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

Keeping Marland Yarde will be a priority for London Irish

Takeover will enable Exiles to recycle Irish cash

England's leading clubs may not know who the hell they will be playing next season, thanks to the latest rampant outbreak of political squabbling over Europe, but the uncertainty has not stopped London Irish negotiating a bright new future for themselves. The Exiles, badly strapped for cash in recent seasons, are on the point of confirming a takeover by a consortium headed by an Irish businessman, Mick Crossan, who made his pile in recycling and waste management.

Quade Cooper was at his mercurial best for Australia against Wales in Cardiff

Quade Cooper and Aussies show World Cup class in abundance

It remains nothing more than a dot on the rugby horizon – the 2015 World Cup, that is – and pretty much anything could happen in the 664 days between here and there. The club-versus-union conflict could send the whole of the European game into meltdown (perfectly possible); New Zealand could hit a bad patch (it has to happen sometime, surely); the Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie could decide that his predecessor was right all along and chuck Quade Cooper out on his ear (barely conceivable on latest evidence, admittedly).

Rugby World Cup 2015: Progressive tickets but some nightmarish late kick-off times

Some tickets for the major pool games, including those featuring England, will set you back 41 times the current living wage rate. How on earth will Prince Harry afford it?

Sport minister Helen Grant fails to answer single question correctly in TV quiz

She is Britain’s Minister for sport, a former judo champion and recently told The Independent that sport was in her DNA. But Helen Grant’s sporting credential fell spectacularly short in a quiz when she failed to answer a single question correctly - including the name of the FA cup title holders and this year’s Wimbledon women’s champion.  

Sports clubs to get tax breaks on bars’ profit

More than 40,000 sports clubs are set to benefit from new  tax breaks as the Government tries to secure the legacy of last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

PRL chief Mark McCafferty is planning for the start of the Rugby Champions Cup next season

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.

Adam Ashley Cooper

Australia suspend six players for 'excessive drinking session' before victory over Ireland

Wingers Adam Ashley Cooper and Nick Cummins among players who will miss the final Autumn international against Scotland

Roy Keane has been appointed O'Neill's number two

Roy Keane first to arrive for Republic of Ireland training

The assistant manager was there 90 minutes before even manager Martin O'Neill

Wales centre Jonathan Davies will join Clermont Auvergne from next season onwards

Wales exodus continues as British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies joins French side Clermont Auvergne

Davies is the latest in a long line of Wales internationals that have headed across the channel to ply their trade

Santiago Phelan has resigned as coach of Argentina following their winless Rugby Championship campaign

Argentina coach Santiago Phelan quits after winless Rugby Championship

The Pumas visit Twickenham on November 9 to take on England but will arrive without Phelan after he resigned on Monday

<b>1. Cian Healy - Leinster</b>
<br/>The Ireland prop was as solid as ever, giving the three-time Heineken Cup champions a solid base from which they could launch their sparkling attack. Dominated is opposite man, Anton Peikrishvili, that he had to go off after 45 minutes.

Indyplus gallery: Heineken Cup Team of the Weekend round two

A look at the players who impressed during the second round of European action

<b>1. Cian Healy - Leinster</b>
<br/>The Ireland prop was as solid as ever, giving the three-time Heineken Cup champions a solid base from which they could launch their sparkling attack. Dominated is opposite man, Anton Peikrishvili, that he had to go off after 45 minutes.

Heineken Cup Team of the Weekend round two

A look at the players who impressed during the second round of European action

Heineken Cup round-up: Peace on the cards for European game

Compromise is not a thought in the mind of any rugby player as he thunders into action, but for the blazers, it could lead to salvation.

Sonny Bill Williams looks set to remain with NRL side Sydney Roosters after the Rugby League World Cup

New Zealand fail to lure Sonny Bill Williams back to rugby union after reports emerge he will remain with NRL side Sydney Roosters

Williams was expected to head back to Union after choosing not to go to the Rugby League World Cup but he has since changed his mind on both matters

BT reveal they are considering bid for Champions League football to rival ITV and Sky Sports

Chief executive says BT can co-exist with Sky

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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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
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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

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Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

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Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

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Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

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Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

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Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

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