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October 31, 2006 2:00 am
Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry will complete a spectacular late rise from the ranks when he not only wins his first England cap against New Zealand on Sunday but is also one of three vice-captains, writes Huw Richards.
Perry, who was included in the team named on Monday by head coach Andy Robinson, is in only his second season as a full-time professional and was working as a welder until little more than a year ago. He was capped for England Counties during his time as a part-time player.
The 28-year-old is one of two new caps. The other is centre Anthony Allen, 20, who becomes the first of Gloucester's exciting clutch of youthful talents to break through at full international level. Coach Dean Ryan has warned against over-hyping, but agreed pre-season that Allen, already capped at several age-group levels, was the most mature of the group.
Both players will be the fourth to wear his particular shirt in five matches as England, with less than a year to go before their World Cup defence, desperately seek a winning formula. They will bring to 37 the number of players who have started for England in those five matches. Five more have made appearances from the bench.
Leicester prop Julian White's selection will make him the only player to have started all five. He is one of a quintet of Tigers forwards led by Martin Corry, who reclaims the captaincy after missing the summer tour to Australia. In return he will give up the number eight shirt to tour leader Pat Sanderson and will play at six. There are nine changes from the starting XV that lost 43-18 to Australia in Melbourne in June, eight from the group that started the 28-24 loss to Ireland at the end of the last Six Nations championship.
Damien Traille's 6ft 4in and 220lb might not very long ago have made him a lock or number eight forward and he has won almost all of his international caps at centre. But with Frederic Michalak not fully recovered from injury, the Biarritz giant has been named to play outside-half for France against the All Blacks on November 11.
*CRICKET England spinner Ashley Giles has been passed fit to take part in the Ashes Tour of Australia which begins next month.
The 33-year-old left-armer was an integral part of the side that won the Ashes in England last year but a series of operations on his hip forced him out of the game for 10 months.
Giles accompanied England's one-day squad to India for the Champions Trophy in order to continue his rehabilitation.
"Ashley has been through a tough time but he worked extremely hard in India and the medical team is very pleased with the progress he has made," said Kirk Russell, England physiotherapist.
"He bowled for extended periods in the nets, completed all the drills we set him without any reaction and is now fully fit and able to take his place in the Ashes squad."
The first of the five Ashes tests starts on November 23 in Brisbane.
*FOOTBALL David Beckham says he wants to stay at Real Madrid.
The former England captain, who has been playing as a substitute under coach Fabio Capello, has resumed contract negotiations with the Spanish team. His current contract finishes at the end of this season.
If Beckham has not signed a new contract by January, other teams can start bidding for him.
''If it gets to January, nothing changes. I am not leaving,'' Beckham said. ''I am not going anywhere in January. I want to stay because I believe we can win something this season.''
Luton defender Sol Davis is to undergo heart and brain scans after suffering a stroke on the team coach on Saturday.
The 27-year-old is in hospital in Cambridgeshire following the incident that occurred on the coach as it travelled to Ipswich.
Mike Newell, Luton manager, told the BBC: ''We spoke to Sol very briefly this morning and he's making a slow recovery."
Former Doncaster manager Dave Penney has been appointed Darlington's new manager.
Penney, 42, has been out of football since parting company with Rovers in August but returns to succeed David Hodgson at the 96.6 TFM Arena.
Craig Levein has been appointed the new manager of Dundee United after Craig Brewster left the Tannadice club "by mutual and amicable agreement".
The former Hearts and Leicester boss recently returned to management on a non-contract basis at Raith Rovers but has been given a two-and-a-half year contract with the Tayside club which id struggling at the bottom of the Bank of Scotland Premier League.
*TENNIS Roger Federer has pulled out of the Paris Masters tournament, which started on Monday, citing exhaustion.
The top seed, who celebrated a first title in his home town in the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basle on Sunday, is expected recover in time for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, which begins on November 12.
*OLYMPICS The 2012 Olympics will be a ''public transport Games'' with no carparking facilities at the main site in east London, say its organisers.
Launching the Olympic Transport Plan, Tessa Jowell, the Olympics Minister, said 80 per cent of visitors would travel by train. Another 15 per cent would arrive by coach from park-and-ride sites and the remaining 5 per cent would walk or cycle.
Olympic organisers yesterday unveiled a life-sized model of a 140mph ''Javelin'' train that is at the heart of the Olympics transport plan.
The train, which will go into passenger service in 2009, will transport spectators from central London to the Olympic site in Stratford in only seven minutes.
*RUGBY LEAGUE New Zealand could be docked the points gained from their Tri-Nations win over Great Britain after claims they fielded an ineligible player.
The dispute surrounds Australian-born hooker or half-back Nathan Fien, who played for Queensland in State of Origin five years ago but claimed to be eligible to represent New Zealand through a Kiwi grandmother.
The Rugby Football League has called for more information and says it is being briefed on the affair while Australian RL chief Geoff Carr confirmed that the game's international executive would discuss the situation.
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