Sportsday - Thursday 21 February

Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle & Spurs prepare for the Europa League and England make three changes for Six Nations clash with France.

21 February 2013 Last updated at 17:04 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1700: 

    That's it for Sportsday Live. Head over to the football pages where our live text commentary is up and running for tonight's Europa League action. Sportsday will return at 0800 GMT tomorrow morning.

  2. 1655: 

    Fernando Alonso, who finished the day as fastest of the runners on the penultimate day of the second pre-season test.

    "We concentrated on a comparison of the (tyre) compounds, starting with the soft and moving on to the hard in the afternoon," he said.

    "We tried various aerodynamic configurations and for the first time, we made some set-up changes to get a good understanding of tyre behaviour and degradation.

    "We will have a lot of work to do to understand how best to balance the car, but that applies to all the teams."

  3. 1647: 

    Leanda Cave, the 2012 Ironman and Half-Ironman world champion, has been diagnosed with skin cancer. The 34-year-old Welsh athlete made the announcement on her Twitter account on Thursday, saying: "I was just diagnosed with a skin cancer this morning." She added it was not life-threatening and urged people to wear hats and sunscreen.

  4. 1638: 

    South Africa's top detective is to take over the Oscar Pistorius inquiry amid attempted murder accusations against current lead officer Hilton Botha.

    Detective Botha was removed pending the result of an investigation into seven counts of attempted murder.

    National police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega announced the change after a third day of testimony at Pistorius's bail hearing. Pistorius, 26, denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29

  5. 1630: 

    Danica Patrick has become the first woman to take pole position at Nascar's most prestigious race, the Daytona 500. Ahead of the race on Sunday, she said: "I've been lucky enough to make history, be the first woman to do many things. I really just hope that I don't stop doing that. We have a lot more history to make."

  6. 1620: 

    The forecast WGC Match Play Championship, which has suffered delays because of heavy snow and then frost, is looking positive for the rest of the tournament.

    PGA Tour's on-site meteorologist Stewart Williams: "We'll stay in the 50s (F) the next couple of days, back to the low 60s on Saturday, and then probably upper 50s again on Sunday as another little weak front goes by.

    "But it doesn't look like it has any moisture with it, so it's just going to drop our temperature a few degrees. Unfortunately we'll have below normal temperatures for the rest of the week, but at least we'll have some sun."

    Andrew Benson, BBC Sport's chief F1 writer

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the pace on the penultimate day of the second pre-season test. The Spanish double world champion lapped Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya in one minute 21.875 seconds, 0.285secs quicker than Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg.

    Lotus's Romain Grosjean was third, 0.313secs behind Alonso with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg fourth. McLaren's Jenson Button was seventh quickest, 0.965secs off the pace.


    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson: "Haven't got all the lap times from runs yet but a snapshot from l24-l54 of Webber and Grosjean's race sims suggests Lotus was faster."

  9. 1610: 

    Wales' Becky James clocks 34.133 seconds in the women's 500m time-trial at the World Championships in Minsk. You can follow all the action via our live video and text commentary.


    Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell: "Still a lot of melting to do around the golf course here in Tucson. No play before 1130 (1830 GMT) earliest. The sun is out!"

  11. 1559: 

    Former Rangers winger Mark Walters has urged Rangers to be "selfish" and seek an exit route from Scottish football. "That would definitely be a more commercially viable route and, down in England, it seems as though Rangers were a bit harshly treated in some respects, Walters tells the Rangers website. "I don't think it would be a bad thing if they tried to get in, although I understand the problems there would be in Scotland if Rangers left the game there." Walters made more than 100 appearances for Rangers between 1987 and 1991.

  12. 1547: 

    Bradford City and former England Under-21 winger Zavon Hines has set his sights on playing for Jamaica after helping the League Two club reach the League Cup final. "I did play for England Under-21s because both myself and my agent at the time thought it would be better exposure for me," said Hines, who hopes to start Sunday's final at Wembley against Swansea City. "But I am fully Jamaican. "If Jamaica came for me, I would definitely go back."

  13. 1538: 
    Richard Hibbard

    Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard will notch a career-first in Rome on Saturday when he makes the starting line-up for two successive Tests for Wales. Hibbard made his Wales debut more than six years ago but has been forced down the pecking order by the likes of like Matthew Rees, Huw Bennett, Rhys Williams and Gareth Williams. "It has been a long road, not very smooth," said Hibbard ahead of the Six Nations game with Italy. "There have been ups and downs along the way, normally with my weight! But it is starting to go well at the moment."

