Here are the latest rugby headlines on Monday, January 16.
Biggar wants Wales captaincy but won't sulk if Gatland goes elsewhere
Dan Biggar says he wants to regain the Wales captaincy but won't sulk if Warren Gatland appoints a teammate to lead the Six Nations campaign.
The Toulon fly-half, 33, was appointed skipper by Wayne Pivac for the 2022 Six Nations and summer tour to South Africa, but a knee injury ruled him out of the autumn internationals, results of which led to Pivac's sacking and Gatland's return as Wales boss.
Justin Tipuric assumed the captaincy during the autumn and fans will find out who the 2023 skipper will be when Gatland announces his Six Nations squad on Tuesday.
In an interview with BBC Sport, Biggar said: "I'd love to have it [the captaincy]. It is not the be all end all, if it goes to someone else, I'd like to think I'm not the type of personality to sulk in the corner. I'll be right behind whoever gets it. I'd love to have it, I've enjoyed doing it over the last year and hopefully I can continue that, but it is Gats' [Warren Gatland] call and we get on with what is thrown at us."
Biggar believes Gatland's return will inject some belief back into the squad. The Kiwi has appointed Alex King and Mike Forshaw as new attack and defence coaches respectively following the departures of Stephen Jones and Gethin Jenkins. Forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys and kicking guru Neil Jenkins have retained their places in the Welsh coaching set-up.
Biggar said of Gatland: "He knows the set up and a lot of players well, and will install belief. I feel whenever someone loses their job, for Wayne, Steve and Geth and it's never nice, but that's professional sport, and I'm excited to work with the new guys. I worked with Alex King a little bit in 2017 and I don't know a huge amount about Mike who is coming in."
As for on-field Six Nations matters, Biggar is hopeful of an exciting tournament off the back of some impressive Welsh regional performances in both the URC and Europe of late.
"It's setting up to be a good Six Nations, perhaps the negativity of pre-Christmas and a couple of weeks after the autumn internationals is slowly starting to turn and we are slowly getting some excitement back into it," added Biggar. "There has been a lot of doom and gloom about Welsh rugby over the last couple of months. The regions seem to be playing a little better and hopefully there will be some positive weeks coming up."
Owen Farrell to captain England as Borthwick admits no qualms despite ban criticism
Owen Farrell will lead England into their Six Nations opener after Steve Borthwick responded to criticism of the Saracens fly-half being cleared to play by stating he must select the best available players.
Farrell is serving a four-match ban for a dangerous challenge while on club duty against Gloucester on January 6 that will be reduced by one game if he completes a tackle course. But in a controversial move that has been described as exploiting a loophole in the disciplinary process, the January 28 appointment with Bristol is included among the fixtures he must miss, ensuring his availability to face Scotland on February 4. Players involved in the opening match of the Six Nations are stood down from the final round of club games before the Championship begins, yet in this instance it counts towards Farrell's suspension.
While Borthwick's number two Kevin Sinfield admitted that "Owen fully accepts he needs to change and is willing to work extremely hard at it", England's new head coach had no hesitation in retaining the Lions playmaker as skipper.
"I know there has been a period of uncertainty around Owen's availability," Borthwick said. "I was informed unequivocally by the Rugby Football Union's legal department on Friday that Owen would be available for the first game of the Six Nations.
"Owen accepts his suspension and can't wait to be back on the field. My point of view is that I'm England head coach and my job is to select the players that are available to me.
"The disciplinary system is run completely as an independent process and I think we'd agree there should be that split - the England head coach and the disciplinary system should be completely separate, and that's the case."
Under Eddie Jones, Farrell was replaced as captain by Courtney Lawes only to be put back in charge when the Northampton flanker was forced to miss the autumn through concussion. Lawes has recovered to be included in a 36-man squad for the Six Nations but has been demoted to vice-skipper alongside Ellis Genge, Borthwick instead opting for his former Saracens team-mate.
Borthwick has been heavily influenced by club form as he looks to build an "England team that plays with courage and fights in every single contest". Unafraid to drop big names who were regular picks under predecessor Jones, Borthwick has jettisoned Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell and Jonny May, but there are recalls for Dan Cole and Elliot Daly.
Sexton and Furlong won't play before Six Nations
Ireland's Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong will not play for Leinster before the Six Nations opener against Wales on February 4, the Irish Mirror reports.
Leinster head into their final Champions Cup pool game with Racing 92 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday looking to finish as the pool's top seeds.
Fly-half Sexton wasn't expected to return from his cheekbone operation in time to face Racing, but there were hopes that Furlong would be able to return from a calf injury and bank some minutes. However, neither Sexton or Furlong are ready so they will go into the championship opener in Cardiff without game time banked. Andy Farrell names his Ireland Six Nations squad on Thursday.
Bulls coach Jake White out of hospital
Bulls coach Jake White has been discharged from hospital after undergoing emergency surgery.
The United Rugby Championship coach had two-hour abdominal surgery in Pretoria more than a week ago.
Now, Bulls president Willem Strauss has confirmed that the director of rugby is out of hospital. White will be taking a sabbatical from his club duties until February 8 as he recovers further.