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England players bowled over by media challenge

Gary Cahill won a darts mach against a journalist.

Kieran Trippier, left, Jesse Lingard, centre, and Trent Alexander-Arnold tried out tenpin bowling in Repino (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Kieran Trippier, left, Jesse Lingard, centre, and Trent Alexander-Arnold tried out tenpin bowling in Repino (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer, Repino

England’s World Cup media centre is proving right up the players’ alley, with Gary Cahill hitting the target on the darts as team-mates went bowling.

After years of tension between press and players, Gareth Southgate has been keen for his squad to embrace a relaxed, open relationship with journalists.

Last week’s Super Bowl-style media day epitomised that approach, as did the way players took to their first media duties at the Cronwell Park hotel in Repino.

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Kieran Trippier took the chance to test out his bowling skills (Owen Humphreys/PA)

No sooner had the players arrived together at the media centre that Jesse Lingard, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold tested out the bowling alley.

The media centre includes a pool table, table football, air hockey and even a PlayStation with FIFA18 on it, but it was the chance to take to the alley that took the players’ fancy.

However, England will be hoping to have a better strike rate in Monday’s Group G opener against Tunisia.

Several attempts ended in the gutter as Lingard looked the most impressive, while Cahill proved a dab hand at the oche.

After players batted back questions at Euro 2016 about the team’s darts tournament to the chagrin of some reporters, the centre-back took on a journalist in a darts challenge.

Cahill comfortably rose to the occasion, raising his arms in the air after sealing victory. The pair shared a sporting handshake afterwards.

Press Association

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