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Summary

  1. Gatland confirmed as Lions head coach
  2. Nottingham Forest sign striker Bendtner
  3. Palace interested in free agent Flamini
  4. Paralympics opening ceremony tonight (22:15 BST)
  5. Your debut stories: #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By Alex Bysouth and Emlyn Begley

All times stated are UK

Until next time...

And that's it for today's Sportsday. Thanks, as ever, for joining us.

There's plenty to look forward to this evening on the BBC Sport website, including the Paralympics opening ceremony, which kickstarts 10 days of competition in Rio, from 22:00 BST.

Before that we'll have live text commentary on Andy Murray's US Open semi-final against Kei Nishikori (19:00 BST), or you could opt for England's final outing this summer against Pakistan at Old Trafford.

Enjoy!

Paralympics countdown

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven has been giving a news conference before Wednesday’s Paralympic Games opening ceremony.

The Games have had a challenging build-up but Craven believes all is good ahead of Thursday’s opening day of competition.

“We have seen an unprecedented amount of teamwork over the last few weeks to put on the best games we possibly can,” he said.

Craven says that 159 countries, plus the Independent Athletes team, will be competing at the Games.

Both Liberia and Comoros have withdrawn from competing but Craven insisted that their withdrawal had nothing to do with the delays in paying travel grants.

There will be 2,670 men and 1,681 women competing  – it’s the highest female participation ever at a Games – up 12% on the total in London.

Russia were due to have 267 slots and 240 of those have been redistributed.

BBC Radio 5 Live

There are a whole load of categories and classifications in the Paralympics, and it can all be a bit difficult to understand. We asked one of Britain's greatest Paralympic athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, to explain how it all works.

Tanni Grey Thompson’s guide to the games.
It's nearly time... Your 🇬🇧 Fan Flag is in the @ParalympicsGB pen at the #Rio2016 Velodrome! #Paralympics

It's nearly time... Your 🇬🇧 Fan Flag is in the @ParalympicsGB pen at the #Rio2016 Velodrome! #Paralympics

Pearson to carry the flag

Equestrian rider Lee Pearson will carry the flag for Great Britain during Wednesday's opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Pearson has won 12 Paralympic medals, including 10 golds, in four Games.

The 42-year-old needs two more golds to overtake wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson as Britain's most successful Paralympian of the modern era.

"I am so proud and honoured to be the flagbearer for such a talented, strong and passionate group," he said.

Paralympics 2016: GB Flagbearer Lee Pearson given 'biggest honour'

Paralympics countdown

We're just hours away from the start of the Paralympic opening ceremony in Rio and if you want to learn more about the Games, head to the BBC Radio 5 live iPlayer site.

Jonathan Overend and Gigi Salmon spoke with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and other leading figures in disability sport about some of the challenges Rio has faced in the build-up to the Paralympics.

They also to picked out their 'ones-to-watch' at the Games.

Rio team
BBC Sport

Moreno goes walkies, sort of...

Liverpool full-back Alberto Moreno has revealed an unusual energy-saving technique that has seen the Spaniard taking his baby for a "walk" using a Segway, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Simeone to quit Atletico?

Diego Simeone
Getty Images

Is Diego Simeone ready to quit Atletico Madrid? Spanish paper El Confidencial says so, despite the Argentine only signing a new four-year contract in the summer.

And the manager's exit could be a boost to Manchester United's pursuit of France forward Antoine Griezmann, according to the Sun.

And the answer is...

Answers to today's #QSTeaser from @QuestionofSport Arnaud Clement, Richard Gasquet, Sebastien Grosjean, Gael Monfils & Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Bess is best in 55 years

We've been talking about your debut stories in our Get Involved today, and in the early hours of Sportsday Somerset bowler Dom Bess' named cropped up.

Well, Bess took 6-28 on his County Championship debut yesterday, which was the best record by a Somerset player in 55 years.

The 19-year-old has been talking to BBC Sport about the journey to his blistering debut.

"I was always a little porker when I was younger, so I never took the long run-up," he said. 

Read more here. 

