Voyce aims to rebuild Lions career

Tom Voyce returns to representative rugby for the first time in a year today determined to rekindle an England career brought to a sudden halt last summer.

Jonny's fitness boost

Jonny Wilkinson has declared himself "fully fit and healthy" to spearhead depleted England's first Test challenge against South Africa in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

Sport Shorts

Recuitment by degrees

We are strong enough for the Springboks

Toby Flood reckons England's perceived lack of strength ahead of Saturday's first test with South Africa has been over-hyped.

Ready for 'mission impossible'

England boss Brian Ashton has backed his squad of "part-timers, plumbers and decorators" to tackle a job their critics believe is mission impossible - challenging the Springboks in South Africa.

Wilko raring to face Springboks challenge – Ashton

Jonny Wilkinson is ready to reclaim England's No 10 shirt, with head coach Brian Ashton declaring: "He relishes a challenge."

Injury spoils easy victory

World Cup prospect Shane Geraghty suffered another injury blow but England Saxons opened their Barclays Churchill Cup campaign with a comfortable victory over USA at Edgeley Park.

Shane's chance to hit heights

Shane Geraghty will use today's Barclays Churchill Cup opener against USA as an opportunity to prove himself worthy of a ticket to the World Cup.

Ashton sweats on hurt flanker

England were set to decide today whether Gloucester flanker Peter Buxton was fit to tour South Africa.

Woods sets sights on start

Ben Woods reckons there will be no easy rides but no slip-ups either in the Churchill Cup.

Richards is gunning for World Cup dream spot

Peter Richards has set his sights on becoming England's World Cup scrum-half after Harry Ellis was ruled out of the tournament, writes Alex Lowe.

Henson out to prove worth

Gavin Henson heads to Australia today determined to prove his critics wrong and convince Wales coach Gareth Jenkins he is still a world-class player.

Townsend's worry for future of Scotland

Gregor Townsend believes Scotland have scant chance of making progress as an international side under a two-team professional set-up.

Townsend and Borders saying farewell

Gregor Townsend will call time on an illustrious playing career at around 7pm tonight just as the rather less successful history of Border Reivers comes to a close.

Rob's clubs deal boost

Elite rugby director Rob Andrew is close to securing England access to players which would have made 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward jealous.

Jonny predicts Cup heroics from England

England World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson believes the team can mount a confident defence of the trophy this autumn.

Dallaglio still has cup hope

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has not given up hope of playing in this year's World Cup despite having to battle for his place in the Wasps starting line-up.

Tait looks to a bright future

He could still taste relegation at Kingston Park but Mathew Tait has no regrets about committing his future to Newcastle Falcon.

Noon happy to be in 'top' side

Jamie Noon has agreed to stay with the Newcastle Falcons for the next three years because he believes he could not have played in a better back row as he fights to earn an England recall.

Use this as a learning curve

Mike Catt admits England are on "a massive learning curve" as they head towards their World Cup defence in France later this year, writes Andrew Baldock.

Ashton's proud of young side

England head coach Brian Ashton was proud of the way his young side responded amid a Welsh barrage and believes the experience will serve them well.

England up for Welsh challenge

Mike Catt admits England will face a "massive challenge" at the Millennium Stadium today as they prepare to exit their comfort zone.

Haskell can continue young revolution

James Haskell has received a ringing endorsement from one of England's leading coaches as he prepares for his Test match debut.

Catt's got the cream

Sunday was another good day for English rugby. After our capitulation at Croke Park, we must not get too carried away with things, but there was a welcome return to the assured, controlled and confident England in what proved a very comfortable win over France.

Tait demons all gone now

Mathew Tait insists he will not be haunted by any Millennium Stadium demons on his return to Cardiff with Six Nations title contenders England.

Four dropped by Scotland

Scotland have made five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday's Six Nations Championship clash in Paris.

Tait ready to take big chance

Mathew Tait is itching to put his nightmare England debut to bed once and for all.

Beware the Welsh backlash

England coach Brian Ashton has ignored struggling Wales' miserable Six Nations season and predicted possibly his team's "toughest game of the tournament" on Saturday.

Dragons boss backs beleagured skipper

Wales head coach Gareth Jenkins insists he never considered dropping under-pressure captain Stephen Jones for Saturday's Six Nations clash with England.

O'Sullivan hits back at Scots' comments

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan yesterday rubbished accusations he may have used an alleged choking incident involving Ronan O'Gara as a smokescreen to mask concussion.

Tait in line to step in for Tindall

England's Six Nations title bid has been dealt a double injury setback with the loss of two World Cup winners for their tournament finale against Wales.

Tait's set to be centre of attention

Newcastle Falcons' Mathew Tait is set for an England start in the crunch Six Nations Championship clash with Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Toby plays through the pain

Wounded wonder Toby Flood struggled to describe the elation of leading England's backline to a rousing 26-18 win against France at Twickenham.

Jenkins' Cup vow

Coach Gareth Jenkins believes he is the man to take Wales to the World Cup this autumn despite being on the verge of a Six Nations whitewash.

Backs need helping hand

Scott Murray believes Scotland's forwards must provide a better platform for their much-maligned backs to express themselves.

Don't let this be a one-off

England coach Brian Ashton claimed yesterday's victory over France was a "one-off" and admitted his side need to play with greater consistency if they are to be competitive at the World Cup.

Ireland choked up over O'Gara

David Wallace has revealed there was "real concern" for Ronan O'Gara after the Ireland fly-half was allegedly choked in the RBS 6 Nations win at Murrayfield.

Six Nations action this weekend

Peter Stringer believes Scotland's kamikaze opening against Italy is a symptom of the game's over-reliance on structure.

Time to get real, says Ashton

Brian Ashton admits there is "a lot of ground to make up" as the clock continues ticking towards England's World Cup defence.

Ashton in Dimi tribute

Brian Ashton has hailed the "world-class" quality of England's French nemesis Dimitri Yachvili.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer