squad and I am looking forward to seeing him join up with the lads at Carrington this week."

Tuilagi's brother, Andy, spent three seasons with Sale from 2008 to 2011.

Jason Holder saluted Shannon Gabriel and Jermaine Blackwood after they "led the charge" in a magnificent four-wicket win for West Indies over England in the first Test.  

Fit-again quick Gabriel took 5-75 – giving him match figures of 9-137 - to bowl England out for 313 and leave the tourists needing 200 for victory on the final day at the Rose Bowl.  

West Indies were in deep trouble on 27-3 with John Campbell having retired hurt due to a toe injury, but Blackwood and Roston Chase (37) put on 73 for the fourth wicket.  

Recalled batsman Blackwood fell for a classy and mature 95, but Campbell returned to hit the winning runs on a gripping Sunday behind closed doors in Southampton.  

Holder was full of praise for his side after they secured victory in the first international fixture since the coronavirus pandemic brought sport to a halt.

The Windies captain told Test Match Special: "I'm really happy. The boys have worked hard and it's good to see it pay off. 

"I'm happy that Gabriel came back well and Blackwood too. They put their hands up and led the charge. 

"It was a nerve-wracking start after losing quick three wickets and Campbell to injury. But Roston and Jermaine put on a good partnership and settled the nerves. From there we could build on. 

"I missed the Barmy Army. But it was a level playing field without the crowds. It's been a good start back to international cricket, it sets the series up quite nicely." 

The second Test begins at the bio-secure bubble of Old Trafford on Thursday, with West Indies eyeing a first series win in England since 1988. 

Jermaine Blackwood justified his recall with a magnificent match-winning innings as West Indies beat England by four wickets in a gripping first Test at the Rose Bowl.

Tim Paine has revealed he used to sit on the couch in tears as the Australia Test captain suffered from mental health issues earlier in his career.

Paine required seven operations after breaking his finger back in 2010, but earned an Australia recall seven years later and took over as skipper in 2018.

The 35-year-old was on the verge of quitting when he was out of the Tasmania team in 2017.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Paine has opened up on the struggles he has endured over the years and the doubts he had when he returned to the highest level.

He told the Bounce Back podcast: "When I started training and playing again I wasn't too bad, until I started to face guys who bowled a lot quicker.

"And they'd be running in and instead of thinking about hitting the ball, I was thinking: 'Geez I hope he doesn't hit me on the finger'.

"From there it was just a downward spiral. I lost absolutely all confidence. I didn't tell anyone about it. The truth is, one, I was scared of getting hit and two, I just didn’t know what I was going to do."

Paine revealed he did not let it be known he was struggling.

“I didn't sleep, I didn't eat. I was so nervous before games, I was horrible to live with," he added.

"I was pretty ordinary to my partner, who is now my wife [Bonnie]. I was always angry and took out that I wasn't doing well on other people.

"I was embarrassed at what I had become. No one knew I was struggling, not my mates, not my partner. There were times when she was at work and I'd sit on the couch crying. It was weird and it was painful."

Paine said talking to a sports psychologist at Cricket Tasmania helped him to get his career back on track.

"It was the first time I actually told anyone what was going on, but I remember walking out of that room and instantly feeling better, that I had let someone in and that was the first step to dealing with, admitting I needed help," he said.

He also found that saying what was on his mind helped him to overcome self-doubt when he was recalled for the 2017-18 Ashes series.

"It went from an amazing feeling ... and then I thought that's not good," he said.

"I'm going to have to bat in front of people and there are going to be millions of people watching. And for three or four days after I thought I don't want to do this.

"Again, spoke to some people and got that stuff off my chest and I thought bugger it, I'll just make the most of it ... I'm going to enjoy it."

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes his captain, Jason Holder’s, 1-43, during England’s second innings was as important as any bowling feats throughout the fourth day.

The West Indies will need just two wickets tomorrow and attempt to minimize the 170-run lead the hosts have after they were restricted to 284-8.

The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Holder.

Holder, for the second time, turned Stokes around after just changing the field to include two gullies and had him caught by Shai Hope.

It’s what he does. He comes back and puts in the big spells for the team.

Simmons was speaking at the end of day four, highlighting what was a pivotal moment in the West Indies’ second stint on the field.

England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

“That’s the way he leads this team and I didn’t expect anything different,” said Simmons.

“He was bowling for a while and you expected him to change but he wanted to make that breakthrough for the team.”

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes if the West Indies play their normal cricket, they will take a 1-0 #RaiseTheBat series lead to Old Trafford, Manchester after their fourth-day exploits on Saturday.

The West Indies, leading England by 99 runs at the Ageas Bowl at the beginning of Saturday, were pushed back, as openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, whittled down that lead.

After lunch, things got worse for the West Indies, who had to remain patient as Zak Crawley, 76, and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes, 46, threatened to take the game away from them, pushing England’s lead in the match to 135 before the latter was removed by a fine piece of bowling from Jason Holder.

England then lost five wickets for 35 runs, as Shannon Gabriel, 3-62, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-40, reduced England to 284-8, a lead of 170.

With just two wickets needed on tomorrow’s final day, the West Indies are hoping not to have to chase too many and to be given the time to do it.  

All you can do is get the remaining wickets for as little runs as possible and then bat normally,” said Simmons at the end of day four.

“If we bat for five hours tomorrow to chase 180-190 then it is a normal batting day,” he said.

Simmons is wary of what it may be like batting on a final-day Ageas Bowl pitch though.

All the batsmen have called the pitch ‘dry’, which could make it particularly difficult on the final day of a Test match.

“It’s not a chase where you have to go at the bowling. We hope that in the morning, whatever roller is used, will flatten out the wicket so we can get a good start,” said Simmons.

According to the former West Indies opening batsman-turned-allrounder, the West Indies can take heart from the way they batted in the first innings and that it should give them confidence headed into the final day.

“I think the confidence from the way we batted, the attitude towards batting in the first innings, is going to be a huge plus for us, batting in the second innings. Whether it be 170 or 190 it is going to be the same attitude that you will need to chase it.”

England suffered a late collapse in Southampton to close day four on 284-8 – giving them a lead of 170 over West Indies – to leave the first Test delicately poised. 

Still with eight wickets in hand, England have fought their way back into the first Test at the Ageas Bowl after openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, slowly chipped away at the West Indies' 114-run lead, removing altogether just after lunch.

Burns was the only dismissal in the morning session on Saturday, caught by John Campbell at backward point off Roston Chase for a 104-ball 42.

Sibley got to his 50 off 164 deliveries but lost out to Shannon Gabriel soon after.

Joe Denly, 20, and Zack Crawley, 7, are the men at the crease with England 125-2.

England had resumed its second innings on 15-0 at the empty Rose Bowl in reply to West Indies' first-innings total of 318. Progress was slow in the morning with at one point only three runs off nine overs, and 64 runs from 30 overs overall in the session.

England scored 204 in its first innings of the rain-affected test.

Geoff Hurst said the football world has "lost one of the greats " as tributes poured in for Jack Charlton after the World Cup winner died aged 85 on Friday.

It was announced on Saturday that the Leeds United and England great had passed away following a long battle with ill health.

Charlton won 35 caps for England and was part of the squad that lifted the World Cup on home soil in 1966.

The inspirational centre-back made a record 773 appearances during 23 years with Leeds, winning the league title in 1969 as well as the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Fairs Cup twice.

Charlton went on to become a manager and led the Republic of Ireland to their first major tournament at the 1988 European Championship before masterminding a run to the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals.

Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in England's World Cup final win over West Germany, said Charlton will be hugely missed.

"Another sad day for football. Jack was the type of player and person that you need in a team to win a World Cup," he tweeted.

"He was a great and loveable character and he will be greatly missed. The world of football and the world beyond football has lost one of the greats. RIP old friend."

Paul McGrath and John Aldridge were key members of Charlton's Ireland squad and they expressed their sadness at his passing.

Former centre-back McGrath tweeted: "Absolutely gutted. Father figure to me for 10 years, thanks for having faith in me. Sleep well Jack, Love ya."

Aldridge, the prolific ex-Liverpool striker, posted on Twitter: "Absolutely gutted that BIG JACK has passed away! What a football man. Loved and adored, specially [sic] in Ireland.

"The best manager I was lucky to play for. The times we had on and off the pitch was priceless! My thoughts are with Pat and the family! RIP my good friend Never Forgotten !!"

A message on the Football Association of Ireland's Twitter account said: "The FAI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever."

A post from the England national teams on the same platform said: "We are devastated by the news that Jack Charlton, a member of our World Cup-winning team of 1966, has passed away. Our deepest sympathies are with Jack's family, friends and former clubs."

Tony Cascarino, who also played under Charlton for Ireland, also paid tribute.

"A very funny man, a very sensitive man, a very loyal man, a family man," Cascarino told talkSPORT.

"I knew he was bed-ridden over the past 19 days. It's very sad and I'd like to think I'd remember Jack for very happy reasons."

He added: "He was fabulous. It feels like I've lost a family member. Out of all the years I knew Jack, he never talked about winning the World Cup once; he never mentioned it."

Jack Charlton, who played a key role in England's 1966 World Cup triumph, has died at the age of 85.

Charlton, the brother of Manchester United great Bobby, was the Three Lions' fearless centre-half as Alf Ramsey's men claimed England's only World Cup triumph at Wembley with a 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany.

