Life & Style

Empress Eugénie's influence on fashion came very much from her far from ordinary  life, says Alexander Fury

Toulouse land fourth Heineken Cup title

Biarritz 19 Toulouse 21

Lund urges Basque underdogs to draw on pain of 2006 defeat

Biarritz are not, as things currently stand, among the best half-dozen teams in France; they cannot call on the services of their match-winning back Damien Traille, who fractured his forearm a few weeks ago; and the rugby they play is, more often than not, so lacking in colour and grandeur that it is hard to believe the great Serge Blanco spent a sporting lifetime at the club.

Chabal left out as Lièvremont tests newcomers

Sebastien Chabal was left out of France's 30-man squad named by Marc Lièvremont yesterday for next month's Test matches in South Africa and Argentina.

Toulouse have it all to lose in Heineken final, says Haskell

James Haskell is in the perfect place to weigh up the all-French final of the Heineken Cup – and that doesn't just mean the weekend he is spending with his brother watching today's Monaco Grand Prix. The England back-rower has just completed his first season with Stade Français and says that while Toulouse are obvious favourites to beat Biarritz in Paris on Saturday, the unpredictability of the French club game means you would not put your mortgage on it, and certainly not the 10 million euros invested in the squad of each club.

Biarritz's star Englishmen set to be overlooked for national duty

England is not really the place for Englishmen to be playing just at the moment: ask Iain Balshaw, Ayoola Erinle and Magnus Lund, all of whom are now contemplating a rare shot at European glory with Biarritz in the Heineken Cup final later this month. Yet precious few France-based personnel are likely to make the cut for the red-rose trip to Australia and New Zealand in June, even though they are performing at levels over and above that commonly seen in the Premiership this term and are dominating every last piece of cross-border business.

Balshaw gets used to laissez-faire Biarritz

Iain Balshaw was a callow 18-year-old who was just beginning his career with Bath when fellow full-back Jon Callard scored all 19 points in the West Country club's 19-18 win over Brive in the 1998 Heineken Cup final in Bordeaux. The teenager must have envisaged many more European glamour ties. Now a thirty-something, he may finally get his chance to play in a Heineken Cup final – but with the French club Biarritz, who meet Munster in the semi-final in San Sebastian this afternoon. It may be his last chance.

Richard Cockerill: 'Do I think the Heineken Cup can come back to England? It's looking tough'

As French and Irish clubs vie for Europe's top honours, Tigers coach Richard Cockerill tells Chris Hewett why they have the edge

Brian Ashton: For Toulouse, victory is simply a by-product

Tackling The Issues

Jones hails Ospreys despite 'heartbreaking' loss to Biarritz

Biarritz 29 Ospreys 28

Ospreys fume as Clancy lets Biarritz off hook

Biarritz 29 Ospreys 28

A tale of two cities: Biarritz and Bayonne

Only eight kilometres apart and proudly individual, the cities of Biarritz and Bayonne revel in their rivalry

France make one change for England clash

France coach Marc Lievremont has made just one change to his side to face England on Saturday with Mathieu Bastareaud returning at centre in place of David Marty.

Malzieu urges France to go on offensive

The France wing Julien Malzieu has urged his team-mates to attack from the off against Italy in Paris tomorrow, insisting Les Bleus "do not have the right" to lose their penultimate Six Nations game.

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