Northampton

Six Nations: Back injury ends Mathew Tait's hopes of Stuart Lancaster

It would be factually incorrect to suggest that Mathew Tait is “always injured”, but there are undeniably times when it seems that way. Like now. Stuart Lancaster and his fellow England coaches were relishing the prospect of watching the Leicester full-back play for the second-string Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds at Gloucester this weekend and Tait knew that a strong performance would do his chances of a welcome red-rose recall no harm at all. Sadly, there will be no performance of any description. The poor man is crocked again.

Six Nations 2014: Domestic strife will hit Welsh hat-trick dreams,

George North fears the ongoing ructions between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions threaten the stability and form of the national side. The Wales wing also expressed sympathy for his international team-mates who face an uncertain club future as they begin preparations for their bid to become the first side to win the Six Nations for three successive seasons.

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

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.

George Ford set for England promotion but Stuart Lancaster battles

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.

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.

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

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.