EPCR chief: Champions Cup still delivers results but we need to ensure it is premium competition

Bulls were overrun by Northampton after leaving their star players at home for the Champions Cup quarter-final – Getty Images/Paul Harding Jacques Raynaud talks about numbers. It’s a good place to start for the affable Frenchman. Defending the reputation and credibility of the Champions Cup was probably not what he had in mind during his … Read more

Derek Underwood, a great bowler from England and Kent, dies at the age of 78

Derek Underwood has died aged 78 after suffering from dementia for several years – Getty Images/Adrian Murrell Derek Underwood, a unique bowler for Kent and England, has died aged 78. Kent chairman Simon Phillip said in a statement: “The Kent Cricket family is in mourning following the passing of one of the greatest ever players. … Read more

Johannesburg, once Africa’s world-class city, is in decline before its residents

From taps regularly running dry to daily four-hour power cuts, the lives of many people in Johannesburg have deteriorated dramatically – JEROME DELAY/AP From the outside it doesn’t look like Johannesburg is doing well. Roads littered with potholes. Broken traffic lights have not been repaired for months. Rotting garbage on the street. But from within, … Read more

Scotland edge Wales in a tense, tense encounter

Coreen Grant scored Scotland’s opening try as they almost ran out winners in Cardiff – Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers Wales 18 Scotland 20 It was a shame that this ended with a missed conversion and a failed box kick, as Scotland and Wales once again put on an exciting and compelling match that went … Read more

Billy Vunipola joins England’s exodus to France with planned move to Montpellier

Billy Vunipola’s move to France marks the end of his England career – Getty Images/David Rogers Billy Vunipola is set to move to Montpellier next season and end his long career with Saracens and England. The 31-year-old becomes the latest England international to cross the Channel. Saracens colleague Owen Farrell has already confirmed his departure … Read more

Owen Farrell leaves the door open for a return to England

Farrell will join Racing 92 next season, leaving him out of the England squad – PA Wire/Adam Davy Owen Farrell has not ruled out a possible return for England, despite admitting the cheering from supporters at last year’s World Cup in France was sometimes difficult to bear. The 32-year-old decided to step down from the … Read more

England on course despite defeat by France after Six Nations cheer

Ollie Lawrence scored twice in England’s narrow defeat to France, giving Steve Borthwick plenty of encouragement nonetheless (Getty Images) It says everything about Steve Borthwick that on Monday morning, when most international coaches would rightly be gasping for breath after two months in the thick of the Six Nations battle, the England boss will instead … Read more