Jack Leach confident England can win second Test despite Sri Lanka’s lead

15-11-2018 • Spinner and nightwatchman says bowling last is advantage • Joe Root sends letter to England fans forced out of hotelPresumably Jack Leach drove the team bus home as well. He had done everything else in Pallekele; he bowled the most overs, he opened the batting and then he was wheeled out in front of the press corps after England’s trickiest day of the Test series.Leach had no idea he would be opening the batting until leaving the field; it was a ploy that made sound cricketing sense but still a bit of shock to him. “Rory Burns said: “I’ve been waiting a while to get to this position, you’ve done it straightaway,’” Leach said. Continue reading...

Wayne Rooney's record-breaking England career in numbers – video

15-11-2018 Former England captain Wayne Rooney will bring down the curtain on his record-breaking international career with an honorary appearance against the USA on Thursday.The 33-year-old has been invited back into the national team squad to mark his achievements as the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and as the outfield player with the most capsFootball quiz: Wayne Rooney (on and off the field) Continue reading...

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

15-11-2018 Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

F1 finally admits concern over woman jailed for Bahrain Grand Prix protests

15-11-2018 • Najah Yusuf jailed for three years over 2017 protests• F1 says it is making ongoing enquiries in BahrainFormula One chiefs have admitted for the first time that they are “concerned” that an activist who protested against the Bahrain Grand Prix on Facebook was jailed for three years by the country’s authorities.F1 has traditionally been reluctant to intervene on politics and human rights cases but has made a rare exception in the case of Najah Ahmed Yusuf, who claims she was beaten, sexually abused and imprisoned following a series of posts in April 2017 that were critical of the race and the regime. Continue reading...

Olivier Giroud says it is ‘impossible’ to show homosexuality in football

15-11-2018 • Chelsea forward says there is a lot of work to be done• Giroud has posed on the cover of a gay magazineChelsea’s forward Olivier Giroud has admitted he “understands the pain and difficulty” that prevents professional footballers coming out as gay, saying that it is “impossible” to show homosexuality in the sport.Giroud, who is in the France squad to face the Netherlands and Uruguay this week, posed on the cover of a gay magazine in 2012. Continue reading...

England v All Blacks, delicious drop shots and teen strikers | Classic YouTube

15-11-2018 This week’s roundup also features a monumental high school football comeback and vintage Australian motorsport mayhem1) It’s England against the All Blacks at Twickenham this weekend, which is a rivalry of sorts … albeit deeply one-sided as New Zealand have won 16 of the 23 contests there since 1925. The Red Rose’s last victory was in 2012, featuring three tries in eight minutes and a show-stopping performance from Manu Tuilagi; for balance, witness Joe Rokocoko in his pomp in 2006 as the hosts were thrashed 41-20, the highlight being Carl Hayman scoring one of his two international tries, and what a try it was. Perhaps the greatest ever contest between the two teams, at least on English shores, was this try-fest from 2002; or maybe it’s this 26-26 humdinger from 1997. The opening match of the 1991 World Cup included a big hit by Peter Winterbottom on Graeme Bachop; the great No 7 had also been in action eight years earlier as England claimed their first win over New Zealand at Twickenham for 47 years.2) No matter what transpires on Saturday afternoon, though, it’s unlikely to top Auguy Slowik’s 80m try for Jersey against London Irish in the Championship last weekend. Continue reading...

VAR: Video assistant referees set to be used in Premier League next season

15-11-2018 Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season, after clubs agree in principle to the move.

Joe Cokanasiga to make England debut in one of 11 changes for Japan match

15-11-2018 • Fiji-born 21-year-old on right wing in Jones’s new-look side• Farrell and Hartley drop to bench with Ford named captainJoe Cokanasiga will make his England debut on Saturday as one of 11 new faces brought into Eddie Jones’s side to face Japan. The Fiji-born 21-year-old comes in on the right wing with Jones ringing the changes despite pledging to field his strongest team. Related: The Breakdown | It was tough on Sam Underhill, but England try was rightly disallowed Continue reading...

Chelsea accused of paying Andreas Christensen’s father for work he did not do

15-11-2018 • Football Leaks says father was paid £11,400 plus VAT a month• Chelsea say they ‘do not comment on confidential contracts’Chelsea are facing further allegations that they breached Fifa and Premier League rules by making illegal payments to the father of Andreas Christensen in order to sign the Denmark defender.According to documents obtained by Football Leaks, and published on Thursday by the Danish newspaper Politiken, Chelsea recruited Sten Christensen as a scout on the day they signed Andreas from Brondby six years ago. Continue reading...

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

15-11-2018 How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

Women's World Twenty20: India beat Ireland to reach semi-finals

15-11-2018 India beat Ireland by 52 runs in Guyana to qualify for the Women's World Twenty20 semi-finals.

Talking Horses: Jerry McGrath aiming to right a wrong at BetVictor Gold Cup

15-11-2018 Rather Be presents Nicky Henderson’s jockey with a shot at the biggest success of his career on SaturdayThe chance to right an old wrong is presented to the jockey Jerry McGrath on Saturday, when he gets a shot at the biggest success of his career in the BetVictor Gold Cup aboard the favourite, Rather Be. The pair were edged out in a photo at the Cheltenham Festival in March but the betting market fancies their chance of revenge over Mister Whitaker.“They keep showing replays of the Cheltenham run on TV,” said McGrath between races at Bangor on Wednesday. “I still can’t let that go. But hopefully we’ll try and make amends for it. Continue reading...

Despite the superlatives, hype and awards, Lionel Messi is underrated | Sean Ingle

15-11-2018 He may have won five Ballons d’Or since he made his debut 15 years ago this week but the Argentinian is underappreciatedIn his new book, Nothing is Real, a collection of essays that stretch and soar across a career spanning five decades, the acclaimed music journalist David Hepworth starts with an essay that tickles and provokes. The Beatles, he suggests, were underrated. Yes, you read that right. Underrated.You may have raised an eyebrow, given that barely a month goes by without the Fab Four topping some poll or other. But Hepworth maintains that “the richness of their golden period has never been equalled”, with “listeners ricocheting from one hook to another like a metal ball in one of Bally’s machines”. And he insists that for all the “garlands that posterity has placed upon their brow” their genius is underappreciated. Continue reading...

Uber driving golfer upstages bigger names at Australian Open

15-11-2018 Adam Stephens led at one point at The LakesTournament favourite Cameron Smith strugglesHe is an Uber driver ranked No 1,939 in the world but now Adam Stephens is threatening to turn the Australian Open on its head. As many in the field – including defending champion Cameron Davis and pre-tournament favourite Cameron Smith – floundered during a wet and wild first round in Sydney, Stephens’ dazzling three-under-par 69 left him just two shots off the pace.“My mate told me yesterday ‘you’re 251 to 1 to be the first-round leader’. I said that sounds all right but I’d much rather have you put money on me,’” Stephens said after mixing five birdies with two bogeys at The Lakes. Continue reading...

Claudio Ranieri fastens in for Premier League homecoming at Fulham | Amy Lawrence

15-11-2018 The new manager cannot expect to repeat the success of his Leicester days but will hope his experience helps elicit a quick reaction from the struggling west London sideHi Claudio. Welcome back to a place you loved, and where you were loved. The Ranieri of the Premier League, regarded in different moments as a gentleman, a tinkerman, a caricature joker, a miracle worker, an expert at somehow maintaining composure when form has faltered and the axe has lurked, returns with the words “risk free” ringing around him. Ranieri has seen enough in 32 years of management across five countries to smile wryly at such notions before he gets to work.Preconceptions have followed Ranieri around for long enough – way longer than the infamous reaction to his supposedly left-field appointment at Leicester City (and we all know how that turned out). A certain amount of optimism from the Fulham hierarchy, who chose Ranieri to follow Slavisa Jokanovic, is understandable. But there is no sense jumping to the question of whether Ranieri can recreate something resembling the phenomenon he oversaw at Leicester in his new role at Craven Cottage. Continue reading...

James Conner: The cancer survivor starring for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL

15-11-2018 Pittsburgh running back James Conner describes his journey, from being diagnosed with cancer while at the University of Pittsburgh, to a sensational season in the NFL.