Chris Hewett

Chris Hewett is Rugby Union Correspondent for The Independent.

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Jonny May’s opening try for Gloucester helped clinch an Amlin Challenge Cup place

Lift for Stuart Lancaster as France lose their captain Thierry Dusautoir for the Six Nations

Sunday's draw for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup was overshadowed for the French by a grievous blow to their Six Nations ambitions when Thierry Dusautoir, the national captain and one of the most formidable flankers in the sport, was ruled out of the forthcoming tournament after rupturing his biceps.

Richard Wigglesworth is the form half-back in the country

Richard Wigglesworth: Scrum half ploughs on and reaps rewards

Saracens No 9 is inspired by his farmer father's work ethic, which he believes has helped him get back into red-rose contention

Freddie Burns is set to play for England Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds

Six Nations 2014: Heineken Cup rigours threaten to derail England preparations

The waiting is the hardest part. Thirty-five players, led by the reappointed national captain Chris Robshaw, will arrive in the England camp between Sunday evening and Monday morning as attention switches from the Heineken Cup – or rather, what is left of the Heineken Cup – to the Six Nations, which begins in a fortnight's time. How many will be in a condition to train before the middle of next week at the earliest? Not as many as the head coach, Stuart Lancaster, would like, almost certainly.

Six Nations 2014: Kelly Brown's future as Scotland captain put under threat

The Six Nations mind games have started - with the Scotland coach, Scott Johnson, never slow to play the psychology card, singling out his own captain, the Saracens flanker Kelly Brown, for special attention.

Rhys Webb has overtaken Lloyd Williams in the race to be Wales’ scrum-half

Six Nations 2014: Warren Gatland stays true to tried and trusted squad to rise above turmoil

Warren Gatland already knows a thing or two about laying hands on the union code's glittering prizes, but if he makes Six Nations history over the next few weeks by coaching Wales to a third successive title, his reputation as a rugby alchemist will be secure. The 32-man squad he announced looked extremely powerful, but with several key players in contractual limbo, others plying their trade abroad and still more lamenting the viciousness of the political turf war west of the Severn, the New Zealander may have a difficult job bringing people together in common cause.

George North of Northampton brushes off the challenge of Ospreys’ Jeff Hassler

Ospreys 17 Northampton 29 match report: George North scores 70 yard try in Heineken Cup

Saints' chances of progress remain slim despite victory

Odds are still heavily against the Harlequins after consecutive defeats in Octobe

Harlequins cling to hopes of upset as Northampton face Ospreys battle

French league leaders’ home record now stands at 70 straight wins

Bath's Anthony Watson

Six Nations: Stuart Lancaster’s problems for Paris

The England coach has some terribly tough calls to make ahead of a fiendishly hard Six Nations opener in France three weeks today. We consider his options

Exeter's Jack Nowell has been brought into the Six Nations squad

Six Nations 2014: Stuart Lancaster warns dropped Freddie Burns as George Ford is handed No 10 opening

Gloucester playmaker told to sort out his club future while England call up three new wingers for Six Nations campaign

Bath prop David Wilson's calf injury leaves England short of options for the France game

Six Nations 2014: Injured trio could return for Ireland match

Stuart Lancaster believes three of England's orthopaedically challenged brigade – the Northampton full-back Ben Foden, the London Irish wing Marland Yarde and the Bath prop David Wilson – may return to fitness in time for the mid-point match of the Six Nations Championship, against Ireland at Twickenham on 22 February. The head coach did not say so openly, but he would surely take Wilson over the other two at this stage of proceedings.

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players