England Rugby

England players given strict Rugby World Cup social media guidelines by RFU

England rugby players have been issued a 24-point social media guide for the World Cup, including warnings not to use Twitter "after a tough loss" and not to "engage in arguments" online.

League legend hit with RFU betting ban

Banned: Phil Blake.

Former Manly and South Sydney rugby league player Phil Blake has become the first person to be banned by England's governing Rugby Football Union for breaching rules governing betting and anti-corruption.

Cipriani to stay in England squad for now

England fly half Danny Cipriani.

England coach Stuart Lancaster will will wait for the outcome a police investigation following Danny Cipriani's arrest for drink-driving before deciding if the fly-half can be included in his World Cup squad.

Baby Blacks bounce England in final

Champions: New Zeland players celebrates their win.

New Zealand showed superb second-half composure under pressure to unseat defending champions England 21-16 in the world under-20 rugby championship final in Cremona, Italy.

Why England can do without the troublesome Cipriani

Third choice? Danny Cipriani.

Steve James   The maverick fly-half would not have made the final World Cup squad anyway.

Bloodied Farrell let off with caution

Owen Farrell of Saracens applauds fans after winning the Aviva Premiership final.

Owen Farrell was let off with a warning for an incident during Saracens' English Premiership final win over Bath at Twickenham on Saturday that his opponenents said should have led to a red card.

Deans shellshocked after record Barbarians shellacking

The Barbarians coach Robbie Deans.

Gary Fitzgerald   Robbie Deans went from cursing Danny Cipriani during the match to praising him strongly as the former Wallabies boss reflected on leading the Barbarians to their heaviest ever defeat.

It's not personal, says champion Farrell

Owen Farrell of Saracens scores the opening try.

Mitch Phillips   Since losing his England place to George Ford, Owen Farrell has been bombarded by stories extolling the superiority of the young pretender but the "old dog" ruled Twickenham again on Saturday after a man-of-the-match performance in the Premiership final.

Hartley dropped from England training squad

"What happened is not acceptable and I understand why this decision has been made": Dylan Hartley.

Julian Guyer   Dylan Hartley's hopes of playing in the World Cup have been all but ended after England ran out of patience with the volatile hooker following his latest disciplinary problem.

Sam Burgess eyes cross-code title double

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has a shot at a second title across two codes in eight months when Bath face Saracens in the English rugby premiership final at Twickenham this weekend.

Bad boy of England rugby's World Cup in doubt

Dylan Hartley (left) tussles with Jamie George (right) and Jacques Burger of Saracens.

English rugby badboy Dylan Hartley will not be eligible to play in the first match of the Rugby World Cup later this year if he is named in the final squad after being suspended for four weeks on Tuesday.

Picking one of world's best flankers bad for goodwill: Lancaster

Excluded:  Steffon Armitage plays for French club Toulon.

Mitch Phillips   Coach Stuart Lancaster has no regrets about overlooking Steffon Armitage and says the policy of excluding overseas-based players from playing for England protects the national team and is also good for the long-term health of English club rugby.

England's special role for Burgess

World Cup wildcard: Sam Burgess.

Duncan Bech   England head coach Stuart Lancaster believes the conundrum of where to play Sam Burgess may be solved by casting him in the role of "hybrid centre".

Burgess moves a step closer to World Cup

Inside centre option: Sam Burgess of Bath.

​Rugby league convert given the chance to impress after he was named in Stuart Lancaster's bulging 50-man Rugby World Cup training squad.

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Woodward, White lined up to coach France

In the frame: Clive Woodward.

Gavin Mairs   Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to their World Cup triumph in 2003, could be in line to make a remarkable return to Test rugby having been included on the shortlist of candidates to replace Philippe Saint-Andre as head coach of France.

England keen on Slammin' Sam's powerful running

Sam Burgess is eyeing another title.

Steve James   Bath's rugby league convert Sam Burgess will be named in England's Rugby World Cup training squad this week, and remarkably, with Manu Tuilagi sensationally out of the tournament having pleaded guilty to charges of assault and criminal damage, he could now be in line to be included in the final 31-man squad as a centre. 

England star banned from World Cup

Banned: Manu Tuilagi will not be available for England selection until 2016.

Gavin Mairs   The off-field disciplinary problems that provided such a toxic backdrop to England's World Cup campaign in New Zealand four years ago returned to haunt head coach Stuart Lancaster on Friday as he banned Manu Tuilagi from this year's tournament after the Leicester centre was convicted of assaulting two female police officers and a taxi driver.

Burgess named man of the match for Bath

George Ford (L) celebrates with Sam Burgess during Bath's win over London Irish.

Sam Burgess confessed his surprise at being named man of the match in only his second Aviva Premiership game in the blindside flanker role after scoring one of five tries in English rugby club Bath's 43-18 win against London Irish.

'Keep the ban on overseas players': England international

Not happy: Tom Wood (left) says that if England adopt the ARU's selection policy it will affect the morale of the national team.

Mick Cleary   On the day that the Australian Rugby Union relaxed its ban on selecting overseas players for their World Cup squad, Tom Wood, the Northampton flanker, urged the Rugby Football Union to uphold its policy of not allowing foreign-based players to be picked for England.

Fofana try fires Clermont to victory over gutsy Saracens

Naipolioni Nalaga of Clermont escapes the Saracen defence.

Clermont Auvergne overcame a battling Saracens side 13-9 in an intense and brutal European Champions Cup semi-final in St Etienne on Saturday.