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Wales power past France in Six Nations

Wales claimed a fourth successive RBS 6 Nations victory over France as they powered home in Paris and kept alive their title hopes.

Wales, aiming to be crowned Six Nations champions for a third time in the last four years, triumphed 20-13 through fly-half Dan Biggar's second-half try and five Leigh Halfpenny penalties.

Wales beat France for the fourth consecutive time. Credit: PA

France delivered a 68th-minute try for full-back Brice Dulin, with fly-half Camille Lopez kicking a conversion and two penalties, but hopes of Six Nations silverware ended amid a fine Wales performance.

After losing to England in their opening Six Nations game, Wales are now firmly back on track.

Prospects of claiming another Six Nations title are still out of their hands, but successive wins against Scotland and France have put them in the mix, setting them up nicely for appointments with Ireland and Italy next month.

England women's appoint Middleton as head coach

Simon Middleton previously worked at Leeds Carnegie. Credit: PA

Simon Middleton has been appointed as the new head coach of the England Women's side, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed.

Middleton, the current England Women's sevens head coach, is succeeding World Cup-winning boss Gary Street in taking permanent charge of the 15s and will hold both roles simultaneously in a change from the previous structure.

He is on a fixed-term contract that will run until the end of 2017, taking up the 15s post following the conclusion of the Sevens World Series in May.


Cipriani won't take England chance for granted

Danny Cipriani touched down after coming on. Credit: PA

Danny Cipriani says he will seizure his latest chance in the England team after coming off the bench to score a try on Saturday.

The Sale Sharks fly-half was making his first international appearance since 2008 in the the 47-17 win over Italy.

That's what I'm doing now: every moment and every experience I am appreciating and there's no way I want to be out of this England side ever again, for as long as I'm playing.

I'm very focused on making the best of my ability.

– Danny Cipriani

French lock Pape set for disciplinary hearing

France lock Pascal Pape will face a disciplinary hearing after kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back, which could see him miss the rest of the Six Nations.

Pape was sin-binned for kneeing Heaslip in a ruck in Ireland's 18-11 victory at the weekend.

Pascal Pape was only sin-binned during the game. Credit: PA

Referee Wayne Barnes ruled the action was intentional after video review, but declined to hand the 34-year-old a red card.

Independent citing commissioner Stefano Marrama from Italy has deemed the incident worthy of further investigation however, and Pape will appear before a disciplinary commission later this week.

"Pascal Pape, second row forward for France, has been cited by the independent citing commissioner at the RBS 6 Nations match between Ireland and France in Dublin on Saturday, for the incident in the 52nd minute of the match for which the player received a yellow card," read a Six Nations statement.


Lancaster: England need to be better than that

England boss Stuart Lancaster felt his team's victory over Wales last week had had a knock-on effect on the players in the 47-17 defeat of Italy.

England captain Chris Robshaw shakes hands with boss Stuart Lancaster at full-time. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Asked afterwards if his side had been suffering something of an emotional hangover at first from last Friday's 21-16 win in Wales, Lancaster told the BBC: "It looked that way, without a doubt.

"It was a soft try we conceded first up, and it took until half-time.

"I gave them a bit of a rev up and said 'listen boys, we need to up the intensity', and I thought we did that a little bit in the second half."

England lost Mike Brown to injury early on, and Lancaster added: "I don't think we can use that as a reason.

"I just think we were a little bit off, off the back of last week. We need to be better than that."

England full-back Brown knocked out against Italy

Injured England full-back Mike Brown is driven from the Twickenham pitch on a stretcher. Credit: Toby Melville/Reuters

In the first 6 Nations clash of the weekend at Twickenham, Italy centre Andrea Masi collided heavily with Mike Brown early in the first half, and the England full-back appeared to be knocked out.

Brown required lengthy treatment on the pitch before being taken off on a stretcher with his head in a protective brace.

The latest reports on Brown's condition say he's conscious and has been treated for concussion, but he is not due to go to hospital; nevertheless, the injury will only add to the recent heated debate over concussions in rugby.

England target big home win over Italy in 6 Nations

Unchanged England looked to kick off their Rugby World Cup year at Twickenham with a convincing victory over wooden spoon candidates Italy.

Roses are red for England fans at Twickenham on Valentine's Day. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

An impressive opening-night win in Wales installed England as 6 Nations title favourites and saw Stuart Lancaster stick with the same 23 players, leaving sub Nick Easter to cover at lock after injury to second row Geoff Parling.

Italy made four changes following their opening 26-3 loss to Ireland, with flanker Mauro Bergamasco, lock Marco Bortolami, prop Alberto De Marchi and wing Giovanbattista Venditti coming in.

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