Kepu, Roets back for Waratahs’ Japanese story

Front-row veteran Sekope Kepu has been cleared of injury and giant South Afrian second-rower Le Roux Roets will be thrown into the selection mix for the Waratahs' trip to Japan this week.

Adam Ashley-Cooper looks almost certain to sit out the round with a head knock, but the Waratahs emerged otherwise unscathed from their first-round heartbreaker at Brookvale Oval, with Kepu feeling no major ill effects after a hit to the throat.

Easing back: Adam Ashley-Cooper looks set to miss the Waratahs’ second game of the season. Credit:AAP

Ashley-Cooper took part in the team's recovery session at Clovelly Beach on Monday morning but defence coach Steve Tandy confirmed the veteran centre would observe return-to-play protocols after a crunching tackle at the end of the Hurricanes' loss. Given the team fly out on Wednesday night, the coaches may choose to rule him out early.

Kepu's clearance and Roets' availability are good news for a pack that has work to do if they are to compete with the best this season.

The NSW lineout functioned at 77 per cent and scrum at 75 per cent, both well below last year's rates of 88 per cent (lineout) and 90 per cent (scrum). Despite a strong effort from the debutant props – one of them, Chris Talakai, was a part-time squad member up until January – to win a penalty in the dying minutes of the match, forwards coach Simon Cron will be going back to basics with his tight five this week.

Starting loosehead Harry Johnson-Holmes, who benefited from 18 games off the bench last year, said the pack were pleased with their round-one efforts but knew there was scope for major improvement.

Can do better: Harry Johnson-Holmes (centre) concedes the NSW scrum has work to do after their opening loss to the Hurricanes. Credit:AAP

"The Hurricanes boast a pretty impressive forward pack and we knew that going into the game," Johnson-Holmes said.

"To give our backs an ability to defend well and strike and to defend well and not be under too much pressure, we knew we had to take it to them, not just absorb everything but try to take it to them in the set piece, so I think we did well there.

"The lineout did very well, there's a few things to tweak with the scrums but that comes with a bit of inexperience and connection stuff."

Tandy issued a pass mark for defence, but with 14 penalties conceded to the Hurricanes' 12, the Welshman kept the praise low-key.

"It was a decent start point for us defensively. We had to defend a lot of sets," he said.

"Discipline is something we have to look at. We conceded too many soft penalties and gave the Hurricanes a little too much field position, but I thought the way the boys fronted up and had to defend for long periods, that they've done that pretty well."

The Sunwolves pose a different challenge. The Tony Brown-coached team gave up a 10-3 lead to concede five tries to the Sharks, but their trademark positive style will challenge the Waratahs to be accurate and conscientious in defence.

"I watched the Sharks game, I know it was 45-10 on the scoreboard but they had some opportunities to score more points and they were 10-3 up," Tandy said.

"They're really lively and they do play, they're very positive. If a couple of things stick and we're not on the money defensively they'll score points."

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Gigi Hadid Prepares For London Fashion Week

Gigi Hadid gets out of her ride wearing a matching denim trench and pants look on Sunday (February 17) in London.

The 23-year-old model completed her look with fun animal print booties.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Gigi Hadid

The day before, Gigi wore a turtleneck sweater with over-sized sleeves that had a woman print on one side as she visited the Burberry offices.

Gigi is gearing up to walk in shows during London Fashion Week. She was last seen on the runway for Marc Jacobs show during New York Fashion Week last week.

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Sanchez blasts Mourinho for him losing confidence and says atmosphere ‘wasn’t healthy’ under former Man Utd boss

The Portuguese manager was sacked in December and replaced by caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid reports of dressing-room unrest at Old Trafford.

Sanchez was lured to United from rivals Arsenal by Mourinho in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan last January but quickly fell out of favour in Manchester.

The 30-year-old, who admitted he has to start justifying his £505,000-a-week wages, believes his problems at United stem from losing his confidence under Mourinho.

Speaking to the BBC, Sanchez said: "Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world, in the way that he coaches, how he studies videos, the way he goes about things.

