Eddie Jones casts doubt on Australia’s concern over David Pocock injury

20-11-2018 • ‘I hear this every time we play Australia,’ says Jones• Wallabies back-row unable to train due to neck problemAustralia are concerned about the fitness of David Pocock for Saturday’s encounter with England because of a neck injury he sustained over the weekend. The Wallabies’ influential back-row was unable to train on Monday and his chances of featuring at Twickenham remain in doubt – even if Eddie Jones says he has heard it all before.Pocock’s absence would be a significant blow for Australia, who overcame Italy 26-7 last Saturday but are nearing the end of a trying year in which they have won only four of their 12 matches. The 30-year-old has enjoyed success against England in the past – he was an outstanding performer in their 2015 World Cup triumph at Twickenham – but the scrum-half Will Genia confirmed on Monday he is “pretty busted”. Continue reading...

Blooming marvellous – Gareth Southgate throws off weeds of caution

20-11-2018 With England facing defeat by Croatia, the manager brought on the 18-year-old winger Jadon Sancho and the world turnedNever throw anything away. That was the lesson from this fun, late-breaking England victory. On an unexpectedly epic afternoon at Wembley, Croatia were beaten by an England 2.0 team who decided to muss their hair, throw the briefcase out the window, create a little chaos with long throws and free-kicks; and win, in the end, a bit like England 1.0.There was a wonderful note of theatre about the finish. As the sun dipped below the lip of the Wembley roof England were 1-0 down then, at 1-1, five minutes from relegation for the first time in their history – and indeed at the very first opportunity. One slightly wild attacking surge later and England are now marching on instead to (it says here) Portugal for a semi-final against whoever December’s Uefa draw at the home of football (AKA the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin) decides to throw their way. Continue reading...

Paul Gascoigne denies sexually assaulting woman on train

20-11-2018 Ex-England footballer, 51, to appear in court over incident on York to Durham trainThe former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has issued an emotional denial on social media after it emerged he has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on a train.The 51-year-old from Gateshead, who won 57 caps, was arrested at Durham station on 20 August. Continue reading...

Four years to go: Qatar on course for its improbable World Cup

20-11-2018 Super-rich state determined to defy doubters as it presses on with preparations for 2022 but being in Doha for a few days prompts scepticismIt began almost a decade ago as the most unfeasible bid ever to host a World Cup: an outlandish proposal for “air-cooled” stadiums in the desert summer heat of a tiny, obscure-seeming Arab emirate with one city, Doha, populated by just 300,000 citizens. Qatar is though, the richest per capita state on earth, and on that cold Zurich night in December 2010 its bid succeeded in garnering a majority of Fifa executive committee votes, and claimed the right to host the 2022 World Cup.Since then Qatar’s planned hosting of the tournament – its ubiquitous slogan in Doha is “Deliver Amazing” with its stated mission to unify people in the Middle East and project a positive Arab experience – has survived a hurricane of challenges. There have been waves of corruption allegations, which the secretary general of the “supreme committee” organising the World Cup, Hassan al-Thawadi, repeatedly denied, denounced and angrily dismissed as anti-Arab prejudice. Continue reading...

Gareth Thomas: 'A lot of people want to hurt us, but more want to help us heal' – video

20-11-2018 Former Wales rugby union international Gareth Thomas has said he was the victim of a homophobic attack in Cardiff in a video on social media.Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009 two years before fully retiring, has since become a campaigner for equal rights. He appeared to have suffered facial bruising from the attack, which he said took place on Saturday night in the Welsh capital.In a post on Twitter, the former Wales captain said: 'there’s a lot of people out there who want to hurt us. But, unfortunately for them, there’s a lot more who want to help us heal.'Teenager apologises to Gareth Thomas over homophobic attack Continue reading...

Germany 2-2 Netherlands: Late drama as Dutch secure semi-final spot

20-11-2018 Virgil van Dijk's late equaliser against Germany sends the Netherlands through to the semi-finals of the Nations League.

Jordan Nobbs’ ligament rupture deals major blow to England and Arsenal

20-11-2018 • Attacking midfielder will struggle to recover for 2019 World Cup• Nobbs suffers anterior cruciate ligament injuryJordan Nobbs could miss next summer’s World Cup in France after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during Arsenal’s 4-0 victory at Everton on Sunday.Considering that the attacking midfielder is a key player for club and country it represents a significant blow for Phil Neville, England’s manager, and Joe Montemurro, who has led Arsenal to the top of the Women’s Super League. Continue reading...

Joe Root ‘will get better and better’ as England captain, says Trevor Bayliss

20-11-2018 • Test squad starting to match level of one-day side, says coach• Australian stands by decision to leave role in September 2019Watch Trevor Bayliss amble over for a chat and it is practically impossible to tell whether his England side have just won or lost. It is not even that easy to be certain of the result when he starts talking. Like England’s rugby coach, Bayliss is an Australian in his 50s who played most of his sport in Sydney but there the similarities seem to end. Bayliss is the most phlegmatic of men, who seems to foster loyalty naturally and who actively craves anonymity.But even he cannot completely disguise a certain excitement about England’s Test team after a series-winning 2-0 lead was secured over Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Sunday. “Apart from one or two this group are fairly close in age, good mates and all seem to be responding to Joe’s call. Off the field it’s starting to get there. Obviously there’s a few more guys from the one-day side in the Test team with Rashid and Buttler but it’s starting to get a feelgood feel just like that one-day team. Hopefully those results continue.” Continue reading...

England make the semis, Irish pain and Swiss on a roll – Football Weekly

20-11-2018 Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Paul Watson to discuss England’s success in the Nations League, Irish woe on both sides of the border, Wales falling at the final hurdle, Switzerland 5-2 Belgium and Jamie Cureton’s milestoneJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We look back at the last few days of football news, starting with England’s 2-1 comeback win over Croatia and subsequent qualification to next summer’s Nations League finals. Continue reading...

Van Dijk snatches a point from Germany and finals ticket for the Netherlands

20-11-2018 • Germany 2-2 Netherlands• Denmark 0-0 Republic of IrelandVirgil van Dijk scored a last-minute equaliser with a fierce volley against already relegated Germany in Gelsenkirchen on Monday night to secure the Netherlands a week in Portugal next June for the finals of the Nations League. Related: Germany 2-2 Netherlands, Denmark 0-0 Republic of Ireland: Nations League – as it happened Continue reading...