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Lancaster waiting on Cipriani drink-drive case

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will await the conclusion of the police investigation into Danny Cipriani drink-drive arrest before deciding on whether to consider him for his World Cup squad.

Cipriani was the latest to fall foul of authorities after Manu Tuilagi and Dylan Hartley were ruled out of the tournament following misdemeanours

The Sale Sharks player was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving earlier this month, but won't know the outcome of the case until early August.

Danny Cipriani was only recently recalled to the national side. Credit: PA

Lancaster said: "(I am) waiting to see what the Police investigation will determine. I've got no position at all at the moment.

"He's not been charged with anything so as a consequence is in camp and training as everyone else is.

"I'll deal with it as and when it's appropriate."

England line up first ever three-match series with Australia

England will play three matches in Australia. Credit: PA

Australia will next year welcome England in a three-match series for the first time.

The two nations have never contested a three-match series despite a century-old rivalry, but they will battle it out in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney next June.

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said: "With a rivalry that dates back to 1909, it is remarkable that Australia and England have never before played a three-match series and the history of this occasion is sure to add to the anticipation for the tour."

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "A Test series in Australia is a massive challenge and one to really look forward to.

"We all saw the excitement generated by the three Tests on the British & Irish Lions tour.

"We haven't toured Australia since 2010 so for most of our squad it will be their first opportunity to play a senior Test there and I'm sure it will be a great series."

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."


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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