Mike Brown poses with the 2013-14 Player of the Year award

Aviva Premiership awards: Mike Brown named Player of the Season as Saracens' Mike McCall picks up director of rugby award

The end-of-season awards ceremony recognise Brown for his tremendous form for Harlequins this season

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.

New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu has suffered a minor stroke

New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu suffers minor stroke as World Cup winner is ruled out for at least a month

Weepu thanked fans for their support and said he is already looking forward to returning to action

Heineken Cup: Final agreement expected later today on new 20-team tournament to save European rugby future

A second and third-tier competition will also be set-up to help develop the state of rugby in the Northern Hemisphere

Jonny Wilkinson is set to announce his retirement at the end of the season

Jonny Wilkinson set to bring curtain down on playing career as World Cup winner is 'set to retire' at the end of the season

Wilkinson has been considering retirement after leading Toulon to Heineken Cup glory last season and reports suggest an announcement will be made in the near-future confirming his decision

Andy Farrell (right) is a big figure in the England coaching team and son Owen provides the same commitment on the pitch

Brian Smith: England are ruthlessly efficient, but Ireland and Brian O’Driscoll deserve to take Six Nations honours

If O’Driscoll ran for Irish president, he’d win the election by a landslide

Stopped in my tracks by England’s Owen Farrell and Joe Marler during a difficult day for us at Twickenham last week

Jamie Roberts: We fell well short against England – thankfully Ryan Giggs was in the dressing room to help us deal with a really low moment

I have heard a lot about a Lions hangover, but that is nonsense, plain and simple

Brian O'Driscoll: The five best moments of the Irish centre's career

The iconic player is set to depart the international stage this weekend

Brian O'Driscoll applauds an Ireland try in his final appearance at the Aviva Stadium

Brian O'Driscoll: Records and statistics for the iconic Irish centre

After a 15 year international career, O'Driscoll calls time after game against France

Stuart Lancaster and his coaches will have been studying Wales play closely
Some front: Pontypool’s legendary front row of Graham Price, Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner in 1978

The Last Word: Betrayal that leaves Welsh rugby rotting at the core

Reorganisation has resulted in once-proud clubs being cut adrift and left in terminal decline

The last time Jonathan Davies and I played together was in last season’s championship decider against England at the Millennium Stadium

Jamie Roberts: Wales will play England with an element of hate – beating them at their place is the ultimate for a Welshman

The day after playing England you know it with every part of your body

Will Gatland’s decision to drop Mike Phillips, a star performer last year, come back to haunt him?

Brian Smith: Scrum battle will be crucial, but England must win the bone-on-bone collisions if they want to beat Wales

If there is one thing everyone remembers about last year’s Six Nations game between Wales and England in Cardiff, it is that England took a serious spanking.

Getting to grips with Wales’ Robert Sidoli during the 2003 World Cup quarterfinal
Richie McCaw has suffered a broken thumb that will keep him out for up to eight weeks

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw ruled out for up to eight weeks with broken thumb

McCaw suffered the blow in the Crusaders' 35-24 defeat to the Blues on Friday night

Stefan Basson of Rovigo fails to stop Topsy Ojo of London Irish from scoring a try
REVIEWElsewhere, Toulouse won a closely-fought Champions Cup encounter against Montpellier
Munster players celebrate the victory over Sale after a late drop-goal from Ian Keatley
MATCH REPORTSale Sharks 26 Munster 27: Ian Keatley's 40-metre drop-goal with the final play of the game capped a remarkable comeback win
MATCH REPORTSaracens 30 Clermont 23: Winger give England a timely reminder in bonus-point victory
Sport blogs

A World Cricket XI for the ages

One man’s pursuit of cricketing nerd nirvana: an all-time XI made up of a player from each decade 19...

Wheels: Journeys in Parlympic Sport

The World Cup is all well and good, but James Moore can't wait for the arrival of new chairs for his...

Wheels: Journeys through Paralympic Sport

Disabled? You should become a paralympian! James Moore discusses the attitude of many in the wake of...

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Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
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British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
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Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
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Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

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If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

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Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album