"But within the group there was that feeling that you were in the team, then out. Sometimes I didn't play, then I did, then I didn't and as a player you lose confidence.

Alexis Sanchez's stats in all competitions this season

Games played: 19

Games started: 10

Minutes played:  951

Goals: 2

Assists: 4

Chances created: 24

Shot conversion rate: 9.52%

Passing accuracy: 74.26%

"Then an atmosphere was created that wasn't healthy."

He added: "I've played football since I was five and if I have the ball taken away from me, it's as if I lose my joy."

Sanchez's problems at United have continued under interim boss Solskjaer, with Red Devils legend Paul Ince branding the Chilean "nothing short of a disgrace."

While the winger believes his struggles are down to a lack of confidence, Arsenal hero Paul Merson believes Sanchez has lost his hunger.

He told Soccer Saturday: "I hope we see the old Sanchez, but I don't see the confidence or the hunger in his eyes anymore.

"The first thought that used to come to mind when you mentioned Alexis Sanchez was that he worked his socks off, he put a shift in.

"For the quality he possesses as a player, he works as hard as anyone, but I don't see that anymore.

"Sanchez has lost that hunger and it's a shame. It's sad because he was good."

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Celebs gorge on junk food for 21 days for TV show experiment – and suffer anxiety attacks, severe stomach pains and narrowly avoid having a STROKE

That's what six brave celebrities signed up for when they agreed to take part in ITV's new show The Junk Food Experiment.

For 21 days they ponged into overladen burgers, fried chicken and pizza – Britain’s top three favourite junk foods – for lunch and dinner, eating 50 per cent more calories than they needed.

And the toll it took on their bodies in such a short space of time is truly shocking.

Former Made in Chelsea star Hugo Taylor became so stressed by the regime he began suffering anxiety attacks, while former Olympian Tessa Sanderson was advised to stop as she was at risk of suffering a stroke.

Ex-Corrie actress Hayley Tamaddon, who has battled with irritable bowel syndrome in the past, also struggled with the diet as the fatty foods aggravated her symptoms, causing her to suffer severe stomach pains which left her in tears.

Dr Enam Abood, a weight management specialist who examined Hayley, said he was "worried and concerned that the damage this junk food is doing might not be reversible".

The extreme trial takes place under the eye of dietary expert Dr Michael Mosley, who also took part by gorging on a 6,000 calorie mega burger – more than double a man's recommended daily intake.

As he munched he was monitored by Dr Matthew Campbell, a nutrition expert from Leeds University.

"Halfway through the meal, I was ready to quit and I wondered, for a brief moment, if I might actually die," Dr Mosley told the Daily Mail.

"I was astonished at how dreadful it made me feel."

He reported that his heart rate soared because his body was working so hard to digest all that food, while his core temperature jumped and his level of blood fats more than doubled.

Ultrasound checks showed the junk-food binge also temporarily reduced the elasticity of his arteries, putting him at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Brits scoff a stomach-churning 22 million takeaway meals a week – made easier by the estimated 56,000 junk-food outlets out there in England alone.

Singer Peter Andre, The Chase's Shaun Wallace and MP Nadine Dorries also took part in the experiment.

Every seven days they underwent a full-body MOT which included over 60 different medical tests designed by experts to reveal exactly what is happening to them.

They also recorded how they were feeling in 24-7 video diaries.

Throughout the three weeks the celebrities piled on an average of 1.7 lb on the processed diet, for which they consumed an average of 500 extra calories a day.

Peter Andre, a self-confessed lover of junk food, began with eating burgers every day – which prompted wife Emily to ban him from the living room due to the stench it caused.

"It even smells in bed," she complains.

When Peter underwent medical tests to measure the effects, the results suggested fat was building around his vital organs.

MP Nadine said scoffing burgers every day, including during a dinner with the Prime Minister, left her feeling "horrible" and concerned for the toll it was taking on her brain as well as her body.

"I’ve got a headache, I’ve got tremor in my fingers, and I just feel ghastly," she admitted.

"I’m about to go into the chamber in the House Of Commons to give a speech on childhood obesity. Normally I just deliver it myself from my head. I don’t trust myself to do that tonight, I’ve written it out. So for the first time in years I'll be reading from a speech."