  14. 1526: 

    Tottenham Hotspur: "Harry Kane has joined Leicester City on loan until the end of the season & has signed a new contract until 2017."

  15. 1524: 

    The Football Association will fly the flag of St George at half-mast at the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday in tribute to World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore, 20 years since his death from liver and colon cancer, aged just 51.

  16. 1518: 

    Free-scoring Scotland must brush up on the dirtier side of their game before they can claim to be true Six Nations challengers, wing Tim Visser has warned. Scotland notched two touchdowns in their opening defeat to England before running in another four in their 34-10 success over Italy last time out. But Visser said: "We need to look at the tackle contests, our defence, our breakdown. Those are all important areas we need to improve on." Scotland host Ireland on Sunday.

  17. 1513: 

    Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez says 21-year-old striker Callum McManaman can play a key role in the club's fight for Premier League survival. McManaman has yet to start a Premier League game but capped a fine performance with a goal in last week's FA Cup fifth round 4-1 win at Huddersfield.

    "We're delighted that Callum is developing into an impressive young footballer and he's going to be very important for us until the end of the season," said Martinez. Wigan are three points from safety and are away to fellow strugglers Reading on Saturday.

  18. 1505: 

    Gary Lineker: "Great news after last night's defeat for Barca. Abidal has recovered sufficiently well to return to action."


    How will Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle get on in the Europa League? Keep your thoughts coming #bbcsportsday

    Dean Clarke: "Chelsea will cruise through, Spurs as well. Liverpool to go through on penalties and Newcastle will crash out."

    Jon Mackenzie: "No matter the result, it's far-fetched to call a last 32 Europa League game a famous Anfield night. It'll be forgotten next year."

    Mathew Coombes: "If Zenit score one goal then Liverpool must score four because of the away goal. Very tough task."

  20. 1455: 

    Blackpool announce Alex Rae has agreed to join Paul Ince's coaching staff at the Championship club. Rae, who has left his position as chief scout at MK Dons, played alongside Ince at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

  21. 1453: 

    BBC Sport understands that two of the Tottenham fans injured in the last night's attack on an English pub in Lyon have been released from hospital. The third is expected to be discharged later this afternoon. All three received minor injuries and are believed to be well enough to attend the Europa League game in the city this evening.


    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Lotus's Romain Grosjean well into a race-simulation run at moment, having already done 3 stops. Mark Webber also on a long run; not sure if a sim."

  23. 1447: 

    Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni will captain Italy in Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales, taking over from Sergio Parisse.

    Parisse is serving a 40-day ban - 10 days of which were suspended - after being sent off playing for his club Stade Francais in a French Top 14 game against Bordeaux-Begles last weekend.

  24. 1442: 

    Tottenham goalkeeper Jordan Archer signs a new contract committing his future to the club until 2015. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, where he has made 21 appearances, having enjoyed a successful loan spell at Bishops Stortford last term."

  25. 1437: 

    The WGC Match Play Championship has been hit by another delay with frost pushing the start of play back an hour to 15:30 GMT.

    On Wednesday, play was abandoned when heavy snowfall fell at desert state Arizona's Dove Mountain course.

  26. 1432: 

    Six-time snooker world championship finalist Jimmy White has tweeted to say he has made a maximum 147 in a practice match.

  27. 1426: 

    Tranmere Rovers sign Stoke striker Mamady Sidibe on loan for the remainder of the season, reports BBC North West Sport. The 33-year-old scored once in 10 games for Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season.


    Can Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle make it through to the Europa League's Round of 16? Let us know #bbcsportsday

    Matthew Dreze: "Tottenham and Newcastle both have a tough evening ahead and either could be sent crashing out. Liverpool are the ones to watch."

    Max Bryson: "Liverpool are a team for these sorts of occasions. Remember the Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal' against Chelsea!"

    Rashda: "Chelsea will cruise through to next round & showcase what they're hoping to deliver on Sunday against Man City."

  29. 1421: 

    Barnsley sign Manchester United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe on loan after Scott Golbourne is ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery, reports BBC Radio Sheffield.

  30. 1417: 

    Salford City Reds confirm the loan signing of prop Darrell Griffin from champions Leeds Rhinos. The 31-year-old will stay with the Reds for a month and could make his debut against Hull KR on Sunday.

