Sport England coach Stuart Lancaster holds court at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey

'I met every player last week one-to-one and, as there were 35 of them, it was a long day'

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.

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.

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.

Andy Forsyth crosses for Sale to help them to a win at Gloucester

Round-Up: Robshaw relief after Goode misses with last kick

Chris Robshaw admitted his relief at Harlequins’ narrow opening day victory over Wasps after seeing Andy Goode miss a penalty with the final kick at Twickenham on Saturday.

Vunipola brothers get Saracens season off to flying start

London Irish 20 Saracens 42

George North will make his Premiership debut for Saints

Weekend Preview: Exeter hope to avoid being blinded by the stars of Saints

Chiefs seek unlikely win at Northampton as England prospects grace Twickenham

Conor O’Shea will keep Quins wired against Wasps

Conor O’Shea: Quins will challenge – we’ve not been worked out

Harlequins have been the least active of England’s top-flight brigade when it comes to recruitment – just three signings, none of them in the first flush of youth, and some tinkering at academy level has been the extent of their summer business dealings – but the Londoners have no plans to change their hyperactive style of rugby. Conor O’Shea, the man in charge at The Stoop, is promising more of the same, with added attitude.

The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 3 September 2013

Murray’s rival gets motherly help too

Italy Test hooker Carlo Festuccia has joined Wasps from Zebre

Mark Rigby sees Wasps on the move within five years

Wasps, double European champions in the days when they strode across the sunlit uplands of the professional club game, have spent the last few seasons lost in the darkness, to the extent that even their front-line players had no idea whether they would be paid at the end of a hard month’s thud and blunder.

The sporting week ahead (01/09/13)

Today

Josh Lewsey

England World Cup winner Josh Lewsey appointed new head of rugby for Wales

The 36-year-old retired in 2009 after winning 55 caps and representing the Lions

Chris Ashton dives in trademark fashion for one of England’s tries against New Zealand

Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley retained in England squad as Stuart Lancaster names six new faces

England coach names elite player squads and sticks by under-fire duo

Final flourish: Jamie Roberts dives in to score the fourth Lions try to complete a record-breaking triumph

The Lions: Value to the sport from this tour is incalculable

Choice of Gatland as coach, strange itinerary and bold selections and tactics are vindicated by this rousing, recording-breaking finale

Joe Launchbury has exceeded his own expectations during a remarkable season

Joe Launchbury: England will not take foot off the gas

Joe Launchbury has exceeded his own expectations during a remarkable  season and is determined to sign off on a victorious note as England hunt a 2-0 Test series win against Argentina.

Mako Vunipola could be the man to come off the bench and make a big impression

Brian Smith: Belligerent ‘Warrenball’ approach won’t faze attitude-fuelled Aussies against Lions

Wallabies love playing sides who think they are superior... put it down to 'convict race' syndrome

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