Phosphorescence wins at Doncaster

Ireland's former champion jockey Joseph O'Brien and 7-1 shot Phosphorescence landed the Leger Legends charity race for ex-jockeys on the opening day of flat racing's St Leger Festival at Doncaster. 

O'Brien, 23, announced in March he was quitting the saddle to take up training racehorses after a short but highly successful career during which he combined with his father Aidan to win a string of major prizes including two Epsom Derbys.

Read results here.

Still work to do - Woods

Tiger Woods
Getty Images

Woods is now the world number 711 and has not played since August last year following two back operations.

The 40-year-old, a 14-time major champion, missed all four majors in a calendar year in 2016 for the first time since his Masters debut in 1995.  

However, he feels he is making good progress with his recovery.

Woods said in a statement on his website: "My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do.

"Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go."  

Woods to make competitive return

Tiger Woods
Getty Images

Tiger Woods has revealed that he hopes to return to competitive golf next month.

The former world number one says he hopes to play in the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. 

Woods also intends to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open in November and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas in December. 

Fourth time lucky...

Didier Ndong
Getty Images

Lorient president Loic Fery has revealed the French club rejected three offers from Sunderland for Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong, 22, before finally accepting a fourth bid hours before the transfer deadline. (Talksport)

Catch up with all of today's transfer gossip here.

Perez to cause problems - Mustafi

Lucas Perez
Getty Images

New Arsenal forward Lucas Perez is ready to make life "uncomfortable" for Premier League defenders this season, according to team-mate Shkodran Mustafi.

Both players arrived at the club in deadline day moves from Deportivo and Valencia, respectively.

"He is uncomfortable to play against," said Germany international Mustafi. "He's a good striker - he has everything a striker needs. He's someone you can play well with. 

"He's in the right place at the right time, as he showed last year in La Liga. I played there for two years and I know it's not that easy to score many goals in La Liga, because you have great defenders there as well."

Scottish Premiership Predictor

Do you fancy yourself as a football expert? And would you back yourself to know more about the way the season will pan out than your friends?

If so, it's time to get involved in our new Scottish Premiership Predictor game.

It only takes a couple of minutes to join up, and you can play along in leagues with your friends, family and work colleagues.

Play our Scottish Premiership Predictor game

Scottish Prem
.

Elliot lands new Magpies deal

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot has signed a new four-year deal.

The 30-year-old has not played since March following a knee injury but is nearing a return.

"I had a good run in the team last year but I was obviously gutted at the end with the injury so it's a real confidence-booster that the club have put their faith in me.

"It's helped my rehab as well, because it's something to work towards, and it ties everything up perfectly now so I can look forward to the future, commit to gettting back fit and hopefully getting us back to where we want to be."

Manager Rafael Benitez added: "It shows our confidence in him as a goalkeeper for now and for the future. Hopefully he will be challenging for the goalkeeper position again very soon."

Rob Elliot
Getty Images
Republic of Ireland international Rob Elliot missed Euro 2016 because of the injury

Evans to get new West Brom deal?

Jonny Evans
Getty Images

West Brom are ready to offer Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans, 28, a new £75,000 a week contract after Arsenal's failed attempt to sign him, according to the Telegraph.

Get Involved - your debut stories

Match of the Day Facebook page

Ian Mitchell: My debut for my works football team. I didn't make it on the pitch and had to run the line as a linesman. Humiliating....

James Richings: On my debut for the school football team back in year seven, I scored an own goal from about 18 yards out. It was supposed to be a half volley, cushioned back pass to the keeper. I got it all wrong. We lost 2-1. Never played at RB again.

Lee Batham: 16-year-old, been on bench ALL season for my local pub team. We reached the cup final and our keeper gets sent off in the 116th minute. I come on and SAVE 3 pens in the shootout, which we won 4-1. Only appearance for them, man of the match, winner's medal. HAPPY DAYS

Former England bowler dies aged 79

Former England seamer Ken Higgs has died at the age of 79. 

Higgs, a stalwart of both Lancashire and Leicestershire, took 71 wickets at an average of just 20.74 in 15 Tests.

