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Lancaster wants success to mark real progress



RUGBY: Head coach Stuart Lancaster (pictured) accepts England must win this year's Six Nations to turn their progress through the tournament into tangible success. Since losing to France on the opening weekend, the English have posted impressive wins over Scotland and Ireland to propel them back into title contention.

Defending champions Wales visit Twickenham on Sunday in a pivotal fixture that Lancaster admits England dare not lose.

"I agree that we need to close the deal and win the tournament. It was the objective at the outset to try to win the tournament," he said.

"We didn't quite achieve what we wanted against France. That put us on the back foot. From that point on, we've used Wales as motivation, after they lost their first game against Ireland last year but went on to win the title.

"In order to win a championship you have got to win four straight after losing the first. No-one has won a title on three wins. If we can get the win on Sunday, it's still within our capability."


BOXING: Wembley Stadium will host Carl Froch's defence of his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles in a much-anticipated re-match with George Groves on May 31.

The two Brits will meet in the first bout to be contested under the arch of the new Wembley Stadium after Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the news today.

Hearn had previously said he was looking for an "audacious" venue to host the second meeting of Froch and Groves as Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff were also mooted.

Froch stopped Groves in the ninth round of their last contest but controversy followed with many experts suggesting referee Howard Foster stepped in when Groves was able to continue.

Froch kept hold of his belts despite being knocked to the mat by Groves in the opening round but, earlier this year, the IBF ordered a re-match. The decision will give Wembley staff a headache as the stadium would need to be fit for purpose having hosted England's friendly against Peru 24 hours earlier.

Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather has challenged Amir Khan to beat Adrien Broner on the undercard of his bout with Marcos Maidana on May 3 in order to earn a fight with the pound-for-pound king.


RUGBY: Mark Prendergast's three tries and Tommy Whittle's late penalty were the vital difference as St Gerard's edged out Gonzaga 18-17 in the Vinnie Murray Cup final at Templeville Road yesterday.

Prendergast crossed over the white line for his first try in the 23rd minute, the full-back Prendergast plunging over in the right corner.

Gonzaga scrum-half Nick Peters replied for his side and fly-half Ross McKeever (pictured) kicked the conversion for a 7-5 lead at the break.

In no time, wing Roddy Fitzpatrick found enough room to make the line. McKeever managed to convert from the touchline. St Gerard's were not prepared to be turned away, Prendergast showing up to sweep in for his second try in the 46th minute. McKeever slotted a penalty soon after to stretch it out to seven points, but Prendergast's hat-trick try kept the game on a knife-edge before Gerard's replacement Tommy Whittle's penalty turned the game their way.


TENNIS: Three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The American was joined in the enshrinement class by Dutch five-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck, coach Nick Bollettieri, executive Jane Brown Grimes and British broadcaster John Barrett. Davenport won the 1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open and 1996 Olympic gold medal to go with three Major doubles titles. She held the world number one ranking for 98 weeks in her career.


GAELIC GAMES: Brian Cuthbert has made four change to his team for Sunday's home NFL clash with Derry after beating All-Ireland champions, Dublin in their last Division 1 outing last Saturday.

Eoin Cadogan and Aidan Walsh will both line out for the Cork hurlers this weekend, with football captain Michael Shields and Andrew O'Sullivan coming in in their temporary absence.

Noel Galvin, who picked up a hamstring injury against Dublin, is replaced by Kevin O'Driscoll while Conor Dorman is out, with Tom Clancy coming in.

CORK (SF v Derry): K O'Halloran; A Cronin, M Shields, Tomás Clancy; J Loughrey, Tom Clancy, K O'Driscoll; F Goold, A O'Sullivan; M Collins, P Kerrigan, J O'Rourke; D Goulding, B Hurley, J Hayes.