Sport Saracens' Nathan Earle is held by Zach Kibirige during the game on Sunday

Saracens recorded a comfortable 41-8 victory over Newcastle on Sunday to ensure they finished top of their LV= Cup pool and so sealed their progression to the semi-finals.

Puffin Billy endured a spring of underachievement

Puffin seeks to regain perch among top hurdlers

Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup meeting opens on Thursday with the unusual spectacle these days, when Saturdays have long since commandeered almost all worthwhile jumps races on the way to the Festival, of an informative contest that has moved in the opposite direction.

Greenpeace arctic protest: Briton Philip Ball is freed

He was granted bail last week but remained in detention before being released by a court in St Petersburg today

Exeter 9 Saracens 16 match report: Saracens maintain top spot with tough win

Saracens survived a late attacking onslaught from Exeter to maintain pole position in the Aviva Premiership with a hard-fought 16-9 win at Sandy Park.

Gareth Steenson has been a key factor in Exeter's impressive rise to the Premiership top four

Gareth Steenson: Saracens will test Premiership play-off contenders Exeter’s standing as ‘a top side’

Gareth Steenson has warned that Premiership play-off contenders Exeter are ready to “push on and achieve more” after positioning themselves strongly for domestic and European success.

Kyle Eastmond will not be returning to rugby league says his current club Bath after he left their match against Sale at half-time

Bath rubbish rumours of a rugby league return for Kyle Eastmond after he left at half-time during their 27-20 win at Sale

Eastmond is understood to be dealing with personal issues but the Aviva Premiership club insist that the matter has been dealt with

Book of a Lifetime: Roman Roads in Britain, By Ivan D Margary

Margary, with a hard "g", is the name of the back quad at Exeter College, Oxford. For several years, I walked across it every day without wondering who Margary had been.

They know they don't want it: More universities ban Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'

Around 20 UK institutions have now banned the track for its sexist lyrics

Luke Narraway will make an emotional return to Kingsholm

Weekend Preview: Salesi Ma’afu handed baptism of fire by brave Saints

Castres v Northampton Today 3.40pm

Uncapped Northampton No 8, Sam Dickinson

Stuart Lancaster frustrated at block on Sam Dickinson

England coach stopped by RFU agreement from bringing in impressive No 8 for autumn Tests

White knight: The flanker Ben White is the hero for Exeter

London Irish 23 Exeter Chiefs 29 match report: Ben White steals win as Exeter sink the walking wounded back

Ben White capped a remarkable 15-point run with the decisive try as Exeter battled back to overcome a London Irish side whose long injury list gained two additions in a rugged encounter.

Tom’s the boy: Tom James’ (left) two tries helped Exeter to an 18-point lead

Exeter Chiefs 30 London Wasps 26: James pounces twice but Wasps run Chiefs close

If you were a betting man you would not have put money midway through the second half on London Wasps travelling home with a consolation point. Two tries by Tom James, the former Wales wing, had helped Exeter to an 18-point advantage, and the hosts were cruising home.

New boy George North made a winning start to his Northampton career

It’s time to shut up about scrums and let refs and players get on with it, says Chiefs' Rob Baxter

Law changes will need time to bed in before any further tinkering, says Exeter coach

Northampton ease to opening day win over Exeter

Northampton 38 Exeter 11

QPR’s Adel Taarabt shows frustration at a point but City felt the pain

Harry Redknapp sends Adel Taarabt home from QPR training camp as midfielder is late to training yet again

Latest incident could signal the end for the Moroccan as QPR attempt to reduce inflated wage bill

Rugby star Craig Mitchell ordered to pay compensation to man he punched in Australian bar

A Wales rugby player who punched a man in an Australian hotel bar while celebrating a British and Irish Lions win must pay thousands of pounds in compensation to his victim.

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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 timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?