Mako Vunipola
Jamie Elliott, the 20-year-old product of Northampton’s academy, scored three tries and denied the Irish one with his intelligent covering

Northampton Saints 40 London Irish 14 match report: Saints end mid-life crisis and boost play-off hopes

Northampton have been waiting for this since October. Five months ago their unbeaten start to the Aviva Premiership ground dramatically to a halt in Reading when London Irish registered a bonus-point win on their own turf; here they returned the compliment with interest – or "icing" as Brian Smith, Irish's director of rugby, said.

Tyson Keats’ ineligibility to play could cost London Welsh dear
Dylan Hartley, right, last started for England exactly eight months ago, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Now he knows that, for all his experience, he has a genuine challenger for the No2 shirt in Tom Youngs and he needed to grasp his chance here with an all-round display

What we learned: Courtney Lawes gets birthday blues after back-row blunders

Returning to the fold is never easy, especially out of position, and Courtney Lawes was no exception. Invited to play blindside flanker rather than his customary international position of lock, Lawes found on his 24th birthday that France were offering no presents and cannot have been surprised when he was removed in the 52nd minute.

Aviva Premiership round-up: Jamie Elliott pulls the plug on Bath hopes

Jamie Elliott scored two tries as Northampton resisted a brave Bath fightback to complete a 25-23 win in a thrilling Aviva Premiership encounter at Franklin's Gardens yesterday.

Stuart Lancaster had a “good chat” with his Lions counterpart

Six Nations: England call up Elliot Daly and Joel Tomkins as cover for France showdown

Two uncapped drafted in for Twickenham showdown

Aviva Premiership round-up: Indiscipline leaves Irish trapped in survival scrap

Injuries are hitting Irish rugby thick and fast, but unlike the blow to Gordon D'Arcy, who joined the list of Six Nations absentees on Friday, the damage to London Irish yesterday mostly involved pride. For the moment. The 40-16 defeat by Bath left them scrapping with London Welsh and Sale – who meet today – to avoid finishing bottom of the Aviva Premiership.

Tom Homer finished up with five penalties and two conversions

Exiles underline Irish love of a challenge

If England already sufficiently aware of the challenge facing them in Dublin his afternoon, London Irish offered another example of a Green triumph out of adversity with a remarkable 29-16 victory over title-chasing Saracens in rugby union's Aviva Premiership.

Dylan Hartley recalls how Ireland’s tactics cost England a Grand Slam in 2011

Dylan Hartley warns of repeating past errors in Dublin

Amid the frenzied discussion of England's midfield selection dilemma for the Six Nations trip to Ireland – there was a growing sense that the coaches might revert to the tried and tested Brad Barritt-Manu Tuilagi centre partnership, although there have been as many firm predictions as there are possible permutations and they cannot all be right – one man made the salient point that if things go wrong up front, it will not matter a jot who wears the shirts numbered 12 and 13 on Sunday.

Paul Gascoigne pictured in November last year at a Lazio match

England players eager to help save troubled Paul Gascoigne

Captain Steven Gerrard pledges support for fallen idol after yet another relapse

Paul Gascoigne has suffered a long battle with alcoholism

PFA's Gordon Taylor vows to help Paul Gascoigne beat demons

Former England midfielder is struggling with his battle against alcohol

Billy Twelvetrees (pictured) kicked 10 points and inspired a second half that Leicester won 25-3

Billy Twelvetrees to make debut for England against Scotland in the Six Nations

Centre selected in place of the injured Manu Tuilagi

Anonymous hackers jailed for DDoS attacks on Visa, Mastercard and Paypal

Two self-styled “hacktivists” were jailed today for carrying out cyber attacks with hacking group Anonymous, one of which cost a website £3.5 million.

Anonymous cyber attacks: four men to be sentenced

Four men will be sentenced today for carrying out cyber attacks with hacking group Anonymous.

Calum Clark

England flanker Calum Clark a doubt for Six Nations

Northampton flanker faces shoulder surgery

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
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The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
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The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
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Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
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Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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