France winger Teddy Thomas offloads against Scotland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 7:01

Ad Utrumque Paratus, the motto of many academies and universities, comes to mind. It means ‘prepared for either’, where the book and the sword were be(...)

Tommy O’Donnell breaks away from the Italian defence to score Ireland’s second try at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty 2:48

I start where I left off on Friday – patient play with green grass field position in mind, allied to Italy’s non-engagement in the breakdown, will pro(...)

Toulon’s Martin Castrogiovanni is playing much looser than previously and is nowhere near as violent in the breakdown. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Image 1:20

Winners also lose – but they never give up. Ireland can – and will – continue their ascendance towards relentless improvements but, nevertheless, t(...)

A screengrab of the ruck which Wasps’ number eight Nathan Hughes sprung through to score a try and prevent Leinster winning in the Ricoh Arena.

Sitting in Slattery’s pub on Grand Canal Street Dublin 4, I thought Leinster looked comfortable against Wasps. That was until Wasps’ number eight Nath(...)

Wasps’ James Haskell is no Vunipola but he does damage, partly because of his physique but mainly because of his attitude. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

‘I coulda’ been a contender,” laments Terry Malloy to his brother Charley ‘The Gent’. “Instead of a bum, which is what I am – let’s face it”. Marlon B(...)

Billy Vunipola of Saracens. Vunipola will be one of Munster’s main challenges when they face Saracens at Allianz Park. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

“They are demanding . . . not necessarily demanding of the finest rugby skills but they are demanding of passion . . . They want to see you wear your (...)

Wilson’s Hospital and St Gerard’s School observe a minute’s silence in memory of former Leinster Schools Administrator, Anne McInerney. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Maybe it’s my army background or maybe it’s the various privileged positions I’ve enjoyed in sport, but I’ve always assumed that to get anything done (...)

Leinster’s Jordi Murphy: will soon get back to where he was having returned from a long injury lay-off. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The last act of 2014 in the Toland’s household was the cutting of the cake. Yes, it was not just Alex Ferguson’s birthday on New Year’s Eve, but it(...)

On Saturday morning April 12th, 2014, I sat on my couch armed with a bowl of porridge flicking between BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Super Rugby. Between(...)

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony in a maul against Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

You don’t know how strong you are until strength is all you have left. After losing at the Stoop on Saturday, Leinster will have to dig deep tomorrow,(...)