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

England are perming three from eight for their wings and full-back. Chris Ashton favours the right wing

Six Nations 2014: Chris Ashton makes way for Jack Nowell debut for England

The Exeter wing gets his chance in Paris against France

Richardt Strauss could return to the Ireland squad for the Six Nations following his rapid recovery from heart surgery

Six Nations: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt 'delighted' to have Richardt Strauss available after rapid recovery from heart surgery

Schmidt coached Strauss at Leinster and believes that his return is a bonus for Ireland ahead of the Six Nations campaign

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

(Left to right) Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell, Italy’s Sergio Parisse, Wales’s Sam Warburton, England’s Chris Robshaw, Scotland’s Kelly Brown and France’s Pascal Pape line up for the launch of the Six Nations

Six Nations 2014: Sam Warburton bides his time as camp offers welcome distraction

Defence of crown allows Welsh to forget rugby politics

Indyplus updates: Rugby Union

Chris Robshaw

Six Nations: Chris Robshaw will remain England captain, confirms Stuart Lancaster

It will be the third successive Six Nations the Harlequins flanker has been at the helm for

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.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster is expecting a tough battle at the breakdown when they take on New Zealand

England coach Stuart Lancaster to treat Six Nations duration as a rest period after warning players are 'absolutely hanging'

Lancaster has warned administrators that the Elite Player Squad members need to be looked after better following a gruelling Lions tour and first half of the domestic season

Leicester Tigers' Jamie Gibson is tackled by Sale Sharks' Marc Jones
Richard Cockerill served a nine-match ban earlier this season

Richard Cockerill escapes punishment over Sale Sharks ‘cheat’ comments

Richard Cockerill will not face disciplinary action over his post-match comments made following last Saturday’s Premiership game between Leicester and Sale Sharks.

Indyplus updates: Rugby Union

Wales coach Warren Gatland has called for his side to display the same 'never-say-die attitude' that New Zealand displayed last weekend

Wales keep Warren Gatland till 2019 but agree to release him if Lions come calling

Warren Gatland will be free to lead the 2017 Lions if asked

Steve McNamara has been retained by England despite their defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final last month

Steve McNamara to coach England...from Sydney

The England coach, Steve McNamara, is to join the coaching staff of the Sydney Roosters, but is to continue to take charge of the national team on a part-time basis.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there