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Richmond, London

Rugby clubs set for collision course over European competitions

The last lingering hopes of a speedy solution to the argument over the future of European rugby evaporated when five of the six major governing bodies threw their weight behind the existing Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup competitions. The French, Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh unions effectively pledged to stand against the new Rugby Champions Club being organised by the leading clubs in England and France.

All Blacks’ revenge mission will be our most difficult test so far,

Stuart Lancaster faces the most delicate motivational task of his international career as England seek to strengthen their credentials as potential winners of the home World Cup in 2015 by beating New Zealand, the reigning champions, at Twickenham this weekend. The All Blacks are treating the match as a revenge mission following their record defeat in London a year ago, while Lancaster’s men see it as a rite of passage.

Back-to-back All Blacks risks devaluing the Tests

The Rugby Football Union have confirmed that New Zealand would be the team launching next year's autumn series at Twickenham – the last round of cross-hemisphere matches before the home World Cup in 2015 – and presented it as headline news.

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