Sport Leigh Halfpenny celebrates Cardiff's Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Toulon in 2010

The full-back has scored over 350 points for Wales

Ruck and Maul: Hopes of picking up player of the year award have all gone south

The International Rugby Board will name their world player of the year on Wednesday with the holder and only two-time winner, Richie McCaw, short odds to complete a hat-trick and the shortlist continuing the recent southern hemisphere domination. McCaw, who first won in 2006, has been nominated alongside his All Black team-mate Mils Muliaina, South Africa's Victor Matfield and Australian tyros David Pocock and Kurtley Beale, with France's resurgent back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy providing Europe's sole interest. Since Keith Wood (2001), Fabien Galthié (2002) and Jonny Wilkinson (2003), only Shane Williams (2008) has won from north of the equator. Poignantly, on the same day at 2.30pm, the memorial service will be held at London's Southwark Cathedral for a home-grown star of another era whose lustre never faded: Andy Ripley.

Carter the All Black pilot plays on a higher plane

There are times when Dan Carter seems to be taking a walk in, say, Hagley Park in his native Christchurch. Only this was an international match, with 80,000 watching to see if he would slip, taking with him New Zealand's hopes of a grand-slam tour of Britain.

All Blacks want Gear to put England in reverse

On the face of it, Graham Henry was in high good humour as he named his New Zealand side for tomorrow's set-to with England at Twickenham, delivering his wisecracks with a rat-a-tat rhythm that Jackie Mason himself might have admired. "A lot of people have been pressing us to play Hosea Gear," he said when asked about the Maori wing's promotion to the starting line-up. "My wife has been telling me to pick him; even my mother asked me why he wasn't in the team. Finally, I've bent to the pressure. It's a pain in the arse, this job."

Toby Flood confident Dan Carter can be neutralised

Toby Flood is confident England can neutralise the potent threat of Dan Carter in Saturday's clash with New Zealand at Twickenham.

Wilkinson to miss autumn Tests

Jonny Wilkinson's international career, so frequently punctuated by injury, was interrupted once again yesterday when the England medical team ruled him out of the autumn Test series in its entirety. Wilkinson, struggling with a fresh bout of trouble in the neck-shoulder area after picking up a knock playing for Toulon, was always a long-odds contender for the meeting with New Zealand at Twickenham a week today, but the red-rose management hoped he might be available for the subsequent matches against Australia, Samoa and South Africa, the world champions.

Jonny Wilkinson ruled out of Autumn internationals with injury

Jonny Wilkinson has been ruled out of England's autumn international campaign with a shoulder injury.

Wilkinson escapes operation but remains doubtful

Martin Johnson has confirmed that Jonny Wilkinson will not require shoulder surgery - but he remains doubtful for England's clash with New Zealand on November 6.

Wilkinson sent for scan on shoulder

Jonny Wilkinson underwent a scan yesterday after turning up for England duty ahead of the forthcoming autumn international campaign nursing a shoulder problem.

Peter Bills: England must not start declining Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and dropped a goal to score all Toulon’s points in their 22-15 defeat by Stade Francais in Paris at the weekend.

Flutey a doubt for England international

Riki Flutey's participation in England's opening autumn international against New Zealand is in doubt.

IRB's regulation 9 leaves clubs and countries at sixes and sevens

Complex rule over player release is casting a shadow over the home nations' autumn internationals

Burns is too hot for Italians to handle as Gloucester run riot

Gloucester 90 Rovigo 7

Round-up: Wilkinson takes it on the chin as rampant Munster hit Toulon for six

At Thomond Park yesterday, Munster went top of the Heineken Cup's obligatory "pool of death", Pool Three, by hammering Toulon 45-18. Bonus points mean that Munster lead the Ospreys by a point; the Welsh region are a point ahead of the French club and London Irish.

Wilkinson shines in sun in front of manager Johnson

Toulon 19 Ospreys 14: Fly-half combines with fellow England hopeful Sackey to give French big-spenders a precious victory over ambitious Ospreys
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum