Here are the latest headlines for Thursday, May 7.
Marler in retirement U-turn
Joe Marler is reportedly weighing up a U-turn on his possible international retirement, following a charm offensive from his England coaches.
The prop was on the verge of quitting the England set-up after being handed a 10-week ban for grabbing Alun Wyn Jones’ testicles during the Six Nations clash with Wales.
However, Eddie Jones and his assistant Matt Proudfoot have, according to several outlets, convinced Marler that he still has a role to play at the 2023 World Cup in France.
The two men have been in touch with the 29-year old over Zoom, with Proudfoot publicly throwing his backing behind Marler.
“I am trying to mentor them through the challenges they have,” said Proudfoot.
“I try to have a series of in-depth conversations with each player through the day and just really talk to them, find out what they are struggling with. How can I give them a different perspective?”
Sonny Bill Williams ‘given green light’ by club to fight Mike Tyson
Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack will not stand in the way of All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams stepping into the ring with boxing icon Mike Tyson.
According to The Sun, the Canadian club, who Williams joined back in November, is even doing its best to try and find out if the fight is possible.
The possibility of the pair going toe-to-toe was first mooted by promoter Brian Amatruda earlier this week, with Tyson reportedly offered $1m to come out of retirement for a showpiece fight in Melbourne.
Williams has been touted as one of three potential options for the American legend, along with AFL star Barry Hall and retired NRL talent Paul Gallen.
Toronto are reportedly keen to see if Amatruda is genuine, with head coach Brian McDermott himself a former Royal Marine boxing champion.
Williams already has a clause in his contract allowing him to fight in the off-season, and is a former WBA International Heavyweight champion, having won all seven of his pro bouts.
Tompkins’ worst habit and the position he’d like to switch to
Welsh Six Nations sensation Nick Tompkins has given a brief insight into what he is doing during lockdown.
The centre, who has been heavily linked with a return to Wales with the Dragons on a one-year loan, is currently sharing a house with Saracens team-mate Ali Crossdale.
And the pair have been discussing things as part of a Q and A with Saracens’ official website.
When quizzed on what it’s like to reside with the Welshman, Crossdale said: “Nick’s worst habit is switching off. He has a massive tendency to be in a conversation with you and then find something that completely takes his mind away from what’s going on!
“Whether it’s his phone, the TV or whatever, he’s very good at switching off from listening to conversations. That’s frustrating!”
Both players admit that keeping fit during the current coronavirus pandemic is proving a challenge, although they agree that “Dominos and a beer” is still the best cheat meal.
Tompkins will hope to pick up where he left off in terms of form when rugby eventually returns.
But while he has added another dimension to the Welsh midfield, he clearly fancies himself in another role too.
“Full-back,” he said when asked what he’d go for given the chance to switch positions.
“Goodey [Alex Goode] just dosses around back there and they always get the most metres as they catch the ball and get to run! It’s not a hard job is it, really?
“They don’t have to make many tackles either!
Sonja McLaughlan on Gatland clash
Sonja McLaughlan is one of the most respected interviewers in the game, but has nevertheless had plenty of frosty encounters with some of rugby’s biggest names.
In a Q and A with The Telegraph, the BBC journalist lifted the lid on a “tense” interview with former Wales boss Warren Gatland.
Gatland signed off as Wales boss with a Six Nations Grand Slam last year, and speculation was rife at the time over his next move.
There had even been suggestions that he may be tempted to head over the Severn Bridge and take the England job.
And, as McLaughlan explains, the speculation over the Kiwi’s job set the scene for a testing exchange.
She said: “I honestly think that doing the post match is the hardest thing to do.
“There are emotions swirling around for the players and the coaches, you’re out in the elements.
“And you have to ask people things that they might not want to be asked about. I asked Warren Gatland about being linked with the England job in the press conference midweek once.
“He was fine at the time and then on the pitch when Wales won the Grand Slam, I was about to interview him and he said, ‘You let yourself down asking that’.
“I was like: ‘The BBC has delayed the news here so I can interview him, I really better get to talk to you!’ And the producer is in the ear going “Get Gatland! Get Gatland!” He did talk in the end but it was tense.”
This content was originally published here.