England's Danny Care (L), Ben Morgan and Karl Dickson (R) celebrate

Roger Uttley: Second place is no disgrace for England ahead of World Cup

Former England captain Roger Uttley says England's Six Nations campaign has left them in fine shape ahead of next year's home World Cup

England player Luther Burrell (l) and Joe Launchbury (c) combine to tackle Jamie Roberts of Wales

Roger Uttley: England are now a side who know what they're doing

Former England captain Roger Uttley believes England have what it takes to win a tightly-contested Six Nations Championship

Mathew Tait in action for Leicester Tigers

Sibling rivalry for Alex Tait as ex Newcastle Falcons star Mat returns

Leicester Tigers and former Kingston Park favourite Mathew visit the North East on Sunday, to the delight of younger brother Alex

England head coach Stuart Lancaster

Roger Uttley: Stuart Lancaster's England face tough Six Nations start

Former England captain Roger Uttley says France away on Saturday means England must hit the ground running.

The Six Nations skippers pose ahead of this year's competition

Six Nations Championship ready for lift-off

Mark Smith's Six Nations preview assesses the runners and riders ahead of the closest championship in years

Brian O'Driscoll, the Lions match captain talks to his team during the British and Irish Lions captain's run

Hungry Lions on the main course

The British and Irish Lions have been left under no illusions that Australia could well get one over them in their first Test

Sulley Muntari in action for Sunderland

Stoke City 3 Sunderland 2

THERE were plenty of legitimate smokescreens to hide it behind, but Sunderland’s achilles heel was on show at the Britannia Stadium.

Southport 3, Blyth Spartans 2

ON the day the Six Nations kicked off, Blyth Spartans might as well have been playing rugby as well.

Falcons set to bring in new faces

  • EDF

NEWCASTLE director of rugby John Fletcher isn’t ruling out more big-name signings before the end of an increasingly fraught season.

It’s no picnic for the video referee

WHILE many sports stars will invariably thank some kind of religious icon for their sporting prowess or team’s victory, the reality these days is there is a “man upstairs” who, arguably, has more influence over the proceedings – the video referee.

Iceman Jonny is human after all

SUNDAY, October 14, 4am, Paris. Jonny Wilkinson wasn’t feeling well. An upset stomach, an aching head, insomnia.

Noon: I want side to win without me

JAMIE Noon’s World Cup ended prematurely but the Newcastle Falcons centre is just relieved England’s has not ended the same way as they prepare for their semi-final against France.

Grindal fits the bill

NEWCASTLE will press ahead with their experiment of playing scrum-half James Grindal in the number 10 shirt in their pre-season game against Doncaster at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Forget the bad times - Wilko

JONNY Wilkinson believes England must forget about their post-2003 World Cup woes if they are to have any hope of defending their title in France.

Jonny backs Dallaglio call-up

Jonny Wilkinson is in no doubt Lawrence Dallaglio will have a crucial role to play for England at the World Cup.

Corry's on top of the world

  • EDF

Martin Corry has been named the Rugby World player of the year.

Dallaglio back in the picture

England coach Brian Ashton has turned to Lawrence Dallaglio for the first time - and offered the veteran Wasps skipper a route to the 2007 World Cup.

Vision people

Sedgefield Racecourse has a new general manager in Jill Williamson.

Boks tests worthwhile

Newcastle Falcons coach John Fletcher insists that England's ill-fated tour to South Africa was never going to be a waste of time.

England skipper backs Strettle's mettle

David Strettle has been backed to make a full recovery from his disastrous trip to South Africa.

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