18-02-2019 Everything’s a little too cosy in football’s game of family fortunes | Daniel Taylor

Why do managers keep signing their sons and using them as agents? And just what persuaded Cardiff to give contracts to Willie McKay’s twins?By now, I expect you might have seen that old video clip of the time Harry Redknapp was hosting a question-and‑answer session at West Ham and taking a bit of heat from someone in the audience who seemed to suspect they might have taken their reputation as a family club a little too far.The irate fan didn’t seem to care when Redknapp said the 18‑year‑old sitting to his right was destined for the “very, very top”. That player was a young Frank Lampard. “Not good enough,” complained the punter. Why, he wanted to know, was Lampard getting a game? Why had the manager’s nephew been fast-tracked into the team when a better player by the name of Scott Canham had been let go for peanuts? Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Brett Morris hat-trick powers Roosters past Wigan in World Club Challenge

• World Club Challenge: Wigan 8-20 Sydney Roosters• Sydney side start superbly and ride second-half pressureTrent Robinson had promised in the buildup to the World Club Challenge that, irrespective of the purported attitude from Australian rugby league to the event, his Sydney Roosters were here to respect both the competition and the Super League champions, Wigan. That respect may well have been pivotal in ensuring the Roosters were crowned world champions for a record-equalling fourth time.History awaited Wigan, who knew that victory against the all-conquering NRL premiers would ensure they became the first side in rugby league history to win the World Club Challenge five times. They will look back on a desperately below-par opening quarter as their downfall – but can stand proud for their performance thereafter. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Martina Navratilova criticised over 'cheating' trans women comments

Former tennis player says trans athletes competing in women’s tournaments is ‘insane’The former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has been criticised for “disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic” comments after she argued that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments was “insane and cheating”.The tennis player and gay rights campaigner first drew criticism from equalities activists and trans athletes when she tweeted in December: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.” Continue reading...

18-02-2019 David Squires on … Chelsea's humiliation at Manchester City

Our resident cartoonist on Maurizio Sarri’s dismay, Mike Dean and a man trying to wear trousers as a jumperTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

18-02-2019 FA Cup: Bristol City 0-1 Wolves highlights

Watch highlights as Wolves overcome resilient Bristol City at Ashton Gate to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2003.

18-02-2019 The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapitation strike. It’s a military term and it’s all about targeting the key individuals of an organisation and taking advantage of the knock-on effect – watching everything else fall away if you can eliminate their leaders. It could well be a key theme for Wales to target England’s half-backs in a similar fashion on Saturday.Owen Farrell is so influential in terms of how he organises England’s attacking and territorial shape, and he and Ben Youngs would be the two Wales targets. That may look like the Wales scrum-half coming hard off the defensive line, making sure that Farrell has to pass early, negating the ability to bring Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi into the game thus winning the gainline battle. If Wales make him play early then they can bring their defensive line up and shut down England’s options. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Shaun Harvey to step down as Football League’s chief executive in May

• Harvey will leave role at end of the season • I am proud of what we have achieved, he saysShaun Harvey will step down as the Football League’s chief executive at the end of the season after five and a half years in the role.Harvey has worked for 25 consecutive years in professional football, all but two of which have been with clubs or the league itself. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Root joins Murray and Southgate in standing up for social tolerance | Tim de Lisle

England captain has done cricket a great service – his reaction to a perceived homophobic remark was cool, calm, collected … and rightCricketers call it sledging, or chirping: the business of trying to undermine your opponent with verbal abuse. It’s a dismal habit that shows us sport at its most small-minded and should have been banned long ago. But this week it has done the world a favour.In the Test in St Lucia, the West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel was bad-mouthing the England captain, Joe Root. What Gabriel said the stump microphone did not catch but it did bring us Root’s reply: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” Continue reading...

18-02-2019 FA Cup: Chelsea v Man Utd - watch best goals

Watch the best goals from the last 20 years of Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup ties, including strikes from David Beckham and Eden Hazard.

18-02-2019 Matti Nykänen, the Flying Finn who fell so far, so fast | Andy Bull

The ski-jumper, who won five Olympic medals, had an otherworldly talent but not the sense, or support, he needed to cope with the fame it won himMatti Nykänen used to fly so far, so fast that it felt as if he would never come down. When the Finn broke the world ski jump record for the fifth, and final, time at Planica in 1985 he was moving so quickly that the cameraman struggled to track him through the air.Watching the footage you wonder if he might disappear into the yonder off the far side of the screen. In those days, the mid-1980s, Nykänen was the best ski jumper in the world and almost unbeatable. The records were the least of it. He won five world titles, five Olympic medals, including three golds in one Games, and four World Cups. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 Dan Carter: New Zealand great to return to Racing 92

New Zealand great Dan Carter is to return to Racing 92 as an injury replacement for the rest of the French Top 14 season.

18-02-2019 FA Cup: Daniel James gives Swansea lead against Brentford

Swansea City's Daniel James scores "a wonderful solo goal" to give them the lead against fellow Championship side Brentford in the FA Cup fifth round.

18-02-2019 Formula E: 'Absolute chaos' as Nelson Piquet crash brings out red flag in Mexico

Nelson Piquet's spectacular crash with Jean-Eric Vergne causes "absolute chaos" and brings out the red flag at the Mexico City E-Prix.

18-02-2019 'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

18-02-2019 The Spin | Sheer pace is sheer bliss though fast bowlers often blow hot and cold

Mark Wood’s Sunday spell in St Lucia was a refreshing reminder of how pace bowling turns a slow game into a fast oneThere are certain words that are crying out to have “sheer” in front of them. Sheer bliss. Sheer lunacy. Sheer pace.In cricket, sheer pace is sheer bliss, as long as it’s on your side. In St Lucia on Sunday evening England, who had been blown away in the first two Tests by a resurgent West Indies attack, finally produced a riposte. Mark Wood came on after 20 overs, when the game is inclined to nod off, and suddenly every delivery carried an electric charge. Bowling to Shai Hope, Wood beat the bat outside off stump with his first ball, and his second, and his third. The fourth was a bouncer, which Hope wisely ducked. The little box on the screen that clocks the bowler’s speed showed 145kph, or 90mph. A stiff breeze was helping, but then Wood, so often kept off the field by a dodgy ankle, deserved a fair wind. Continue reading...

18-02-2019 '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?