Sport shorts: three-time world champ Mark Williams ‘hates’ snooker, Jos Buttler is a doubt for Test, Thanksgiving feast for NFL fans


1. Snooker star Williams ‘hates’ the sport 

Three-time world champion Mark Williams has said that he “hates” snooker and prefers to play golf. 

The 44-year-old Welshman, who won the world title in 2018, beat Fraser Patrick 6-2 at the UK Snooker Championship yesterday. After the first-round victory he was asked by the BBC how his season was going. 

Williams responded: “It’s going alright, I’m enjoying myself when I’m on the golf course.” When he was asked about his snooker, he then added: “Hate it. I’m just enjoying playing golf more.”

After winning the world championship last year Williams stripped naked for his post-final press conference after promising to bare all if he claimed victory.

2. Latifi thrilled to secure Williams seat

ROKiT Williams Racing have confirmed that Nicholas Latifi will drive for the team in 2020 and partner George Russell.

The 24-year-old Canadian will replace Robert Kubica after a year of being Williams’s reserve driver. Latifi said: “I am thrilled to be stepping up as race driver for 2020. I look forward to the journey ahead with the team, and I am excited to make my Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2020.”

F1: 2020 driver grid is complete as Latifi steps up at Williams

3. Bottas starts at back of the grid in Abu Dhabi

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will start at the back of the grid for Sunday’s Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Finn has been penalised after Mercedes were forced to replace power unit elements on his W10 car. 

F1 Abu Dhabi GP: preview, circuit guide and predictions

4. BBC to show Club World Cup matches

All matches at the 2019 Fifa Club World Cup will be broadcast live across BBC Sport’s platforms. Champions League winners Liverpool will compete in the tournament which takes place in Qatar from 11-21 December.

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5. Buttler an injury doubt for second Test

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is an injury doubt for the second Test starting tonight against New Zealand in Hamilton (10pm). 

Buttler injured his back in the gym and should he not be fit for the match he would be replaced behind the stumps by Ollie Pope. 

England captain Joe Root said: “Jos has tweaked his back in the gym. We’ll have to find out a little bit more information on that and see where he’s at. We knew this was a possibility when we selected the squad. I’m quite happy that Popey’s got the capability of doing a good job for us.”

New Zealand are 1-0 up in the two-Test series after winning the opening match by an innings and 65 runs.

6. Thanksgiving feast for NFL fans

American football fans can tuck into a feast of NFL tonight with three games being played on Thanksgiving. 

The action starts with Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears at 5.30pm (GMT) followed by Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills at 9.30pm. At 1.20am tomorrow morning the Atlanta Falcons take on the New Orleans Saints. 

All three matches will be live on Sky Sports. NFL Gamepass is also offering fans seven days access for just 99p. 

7. Golfers get their shorts on

The European Tour has confirmed that its golfers will be allowed to compete in shorts for the first time in the Tour’s history at this weekend’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa. Temperatures at Leopard Creek Country Club are expected to reach 40°C.

8. Tipuric to captain Wales against Baa-Baas

New Wales rugby union head coach Wayne Pivac will take charge of the team for the first time when they face the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday. Former Wales chief Warren Gatland is coaching the Baa-Baas. 

Saturday’s match at the Principality Stadium starts at 2.30pm. Flanker Justin Tipuric will captain Wales while Johnny McNicholl makes his debut. 

Wales starting XV
  • Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl, Owen Watkin, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Jarrod Evans, Tomas Williams, Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric (captain), Aaron Wainwright 
  • Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Ollie Griffiths, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Owen Lane 

9. Messi stars on 700th game for Barca

Lionel Messi was on the scoresheet as Barcelona beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to reach the Champions League round of 16.

Playing in his 700th game for Barcelona, Messi scored his side’s second and also had two assists for goals from Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. The victory means the Catalans have clinched top spot in group F with one match to go.

Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo: all-time goals and career records

10. UCL: work to do for Chelsea and Liverpool

Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League will go down to the wire after the Blues drew 2-2 at Valencia

The result leaves them third in group H, level on eight points with the Spanish club but with an inferior goal difference. Ajax are top with ten points and will qualify as group winners if they avoid a home defeat against Valencia in their final pool match.

Defending champions Liverpool had to come from behind against Napoli at Anfield, but the point they secured in the 1-1 draw was still not enough to confirm their passage to the last 16. The Reds require at least a point in their final group game at Red Bull Salzburg to progress to the knockout stage.

Today’s back pages

Liverpool on red alert as Champions League holders waste chance to qualify for last 16



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