Goode day for Worcester

Worcester Warriors booked their place in the Championship play-off final after a 23-22 win over Bedford yesterday.

Gopperth glad at Newcastle's bonus culture

Newcastle 11 Bath 14

Kervezee offers promise of shock Worcester win

Worcestershire 315 & 256-5 Nottinghamshire 382

'If you ease off too much, you tend to get caught'

Worcester head coach Richard Hill tells Chris Hewett that there is no room for complacency as the promotion play-offs beckon

Martin Horton: Cricketer whose all-round skills helped Worcestershire to their first two county titles

As a county cricketer Martin Horton was in the first rank. A busy, intelligent all-rounder with Worcestershire, he combined the specialist roles of opening batsman and off-spinner so effectively that in 1961 he did the "double", with 1,808 runs and 101 wickets, the only opener since the war to perform the feat. County cricket was a relentless circuit of three-day matches, 35 in little more than four months of that long, hot summer, and between the gruelling coach journeys Horton, a strongly built man of average height, batted 66 times and bowled almost 900 overs.

Tom Wood: 'I'm so new to all this... but I feel as though I belong'

England flanker Tom Wood could win a Grand Slam in only his fifth game. He tells Chris Hewett how he has come so far so fast

An innovative scheme is helping primary teachers brush up their language skills

Linda Gordon's last serious brush with the French language was when she passed her O-level while at school in the 1960s. So to be asked to teach it to her primary class more than 40 years on was a little daunting, to say the least.

How to make your degree pay

Worcester University has one of the best graduate employment rates in the country. The reason? Its efforts to prepare students for the world of work. Richard Garner finds out how they do it – and asks: is this the future for higher education?

Fourie injury gives Johnson a problem

The last thing England needed yesterday was another back-row injury, so news of the Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie's damaged calf muscle was deeply unwelcome. Fourie, an important part of the red-rose set-up ahead of the Six Nations Championship, was under the care of the medical team as the squad gathered in Portugal for a week of intensive tournament preparation. Should he go the same way as Tom Croft and Lewis Moody, neither of whom are expected to play much of a part in the competition, Martin Johnson and his back-room colleagues will be in serious strife.

Portmeirion china earns royal boost

Portmeirion forecast that it would post its highest-ever sales figures this year, boosted by strong overseas demand for its Spode and Royal Worcester pottery ahead of the royal wedding in April.

As winter comes, so does the risk of flood damage

Heavy rains and antiquated drainage systems are putting more homeowners at risk, and insurance costs can easily soar. Alison Shepherd reports

Teacher jailed for sex with under-age girl

A secondary school teacher was jailed for four years today after being found guilty of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Saracens ready to turn Stevens loose in the scrum next year

Matt Stevens, persona non grata for the last season and a half after testing positive for cocaine and scheduled to remain among rugby's untouchables for another five months, will have an awful lot of ground to make up when he finally resurfaces at Saracens early in 2011. Yet it is not out of the question that he will complete the catching-up process sufficiently quickly to resume international duty with England at the World Cup later next year, especially if his new employers play him on the loosehead side of the scrum.

Couple fined £2,000 for hedge infringement

A couple have been fined £2,000 for allowing their garden hedges to grow too tall, a council said today.

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Neil Lawson Baker interview

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