24-01-2019 Rugby still has room for unorthodox magic to prevail in Six Nations | Robert Kitson

Stuart Barnes’ latest book is a timely reminder before the 2019 Six Nations of how the unexpected can be decisiveThe language of rugby has changed hugely in the past quarter of a century. What used to be a tackle is now a big hit and wingers have wheels or gas as opposed to pace. The term dummy scissors belongs in a museum, along with garryowens and argy-bargy. Naughty feet, game-changers, taking the learnings and going upstairs are rather more commonplace now than sidesteps, replacements, mud-baths or players drinking bottles of red to help them sleep better on the eve of major internationals.It partly explains why Stuart Barnes’s new book, Sketches from Memory, is such a thought-provoking read. As a commentator and pundit, few wrestle with rugby’s modern lexicon on a more regular basis than Barnesy, never one to employ a cliché where a smart literary reference might do instead. The former Bath and England fly-half writes as he once played: dull orthodoxy remains his sworn enemy. His latest tome, typically, is not just any old rugby book. From Bob Dylan to Bath and Shakespeare to Sky, there is something for everyone in its honest, trenchant revealing and, occasionally, poetic pages. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Pouille to face Djokovic in Australian Open semi-final after defeating Raonic

• Raonic surprisingly beaten 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4• Kei Nishikori pulls up lame to hand Djokovic a free passA year since Rafael Nadal scrambled calculations for the Australian Open by quitting with a hip injury in the quarters, Kei Nishikori did likewise on day 10 when he handed Novak Djokovic a free pass into the last four.The world No 1 plays Lucas Pouille on Friday night after leading 6-1, 4-1, when Nishikori, one of the most physically fragile players on the Tour, found the pain of a quad strain too much to bear. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Watch 'incredible recovery' as jockey Mikey Sweeney almost falls off and still wins

Jockey Mikey Sweeney on Ask Heather almost falls off but makes an "incredible recovery" then goes on to win the race.

24-01-2019 Paul Scholes says Class of 92 should have greater role at Manchester United

• Scholes surprised that only Nicky Butt works at United• Scholes feels ‘you’ve got your club back’ with SolskjærPaul Scholes believes it is “strange” that only Nicky Butt of the Class of 92 works at Manchester United, the former midfielder stating that Sir Alex Ferguson’s wish was for them all to have roles.Scholes was referring to himself, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary and Phil Neville together with Butt, who is the head of academy at United. Scholes went as far as to say that he had been left feeling unwelcome at United. The six own 60% of Salford City, following the announcement on Wednesday that Beckham has bought a 10% stake. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Ben Stokes’s five-ball burst underlines claims he is Flintoff’s heir apparent | Ali Martin

England all-rounder marks 50th cap by giving West Indies a taste of his indefatigable brawn and a natural ability to get the ball hoopingAt 9am the England supporters had swamped the public spaces outside the Kensington Oval, perusing the market stalls, taking on early fluids and jostling for pictures in front of the cover-driving statue of Sir Garfield Sobers.Inside the so-called mecca of Caribbean cricket another all-rounder was also being celebrated. In the pre-match huddle Ben Stokes received his 50th England cap from his former county teammate Steve Harmison, who once planted his personal flag in the region when blasting Michael Vaughan’s side to a series win in 2004. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Winx world’s best at last but has to share top billing with Cracksman

• Australian mare won her fourth Cox Plate in October• John Gosden’s Cracksman rated alongside Winx on 130Winx, the Australian mare who took her winning sequence to 29 races with a record fourth success in the Cox Plate in October, was named the world’s best racehorse for the first time in her career at a ceremony in London on Wednesday.She took only a share of the prize, however, as Cracksman, John Gosden’s Champion Stakes winner, was rated alongside Winx on a mark of 130, with Accelerate, the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, third on the list with a rating of 128. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Seething Sarri, Liverpool win again and a slide-tackling fan – Football Weekly

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Dominic Fifield and Ed Aarons discuss Chelsea, Liverpool’s win over Palace, Claude Puel’s future at Leicester, Spurs’ dramatic win and the Charlton fan who slide-tackled his own playerJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We start by discussing Saturday’s London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri questioning his team’s motivation following their 2-0 defeat. We then move on to Liverpool’s wild win over Crystal Palace, before turning our attentions to the potentially differing futures of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Claude Puel. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 David Squires on … Mesut Özil and Unai Emery's relationship

Our resident cartoonist takes Arsenal’s enigmatic playmaker and his manager to see a counsellorTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

24-01-2019 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.

24-01-2019 Victoria Pendleton reveals she considered taking her own life

• Former Olympic cyclist speaks about mental health issues• 38-year-old has ‘turned a corner’ after summer tormentFormer Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has revealed she considered taking her own life last summer.The 38-year-old has previously spoken about her mental health issues and, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, has given a graphic account of how matters deteriorated. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Unai Emery: 'Manchester United are a new team under Solskjær' – video

Unai Emery believes Manchester United are a ‘different team’ with Ole Gunnar Solskjær at the helm. United travel to face Emery’s Arsenal on Friday night in the pick of the FA Cup fourth-round ties Continue reading...