Rhys Webb has overtaken Lloyd Williams in the race to be Wales’ scrum-half

Six Nations 2014: Warren Gatland stays true to tried and trusted squad to rise above turmoil

Warren Gatland already knows a thing or two about laying hands on the union code's glittering prizes, but if he makes Six Nations history over the next few weeks by coaching Wales to a third successive title, his reputation as a rugby alchemist will be secure. The 32-man squad he announced looked extremely powerful, but with several key players in contractual limbo, others plying their trade abroad and still more lamenting the viciousness of the political turf war west of the Severn, the New Zealander may have a difficult job bringing people together in common cause.

Alex Goode, Chris Ashton and Ernst Joubert of Saracens look dejected after defeat to Toulouse

Toulouse 21 Saracens 11: Away quarter-final would give Sarries chance to prove they can compete in the Heineken Cup

Saracens came unstuck against French opposition once again after they saw their hopes of a home draw fade with defeat to Toulouse

George North of Northampton brushes off the challenge of Ospreys’ Jeff Hassler

Ospreys 17 Northampton 29 match report: George North scores 70 yard try in Heineken Cup

Saints' chances of progress remain slim despite victory

Stuart Gray is hoping for the full-time Sheffield Wednesday job after the 6-0 win over Leeds United

Sheffield Wednesday 6 Leeds United 0:Stuart Gray hopes demolition of Yorkshire rivals will lead to permanent job

The caretaker manager has overseen a rise out of the Championship relegation zone since Dave Jones was sacked in December

Odds are still heavily against the Harlequins after consecutive defeats in Octobe

Harlequins cling to hopes of upset as Northampton face Ospreys battle

French league leaders’ home record now stands at 70 straight wins

George Ford has benefited from a long run at No 10 with Bath

George Ford set for England promotion but Stuart Lancaster battles with problems up front

George Ford will be the talk of the town if, as widely assumed, he replaces the France-bound Toby Flood in a revamped England squad this afternoon, but the 20-year-old Bath outside-half's promotion has not been at the top of the red-rose hierarchy's agenda in recent days. Stuart Lancaster and his lieutenants are far more concerned with issues up front, where injuries to important players are making life very complicated indeed.

Richard Cockerill served a nine-match ban earlier this season

Richard Cockerill escapes punishment over Sale Sharks ‘cheat’ comments

Richard Cockerill will not face disciplinary action over his post-match comments made following last Saturday’s Premiership game between Leicester and Sale Sharks.

Missing priest found dead in supermarket car park

Police say the body of Father Joseph Williams had been lying unnoticed for three days

Welsh wing George North was the galvanising force in Northampton's win over Bath

The star in George North starts to appear for Saints

Northampton paid a fine of £60,000 to the Premiership for allowing George North to play for Wales outside the official international window last month, and if it made a nonsense of the league’s collective policy on the subject, everyone else appears to believe it was a stand worth taking.

Last hurrah George North cap another fine show by heading over to score Northampton’s final try

Northampton Saints 43 Bath 25 match report: George North pulls out all stops to put Bath in their place

Northampton stall visitors’ title challenge as Myler states his case for place in England squad

Scotland lock Alastair Kellock will miss the Six Nations after undergoing surgery on an arm injury

Alastair Kellock ruled out of Scots’ Six Nations plans

Scotland lock Alastair Kellock will miss the Six Nations after undergoing surgery on an arm injury.

'young Britons, often in packs, go out to get thoroughly, blindingly and often violently drunk'

Northampton left reeling by exposé of binge drinking - courtesy of the New York Times

Young Britons, drinking in packs, often end up 'gloriously incoherent', according to The New York Times

Magic moment: Jonathan Joseph speeds over for the Bath’s decisive try

Rugby round-up: Loss of Andy Goode proves costly for Wasps as Stephen Myler saves Saints

A round-up of Saturday's Aviva Premiership action

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 19 December 2013

Spurs knocked out by Hammers as United progress

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee