USA ssistant coach Chris O’Brien:  “It’s the fastest growing sport in the country right now and you are seeing kids starting at six and eight years old.” Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty

As a sense of inevitability descends over the team colours of the final eight nations in the Rugby World Cup, there is room to believe that it may not(...)

New York Jets center Nick Mangold (centre), and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (right) chat at the end of an NFL training session at London Irish training ground in south west London. Photograph: AP

NFL players are tough. But they’re also sensitive souls – and they care deeply about toilet paper. The New York Jets are at Wembley on Sunday, and the(...)

Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts is sacked by Nigel Bradham of the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Photograph: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Rex Ryan lamented that there was only one thing missing in his Buffalo Bills coaching debut. “I think we would have gotten a shutout,” Ryan said after(...)

Manchester United and Liverpool fans have been urged to behave responsibly by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) when the sides meet at 5.30pm on Saturd(...)

Michael Sam (front) left Canadian Football League side Montreal Alouettes’ last Friday. Photograph: Reuters.

In May, 2002, the New York Post published a rumour that one of the New York Mets was gay. With no apparent basis in fact, a piece of classic tabloi(...)

Shawn Wooden, a former Miami Dolphins player and important advocate of the concussion settlement with the NFL, with his son, Shane, at home in Pembroke Pines. Photograph: Ryan Stone/The New York Times

Former National Football League players who oppose the league’s potential $1 billion settlement of lawsuits claiming it hid the risk of concussions a(...)

Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton receives treatment after getting a bang on the head against Australia last November. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

The role of the media in reporting concussion is a delicate but important one. ESPN once had a regular NFL highlight segment called ‘Jacked Up’ where (...)

Norway’s Maren Mjelde goal against Germany at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, Canada, at the women’s World Cup. Photograph: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

As part of SportsCenter’s ‘top ten’ plays last Friday, ESPN showed Norway’s Maren Mjelde curling an exquisite free-kick over the German wall at the(...)

Former Philadelphia 76ers basketball player Allen Iverson burned through a $154 million fortune amassed throughout his career. Photograph: Getty Images.

Allen Iverson once built a 10,000 square feet mansion in Georgia that had rain gutters fashioned from pure copper and nine bathrooms. He used routinel(...)

US Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the stadium prior to Super Bowl XLIX between Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1st, this year in Glendale, Arizona. Photograph:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Over the past decade, the NFL has incorporated more and more overt militaristic pageantry into its games. Air Force jets scream past stadia, trailing (...)