Winners and losers of the 2023 NFL Draft

Winners and losers of the 2023 NFL Draft

Despite having only 17 games per team, the NFL still manages to remain a major topic of conversation in the US throughout the year, even when there are no games to talk about.

It’s a phenomenon that has infiltrated coverage of the Premier League, over the summer months, where fans are arguably more captivated by heated TV debates between ex-pros than live football matches.

This kind of hysteria, which has been amplified in recent years by social media and 24-hour sports news, is nothing new in America. For fans of the NFL, terms like ‘recruitment strategy’ and ‘rebuilds’ have been a part of the sport’s vernacular for more than three decades, and the reason for this is simple – the NFL draft.

Unlike Premier League football clubs, NFL teams don’t have youth academies for nurturing young talent. Instead, all 32 teams are entered into a draft, where they will be able to choose from the best college players in the country.

NFL Fan Wembley

NFL London

The draft, as well as player movement in the free agency market, is what dominates NFL discourse during the lengthy off-season. In the regular season, coaching staff and players try everything within their power to win a Super Bowl. During the off-season, however, an organisation is focused on one thing and one thing alone, forming a dynasty – a team that can dominate across multiple seasons. In recent years, fans have been arguably more excited by the prospect of the latter than the former.

This is why so much importance is placed on the draft, which is a bonafide event in the NFL calendar where cities bid to host the ceremony. In April 2023, Kansas City, the home of reigning Super Bowl champs the Chiefs, welcomed the biggest college prospects in the US for the draft.

If a team can recruit wisely in a draft, they can potentially lock down key positions for 10 years in a matter of days. A bad draft, on the other hand, could set a team back for several seasons.

Every year 259 players are drafted into the NFL, where typically the weaker teams will get first dibs on the most promising players, notwithstanding trades. However, when and where a player is picked in the drafting order is not necessarily an indication of how well they will perform in the NFL. Legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who won a record seven Super Bowl titles and three NFL MVP awards was famously picked in the sixth round (199th overall pick) in the 2000 draft.

UK-based fans of the NFL will no doubt have had a keen eye on the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2023 draft, with all-three teams set to feature in the NFL London games this autumn.

The Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans are scheduled to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the Jacksonville Jaguars will play at Wembley Stadium in what will be their 10th consecutive visit to the capital during the regular season.

The conclusion of the draft has sparked conversations between fans and experts about who will be the big winner of the event. The true victor won’t be known until the players chosen have shown what they can do in future seasons, but it’s still an exciting topic to debate. Below we have profiled the three London-bound teams plus one other standout franchise that made headlines during the draft.

NFL Draft Grades 2023

Buffalo Bills: A

The Bills are genuine Super Bowl contenders going into the 2023 season, despite falling short last year in the AFC Divisional Round.

They boast one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league in Josh Allen and going into the draft, they desperately wanted to bolster his receiver options. With their first pick the Bills traded up to the 25th to secure tight end Dalton Kincaid, arguably the best TE on the board.

The Bills were also lightweight in the offensive line meaning Kincaid’s blocking abilities will be a welcome added bonus. In the second round, the Bills picked up guard O’Cyrus Torrence, a player many predicted would go in the first round.

Tennessee Titans: B

The Titans had a lot of issues to address going into this year’s draft following a disappointing 7-10 season, chief among them was the offensive line which is why they selected OL Peter Skoronski with the 11th overall pick.

In the second round, the Titans picked up QB Will Levis, a player some analysts predicted to go in the top 15. The jury is still out on current Titans QB Ryan Tannehill so this may prove to be a shrewd pick in the future, but other positions, namely WR, OT and centre arguably needed addressing more urgently in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: C

With a 9-8 record last season the Jaguars scraped into the playoffs and will be hoping to reach the postseason again this time around. Going into the draft the Jaguars desperately needed to bolster their offensive line to protect QB Trevor Lawrence following the suspension of starting OT Cam Robinson and the loss of Jawaan Taylor (OT) to the Chiefs in free agency.

With their first pick, the Jaguars acquired Anton Harrison, OT, at the bottom of the first round, which should plug the gap in the Jaguars’ offensive line. Another position that required attention for the Jags was cornerback, and in the 6th round, they picked up Christian Braswell, a player many consider to be undersized for his position but has the potential to be effective with his speed as a special teams player.

Philadelphia Eagles A+

Everyone is talking about the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2023 draft and for good reason. The Eagles were on the brink of glory last season and are expected to take the championship in the coming year.

The Eagles had a top-10 draft pick courtesy of a trade with the New Orleans Saints in 2022. With that pick the Eagles selected DT Jalen Carter, the most talented player in the draft in the eyes of many but overlooked by the teams ahead of the Eagles in the draft. They further bolstered their defence with linebacker Nolan Smith, the 30th overall pick although he was predicted to go inside the top 15 according to several pundits.

Even in the third and fourth rounds, the Eagles were picking up potential starters with safety Sydney Brown and CB Kelee Ringo, both of whom were expected to be drafted much sooner than they eventually were.

The rest of the league will be looking upon the Eagles with envy following a stellar draft, only time will tell if their picks will contribute to a Super Bowl crown or dynasty. 

Experience NFL London with Engage

Here at Engage, we offer brilliant hospitality packages at both the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Wembley. Experience the unforgettable NFL London matches in a special hospitality environment with one of our packages.

Which Ashes stars are playing in the IPL?

Which Ashes stars are playing in the IPL?

The Ashes are fast approaching and England haven’t won the famous Urn since 2015, including two 4-0 series losses away in Australia.

Ben Stoke’s men will be looking for revenge under new[ish] coach Brendon McCullum who led England to an unbeaten 2022 after he took charge that March.