His international debut had come just a year earlier at the age of 29 in a playing career that started and ended at Leeds United.

Charlton was a pivotal figure in the Yorkshire club's rise from the second division to become one of the country's dominant forces.

In all, he made a record 773 appearances for Leeds over a 23-year period, helping them win the League title in 1969 as well as the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Fairs Cup twice.

After retiring in 1973, he accepted the role of Middlesbrough manager and promptly led the Teessiders to the Second Division title before spells at Sheffield Wednesday and boyhood club Newcastle United.

In early 1986, Charlton was appointed Republic of Ireland boss and within two years had guided the country to their first major tournament, Euro 88.

They also qualified for the World Cup finals in 1990 and memorably reached the quarter-finals before going down 1-0 to hosts Italy.

Qualification was also achieved for the World Cup in the United States four years later, Ireland impressing again with their commitment and team spirit on their way to a round of 16 exit to the Netherlands.

Having failed to qualify for Euro 96 - losing a play-off to the Dutch at Anfield - Charlton resigned shortly afterwards.

A Charlton family statement read: "Jack died peacefully on Friday 10 July at the age of 85.

"He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.

"As well as a friend to many, he was a much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

"We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.

"He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people.

"His loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives but we are thankful for a lifetime of happy memories."

West Indies racked up a 114-run first innings lead against England to take control of the first Test at the Rose Bowl on day three.

Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) led the way for the tourists, who benefitted from valuable contributions all the way down the order as they reached 318 all out on Friday.

That was in stark contrast to England's efforts as they were skittled for 204, although openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dug in to negotiate a tricky evening stint and reach stumps at 15-0.

Having made the most of bowling at England under leaden skies on Thursday, West Indies capitalised on the clouds parting to steadily compile a position of strength.

Denied helpful overhead conditions, the home attack were confronted by a fairly benign surface – one that meant Jofra Archer being denied an lbw verdict against Shai Hope due to overstepping was an error they could ill afford.

That moment in itself did not prove too costly as Hope was caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 16 after swiping at Dom Bess, the off-spinner who bowled tidily and also dismissed Jermaine Blackwood to claim 2-51.

But Archer would end the innings wicketless, with stand-in skipper Stokes (4-49) and James Anderson (3-62) sharing seven scalps.

Brathwaite could not turn his half-century into something more substantial, as he shuffled across to be trapped in front by Stokes, while Shamarh Brooks drove delightfully before edging Anderson behind to Jos Buttler for 39.

Roston Chase took on the anchor role – in stark contrast to Blackwood's devil-may-care efforts – and was trapped on the crease by Anderson when three shy of a richly deserved fifty.

Stokes removed opposite number Jason Holder cheaply and bowled Alzarri Joseph for a breezy 18, with Shannon Gabriel falling in similar fashion to Mark Wood.

Dowrich, who punished the England pacemen whenever they erred in line or length, was the penultimate man to fall, edging Stokes through to Buttler.

Gabriel, Holder and Kemar Roach found Burns and Sibley to be in resilient mood, although England will hope their hard yards have just begun.

 

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR BRATHWAITE

Brathwaite had not passed 50 in 21 Test innings heading into the series opener, meaning the prospect of skilled seam attack in English conditions with a Dukes ball might have filled him with dread. If it did, it certainly did not show, as he masterfully laid a platform. The 27-year-old slightly opening his stance, allowing him to access the on-side and confidently play the in-swinger, looks a shrewd adjustment.

TOIL AND LITTLE REWARD FOR ENGLAND QUICKS

Historically, this rivalry has been dominated by West Indies pacemen, so there was obvious excitement around England fielding two men capable of frequently hitting 90 miles per hour and beyond. However, Wood and Archer turned in combined figures of 1-135. The pair will surely fire in tandem at Test level soon – maybe even in the second innings here – but their struggles jarred as a brooding Stuart Broad watched on from the sidelines.

MOMENT OF THE DAY – ANDERSON HANGS ON TO REMOVE CAVALIER BLACKWOOD

West Indies day was a tale of patience and steady accumulation, very much classic Test cricket. The match situation encouraged Blackwood to try and take the action away from England, but his approach sat in hilarious contrast to his more measured team-mates. It felt like the 28-year-old played several expansive attacking shots for each of the 12 runs he ended up scoring, although Anderson's grab at mid-off to end a bizarre and entertaining interlude was as sharp as they come.

Roston Chase, 47, and Shane Dowrich, 61, helped the West Indies to a first-innings lead of 114 on day three of the first Test at Southampton on Friday.

