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.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
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
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
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
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
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
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need