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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?