Gavin Henson

Wales hand Henson a World Cup lifeline

The last time Gavin Henson was seen wearing a Wales shirt, he was modelling it rather than playing in it – and a fat lot of good that little stunt did for team harmony in the land of the Red Dragon. Jamie Roberts, the celebrity centre's fellow midfielder, wondered aloud if this amounted to "an insult to current Wales internationals", and as Henson was more interested in the ballroom than the dressing room at that precise juncture, he had every right to ask the question.

Heads or tails? Saracens happy to decide final No 9 on the flip of a

Saracens used to be such a basket case of a club when it came to recruitment policy – anything fewer than 20 changes in personnel during a close season was a triumph of continuity – that successive coaches were widely suspected of taking the blind man's buff approach to selection, on the grounds that no one knew for sure who was still on the payroll. Now, the Premiership title contenders have adopted the "heads-or-tails" system, but if this seems every bit as unscientific, there is method in the madness.

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Blues seek favours from neighbours in play-off race

Newport Gwent Dragons, very much the poor cousins of the professional game in Wales, are rarely desperate to perform favours for Cardiff Blues, their better-heeled neighbours, so they find themselves in a slightly itchy position ahead of tonight's final Magners League regular-season game at Rodney Parade. Victory over Ulster will not make one iota of difference to their own league standing, but it might transform their great rivals' damp-squib campaign into something memorable.

Wasps give Powell the boot to leave No 8 in World Cup limbo

Andy Powell, the Wasps forward who suffered head wounds during a pub brawl with football supporters last month and has been suspended ever since, parted company with the Londoners last night. A spokesman for the Premiership club trotted out the usual "by mutual consent" line, but it was clear that the Welsh No 8 had been declared surplus to requirements. Powell now finds himself unemployed, less than four months before the 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.