Billy Vunipola can establish himself by next year's World Cup as the world's best No 8

Brian Smith: England need more tries – and a plan that goes beyond just bullying the French pack in Six Nations

How a team starts a match says everything about  their approach 

Sam Warburton is the first to sign a Welsh central contract

Wales captain Sam Warburton hopes many more will join him after signing central contract with WRU

Warburton became the first to agree a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union that will keep him playing for the Cardiff Blues

Sam Warburton celebrates

Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton signs first ever Welsh Rugby Union central contract

Warburton will be released to play for Cardiff Blues at no cost and comes in a week that Alun Wyn Jones also chose to remain in Wales

Mathew Tait has been forced to pull out of the England Saxons' side on Saturday with a back injury

Six Nations: Back injury ends Mathew Tait's hopes of Stuart Lancaster audition for England

It would be factually incorrect to suggest that Mathew Tait is “always injured”, but there are undeniably times when it seems that way. Like now. Stuart Lancaster and his fellow England coaches were relishing the prospect of watching the Leicester full-back play for the second-string Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds at Gloucester this weekend and Tait knew that a strong performance would do his chances of a welcome red-rose recall no harm at all. Sadly, there will be no performance of any description. The poor man is crocked again.

On his way: Toby Flood is thought to be lining up a move to Toulouse

Exclusive: Aviva Premiership salary cap to rise in the battle to stop more players moving abroad

Cap set to rise by almost 10 per cent this year – the first increase in two seasons

Referee Nigel Owens escaped unhurt following a car accident on the M4 as he returned from Castres v Leinster on the weekend

Referee Nigel Owens escapes unhurt after car crash on the M4 as he returned from officiating Castres v Leinster in France

Owens thanked those who stopped to check he was ok as he made his way back to south Wales from his trip to France

Jonny Wilkinson lifts the Heineken Cup

IRB step in to try and resolve Heineken Cup row as uncertainty over European rugby continues

The International Rugby Boar has promised to 'work actively with its unions towards the goal of achieving a unified and acceptable outcome for all involved'

Richard Parks celebrates at the South Pole clad in national flags

Rugby star Richard Parks cuts 10 days off British South Pole trek record

A former Welsh international rugby player has set the second fastest unsupported solo journey to the South Pole in history.

<b>DECEMBER</b><br/>
<b>
Geoff Boycott on Kevin Pietersen's dismissal on day four of the third Ashes test" title="GETTY IMAGES" width="140" height="105" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/the-best-sporting-quotes-of-2013--november-and-december-9024267.html';" class="" />

The best sporting quotes of 2013 - November and December

Words of wisdom from the past 12 months

The best sporting quotes of 2013 - September and October

Words of wisdom from the past 12 months

<b>JULY</b><br/>
<b>
John W. Henry on Arsenal's bid of £40m and £1 bid for Luis Suarez" title="GETTY IMAGES" width="140" height="105" onclick="location.href='http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/the-best-sporting-quotes-of-2013--june-july-and-august-9024258.html';" class="" />

The best sporting quotes of 2013 - June, July and August

Words of wisdom from the past 12 months

The best sporting quotes of 2013 - April and May

Words of wisdom from the past 12 months

The best sporting quotes of 2013 - January, February and March

Words of wisdom from the past 12 months

MARCH
Wales roar to Six Nations success
Not since 1978/79 had Wales won back-to-back Nations Championships but 2013 proved to be the year they would do it again and do it in style. After making a dismal start with a home defeat to Ireland, Wales rallied and didn't put another foot wrong. With England matching them stride for stride, the championship came down to the last weekend. If a cagey, low scoring game was expected to follow, Wales did the complete opposite, beating England by their biggest ever scoreline to retain the trophy.

The 100 greatest sporting moments of 2013 - 1-20

We look back at 12 months of unforgettable action

MAY
Bayern, best in Europe
Wembley Stadium played host to the all-German Champions League Final where Bayern Munich righted the wrongs of the previous year's competition by beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to claim their fifth title. Arjen Robben's late winner banished the memories of losing two finals in three years, including defeat to Chelsea in their home ground in the 2012 final. The win completed an incredible year for Bayern who also won all of their domestic competitions and led to people proclaiming them as the world's best team.

The 100 greatest sporting moments of 2013 - 21-40

We look back at 12 months of unforgettable action

Sport
George Ford in action for Bath
ROUND-UP Aviva Premiership: Bath beat old West Country rivals Gloucester 39-16 at Kingsholm
Sport
Danny Cipriani of Sale Sharks scores a try during the Aviva Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs
MATCH REPORT Sale 18 Exeter 11: Cipriani was the inspiration in the second half at the AJ Bell Stadium
Sport
Carter will join Racing Metro following the Rugby World Cup this year
New Zealand fly-half will head to France after this year's Rugby World Cup
Sport
Reds Chairman Rod McCall, James Horwill and Coach Richard Graham
Former Wallabies captain will move to the Premiership club at the end of the year
Sport blogs

The Football Lawyer: The career of a Premier League footballer is similar to that of a City professional

In football, where money talks, there are few pronouncements louder than the salary of a Premier Lea...

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...

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