Danny Care inspired Harlequins to victory over London Irish

Harlequins 23 London Irish 9 match report: Nick Evans lifts untidy Quins’ play-off hopes

Sam Smith crossed in the 70th minute to score the match-deciding try

Jackson Wray scored one of Saracens' four tries against Wasps

Wasps 20 Saracens 32 match report: Saracens pull away at the top with bonus point win over London rivals

Wasps' pack came out second best to a powerful Saracens tight-eight setting the platform for tries through George twice, Wray and Goode

Manu Tuilagi and Toby Flood celebrate a try for Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints 16 Leicester Tigers 22 match report: Saints in bite storm after defeat

Leicester’s Tom Youngs alleges he was bitten after a scrum collapsed, sparking an inquiry

Ed Slater of Leicester Tigers at the Oadby Oval

Leicester's Ed Slater eager to force way into England set-up

New captain is ready to use Premiership derby with Northampton to further his red rose claims, as he tells Chris Hewett

Tom Palmer returns to the Wasps second row for today’s tough challenge against Saracens

Weekend preview: Saints’ hopes face severe local test from reviving Tigers

Northampton v Leicester (3.15pm Saturday)

Nick Abendanon runs at the Sale defence during Bath’s defeat last night

Bath 11 Sale 12 match report: Sale escape after referee denies Bath penalty try

A generous man might argue that Sale deserved their highly significant victory at the Recreation Ground tonight, basing his opinion on the control they exerted in a fine first-half performance.

Edward Griffiths believes the new European format will allow all competitors to earn more money

Saracens chief slams ‘big egos’ in saga over Heineken Cup deal

Griffiths took a swipe at the rugby establishmen

Francois Louw of Bath dives to score the late match winning try during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath and Leicester Tigers

Aviva Premiership: Francois Louw loss leaves Bath exposed for showdown with Sale

Things are getting just a little tight at the business end of the Premiership, thanks to some unexpected results in the last couple of rounds, so fresh injury concerns over seriously good players are enough to drive head coaches to the brink of despair. Ask Mike Ford of Bath and Rob Baxter of Exeter, neither of whom can afford a slip-up in their pursuit of the big prizes – a semi-final place for the former, European qualification for the latter.

Neck condition forces Exeter's Chris Whitehead to quit

It is only 10 days since Chris Whitehead helped drive Exeter towards a first major title in their 143-year history, scoring a try in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final victory over Northampton in front of a capacity crowd at Sandy Park. Now, his career is over at the depressingly young age of 27. The hooker has retired on medical advice, after a long struggle with a degenerative neck condition.

The former Wales captain Ryan Jones will join a new-look Bristol after 10 years with Ospreys

Ryan Jones joins Bristol’s big-money revolution

Bristol, one of England’s great rugby clubs, have spent much of the professional era in a financial pickle, but now they have some serious money behind them – their principal investor, the billionaire tax exile Stephen Lansdown, makes most Premiership chairmen look like Big Issue salesmen – they are beginning to make their presence felt again. On Monday they announced the signing of Ryan Jones, the former Wales captain and Lions Test forward, who may arrive at the Memorial Ground in time to play a part in their promotion push.

Back with a bang: Manu Tuilagi returned at Newcastle a fortnight ago

Tiger Manu Tuilagi will remain the centre of attention

Leicester colossus puts to one side talk of playing on wing for England

Darren Allinson of London Irish in action

London Irish 23 Bath 44 match report: George Ford's mastery steers Bath into highly promising territory

Time had all but run out when Bath scored the bonus-point try that may yet be crucial to their aspirations for a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs. There remains a decent gap between the top two clubs, Saracens and Northampton, and the next pair, Bath and Leicester (who play today), but the West Countrymen's challenge remains strong.

Chris Ashton scores for Saracens against Harlequins at Wembley

Saracens 39 Harlequins 17 match report: Jet-setting Saracens turn on five-star performance

Sun shines on world-record crowd as they witness fine display by Premiership leaders

Marc Jones takes on Courtney Lawes during Sales's 19-6 win over Northampton

Sale 19 Northampton 6 match report: Sharks stun Saints as leaders slip up a week on from final heartache

Former England wing Mark Cueto finished after Dwayne Peel made a dancing 40 metre break with further tries coming from Marc Jones and Tom Brady

Chris Robshaw, the national

Weekend preview: Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown rested for Wembley showdown

Saracens v Harlequins (Saturday, 3.15pm)

<b>Mike Tindall (England)</b><br/>
Could almost have filled this side full of English players such was the litany of PR disasters for Martin Johnson and his men. From dwarf throwing, to branded gum-shields to Manu 'Waterbaby' Tuilagi chucking himself into the Auckland water - and that's just off-the-pitch. But Tindall had to be included simply because his experience should've ensured he and his teammates never got ensnared in such extra-curricular nonsense. The newly married Royal rugby man was duly embarrassed by headlines of him cavorting with a blonde and it set the tone for England's disappointing performances that followed.
The 35-year-old won 75 caps for his country
Marland Yarde was among those England players who responded well to a half-time rollicking in Hamilton
England’s reasons to be cheerful undermined by defensive failings, writes Chris Hewett
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