Stuart Lancaster says England have not been scarred by their heavy defeat at the hands of Wales in last year’s title decider

Six Nations 2014: England possess the belief to end title drought, says Stuart Lancaster

The French can talk a brilliant game, especially when England loom large on their horizon. "It's a mythical match for us," said Pascal Papé of Stade Francais, the new captain of Les Bleus, "and losing is not an option." Then came the coach, Philippe Saint-André, and his assertion that in Paris a week on Saturday, his side would "not start with the starter but begin with the main course, with roast beef straight away". When it comes to the word play, Stuart Lancaster and company struggle to keep pace.

Chalk Talk: Are champions ready for the challenge?

Off to the North of England education conference – the traditional curtain raiser of the year.

Lizzy Yarnold is among the brightest hopes for Team GB in Sochi

Winter Olympics 2014: Team GB announce squad of 56 athletes who will attempt to make it most successful ever games

A minimum target of three medals has been set - with as many as seven a possibility

24: Live Another Day films in London in impossibly London-esque London setting

24 wants you to know London is London

Nicolas Anelka appears to make the 'la quenelle' gesture after scoring the first goal for West Brom in the 3-3 draw against West Ham

Nicolas Anelka defends 'quenelle' gesture: 'I am not anti-Semitic or racist' says West Brom striker, who asks FA to drop charge

The Frenchman made the gesture after scoring against West Ham and faces a minimum of five games out if found guilty

Vodafone opens bidding for £600m advertising contract

Vodafone has kicked off one of the biggest advertising pitches of the year after the mobile giant announced it is putting its global ad-buying and planning account up for tender.

The home of George Sanders where Marilyn Monroe once stayed

Property news roundup: Homebuyer deposits down

Plus, expensive property hotspots outside London, and a look at house prices around Europe

Alastair Cook will not play in the fourth ODI

England eager to avoid 'worst in history' tag

Defeat on Friday will make it nine internationals in a row on tour

TÜV could be liable to eventual damages of over €6bn

French legal ruling paves the way for compensation for women with faulty 'PIP' breast implants

A legal ruling made in France today has opened the way to millions of euros in compensation for British and other women who were fitted with defective French-made breast implants.

Rise in ‘funeral poverty’ means more than 100,000 in UK cannot afford to die

Damning study says there is a lack of support to help Britain’s poorest pay for funerals

Carphone Warehouse gets 4G boost as sales climb over Christmas

British high streets might have felt the squeeze over the Christmas trading period, but consumer were still willing to splash out on smartphones, according to Carphone Warehouse.

Tim Sherwood picked Nabil Bentaleb ahead of Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood alerts England over Nabil Bentaleb chance

The midfielder could qualify to play for the Three Lions

Andy McSmith's Diary: The think-tank accused of a unique disappearing act strikes again

Once the voice of the more civilised wing of the party, the think-tank is now firmly in the Let’s Get Nasty Again tendency

Alastair Cook looks on during the defeat in Sydney on Sunday

Alastair Cook the right man to lead England, insists old friend Ravi Bopara

Cook has said he will consider his future in light of the disastrous tour of Australia

Andrew Mitchell eventually received a begrudging apology following the 'Plebgate' affair

Damning report on Police Federation: Personal attacks on Andrew Mitchell and Theresa May condemned in review set up after 'plebgate' affair

'We heard of a growing disillusion with the lack of professionalism of some representatives' says report

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
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