Fast food "junkie" Shaun Wallace, whose parents had diabetes Type 2, took part in the experiment to see the impact his unhealthy habit was having on his body.

During the study he was diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea, and Dr Ian E Smith, from the Royal Papworth Sleep Clinic, told him he is stopping breathing for up to 10 seconds at a time, putting him at risk of a stroke.

With some of the celebrities forced to pull out of the experiment on medical grounds at the risk of doing irreversible damage, the overall impact on their bodies is far more devastating than anyone would have thought possible.

The Junk Food Experiment airs on ITV on Wednesday 27 February at 9pm.

We previously revealed what a week of junk food REALLY does to your body.

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Annalise Is In For A Rude Awakening About Her Boss On ‘HTGAWM’

The season finale of How to Get Away with Murder is fast approaching, and it looks like there’s still plenty of drama in store. Fans still don’t know who killed Nate Sr. on HTGAWM, although it’s looking pretty unlikely that the late D.A. Miller was involved. And while Annalise seems determined to blame things on Governor Birkhead, it looks like she might not be responsible, either. In fact, Birkhead says the responsibility for Nate’s dad’s death lies with Emmett Crawford, Annalise and Tegan’s boss at Caplan & Gold.

Emmett’s been becoming a bigger and bigger player in the show lately. But if he’s responsible for Nate Sr.’s death, that would definitely be a surprising twist. He’s always seemed to be on Annalise’s side, with both Tegan and Annalise’s mother, Ophelia, implying that he might even be interested in her. So why would he orchestrate a hit on Nate’s dad, just before his transfer and release?

Some fans seem to think this could all be Emmett’s way to get Annalise to go back to Caplan & Gold. Although, really, would a murder be necessary for that? Emmett may be a somewhat soulless lawyer, but that doesn’t mean he’s just going around having innocent men killed.

Then again, it’s possible that Governor Birkhead isn’t telling Annalise the truth. She hasn’t been around much this season, and she hasn’t been on Annalise’s side in the past. Placing the blame on Emmett could be her way of introducing a new suspect (Annalise’s trusted courtroom tactic), so that the FBI doesn’t end up coming after her.

And if Emmett is responsible, how is Birkhead the only one who knows about it? And why is the governor telling Annalise this information, instead of taking it straight to the FBI to save her own reputation? The governor’s name has been linked to Miller’s death in the news at this point, and even Miller’s mom seems to know what’s going on. It’s hard to see why Birkhead would let all of the negative reports continue, if she had a way to stop them.

Regardless of whether Emmett is innocent, though, Birkhead’s claim should be enough to stop the apparently brewing sexual tension between Emmett and Annalise, at least at least for now. Honestly, this is why Annalise told her mom that she doesn’t want to let more men into her life. Emmett could be on the fast track to being as much of a bad guy as Sam was.

And who knows — maybe Annalise will take up her mom’s offer and marry Nate, so that they don’t have to testify against one another. That was one heck of a theory for Ophelia to come up with, and it actually might work.

If Emmett did have something to do with Nate Sr.’s death, though, Tegan is sure to side with Annalise. She played FBI Agent Telesco in order to give Annalise more time to come up with a plan, so she’s definitely on Annalise’s side. Whether they’re going up against Birkhead or even their boss, these two are an unstoppable pair — and that’s the kind of solidarity Annalise needs right now.

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Ex-England ace Mason calls for kids to be banned from heading footballs after being forced to retire aged 26 from fractured skull

Former England midfielder Mason saw his career cut short at the age of 26 as a result of fracturing his skull in a sickening clash of heads with Gary Cahill while playing for Hull at Chelsea.

Since then Mason has taken a keen interest in head injuries and the potential for damage to be caused playing football.

And he wants the English game to follow the lead of America, where heading is banned for kids under the age of 11 and strict limits in place until players are 13.

Mason told BBC London: "If you have got a seven or eight-year-old heading a solid ball, and his brain and his bone in his skull isn't fully developed, then that could potentially be doing damage.

"I look at some kids and they head the ball with the top of the head and their technique is all wrong, therefore the pressure that it's putting on the brain is a lot more.

"I don't think kids should be heading real balls.

"The older you get, you get more experience and your heading technique gets better.

"Maybe bring in sponge balls to learn the technique and gain that experience of actually challenging for a header.

"I don't think repetitive heading at a young age is doing the kids any good, that's for sure.

"America is probably more advanced than England in terms of research, and they've taken the measure of actually banning it up to a certain age.

"So maybe we can follow those footsteps over here to protect our young kids."

Mason is currently working as a youth coach at former club Tottenham, and is hoping his message will gain wider support in the future.

The PFA have already shown their backing, and have called for restrictions to be put in place for youngsters to head the ball until there is a greater understanding of the long-term health risks.

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No Toivonen again for A-League’s Victory

Swedish striker Ola Toivonen has been left in Australia as Melbourne Victory chase an A-League win in Auckland on Friday night.

Victory, without Toivonen and captain Carl Valeri, were beaten handily by leaders Perth last weekend.

They confront Wellington with the suspended Terry Antonis also on the outer.

Ola Toivonen will not travel to New Zealand with Victory.Credit:AAP

While Valeri’s absence (hamstring) was expected, coach Kevin Muscat was hoping to have his towering forward join the team in New Zealand.

Instead, the Swede will miss a third straight week, continuing the club’s shocking run with injuries to foreigners this season.

Keisuke Honda missed seven weeks with a hamstring issue, with Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena restricted to just six starts each due to various ailments.

The absence of Toivonen, who has scored 10 goals in his 13 appearances, continues a curious pattern of injury explanations from Victory.

The 32-year-old was understood as rested for the round 16 win over Central Coast after a knock in training.

While insisting he was still likely to play, Muscat flagged his possible absence from the round 17 loss to Glory before leaving him out of the squad.

After the match, he explained his absence as a flow-on effect of that knock.

"He has not been able to remove the blood around the bone enough to get full range," he said.

"The blood has calcified around the bone and it’s just a waiting game for it to move and then get his full range … he’s not far away but it just seems like an eternity."

Meanwhile, not all is settled in the Phoenix camp, with Mark Rudan’s future beyond this season appearing to be on shaky ground after the in-demand coach’s refusal to commit to seeing out his contract.

On the eve of Friday night's match, Rudan said he was finding it hard to cope with being apart from his Sydney-based family.

He also wants assurances that Phoenix’s management will improve aspects of the team’s off-field operations, or he will leave with a season to run on his two-year deal.

Losing Rudan would be a body blow for the long-suffering Kiwi club, which has made vast improvements this season.

The 43-year-old has previously hinted at finding it harder than expected to be apart from his wife and sons, and spoke openly about that when pressed by journalists on Thursday.

Rudan conceded he was in talks about his future but wouldn’t comment on speculation linking him to expansion club Western United.

"I’ve got a personal situation I have to resolve, and pretty soon as well," Rudan said.

"I’ve got two teenage kids who need their dad around and a dad who needs them around too."


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Robbie Tarrant sent for scans on AC joint

North Melbourne key defender Robbie Tarrant is undergoing scans on his AC joint after copping a knock during the Kangaroos' intra-club game at Arden Street on Wednesday morning.

The extent of the injury to the 29-year-old is unclear at this stage with the club expected to know more later on Wednesday afternoon.

Sent for scans: Robbie Tarrant.Credit:AAP

Tarrant has been selected to play in the AFLX competition that lost Hawthorn's Chad Wingard, Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray and Fremantle's Joel Hamling within the past 24 hours as they stuggle to overcome minor injuries.

The competitive hitout saw running defender Sam Wright involved in a heavy collision with key forward Nick Larkey in a marking contest.

Both players hit the ground hard with Wright dislocating his finger in the incident and Larkey appearing concussed as he left the ground. Larkey did not reappear.

Several Kangaroos players sat out the game with Jack Ziebell, Jasper Pittard and Mason Wood all overcoming niggling calf injuries while Todd Goldstein was missing for personal reasons.

