Harlequins’ Charlie Walker breaks a tackle to score a try against Racing Metro

Heineken Cup round-up: 'Harlequins can complete great fightback,' says Director of Rugby Connor O'Shea

Conor O’Shea believes Harlequins can clinch a remarkable comeback and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup after earning their second successive victory over big-spending Racing Metro.

Bath wing Matt Banahan tries to break the Mogliano defence

Bath 63 Mogliano 0 match report: Rampant Bath show the value of coaching switch

Amid an avalanche of points against their hapless Italian opponents, Bath quietly eased a director of rugby out of his seat. It has been a curious week in the West Country – business as usual on the pitch and, in a way, business as usual off it, going by the last three years under the ownership of Bruce Craig.

Ireland prop Cian Healy has been ruled out for eight weeks after undergoing ankle surgery

Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy a doubt for Six Nations opener after undergoing ankle surgery

The British and Irish Lions loosehead will miss Leinster's Heineken Cup run-in and could also miss the start of the Six Nations after being ruled out for eight weeks

Keeping Marland Yarde will be a priority for London Irish

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.

Brian O’Driscoll, a rugby genius in his final season

Heineken Cup: Brian O’Driscoll prolongs Northampton Saints’ home agony

Anyone who had not seen Northampton’s humbling  40-7 defeat by Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens coming may have forgotten the Saints’ series of home losses to Saracens, Ulster, Harlequins, Gloucester and Leicester last season. Or Leinster’s many wondrous performances in the Heineken Cup – three-time winners since 2009, even if last season they dropped a level to winning the Amlin Challenge Cup. The boys in blue did to Northampton on Saturday what they did to them in the famous second half of the 2011 Heineken final.

Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon travel to take on Exeter

Heineken Cup: Toulon test for Baxter’s boys as Harlequins battle to stay alive

If Morecambe and Wise had been blessed with Premier Rugby’s sledgehammer sense of timing, the celebrated Andre Previn sketch would have been about as side-splittingly funny as a David Cameron one-liner.

Aviva Premiership round-up: Wasps' Christian Wade is new England injury worry

The gloss was taken off Wasps' 19-12 victory for over London Irish when they lost their exciting wing Christian Wade, who limped off late on after going over on his ankle. He will have a scan today that should reveal the extent of the injury.

Samu Manoa of Northampton Saints charges past the Worcester defence

Worcester 10 Northampton 33: Saints keep pressure on Saracens but miss out on bonus point in testing win over Warriors

Tries from Samu Manoa, Tom Collins and Tom Wood made the win look more comfortable than the is actually was

Nathan Catt can confirm his improvement for Bath
The Northampton clown spotted with some balloons

Stop clowning around! Police urge public to ignore creepy clowns after sightings across UK

Police have vowed to track down pranksters dressing up as clowns and offer them 'strong words of advice'

Northampton argue they have contravened no rules by releasing George North to face Australia

Northampton face fine after releasing George North for Wales duty

He will play in Saturday’s Test match against Australia, which falls outside the international window

Courtney Lawes back to earth with a bump for Phil Godman

It is to be hoped Phil Godman enjoyed the Doctor Who special on Saturday evening because earlier in the day the Newcastle fly-half’s adventures in space and time had an unhappy ending thanks to the tackling of Courtney Lawes.

Northampton Saints 18 Newcastle Falcons 0 match report: Lawes lights up vital win in Saints’ fight for the top

Having helped turn on the town’s Christmas lights on Thursday evening, Courtney Lawes snuffed out the Newcastle Falcons as Northampton Saints consolidated their place behind Saracens at the top of the Premiership.

Gareth Steenson has been a key factor in Exeter's impressive rise to the Premiership top four

Gareth Steenson: Saracens will test Premiership play-off contenders Exeter’s standing as ‘a top side’

Gareth Steenson has warned that Premiership play-off contenders Exeter are ready to “push on and achieve more” after positioning themselves strongly for domestic and European success.

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Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
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Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

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Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

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For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
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Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

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In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

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