  31. 1411: 

    The bail hearing of Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been adjourned and will resume for a fourth day in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday. It will continue at 0800 GMT on Friday with Pistorius spending another night in police custody. You can catch up on news from the hearing with the BBC's live text service.

  32. 1405: 

    And the 11 cyclists who have won individual gold for GB at the Track Cycling World Champs since 2000 are: Hoy, Swift, Pendleton, Trott, Kenny, Clancy, Wiggins, Romero, Staff, Newton and McGregor.

  33. 1359: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "There are five finals in total in tonight's evening session on day two of the Track Cycling World Championship, with Britain going for gold against Australia in the women's team pursuit final.

    "The racing starts when Becky James and Vicky Williamson both go in the 500m time trial at 1900 FET or 1600 GMT. Then Irish rider Martyn Irvine goes for gold against defending champion Michael Hepburn in the final of the men's individual pursuit.

    "After the women's team pursuit final, Owain Doull goes in the men's 15km scratch race and the evening concludes with the men's team sprint finals, sadly not involving Britain after they finished sixth in qualifying."


    Can Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle make it through to the Europa League's Round of 16? Let us know #bbcsportsday

    Keith Salmon: "Liverpool don't need an early goal, they need to not concede an early goal. Patience is the key and quality at top end of pitch."

    Will: "If there's as much intensity on the pitch as there is on the Kop, no problem in getting through."

    Andrew Reid on Twitter: "Man Utd to win CL. Tottenham to win Europa League. English teams this year."

  35. 1349: 

    Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has agreed to join Surrey this summer. "I'm exceptionally excited to come to such a proud and traditional club as Surrey," he told BBC London 94.9. "I've only had the opportunity to play county cricket once before and it was a short little stint that I had at Somerset."

  36. 1347: 

    Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been cleared to play after almost a year out to undergo a liver transplant. "After this morning's training session Eric Abidal has received the welcome news that he has the medical all-clear and is therefore available to the team for the final part of the season," Barca said in a statement on their website. David Villa has also returned to training after injury.

  37. 1341: 

    More from the BBC's live text service at the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing: "Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is starting his closing arguments in the bail hearing. Reports suggest it is unlikely the judge will rule on Mr Pistorius's bail application today."

  38. 1339: 

    Swansea City's Garry Monk on the news that Chico Flores will miss Sunday's League Cup final against Bradford City tells BBC Sport: "We all feel for Chico. It's never nice to see, especially when it's so close to a big game. I know he would have been looking forward to it and no one wishes that on any player. We're all competing for places but no one wants to see that happen to a player who had a real good chance of starting a final."

  39. 1332: 

    Conference strugglers Lincoln City have told BBC Radio Lincolnshire's Rob Makepeace that they want their next manager to "get the supporters back on the clubs side". They also revealed that they want to appoint someone before the away match at Woking on 2 March after David Holdsworth left by mutual consent.

  40. 1324: 

    Today's meeting at Ayr goes ahead after a third inspection.

  41. 1322: 

    Ian Poulter tweets from the snow-hit WGC Match Play in Arizona: "Here we go, the 1 hourly delays are now in affect until this white blanket lifts and allows us some action."

  42. 1316: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Cahmpionships in Minsk: "Britain's wait for a first world men's team sprint gold medal since 2005 goes on after their trio of Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Kian Emadi could only finish sixth in qualifying in Minsk.

    "Hindes got off to a good start with an opening lap of 17.525 seconds, and GB were second with 30.339 after Kenny's lap but 20-year-old Emadi, riding as Sir Chris Hoy's replacement at man three, could not maintain that pace and Britain came home in 44.270 seconds. It will be interesting to see how Emadi's time compares to his usual third laps, and whether riding the 1km time trial on Wednesday affected him. New Zealand were fastest with 43.580s and will face Germany for gold tonight. France and Australia will battle for bronze."

  43. 1312: 

    World number nine Samantha Stosur's season of woe continued at the Dubai Championships when she crashed out in the quarter-finals following a 6-2 6-4 defeat by Italian Roberta Vinci. The Australian has lost more matches than she has won this year, with her win-loss record standing at 5-7, after she produced an error-strewn performance under the searing desert sun that left her frequently yelling in frustration.

  44. 1307: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "New Zealand and Germany into gold medal race in men's team sprint. France & Australia go for bronze. Russia finished 5th, GB 6th."

