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

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

Chris Ashton has vowed to maintain his try-scoring resurgence at Ireland’s expense

Six Nations: Chris Ashton insists England culture has changed

'We’re here to play rugby, to be on the back pages, not the front pages'

Former Hull chairman Adam Pearson leads the consortium

Sale of Leeds United will make GFH Capital a tidy profit

GFH bought Leeds from Ken Bates for £17m

Thomas Keneally says for him the report was ‘cosmos-changing’

Thomas Keneally: 'We used to see ourselves as the Mr Clean of sport'

Author and Manly fan Thomas Keneally reveals his shock at this week’s Australian drug report

Widespread use of performance enhancing drugs has been uncovered in Australian sport

Drugs in Sport: Stunned sports bodies admit they need help to fight back

Australian sport has reacted swiftly to the Australian Crime Commission report about widespread drugs cheating and organised crime links. Jason Clare, the national Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, summed up the mood of anger. "The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans," he said. "It is cheating but it is worse than that. It's cheating with the help of criminals. We're talking about multiple athletes across multiple codes."

Clare Balding is undoubtedly a good thing, but are we in danger of having too much of her?

Out, proud and excellent at her job: Clare Balding's brilliance may just be enough to overcome the tradition of the Great British backlash

Dan’s the man: Daniel Holdsworth is one of the players who left Salford; he may solve Hull’s half-back problem as the club try to threaten the ‘Big Four’

Saving Salford gives much-needed boost

Dr Koukash flies in to ensure a full line-up of clubs start the new season

Eboni Beckford-Chambers of England defends against New Zealand last year

Netball: Goodbye to the pleated skirt as playground game grows up

England's new promise faces the toughest test with the visit of world champions Australia

RFU to investigate Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion match

The game, won 34-16 by Leeds, went to uncontested scrums after just 13 minutes

The sporting week ahead (06/01/13)

Today

O'Connell captained the Lions in South Africa four years ago

Ex-captain Paul O'Connell likely to miss looming Lions tour

The chances of Paul O’Connell completing a full house of British and Irish Lions trips to the great southern hemisphere rugby nations appeared more remote than ever today, despite successful back surgery at a hospital in Dublin.

Courtney Lawes is back in squad after injury in place of Mouritz Botha

Courtney Lawes called up by England as Mouritz Botha and Tom Palmer head home

Courtney Lawes, the thoroughly modern lock from Northampton whose Test progress has been badly hampered by injury, is back in the England mix for the final international of the year, against New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday. Lawes replaces Mouritz Botha of Saracens in the match-day squad and is likely to be given a run off the bench.

Freddie Flintoff makes his boxing debut on Friday

Bunce on Boxing: Freddie Flintoff has put hard yards in – but he's no Mundine

When former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff is finally left alone on Friday night at the MEN Arena, hopefully he will not look down at the wet imprint left by his pal Ricky Hatton's stricken body on the same canvas.

Rule of thumb: Bradley Wiggins is favourite to win Sports Personality

Bradley Wiggins set for rugby sevens role

Olympic champion and Tour de France hero Bradley Wiggins will be taking part in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens - as a water carrier.

Bill Drake would have thrived in the modern game

Bill Drake: Hull rugby league stalwart

Bill Drake was one half of a celebrated pair of twins who formed part of the much-feared Hull pack of the 1950s and early '60s. Unlike other twins in rugby league, notably Keith and Kevin Rayne and Kevin and Bob Beardmore, Bill and Jim were not identical, in build or in style of play. Jim, the elder by 10 minutes, was a squat, aggressive prop, a renowned handful on the pitch. Bill, who has died four years to the day after him, was tall, athletic and stylish.

Andy Hazell

Andy Hazell claims he was provoked following frenzied attack on opponent during Amlin Challenge Cup clash

Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell has claimed that he reacted to provocation in last night's Amlin Challenge Cup clash against French club Mont-de-Marsan. 

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices