Just when England rugby needs clarity the waters have been muddied | Robert Kitson

Eddie Jones was at his complicated best as he shared the thinking behind his 36-man squad for the autumn internationalsThe big problem with coaching England, believes Eddie Jones, is the media. In a nutshell they ask too many questions. “Anywhere else you do the press conference for about five minutes and then you are done. Here it is two hours of non-stop questioning.” It partially explains, apparently, why he is now naming co-captains who can take turns feeding the daily news beast.Nice try, Eddie, but what a load of old cobblers. Continue reading...



The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...



Scottish Premiership: Does Scotland have a title race this season?

One of four teams could be top of the Premiership this weekend but what can the table after eight games tell us about how it might end?



Watch: Pakistan batsman run out after thinking ball had gone to boundary

Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali is run out in bizarre circumstances, after mistakenly thinking the ball had reached the boundary on the third day of the second Test with Australia.



NBA 2018-19 predictions: Greek Freak to peak and Warriors to three-peat

How will LeBron James get on in California? Is Russell Westbrook in decline? Can anyone stop Golden State? Our writers have their sayGiannis Antetokounmpo in Mike Budenholzer’s offense. Milwaukee’s new coach will install a system that complements everything the Greek Freak does well – which is practically everything – and mask his one flaw: perimeter shooting. If it works, Antetokounmpo’s surges up the court will resemble an alien attack rather than a basketball offense. OC Continue reading...



Kaneria admits spot-fixing after six years of denials

Former Pakistan leg spinner Danish Kaneria admits to spot-fixing while at Essex, ending six years of denial.



The 10 most improved players in the Premier League this season

Eden Hazard, Gylfi Sigurdsson, James Milner and Callum Wilson have stepped it up this seasonBy Martin Laurence for WhoScoredÉtienne Capoue can be a frustrating player at times. He has real quality, which he showed occasionally in his unsuccessful spell at Tottenham, but this is his longest run of consistently strong performances in the Premier League. He has forged a solid midfield partnership with Abdoulaye Doucouré at Watford and has even overshadowed his fellow Frenchman, the club’s player of last season. Capoue’s total of 53 tackles and interceptions is second only to Idrissa Gueye (54) in the league this season and, having fallen out of favour under Marco Silva, he is now among the first names on Javi Gracia’s teamsheet. Rating: 7.13, up 0.38 on last season. Continue reading...



Messi & Ronaldo then ... ? Vote for your third-best player in the world

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the past 10 men's Ballon d'Or awards - but who did you decide is the third-best player in the world?



FA urges police and social media companies to act after threats to Karen Carney

• Chelsea player subjected to sickening threats after win• Phil Neville asks Instagram: ‘Are you going to do something?’The Football Association has called on the police and social media companies to help shut down online abuse after the England and Chelsea midfielder Karen Carney was subjected to sickening threats.Phil Neville, the England Women manager, pointed out the abuse Carney had received, sharing an Instagram post which wished “cancer, leukaemia and rape” on the 133-cap player. Continue reading...



Boxing faces 'unprecedented risk' of losing Olympic status

England Boxing believes the sport is facing the "grave" threat of omission from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.



Red Sox close on World Series slot after fan interference wipes out Astros homer

Umpire rules fan interfered with Mookie Betts’s attempted catchHome run would have yielded two runs in 8-6 loss for HoustonJose Altuve was sure he’d hit a tying home run for the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series. Then, he saw the signal: he was out.Altuve’s potential homer was wiped away when umpire Joe West ruled that fans reaching for the ball interfered with Boston right fielder Mookie Betts’s attempt to make a leaping catch. Now Houston’s chances to repeat as World Series champions are nearly out of reach after an 8-6 loss on Wednesday night that put the Red Sox ahead 3-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. In the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 after beating them 5-2 in Game 5. Continue reading...



European Open: Kyle Edmund thrashes Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Antwerp

British number one Kyle Edmund thrashes Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0 6-2 to reach the European Open quarter-finals.



From BBL to NBA - Raptors coach on broken down buses and facing LeBron

From a broken down bus on a British motorway to leading a team with a budget of $150m, new Toronto Raptors Nick Nurse coach has done the hard yards.



Serena Williams' coach advocates change in rules after US Open controversy

Patrick Mouratoglou says in-match coaching would help tennisWilliams was given violation for being coached at US OpenSerena Williams’ coach says in-match coaching should be allowed in tennis to help the sport’s popularity.Patrick Mouratoglou, who admitted he used hand signals to try to help Williams during her controversial loss in this year’s US Open final, posted a statement to Twitter on Thursday saying that coaching would let “viewers enjoy it as a show” and “ensure that it remains pivotal in the sport.” Mouratoglou also pointed out that other non-team sports such as boxing and golf permit athletes to consult someone during competition. Continue reading...



Unai Emery urges Aaron Ramsey to keep focus despite contract position

• Midfielder set to leave at end of season or in January• ‘Individual things are not for now,’ Arsenal manager saysUnai Emery has challenged Aaron Ramsey to keep his performances up while his contract runs down. The midfielder, whose deal expires in the summer with negotiations frozen, is keen to see out the season at Arsenal rather than leave in January, and Emery’s only concern is that Ramsey’s performances and motivation stay on track.“I want his performance to be like another player,” the manager said. “At the last match he started on the bench, played 35 minutes. For Monday against Leicester if he starts in first XI or the bench his focus must be to help us in the match, the same as any player.” Continue reading...



Fifty years on: Bob Beamon smashes long jump world record at Mexico Olympics

Lynn Davies looks back 50 years ago today, when Bob Beamon smashed the long jump world record at the Mexico Olympics.



Two-time Olympic champion Moses says he was told to 'shut up' at Wada meeting

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Moses says he was told to "shut up" at a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting.



Lewis Hamilton hails Formula One ‘Godfather’ Juan Manuel Fangio

• Hamilton is on the verge of matching Fangio’s five world titles• The British driver can clinch the championship in TexasLewis Hamilton says Juan Manuel Fangio is the Formula One “Godfather” as he stands on the verge of history by matching the Argentinian’s championship haul.Hamilton needs to outscore Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by only eight points in Austin, Texas to clinch his fifth world drivers’ championship with three rounds to spare. Continue reading...



Houdini acts, bus bonanzas and FA Cup derbies - who will reach round one?

BBC Sport unearths some of the stories to look out for in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round.