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Stuart Lancaster has selected a back-line with just 91 caps between them which includes debutants Nowell and Burrell

Last night's viewing - London Irish, Channel 4; The Wrong Mans, BBC2

The first episode of brand new Channel 4 sitcom London Irish opened and closed with the four twentysomething Northern Irish expat protagonists getting bladdered in the pub. That's right, writer Lisa McGee (a Londonderry woman herself) isn't afraid to confront those national stereotypes head on. This would also explain the scene riffing on a certain budget airline's baggage policy, and the cameo from Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlon.

Manu Tuilagi has had an eventful week, but will return to the pitch to face Newcastle

Manu Tuilagi injury poses problems for England and Leicester, with the human bowling ball set to miss the autumn internationals

England head coach Stuart Lancaster is already without centre Brad Barritt and back-row Tom Croft

David Strettle scores one of his two tries for Saracens against Bath at Allianz Park

Saracens 31 Bath 17 match report: Balletics of Matt Stevens make Bath rue resting star turns

Home side blow away the west Country outfit in a brutal first-half display that saw the contest over after 40 minutes

Leicester Tigers Dan Bowden could be playing for England after qualifying on residency rules

Dan Bowden given task to maximise the destructive Manu Tuilagi as Stuart Lancaster confirms he is on the England radar

The Kiwi-born inside centre has settled into the second playmaker role for the Tigers and could very well find himself in the Red Rose in the not too distant future

Exclusive: Ireland could miss 2015 World Cup

A senior figure in Irish rugby is claiming that none of their provinces will join the new tournament being planned by militant English and French clubs to replace the Heineken Cup in 2014, raising fears Ireland will pull out of the 2015 World Cup.

Chris Robshaw impressed for Harlequins in their victory over Worcester Warriors

Worcester 13 Harlequins 37: Chris Robshaw answers critics in style as Quins run riot

Dean Ryan, the Worcester director of rugby, has had his share of issues with referees in the short time he has been back in the Premiership coaching game, so when the international official Wayne Barnes picked on his players with a vengeance here last night – there were enough flashes of bright yellow to obviate the need for floodlights – he was some way short of delighted. But it was not Barnes who condemned his team to this thrashing. The culprits were Worcester themselves.

Nick Wood was sent off after just eight minutes when Gloucester faced Saracens

Gloucester face fight to avoid three of a kind

A look ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership action

Andy Goode scored 16 points in Wasps' 30-26 defeat at Exeter

Round-up: Baxter relief as Exeter almost let 18-point lead slip

Rob Baxter, the Exeter coach, was relieved to hear the final whistle at Sandy Park on Saturday as his side came perilously close to throwing away the points against Wasps.

Gavin Henson, left, grew steadily more influential on his first start for Bath

Gavin Henson capitalises on Bath’s display of coaching strength

Bath’s high-profile coaching group led by Gary Gold arrived midway through 2012, so by necessity they spent last season, when the Rec crew finished seventh out of 12 in the Premiership, juggling their predecessors’ resources. Not any more. As Matt Banahan, the scorer of Bath’s second try in Saturday’s 27-20 win over Leicester, put it: “You have always got a settling in period with coaches and with players. Coaches obviously want their squad and the players they want to come in, and sometimes they are working with players when they would rather have different ones. So this year we have had that teething out of the way and we have got a squad we want to build on.”

Saracens 44 Gloucester 12 match report: 14-man Gloucester sink to the bottom after Wood’s early rush of blood

There is not much love around the English club game right now: hard words are being spoken on the vexed subject of European rugby – Nigel Wray, the Saracens chairman, poured an entire pipeline’s worth of petrol on the flames consuming the Heineken Cup on Sunday by declaring that the Premiership teams would be “quite crazy” to stay in the tournament  beyond the end of the season – and even harder lessons are being learnt by sides who let their discipline slip. Ask Gloucester, who really copped it in London yesterday and find themselves at the foot of the table as a consequence.

Saracens centre Brad Barritt ruled out of England games

England centre Brad Barritt will miss the autumn internationals after undergoing foot surgery, his club Saracens have announced.

Round-up: Kiwis triumph as Bismarck du Plessis is sent off

Two tries from captain Kieran Read helped New Zealand move to the top of the Rugby Championship after a 29-15 victory over South Africa in a match marked by the dismissal of Bismarck du Plessis for two contentious yellow cards.

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.

Alex Corbisiero in action for Northampton Saints against Harlequins on Friday night

Harlequins 6 Northampton 13: Wilson provides finishing touch to Saints’ power play

It was wet – really wet – at the Stoop last night, and it suited Northampton all the way down to the sodden ground.

Matt Kvesic takes the blind side flank for Gloucester on Saturday

Weekend Preview: Ben Morgan out of the pack as Gloucester reshuffle cards for Saracens game

Statistically speaking, there is as much chance of Gloucester prevailing on their first visit to Saracens’ all-weather Allianz Park tomorrow as there is of Private Eye being nice to Michael Gove, throwing its  unqualified support behind Boris Johnson or deciding that the sweetheart deals between big business and the British tax authorities are perfectly fair and reasonable after all.

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