  45. 1302: 

    More from the BBC's live text service at the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing: "A quick update on the "commotion" outside the bail hearing in Pretoria. Things have settled down and the judge has returned. Barry Roux, for the defence, is continuing with his case for bail, arguing for Mr Pistorius's release in the interests of justice."

  46. 1257: 
    Chico Flores

    Defender Chico Flores has lost his battle to be fit for Sunday's League Cup final against Bradford City at Wembley, BBC Sport's Juliette Ferrington has tweeted. The Spaniard injured his ankle during the 4-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on 9 February.

  47. 1250: 

    BBC Sport's Juliette Ferrington: "Chico out of League Cup final. Estimated recovery for injury is 4-8 wks, Laudrup: "He realised today it is much too soon."

  48. 1246: 

    The BBC's live text service at the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing: "We're hearing from the BBC's Andrew Harding that the magistrate is calling for an abrupt adjournment of the hearing, mentioning a "threat of some kind" outside courtroom."

  49. 1243: 

    More from BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "The last lot of qualifying has just started at the Minsk Arena - that's for the men's team sprint. Great Britain go in the fourth of eight heats with Olympic gold medallists Phil Hindes and Jason Kenny joined by one of the new kids on the British Cycling block, Kian Emadi. The 20-year-old from Stoke is at his first senior world championships and finished fourth in the 1km time trial on Wednesday."

  50. 1240: 

    Portsmouth's future as a Football League club will be decided by 19 April, a High Court judge has said. The League One side have been in administration for over a year and will be expelled if they are not taken over before next season.

  51. 1236: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "Lots of Union Jacks being waved here at the Minsk Arena because Great Britain will go for gold tonight in the women's team pursuit final, and will defend their world title against Australia.

    "The GB trio of Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker clocked the fastest time in qualifying, covering the 3km or 12 laps in three minutes, 18.704 seconds, at an average speed of 54.353 km/hr. "They can go quicker than that but, as a result, you can't fault it," says Olympic team pursuit medallist and BBC 5 live commentator Rob Hayles, who is sitting next to me on the commentary gantry.


    Can Liverpool can produce another famous European Anfield comeback? Can Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle make it through to the Europa League's Round of 16? Let us know #bbcsportsday

    Michael Duffy: "I'm going to the Liverpool match. My heart says yes but my head has doubts."

    Gene Yew: "Main thing is that Steven Gerrard is playing in an advanced role."

    Sivan John: "If they can score early in the game, then we're in for another one of those famous Anfield nights."

  53. 1226: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships: "GB fastest into tonight's women's team pursuit final. Clocked 3:18.704. Will face Australia (3:20.696) for gold. Got to be happy with that."

  54. 1222: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships: "Australia have just clocked the fastest time in women's team pursuit qualifiers: 3:20.696 Just GB to go now. Fastest two go for gold later."

  55. 1220: 

    More from the BBC live text service at the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing: "Barry Roux, for the defence, is discussing a witness statement that claims screaming was heard the hour before the shooting. He says there were no eyewitnesses so there are lots of possibilities surrounding what happened."

  56. 1215: 

    BBC Sport's Andrew Benson: "Third morning of first Barcelona test ends wth @alo_oficial fastest from @NicoHulkenberg and @RGrosjean. @JensonButton sixth. All very close."

  57. 1211: 

    More from BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "Next up at the Minsk Arena is qualifying for the women's team pursuit. Great Britain have owned this event since its inception in 2008 - they are chasing a fifth world title in six years here in Belarus.

    From the trio that won Olympic gold at London 2012, Jo Rowsell is absent, so 18-year-old Cardiff A-level student Elinor Barker makes her senior world championship debut, joining Laura Trott and Dani King. Britain will go in the last of the 10 heats, at around 1215 GMT."

  58. 1209: 

    Batsman Hashim Amla has stepped down as vice-captain of South Africa's one-day and Twenty20 teams, and has made himself unavailable for T20 internationals for the rest of the year.


    Can Liverpool produce another famous European Anfield comeback against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League? And will Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea make it through to the Round of 16? Let us know #bbcsportsday

    Matt Richards: "Liverpool to win 2 - 0, then win it on penalties. Getting up at 7 am in Australia for this so they better had win."

    David Smart: "First goal in the Liverpool game is vital, game on if Liverpool get it, if not, no European football next season for Liverpool."

    Jordan King: "If Chelsea had Ba available, I would feel more confident about us doing well in the Europa League. With just Torres, no chance."

  60. 1157: 
    Didier Drogba

    Schalke 04 are considering whether to appeal to Uefa over Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba's participation in Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw in Istanbul. "There are doubts about the validity of the permission to play for Drogba in the Champions League. Schalke 04 reserves its rights and is looking into this," the club said on their official Twitter account. Drogba joined the Turkish club in late January for 18 months from Shanghai Shenhua.

  61. 1150: 

    There is to be a further inspection at 1300 GMT to see if racing can go ahead at Ayr.

  62. 1150: 

    More from the BBC live text service at Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing: "Africa producer for BBC News Kate Forbes has just tweeted that Oscar Pistorius's uncle just came out of court looking confident and said: "We're going in the right direction." Meanwhile, the BBC's Andrew Harding reports that lead defence counsel, Barry Roux, says there is no question that this case will go to trial. "Someone died... The law must take its course."

  63. 1144: 

    Arsene Wenger says defender Bacary Sagna will miss Arsenal's Premier League home game with Aston Villa on Saturday while full-back Kieran Gibbs is "a few weeks away." Wenger adds: "Sagna has a problem with his knee. He will be out for Saturday certainly. I don't think there are any other knocks really." On Gibbs, he says: "He is still out. He will be a few weeks yet."

  64. 1138: 

    Stoke City: "Academy striker James Alabi has joined Scunthorpe United on a one-month loan deal."

  65. 1136: 

    More on the 2014 Giro d'Italia which organisers confirm will begin in Belfast as part of three days of action on both sides of the Irish border. The cross-border start to the race will be held over three stages from 10-12 May and will involve routes taking in Belfast, Armagh and Dublin.

  66. 1133: 

    Arsene Wenger will attend Arsenal's monthly board meeting on Thursday but his future is not on the agenda. BBC Sport's David Ornstein says: "It is understood the club have no intention of sacking Wenger, even if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League. The manager retains the unequivocal support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and his fellow directors."

  67. 1130: 

    More from BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "There will be no medal for Great Britain in the individual pursuit finals later today. Steven Burke, who took Andy Tennant's place at short notice today because he went faster in the team pursuit on Wednesday night, clocked four minutes, 32.153 seconds, which was only 17th fastest of the 23 riders in qualifying. Defending world champion Michael Hepburn of Australia will face Ireland's Martyn Irvine for gold, with Switzerland's Stefan Kung and another Australian, Alex Morgan, battling for bronze.

    "Irvine, from Newtownards in Northern Ireland, had a disappointing Olympics, finishing 13th in the omnium but the 27-year-old is guaranteed his first world championship medal , which will be at least a silver no matter what happens against Hepburn in the final, which will take place at 1700 GMT."

  68. 1126: 

    From the BBC live text service as Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing resumes in Pretoria: "Mr Pistorius's bail hearing application continues, but our correspondent Andrew Harding says that with the various delays, we may not get a decision until tomorrow. If denied bail, the sprinter could face months in jail before a full trial is held later this year."

  69. 1120: 

    Giro d'Italia organisers confirm that the 2014 race will start in Ireland.

  70. 1116: 

    West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke has urged fans not to let their feelings towards striker Peter Odemwingie affect their backing for the team in Saturday's home game with Sunderland. Clarke has confirmed Odemwingie is part of his plans to face the Black Cats, returning to favour after his Twitter rants against the club and the on-off transfer saga with QPR last month. "I understand some of the supporters might not want to forgive Peter quickly but, when they go to the stadium, all I ask is they support the team," said Clarke.

  71. 1111: 

    Here is today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official: Name the 11 cyclists who have won individual gold for GB at the Track Cycling World Champs since 2000? The answer will be revealed here at 1400 GMT.


    Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has called on fans to roar the team to another famous European comeback win. Trailing Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 from the first leg in Russia, the Reds need a complete performance if they are to advance to the Europa League's Round of 16. Can they do it? Are they better off concentrating on the Premier League? And what about the chances of Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea in the competition? Let us know #bbcsportsday

  73. 1100: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Again defence lawyer Roux says police detective Botha "corroborating" #0scarPistorius version of events. Defence arguing for schedule 5 not 6 on bail issue. No evidence of premeditated murder, or murder. Poor quality of Botha's evidence... exposed disastrous shortcomings in state case says defence."

  74. 1054: 

    More from Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Saturday's match against Harry Redknapp's struggling QPR: "It's not easy at the bottom of the league and Harry will be the first to admit that. But with his experience he'll have a better chance than most in that situation.

    "There's a real spirit in our place, though, and a good determination about us. We have to treat every team the same way we treat Real Madrid or anyone else."

  75. 1052: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Detective Botha steps down and leaves court. Defence lawyer Roux's chair falls over and catches me on the toe. He's just starting his argument with joke about politicians. Roux says #0scarPistorius affidavit is "consistent" with police evidence from Botha. Zooming in on Botha's admissions yesterday."

  76. 1051: 

    During a break in filming for A Question of Sport, Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton suggested doing the Harlem Shake.

    Here's what happened, with actor Ted Robbins kicking things off and team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell, plus former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, former world number one snooker play Mark Selby and ex-England international Austin Healey all getting involved. Watch the results on the BBC website.

  77. 1046: 

    England make three changes for Saturday's Six Nations match with France at Twickenham, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Manusamoa Tuilagi replacing Tom Youngs, James Haskell and Billy Twelvetrees who drop to the bench.

    Team: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood.

    Courtney Lawes is back in the England team to face France

    Replacements: Tom Youngs, David Wilson, Mako Vunipola, James Haskell, Thomas Waldrom, Danny Care, Toby Flood, Billy Twelvetrees.

  78. 1039: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Detective Botha says he doesn't have "connections" to get Reeva's phone records by now. Hints of creaking SA police system. Defence denies claim that #0scarPistorius owns house in Italy. Prosecution showing a local magazine interview that talks about 'my house.'"

  79. 1037: 

    More from BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at the World Track Championships in Minsk: "Britain's Steven Burke, who won silver in the men's team pursuit on Wednesday, is our representative in the individual version, considered track cycling's blue riband event. The 24-year-old from Burnley goes in the 10th of the 12 heats, at around 11:30 GMT.

    "Burke won a bronze behind gold-medallist Bradley Wiggins when this event was last in the Olympics in 2008 - it was controversially dropped for London 2012. Australian defending champion Michael Hepburn, part of their gold-medal winning team on Wednesday, is the man to beat. The fastest four men will go through to tonight's medal finals."

  80. 1030: 

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirms Phil Jones will miss Saturday's visit to QPR with an ankle injury, but has a chance of being fit for the second-leg of the Champions League tie with Real Madrid on 5 March.

  81. 1027: 

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan gives his reaction to Ricky Ponting joining Surrey for two months: "Fantastic for the County game that the best player in my time playing IMO will be playing for Surrey."

  82. 1023: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in the Pretoria courtroom: "Magistrate wondering if Botha speaks good enough English to handle court. Botha generally happy to stick to English. Magistrate focusing on flight risk and violence claims by detective Botha."

  83. 1021: 

    We're asking this morning who you think will win Europe's top club honours this season. Keep your thoughts coming in please using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    Vinod Menon: "Chelsea will win Europa and Bayern Munich to win Champions League. Last year English club won in Germany, this year vice versa!"

    Sam Barton: "Looking more and more like the final is being played at Old Trafford in a few weeks time after last night's result."

    Matt Porter: "A lot of people saying the tie is over, but even at 2-0, I can still see Barcelona progressing."

  84. 1012: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson tells reporters of David Gill's decision to step down as chief executive at Manchester United in June: "David spoke to me about it some weeks ago," he says. "I was surprised because he is still a young man but I understand where he is coming from, 16 years in that particular job is not easy."

  85. 1008: 

    Welsh international fly-half Nicky Robinson, 31, leaves Wasps to join Bristol on a three-year deal.

  86. 1001: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Short break for the hapless detective Botha to be found and brought to court."

  87. 0957: 

    Olympic rowing champion Mark Hunter: "@bbc5live just started listening. Can't believe this is even being debated. There is no place in sport for drugs, period."

  88. 0954:  
    BBC Radio 5 live5 LIVE DEBATE

    Today's debate on 5 live is "should doping in sport be legalised?" Britain's former Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering tells Your Call: "I think this is absolute nonsense, the majority of athletes still believe in competing to the best of their ability, down to hard training.

    "Female athletes in East Germany took so many steroids they ended up having to have a sex change, people have died early from taking performance enhancing drugs. Do we really want to say to young people you have to be prepared to die to take part in sport?"

  89. 0944: 

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Day three of the second pre-season test under way in Barcelona. Williams driver Pastor Maldonado fastest so far from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso & Red Bull's Mark Webber. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton walking dog in paddock."

  90. 0941: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Prosecutor Nel confirms detective Botha facing 7 attempted murder charges. Botha not in court. Magistrate asks him to be brought in."

  91. 0939: 

    It's day two at the World Track Championships and BBC Sport's Chris Bevan is in Minsk: "No doubt what the biggest sporting event in Belarus is today - football. The bars of Minsk will be packed out later tonight when Belarusian champions BATE Borisov take on Fenerbahce in Turkey in the Europa League.

    "Before that, the World Track Cycling Championships will take centre stage, and there is plenty going on in the velodrome at Minsk Arena. There are five gold medals to be won this evening, and the afternoon session (starting 13:00 FET or 10:00 GMT) will decide who will compete for three of them, with qualifying for the men's individual pursuit, women's team pursuit and men's team sprint."

  92. 0937:  
    BBC Radio 5 live5 LIVE DEBATE

    Heavyweight boxer Tony Thompson tells 5 live this morning that doping in sport should be legalised but insists he would never take drugs: "I don't even like to take aspirin. If I think I couldn't succeed I'll do something else."

    5 Live's Your Call this morning is asking "Is it time to legalise doping in sport?" You can call 0500 909 693 with your views.

  93. 0929: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "An unknown woman trying to address court. All v odd - prosecution and defence both urge magistrate not to hear her. Woman told to go. Invited to appeal to high court. On with bail hearing."

  94. 0927: 

    Former Olympian now Times journalist Matthew Syed on Your Call: "There will never be a level playing field in sport. The success of the GB team at London 2012 was a form of financial doping, we outspent other nations and it meant that for example we could improve bike technology, pushing the boundaries.

    "At the moment this is legal but conceptually it is not much different than pharmaceutical enhancements."

  95. 0920:  
    BBC Radio 5 live5 LIVE DEBATE

    Heavyweight boxer Tony Thompson advocating the legalisation of doping in sport in 5 live's Your Call live now: "You make everybody list whatever they are taking so people have the opportunity to say yes I will compete against this athlete or no I won't. You watch sporting events to be entertained, we want our athletes to be heroes and bigger than life."

  96. 0917: 

    We're asking this morning who will win the Champions League and Europa League this season. Please keep your thoughts coming in using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    John Gray: "Has to be Bayern for the CL title this season. Most accomplished side I've seen play Arsenal, even more so than Barca."

    Sunil Parmar: "Barcelona to win Champions League. Benfica to win Europa League."

    Stephen Marsh: "Hopefully a win for Real (lesser of 2 evils) and Milan to prove that the Midas touch came from Pep not Messi."

  97. 0903: 

    France team to play England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday:

    Yoann Huget; Vincent Clerc, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Benjamin Fall; Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Christophe Samson, Yoann Maestri, Yannick Nyanga, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Louis Picamoles.

    Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Luc Ducalcon, Jocelino Suta, Antonie Claassen, Maxime Machenaud, Frederic Michalak, Florian Fritz.

  98. 0901: 

    Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting joins Surrey for two months in June and July as cover for Graeme Smith. The 38-year-old will be available for all formats of the game while Smith is involved in the Champions Trophy.

  99. 0859:  
    BBC Radio 5 live5 LIVE DEBATE

    A big debate coming up on 5 live's Your Call from 09:00 after heavyweight boxer Tony Thompson says on the station this morning: "I know this is controversial but I think they should just allow doping, period. To me it is like the gun law. Only the good guys are listening and it leaves the good guys without the guns."

    So 5 live will be asking "Is it time to legalise doping in sport?" You can call 0500 909 693 with your views.

  100. 0854: 

    Tottenham's official Twitter feed comments on the attack on their supporters in a Lyon bar ahead of their Europa League match against the French team tonight.

    "Club officials attended an incident last night in Lyon. A group of around 50 people confronted fans. The situation was dealt with & arrests were made within the hour. Three fans sustained minor injuries & received prompt medical assistance. Spurs Officials & Stewards will be in the City throughout the day, along with match-day French police ahead of kick-off."

  101. 0845: 

    We're asking this morning who is going to win the Champions League and Europa League. Keep your thoughts coming in please, using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    Tim Abrams: "Think it may be Bayern's year. Tuesday's match showed their strength in depth, as well as their star power of Lahm and Kroos."

    Ant Reeve: "Milan didn't give Messi & co a sniff last night. I can see an upset in a few weeks time when they visit Catalonia."

    Callum Allison: "Dortmund to win the Champions League. May not be doing brilliant in the league but every time I watch them they are world class."

  102. 0843: 

    So two former Portsmouth players, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, were the goalscorers for AC Milan in their victory over the mighty Barcelona last night and it is a big day for their old club today, with the Portsmouth Supporters Trust consortium in the High Court as their bid to save Pompey continues.

  103. 0840: 

    Former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker signs a four-year deal with Vancouver in the MLS.

  104. 0836: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Reports that police may be dropping detective Botha from case after attempted murder case against him reinstated."

  105. 0830: 

    To confirm those Europa League kick-offs for you tonight, Tottenham take a 2-1 first-leg lead to Lyon at 18:00 GMT and there will be updates on that match on BBC London, while Newcastle are in the Ukraine and also kick-off at 18:00 GMT against Metalist Kharkiv, after a goalless first game at St James' Park.

    Chelsea host Sparta Prague and are 1-0 up from the first-leg, with 5 live reporter Jonathan Legard at Stamford Bridge for an 20:05 GMT kick-off, which is also when Liverpool attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Zenit St Petersburg, Alistair Yeomans the 5 live reporter at Anfield. A live text commentary on the BBC website will keep you in touch with all tonight's games.

  106. 0826:  
    BBC Radio 5 live5 LIVE SPORT

    Tonight's 5 live Sport with Darren Fletcher from 19:00 GMT features a look behind the scenes at the Football Association as they study the weekend's disciplinary issues, there is boxing as Steve Bunce and Mike Costello discuss the latest ring news, there is a preview of the weekend's Six Nations matches, with contributions from Matt Stevens and Shane Williams and news of the four Europa League matches involving English teams.

  107. 0820: 

    With Barcelona facing a 2-0 deficit against AC Milan and Real Madrid and Manchester United level at 1-1 we're asking this morning who you think will win the Champions League this season, and with the Europa League taking centre stage tonight, who will win that? Please send in your views, using the Twitter hashtag #bbcsportsday.

  108. 0815: 

    Now for a look at some stories from today's Gossip Column on the BBC website and the Daily Mail reports that Arsenal have sent scouts to watch defenders Maxime Gonalons, 23, of Lyon and Torino's Angelo Ogbonna, 24.

    Manchester United have asked FC Porto if they would consider swapping Colombian forward James Rodriguez, 20, for out-of-favour winger Nani, 26. (Metro)

    The agent of Hamburg striker Heung-min Son, 20, says both Manchester United and Chelsea have made offers for the South Korean. (Sky Sports)

  109. 0810: 

    New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill is set to miss the forthcoming three-match Test series with England because he requires surgery on his left thumb. The 26-year-old had already been ruled out of the one-day series after damaging a hamstring in the opening match, when he returned to the crease to help the Kiwis to victory.

  110. 0809: 

    Three race meetings faced inspections this morning because of concerns over frost, Ayr and Huntingdon at 08:00 GMT and Sedgefield at 08:30 GMT. Ayr have said there will be a second inspection at 11:30 GMT but the other meetings will go ahead as planned.

  111. 0807: 

    The BBC's Andrew Harding in Pretoria: "Am back in courtroom C. Same seat. Less of a scramble this morning. Met #OscarPistorius uncle who is v pleased with yesterday's hearing."

  112. 0805: 
    The snow-covered WGC Match Play in Arizona

    And the first day of the WGC Match Play event was disrupted yesterday in the Arizona desert, not by extreme heat or rain, but a snow storm. None of the first-round matches were completed and world number one Rory McIlroy was unable to begin his match against Shane Lowry. Organisers are hoping to start play today at 08:30 local time, 15:30 GMT.

  113. 0802: 

    Lance Armstrong will not be able to have the chance of having his lifetime ban overturned after he refused to be interviewed under oath by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

  114. 0800: 

    Good morning and welcome along to another Sportsday, from the BBC Sport Centre in Salford Quays. We'll have updates from the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing and the World Track Cycling Championships throughout the day but we begin with a look at the top stories on the BBC website and there was a surprise defeat for Barcelona last night as a disciplined AC Milan won 2-0 at the San Siro.

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