The bookmakers can’t split the two sides ahead of the tournament. At this stage, predicting a winner is virtually impossible, but one thing is for sure, the series will be a spectacle.

The real winners are going to be those who can get their hands on tickets across the five nominated venues; Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. Not only are these some of the most sacred stadiums in world cricket, but the promise of more runs and quick wickets courtesy of ‘Bazball’ should make this series one of the most entertaining yet.

With little to choose between the two teams, cricket analysts are looking for any clues ahead of the 1st Test in June. A glance at both prospective squads and both England and Australia have key players playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) ahead of the series.

The IPL is the pinnacle of franchise T20 cricket and boasts some of the biggest stars in the sport including David Warner, Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes. The league began in late March with the final game being played on 1 June, just two weeks before the first Ashes Test.

Ahead of the IPL, the respective stances of the two Ashes captains was notable. Pat Cummins of Australia opted out of this year’s IPL in order to focus on the Ashes. Ben Stokes, on the other hand, has received pain-killing injections to ensure he can play in the tournament.

With one eye on the Ashes, here’s a look at some of the key players for England and Australia currently plying their trade in the IPL.

The Ashes Test Cricket

The Ashes 2023

England Test players in the IPL

Ben Stokes (Chennai Super Kings)

Test skipper Ben Stokes has missed the first two games of the IPL due to injury but is set to return as a specialist batter for the Chennai Super Kings before heading off to prepare for England’s first Test of the summer against Ireland on 1 June.

England fans will be praying Stokes avoids an injury during his stint in the IPL. As captain, he carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, a position he seems to thrive in. During the 2019 Ashes, at the end of a decisive third Test at Headingley, Stokes finished unbeaten on 135 as England recorded their highest successful chase. His final four was one of the most thrilling moments in the history of the Ashes.

Harry Brook – Sunrisers Hyderabad

Yorkshire batter Harry Brook was snapped up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad just four months after making his Test cricket debut. Brook recently recorded his first century in this year’s IPL after a slow start in his opening three games. Since making his Test cricket debut, Brook has scored 807 runs and averaged 100.87 in his first nine innings – a new Test cricket record. England fans will be hoping he carries this form over into the Ashes.

Jofra Archer – Mumbai Indians

Fast bowler Jofra Archer will have his finger crossed for a Test return after a two-year absence due to injury. For Archer, the IPL may have come at the right time as he tries to build up match fitness.

Archer has claimed 42 wickets with an average of 31.04 in his 13 Tests for England, although his last appearance came during a 10-wicket defeat against India in February 2021, a year before McCullum took charge.

Joe Root – Rajasthan Royals

Star batter and former England captain Joe Root makes his IPL debut for the Rajasthan Royals. Root hasn’t played T20 cricket since 2019 and it’s unclear how much of a role he will play for the Royals, although the experience will stand him and other England players in good stead ahead of the ODI World Cup in India this Autumn.

As for Test cricket, Root’s record is there for all to see, he is England’s second-highest Test run-scorer of all time behind Alistar Cook, and he’s only 32.

Australia Test players in the IPL

Cameron Green – Mumbai Indians

23-year-old all-rounder Cameron Green became the most expensive Australian in the history of the IPL when he joined the Mumbai Indians for approximately $3.15 million AUD. Considered to be of the country’s brightest young stars, Green claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket in 2020 and scored his first Test century in March 2023 in a series against India.

Josh Hazlewood – Royal Challengers Bangalore

The tall pace bowler has been a part of the last two Ashes series and has often been compared to Aussie bowling legend Glenn McGrath.

Hazlewood currently ranks no.2 in ODI, and no.1 in T20I in the ICC Men’s Player Rankings. He was a part of the Australian side that won both 2015 Cricket World Cup and 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Australia fans will be hoping he can carry over his strong form with the white ball into Test cricket, although his Ashes build up has been blighted by injury – he is yet to make an appearnace for the Royal Challengers due to an issue with his achilles.

David Warner – Delhi Capitals

A batsman whose skill has been undermined by several controversies, the most high profile of which was a ball-tampering scandal in 2018 that ultimately led to a one year suspension from international cricket.

The former vice Test captain is the third highest run scorer of all-time in the IPL but he’s currently winless in five matches with the Capitals this year. The left-hander is yet to hit a six in 228 runs and 195 deliveries in the competition, which is well below expectiations for a cricketer of his stature in the T20 format.

Time will tell if Warner finds his feet before the start of the Ashes, where a more conservative approach might suit the Aussies go-to opener of the last decade.

Our Ashes Hospitality

Experience one of Cricket’s biggest test matches with Engage Hospitality. With packages for every test match over the summer, Engage can guarantee great service while watching an exciting match.

Find out more about our Ashes Hospitality.

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win in 2023?

World Number two Rory McIlroy will be hoping to complete the career Grand Slam at this year’s 87th Masters at Augusta National from April 6-9.

The Northern Irishman is bidding to join the likes of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods as winners of golf’s all four majors.

His last major victories were in 2014 when he claimed the Open Championship and PGA Championship, but since then it has been a case of near misses for McIlroy at majors.

The Open Championship

The 2023 golf season so far…

However, the three-time PGA Tour Player of the Year has started the 2023 season in promising form with a victory at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. He birdied the final two holes to narrowly beat Patrick Reed by one shot in a thrilling climax.

McIlroy will be further buoyed after his promising final round at Augusta in 2022 when a bogey-free score of 64 saw him jump from ninth to finish as runner-up in the Masters – he’ll be hoping to go one step further this year.

A recap on the 2022 golf season

In 2022 the green jacket was won by American Scottie Scheffler, and the 26-year-old World Number one has carried his good form over into 2023. In February, Scheffler successfully defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open – he shot a final round 6-under 65 to beat Nick Taylor by two strokes.

Scheffler followed the Phoenix Open with victory at The Players Championship by five strokes, and, in doing so joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the Masters Tournament and The Players Championship in a 12-month span.

Joining McIlroy and Scheffler as Masters contenders is former US Open champion Jon Rahm. In February Rahm won the Genesis Invitational, his fifth title in his last nine tournaments worldwide solidifying him as one of the most in-form golfers in the lead-up to Augusta. Last year, Rahm finished the Masters tied for 27th place, bringing a run of four consecutive top-10 finishes to an end.

Rory McIlroy’s career

McIlroy has enjoyed a storybook career so far, one that started when he was just 7 years old when he was the youngest member at the Holywood Golf Club. A decade later he was top of the World Amateur rankings and by 2009, he was winning tournaments on the European Tour.

Before he claimed a Major title, McIlroy’s crowning glory on the world stage was at the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. With the U.S. as the defending champions, Europe won by a score of 14.5 to 13.5 and won the Cup. The 21-year-old contributed two points for the Europeans, most notably in the foursomes when he was partnered with fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.

A year later McIlroy won his first Major – the U.S. Open, finishing ahead of Jason Day by eight strokes. McIlroy set several records with his victory, most notably, his 72-hole aggregate score of 268 (16-under) was a new U.S. Open record.

In 2012, McIlroy was a key part of arguably the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. At the start of the final day’s play, the U.S. led 10–6 and required 4.5 points to win; Europe required 8 points to retain the cup and 8.5 to win it outright. Europe won eight and tied one of their remaining 12 singles matches, including McIlroy’s victory over Keegan Bradley.

Two years later, McIlroy achieved the highlight of his career so far, by winning the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. He defeated Rickie Fowler and Sergio García by two strokes to claim his third Major title. In doing so, McIlroy became the third European to win three different Majors and joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as one of three golfers since the first Masters Tournament in 1934 to win three majors by the age of 25.

Undoubtedly, McIlroy is one of Northern Ireland’s greatest exports, and he will have the backing of an entire nation from the first tee to the final putt at this year’s Augusta.

The luck of the Irish in sport

It has been a good year for Irish sport so far, most notably in Rugby Union, with Ireland winning the Six Nations with a Grand Slam. Andy Farrell’s side are the number-one ranked nation in the world and are hotly tipped to win the World Cup in France this Autumn.

Meanwhile, the Irish dominated once again at the Cheltenham Festival with 18 wins over the course of the week, compared to just 10 from the UK.

And, in the world of boxing, Ireland’s Katie Taylor will look to become a two-weight world champion when she takes on the light-welterweight champion, England’s Chantelle Cameron, at the 3Arena in Dublin on May 20 for her first professional fight in Ireland.

However, McIlroy will surely top the list of Irish success stories with a victory at Augusta, and in doing so, cap off a glorious career with a career Grand Slam.

It’s 3 in the US for F1

Since its inaugural season back in 1950, the United States has been a mainstay in Formula One, despite the prominence of other motor racing championships in the country such as NASCAR and IndyCar.

In the sport’s 73-year history, the US ranks 10th on the all-time list of Grand Prixs held, and that number will be further bolstered by the inclusion of three US-based Grand Prixs in 2023, the most in a single season since 1982.

The three races will be held in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas respectively, and are sure to be among the most star-studded races on the F1 calendar, with a host of A-list celebrities guaranteed to be on the grids.

Formula 1 Hospitality

United States Grand Prix

Date: Sun, 22 Oct, 20:00

Track: Circuit of the Americas

The United States Grand Prix has been held in Austin for the last 10 years at the Circuit of the Americas. The first race was held in 2012 in front of 100,000 spectators, as Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in what would turn out to be his last-ever win as a McClaren driver.

The high-speed runs have been compared to Silverstone whilst the S turns have been likened to the Suzuka circuit in Japan.

Now driving for Mercedes, British driver Lewis Hamilton has won the most United States Grand Prixs with six wins, however Max Verstappen of Red Bull has won the last two on his way to claiming back-to-back World Championships.

As you might expect from an American sports event, music concerts are often organised around the main spectacle. For instance, in 2016, Taylor Swift performed the evening before race day as 270,000 fans attended across the weekend.

The following year, former US President Bill Clinton presented the winning trophy to seven time World Champion Lewis Hamilton after his victory. That year, Justin Timberlake helped to further boost attendances with a pre-race performance. Other musical acts to have performed include Bruno Mars and Britney Spears.

The race in Austin is always one of the most popular on the F1 calendar, thanks to its status as one of the coolest American cities with its vibrant nightlife and much-loved food.

In 2022, Mr Austin himself Matthew McConaughey was among the attendees along with fellow actor Brad Pitt, pop star Ed Sheeran and hip-hop legend Pharrell Williams.

Miami Grand Prix

Date: Sun, 7 May, 20:30

Track: Miami International Autodrome

From one party town to another, the F1’s inaugural Miami race was last year in 2022, when, you guessed it, Dutchman Max Verstappen claimed victory ahead of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, both of Ferrari.

The circuit itself probably most closely resembles Melbourne Park, giving the 19-turn track the feel of a street circuit, despite being held at the Hard Rock Stadium, home to NFL outfit the Miami Dolphins.

The 5.41km track consists of 19 corners, three straights and three DRS zones, so you can expect plenty of overtaking.

With six Super Bowls, two World Series and numerous music concerts under its belt, the Hard Rock Stadium is one of the elite venues in America. The state-of-the-art stadium combined with an intimate street-style circuit creates an ideal viewing experience for the spectators in the Sunshine State.

Predictably, there were stars galore at the 2022 Miami GP including basketball legend Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and former England captain, and owner of MLS team Inter Miami, David Beckham.

F1 Austria Grand Prix Paddock Club

Miami GP

Las Vegas Grand Prix

Date: Sat, 18 Nov, 06:00

Track: Las Vegas Street Circuit

Las Vegas will host its first Grand Prix since 1982 at an all-new circuit around the Las Vegas Strip, which will bypass famous landmarks like Caesars Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian.

The 6.12km, 14-turn street circuit is expected to be one the quickest races on the calendar with speeds likely to exceed that of Italian track Monza, otherwise known as the ‘Temple of Speed’.

Despite being a completely new track, Las Vegas has hosted GPs on two separate occasions in 1981 and 1982, for the Caesars Palace Grand Prix. Williams driver Alan Jones claimed victory in 1981 and Michele Alboreto of Tyrrell won the 1982 race.

The 2023 race is scheduled for lights out on Saturday night and is one of the most highly anticipated F1 races of the year. New tracks always carry with them an air of unpredictability, which will only add to the entertainment value.

Off the track, there will be plenty to keep fans entertained as well, with Vegas band The Killers heavily rumoured to be performing.

Don’t be surprised to see a few Vegas locals such as Mike Tyson, Celine Dion and Floyd Mayweather Jr. show up for the main event too.

It’s going to be a blockbuster for F1 in the US, so which race will you choose?

Las Vegas GP

What to expect at the MLB in London

Baseball is very much riding along the coattails of the NFL in this country, following a surge in popularity in the UK in recent years.

In June, St Louis Cardinals will play the Chicago Cubs at the London Stadium in a two-game series in Stratford.

The MLB London series has become a regular fixture on the London sporting calendar since its launch in 2019, when the New York Yankees faced the Boston Red Sox, in the first official MLB game in Europe.

Now it’s the turn of the Cardinals and the Cubs who have 11 and three World Series Championships respectively. The two will compete at the former Olympic Stadium which will transform into an authentic ballpark.

MLB Pitch

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

The Cardinals and the Cubs

This isn’t just any old matchup either, the Cardinals vs Cubs is a 130-year-old rivalry owing to the proximity of the two cities and the fact they are divisional rivals in the National League Central.

The division was created in 1994, by moving two teams from the National League West (the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros) and three teams from the National League East (the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals).

Since then the Cardinals have dominated, winning 12 of the last 26 division championships, plus three wild card wins. The Cubs have the second most division championships with six, as well as three wild card wins.

However, the ultimate prize, i.e. the World Series Championships, was claimed by the Houston Astros in 2022 (now of the American League West), defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 in a best-of-seven series.

The 2023 regular season begins on March 30 and both the Cardinals and the Cubs will be hoping to reach the postseason. Last year only the Cardinals made it to the playoffs, losing in the wild card round to eventual runners-up the Philadelphia Phillies.


Players to look out for

Both teams boast some of the league’s best players including third baseman Nolan Arenado, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (both Cardinals) and outfielder Ian Happ (Cubs), all of whom were selected for the 2022 All-Star Game.

For context, Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals is the 9th best player on the MLB The Show video game (baseball’s equivalent to FIFA) with a 95 overall rating.

All the ingredients are there for a fiery matchup between two of baseball’s most respected teams. The Cardinals are second only to the New York Yankees with 11 World Series titles, their last coming in 2011 against the Texas Rangers.

As for the Chicago Cubs their last World Series title came in 2016, a historic occasion which saw the ‘North Siders’ end their 108-year World Series drought.

The MLB London Series

Although still in its infancy, the London Series is already starting to make its own history. In 2019, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox contested a two-game series and the first regular season game ever to be played in Europe. The Yankees won the first game 17–13, and the second 12–8. Such was the success of that game, the partnership has been extended to 2025 so you can expect more MLB action in Europe in the years to come.

What to expect at the London Stadium

Ahead of the series, the London Stadium will have a new baseball field overlay fitted onto the existing field and running track, as it did in 2019, with a seating configuration that will emulate the intimate feel of a classic American ballpark.

Fans can also expect the very best of baseball cuisine, with dishes inspired by the home cities of the two clubs – St. Louis and Chicago.

Special guests and musical entertainment are yet to be announced but in 2019, the ceremonial first pitches were thrown by participants of the Invictus Games with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in attendance.

We suspect they won’t be returning for this year’s iteration, which is a shame because they are going to miss one hell of a show. Be sure to avoid disappointment and book your seats now.

Why 2023 will be a blockbuster year in golf

2022 was a year full of drama in golf, both on and off the course. The three-way tug of war for golf’s biggest stars between the PGA, DP World Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf has divided players and fans alike.

It’s the kind of situation more commonly-associated with professional boxing with its litany of sanctioning bodies, but, unlike boxing, it seems there will be no unification with the LIV anytime soon.

Among the stars to have joined the LIV tour include several major champions and former world number ones: Dustin Johnson, Sergio García, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood.

In a Washington Post interview published on 5 June 2022, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said that Tiger Woods had declined to join, turning down a deal that was “mind-blowingly enormous; we’re talking about high nine digits.”

The best of the 2022 golf season

On the fairways, one of the enduring images of the 2022 golf season was at the 150th Open Championship – the home of golf. The tournament was particularly poignant for Tiger Woods, as he walked down the fairway of the 18th hole to rapturous applause. This was most likely the last time Woods contests The Open at St Andrews, a course he has mastered like few others.

In the end, the Claret Jug was claimed by 28-year-old Australian Cameron Smith, in one of the great final rounds in Majors history, an unequalled eight-under-par to defeat Cameron Young by one and former champion Rory Mcllroy by two.

Smith was the third man to win his first-ever major championship last year after Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick’s maiden wins at The Masters and US Open respectively.

The first major of the year will be contested in April – The Masters in Augusta. Many eyes will be on Rory Mcllroy as he bids to finally claim a career grand slam, a feat only Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have achieved.

Meanwhile, in September, Team Europe will be hoping for revenge against Team USA in the Ryder Cup. The tournament will be in Italy for the first time, and, with home advantage, Europe will look to improve on their 19-9 defeat in 2021, the biggest margin of defeat since 1979. Henrik Stenson was the initial choice for Team Europe’s captain but he was replaced in August last year by Luke Donald following Stenson’s decision to sign up for the LIV tour.

When and where are the 2023 Golf Majors?

The Masters

Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia

April 6 – 9

The Masters is the first major of the year, and unlike the others, it is always held at the same location – the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. The tournament is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the sport, and, this year, will debut the controversial 13th hole in its new, enlarged format.

The course features some of the most famous holes in golf, including the par-3 12th hole, surrounded by water with its challenging tee shot.

The 2022 iteration was won by American Scottie Scheffler who narrowly defeated Rory Mcllroy by three strokes.

One of the most famous recent memories of The Masters came in 2019 when Tiger Woods claimed his 5th Masters title, 14 years after his last and his first major since 2008.

Golf Day

The Open Championship

PGA Championship

Oak Hill Country Club, New York

May 18-21

Held the weekend before Memorial Day, the PGA Championships has been one of the most significant dates in the golfing calendar since the tournament was first established in 1916.

Last year the trophy was claimed by American Justin Thomas, the only major winner in 2022 to have previously won one.

The last non-American winner was in 2015  when Australian Justin Day lifted The Wanamaker Trophy, defeating Jordan Spieth by three strokes.

US Open

Los Angeles Country Club, California

June 15-18

The US Open is the third of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Since 1898 the competition has been 72 holes of stroke play (4 rounds on an 18-hole course), with the winner being the player with the lowest total number of strokes.

As of 2022, the U.S. Open awards a $17.5 million purse, the largest of all four major championships. Last year, the trophy was claimed by Englisman Matt Fitzpatrick who defeated Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by a single stroke.

Unlike other majors the US Open is open to any professional, or to any amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. Players (male or female) may obtain a place by being fully exempt or by competing successfully in qualifying. The field is 156 players. About half of the field is made up of players who are fully exempt from qualifying.

The Open

Royal Liverpool Golf Club, England

July 20-23

Founded in 1860 The Open is the oldest golf tournament in the world. The reigning champion is Australian Cameron Smith, who won the 2022 Open at St Andrews with a score of 268.

In 2000, Tiger Woods, having just won the U.S. Open, became champion by a post-war record 8 strokes to become the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at age 24. After winning the 2002 Masters and U.S. Open, he became the latest American to try to emulate Ben Hogan and win the Open in the same year. His bid came to a halt on Saturday with the worst round of his career up to that time, an 81 (+10) in cold, gusty rain. He went on to win again back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 to bring his total to three wins.

One of the Open’s most recent memorable moments came in 2009 when 59-year-old American Tom Watson led the tournament through 71 holes and needed just a par on the last hole to become the oldest ever winner of a major championship. Watson eventually lost a four-hole playoff to fellow American Stewart Cink.

Ryder Cup

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Italy

September 25 – October 1

The Ryder Cup may not technically be a major but it’s arguably the most famous golf tournament in the world.

Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup took place in the United States in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts. The home team won the first five contests, but with the competition’s resumption after the Second World War, repeated American dominance eventually led to a decision to extend the representation of Great Britain and Ireland to include continental Europe from 1979.

The 2021 Ryder Cup was held on the Straits course at Whistling Straits, Haven, Wisconsin, from 24 to 26 September 2021. The United States defeated Europe 19–9, to clinch the largest margin of victory in the modern history of the event.

One of the best Ryder Cup clashes in recent memory came in 2012 at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. Under captain José María Olazábal of Spain; the Europeans were down 10-4 after 14 matches, with two four-ball matches still on the course and 12 singles matches to be played the next day. At the end of day two, Englishman Ian Poulter made five birdies on the final five holes to give him and Rory McIlroy the point over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson of America. Despite being down 10-6 going into the final day, Europe came back to win by 14+1⁄2 points to 13+1⁄2. Out of the 12 points available on the final day Europe won 8+1⁄2 points with the U.S. winning only 3+1⁄2 points.

Top Events in Manchester 2023

There is something special about the city of Manchester, with its abundance of sporting and musical exports from Joy Division and Oasis to the Busby Babes and the Class of 92.

With such a conveyor belt of talent recognised the world over, it is fitting that Manchester should boast some of the UK’s finest venues to showcase its roster of stars.

In the coming months, these venues will play host to the biggest stars in sports and entertainment and spaces will no doubt be limited despite the vast capacities many of Manchester’s stadiums hold.

Manchester United vs Chelsea –  Old Trafford – 22 April

A guaranteed sellout, Old Trafford, the UK’s largest club football stadium will host a classic Premier League encounter in April. Arguably United’s toughest remaining league fixture, despite Chelsea’s recent dip in form, Marcus Rashford and co will be hoping to turn over The Blues en route to the club’s first title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

At the time of writing, Erik Ten Hag’s men still have an outside chance of winning the Premier League, and, if that still remains the case in April, this match will go a long way to deciding the title.

Chelsea may not be in the title race themselves, but they will relish the opportunity to have their say and prevent an old rival from going all the way in the process, as they did in 2016, after defeating rivals Tottenham and confirming Leicester City as Premier League champions.

Evolution Suite Old Trafford View

Manchester United v Chelsea

Arctic Monkeys – Emirates Old Trafford – 2 June

The boys from Sheffield are back following the release of their seventh studio album The Car, which peaked at No. 2 in the UK album charts behind Taylor Swift’s Midnights.

The seven-time Brit award winners have reinvented themselves over the years, from their garage rock upstart in 2006 with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, to the lounge pop tone of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino in 2017.

The Monkeys have headlined Glastonbury twice in 2007 and 2013 respectively, and are heavily rumoured to do so again in 2023.

In June they will take centre stage at the Emirates Old Trafford in front of 10,000 people. They last played the venue in 2007 and will be supported by famous Swedish rockers, The Hives, and Liverpudlian four-piece, The Mysterines.

Frequently lauded as one of the best bands of all time, even Bob Dylan has claimed to have made “special efforts” to see the Arctic Monkeys live. You won’t want to miss this.

Arctic Monkeys

The Ashes 4th Test – Emirates Old Trafford – 19-23 July

It’s back, four years since the last Ashes Series in England which ended in a 2-2 draw, with Australia retaining the old trophy having won the 2017-18 series.

After England’s last Ashes humiliation in Australia, a 4-0 defeat, Ben Stoke’s men will be looking for revenge under new coach Brendon McCullum who led England to an unbeaten 2022 after he took charge in March.

With nothing to choose between both teams going into the tournament the 4th Test will likely be pivotal in deciding the eventual outcome. With England’s all-guns-blazing batting style and Australia’s clinical bowling attack, the series will no doubt be a perfect storm of classic Ashes chaos.

England vs New Zealand T20 – Emirates Old Trafford – 1 September

Completing our hat trick of Emirates Old Trafford events is England’s T20 clash with New Zealand. A year on from their World Cup success England will be hoping to solidify their status as the team to beat in white ball cricket.

The series is sandwiched between The Ashes and the Cricket World Cup, so players will be looking to catch the eye of selectors pre-tournament.

Whether England win or lose The Ashes, a night of big sixes will be the perfect response and the Barmy Army will be behind them every step of the way.

Peter Kay Live – AO Arena, Manchester – 22 September – 1 December

Modestly billed as, “one of Bolton’s funniest comedians,” Peter Kay is finally back for his first stand-up tour in 12 years.

One of Britain’s best-loved comedians, Kay’s 2010 tour still officially ranks with the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest-selling comedy tour of all time, playing to over 1.2 million people.

When tickets first went on pre-sale, the 02 Priority website crashed. Such has been the demand, Kay announced additional dates for 2024 and 2025.

Fans had similar frustrations when trying to purchase Beyonce tickets for her 2023 UK tour, leading some to call her the ‘Peter Kay of pop’.

One thing is for sure, the Bolton funnyman will no doubt have Manchester in raptures come September.

F1 – what has changed for 2023?

The pinnacle of motor racing is set to return in March, with a cocktail of new cars, drivers and races to look forward to.

Last year’s champion Max Verstappen is again the odds-on favourite to take the Driver’s Championship along with his team Red Bull for the Contructor’s Crown.

At the time of writing all of the new cars have been revealed ahead of pre-season testing for the 2023 season, where contenders for the title may yet emerge, chiefly in the form of Mercedes and Ferrari.

Last year’s top three teams all have unchanged driver lineups but there have been many changes elsewhere in the field.

F1 2023 driver changes

Following the retirement of four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin were able to entice none other than Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who has won the World Championship two times made the surprise switch from 4th-placed Alpine to 7th-placed Aston Martin in the postseason.

The popular Daniel Ricciardo was ousted by McClaren and replaced by Oscar Piastri, a 21-year-old rookie with Formula 2 and 3 titles under his belt.

To replace Alonso Alpine opted for Pierre Gasly to complete their all-French driver lineup with Esteban Ocon.

As part of the knock-on effect, AlphaTauri replaced Gasly with Nyck de Vries, the Formula E champion and long-time Mercedes reserve.

Elsewhere, rookie Logan Sargeant replaces Nicholas Latifi at Williams and Nico Hulkenberg has replaced Mick Schumacher at Haas after impressing as Aston Martin’s reserve driver last season.

The aforementioned Ricciardo keeps his place in the F1 bubble by virtue of Red Bull, where he will serve as the team’s reserve driver.

Silverstone Ferrari

2023 Formula 1

F1 2023 rule changes

To combat the porpoising issues many teams had last year four additional changes will come into play according to the FIA: floor edges have been raised by 15mm; the diffuser throat height has been raised; the diffuser edge stiffness has been increased; and an additional sensor has been mandated to more effectively monitor the porpoising phenomenon.

In terms of safety, following Zhou Guanyu’s horrific crash at the British Grand Prix last year, new roll hoop regulations have been put in place to reduce the possibility of the hoop digging into the ground after impact.

One of the most impactful regulation changes is likely to be a reduction in minimum car weight. A reduction of 2kg – to 796kg has been given the green light ahead of the new season, meaning mechanics will be doing everything within their power to  shave off weight. It’s possibly the reason why so many of the new cars this season feature black designs – bare carbon fibre is lighter than a coat of paint.

Looking ahead to race formats and sprint races will once again be a feature in qualifying expanding from three to six for the new season. It’s essentially a 100km dash with no pit stops to determine the grid lineup on race day – think of it as F1’s answer to T20.

The races with sprints in 2023 will be; Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, Austin and Brazil.

At the tail-end of last season, the issue of cast caps dominated the F1 headlines as Red Bull were found to have exceeded the $145m cap by $2m.

The cost cap has been reduced to approximately $135m for the 2023 season.

Silverstone British Grand Prix cars

Formula 1 – Silverstone

F1 2023 calendar and new races

The F1 calendar in 2023 will be the biggest ever in the competition’s history featuring 23 races (up from 22 last year), including the all-new Las Vegas street circuit. The Qatar GP will also be returning to the calendar in 2023.

