Chris Hewett

Chris Hewett is Rugby Union Correspondent for The Independent.

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Mike Ford, former defence coach, has put Bath on the offensive

Mike Ford interview: Head coach happy to have fired up feisty Bath

Victory in ‘Battle of Kingsholm’ shows how far club have come after troubled times

Harlequins’ Mike Brown (left) gets away from Leicester Tigers’ Anthony Allen

Harlequins 24 Leicester 20 match report: Brown swoops to keep Quins in contention

Ten minutes from the end of a tumultuous contest, Harlequins were four points adrift of the reigning champions and preparing to bid the most reluctant of farewells to their Premiership title ambitions. But no side armed with players running as hot as the scrum-half Danny Care and the full-back Mike Brown are ever wholly without hope. The two England internationals, assisted by the newly arrived Ben Botica, conjured a training ground try in the corner and when Botica added a penalty from distance, their league season was alive again.

Alex Goode needs game time so will play for Saracens

Aviva Premiership preview: Saints have to improve before problems come home to roost

Northampton v London Irish

(Sunday, 2pm) 

Strange as it may seem, Northampton have been off their game since Luther Burrell, Lee Dickson, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood ended their England stint and reappeared at Franklin’s Gardens. They cannot afford to stay off it for much longer. Victory over the Exiles is a minimum requirement if Jim Mallinder’s charges are to nail down a home Premiership semi-final.

Fly-half Toby Flood will try to increase the Tigers’ chances of a top-two league finish tonight

Leicester Tigers turn to Toby Flood for battle with Harlequins

The fly-half will try to increase the champions' chances of a top-two league finish

Mark McCafferty is the architect of the European Champions Cup

European Champions Cup worth the wait, Mark McCafferty tells critics

The chief executive of Premier Rugby has played a difficult hand with considerable expertise

England went out to France in the 2011 World Cup. Next year’s event on home soil may bring domestic strife with clubs

Ian Ritchie must appease clubs ahead of 2015 World Cup

Ian Ritchie may have emerged from the vicious turf war over European club rugby with an enviable reputation as a problem-solving boardroom tactician – only a skilled negotiator could have convinced some of the sport’s most powerful figures their bunker mentality would lead them to ruin – but the Rugby Football Union chief executive faces a second challenge ahead of next year’s home World Cup that will test his gifts of persuasion to the limit.

Chris Pennell re-signed at Worcester because he sees potential in a team currently last

Chris Pennell: England’s hidden treasure

Pennell is a brilliant full-back. He is also the son of a former Test cricketer. But, as he tells Chris Hewett, staying loyal to Worcester means going unrecognised in the short term

There are starts tomorrow for the excellent Chris Wyles and the fast-developing  Jackson Wray (pictured)

Weekend preview: Sarries seek to nail home semi and lighten load

Saracens v Northampton (2pm Saturday)

As things stand Andy Goode and seventh-placed Wasps would qualify for a play-off place for the new Champions Cup

Clubs the victors over deal for new European trophies

Starting next season, the new elite tournament will be a 20-team affair, four fewer than the Heineken Cup

Northampton have struggled in the past month without their injured No 10 Stephen Myler (centre)

Northampton v Saracens preview: Saints lifted by Stephen Myler return for weekend's showdown

Northampton have struggled in the past month without their injured No 10 Stephen Myler

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil