Sport On his way: Toby Flood is thought to be lining up a move to Toulouse

Cap set to rise by almost 10 per cent this year – the first increase in two seasons

Ruan Pienaar demonstrated all-court brilliance against the Leicester team

Leicester Tigers 19 Ulster 22 match report: Ruan Pienaar piles on pain for wounded Tigers

Scrum-half claims all Ulster’s points as Leicester are left facing tough trip

Julian Salvi scores for Leicester Tigers against Benetton Treviso

Benetton Treviso 19 Leicester Tigers 34 match report: Tigers set-up winner takes all clash with Ulster with comeback win

Treviso make English champions work hard for victory but a Miles Benjamin brace along with a Julian Salvi effort and a penalty try gives Tigers bonus point victory

George Ford (L) has been named in the England EPS squad in place of Toby Flood (R)

England: Stuart Lancaster names Elite Player Squad plus cover for Six Nations as injuries pile-up

England will be without a number of key players such as Manu Tuilagi, Alex Corbisiero and Tom Croft forcing Lancaster to name a second squad for next month's tournament

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 9 January 2014

City make plans for Wembley after hammer horror

Leicester Tigers' Owen Williams

Rugby round-up: Owen Williams show put in shade
by Richard Cockerill's 'cheat' claims

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.

Leicester Tigers wing Adam Thompstone scores a try in their victory over Sale Sharks

Leicester Tigers 30 Sale Sharks 23 match report: First half performance enough to see champions home despite valiant fightback

Tigers led 20-6 at half-time before Sale mounted a brave but unsuccessful comeback

Owen Farrell tries to break through the Leicester defence

Saracens 49 Leicester 10 match report: Toby Flood leaves and Sarries gates open

Record defeat for Leicester follows confirmation they will lose their England fly-half to France

Jonny Wilkinson scored his first Heineken Cup try against Exeter during Toulon’s victory

Heineken Cup: Jonny Wilkinson talks up Toulon to his possible successors

Jonny Wilkinson may be famous for fulminating about the solitary moments in a sportsman’s life, but the feted fly-half’s latest reflections on whether he will retire next summer – after Saturday’s  32-20 Heineken Cup win for his club Toulon over Exeter Chiefs – were made with others in mind.

Jamie Gibson goes over from close range for Leicester against Montpellier on Sunday

Leicester 41 Montpellier 32: Miles Benjamin delighted to accept French surrender

The English clubs may be turning their backs on the most compelling annual tournament in the union game but at least they are showing the good grace to wait until the end of the season. The French appear to be engaged in a mass skedaddle with two thirds of the campaign still to run. Racing Métro, Perpignan, Toulouse... between them, three of the biggest teams in the country have just made a mockery of the idea that they are still remotely interested in European competition.

Leicester 20 London Irish 11 match report: Tigers poor run comes to an end

Champions Leicester ended a dismal run in the Aviva Premiership with a 20-11 victory at home to London Irish thanks to two controversial penalty tries.

Toby Flood revived Leicester’s fortunes in the last quarter

Premiership: Tigers and Saints equally matched in slips and sins

The good and bad was served up in 19-19 draw at Welford Road

Ed Slater celebrates after pulling Leicester Tigers level against Northampton Saints

Leicester Tigers 19 Northampton Saints 19 match report: Saints poised to start party until Ed Slater crashes over

Flanker’s converted try salvages draw as Tigers  survive the absence of nine first-team players

Lamb started a couple of early-season games in the absence of Toby Flood

Ryan Lamb ban could stretch Leicester

Leicester, the reigning English champions, have some serious rugby ahead of them over the next month: a humdinger derby with high-performing Northampton this weekend, quickly followed by a horribly difficult Heineken Cup trip to Belfast, a must-win home match with Treviso in the same competition and an awkward Premiership contest at Wasps – a game they will have to play without their England personnel, who will be in red-rose camp by then.

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.

Hard graft: Courtney Lawes is not about to apologise for his principal talent – hitting opponents hard – but he is working on line-out skills as well

Courtney Lawes has lots to learn without losing his bite

Lock will keep big hits coming but is trying to add variety to toughness

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee