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Rugby Union news

Some of the latest Rugby Union news from different news agencies around the world on.

Ulster sign lock Van der Merwe

South African lock Franco van der Merwe will play at Ravenhill next season after agreeing a two-year deal with Ulster.

Ashton wants England place back

Chris Ashton wants to win back his England place as he looks to guide Saracens to their first Heineken Cup final.

Newcastle retain scrum-half Fury

Wales international scrum-half Warren Fury is to remain with Newcastle Falcons after signing a two-year contract.

Captains return for 1872 Cup decider

Captains Al Kellock and Greig Laidlaw are back as Glasgow host Edinburgh in Saturday's derby meeting at Scotstoun.

Northampton v Harlequins (Fri)

Team news as Northampton host Harlequins in Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final at Franklin's Gardens (20:00 BST).

Exodus 'has benefited young players'

The loss of senior Welsh internationals to clubs in England and France has benefited young players says Wales U20 coach Byron Hayward.

Jackson leaves Glasgow for Wasps

Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson is ending his six-year stay at Glasgow Warriors to join London Wasps.

Prydie and Smith sign Dragons deals

Newport Gwent Dragons wing Tom Prydie and centre Ashley Smith sign three-year contract extensions with the Pro12 side.

Italy prop Cittadini to join Wasps

London Wasps agree the signing of Italy prop Lorenzo Cittadini, who has 32 caps, from Treviso for next season.

Saints 'need ruthlessness of rivals'

Northampton forward Phil Dowson challenges his team-mates to match the ruthless attitude of rivals Leicester and Saracens.

Worcester to sign Bath winger Biggs

Worcester Warriors agree a deal to sign England Saxons winger Tom Biggs from Premiership rivals Bath in the summer.

Allen can challenge Roberts - Davies

Cory Allen has a better all-round game than 58-cap Wales centre Jamie Roberts, says pundit Jonathan Davies.

Exeter's Hanks is forced to retire

Exeter Chiefs forward James Hanks is forced to retire at the age of 29 after failing to recover from a neck injury.

Fitzpatrick treated for heart problem

Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick is released from a Glasgow hospital after treatment for an irregular heartbeat.

Ospreys boss frustrated by Dragons

Ospreys boss Steve Tandy says he is frustrated his side failed to get a bonus point against the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Wilson and Eddie stay with Warriors

Ryan Wilson and James Eddie extend their contracts as Glasgow Warriors re-sign four back-row men within a week.

Newcastle 18-23 Saracens

A much-changed Saracens side edge past Newcastle Falcons to stay comfortably clear at the top of the Premiership table.

Northampton 36-21 London Irish

Northampton Saints survive a remarkable London Irish fightback to return to winning ways at Franklin's Gardens.

VIDEO: Bath coach 'wanted to keep Biggs'

Bath head coach Mike Ford tells BBC Points West he tried to keep Worcester-bound Tom Biggs but the club were unable to rearrange their budget for next season.

VIDEO: Watch Priestland's point-blank miss

Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland misses a kick from right in front of the posts after scoring a try against the Blues at the Millennium Stadium.

VIDEO: Highlights: Glasgow 27-9 Ulster

Highlights from Glasgow's 27-9 win over Ulster in the Pro12 at Scotstoun.

AUDIO: Post-match: Gloucester boss Davies

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies speaks to BBC Radio Gloucestershire following Saturday's 38-30 defeat by London Wasps in the Premiership.

AUDIO: Post-match: Leicester boss Cockerill

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill speaks to BBC Radio Leicester after Friday's 24-20 defeat at Harlequins

VIDEO: Time is right to retire - Chuter

Veteran Leicester hooker George Chuter says now is the right time to retire following 13 years with the Tigers.

VIDEO: 'Fastest man in rugby' dazzles for Glasgow

American Carlin Isles showed the speed that has seen him dubbed the "fastest man in world rugby" at the Melrose Sevens this weekend.

VIDEO: Scrum V meets Owen Williams

Scrum V meets Leicester fly-half Owen Williams, who has played a starring role for the Tigers this season (UK users only).

VIDEO: Bristol jostling for position - Holley

Bristol head coach Sean Holley tells BBC Points West that their top-of-the table Championship clash with London Welsh comes at the ideal time ahead of the play-offs.

VIDEO: Highlights: Ospreys 25-19 Leinster

Ospreys beat Leinster to maintain their challenge for a Pro12 top-four play-off place (UK users only).

VIDEO: Highlights: Edinburgh 22-29 Blues

Scrum V's highlights of Cardiff Blues' Pro12 win at Edinburgh (UK only).

VIDEO: Highlights: Treviso 45-27 Dragons

Scrum V brings you all the action from the Pro12 game in which Treviso beat Newport Gwent Dragons 45-27 (UK only).

VIDEO: Highlights: Scarlets 27-20 Zebre

Wing Jordan Williams' counter-attack try was the highlight of Scarlets' Pro12 win over Zebre (UK users only).

AUDIO: Post-match: Saints boss Mallinder

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder speaks to BBC Radio Northampton following the 28-24 defeat at Saracens.

AUDIO: Post-match: Gloucester boss Davies

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies speaks to BBC Radio Gloucestershire following Saturday's 18-17 defeat against local rivals Bath in the Premiership.

The men who saved European rugby?

A combination of TV experience and rugby relationships was key to reaching agreement, RFU chairman Bill Beaumont tells BBC Sport

Glasgow leaving Edinburgh behind

Glasgow and Edinburgh Rugby meet this Saturday with the gulf between the two growing, writes BBC Scotland's Tom English

Clermont & Toulon can deny Sarries & Munster - Guscott

Clermont's class and Toulon's power will prevail against Saracens and Munster respectively in the Heineken Cup semi-finals, says Jeremy Guscott

VIDEO: 'Brain drain' threat in Rugby Union

The chairman of Saracens rugby club, Nigel Wray tells BBC Extratime he is worried that players might go elsewhere if English clubs are unable to compete financially with international clubs.