Sport England are perming three from eight for their wings and full-back. Chris Ashton favours the right wing

The Exeter wing gets his chance in Paris against France

Fact: players are too big for own good

Our unique comparison of 1971 and 2009 Lions tours reveals rugby is now a collision sport for muscular hulks, while exclusive stats show doctor's plea for change is well founded

Roberts savours 'surreal' experience

Jamie Roberts admits it will be a "surreal" experience playing alongside some of South Africa's biggest names just five months after terrorising them for the British and Irish Lions.

Ready for the Wallabies backlash?

Wales face a wounded and dangerous Australia side today – but coach Warren Gatland is ready for the challenge. He tells Chris Hewett why it's the perfect test of his team's World Cup credentials

Cueto signs new Sale deal

England back Mark Cueto has signed a new four-year deal with Sale Sharks.

Do England really need another veteran?

As Shaw, 36, joins squad to face the All Blacks, Chris Hewett asks why Johnson has failed to develop his most promising young talents

France show encouraging signs during Boks win

France has shown it has nothing to fear from stronger teams after standing up to South Africa's physical might during an impressive 20-13 win over the World Cup holders.

South Africa's 'Beast' in eligibility controversy

Confusion surrounded the international future of South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira yesterday after it emerged he may not be eligible to play for the Springboks.

Bell faces up to daunting Puma pack

Prop bullish but doubts over English muscle remain after Australian performance

England pull rank on Saints to keep Foden safely under wraps

Full-back must sit out the East Midland's derby against Tigers on red-rose orders

Wales can cope with injuries says Gatland

Wales will be without two British and Irish Lions scrum-halves for their opening autumn Test against New Zealand on 7 November.

Vickery adds to England casualty list

England have been dealt another major injury setback with the loss of World Cup winner Phil Vickery from their autumn Tests.

Phillips injury adds to Wales woe

Wales coach Warren Gatland may be dealt another major injury blow ahead of his team's autumn Test series opener against New Zealand.

Charvis charged with drink-driving

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions back-rower Colin Charvis has been charged with drink-driving.

Quins will blood new chief this year

Club seek director with Premiership experience to replace disgraced Richards

England set testing targets

The Rugby Football Union has just published details of its new eight-year strategic plan, which sets out minimum targets for the Test team of semi-final appearances in each of the next two World Cups, together with four Six Nations titles between 2010 and 2017, including a couple of Grand Slams. The sound of laughter from Cardiff, Dublin and Paris was almost deafening, but the great and good of Twickenham were more immediately concerned with the difficulties of managing their France-based players.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn