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Hardaker withdrew from England's Rugby League World Cup squad due to 'personal reasons' but his club have lift the lid on the matter after McNamara refused to elaborate
New England Sevens coach Simon Amor praised his players for adapting to a different style of play as they recorded a third-place finish in the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia’s Gold Coast.
Status Quo star Rick Parfitt has revealed he used a "double" for some scenes in his movie debut - who is actually black.
The government of Fiji has reacted angrily to the country's depiction in an undercover investigation that led to the resignation of MP Patrick Mercer.
Courtney Lawes, the thoroughly modern lock from Northampton whose Test progress has been badly hampered by injury, is back in the England mix for the final international of the year, against New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday. Lawes replaces Mouritz Botha of Saracens in the match-day squad and is likely to be given a run off the bench.
Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns is in line to make his England debut against New Zealand on Saturday after being called up as an injury replacement for Toby Flood.
Captain Robshaw comes under fire for England's off-colour display
Slow starts were very much in vogue yesterday. First New Zealand allowed themselves to be tied down by Italy before running out 42-10 winners in Rome, then France were caught by an early try-scoring charge from Argentina, but preserved their unbeaten record in Lille with a 39-22 victory, thanks in part to two tries by Vincent Clerc.
Australia game now a must-win if England are to avoid potential group of death at World Cup
Three games into his international career, Tim Visser is the joint-third top try scorer in the current Scotland squad. The country's quest for a victory against New Zealand continues but in the midst of the 51-22 loss to the world champions on Sunday there were tangible signs that the long-time search for a potent finisher is finally meeting with success.
Stuart Lancaster warned England must be prepared for an Australian backlash in Saturday's Cook Cup showdown.
Stuart Lancaster may be a master of system and process, but there is not a system or process in the whole wide world of sport that can prevent a virulent outbreak of old-fashioned orthopaedic trauma. The England head coach acknowledged yesterday that the injury fallout from the last round of Premiership fixtures was every bit as serious as he feared at the time – and that it has cost him the services of Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and, almost certainly, Jonathan Joseph for the opening autumn international against Fiji on Saturday week.
Chris Ashton is in danger of being banned from the start of England's QBE autumn international series after he was called to appear at a disciplinary hearing in London tonight.
Stuart Lancaster may be the calmest England coach of the professional era, but his unflappable approach to the red-rose job was under severe strain yesterday when the full extent of the injury fallout from the weekend's Premiership activity became clear. Concerns over the centre Jonathan Joseph, the scrum-half Ben Youngs, the lock Courtney Lawes and the captain Chris Robshaw paled into insignificance as the medical bulletin on Dylan Hartley was issued.
Taken together, the sighs of relief from the England coaching team at the end of this minor Premiership classic at Kingsholm were enough to constitute a gale force wind. Toby Flood looked very sharp at outside-half for Leicester; his colleagues Dan Cole and Geoff Parling applied God's amount of pressure, at scrum and line-out respectively; Freddie Burns reinforced the already overwhelming impression that he is an international No 10 in waiting; Billy Twelvetrees did something similar with regards to the No 12 position. But for some dodgy throwing from the hooker Tom Youngs, who would be positively lethal on a darts oche, it was just about perfect.