Lionel Messi delivered a moment of history for Barcelona on this day in 2009, as Manchester United lost the Champions League final in Rome.

Arsene Wenger also has fond memories of May 27 from his Arsenal career, having achieved an unprecedented FA Cup feat at Wembley three years ago.

Shane Watson powered Chennai Super Kings to 2018 IPL glory, while back in 1995, the great Jonah Lomu scored the first tries of a famous New Zealand career.

Join us in looking back on some memorable moments from this day in years gone by.

 

1995 – Jonah Lomu scores his first tries for New Zealand

One of rugby union's all-time most famous faces made his mark on this day back in 1995.

Lomu scored his first two tries for New Zealand as they claimed a 43-19 win over Ireland in a Pool C clash at the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg.

He finished the tournament as joint-top try-scorer on seven as the All Blacks reached the final, where they were famously beaten by hosts South Africa.

Lomu tragically died at the age of 40 in November 2015.

2018 – Shane Watson scores unbeaten century as Chennai Super Kings win the IPL

It is two years since a spectacular innings from Watson secured Indian Premier League glory for Chennai Super Kings.

Questioned for putting their faith in a squad of players approaching the end of their careers, it was fitting that Chennai's triumph would be sealed by 36-year-old Watson's unbeaten 117 from 57 balls.

Watson hit eight sixes and 11 fours to dominate the contest, the Super Kings easing to an eight-wicket win with nine balls remaining.

 

2009 – Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final

Barcelona became champions of Europe on this day 11 years ago, denying Manchester United a piece of history and securing their own place in the record books.

Holders United were looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions Leagues in the modern format but were dealt an early blow when Samuel Eto'o squeezed a 10th-minute shot past Edwin van der Sar.

A header from Lionel Messi – a goal he still considers the most important of his career – made it 2-0 in the second half as Barca won the treble for the first time in their history in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge.

2017 – Arsenal beat Chelsea in FA Cup final as Wenger wins the trophy for a seventh time

Arsene Wenger became the most successful manager in FA Cup history three years ago when he lifted the trophy for a seventh time.

Premier League champions Chelsea were favourites, but a fourth-minute goal from Alexis Sanchez set the tone for the final.

Victor Moses' red card 68 minutes in made life tougher for the Blues and, although Diego Costa grabbed an equaliser, Aaron Ramsey struck what proved to be the winner three minutes later.

Aside from Wenger's feat – his 10th major trophy as Gunners boss – it was a final fondly remembered by fans for the performance of Per Mertsesacker, who was outstanding at the heart of defence.

The Force have agreed to play in an Australia-based Super Rugby competition, which is set to begin on July 3.

The 2020 Super Rugby season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and with travel restrictions in place around the world, New Zealand has launched its own domestic competition and Australia is doing likewise.

The Force spent 12 seasons in Super Rugby before being cut from the competition in 2017.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rugby Australia (RA) confirmed the Force had officially signed to play in the Australia-based competition, which it is aiming to stage from July 3 through to September 19.

"We are very pleased that Western Force has come on board for Vodafone Super Rugby AU and we look forward to releasing the final elements of the competition, including the season draw, in due course," RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said.

"We remain in dialogue with the Sunwolves around their potential involvement in the competition, but we now know that we have at least five teams secured and will continue our discussions with Fox Sports and our commercial partners over the coming days."

It means the Force will join the Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs in Australia's competition.

Incoming RA chairman Hamish McLennan said: "The return of the Western Force in an Australian-based competition is a great story.

"We are grateful for Andrew Forrest's support and understand that decisions made by Rugby Australia in 2017 were painful for sports fans in Western Australia and the Force players, and we are sorry that they haven't been able to share in the rivalry against their fellow Australian teams.

"I would love to continue to work with Andrew into the future as we use this opportunity to innovate and reinvigorate rugby right across the country.

"Our Australian derby clashes are always up there with the most popular matches each season and it will be great to see those rivalries ignited again in a national competition. Wallabies spots will also be on the line as Dave Rennie and his coaching team run a keen eye over the competition ahead of the international season.

"The players are hard at it in preparation and we can't wait to get the season restarted on July 3."

Dave Rennie is set to start work as Australia head coach ahead of schedule as Danny Wilson will take charge of Glasgow Warriors from next Monday.

Rennie was due to leave the Warriors at the end of the Pro14 season next month, but there has not yet been a decision on whether the campaign will resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Glasgow on Tuesday revealed Wilson will replace Rennie on June 1 in order for both coaches to give their new roles "undivided attention" when rugby union resumes.

Rennie will therefore be free to fully focus on watching Australian Super Rugby franchises in action when they get under way again.

Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys told the Scottish team's website: "We've agreed that this is the right time for Danny Wilson to formally begin his role as head coach of Glasgow Warriors.

"The original plan was for Danny to come in after Six Nations and shadow Dave and his coaching team for the rest of this campaign. We appreciate Dave's willingness to be open and supportive, as this would have given Danny an excellent head start on next season.

"However, given that the 2019-20 season remains suspended for the foreseeable future, we felt that the best thing for the club would be to let Danny get started.

"With sport in Australia planning to return soon, making the change now will also allow Dave to begin his new role as head coach of the Australian national team.

"We are grateful to Dave for everything he has done for our club over the past three seasons, and particularly for how he has been supportive of the current situation, as well as his willingness to share his vast coaching knowledge with all of our coaches."

Wales international Jonah Holmes has joined the Dragons on a long-term deal after he was released from the last year of his Leicester Tigers contract.

Holmes, who can operate on the wing or at full-back, scored 24 tries in three seasons with Premiership side Leicester.

The 27-year-old has been capped three times by Wales, and Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan hopes the region can help him become an established Test player.

Ryan said: "Jonah is a top-class international who is excited to make the move to Wales and join Dragons.

"Jonah has big ambitions, in both the domestic and international arena, and we are pleased that he believes that Dragons is the right fit for him to be able to achieve those goals."

Holmes is relishing a new challenge in the Pro 14.

He said: "I'm pleased to finalise the move and can't wait to get started in a new competition and link up with my team-mates.

"I've spoken at length to Dean, know the ambition for the future and have seen the squad that is being built. I'm excited by the challenge ahead.

"My focus is now totally on Dragons, getting integrated into the squad as soon as possible and trying to get my name on that first team sheet."

England lock George Kruis insists he is not kissing goodbye to his international career after securing a move to Japan.

The 30-year-old will leave Saracens to join up with Panasonic Wild Knights later this year, he has confirmed.

He may be ineligible for England selection while playing his club rugby overseas, with coach Eddie Jones usually limited to selecting home-based players.

However, Kruis, capped 45 times by his country, told BBC Radio Five Live: "This is not international retirement."

Former Japan national team coach Jones looks likely to keep the England door open for Kruis, whose move is reportedly an initial one-year switch.

It remains to be seen whether any exception could be made, given Kruis is leaving a Saracens side who will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of this season as punishment for salary-cap breaches.

Quoted by i News, Jones said: "I wish George all the best for his move to Japan. We had some discussions about his club rugby and I think this offers him the opportunity for a different rugby and cultural experience which will allow him to continue to grow and develop as a player and as an individual.

"George is a tough, well-respected member of our [England] team and I respect his decision."

Kruis will be joined in the Wild Knights ranks by 32-year-old Wales international Hadleigh Parkes, another new addition.

Speaking of what lies ahead, Kruis told his new team's website: "I am extremely excited and honoured to take on this new challenge and chapter in my career, joining [coach] Robbie Deans and the team at Panasonic Wild Knights at what is a really exciting time for rugby in Japan, following the tremendous World Cup they hosted last year.

"I'm taking on new challenges in my career. I'm really looking forward to what I can do."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We wish George every success in the future. He will always be considered a central figure in everything that has been accomplished at Saracens."

The Rugby Championship could be played in a hub in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Rugby Australia (RA) interim chief executive Rob Clarke.

With travel restrictions in place around the world due to COVID-19, a new format could be needed if Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina are to play the annual tournament.

The possibility of all teams relocating to Australia, which has more than 7,100 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 102 deaths, is an option.

Clarke, named RA interim CEO earlier this month, said Australia could host every team later in the year.

"We can do it in the October-November timeframe," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"If we can fly international teams into a hub like Australia that sits in the middle of our territories, and put together a competition structure that might well be more towards a Rugby World Cup-type structure where there might be midweek games and weekend games, try to condense it as much as possible, we're looking at that as a potential solution.''

South Africa won the Rugby Championship last year, ending the All Blacks' run of three straight.

The Sunwolves could yet face Australian Super Rugby sides in an alternative competition.

A schedule for a remodelled competition including the four Australian Super Rugby franchises and possibly the Western Force is expected to be confirmed in the near future.

The Sunwolves have been axed from Super Rugby for the 2021 season and it appeared the coronavirus pandemic would prevent the Japanese team from playing any further part this year.

Yet Rugby Australia interim chief Rob Clarke on Saturday stated the Tokyo-based franchise could be included.

He said: "We're still in discussions with the Sunwolves and the Australian government on that.

"As you can imagine it's not a quick process trying to get clarity from certainly the government in the first instance and then the Sunwolves having to react to that to understand exactly what they can do and in what time frame, so we're working diligently on it, but we don't have a final answer."

It is hoped the competition can commence on July 3 and run for 11 weeks. 

Rugby Australia (RA) and the Reds have released Izack Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings from their contracts following a pay dispute.

The Reds trio were stood down by the Super Rugby team on Monday after refusing a pay reduction and their nomination for the Australian federal government's JobKeeper subsidy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It came after RA and the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) reached an agreement on a new pay deal last month, with Super Rugby on hiatus due to COVID-19.

On Friday, the trio's management announced they would seek contract termination, but the players – including 25-time Australia international Rodda – were released on Saturday.

Interim RA chief executive Rob Clarke told media: "We've formed the view that they've made their decision and if they wish to go overseas, then that's their decision. There's no avenue open to them in Australia at this time.

"We all have to face the consequences of our decisions in life - I'm not going to speak on behalf of those players, they can speak themselves.

"My job is to protect the game and Jonno's [director of rugby Scott Johnson] job is to protect the game and to build a foundation for the future and that's what all our energy right this moment is going towards."

Clarke added: "We possibly could have [taken legal action], but on balance we thought this was the most prudent course of action as to release these players given their stated intentions, and we believe taking everything into account, that was the appropriate course of action.

"Going to court is always the last resort and it's a brutal ending to any conflict, so you would always like to mediate and conciliate along the way to get an outcome that suits both parties, in case we haven't been able to. We're very disappointed because those players were part of how we saw the future, but they have they rights and they're entitled to do what they've done."

Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO David Hanham said: "A decision has been made today. Our focus and attention is on the players, staff and rugby community who have committed to our program and our team."

Ten of the leading international rugby union teams are exploring the possibility of a new aligned schedule.

South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina - the nations that make up SANZAAR - and the half a dozen countries that compete in the Six Nations are aiming to collaborate for the sport's benefit.

Several unions have been affected by the impact of coronavirus, with World Rugby having postponed all July Tests and setting aside a $100million relief fund in a bid to assist those struggling the most.

Now discussions are ongoing between SANZAAR and Six Nations boards over a new calendar designed to limit club-versus-country rows and create more lucrative games between the world's best teams.

A joint statement read: "Even though there may be different preferences, from the outset the nations have adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate self-interest and recognise that the international and club game have shared mutual benefits that if approached and managed correctly can enable both to flourish."

It added: "The nations, together with other key stakeholders, remain open to shape the options that have been developed in an effort to resolve an issue that has held the game back for many years and are committed to putting rugby on a progressive path."

Last month World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont suggested a Nations Championship - similar to cricket's recently formed ICC Test Championship - could get off the ground after being met with initial resistance.

 

May 22 was a memorable day for fans of Inter and Jose Mourinho.

A decade ago, the Portuguese led the Nerazzurri to a treble by beating Bayern Munich in the 2010 Champions League final.

That was a fine achievement for Italian sport, though the country's rugby union team were certainly not celebrating after being thrashed by New Zealand in the opening game of the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987.

Here we take a look at major events that happened on May 22 in previous years.

 

1987 - The Rugby World Cup arrives

Though the annual Home Nations (now the Six Nations, of course) has been staged in some form since the 1880s, it took over a century for the powers-that-be to form a truly global rugby union tournament.

In 1987, 16 nations headed for New Zealand and Australia for the first ever Rugby World Cup.

The opening game pitted the All Blacks against Italy, with the co-hosts storming to a 70-6 triumph.

In fairness to Italy, New Zealand breezed past most opponents that year, swatting aside Scotland, Wales and France in the knockout rounds en route to lifting the trophy in Auckland.

2003 - PGA Tour test for Sorenstam 

Annika Sorenstam became the first woman to play a PGA Tour event in 58 years in 2003.

Her participation in the Bank of America Colonial was met with strong disapproval from multiple major winner Vijay Singh, though spectators were certainly receptive to the Swede as she carded a one-over 71 in her first round.

Yet a second-round 74 meant Sorenstam missed the cut by four shots.

Speaking afterwards, an emotional Sorenstam said she would not play another PGA Tour event again.

 

2010 - Milito brace gives Mourinho and Inter another trophy

No Italian team had ever won a treble until 2009-10, as Mourinho's Inter won Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.

The final trophy in the set was delivered in Madrid, where Diego Milito scored both goals in a 2-0 triumph over Bayern Munich.

Mourinho became the third manager, after Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld, to win the European Cup/Champions League with two different teams, having earlier done so in his career with Porto.

He would soon be calling the Spanish capital home too, leaving Inter to take charge of Real Madrid shortly after the final.

Clubs from English rugby's Premiership have been told they cannot start training for at least two weeks, dealing a blow to hopes of a resumption in July.

Last month it was suggested Premiership clubs were working towards a best-case scenario of the league returning on the weekend of July 3-5 and playing midweek games with the hopes of an August 15 final.

However, Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy – who will step up to director of rugby in July – suggested teams will first need eight weeks to train.

With the Professional Game Board (PGB) agreeing more time is needed before sessions can safely begin, it appears August is the earliest the season can continue.

Chris Booy, chair of the PGB, said: "A meeting of the Professional Game Board was held which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association and Championship clubs.

"The group agreed that, although a huge amount of work is being undertaken to enable a safe return to training for Premiership clubs, more time was needed to ensure that players, staff and officials can return to a safe training environment, and that is not expected to be in place for a minimum of two weeks.

"Safety and welfare remains of paramount importance to all of us in the rugby community, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so.

"Further updates on progress will be made in due course."

All Blacks star and Crusaders captain Scott Barrett re-signed with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Super Rugby side until 2023.

Barrett's recommitment to NZR runs through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it was announced on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old lock, who is one of three brothers in the All Blacks squad alongside Beauden and Jordie Barrett, has made 36 international appearances since debuting for New Zealand in 2016.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said: "This is massive news for New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks.

"Scott has already made an outstanding contribution to the team since making his debut back in 2016 and we know the best is yet to come. It's really exciting for the future having him re-signed."

Barrett and the Crusaders are preparing for the start of next month's Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The Crusaders, Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders will begin a season of their own, starting June 13, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand's five Super Rugby teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, beginning with a clash between the Highlanders and Chiefs behind closed doors in Dunedin on June 13.

France full-back Anthony Bouthier has signed a two-year contract extension with Montpellier.

Bouthier joined Montpellier from Pro D2 outfit Vannes last year and continued his rapid rise by making his Test debut in the Six Nations opener against England in February.

The 27-year-old started all four matches in the competition before it was suspended with Les Bleus second in the table, behind England on points difference.

Montpellier on Monday announced they have rewarded the rapid Bouthier for an outstanding start to his time at the club.

Bouthier, now contracted until 2023, said: "I am very happy to extend my contract for two more seasons. Thank you to the staff and managers for trusting me.

"I feel great in this city and in the club. I made the choice to stay because it is the MHR which made me discover the highest level and which gives me confidence.

"It is also a club which plays the leading roles each year and which has ambitions to raise its first Brennus Shield [awarded to the French champions].

"Now I can't wait to get back to the field and the team-mates to have a great season, hoping to play in front of our supporters."

Scotland back Ruaridh Jackson has announced his retirement.

The 32-year-old Glasgow Warriors star confirmed the news in an Instagram post on Monday.

Jackson featured 33 times for his country and declared he had lived his "childhood dream".

He is now set to pursue a new career in the drinks industry.

"It is not the fairytale ending I may have dreamed about, but I want to say a huge thank you," he wrote on Instagram.

"I have achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of, but it is now time to embrace a new challenge.

"I have been so fortunate to live out my childhood dream of playing rugby, not just professionally but for my country.

"It has been a journey that has allowed me to travel the world, make some incredible friends and, without doubt, has given me some of the happiest days of my life.

"I have played at some amazing clubs: Wasps, Harlequins and, of course, two stints at Glasgow Warriors, which will always hold a special place in my heart. The supporters will be one of the things I will miss most."

Jackson debuted for Scotland in 2010 against New Zealand and went on to score 37 points on the international stage.

Having started out with Glasgow, he returned to the club in 2017 following spells with Wasps and Harlequins. 

Reds trio Izack Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings have been stood down amid a pay dispute.

Rugby Australia (RA) and the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) reached an agreement on a new pay deal last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But Rodda, Lucas and Hockings have refused a pay reduction and their nomination for the Australian federal government's JobKeeper subsidy, the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) said in a statement on Monday.

"Many industries in Australia are facing the same circumstances as sport in this country and the majority of our people have agreed to reduced hours under the federal JobKeeper legislation, which is assisting businesses such as ours through the COVID-19 pandemic," QRU chief executive David Hanham said.

"We understand this situation is difficult for everyone and individual decisions need to be made to protect the long-term viability of rugby in Queensland.

"As we have outlined before, these conditions are necessary at present and allow the QRU to create a financial bridge to the other side of this pandemic.

"Unfortunately, we have had to take the decision to stand down three of our players. Given the recent negotiated player-payment reduction agreement, this was not a situation the QRU had expected to face.

"As we build towards the likely resumption of community and elite rugby, the QRU remains focused and on track to deliver on its three goals during the COVID-19 period – to ensure the health and safety of our people, to protect the financial viability of the QRU and to ensure the safety and viability of our clubs."

RA director of rugby Scott Johnson said the players were "looking at their legal position", although he hopes a resolution can be found.

Australia, which has more than 7,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 99 deaths, is looking to launch a Super Rugby competition in the country in early July.

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