Chris Farrell scores a try for Grenoble  during the French Top 14 match against Racing Metro at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble. Photograph:   Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Farrell’s initial sporting passion was soccer. Growing up in Fivemiletown, a village in south Tyrone and a short distance from the border with F(...)

Peter Stringer of Bath dives over for a try during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath and Leicester Tigers on Saturday. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

John O’SullivanThere’s no doubting the performance of the day in the Aviva English Premiership belonged to Bath as they thumped the Leicester Tigers b(...)

 Pau’s new signing James Coughlan: “We both kind of said ‘if we don’t go now, we’ll never go’.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

The IRFU have succeeded where their Welsh, Scottish and Italian counterparts have largely failed in keeping all their front-line players at home. Even(...)

Aurillac head coach Jeremy Davidson: “I’m looking forward to seeing him [Eddie O’Sullivan]. I left him a message when he was appointed to wish him all the best.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

French club rugby is not noted for the presence of non-French coaches, yet while Bernard Jackman coaches Grenoble in the Top 14, this weekend’s openin(...)

 The signing of Mils Muliaina from the Waikato Chiefs is a clear statement of intent, not only by Connacht  themselves, but by the IRFU. Photograph:  Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Ever since the IRFU proposed shutting them down as a professional entity 11 years ago, Connacht have been a tad paranoid about the governing body’s in(...)

Toulon Rugby owner Mourad Boudjellal   celebrates  his team’s Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Leinster at the Felix Mayol Stadium in Toulon. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images)

The essence is in part aspirational, a glossy, Panini sticker-album feel, to the playing roster at Toulon. Club president and multi-millionaire(...)

 Leinster’s Shane Jennings in action against Munster last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Team sport often comes down to a series of individual tussles within the framework of a match. Rugby is no differ(...)

Simon Zebo gets a GPS unit inserted in the pouch in his training jersey

The game is whistled to a stop. All eyes are on the referee as he asks the TMO to replay an incident on the stadium’s big screen. A team analyst conti(...)

Leinster’s Aaron Dundon gets the ball away during a Pro-12 match against Ulster in December. Photographs: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sometimes life takes a turn for the better and 10 years later you are some place you never dreamed you would be. Aaron Dundon understands. Out of the (...)

 Conor Murray scores a try for Ireland against New Zealand last month. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

With confirmation that Conor Murray has signed up for another two years, the IRFU can turn their attention to the other six international contracts th(...)