Ruck and Maul: England count the cost of South Africa's timely bid for World Cup

While the Rugby Football Union have been prevaricating over whether or not to bid for the 2015 World Cup, South Africa have stolen a march. After talking to their governing body, Bernard Lapasset, the president of the International Rugby Board, said: "We were delighted with the meeting and very pleased with the government support for South Africa's bid. It is not possible to host the tournament without a close partnership." England said they had doubts after the IRB asked for a guarantee of £80 million. For 2019, the figure rises to £96m. Oregan Hoskins, the South African Rugby Union president, said: "It would be a significant moment to host the tournament on the 20th anniversary of the World Cup in South Africa in 1995." The presentations will be made to the IRB in May and a decision on the hosts for 2015 and 2019 announced at the end of July.

Get Carter off the pitch

What was supposed to be a lucrative "sabbatical" in the south of France could hardly have had a worse ending for Dan Carter. On Thursday he had an operation for a ruptured Achilles tendon and will be out for at least six months. New Zealand will be regretting giving special dispensation to the world's greatest No 10. Should he have been playing at all? He missed January with an inflamed tendon and the rupture occurred when he was tackled by Juan Martin Hernandez in the last few seconds of Perpignan's 13-13 draw with Stade Français last weekend. "I took the decision to play because I felt well," he said. "I discovered another type of rugby and I like that. Maybe I'll return to Perpignan after the World Cup in 2011." Perpignan's president, Paul Goze, said: "If his Achilles hurt it wasn't imperative he played. At half-time we again asked him and he said he was OK." Carter, who was on £30,000 a match, played five games. He wanted to taste the Heineken Cup. It didn't happen.

Recruit recriminations

French police investigating possible fraudulent deals in the recruitment of players by an agent are interviewing 16 administrators from clubs including Montpellier, Toulon and Biarritz. There has been no mention of Perpignan so far.

Spencer has new home in the Shed

Carlos Spencer, Carter's All Black predecessor, made one of his swiftest breaks in joining Gloucester from Northampton. He still had 18 months to run on his contract at Saints and was on £200,000 a season but he was playing second fiddle to Stephen Myler. Is there a salary cap at Gloucester? They paid a shedload to recruit Mike Tindall and Olly Barkley.

Healey shows 'Big Tackle'

From 'Strictly Come Dancing' to rugby club troubleshooter, Austin powers ahead. The one time "Leicester Lip", who is usually found on the BBC, has his own show on ITV. 'The Big Tackle With Austin Healey' will try to change the fortunes of five struggling clubs. "It's a great vehicle to give rugby and Austin fans alike a piece of great entertainment," gushed the sponsors, O2. The viewers will be the judge of that.

t.glover@independent.co.uk

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
people
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?