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

Gary Gold was an assistant with the Springboks

Gary Gold becomes rugby director at Newcastle

Newcastle have appointed South African Gary Gold as their rugby director for the rest of this season.

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.

Robinson retires for the second time

World Cup winner Jason Robinson has announced his retirement from rugby for the second and, he insists, final time.

Joubert determined to rid Sarries of regret of last year's lost chance

South African No 8 tells Chris Hewett about the pain of 12 months ago and why his side are seeking revenge against Leicester today

Scotland announce provisional World Cup squad

Four uncapped players have been named in Scotland head coach Andy Robinson's provisional squad for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Exeter league status safe as they escape with penalty of two points

Exeter, doughty performers throughout their first season at the elite end of the English club game, will be playing Premiership rugby again next season. This should have been a matter of record some time ago – the Devonians have, after all, been winning regularly, which is more than can be said for any of the three northern sides in the top flight – but a mix-up over foreign player registration left them vulnerable to the whims and fancies of Twickenham's disciplinary class. They were duly punished yesterday, but nowhere near heavily enough to threaten their current status.

Peter Bills: Varying punishments for eye-gouging are baffling

When is an eye gouge not an eye gouge? Or to be more specific, when do the rugby authorities take a draconian approach to the offence and when do they feel more tolerant?

Johnson on familiar ground in search of historic slam

Coach backs team to succeed on the stage where he led England to their last title

Johnson warns England to beware Irish backlash

Hosts are dangerous after injustice of Wales loss, says England manager as his side chase Grand Slam in Dublin

Wales take controversial victory against Ireland

Wales 19 Ireland 13

Rugby director Tony Hanks departs from Wasps

Wasps have announced rugby director Tony Hanks' departure from the Aviva Premiership club "by mutual agreement."

Jenkins backs Jones as the No 10 to end Wales' lean run

A fortnight is a long time in rugby. Two weeks ago, all the Six Nations talk in Wales was about an Englishman, albeit one born in New Zealand: the hooker Dylan Hartley, who ended up supping in the "last laugh saloon" after helping the former world champions to a highly satisfying victory in Cardiff. Yesterday the Welsh had no option but to talk about their own kind. "We can't hide from the fact that we've lost an awful lot of games," admitted the assistant coach Neil Jenkins, "and we're not hiding from it."

Barclay grateful that Scotland bank on him to go about his business

Scotland flanker credits coach Robinson for his rapid progress ahead of today's game in Paris.

Peter Bills: Injuries have devalued the Six Nations

It’s fun, it’s famous and for atmosphere, it’s fabulous.

News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all