Lions

Bristol show top-flight intentions with two key signings

Bristol, one of the drowsiest of English rugby's sleeping giants, has stirred itself from its slumbers with a double signing of eye-catching quality, thereby delivering a statement of intent that could have all manner of consequences for a sport in the midst of its biggest political upheaval since the 1990s.

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Takeover will enable Exiles to recycle Irish cash

England's leading clubs may not know who the hell they will be playing next season, thanks to the latest rampant outbreak of political squabbling over Europe, but the uncertainty has not stopped London Irish negotiating a bright new future for themselves. The Exiles, badly strapped for cash in recent seasons, are on the point of confirming a takeover by a consortium headed by an Irish businessman, Mick Crossan, who made his pile in recycling and waste management.