Ruck and Maul: Food for thought for Wasps as Cipriani gets out of the kitchen

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The Independent Online

Wasps are not quite sure how to handle Danny Cipriani. The boy about town was due to take part in the Investec Cooking Challenge at the restaurant Venturi's Table in Wandsworth tomorrow. But the sponsors had to issue an apology: "Danny has been asked to cancel all public appearances and focus on his rugby. The matter was out of our control." Coming off the bench as a late replacement in the kitchen is Toby Flood, Cipriani's rival for the England No 10 jersey. Yet earlier in the week Wasps, announcing that their Heineken Cup match with Leinster on 17 January would be at Twickenham, were happy to promote Cipriani as a walking billboard. "In the weeks leading up to the game we'll have Danny fighting in the clubs and streaking in the streets to get as much publicity as possible," Tony Copsey, Wasps' chief executive, said. "He's taking the game to a new market. He's a celebrity foremost, a rugby player second."

Armour suits Welsh

Jersey Part 1. Wales have employed the US firm Under Armour to produce a kit embracing new technology called "dragon scale grippy". It sounds like something Superman could wear. They claim it is "more breathable and the chamois inserts on shorts will improve handling".

Springbok faces cull

Jersey Part 2. It is possible that when South Africa visit Britain next month the iconic leaping Springbok on their shirts will make a farewell appearance. Some want it replaced by the national flower, the protea, although South Africa Rugby warn of "drastic consequences" if the Bok is culled. "Come on you Proteas" doesn't quite have the same ring.

Proud to be French queens

Jersey Part 3. Judging by their fans, Stade Français made a fashion faux pas with a jersey that features 12 Andy Warhol-style images of Blanche de Castille, a 13th-century French queen. The main colour is pink, a shade adopted by the club in 2005. Stade's owner, Max Guazzini, said: "We wanted a female face. Blanche de Castille was the mother of Saint Louis and it was the students of Lyceé Saint Louis who founded the club."

Sod's law

A thanksgiving service will be held at Stradey Park on Tuesday as Llanelli get set to move to a new ground. Rev Eldon Phillips will remove a handful of earth and place it at the modern Parc y Scarlets – a symbolic gesture since so many fans had their ashes scattered at Stradey.