Heineken Cup

NEW ZEALAND, 2002 SCOTLAND, 2007 Jonny Wilkinson will retire from rugby at the end of the season, but his sparkling performances
Jonny Wilkinson, whose drop-goal clinched England's 2003 World Cup win, has announced he will retire at the end of the season
It has been well documented how the new competition will be formatted but to recap - there will be seven teams from the Pro12, six teams each from the Aviva Premiership and the French Top 14, with a seventh place available to one of them based on a play-off.
Alternate proposals to fill the void left by an absent European Cup have considerably more failings than any imperfections they were dreamt up to fix. Remember that the two main reasons for the current European shambles are a dissatisfaction with the lack of meritocracy, and a skewed distribution of remuneration.
The trajectory of the negotiations that started over a year ago to agree a new accord beyond the current season, is a tale of brinkmanship resulting from the abandonment of meaningful cooperation and a refusal to even contemplate change. Myopia is the common theme here and no group is blameless in this episode.
It's an oft-repeated claim from supporters of the English and French clubs looking to set up their new version of the Heineken Cup that the RaboDirect Pro12 is too weak. What was once the Celtic League (before the addition of the Italian regions), the Pro12 is perceived as being a mere distraction for the top teams.
The Premier League final could be moved from its logical place at the end of the domestic season to a new slot in late January or early February to make room for a new cross-border competition, under controversial plans from England's top clubs.
A Scotland rugby international has apologised after calling US President Barack Obama a "whore" on Twitter. Rory Lamont made
Danny Care will be excluded from England's Six Nations squad after being arrested for drink driving, the Rugby Football Union