Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.
The Exeter wing gets his chance in Paris against France
Schmidt coached Strauss at Leinster and believes that his return is a bonus for Ireland ahead of the Six Nations campaign
They have all played in this annual showpiece in the past, but is it head or heart for these commentators?
Ahead of England’s crucial first game against France, their feisty hooker admits that front-row tactics have had to change
Warburton could lead Wales to a third championship success in a row but the victorious British and Irish Lions skipper has stressed the importance of not getting ahead of themselves
The full-back has scored over 350 points for Wales
Robshaw has led England to the runners-up spot in the past two championships but believes a more experienced core could lead to Six Nations glory
Sexton will be the only member of Ireland's squad in action this weekend while Schmidt also confirms Keith Earls is a serious doubt for the championship
Evans was red carded after appearing to stamp on Leinster forward Mike McCarthy in the 36-3 Heineken Cup loss on Friday night
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.
It will be the third successive Six Nations the Harlequins flanker has been at the helm for
Thomas is expected to join Bath at the end of the season while Gaskell has been linked with a move to London Wasps
The International Rugby Boar has promised to 'work actively with its unions towards the goal of achieving a unified and acceptable outcome for all involved'
George Ford will be the talk of the town if, as widely assumed, he replaces the France-bound Toby Flood in a revamped England squad this afternoon, but the 20-year-old Bath outside-half's promotion has not been at the top of the red-rose hierarchy's agenda in recent days. Stuart Lancaster and his lieutenants are far more concerned with issues up front, where injuries to important players are making life very complicated indeed.
New 'put-in' rule may be fairer but it comes at a bad time
Brad Barritt believes the current Saracens side is the best in his five years at the club