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

125 years of the British and Irish Lions, by Clem and Greg Thomas

Brian O'Driscoll's strop last week, when the Ireland centre said he "resented" the Lions head coach, Warren Gatland, for dropping him for the series-winning Third Test against Australia in July, showed just how much playing for the Lions means. Yet, as the 1968 and 1971 tourist and future tour manager Gerald Davies points out in his introduction to this definitive history, as rugby union went officially professional in the 1990s there were those who questioned whether the concept and ethos of the Lions would survive the change.

The sporting week ahead (01/09/13)

Today

Invisible Ink: No 188 - EC Bentley

Books are often dedicated to other writers. Recently this column looked at Edward Phillips Oppenheim, a dedicatee of P G Wodehouse. Here's another: G K Chesteron's novel about anarchist terrorism, The Man Who Was Thursday, is dedicated to E C Bentley, born in 1875. The pair had met as schoolboys at St Paul's and became fast friends. Bentley went to Oxford, but left law studies to become a journalist, in which profession he continued for most of his life.

The Premiership team captains line-up at Twickenham yesterday for the new season launch

Dylan Hartley: I've had a lot of time to think and this is my last chance

After spectacularly talking himself out of the Lions tour, the hooker knows an England future depends on cleaning up his act

Wigan's Sam Tomkins is the short-priced favourite to win the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match

Challenge Cup: Sam Tomkins can wave Wigan goodbye with one more Wembley gesture

All eyes today will be on departing full-back

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill is suspended for nine matches over his conduct in the Premiership final

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill claims RFU have set a dangerous precedent that he expects to be maintained

Tigers director of rugby was banned for using foul and abusive language and expects anyone who swears in the future to face the same punishment

Steval Pumas and MTN Golden Lions compete in the Vodacom Cup final earlier this year

South Africa bring back racial quotas for teams

Almost a decade after they were dismissed as "window dressing", racial quotas are on their way back to South African sport.

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to host Heineken Cup final for record seventh time

Cardiff will also play host to Amlin Challenge Cup

Robbie Deans speaks to his players after defeat

Australia confirm Robbie Deans' resignation as head coach following defeat to the British and Irish Lions

Ewen McKenzie becomes the new head coach of the Wallabies

Robbie Deans: The Wallabies coach is expected to be sacked after five years in charge

British and Irish Lions 2013: Australia waste little time in making head coach Robbie Deans the scapegoat, with Ewen McKenzie lined up as successor

Robbie Deans’ failure to lead Australia to a series win over the British and Irish Lions was last night expected to result in the coach’s sacking. Ewen McKenzie was lined up to be named as Deans’ successor.

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill is suspended for nine matches over his conduct in the Premiership final

Leicester critical of RFU over handling of Richard Cockerill case

The Tigers' director of rugby was banned for nine matches

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill is suspended for nine matches over his conduct in the Premiership final

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill handed nine-match ban

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has been suspended for nine matches by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel after he was found guilty of using words that were “obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional” during the Aviva Premiership final.

James Horwill

British and Irish Lions 2013: Australia captain James Horwill to learn fate tonight over 'stamp on Alun-Wyn Jones' in first Test

Australia captain James Horwill will learn by this evening whether he is available for Saturday's series decider against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney.

Rugby star Craig Mitchell ordered to pay compensation to man he punched in Australian bar

A Wales rugby player who punched a man in an Australian hotel bar while celebrating a British and Irish Lions win must pay thousands of pounds in compensation to his victim.

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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
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
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star