Simon Zebo is the one surprise in an otherwise anticipated selection with Dave Kearney on the wing. Photograph: Inpho

If the stakes weren’t high in any case for an Anglo-Irish sporting set-to, the need to avoid a second successive defeat before the World Cup kicks off(...)

Jonathan Joseph will be partnered by Brad Barritt at centre in England’s side to play Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

England have selected Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph as their centre pairing for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up game against Ireland at Twickenham. It(...)

Louis Picamoles  makes a break during the  match between England and France at Twickenham on Saturday. The big-carrying Toulouse number eight was France’s standout player. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The most interesting and revealing case study in these warm-up games from an Irish perspective are undoubtedly France. Ireland’s final pool game again(...)

Anthony Watson goes over to score his and England’s  second try during the World Cup warm-up match against France at Twickenham. Photograph: David Davies/PA

England 19 France 14 Sam Burgess and Henry Slade played themselves into World Cup contention as England marked their 100th meeting with France with an(...)

 Sam Burgess will make his debut against France on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Sam Burgess will make his England debut against France on Saturday with Stuart Lancaster insisting he has earned his place in the team after proving h(...)

Saracens lifted the Premiership after a 28-16 win over Bath at Twickenham. Photograph: Reuters

Bath 16 Saracens 28 Saracens created Aviva Premiership history at Twickenham as they beat Bath 28-16 to be crowned English champions for a second time(...)

 London Irish owner Mick Crossan fronted the consortium that bought the club in 2013. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Mick Crossan specialises in the recycling business, literally and figuratively. By vocation he runs Powerday, the leading industrial waste-management (...)

Bath’s Anthony Watson is chased by Jamie Heaslip during the Champions Cup quarter-final in the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

‘Wherever you go, that’s where you are.” I’m pretty sure Dr Kabat-Zinn, a PhD graduate in molecular biology from MIT, was not thinking of Clermont Auv(...)

Leinster’s Fergus McFadden was knocked out by Kyle Eastmond’s tackle during their European Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One of rugby’s windfalls has been that with the increased power being transferred around the pitch from body to body, the game’s idea of manliness ha(...)

Bath’s Stuart Hooper tries to get to grips with Cian Healy during the Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Leinster 18 Bath 15 You could almost reach out and bite the tension during a taut, fraught endgame and so the natives will remain a little res(...)