In a first-class career that spanned 28 years, including a successful comeback for Leicestershire in his late 40s in 1986, Higgs finished with 1,536 wickets at 23.61. 

He made his England debut at The Oval against South Africa in 1965, and won his final cap on his home ground at Old Trafford in his second Ashes Test three years later - having also faced Australia at Brisbane. 

Ken Higgs
Getty Images
Ken Higgs bowling for Lancashire against Surrey at The Oval in 1965

Hair we go again...

Nick Hope

BBC Sport in Rio

Hair
BBC

So yesterday we saw GB table tennis player Jack Hunter-Spivey's bid for 'best hair' of the Rio Paralympics with his pretty impressive mohawk (top picture).

But what about London 2012 gold medal winning swimmer Ollie Hynd's new blond mop - who's winning it for you?

Ex-Forest striker Tyson joins Carlisle on trial

Football

Nathan Tyson
Getty Images

Ex-Nottingham Forest striker Nathan Tyson has joined League Two Carlisle on trial.

The 34-year-old was released by Doncaster in the summer after scoring 21 goals in 80 games in two seasons.

Bendtner news conference

You can watch Nicklas Bendtner's first news conference as a Nottingham Forest player right now on the BBC Nottingham Sport Facebook page.

Microphones
BBC Nottingham Sport
The venue for the news conference had to be moved because of the level of demand from journalists, both in the UK and abroad

Djokovic wary of Monfils

Novak Djokovic
getty

Novak Djokovic boasts a dozen wins in as many matches against Gael Monfils, but the world number one remains wary of the Frenchman heading into their US Open semi-final on Friday.

"He seems more focused at this time of his career," said the Serb. 

"Especially the hard court (season) this year, maybe he's playing the best tennis he ever played. He's very consistent. He hasn't dropped a set till semis. 

"That says a lot about the level he's on." 

Lukaku to leave Toffees?

Romelu Lukaku
Getty Images

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 23, has hinted that he will move away from the club next season, says Dutch paper Sport Wereld. 

The Belgium international turned down Italian champions Juventus in the transfer window to continue under new Toffees manager Ronald Koeman.

Police to investigate Sturm case

Felix Sturm
Getty Images

German prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against WBA super middleweight champion Felix Sturm.

Cologne prosecutor Daniel Vollmert says Sturm is suspected of violating Germany's new anti-doping law and could face up to three years in prison if convicted. 

Sturm tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol after his split decision victory over Fedor Chudinov on 20 February in Oberhausen, Germany. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Sturm won the fight against the previously unbeaten Chudinov on the cards of two judges, while one ruled it a draw.

On this day...

2004: Andrew Flintoff named the International Cricket Council world one-day player of the year.

2005: Northern Ireland produce a famous performance to beat England 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Belfast.

2008: Andy Murray completed a 6-2 7-6 4-6 6-4 win over Rafael Nadal to book a place in the US Open final against Roger Federer, which he went on to lose in straight sets.

David Healy
Getty Images
Northern Ireland goalscorer David Healy salutes the crowd after defeating England 1-0

Murray in US Open action

Tennis

Andy Murray
Getty Images

Andy Murray will hope to extend an impressive record against sixth seed Kei Nishikori when the pair meet in the US Open quarter-finals this evening.

Briton Murray, seeded second, has won seven of eight previous matches against Japan's Nishikori, the most recent being at last month's Olympics.

The pair are scheduled second on Arthur Ashe Stadium at about 19:00 BST.

"I've played well against him in the past but he likes these conditions," said the 29-year-old world number two.

Get Involved

BBC Sport Facebook & #bbcsportsday

Your thoughts on Warren Gatland as Lions coach...

Ifan Thomas: Gatland will pick the best team for the job as he did for the last tour and was completely vindicated. All this talk of bias didn't he drop his right hand man in Edwards for Farrell?  

Patrick Watts: Old big gob, there won't be many English players, he says they are not popular with the other nationalities.  

Rosie Hughes: Schmidt best candidate. Gonna be bias towards the Welsh. Again.  

Bath sign Wales winger Brew

Aled Brew
Getty Images

Bath have announced the signing of Wales international wing Aled Brew on a short-term contract. 

Brew, 30, won the last of his nine caps in 2012 and was a member of Wales' 2011 World Cup squad. 

He will move to the Recreation Ground from Newport Gwent Dragons, initially until the end of this year. 

Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said: "Aled is an international-standard winger, so we are very pleased that he's joined the club. 

"He was looking for a fresh start and he will give us some more experience and add to the depth within the squad." 

Arbeloa turns down Milan

Alvaro Arbeloa
Getty Images

New West Ham signing Alvaro Arbeloa, 33, turned down AC Milan in favour of joining the Hammers from Real Madrid, according to the Daily Mail.

But the Spain full-back said that leaving Madrid was like "falling from heaven", reports Cope.

ICC rejects two-tier Test Championship

The International Cricket Council has rejected a two-tier Test Championship.

Six of the ICC's 10 full members - Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies - are thought to have supported the plan.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was the most significant opponent of the idea.

But cricket's governing body did reveal proposals for a Test Championship play-off match every two years and said they hope to introduce it by 2019.

Get Involved

#bbcsportsday

Your thoughts on Warren Gatland as Lions coach...

Simon Daplyn: Jones and Schmidt turned their backs, who else did people want? Lancaster? Gatland the only choice really. Backroom staff key 

John Lang: Worrying news if you are a Scotland player. Unless the entire Welsh team get injured

Matthew Harris: Who else is there?

Palace interested in Flamini

Crystal Palace could sign former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini.

The 32-year-old Frenchman, who won the 2011 Serie A title with AC Milan, is a free agent having left the Gunners this summer. 

"Mathieu is a player I am looking at," confirmed Pardew. "He would give us a bit more experience to winning games.

"I like the fact whenever he played, he played in the big, big games at Arsenal when they needed someone to kind of lead the team over the line and get big results. 

"I signed Teddy Sheringham when he was 38, so the age isn't a problem for me. I think his experience is something I am looking at."

Flamini
Getty Images

Premier League/NFL double header?

Daniel Levy
Getty Images

Fancy enjoying back-to-back football and, errm, soccer matches all at the same venue?

Well, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has suggested that may be a possibility once the club's new ground is open.

Talking to ESPN, Levy said: "How exciting the idea of having the two biggest leagues in the world from a television perspective - fantastic - play on the same day."

However, Levy cited children's interests in England and said a NFL franchise in London would not be a guaranteed success: "They (kids) think about soccer, and to a much, much less extent rugby and cricket. 

"You wouldn't put the NFL in that list at the moment, and therefore one has to be cautious about the timing of the decision and how that is done."  

'Ibrahimovic is one of the best'

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best players in the world, according to a former team-mate.

The 34-year-old Swede faces his first Manchester derby on Saturday, against City.

Former Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta, Ibrahimovic's team-mate at Juventus and AC Milan, said: "He is a winner everywhere he goes. 

"He compares with the best players at the moment like Suarez and Neymar." 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Reuters

Howley confirmed as Wales boss again

Rob Howley has been confirmed as Wales head coach while Warren Gatland concentrates on the Lions for the next 10 months.

Wales assistant Howley, who also stepped up during Gatland's 2012-13 Lions spell, takes "full responsibility" for the senior team with immediate effect. 

The season features four autumn Tests and the Six Nations campaign.

Red Verdon to miss St Leger

Red Verdon will miss the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, says trainer Ed Dunlop.

The horse, sixth in the Derby at Epsom and fourth in the Irish version, was about 8-1 third favourite for the world's oldest Classic.

Dunlop was not happy with the colt, who has the same owner as late stablemate and three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, after a training run.

Idaho, trained by Aidan O'Brien, is the odds-on favourite for Saturday's race.

England's World Cup target scrapped

Football

Greg Clarke
Getty Images

England's target of winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been scrapped by new Football Association chairman Greg Clarke.

The goal was set by predecessor Greg Dyke in 2013.

"I'm not going to put pressure on and say we are going to win this tournament or that tournament," said Clarke, who came into the role in August.