Ruck and Maul: Cipriani has full backing of the Rebels but there may be a stand-off

When Danny Cipriani's move to Australia was confirmed on Friday morning, Wasps' executive chairman Mark Rigby was not so much up a gumtree as climbing a mountain, on the French leg of fellow club director (and fellow former Wasps back-rower) Lawrence Dallaglio's Cycle Slam. With a target of raising £1m for Sport Relief and other charities, the pair were pedalling north to Provence while the departing Cipriani was tying up his long trip south to join Melbourne Rebels at the end of the season. "Rod Macqueen and his coaching staff are intending to play Cipriani at full-back, the position he currently fills at London Wasps," said the Rebels' media handout. That'll be the Cipriani selected at fly-half today against Saracens and for his last four club matches against Sale, Racing Métro, Roma and Leicester. Communication problems already, Cips?

Evans above, it's a miracle

Chris Evans has been keeping his BBC Radio audience abreast of his second cousin Thom, the Scotland wing who broke his neck playing against Wales last weekend. By a strange coincidence, Chris was at the match; a few minutes after seeing Thom taken off on a stretcher (the initial reports were of a leg injury) he was kicking goals with fellow presenter Jonny Saunders as guests of Wales's kit manufacturer. The truth of Thom's injury, which has since required two operations in a Cardiff hospital, quickly emerged and Chris wrote in his BBC blog on Monday: "This is dedicated to anyone who spends their working day fixing other people... In short, he [Thom] broke his neck and they saved his life. Not only that but the expertise with which he was carried from the field, transported to the hospital and then operated on and cared for means he should make a full recovery. Something quite miraculous, if you could have seen the extent of the devastation sustained by the top of his spine". An update on Friday revealed: "Thom my cuz called yesterday from hospital to have a chat. The guy is a legend, officially now a hero. Life is sweet – look at the good in your life. Don't delay, do it today."

France win numbers game

France have so far justified their pre-Championship odds as favourites to win the Six Nations, so what to make of coach Marc Lièvremont's status as Test rugby's top tinkerer? When the prop Luc Ducalcon came on against Scotland a fortnight ago – and promptly got injured – he was the 72nd player chosen in Lièvremont's two years and 23 matches in the job. Ruck and Maul yearns always to lend some context, so let's look at the other major teams in the same period from February 2008 to now. England are second on the meddle-o-meter, Matt Mullan last week becoming the 68th player picked in 23 matches. England and France have the largest playing populations. There is a significant gap to New Zealand (55 players in 29 matches), Wales (54 in 24), Ireland (52 in 22), South Africa and Scotland (49 in 25 and 20 respectively) and Australia (a comparatively stable 43 in 28 matches). National tours which ran alongside last summer's Lions tour bumped up the Home Union's totals a little, but the message is that the more players you have to choose from, the more you choose. And, we guess, the more who can get injured.

hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world