Aston Villa 1 * Bent 56Everton 1 * Anichebe 69When Stephen Ireland suddenly left the Republic of Ireland squad in September 2007 before a European Championship qualifying match against the Czech Republic in Prague, it set in motion a most bizarre chain of events. "You couldn't make it up" hardly did the episode justice.
But Ireland, the player, did make it up. When he claimed that the reason for his hasty departure was because of the death of his maternal grandmother, it was swiftly proved to be false. And when he b
The former Hull City striker Dean Windass has revealed he tried to kill himself this month after battling with drink and depression following the end of his playing career two years ago.
Windass, 42, who scored the goal that took his home town club Hull into the top flight of English football for the first time in their 104-year history in 2008, also appeared in the Premier League for Bradford City and Middlesbrough. He ended his professional career, which spanned 19 seasons, in 2010.
"I have cried every day for the last two years since retiring. People outside football think we have it al
The England and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care was on Monday fined a total of £3,100 and banned from driving for 16 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving in the early hours of New Year's Day.
The 25-year-old was stopped at Winchester services on the M3 in Hampshire in the early hours, Southampton magistrates court heard.
The incident led to Care being excluded from the Six Nations squad. It came three weeks after he had been fined by police for being drunk and disorderly.
On New Year's Eve, hours before his arrest, Care tweeted: "2012 is hopefully going to be a massive yea
Sale Sharks have announced the death of their former wing Selorm Kuadey at the age of 24. Kuadey spent five years with Sale before retiring due to injury in 2010. According to reports he took his own life.
Kuadey went on to obtain a first-class honours degree in human biology and infectious diseases, and had started a career outside rugby.
Sale said in a statement on Monday morning that the club was "shocked and deeply saddened" to learn that Kuadey died last week.
Although he played for England Under-19s and Under-20s, as well as the national sevens side, the Ukraine-born Kuadey was neve
The former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has been asked by England's interim coach, Stuart Lancaster, to give a motivational talk to his squad during their preparations for the upcoming Six Nations.
Lancaster is keen to restore some national identity within the 32-man elite squad, with the former United and England full-back set to be accompanied by the rugby league players Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield and a former army corporal who was shot in the face during service in Iraq.
Neville's 12-year international career saw him earn 85 caps for England, with the 36-year-old playing
Cardiff Blues remain on course to qualify from a pool which if not exactly a pool of death has certainly been competitive. But if they are to clinch a Heineken Cup quarter-final place next week they are going to have to do it without Jamie Roberts, and that in turn suggests that Wales are going to be missing the big man come the start of the Six Nations.
Gareth Baber, the Blues' coach, said the centre would not be fit for the last round of pool fixtures next weekend, which means he will not have a chance to play before Wales play Ireland in Dublin on 5 February. Roberts injured his kne
Calum Clark was the most unexpected of the new caps named in the England squad last week, and not just because he had been out for two months with a thumb injury. But he showed on his return why he is contention to be part of a revamped back row against Scotland next month.
Clark played a similar role to Wales's Dan Lydiate as Northampton avenged a home defeat against the Scarlets in October and put themselves in contention for a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter‘finals. He rarely got his hands on the ball but his presence at the breakdown was such that it frustrated a Sca
Italy is set for a pizza the action
This year's Heineken Cup final is set for Twickenham on 19 May but the tournament is considering breaking new ground by awarding the final to Italy in 2014. Derek McGrath, the European Rugby Cup chief executive, said the Italians would be invited to stage the event "in the next couple of years" and stressed that no other "new" countries would be considered as hosts in the meantime. The prospects of the final going to, say, Barcelona or Madrid any time soon thus appear remote. ERC is increasingly keen on staging Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup final d
Gloucester may think they owe Harlequins few favours, having lost to the Londoners three times this season, but if English rugby is to have decent representation in the Heineken Cup quarter‘finals Bryan Redpath's team may need to lend a hand on Friday, when they are at home to Toulouse.
The four-times champions picked up a bonus point against Connacht on Saturday while Harlequins needed a lucky bounce and a ricochet to get past Gloucester. The Premiership leaders thus go into their final game in Galway two points behind Toulouse and facing fierce competition to get into the knockout s
The defending champions Leinster marched through to the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup with victory over Glasgow Warriors at Firhill.
Since the opening draw with Montpellier, Leinster have now won four successive games and host the French side in Dublin on Saturday safe in the knowledge that they cannot be overhauled at the top of Pool Three, with their place in the quarter-finals secure.
Rob Kearney and Isaac Boss scored second-half tries as Leinster finally overcame the Warriors' stern defence, while Jonathan Sexton kicked one penalty and Fergus McFadden two penalties and two conver