The tourists lost Shamarh Brooks (39) and Jermaine Blackwood (12) soon after lunch to slip to 186-5 in reply to England's 204 all out, but recovered through Chase (27 not out) and Dowrich (30 not out) to be in a strong position to build a healthy lead at an empty Ageas Bowl.

Captain Jason Holder fell for just five, holing out to his opposite number, Ben Stokes, who ended with figures of 4-49.

Mark Wood finally got among the wickets to end with figures of 1-74.

James Anderson was involved in both of the wickets in the second session, firstly finding Brooks' edge for a caught behind. Brooks decided to review but UltraEdge showed a clear nick.

Five overs later, Anderson took a simple catch at mid-on to remove Blackwood, who tried to launch spinner Dom Bess into the deep.

Anderson ended with 3-62 and Bess, 2-51.

West Indies opening batsman, Kraigg Brathwaite, has admitted it was a bit of a relief to put runs on the board after heading into the ongoing series, against England, on the back of a lean spell.

With lots of talk heading into the Test focused around the ability of the West Indies top order, Brathwaite crafted an enterprising 65 from 125 balls.  Prior to that, the batsman averaged just 16 from his last six Tests, to see his overall average drop to 33.

Since the start of the series, however, Brathwaite has looked more in line with the player who had a solid performance for the West Indies in 2017, scoring 40 in the first Test, before adding scores of 134 and 95 in a surprise win for the team in the second.

“I’m very happy to have got a score.  It was tough, I was obviously thinking about getting runs, personally, it was tough.  What I tried to focus on was building that foundation for my team,” Brathwaite said of the innings.

“I know I could bat three hours in a game that’s what I was really focusing on.  It was a tough period, but I have accepted that you have to go through these periods to be good or great.  I just decided to keep my mind nice and strong and trust my ability,” he added.

Brathwaite's innings kickstarted the tourists reply to England's 204 all out, with the Caribbean side scoring 318 all-out to rack up a 114-run against England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

The West Indies had contributions all the way down their line-up with Shamarh Brooks, 39, John Campbell, 28, Shane Dowrich, 61, and Roston Chase, 47, all contributing to the total. There was even a nice cameo from Alzarri Joseph, 18.

England have responded to the West Indies lead with Rory Burns (10) and Dom Sibley (5), fighting off an onslaught of good bowling from Kemar Roach, Gabriel, and Holder.

West Indies stayed in control of the first test against England on Friday by reaching lunch on Day 3 at 159-3 to trail by 45 runs.

Resuming on 57-1, the touring side lost the wickets of Shai Hope (16) and Kraigg Brathwaite (65) but added 122 runs in the sunshine at an empty Rose Bowl to close in on England's first-innings total.

Shamarh Brooks (27) and Roston Chase (13) were the unbeaten batsmen at the end of the first session.

England's fast bowlers couldn't generate the same movement achieved by the West Indies' pace artillery over the first two rain-affected days, with the two quickest — Jofra Archer and Mark Wood — awaiting their first wickets.

Indeed, it was spinner Dom Bess who claimed the first wicket of the day in his first over, finding Hope's edge for Ben Stokes to take the catch at slip.

Hope had just been given a reprieve after being trapped in front of his stumps by Archer. The on-field umpire awarded an lbw but replays showed Archer overstepped the crease for a no-ball.

Stokes took the other West Indies wicket, trapping Brathwaite lbw. The tourists reviewed and the DRS stayed with the umpire's call as Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the bails.

England paceman Stuart Broad is "frustrated, angry and gutted" after missing out on selection for the first Test against West Indies at the Rose Bowl.

Broad was England's leading wicket-taker in the 2019-20 series victory in South Africa and the drawn Ashes series with Australia last year.

There was no place in the side for the 34-year-old in the first of three Tests versus the Windies, though, as James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood got the nod.

England's second-highest Test wicket-taker is at a loss to understand why he was left out in Southampton, missing out on a home Test for the first time since 2012.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm not a particularly emotional person but I've found the last couple of days quite tough.

"To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you're disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks.

"I'm frustrated, angry and gutted. It's difficult to understand. I've probably bowled the best I've ever bowled the last couple of years, I felt it was my shirt. I was in the team for the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.

Broad revealed he had asked national selector Ed Smith why he was not included.

He added: "I spoke to Ed Smith last night, he said he was involved in picking the 13 and this side was picked purely for this pitch. I wanted clarification on my future and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward.

"So yes, I was frustrated in the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team."

Broad knows his omission shows the strength in depth England can call upon.

"You can't argue the bowlers walking on that field don't deserve to play," Broad said. "Everyone deserves to play. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI.

"It's just annoying when it's not you that's in that XI. Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That's where selection has been tricky.

"It's great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks. It's the only way that England cricket moves forward and gets better. And with high competition in squads it keeps the standard high. Everyone is under pressure for their spots."

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