From the back pages, June 22: Sam Warburton’s men ready for biggest match in 16 years

From the back pages

From the back pages

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At times like this it pays to remember we are only talking about a game of rugby union. There are graver concerns in Australia – the future of the Great Barrier Reef, Aboriginal communities – than the outcome of the first Test against the British and Irish Lions. Even so, as D-day dawns, it is hard to shake the feeling that the Lions are about to play their biggest match in 16 years, a contest with massive implications on all sorts of fronts. (The Guardian)

JOE ROOT is set to get the nod as Alastair Cook’s opening partner ahead of Nick Compton for this summer’s Ashes battle. (Express)

History beckons for England tomorrow. It will be a regular occurrence in the next six months and by the end of it, come January, the players may wish that history could button its lip awhile. The Champions Trophy final against India represents the first of three seminal targets in a row for the team led by Alastair Cook: the winning after 38 years and 16 failed attempts of an ICC one-day competition, followed by series against Australia home and away which give them the opportunity of winning the Ashes on four consecutive occasions for the first time since 1890, when the concept was barely half-formed. (The Independent)

New Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will consider a move for Wayne Rooney this summer if the unhappy striker fails to patch up his differences with Manchester United. Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Rooney switching to the Bernabeu from 40-1 to 10-1 as his United future hangs in the balance. (Daily Mail)

Wayne Rooney will meet David Moyes to decide his Manchester United future next week, with both Chelsea and Arsenal ready to offer him a way out. Rooney is still hurt and angered by former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s public ­declarations that the England star asked for a transfer at the end of last season. The striker vehemently refutes the claim. He wants new United boss Moyes to tell him that the situation was caused by a misunderstanding, and that he is still wanted at Old Trafford. (The Mirror)

The move, if it is completed, would represent a significant coup for Spurs as they attempt to strengthen to challenge for honours next season.

Paulinho is starring in Brazil’s Confederations Cup campaign and has become a key player for coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, scoring in the recent friendly against England. (The Telegraph)

JOSE MOURINHO has been given the green light to launch a major spending spree after Chelsea signed a staggering £300million deal with adidas.

The 10-year sponsorship is a world record fee for an agreement between a football club and kit manufacturer. (The Sun)