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Video: 'Funnel cloud' spotted in Rugby

Tornado-like funnel clouds formed in the sky as lightning storms hit Birmingham and the Midlands this afternoon.

The first huge spout was spotted above Rugby town centre in Warwickshire at around 1.25pm on Tuesday, though it is not believed it touched ground.

The astonishing sighting lasted around five minutes as it blew over the town before slowly disappearing. It was unclear if any damage was caused in the area.

A second smaller funnel was then spotted further east over Rugby a few minutes later before clearing away.

Although the skies were dark during the bizarre spectacle, there was little sign at the time of the kind of rain or thunder that caused chaos in Birmingham city centre.

Numerous roads were flooded with part of the M5 brought to a standstill due to surface water between junctions one and two, while trams, trains and buses were also disrupted as the region suffered another day of dramatic storms.

Five Wasps players take up long term contracts

Five players have committed their futures to Wasps with all having agreed long-term contract extensions.

Wasps' at an earlier match at the Ricoh Arena. Credit: Simon Cooper / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Jake Cooper-Woolley, James Gaskell, Alex Lundberg, Simon McIntyre and Will Rowlands have all signed the extended contracts.

It’s been couple of years of change at Wasps and, with the move of the training ground and playing staff to Coventry next season, we’re really pleased another five players have bought into the vision and are enjoying the direction the club is moving in.

Jake, James, Alex, Simon and Will are all at different stages of their development. But each of their games has come on significantly this season and, as young, talented players, they still have plenty of exciting potential to fulfil.

They will be looking to kick on with their careers and we’re very pleased they will be doing that in black and gold.

– Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young

I’m very happy with how things have progressed for me personally here at Wasps, after being given the opportunity by Dai. It’s great to see now how the club is starting to become successful again, competing at the top end of the table and it feels like a great place to be.

– Jake Cooper-Woolley

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Jones has no concern over Hartley's fitness despite concussion

Eddie Jones (left) has backed Hartley (right) to be fit enough to lead England in Australia. Credit: PA

England head coach Eddie Jones says he has no concerns over Dylan Hartley's fitness - despite him missing much of the second-half of the season with concussion.

The Northampton Saints hooker was knocked out in the Six Nations Grand Slam decider against France in March.

Hartley only returned for the Saints' final game of the campaign earlier this month, but Jones has faith that he will be fine to lead England in their upcoming tour of Australia.

I’m not concerned by his lack of rugby.

He trained very well in Brighton (at the training camp). He was one of our best performers so he’ll be able to play against Wales and will hopefully get 50 or 60 minutes then he’ll be right for the first Test.

– Eddie Jones, England Head Coach

England take on Wales at Twickenham next weekend before heading over to Australia in June.

  1. Anglia

First England call-up for Northampton Saints flanker Harrison

Teimana Harrison will travel with the England squad to Australia. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints flanker Teimana Harrison has been called up to the England squad for the first time for next month's tour of Australia.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a dream season at Franklin's Gardens and was named in the Aviva Premiership team of the year.

Dylan Hartley will again captain the side, while Courtney Lawes and Paul Hill have also been selected.

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Leicester's Jordan Crane agrees to Bristol move

Jordan Crane will leave Leicester Tigers this summer after 10 years with the club after agreeing a move to Bristol Rugby.

Jordan Crane Credit: Mike Egerton / PA Archive/Press Association Images

England international Crane has played 220 games for the Tigers, scoring 30 tries, since arriving from Leeds as a 20-year-old in the summer of 2006.

A four-time Premiership title winner with Tigers, he also captained England Saxons and gained three senior caps.

I've had an incredible 10 years at Leicester and those experiences have shaped my career. I'd like to thank everybody at Tigers for their support.

I have enjoyed every single moment of it as a player here. Most players will go through their whole career without getting to a Premiership Final, or winning one, but I'm very proud to win four as a Leicester player and play in so many big games over the last 10 years.

You cannot spend 10 years in a place without getting emotionally involved in it and a lot of us have grown up together at the club so it will be tough to move on, but that is professional sport.

I went to Colston's School in Bristol so to go back to where it all really started in rugby is exciting. Next season I will have a new challenge and I'm looking forward to it.

– Jordan Crane

Jordan has been a superb servant of the club over the last 10 seasons. He will go with our best wishes at the end of the season and he will always be welcome at Welford Road.

He came here as an ambitious young player and became a key part of a very successful squad, playing in grand finals with us and being capped by England.

He has always been very professional in his work and his record speaks for itself here. He's played more than 200 games and he's always been a good leader within the environment.

– Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill
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