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

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?