Hamish Watson in Scotland line-up for Six Nations clash with England

Flanker Hamish Watson has been recalled to Scotland’s starting line-up to face England at Twickenham. The Edinburgh back-rower started both the Scots’ first two games against Ireland and France but was named on the bench against Wales last time out after losing his place to John Hardie. Owen Farrell set to face Scotland in Six Nations despite injury scare Read more With Hardie ruled out for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a knee injury in the match at Murrayfield, Watson now lines up against Eddie Jones’s record-chasing side…

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Trump travel ban could prevent United States hosting World Cup

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has indicated Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban could prevent the United States from hosting the World Cup. The US is favourite to win the right to host the 2026 World Cup, either on its own or in a cross-border bid alongside one or both of Mexico and Canada. Infantino’s World Cup: a dire prequel that will award itself every Oscar Marina Hyde Read more But President Trump on Monday signed a new executive order banning immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, which could have implications for the…

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Dark horses of Red Bull can turn F1 season into a much-needed thriller

They are called testing sessions but the two weeks Formula One is spending in Barcelona this year are proving to be a mighty tease as well. Sandbagging and keeping one’s cards close to one’s chest are long-established elements of the pre-season runs, but this year, with brand-new cars designed to the new regulations, no team want to reveal too much and lose any advantage they may have stolen over the winter. Times – only ever a loose guide before the real business begins – are therefore perhaps less revealing than…

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Unexpected closeness of India v Australia creates compelling fireworks

A week ago, the New Yorker posited that we are all living in a computer that has lost its mind. Simulation theory has had non-Wachowski currency for at least 15 years: basically that an infinite universe would contain life forms advanced enough to create simulated universes; and that the odds of being a living creature within a vast number of simulations are much higher than being one in the universe that seeded them. ICC clears Virat Kohli and Steve Smith over second Test run-ins Read more The breakdown theory points…

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City breaks with kids: Barcelona

I’m bored! The Gothic Quarter’s warren of medieval alleyways is great fun to explore, and one of its hidden treasures is the original Papabubble store on Calle Ample where jewel-like sweets are made by hand. Children love the open-top tourist bus, but for a real (and cheaper) adventure, ride the vintage Tramvia Blau, or “blue tram” (€5.50pp one-way) from Plaça John F Kennedy, then take the funicular to the top of Tibidabo mountain. The reward at journey’s end is the Tibidabo amusement park (€28.50 adult, €10.30 under 1.2m, free under…

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A motorcycling adventure across Iran: ‘the standout attraction is the people’

In the dining room of a remote hotel in Iran’s Alborz Mountains was a locked glass case displaying a solitary English-language book. “The Valleys of the Assassins, Freya Stark,” said the hotelier as he unlocked the case, removed the book and turned to the page of a hand-drawn map. He pointed to our location. “You know Freya Stark? She came here in 1930. English lady, like you.” I nodded. She was one of the reasons for my journey. I asked a man about Iranian hospitality. ‘People must look after each…

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