Mandela and the power of sporting victory

The rugby captain whose handshake with Nelson Mandela came to define the progress of post-apartheid South Africa pays tribute to his idol.

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O'Driscoll: 'I didn't want to take the Ireland shirt off'

After the thrilling 22-20 win against France in Paris that secured the Six Nations crown for Ireland, Brian O'Driscoll said he did not want to take his shirt off after the game because he knew when he did it would "be the last time".

O'Driscoll, whose international career has now ended, said: "I played on for one more year, hopeful to get a victory against the All Blacks - it didn't happen - and to win a Six Nations - and that did happen. You can't have it all, but you take the bits that you get."

He added: "Its been a fantastic Six Nations for us. I've enjoyed every second. It's an hour after the game and I don't want to take this jersey off yet, because I know when I take it off, that will be the last time.

"It will be weird if I start putting it on at home and start walking around in it. So I am kind of dragging it out a little bit."

Read: Ireland win Six Nations after Paris victory

Irish rugby team selfie celebrates 6 Nations win

The Irish rugby team celebrated their Six Nations win in true celeb style with a victory selfie with the trophy, taken by prop Cian Healy.

But England's players could only watch on from Rome, where they had earlier handsomely beaten Italy to take the championship down to the wire.

A thrilling 22-20 win for the Irish over France in Paris meant they claimed the title on points difference.

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England squad watching the last 15 mins of France vs Ireland in Paris, with Ireland leading 22-20 #tense http://t.co/FozEe4I2yf

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Ireland win Six Nations after Paris victory

Ireland have pipped England to the Six Nations title after a nailbiting 22-20 victory over France in Paris.

reland's Andrew Trimble dives in to score his side's second try during the Six Nations.
Ireland's Andrew Trimble dives in to score his side's second try during the Six Nations. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

After England's crushing victory over Italy at lunchtime, a French win in Paris would have seen Stuart Lancaster's men take the title.

But a pulsating game saw Ireland run in three tries to give a fitting send-off to iconic centre Brian O'Driscoll in his last ever international game.

Rugby star Chris Ashton gets engaged in New York

Winger Chris Ashton, 26, has scored 18 tries for England. Credit: PA

Rugby star Chris Ashton has become engaged, sharing his joy just days after his close pal Mike Tindall and wife Zara Phillips became parents for the first time.

Ashton, a fellow England player, popped the question to nanny Melissa Uzelac as they enjoyed a break in New York.

But the sportsman told Hello! magazine that the proposal took a toll on his joints, saying: "My knee was sore from bending down - I must be getting old."

He said he had long been planning the proposal to his girlfriend of six-and-a-half years, during the holiday.

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Police release picture of missing 14-year-old girl

Police have released a picture of a 14-year-old girl who has been missing since yesterday.

Heidi James, who is also known as 'Beth', is believed to have left her home address in Main Street, Long Lawford, Rugby, sometime after 4:30am on New Year's Day.

Heidi James has been missing since yesterday Credit: Warwickshire Police

She has links with Northamptonshire, including Corby and Wellingborough.

She is described as white, 5’7” tall, slim build with shoulder length black hair usually tied in a ponytail. She is believed to be wearing a black onesie with pink hearts on and a dark purple sweater and brown ugg boots. She was not wearing a coat.

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Police appeal to find missing 14-year old girl

Police in Warwickshire are appealing for help to find a 14-year old girl who went missing earlier today.

Heidi James, who's also known as Beth, from Lawford near Rugby, is believed to have left her home after 4.30 this morning.

Officers say Heidi has links to Northamptonshire, including the Corby and Wellingborough areas.

She's described as white, around 5ft 7in and of slim build with shoulder-length black hair. She's believed to be wearing a black onesie with pink hearts on it, a purple sweater and brown Ugg boots.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Warwickshire Police.

Past and present stars of SA rugby attend memorial

The captain of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning team, Francois Pienaar, is giving interviews in the FNB stadium ahead of today's memorial.

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#Mandela 95 World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar talking to the media at FNB Stadium @bokrugby http://t.co/d51aeUDO2S

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Also present is the current Springbok captain Jean de Villiers.

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#Mandela Springbok captain Jean de Villiers shaking the hands of mourners at FNB Stadium http://t.co/N602e9N6dT

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Read: Nelson Mandela and the power of sporting victory

Pienaar: 'I would run through walls' for Mandela

Former South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar recalled the moment he met Nelson Mandela before the team won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Pienaar said he was shocked to see Mandela wearing the Springboks jersey, adding, "He turned around and my number was on his back.

"That was me. I would run through walls [for Mandela], I would play until I can't play."

Watch : South African rugby's video tribute to Mandela

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