Sport Sam Warburton is the first to sign a Welsh central contract

Warburton became the first to agree a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union that will keep him playing for the Cardiff Blues

Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones together after the successful British and Irish Lions tour of Australia

Six Nations 2014: Sam Warburton named on the bench as Alun Wyn Jones leads Wales against Italy

Head coach Warren Gatland has chosen to name his regular captain among the replacements as he continues his comeback from a shoulder injury

The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Nikita the Steller's sea eagle on the loose in Yorkshire Dales

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

Alun Wyn Jones has extended his contract with the Ospreys

Welsh rugby given a major boost as Alun Wyn Jones extends contract with the Ospreys

The lock guided the British and Irish Lions to victory on the third Test in Australia and has put pen to paper on a new contract until after the 2015 World Cup

Alex Cuthbert admits that Wales will be the team to beat ahead of this year's Six Nations

Six Nations 2014: Alex Cuthbert admits rivals will be gunning for Wales as the 'team to beat'

Fixture list favours Wales this year although they still face a testing trip to Twickenham to take on England on March 9

Mathew Tait has been forced to pull out of the England Saxons' side on Saturday with a back injury

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

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.

Ian Evans walks off the pitch after being sent-off during the Ospreys 36-3 defeat to Leinster

Six Nations 2014: Ian Evans made to sweat over possible ban after he is sent-off for alleged stamping in Ospreys defeat

Evans was red carded after appearing to stamp on Leinster forward Mike McCarthy in the 36-3 Heineken Cup loss on Friday night

Rhys Webb has overtaken Lloyd Williams in the race to be Wales’ scrum-half

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

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.

Wales captain Sam Warburton has been named in the squad for the Six Nations despite missing the last few weeks through injury

Six Nations: Warren Gatland includes injured trio Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies and Gethin Jenkins in 32-man squad

Davies is not expected to return until March at the earliest while Warburton has been sidelined in recent weeks

Heineken Cup Round Five: Team of the Weekend

We select our best XV from the penultimate round of group matches across Europe

Alex Goode, Chris Ashton and Ernst Joubert of Saracens look dejected after defeat to Toulouse

Toulouse 21 Saracens 11: Away quarter-final would give Sarries chance to prove they can compete in the Heineken Cup

Saracens came unstuck against French opposition once again after they saw their hopes of a home draw fade with defeat to Toulouse

George North of Northampton brushes off the challenge of Ospreys’ Jeff Hassler

Ospreys 17 Northampton 29 match report: George North scores 70 yard try in Heineken Cup

Saints' chances of progress remain slim despite victory

Odds are still heavily against the Harlequins after consecutive defeats in Octobe

Harlequins cling to hopes of upset as Northampton face Ospreys battle

French league leaders’ home record now stands at 70 straight wins

Richard Hibbard has agreed to join Gloucester from next season, becoming the latest Wales international to leave the country for either England or France

Wales exodus continues as Gloucester confirm signing on British and Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard

Hibbard has been in tremendous form for Wales over the past year and will join the Cherry and Whites from next season

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

Wales captain Sam Warburton is considering playing in France

Angry fans plan protests over state of Welsh game

Recent political carnage over the future of the Heineken Cup has brought the fraught union-region relationship to a head

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
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The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain