Live updates

Advertisement

Charity bike ride to every rugby club in Norfolk is underway

Riders getting set for a charity bike ride that will visit every rugby club in Norfolk Credit: Seamus Farrelly

Cyclists have set off on a journey to every rugby club in Norfolk to raise money for the Wooden Spoon charity.

From this morning until Sunday afternoon riders will be travelling around 320 miles from club to club, camping out on the pitches before continuing their journey the next day.

Some of the UK’s top rugby players have wished the riders of Club Together the best ahead of the ride.

They include Elliot Daly Joe Launchbury, and Welsh star Adam Jones. Former England star Phil Vickery is spending today with the cyclists.

The event had aimed to raise £50,000 but has already more than doubled that target so reaching more than £110,000.

All funds raised will be donated to special needs charities in Norfolk, with 50per cent going to Wooden Spoon, the Children’s Charity of Rugby which use the money on projects in Norfolk.

Watch below to see a message of support to the riders on Twitter from former Saracens and England star Charlie Hodgson

Dylan Hartley signs new deal with Northampton Saints

Hartley captained Saints to Premiership and European Challenge Cup titles in 2014 Credit: PA

Dylan Hartley has been re-appointed as captain of Northampton Saints for a second time.

It comes as the 31 year old signs a new contract at Franklin's Gardens.

His old deal had been due to expire at the end of next season.

The hooker has made more than 200 appearances for Saints since joining them from Worcester Warriors in 2006.

Last season, fellow England international Tom Wood skippered the side as Saints finished seventh in England's top flight.

Hartley has led England to successive Six Nations titles under head coach Eddie Jones.

The decision to offer Dylan the captaincy is no reflection on how Tom Wood led the team last season. Tom is an outstanding leader himself who is fully committed in training and in games each and every week, and he will remain an important part of the leadership group. But we felt that Dylan is in the right place both personally and professionally to be our captain once again.

We’re also delighted that he has signed a new contract to stay at Franklin’s Gardens. Dylan has been one of the best hookers in Europe for several years and is hugely committed to the Saints.

– Director of rugby Jim Mallinder

Saints' George North ruled out of Lions tour

North claimed a try in Tuesday's Hurricanes draw Credit: PA

Northampton Saints' George North has been ruled out of the rest of the British and Irish Lions tour.

The winger suffered a hamstring injury during Tuesday's 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes.

North will return home this weekend for further treatment, along with teammate Robbie Henshaw, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle.

Advertisement

Saints face top teams in European Champions Cup

Northampton Saints have been placed in Pool two Credit: Twitter/@ChampionsCup

Northampton Saints' fate has been decided for next season's European Champions Cup.

The Saints have been placed in Pool Two and face tough opponents, including reigning champions Saracens and last year's runner's up Clermont Auvergne.

The opening round of the competition starts in October.

Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder says it's a chance for his side to test themselves against the other top teams.

If you want to be in the Champions Cup you’ve got to be prepared to play tough teams and this is what we will have to do,” Mallinder says.

It’s a challenging draw and we know that we’ll have to play at our very best if we are to progress from it. Saracens and Clermont were this year’s Champions Cup finalists and are two of the best teams in Europe, and the Ospreys have plenty of international players, too.

But it is a draw that we can be excited about, because we want to test ourselves against the other top team, and we believe we’ve got a squad that can compete next season.

– Jim Mallinder, Director of Rugby

Georgia on their minds: England U20s ready for World Cup challenge

Alex Mitchell Credit: Northampton saints

Northampton Saints youngster Alex Mitchell is part of the England Under 20s side to face Wales in the second game of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia tomorrow.

England won their opening game of the Championship, scoring 12 tries in a 74-14 victory over Samoa.

You'll be able to see highlights of the game on ITV4 tomorrow night at 11pm.

And for more news follow ITV Rugby on Twitter.

Hartley banned for six weeks following Leinster red

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench Credit: PA Images

Northampton Saints forward Dylan Hartley has been banned for six weeks following his sending off during their defeat against Leinster in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Franklin's Gardens.

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench after he was red-carded for a swinging arm tackle on Leinster's Sean O'Brien.

Prior to this Hartley had already served a total of 54 weeks suspension, the longest being 26 weeks for eye-gouging. His punishments also cost him the chance to play with the British Lions in 2013, and for England in last year's Rugby World Cup.

The six-week ban means Hartley will be able to start in England's Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Dylan Hartley to learn red card fate on Wednesday

Dylan Hartley will learn on Wednesday if he will be available to lead England into the RBS Six Nations Credit: PA

Northampton Saints forward Dylan Hartley will find out on Wednesday if he'll be able to lead England into the Six Nations.

The England captain lasted just six minutes off the bench after he was red-carded in the Saints' 37-10 defeat to Leinster on Friday in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Franklin's Gardens.

The dismissal capped a miserable night for Saints fans who are genuinely concerned about the club's ill discipline on the field and poor form.

A suspension of eight weeks or more would rule him out of the Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Hartley will appear before an independent hearing to discover the length of the ban.

Load more updates