Sport Jamie Roberts hurt his ankle while playing for Racing Metro

Influential inside centre has operation on injured ankle and will miss all four November Tests

Flutey eyes Lions after sparking up England

It has been something of a slow burn but centre Riki Flutey is now starting to show the spark that made him an immediate selection for England once the Maori centre completed his three-year residency last year.

Gatland brings back big game players for Ireland

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has reinstated his big guns for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations title decider against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium.

Johnson fears ebb of Flood after England turn the tide

Martin Johnson is not a great one for rankings, so yesterday's announcement by the International Rugby Board that his England side are now rated seventh in the world rather than eighth was not accompanied by the clinking of champagne glasses in the managerial suite at the team hotel. But Johnson will be none too happy if this proves to be a "dead cat bounce", to use the Westminster jargon. Unless England recapture the Calcutta Cup from Scotland this weekend, Sunday's thrashing of France will count for depressingly little.

Histrionics from Henson deepen Welsh blushes

Italy 15 Wales 20

Lee Byrne: Shanks brings our suffering to an end after my limp finish

A twisted ankle and a Wales victory are the souvenirs of my first trip to Rome, and though I had to steer clear of the cobbled streets as I hobbled around last night, it could have been worse. The banner on our changing-room wall, next to the Wales flags stuck up to make us feel at home, read: "Be prepared to suffer". We did that, but probably in ways we never intended.

Wales struggles to win over Italy

Wales needed a late try from substitute Tom Shanklin to overcome a dogged Italy 20-15 in the Six Nations.

Alun-Wyn Jones to lead Wales

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones will captain his country for the first time in next week's RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy.

Super XIV: Chasing the champions

With the loss of several key players and coaches, Super 14 title holders the Crusaders are there to be shot at this season. We previews the most unpredictable campaign for years.

Lee Byrne: Warren lifts our heads because we've still got points to make

It took only a few minutes after the end in Paris for Warren Gatland (right) to stand up and say what needed to be said. For the first time in two years it was a losing dressing room for Wales in the Six Nations, it was deadly quiet and all the boys' heads were down. But Warren is not the type to let that atmosphere settle. He told us we cannot be disheartened, the Championship is still there to play for, and that immediately became everyone's focus.

Lee Byrne Column: It was out of order drinking in the last-chance saloon

The players in the Wales squad are no different to any others in rugby. We enjoy each other’s company, just as all the New Zealand players I know enjoy socialising on days off. It’s part and parcel of rugby, and something we never want to lose. But there were a couple of incidents last Sunday when six of us went out in Cardiff, the day after we beat England. And when the squad got back together to begin preparing to face France next Friday, the management left us in no doubt that they don’t want anything similar happening again. I was one of the six and although neither Mike Phillips nor I was rebuked by the Welsh Rugby Union, we and the other four apologised to the rest of the squad.

Ruck and Maul: Brown all ears as England go solo for 2015 World Cup

They dillied and dallied but England decided to throw their bowler hat (or, under the economic climate, cloth cap) into the ring. South Africa had set the pace by courting the IRB in Cape Town but the English have made a solo bid for the 2015 World Cup. “Rugby is one of the great sports,” said Gordon Brown, who was relieved to talk about something other than financial chaos. The RFU did not find the Prime Minister, recently referred to as a one-eyed Scottish idiot by a two-eyed Englishman with a bison head, blinkered. England went to Downing Street to promote the new Injured Players’ Foundation. Denis Thatcher, as a former rugby ref, would have been at home here, but even more so was Brown, who lost an eye playing the game when he was 16. England sought Government approval of their World Cup bid, without which the £80m down payment would be a bridging loan too far. If the Red Rose prevail, they say they might throw a match or two to Cardiff and Swansea. P.S. Rugby’s risk of serious injury is estimated at 0.8 per 100,000 people, which is lower than skiing, swimming, gymnastics and horse riding. They don’t mention gambling.

Lee Byrne Column: It's great that we're favourites – that's where we want to be

This is my first trip to Murrayfield with Wales and the one thing everyone has been talking about is that we are the favourites – not just to win this match but the whole Six Nations. And when I say everyone has been talking about it, I include the Wales players. We'll only know for certain just how well we've coped when the final whistle goes this afternoon, but we have tackled the subject head-on in the past few days.

Hugo Southwell: 6 Players to watch

Hugo Southwell has played 44 times for his country and starts against Wales tomorrow

Wales take a gamble on Henson

Centre picked for Sunday's opener against Scotland despite injury concerns

Latecomer Byrne in a hurry to make another flying start for Wales

Osprey joins forces with club contingent for crucial opener
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
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
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
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