Sport Saracens' Nathan Earle is held by Zach Kibirige during the game on Sunday

Saracens recorded a comfortable 41-8 victory over Newcastle on Sunday to ensure they finished top of their LV= Cup pool and so sealed their progression to the semi-finals.

George North: The wing’s proposed move out of Wales started the latest row

WRU head accused of damaging Welsh rugby

Regional Rugby Wales has accused the Welsh Rugby Union chief executive of “overseeing the decline of Welsh rugby outside the international tier” as relations between the two bodies threaten to break down.

Dan Biggar

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar agrees new deal with Ospreys

The 23-year-old will remain at Liberty Stadium until 2016

Elliot Daly evades a tackle on his way to scoring Wasps’ second try

Wasps suffering with an identity crisis

London Wasps’ supporters are going through the uncertainty familiar to every club in any code who undergo a change in ownership at the same time as asking themselves what they are all about.

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.

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.

Murder suspect extradited from Morocco and due in court

A Chinese businessman wanted over the murders of a family is being extradited to the UK from Morocco.

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

Calum Clark

England flanker Calum Clark a doubt for Six Nations

Northampton flanker faces shoulder surgery

Chris Robshaw will remain as England captain

Loyal Stuart Lancaster ignores doubters to retain Chris Robshaw in role of 'general'

England coach confirms Quins flanker will retain captaincy for upcoming Six Nations campaign

Outstanding 'sin bin' school for troubled teenagers becomes pioneering academy

Headteacher will now be allowed to take greater control of policy on pupil admissions
Northampton lock Samu Manoa charges through the Castres defence at Franklin’s Gardens last night

Toothless Northampton sneak home against Castres thanks to Ryan Lamb but miss bonus point

Northampton 18 Castres 12: Saints have to hope and pray for half a dozen results to go their way next week

Calum Clark

Calum Clark wants to put past behind him following England call-up

Clark broke the elbow of Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins

Exeter kicked three penalties to one by Stephen Myler (pictured)

Saints overcome the sins of Hartley to rise again

Exeter Chiefs 19 Northampton Saints 30

Alex King joins Wasps from Clermont Auvergne, where he was a coach for five years

Northampton lure Alex King from French stronghold

Northampton have recruited the former Wasps and England fly-half Alex King to replace Paul Grayson on the coaching team at Franklin's Gardens.

Courtney Lawes: 'I know I am a good enough player but I have to make sure I am the best I can be'

Courtney Lawes: The Lawes of perpetual motion

The Northampton man has high hopes regarding England and the Lions after his 2012 was beset with injuries and a lack of motivation, he tells Richard Rae

News
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Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
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Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary