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

Steve Ogrizovic: ‘I enjoyed the police. I was good at clearing bars and clubs’

In the first of a series on 90s throwback footballers, Coventry’s former goalkeeper and current coach discusses the team’s shaves with relegation and his father’s escape from the Nazis“He had a trench coat on, he was fleeing the village, and Nazis were opening up on them. They just ran.” Steve Ogrizovic is explaining why his family settled in Mansfield and how a harrowing journey made by his father – ending in England but starting in Yugoslavia during the second world war – shaped his life. Nicola Ogrizovic had already seen his own father shot dead when he fled his home as a 14-year-old in 1942, leaving behind his mother and two sisters.“That was the last time he ever saw his village and his family,” Ogrizovic says. “There was a lake – he went over it and into the woods. It was only when he felt safe in the forest that he checked himself. His coat had been flapping in the wind, there were bullet holes both sides but nothing hit him. He spent the next two years living rough, on the move all the time, evading capture.” Continue reading...

16-11-2018

RFU in turmoil after chief executive Steve Brown’s shock resignation

• News follows 64 staff redundancies at Twickenham• Timing surprise as RFU prepares for World Cup yearSteve Brown is to step down as chief executive of the Rugby Football Union at the end of the year, the governing body has announced. Brown replaced Ian Ritchie in September 2017 but will leave after only 15 months in the role.The news comes in the wake of 64 redundancies being made at Twickenham and amid fierce criticism from former chief executive Francis Baron over what he claims is financial mismanagement by the union. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Football transfer rumours: Godín or Alderweireld to Manchester United?

Today’s fluff might be heading north soonIf Thursday felt like deadline day for the British cabinet then it follows that Friday should be a little woozy, a touch mellow, spent in a fug of regret and looming fear of whatever the Bad Thing was. Fortunately The Mill only knows football and, well, have we got a never-ending stream of guilt-free tittle-tattle for you. First of all, who was José Mourinho watching in Brussels on Thursday when Belgium beat Iceland? None of his Manchester United players were involved, so does that mean he wants another nibble at Toby Alderweireld – who helped Belgium to keep a clean sheet in the 2-0 win – this January? The centre-back was by far the most obvious target out there and it is little secret that Mourinho would like to convince his superiors – a word we naturally wouldn’t use lightly – that United desperately need reinforcing in that position. Related: Alexis Sánchez signing plays part in Manchester United 10% wage bill rise Continue reading...

16-11-2018

England aim to weather Women’s World T20 storm with win over South Africa

• Heavy rain has hampered England’s tournament• Win against South Africa will ensure final four spotIf England can overcome South Africa, the team they squeezed past in last year’s World Cup semi-final, they can go to sleep on Friday having eliminated their recent rivals and secured safe passage to the final four of the Women’s World T20.That, according to coach Mark Robinson, would be some achievement given the hurdles presented to the team in terms of player availability and preparation in St Lucia, constant rain last weekend still preventing their bowlers from training at full tilt. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Thousands of Leicester City fans march to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha – video

Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham. Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium  ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

'He's been a pivotal figure': England teammates praise Rooney after win against USA – video

Wayne Rooney's England teammates were full of praise after the forward made his final appearance for 'The Three Lions' during a 3-0 win over the USA. Captain on the night Fabian Delph described Rooney's presence in camp as 'a breathe of fresh air'. England face Croatia on Sunday in the Nations League Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Gareth Southgate: Semi-final would cap 'brilliant year' for England

England are intent on reaching another semi-final to cap off a "brilliant year", says manager Gareth Southgate.

16-11-2018

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

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?

16-11-2018

Laura Wolvaardt: Meet South Africa cricket's teenage sensation

South Africa's Laura Wolvaardt has a choice - follow a path in international cricket, become a doctor or pursue a music career?

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

Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, All Blacks and a generous fan

Who has 125 caps? Who coughed up? Who is being ripped off?Callum Wilson scored on his England debut on Thursday night, meaning he has one cap and one goal. Which of these players has the same international record?Carlton Palmer Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersMark Hateley Wayne Rooney finished his England career with 120 caps. Who is the only player with more?David Beckham Steven Gerrard Peter ShiltonBobby Moore Who will provide the voice of the Green Goblin in the French language version of the new Spider-Man film?Olivier GiroudThierry HenryMathieu BastareaudTyson FuryThe two best rugby teams in the world – New Zealand and Ireland – meet in Dublin on Saturday night. Ireland have only ever beaten the All Blacks once. Where? FranceAustraliaEnglandUSA Why did the FA suspend referee David McNamara for 21 days?He called a ball boy a “little dweeb” when he wouldn’t give back the ballHe laughed in the face of a player who missed a sitterHe lost his whistle so was forced to shout “STOP” to get the attention of the playersHe forgot to bring a coin for the toss so asked the two captains to play rock, paper, scissors insteadNew Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has managed some of Europe's biggest clubs in his career – including Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea – but he has only ever managed one national team. Which one? ItalyAustraliaGreeceSwitzerlandHow did Coalville Town supporter Damien Trown help the club this week?He ran on to the pitch wearing a full kit without the referee noticing and scored from a cornerHe went to their ground with his lawnmower after the manager had complained about the pitchHe ran on to the field and rugby tackled a streaker – his mumHe gave his replica shirt back to the club as they didn't have one big enough for their new signingThe Golden State Warriors have offered fans a new ticket that costs $100 a month. What is the only drawback for fans?They won’t have a seat or view of the basketball court They are in the singing section and have to pass an audition They have to pick up litter for 15 minutes after matchesThey have to live within a mile of the stadium to qualify for the ticket Which of these football teams has not lost a game in 2018? Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain The US women's teamEngland women's team Complete this sequence: Moscow, Samara, Kazan, New Jersey, Maryland, Riyadh, Jeddah, London …New YorkMilton KeynesColchesterBerlin1 and above.Oh dear, oh dear2 and above.Oh dear, oh dear3 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week4 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week5 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week6 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week7 and above.You're among the elite with that score8 and above.You are excelling in life9 and above.You're among the elite with that score0 and above.Oh dear10 and above.What a score. One to print out and keep. Or at least screengrab Continue reading...

16-11-2018

What can we expect from the league Lions tour to New Zealand next year?

The Great Britain and Irish Lions are back after a 12-year hiatus to face Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New GuineaBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredSo farewell England, welcome back Great Britain – or maybe the Great Britain and Ireland League Lions. Anyway, after a damp squib finish to a handsome series win over the Kiwis, it seems England are to be mothballed for 23 months. An England XIII may play France or Wales next year and the RFL will send a team to the new Nines World Cup in Parramatta the weekend after the Super League Grand Final. But straight after that Great Britain will arrive in New Zealand to play Tonga, the Kiwis, Fiji and Samoa and come home via Papua New Guinea. Well, that’s the plan.Let’s be honest, the return of the Great Britain team is primarily a marketing move by the RFL, one based on exploiting the game’s rich heritage. I’m all for that, as are thousands of others. Richard Lewis suspended the League Lions after the 2007 series for good reasons. There was little sense in England only playing at World Cups, and Great Britain, this epic, touring legend, had stopped touring. Lewis promised to bring it back. The sabbatical has lasted 12 years. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Gordon Taylor faces challenge after call for independent review of PFA

• New chairman Ben Purkiss is seeking to modernise union• Former UK Athletics head Ed Warner in frame to lead reviewGordon Taylor is potentially facing his most serious challenge in his 37 years as the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association after the union’s chairman, Ben Purkiss, called for an independent review. Related: Richard Scudamore’s £5m reflects greedy and ruthless Premier League | David Conn Continue reading...

16-11-2018