Andy Farrell says succeeding Joe Schmidt will be his greatest challenge

16-02-2019

• Ireland assistant ‘proud and privileged’ to take reins• Farrell confirms Johnny Sexton will be fit for Italy gameAndy Farrell has rated succeeding Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach the biggest challenge of his career. The former dual-code England international will step up from assistant coach when Schmidt steps down after the autumn’s World Cup in Japan.The 43-year-old has worked under Schmidt since 2016 amid Ireland’s rise to second in the world, after four years as England defence coach. Continue reading...



Sebastian Vettel backs Ferrari’s ‘extreme’ design in bid for F1 title

16-02-2019

• Four-times F1 champion ‘really excited’ by Ferrari’s new car• Mattia Binotto says team ‘tried to be as extreme as we could’Sebastian Vettel is confident Ferrari have the car to mount a strong fight for the Formula One title . The team unveiled the SF90 at Marenello on Friday as they attempt to end more than a decade without winning F1, with the team principal, Mattia Binotto, describing the design as an “evolution” pushed to be “extreme”.The car is named to recognise the 90 years since Enzo Ferrari established the Scuderia at Modena in 1929. Since then they have competed in every F1 championship and are the most successful team in the sport. However they have not won the drivers’ championship since Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in 2007 and the constructors’ since 2008. Last season their challenge fell away as Vettel made mistakes and the team failed to match the development of Mercedes. Continue reading...



Leigh Halfpenny ruled out of facing England in Six Nations after setback

16-02-2019

• Full-back Halfpenny will miss Scarlets’ Pro14 match• England urge Moon and Genge to seize latest chanceThe full-back Leigh Halfpenny will not be considered by Wales for their crucial Six Nations match against England in Cardiff next weekend after his planned comeback for the Scarlets at Treviso on Saturday, three months after he suffered concussion, was aborted.Halfpenny returned to full training last week and was released to the Scarlets by Wales on Wednesday in the hope that he would play in Treviso. However, the following day the medical teams of both the region and Wales agreed that his return should be delayed. Continue reading...



Gazprom v Abu Dhabi: an alternative guide to the Champions League ties

16-02-2019

Other states, hedge funds and a tax haven also feature in our look at how club owners and partners stack up in the last 16Schalke 04 Continue reading...



Premiership: Gloucester beat leaders Exeter 24-17 at Kingsholm

16-02-2019

Gloucester upset Premiership leaders Exeter as they win 24-17 in a thrilling contest at Kingsholm.



Is Tottenham's run of 30 league games without a draw a record? | The Knowledge

16-02-2019

Plus: Old Trafford’s mysterious semi-final snub, back-to-back penalty misses and unused subs. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Tottenham have currently played 30 consecutive Premier League games without drawing one,” notes Wouter van Dael. “What is the longest ever such league run?”The short answer is that Spurs are Premier League record-breakers, Wouter, but only just. “Bolton previously held this title with a run of 28 games between March and December 2011,” writes James Clarke. “But in the wider context of English league history, Spurs have a long way to go yet. Twenty-nine clubs have had longer streaks without a draw at some point – and seven have gone more than 40 consecutive league games without a stalemate: Birmingham (43 games), Walsall (44), Leicester (44), Bradford Park Avenue (44), Stoke (46), Sunderland (46) and Aston Villa (51). Although it is probably worth noting that Sunderland’s is the most recent of these, coming comparatively recently in 1908-09. The slightly interesting quirk here is that five of these seven draw-less clubs are midlands teams.Season 2017-1830 Apr Spurs 2-0 Watford5 May West Brom 1-0 Spurs9 May Spurs 1-0 Newcastle13 May Spurs 5-4 Leicester Continue reading...



Ascot, Gowran Park, Haydock, Wincanton: Cornelius Lysaght previews horse racing's 'Super Saturday'

16-02-2019

King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux aims for victory, Waiting Patiently returns, plus more on a bumper day of racing.



Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

16-02-2019

This week's sport on the BBC includes snooker's Welsh Open, Premier League football and the Alpine Ski World Championships, plus much more.



Mark Wood: ‘You almost feel like a superhero … you’re absolutely flying’

16-02-2019

England fast bowler was thrilled to make an explosive impact in the third Test against West Indies after years of frustrationWhat is it like to bowl at 95mph? For Mark Wood, whose scorching return to England’s Test team sent everyone a bit gaga in St Lucia, the answer is wonderfully simple: “You almost feel like a superhero. I’ve been playing Mario Kart recently and yeah, it’s like when you get a magic mushroom and you’re just absolutely flying.”It will come as little surprise to learn Wood is still glowing from victory in the third Test against West Indies and his maiden five-wicket haul. The 29-year-old sat down for a chat this week and, in that inimitable Ashington twang, his delight at finally becoming a match-winner shone through. Continue reading...



Caster Semenya gets government backing in IAAF testosterone row

16-02-2019

• Minister calls proposed limits a ‘violation of human rights’• Double Olympic champion takes her fight to Cas on MondayThe South African government has thrown its weight behind Caster Semenya in her legal battle with world athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, declaring its proposed testosterone limit for women “a gross violation of human rights”.The double Olympic and three-times world 800m champion takes her fight against the IAAF to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) in Lausanne on Monday. Continue reading...



FA Cup: How Liverpool and Everton were stunned by Oldham's Matt Smith

16-02-2019

BBC Sport meets striker Matt Smith, who combined studying for a university degree whilst playing non-league football, before a move to League One Oldham saw him face Liverpool and Everton in the 2013 FA Cup.



Harry Wilson: ‘Ian Rush phoned. I thought what do I call him? Ian? Rushy?’

16-02-2019

The Liverpool winger, on loan at Derby, talks about that five-fingered goal celebration at Manchester United and his surprise Wales debut at 16In October 2013, Harry Wilson was having a lie-in, watching television in bed in academy digs in Eccleston, round the corner from Liverpool’s academy in Kirkby, when his phone rang again. He had already missed a couple of calls from an unknown number. “I don’t usually answer them but something told me to answer it, so I answered it and it was Ian Rush,” Wilson explains, smiling. “He was like: ‘Hiya Harry, it’s Ian Rush.’ I was like: ‘What do I call him? Do I call him Ian? Do I call him Rushy?’ I didn’t really know what to call him.” Related: FA Cup fifth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend Continue reading...



The Fiver | Unfit to face inferior players who have hardly run a lap since Christmas

16-02-2019

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Buoyed, cheered and generally heartened by the sight of Tottenham Hotspur piling some Big Cup hurt on German league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, Arsenal fans can look forward to some fun of their own when their team goes toe to toe with the works team of a tractor factory in Belarus tonight in Euro Vase. Bate Borisov are the opposition in the first knockout round and while most of their players are unknown outside their native country, there will at least be one recognisable face among the ranks. Continue reading...



Gordon Banks on ‘the greatest save ever made’ – video obituary

16-02-2019

England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81. Banks played 73 times for England and was a key figure in Sir Alf Ramsey’s legendary 1966 side. However it’s Banks’s twisting save from Brazilian superstar Pelé that he is often best remembered for, a save deemed ‘one of the greatest feats of goalkeeping’Gordon Banks, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies aged 81 Continue reading...