Weekend preview: Saints ban their own man Clark for alleged assault


Northampton v Wasps

It is a moot point whether Calum Clark, an uncapped member of the England squad, would have made Northampton's starting line-up for this evening's intriguing game with a Wasps side scrapping for their Premiership lives: after all, a loose trio of Phil Dowson, Tom Wood and Roger Wilson covers most bases at club level. As it happens, Clark is banned anyway – not by the Rugby Football Union as yet, but by Saints officials who carried out an internal investigation into their player's alleged assault on the Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins in last weekend's LV Cup final at Worcester.

Hawkins, who found himself entangled with Clark at a ruck, was left with a fractured elbow and will not play again this season, but the problems did not end there: in the clubhouse, there was a good deal of arguing. Clark is due to appear at an RFU disciplinary panel next week, charged with committing "an act contrary to good sportsmanship".

Northampton, already without their captain, Dylan Hartley, pending Tuesday's hearing into an allegation of biting in last weekend's England-Ireland match, have included the Six Nations regulars Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Lee Dickson. Wasps will be led from full-back by Hugo Southwell.

London Irish v Leicester

The return of the former England attack coach Brian Smith to Irish duty after three and a half years adds a good deal of interest to tomorrow's contest at the Madejski Stadium. The Exiles are in something of a slump, but if Smith can work the oracle over the next few months, their long-term prospects are sound – especially as they have some of the brightest young talent in the country on their books.

The full-back Tom Homer, the wing Marland Yarde and the centre Jonathan Joseph are all included in the backs while the pack, bolstered by the England loose-head Alex Corbisiero, features the exciting Jamie Gibson at No 8. Leicester combine Toby Flood, Billy Twelvetrees and Manu Tuilagi in a midfield of vast potential.

Harlequins v Bath

Even with the England captain Chris Robshaw sunning himself in Abu Dhabi, the Premiership pacesetters gear up for the run-in with a strong international presence, from Mike Brown at full-back to Nick Easter at No 8. Bath include the highly-regarded young prop Nathan Catt, whose performance will be measured against that of Joe Marler, one of the men ahead of him in the red-rose pecking order.

Gloucester v Exeter

This West Country set-to will go a long way towards shaping the English entry in next season's Heineken Cup. Exeter, in fifth, could bust the qualification race wide openby winning, but face a home side with an attack of Jonny May, Charlie Sharples, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, Freddie Burns, Akapusi Qera and Luke Narraway.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style