Mallinder faces red-rose audition
Northampton v Saracens
All eyes, then, on Jim Mallinder, the Northampton coach, who is considered the outstanding English candidate to take over the running of the national team.
This week's events might persuade anyone in full possession of his faculties to run the proverbial mile from Twickenham and all associated with the hell-hole, but if the former Sale full-back manages to do a job on Saracens this evening, the clamour for him to be installed as red-rose coach will go up another decibel. Lee Dickson, the Midlanders' scrum-half, makes his 100th appearance and there are starting places for George Pisi and James Elliott in an unfamiliar looking back division.
Gloucester v Leicester
Gloucester must be more than a little unnerved by the comprehensive manner of Harlequins' victory at Kingsholm last weekend, but Bryan Redpath has resisted the temptation to propel the baby in the same direction as the bath water. Olly Morgan's return at full-back will guarantee some security if Leicester opt for an aerial bombardment while Luke Narraway's reappearance at No 8 should mean fewer butchered chances in the opposition red zone. The Tigers have recalled Billy Twelvetrees in midfield, Martin Castrogiovanni at prop, George Skivington at lock and Ben Woods at flanker.
London Irish v Wasps
Ofisa Treviranus, the new recruit from Samoa, moves directly from passport control to the London Irish bench with passing "Go" for this afternoon's London-ish derby against Wasps (neither side do more than train in the capital these days). Exiles were disappointed to lose a second consecutive Heineken Cup pool game in Cardiff last week, but played most of the game with 14 men and were resourceful enough to press for victory at the death. With Paul Hodgson back at scrum-half and the impressive Jamie Gibson starting in the back row, they will take some beating.
Harlequins v Newcastle
Life at Quins is too serene for words: unbeaten across three competitions, they do not appear likely to surrender that record tomorrow against this season's prime relegation candidates. Certainly, they are sticking to their guns on the selection front by keeping the first-choice side together. The only changes from last weekend's excellent Heineken Cup performance at Gloucester are at scrum-half, where the Test player Danny Care replaces the injured Karl Dickson, and hooker, where Chris Brooker comes in for Joe Gray on rotation.
Liverpool transfer news: Reds buoyed after Marco Reus rejects new Borussia Dortmund contract offer - reports
Arsenal agree new deal with BT Sport - which coincides nicely with advert showing FA Cup win over Liverpool
Liverpool transfer news: Divock Origi joins before World Cup star is immediately loaned back to Lille
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Liverpool transfer news: Daniel Agger closing in on Barcelona move as Xavi plans to stay
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc