Hannah Rankin ready to face Olympic champion Claressa Shields in Kansas

Farmer's daughter Hannah Rankin is a classically-trained musician, but on Saturday she aims to become Scotland's first female world champion.

16-11-2018



Joe Cokanasiga has power and pace to add to England’s strength in depth

Eddie Jones gives Bath wing his debut against Japan, having been impressed with how his fitness has improvedWhen Joe Cokanasiga was plucked from obscurity to tour Argentina last year, Eddie Jones was typically blunt as to why: “He’s big and he’s fast.” On Thursday – Cokanasiga’s 21st birthday – Jones handed the Fiji-born wing a Test debut and cited his immeasurable progress over the past 18 months. Truth be told however, the reason has not changed, even if the soundbite has: “He’s got power and he’s got pace.” Related: The Breakdown | It was tough on Sam Underhill, but England try was rightly disallowed Continue reading...

16-11-2018



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

• 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...

16-11-2018



José Mourinho: People who don't understand football analyse with statistics – video

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has blamed exertions for his side's 3-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.United fought back for a 2-1 victory against the Italian champions Juventus in Turin on Wednesday while City cruised through a home game against Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0.'Everybody has to agree - it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed. We arrived in different circumstances,' said the Portuguese coach. But in contrast with some defeats this season, Mourinho was unwilling to criticise his team's attitude and effort, saying 'for me zero words against my players, everything is positive. I am with them and they are with me.'Sportblog: Would Pep Guardiola win the title with this Manchester United squad? Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Ireland's Joe Schmidt expects ‘spiky’ All Blacks encounter to decide world’s best

• Schmidt: side ‘will give as good as we get’ against New Zealand• Coach defends Bundee Aki’s right to represent IrelandTest rugby is no place for the faint-hearted. With this in mind, Joe Schmidt has predicted another “spiky” clash with the All Blacks which will, in the visitors’ minds at least, decide the mantle of the world’s best team.In their past three drama-filled Tests only three points separate the All Blacks and Ireland, the two top-ranked sides, but much of that engrossing recent history has faded to form a near singular focus on the brutality that punctuated their last match in Dublin. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Richard Scudamore will accept £5m departure bonus from Premier League

• Outgoing executive chairman will get payment over three years• Supporters groups condemn ‘hugely unpopular’ giftSupporters’ groups have condemned the decision to pay the outgoing Premier League executive chairman, Richard Scudamore, a £5m leaving present over three years.Scudamore, who will be replaced by Susanna Dinnage after he steps down next month – will be retained in an advisory role and receive the payment “in recognition of the outstanding work he has carried out” in a decision that was supported by all 20 Premier League clubs. The 59-year-old has also signed a comprehensive set of “non-compete clauses” that ensure he cannot join a rival organisation in that period. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Australians sledging less says South Africa's Faf du Plessis

In-your-face style their strength, says SA captainTwo sides to meet in one-off T20 on SaturdaySouth African captain Faf du Plessis says Australia’s in-your-face style is their strength and should not be sacrificed despite the fallout over the ball tampering controversy.Du Plessis said the challenge of playing Australia still brought out the beast in him ahead of Saturday’s one-off Twenty20 international on the Gold Coast. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Roger Federer marches on at ATP Finals as battle over Davis Cup’s future goes on

• Federer defeats Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3 to top his group• Davis Cup could merge with new ATP Cup to resolve rowTennis might be fighting for its soul but Roger Federer remains its beating heart.On a day when it was learned that a merger of the revamped 118-year-old Davis Cup and the new ATP Cup – which will be held within six weeks of each other at the end of next year and the beginning of 2020 – is one solution being considered to break the impasse that has gripped the sport for five years, the Swiss cruised into the semi-finals of the ATP Tour Finals for the 15th time. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



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

• 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...

16-11-2018



Slavisa Jokanovic deserved more time to transform Fulham’s fortunes | Eni Aluko

All too often the very manager who brought success is the one who makes way at the first bump in the roadThe fact we had entered November and not seen a single manager sacked in the Premier League made for a refreshing change. All too often, dismissals are made in a panic and without the long-term good of the club in question taken into proper consideration. This season it appeared a sense of calm and rational thinking had taken over. All managers seem to have been given time.That was until Wednesday, however, when Fulham sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and immediately announced Claudio Ranieri as his successor. Unfortunately, normal service has been resumed. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Premier League to introduce VAR but clubs reject overseas quota cut

• VAR to be implemented from next season• Widespread opposition to plans to cut overseas playersThe Premier League has finally agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees next season but discussions over increasing homegrown quotas looks set to continue after clubs indicated they were unwilling to reduce the number of foreign players in the event of any Brexit deal.Having opted to extend VAR trials in April, clubs were provided with an update at the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday and have decided to proceed. They will formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa to use VAR next season. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



The Fiver | The potential commercial benefits of honouring former heroes

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Almost two years to the day since he made his final appearance for England at Wembley, Wayne Rooney will make his final appearance for England at Wembley on Thursday, in what amounts to a testimonial for the 33-year-old striker. Rooney called time on his international career in 2017, but like a well-intentioned ex-con in a cliched heist movie has been talked into one last job. The grizzled old veteran will take his place among the substitutes in Gareth Southgate’s squad for a friendly against the USA! USA!! USA!!! so England fans can thank a loyal servant who played quite well in one major tournament England didn’t come close to winning, before playing quite badly in several others they also didn’t come close to winning. As an homage to an international career in which he earned 119 caps and scored 53 goals, Rooney will receive a guard of honour from both sets of players, come on as a substitute and take the captain’s armband from Fabian Delph. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Video assistant referees (VAR) in English football - the story so far

Match of the Day pundits debate how successful the video assistant referee system has been so far in England.

16-11-2018



Rep of Ireland 0-0 N Ireland: Low-key Dublin friendly ends in stalemate

Northern Ireland have the better chances but have to settle for a 0-0 draw in the friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

16-11-2018



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

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

16-11-2018



The Spin | England reaping the benefits of Lions tours that turn tyros into Test players

Four of England’s winning Test team in Galle were on a successful Lions tour to Sri Lanka two years ago and this is one part of ECB planning that should be praisedAs the projected costs of The Hundred mount, tripling from the original estimate of £13m up to £40m – and counting – budgets are being slashed at ECB Towers. Gone is Andrew Strauss’s pet North-South series, gone is the not-so-mourned Pace Programme, gone are the Overseas Placements that so benefited Ollie Pope and Mason Crane in consecutive winters in Sydney.But still hanging on, whether by thread or rope, is the Lions Programme, perhaps English cricket’s most secret and deadly weapon. The first part of this winter’s tour starts on Sunday against Pakistan A, with a four-day match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Five one day and two Twenty20 games follow over the next three weeks, ricocheting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Pope has been dispatched from the main England tour to get more match practice than he would twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines in Sri Lanka. Then, after Christmas, the Lions head to India. Continue reading...

16-11-2018



Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

16-11-2018



Richard Scudamore: Departing Premier League chief to receive £5m farewell gift

Outgoing executive chairman Richard Scudamore will get a £5m farewell bonus paid by clubs, the Premier League confirms.

16-11-2018