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Call for law to curb 'creeping influence' from hostile foreign powers

The government is being urged to draw up legislation to force lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and others who do work for foreign governments such as Russia to register their activities.

Conservative MP Bob Seely told Sky News he is campaigning for the new law to end what he described as an “unhealthy, creeping influence” from hostile foreign powers.

The security services are understood to be keen on a UK version of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in the United States. It requires individuals that work for foreign states to disclose that relationship and provide information about it.

A cross-government review is under way in the UK to identify any gaps in the current system that need filling, a Whitehall source said.

Mr Seely, a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, thinks the gap is clear and requires new legislation to fix.

“Our system is too open to manipulation from those in and around the political system,” he said in a statement.

“It’s now clear that we need a Foreign Agents Act, which lists those people and organisations, PR types, bankers, lawyers and reputation peddlers, etc, who act for foreign states or their proxies in influencing government and public policy.”

The MP, a former soldier and an expert on Russian unconventional warfare, said he wants all MPs and members of the House of Lords to be banned from doing any paid lobbying for foreign governments.

“Our democracy needs to be open and transparent. There is an unhealthy, creeping influence in our political system. We need to treat this now,” he said.

Bill Browder, a Kremlin critic who describes himself as President Vladimir Putin’s number one enemy, said he agreed with Mr Seely’s call.

“It is a huge gap in the legislation which needs to be fixed urgently,” the American-born British financier said in an interview.

“In a globalised world and with London as one of the central nodes, foreigners are much more active here than they ever have been before, therefore you need some type of legislation to control that.”

Asked what the danger was if the government did not act, Mr Browder said: “Then you have dictators and kleptocrats effectively corrupting our system.”

Mr Browder is due to give evidence on Wednesday to the foreign affairs committee.

He said he planned to raise the impact of foreign influence on UK decision-making on Russia.

Mr Browder said he is concerned that the UK has yet to sanction any Russian individual suspected of gross human rights violations under a “Magnitsky amendment” to new sanctions legislation that was passed last year.

“I would argue that the reason no individuals have been sanctioned is because of the pollution of the political process by foreign influence,” Mr Browder said.

The amendment was named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer – employed by Mr Browder – who was arrested in 2008 after alleging that Russian officials were involved in large-scale tax fraud.

He died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after complaining of mistreatment.

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Miley Cyrus Stood In For Liam Hemsworth At His Movie Premiere For This Sweet Reason

Marriage means being there for your spouse in sickness and in health, and this week, Miley Cyrus had the chance to step up for Liam Hemsworth when he needed her. On Monday night, Cyrus attended the Isn’t It Romantic premiere on Hemsworth’s behalf when he was sick, and she shared the news with fans with the sweetest tweet about the situation.

In the movie, which also stars Rebel Wilson and Adam DeVine, Hemsworth plays Blake, one of Wilson’s character’s love interests. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make it to the premiere — according to what Wilson told USA Today, Hemsworth was in the hospital overnight, although it’s not clear what he was suffering from. But Cyrus was there to step up and be there for him in his absence.

Sharing a photo of herself wearing a red Valentino gown on the red carpet at the premiere, Cyrus tweeted:

Later, Hemsworth took to Instagram to share a photo of Cyrus and Wilson on the red carpet, thanking his wife for representing him at the premiere. He wrote:

How sweet is that? Whatever Hemsworth was dealing with sounds like a real bummer, but it’s good to hear that he’s taking the time he needs to recover — even if it means missing out on the premiere for his newest movie.

Talking to Entertainment Tonight at the event, Cyrus didn’t go into detail about her husband’s illness, but she did say that Hemsworth was busy "getting healthy" and that he needed to take care of himself for now.

"Liam’s feeling good. He has to, you know, rest up, but he loves this film. He’s so proud of it and I really wanted to be able to represent it for him," she said, later joking, "I had my dress already and I couldn’t let it go to waste."

Hopefully, Hemsworth gets well soon, and in the meantime, it seems like he’s in good hands with Cyrus taking care of him. They’ve only been married for a couple of months and they’ve already gotten the teamwork thing down.

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