What today’s papers are saying: Sunday March 17
DAILY STAR SUNDAY: Manchester United have been told it will cost them £70million to sign Gareth Bale. Also: A deflected Wayne Rooney winner put Man United 15 points ahead of Man City to virtually settle the title race with nine games left to play.
MAIL: England went to Cardiff yesterday with dreams of a Grand Slam - and ended up suffering their worst ever defeat by Wales in 132 years of rugby matches between the two nations. Also: Rio Ferdinand will join up with England tomorrow for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro after Sir Alex Ferguson received assurances from Roy Hodgson that his fitness will not be jeopardised.
SUNDAY MIRROR: John Terry will be offered a lucrative chance to end his career in the Middle East. Also: Manchester United were handed a massive advantage in the title race yesterday as they went 15 points clear at the top.
SUNDAY EXPRESS: England head coach Stuart Lancaster last night admitted that his side failed to ‘turn up’ after watching their Grand Slam hopes crash and burn in Cardiff. Also: Sergio Parisse celebrated Italy’s most successful RBS 6 Nations after humiliating Ireland at the Stadio Olimpico.
THE PEOPLE: Sir Alex Ferguson last night confirmed that Rio Ferdinand will show up for England duty tomorrow. Also: Stuart Lancaster accused his England side of going missing as their Grand Slam hopes were shattered by Wales.
THE SUN ON SUNDAY: Rio Ferdinand has made Roy Hodgson sweat over his England recall. Also: Stuart Lancaster admitted his Grand Slam-chasing England team failed to turn up as they crashed to a record defeat.
THE OBSERVER: It was not even close. Wales retained the championship title for the first time since 1979, a year when they defeated England 27-3 in Cardiff. Also: Like a distance runner lapped before the bell, Manchester City will plod on, but the defence of their Premier League title finally collapsed when they lost to a villains-to-heroes Everton team who were reduced to 10 men after 61 minutes by the dismissal of Steven Pienaar.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY: There were chants of “easy, easy” long before the end, but this win, and Wales’s retention of the Six Nations Championship was about so much more than schadenfreude at a horribly outclassed England’s failure to capture the Grand Slam. Also: Italy sent out a warning ahead of the 2015 World Cup after they powered to their first win over Ireland yesterday in what has arguably been their most successful Six Nations campaign.
SUNDAY TIMES: No Grand Slam aspirations have ever been so cruelly and clinically and utterly demolished. Also: Just as Italy began the Six Nations with a rousing and historic win, so they completed their campaign on a stirring note, ending a 16-year barren stretch against Ireland and so giving Andrea Lo Cicero, their ageing and eccentric prop, an appropriate send-off at an emotion-filled Stadio Olimpico.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: That’s it then. The 2013 RBS Six Nations is all over. Also: England enforced the follow-on abroad for the first time in 13 years, a decision that owed much to Stuart Broad, whose six for 51 was his best bowling performance in an overseas Test.