March 5: Bahrain (Sakhir)

March 19: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)

April 2: Australia (Melbourne)

April 30: Azerbaijan (Baku)

May 7: Miami (Miami)

May 21: Emilia Romagna (Imola)

May 28: Monaco (Monaco)

June 4: Spain (Barcelona)

June 18: Canada (Montreal)

July 2: Austria (Spielberg)

July 9: Great Britain (Silverstone)

July 23: Hungary (Budapest)

July 30: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

August 27: Netherlands (Zandvoort)

September 3: Italy (Monza)

September 17: Singapore (Marina Bay)

September 24: Japan (Suzuka)

October 8: Qatar (Losail)

October 22: USA (Austin)

October 29: Mexico (Mexico City)

November 5: Brazil (Sao Paulo)

November 18: Las Vegas

November 26: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

From the glamour of Monaco to the octane of Spa, there isn’t a circuit in this year’s F1 calendar that won’t delight fans. With an exciting roster of drivers, and a new set of regulations for teams to contend with, it’s bound to be a highly competitive season both on the race track, and in the politically-charged paddocks.

The hit Netflix series Drive to Survive has provided fans with unprecedented access to the trials and tribulations of F1, but there’s nothing quite like seeing the events of race weekend unfold in front of your eyes.

The grid on race day is truly a sight to behold, you have the drivers, aka the prized assets being fanned and fussed over like Egyptian pharaohs, whilst the mechanics, resembling Stormtroopers in matching uniforms, exchange paranoid glances as they agonise over rival cars, looking for potential regulation breaches. And then, of course, you have the fans, who, despite a chorus of engine revs, can be heard chanting their favourite driver’s name, on a day they are likely to never forget.

Lights out and away we go…

Rugby World Cup France – Will the hosts go all the way?

The second round of Six Nations fixtures saw a classic encounter between Ireland and France, with the Irish coming out on top 32-19 in Dublin.

It was a breathless match between arguably the two most in-form teams in world rugby – France, the reigning Grand Slam Champions and Ireland, the number one ranked team in the world.

Unfortunately, due to the peculiarities of the World Cup draw which was made in 2020, the thrilling match will not be a World Cup Final preview, as both teams are on the same half of the draw, and destined to meet at either the quarter-final or semi-final stage.

However, it is very possible that one of those two teams will end up as world champions, and with home-soil advantage, the case for France is pretty compelling.

How have France performed in previous tournaments?

For French rugby, the World Cup represents a series of missed opportunities. Les Bleus have competed in every tournament since the World Cup began in 1987 and have reached the final on three occasions, of all the Six Nations sides, only England has a better record.

Yet, the narrative of France at the World Cup has been one characterised by self-implosions. 2007 springs to mind, when the French were hosts and strong contenders before losing to Argentina in Paris in the opening match.

Les Tricolores followed this with a quarter-final victory over New Zealand in Cardiff, only France could be so awful one week and so brilliant the next.

The 2007 campaign ended in a semi-final defeat to England, after finishing the break 5–6 ahead the hosts lost 14-9. Their World Cup misery was complete with a defeat to Argentina again in the bronze medal match.

France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Four years later in 2011, France’s World Cup campaign was marked by turmoil within the camp; reports before the tournament indicated as many as 25 of the 30-member squad had turned against head coach Marc Lièvremont.

In pool play, France had unimpressive wins over Japan and Canada, an expected loss to New Zealand, and a shock loss to Tonga.

Despite the losses, they qualified for the knockout stage. At this time, the players effectively rebelled against Lièvremont; after the tournament, Harinordoquy would tell the French rugby publication Midi Olympique, “We had to free ourselves from his supervision.”

In true French fashion, the team responded by defeating England 19–12 in the quarter-final and controversially beating Wales 9–8 in the semi-final

The French proved admirable opponents in the final, however, losing out to hosts New Zealand 8–7 to finish second for the third time in a Rugby World Cup.

The 2011 tournament left many wondering if the French would kick on, under a new head coach as a unified team. However, the ensuing decade was something of a decline for French rugby, punctuated by moments of individual brilliance.

Rugby World Cup France 2023

Even with current head coach Fabien Galthié in charge, the 2019 World Cup campaign in Japan exposed France’s tendency to implode – 17 points ahead in the first half against Argentina and Tonga only to be hanging on by a thread in the final stages. In the quarter-final, Les Bleus were 12-0 up against Wales but failed to score a point in the second half, in part due to the dismissal of Sébastien Vahaamahina for violent conduct – they lost the game 20-19.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1987, Ireland has never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage – it’s a classic sporting curse, equal to England and penalty shootouts or Tim Henman and Wimbledon semi-finals.

The closest Ireland has come to a semi-final was back in 2015, when they lost to Argentina at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Ireland had defeated France in the last pool game, avoiding a quarter-final clash with New Zealand in the process. A match against underdogs Argentina was seen as Ireland’s best-ever opportunity to break the quarter-final curse, but, after coming back from a 17-point deficit to come within 3 points of The Pumas, Ireland eventually lost 43–20.

Could it be France’s year?

In spite of a chequered World Cup past France do go into the tournament, at the time of writing, as favourites, and there is good reason for this.

Before the defeat to Ireland in the Six Nations, France were on an unbeaten run since 2021. Les Bleus played 10 Test matches last year and won them all, including victories against South Africa and Australia as well as a Six Nations Grand Slam.

The French also boast some of the finest talents in world Rugby such as star scrum-half Antoine Dupont, winger Damian Penaud and centre Gaël Fickou, not to mention lock Cameron Woki and centre Jonathan Danty who were both absent through injury for the Ireland match.

Combine this with home-soil advantage and a clear, coherent strategy under coach Fabien Galthié and France should be a force to be reckoned with.

Marseille Rugby

Rugby World Cup France 2023

How do France look in their group?

France are currently ranked 2nd in the world thanks to their form over the past two years. Unfortunately for Les Bleus, this has no bearing on the World Cup draw which was made in 2020.

As a result, some of the rankings have changed but the draw has remained the same.

By March 2022, the top-four ranked teams were South Africa, Six Nations champions France, the All Blacks and Ireland. Despite this, all teams will be in the same half of the draw at the 2023 World Cup, meaning two of them will not make it beyond the quarter-finals.

To add insult to injury France were drawn into the same pool as three-time champions New Zealand.

France will play The All Blacks in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup at the Stade de France in September.

A repeat performance of that quarter-final in 2007 and French rugby fans will certainly start believing that this is their year.

It’s a tough draw but the French have already proven they can go unbeaten, week after week, at last year’s Six Nations so why not on the world stage in their back garden?

England Cricket to see this Summer

Rarely has there been so much optimism surrounding England Test cricket. Following the Ashes debacle down under in 2021/22, England secured eight wins from nine since April last year.

The most recent of these victories came against Pakistan in December 2022, as the tourists claimed a series whitewash, winning the final test by eight wickets.

It capped off a remarkable year for England in Test cricket, one that saw them defeat New Zealand, India and South Africa. However, it’s not just England’s winning record that is impressing fans but the style in which they are playing.

‘Baz’ ball success

Much of England’s recent success can be attributed to New Zealander Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum, who was announced as England’s Head Coach in April last year. Since then, England have averaged 4.77 runs every over, their previous best was 3.81 in 2011 and they have only surpassed the 3.5-run mark in five out of 145 years of Test cricket.

McCullum’s super-aggressive tactics have been likened to T20 – regardless of England’s position in the game, all batters are encouraged to go for their shots rather than sit back and defend.

In a sport so often written off as slow and boring, this England team is reinventing the way Test cricket can be played, and winning convincingly in the process. It is therefore unsurprising to see so many fans buoyed by a festival of summer cricket.

Before England’s Ashes showdown with Australia, they must first take on the Kiwis in a two-test series in New Zealand. This will be the second time New Zealand have faced England in the McCullum era, it will be fascinating to see if they approach the game any differently, we know England won’t.

Summer Test Cricket

England vs Ireland: Thursday June 1 – Monday June 5 – Lord’s, London

In a one-off Test match ahead of the Ashes England will take on Ireland at Lord’s. The last time the two teams faced each other was in the T20 World Cup in October 2022, when Ireland caused an upset, winning by five runs. Thankfully for England that would remain the low point of a tournament they ended up winning, beating Pakistan in the final by five wickets.

The Ashes 2023

1st Test – Friday June 16 – Tuesday June 20 – Edgbaston, Birmingham

2nd Test – Wednesday June 28 – Sunday July 2 – Lord’s, London

3rd Test – Thursday July 6 – Monday July 10 – Headingley, Leeds

4th Test – Wednesday July 19 – Sunday July 23 – Old Trafford, Manchester

5th Test – Thursday July 27 – Monday July 31 – The Oval, London

The highlight of the summer is undoubtedly the 2023 Ashes series in England. Australia is currently the world’s number-one ranked Test side and will arguably be England’s toughest opponent since McCullum was appointed, not least because of their impressive bowling attack, which will put England’s front-foot batting firmly under the microscope.

With the likes of Hazelwood, Cummins and Starc, Australia boasts one of the fastest bowling lineups of all time and are likely to meet fire with fire if England continues to bat as aggressively as they are.

England haven’t lost an Ashes series on home soil since 2001 and the bookmakers can’t split the two sides ahead of the tournament. At this stage, predicting a winner is virtually impossible, but one thing is for sure, the series will be a spectacle.

The real winners are going to be those who can get their hands on tickets across the five nominated venues; Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. Not only are these some of the most sacred stadiums in world cricket, but the promise of more runs and quick wickets courtesy of Bazball should make this series one of the most entertaining yet.

Not only that but the aggressive style of both teams could lead to quicker innings and reduce the impact the notoriously unpredictable English weather might have on playing time.

Summer T20 cricket

Twenty20 International Series vs New Zealand

Wednesday August 30 – Riverside, Chester-le-Street (6pm)

Friday September 1 – Old Trafford, Manchester (6pm)

Sunday September 3 – Edgbaston, Birmingham (2:30pm)

Thursday September 5 – Trent Bridge, Nottingham (6pm)

Many England fans are still buzzing from England’s T20 World Cup triumph in October. With a series to contest with New Zealand shortly after the Ashes, will it be a case of bouncing back from defeat or building on the momentum from victory? One thing is for sure, putting bat to ball for 20 Overs will be the perfect response.

Summer ODI cricket

ODI Series vs New Zealand

Friday September 8 – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (12:30pm)

Sunday September 10 – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton (11am)

Wednesday September 13 – The Oval, London (12:30pm)

Friday September 15 – Lord’s, London (12:30pm)

ODI Series vs Ireland

Wednesday September 20 – Headingley, Leeds (12:30pm)

Saturday September 23 – Trent Bridge, Nottingham (11am)

Tuesday September 26 – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol (12:30pm)

With all the excitement of The Ashes and England’s recent T20 success, it’s easy to forget that there’s a cricket World Cup to be won this year, which is played in the ODI format (One inning with 50 Overs per side). Of course, England will go into the tournament as reigning champs, and who could forget the heroics of Ben Stokes in the final vs New Zealand in 2019? The all-rounder scored 14 runs from four balls to take the match into an unprecedented Super Over, with six balls for each side to decide the winner. England ultimately claimed victory and will be hoping to repeat their success at the World Cup in India this October/November.

However, before that, England will play against New Zealand and Ireland in warm-up matches before the big event. With Ben Stokes retired from the ODI format, will a new England player announce themselves as a potential hero before entering the world stage?