Sport Richardt Strauss could return to the Ireland squad for the Six Nations following his 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

Audiobook of the week: The Outcast by Sadie Jones (read by Dan Stevens)

When 19-year-old Lewis Aldridge is released from prison in 1957, we have no idea what his crime was. He goes home to Surrey, to his jittery step-mother Alice and his ice-cold father Gilbert, and wonders what to do next.

Johann Hari: We need to stop being such cowards about Islam

This is a column condemning cowardice – including my own. It begins with the story of a novel you cannot read. The Jewel of Medina was written by a journalist called Sherry Jones. It recounts the life of Aisha, a girl who was married off at the age of six to a 50-year-old man called Mohamed ibn Abdallah. On her wedding day, Aisha was playing on a see-saw outside her home. Inside, she was being betrothed. The first she knew of it was when she was banned from playing out in the street with the other children. When she was nine, she was taken to live with her husband, now 53. He had sex with her. When she was 14, she was accused of adultery with a man closer to her own age. Not long after, Mohamed decreed that his wives must cover their faces and bodies, even though no other women in Arabia did.

War on Terror boardgame branded criminal by police

It may not be fun for all the family – well, not in the same way as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit or Mousetrap, say. The themes of empire building and terrorist-style attacks on opponents would probably provoke an outbreak of spluttering over the Christmas sherry.

The Quiz, Trafalgar Studios 2, London<br />Sisters, Gate Theatre, London

David Bradley is wonderfully funny and sympathetic in this new one-man show by Richard Crane that affords the reliable pleasure of watching a great actor playing a dodgy one. Here Bradley surfaces as a decrepit old thesp, named Henry Thaddeus Irving Binkie Macbeth, etc, etc (the fateful list goes on). His father was a bishop and his mother was an actress, so he has been a bit of a joke since conception. And now, years later, he has dwindled to that hapless comic cliché: the tour de force who is forced to tour.

Leading article: Rhyme and reason

Some of those women touted as contenders to be our first female Poet Laureate would not have got very far in a Renaissance court. Wendy Cope today dismisses the post as "archaic". Fleur Adcock describes it as "terribly hard work for little pay". Meanwhile, Ruth Padel says that "my impulse would be to turn it down".

Female contenders rule out 'archaic' post of Poet Laureate

Three of the leading contenders to be Britain's first female Poet Laureate have ruled themselves out of contention for the post.

Johann Hari: As life flies on, don't let poetry pass you by

If we are seeking the first great laureate of the new era, I nominate Clive James

Jersey Boys, Prince Edward Theatre, London

As a genre, the jukebox musical can be relied on to throw up more junk than most. The back catalogue of no pop group or artiste is now safe from theatre producers hungry to make a lazy buck.

First Night: Jersey Boys, Prince Edward Theatre, London

The hits keep coming but Frankie frustrates despite

Scotland v England: Sheridan props up all England's hopes

The massive front-rower shoulders the burden as he becomes pivotal to Red Rose ambitions. By Tim Glover

Hotting up: Skye Gyngell's zingy ginger recipes

From seafood to syllabub, there are not many dishes that won't benefit from a sprightly injection of flavour from fresh ginger, says Skye Gyngell

Ginger syllabub

Serves 6

Jerez, Spain

This Andalucian city the home of sherry and birthplace of flamenco is the perfect destination for an exotic winter escape.

Broken Flowers (15)

Tears of a clown on the road
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Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
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As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn