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Hartley pays 'huge price' for indiscipline - Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster removed Dylan Hartley from his Rugby World Cup plans after losing patience with the England hooker's inability to address his self-destructive streak.

Dylan Hartley. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Hartley is unavailable for the tournament opener against Fiji on September 18 after receiving a four-week ban for head-butting Jamie George during Northampton's Premiership play-off defeat by Saracens last Saturday.

The 29-year-old's career has been blighted by a total of 54 weeks of suspension and Lancaster admits his latest disciplinary lapse left him with no choice but to drop Hartley.

"Clearly there comes a point when you think, actually, this message isn't really getting through. Dylan is going to suffer a huge price now," Lancaster said.

"He has got two or three years left at least at the highest level. It is down to him to prove he can control his emotions in those big moments because you have to have it as an elite player.

"You have to be able to play in big games where big decisions matter and emotions are running high and you have to be able to control them. If Northampton had made the final he would have missed the final.

"Can he make the good decisions under pressure in the big moments? You've got to trust that the players can do that. He's shown that there's an inconsistency there."

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Worcester back in the Premiership after pipping Bristol

Credit: PA

Worcester have secured a rapid-fire Aviva Premiership return after a thrilling climax to the Championship final second leg at Sixways.

Full-back Chris Pennell's try with just 25 seconds left, followed by a Ryan Lamb conversion with the game's final kick, secured a remarkable 30-30 draw and saw Warriors return to rugby union's top table with a 59-58 win on aggregate.

For Bristol, it was a case of play-off promotion agony for a fourth time since 2009, and they will remain in the Championship for at least another season as Worcester began wild celebrations to mark a Premiership reappearance just 12 months after they were relegated.

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.

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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
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