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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