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Cardiff player out for season with ankle injury

Cardiff City defender Ben Turner is set to miss the rest of the season after scans revealed the extent of an ankle injury sustained during last weekend's FA Cup defeat to Reading.

Credit: PA

Turner has been ruled out for a least 10 to 12 weeks but manager Russell Slade has admitted he could be absent for longer.

The move could now edge Slade into a late change of plans before the transfer window closes on Monday with a replacement for Turner now high on the priority list.

Slade has brought in some cover already in former Huddersfield defender Lee Peltier who can cover right along the back four but with full back John Brayford also exiting the City Stadium this window another dip into the market is likely.


Swansea sees a £100m turnover and a profits rise

Swansea have announced a post-tax profit of £1.7million, with turnover increasing by more than £30 million to nearly £100 million.

The figures take in a period which saw Swansea finish 12th in their third Barclays Premier League season and reach the knockout stages of the Europa League.

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Turnover increased largely due to TV broadcasting income negotiated by the Premier League. Expenditure increased by £29.7 million with club record signing Wilfried Bony (£12million) - who has since been sold to Manchester City for a fee which could rise to £28million - and Jonjo Shelvey (£5million) recruited during the period.

The total cost of acquiring all new players during that year amounted to £33.4m, while an additional £6.9m was spent on new training facilities at Fairwood. Some additional improvements will still be necessary to fully complete the training sites at Fairwood and Landore to the board's satisfaction when cash flow permits.

– Swansea's finance director Don Keefe

Gatland demands more from North

Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes George North should be exerting greater influence on matches and has warned the Northampton wing he is not guaranteed selection against England.

North missed the 12-6 victory over South Africa last autumn with concussion and Gatland insists it will be hard to drop his replacement Liam Williams for the visit of Stuart Lancaster's men to Cardiff in the RBS 6 Nations opener on February 6.

Gatland highlights the number of 22-year-old North's involvements in a game as an area for improvement.

Having spoken to (Northampton assistant coach) Alex King, Northampton have the same issues with George about touching the ball more.

We want to see more touches and have the ball in his hands. When he does that he is dangerous and makes some metres for us.

We will see how training goes, but if you are a player who has won against South Africa and started the game it's sometimes difficult to be dropped.

We won't sit down as a coaching team until next Monday or Tuesday and start talking about a team.

It's early in the week and we will see how players front up. It's a nice position for us to be in and we have options.

– Warren Gatland, Wales Head Coach

"You can never face a weak English team" - Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton has warned his side to be wary of England's strength, despite a notable list of injured English absentees.

England are without a number of influential players for the Six Nations opener next week, with the likes of Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes and Ben Morgan all ruled out through injury.

But Warburton says England's strength in depth still makes them a formidable side as Wales look to win their first Six Nations tournament since 2013.


Gatland: 'I'm surprised by Adam Jones' retirement'

Warren Gatland has admitted he is 'as surprised as anyone' that veteran prop Adam Jones has decided to call time on his international career by announcing his retirement ahead of the Six Nations.

Jones made the decision after being left out of Gatland's 34 man squad for the premier northern hemisphere competition which gets underway next week.

It was the second time in a row that Jones had been left out of a Wales squad after also missing the Autumn series.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Six Nations Gatland said Jones' decision took him by surprise, particularly given the proximity of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a competition for which he reaffirmed Jones' was very much in the reckoning for.

North and Roberts on Euro Player of the Year long-list

George North and Jamie Roberts have both made been named on the 15 man long-list for European Player of the Year 2015. Credit: Press Association Images

Wales backs George North and Jamie Roberts have been named on the 15 man long-list for European Player of the Year 2015 after helping their club sides progress through the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup.

North touched down for four tries in a single game for Northampton against the Ospreys in round two of the new competition, while Roberts helped Racing Metro overcome North's Northampton side with an impressive man-of-the-match display during Saturday's final round of pool games.

The long-list will be reduced to a five man shortlist after the competitions semi-finals. The winner will be announced in May.

European Player of the Year 2015 Longlist

  • Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
  • Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)
  • Chris Ashton (Saracens)
  • Jamie Heaslip (Leinster Rugby)
  • Juan Imhoff (Racing Metro 92)
  • Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
  • Fritz Lee (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
  • Camille Lopez (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
  • Ian Madigan (Leinster Rugby)
  • George North (Northampton Saints)
  • Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro 92)
  • Aurélien Rougerie (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
  • Nicolas Sanchez (RC Toulon)
  • Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing Metro 92)
  • Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
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