Saracens (rugby)

Six Nations 2014: Heineken Cup rigours threaten to derail England

The waiting is the hardest part. Thirty-five players, led by the reappointed national captain Chris Robshaw, will arrive in the England camp between Sunday evening and Monday morning as attention switches from the Heineken Cup – or rather, what is left of the Heineken Cup – to the Six Nations, which begins in a fortnight's time. How many will be in a condition to train before the middle of next week at the earliest? Not as many as the head coach, Stuart Lancaster, would like, almost certainly.

Gloucester 7 Munster 20 match report: Gloucester revived but still

Composure wins matches. Munster, who have so strong a European tradition, possessed it last night and it ensured their progress to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup yet again, with one round of pool matches remaining. Edinburgh's failure to score a winning bonus point against Perpignan means that the Irish province cannot be caught (though their superior points difference would have kept them clear of pursuit).

Rugby round-up: Owen Williams show put in shade

A superb performance by Owen Williams, the young replacement at fly-half for Toby Flood, in Leicester's 30-23 Premiership victory over Sale Sharks was overshadowed by allegations from Richard Cockerill that the visitors “cheated” at the scrum.

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Saracens 24 Sale 19: Fresh Will Fraser injury mars Saracens’ joy

If someone had beamed down from Mars – or from rugby’s amateur era, which feels even more remote – for the Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens’ 24-19 win over Sale Sharks on Saturday how would they have judged the spectacle? An arena of wonderfully nuanced and contrasting players such as Saracens’ gliding fly-half Charlie Hodgson and cerebral lock Steve Borthwick? Or a base battlefield of mega-muscled gladiators battering each other Rollerball-style with casualties shipped off to hospital on motorised carts for the benefit of the paying public, television viewer and now – as we are told enthusiastically by competing broadcasters – broadband consumers?