Hugh Godwin

Hugh Godwin is the rugby union correspondent of the Independent on Sunday who also writes for The Independent

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Wales captain Sam Warburton who many believe has become something of a pawn in the conflict

Welsh regions powerless to staunch player exodus

The clubs say the WRU wants them to disappear, replaced by franchises

Owen Farrell tries to break through the Leicester defence

Saracens 49 Leicester 10 match report: Toby Flood leaves and Sarries gates open

Record defeat for Leicester follows confirmation they will lose their England fly-half to France

Good call: Henry Trinder’s vision, power and kicking skills have impressed England’s coaches

Is Henry Trinder England’s answer at No 13?

Gloucester’s gifted outside-centre lost out on a place in the autumn internationals through injury, but is fit again and eyeing Six Nations spot

David Smith scores for Toulon in their Heineken Cup win over Exeter

Toulon 32 Exeter Chiefs 20 match report: Toulon show lively Chiefs who’s boss

A Jonny Wilkinson try seals it for the French side against plucky Exeter

Better days: Jonny Wilkinson lifts the Heineken Cup

Breakaway clubs scramble for solutions: English sides under pressure to provide a schedule worthy of replacing the Heineken Cup

One-off matches or mini-tournaments with overseas "guest" teams to augment the domestic Aviva Premiership season are being considered by English clubs for next season, as they come under pressure from supporters and broadcasters to provide a schedule worthy of replacing the Heineken Cup.

Life of Brian: Brian O’Driscoll breaks away for a try that he clearly enjoyed

Northampton 7 Leinster 40 match report: Leinster give lesson in the arts of speed and handling

Northampton overwhelmed from the start by a brand of the game they rarely experience

George Kruis of Saracens tries to break through the Sale defence on Saturday

Saracens 24 Sale 19: Fresh Will Fraser injury mars Saracens’ joy

If someone had beamed down from Mars – or from rugby’s amateur era, which feels even more remote – for the Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens’ 24-19 win over Sale Sharks on Saturday how would they have judged the spectacle? An arena of wonderfully nuanced and contrasting players such as Saracens’ gliding fly-half Charlie Hodgson and cerebral lock Steve Borthwick? Or a base battlefield of mega-muscled gladiators battering each other Rollerball-style with casualties shipped off to hospital on motorised carts for the benefit of the paying public, television viewer and now – as we are told enthusiastically by competing broadcasters – broadband consumers?

England’s new star Mike Brown

Mike Brown: Mister Angry reunited with the Dean

England's new star on the prospect of going up against the coach who shaped him

George Kruis of Saracens tries to break through the Sale defence

Saracens 24 Sale 19 match report: Saracens bring Danny Cipriani’s full house down with second-half tries

Sarries remain top of the Aviva Premiership as they grind out victory against a valiant Sale side led by the former England fly-half

Tom Wood produced an immense performance against the All Blacks

England 22 New Zealand 30: Five things we learned about English progress at Twickenham

The Red Roses came close to a second successive victory over the All Blacks

Day In a Page

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
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit