Joe Schmidt: will be trying to rebuild Irish confidence when the squad assembles at Carton House. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Well, that did it. As if Ireland’s worst collective performance in European rugby for 18 years wasn’t bad enough, the loss of Marty Moore for the Six (...)

RC Toulon’s Australian fullback James OConnor  vies with Bath’s Fijian wing Semesa Rokoduguni  during the European Champions Cup rugby union match at the Mayol stadium in Toulon, France. Photograph: Getty Images

Toulon 12 Bath 9 Bath came agonisingly close to a little piece of history beside the Mediterranean but, barring something extraordinary, their Champi(...)

Leinster’s scrumhalf Eoin Reddan  in  Champions Cup action against Toulon at the weekend: “People just make arguments to suit results a lot of the time.” Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

In the changing landscape, it is easy to absolve Leinster of their pre-Christmas European gloom because the IRFU wallet isn’t big enough. Toulon (Mou(...)

A picture taken on November 14, 2015 shows a Ulster’s flag with the inscription “Respect for Paris and all the French” at the Charles-Mathon stadium in Oyonnax. Photo: Getty Images

Midweek fixtures appear to be the only way forward as the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) desperately seeks a resolution to the scheduling (...)

All European rugby games hosted in France this weekend were postponed. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Tournament organisers say they are considering “all possible fixture permutations” following opening-round postponements in the European Champions Cup(...)

Bath fans during an Aviva Premiership match earlier this month. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Bath’s postponed European Championship rugby match against French side Toulon will never be played as there is not a free slot in the calendar, accord(...)

Clermont Auvergne training at Twickenham ahead of their European Champions Cup final against Toulon. They are hoping for their first European Cup victory. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Ultimately, the rugby won out, or at any rate the occasions did. The semi-finals may have been taut arm wrestles, but the sight of the Clermont player(...)

Mike Ford:  Circuitous Rugby League career took him, by chance, to Ireland in January 2002. Photograph: Getty Images

Russell Crowe wasn’t momentarily speechless collecting an Oscar for Gladiator. Nor did the cinematic hard man well up after the South Sydney Rabbitohs(...)

Bath coach Mike Ford encourages his side to have a go from anywhere on the field, an approach that brought them a bonus-point victory in Toulouse in the pool stage. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The last time Bath came to the Aviva Stadium they were beaten 52-27 by a Leinster side which would go on to retain the Heineken Cup three seasons ago.(...)

 Jamie Heaslip leads his Leinster team onto the field before their Champions Cup match against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The redrawn European club map in the shape of the European Champions Cup was driven by the Anglo-French club axis to ensure that the bigger economies (...)