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Woodward wants international coaching return

Sir Clive Woodward has a "burning desire" to return to Test match coaching, according to sources close to the French Rugby Federation.

The 2003 World Cup-winning former England boss is understood to be on an eight-strong shortlist drawn up by French bosses to replace Philippe Saint-Andre after the World Cup.

Clive Woodward could be back in rugby soon. Credit: PA

"Clive Woodward met with FFR officials and explained to them just how much he wants to come back to full-time coaching," a source close to France's set-up told Press Association Sport.

"He told them he has a burning desire to come back and show what he can do, and he asked to be considered seriously for the role.

"It seems that Clive initiated contact, but as a result the decision-makers wasted little time in organising a meeting."

Wales centre Roberts joins Harlequins

Jamie Roberts will play for Harlequins. Credit: PA

British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts has completed his deal to join Harlequins next season.

The 28-year-old Wales battering-ram will join the Twickenham Stoop outfit this summer after two years in Paris with Top 14 giants Racing Metro.

The whole club is ecstatic to have signed a player of Jamie's quality.

He is massively ambitious to achieve at both club and international level.

As a role model to all of our players, he will be someone we can all learn from.

We know we won't see Jamie in the Harlequins jersey for a while yet, but when we do I know he will be a massive contributor to the history of this club, the development of our team and the development of young players.

– Harlequins rugby director Conor O'Shea.



Wasp boss Young calls for salary cap rethink

Dai Young thinks English clubs are being left behind. Credit: PA

Dai Young has called for a "rethink" of the salary cap to help Aviva Premiership clubs bridge the gulf in class with France's superpowers in European rugby.

Wasps boss Young hailed his side's resolve in squeezing Toulon despite ultimately slipping to a 32-18 defeat in Sunday's Champions Cup quarter-final at Stade Mayol.

The salary cap has produced what it was there to produce.

But there probably needs to be a little bit of a rethink in terms of how important Europe is to English teams.

On a domestic front it's achieved what it was set out to achieve, it's produced a lot of young English players because they are getting exposure at that level.

But I suppose there probably needs to be a bit of a rethink in terms of how that leaves English teams when it comes to playing in Europe against French teams that pretty much have unlimited budgets.

– Dai Young

Northampton winger North out for a month

George North will be away from rugby for a month. Credit: PA

George North will be out until the end of April after having further tests on a head injury.

The Welshman has now suffered three concussion in recent months and will spend some time on the sidelines.

We have listened to the advice we sought and George will be taking some time away from the field.

Throughout this process it is important that George's welfare comes first and that he is treated patiently and calmly, only returning to action when all of the medical team are happy for him to do so.

– Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder

North to sit out Northampton European clash

George North is out. Credit: PA

Wales wing George North will not play for Northampton in Saturday's European Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont Auvergne after his latest head injury.

North has been knocked unconscious three times in recent months, including in last Friday's 52-30 win over Wasps.

We won't play him at the weekend. Clearly he had a nasty knock.

He's making good progress. The day after he was up and about.

He's improving and down there at the moment going to see a neurologist and we'll wait to see what the experts say.

– Jim Mallinder

Hines has no points target for Sale

Nathan Hines isn'tHine thinking numbers. Credit: PA

Nathan Hines has little interest in any Aviva Premiership points target as Sale Sharks continue their quest to secure European Champions Cup qualification.

Sale are currently seventh in the Premiership table - one place off sealing a guaranteed Champions Cup place next term - with five games left.

I don't know what will get us into the top six. All I know is we want to win every game.

If we are thinking about how many games we need to win, that will be our undoing.

We are just thinking about Gloucester, win that one, chalk that one up and then move on to the next. That is the best and most efficient way to look at it, really.

I know it's a cliche to say one game at a time, but if you start spreading your focus around too many things, you will come unstuck.

It's about making sure not to worry if we win and someone else loses. It's more about worrying about our own performance as a team and as individuals. It's about getting our own stuff right.

– Nathan Hines
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