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Saints' chances of progress remain slim despite victory

Keith Earls pictured scoring against Wales in the World Cup

Keith Earls will be inspired against Wales predicts Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell believes Keith Earls will be inspired by the birth of his first child when Ireland's RBS 6 Nations opens against Wales on Sunday.

Luke Fitzgerald omitted from Ireland squad for Six Nations

Luke Fitzgerald has been omitted from Ireland's 24-man senior squad for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.

Simon Kemp: The RFU's head of medicine says the risk of being injured is the same now as it was in 2001

Scotland call up Kalman as Low ruled out

According to latest figures compiled by what might be called the Rugby Football Union's health and safety team – Dr Simon Kemp, head of sports medicine at Twickenham is the man principally responsible for collating the statistics – the game is no more dangerous to life and limb now than it was a decade ago, despite the greater speed and dynamism of the people who play it for a living and the heavier collisions in every area of the field.

Ireland name O'Connell as Six Nations captain

Paul O'Connell will captain Ireland in this season's Six Nations Championship, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.

Brian O'Driscoll celebrates Leinster's Heineken Cup victory last May

David Flatman: It's no surprise the Irish sides keep winning

O'Driscoll and Co are exposed to highest pressure but they enjoy decent rest and quality training too

David Flatman goes flat out to score his long awaited first Bath try

Flatman's dainty morsel keeps Bath at the feast

Bath 16 Montpellier 13

Leinster begin title defence without talisman O'Driscoll

Weekend Preview

Mighty Ireland blow the World Cup wide open

Shock in Auckland shows England a final path cleared of Tri-Nations teams

Win or lose, a black day will dawn

New Zealand start as huge favourites. Woebetide them if they come up short

Tuilagi mixes mobility with the muscle

Ireland 9 England 20: Samoan-born centre has suddenly become England's bright hope for World Cup after lighting up the midfield with pace, power and another try

Brian O'Driscoll and Sean O'Brien to miss England clash

Brian O'Driscoll and Sean O'Brien will miss Ireland's clash with England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday through injury.

Murphy earns Ireland World Cup call-up

Geordan Murphy was today named in Ireland's World Cup squad just 48 hours after being resigned to missing out.

O'Driscoll returns but Ireland suffer third loss on the spin

Ireland 22 France 26

O'Driscoll ready to put his neck on the line in trial against France

There will be a sharp intake of breath from the whole of Ireland when Brian O'Driscoll, still the best player in the British Isles and indisputably the finest outside centre of his generation, makes his first tackle on a Frenchman in Dublin this evening.

Giteau pre-empts squad announcement by retiring

Events in Australia yesterday begged an immediate question: namely, does Matt Giteau have English ancestry? The Wallaby midfielder, widely considered one of the most gifted playmakers in the game over the course of a 92-cap career, made what amounted to a pre-emptive strike via Twitter, effectively announcing his retirement from Test rugby ahead of this morning's World Cup squad announcement by the national coach Robbie Deans.

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Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
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Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

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