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(...)

Ireland fans at the Euro 2012 game against Croatia in Poznan. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

I once had a conversation with an Irish soccer international a couple of days after the Irish rugby team had suffered a famous defeat. He produced his(...)

Sex appeal: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton leads a team talk in the huddle during last week’s crunch game against Wales. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Maybe, just maybe, there is indeed a silver lining of some kind to last Saturday’s defeat. Another leading-from-the-front victory, thereby ensuring(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates a try on his Ireland debut against Wales in the  2002 Six Nations. Photograph: INPHO/Allsport 3:42

February 3rd, 2002. Laid out after attempting to tackle Welsh secondrow Craig Quinnell, a red-haired man in a navy scrum cap lies prone atop the blue (...)

Bath’s director of rugby Mike ford talks to his son George, the outhalf of that club and England. George will have a pivotal position as kicker when England come to Dublin for the Six Nations game on Sunday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty.

Ellery Hanley and his entourage swept out the door. Mike Ford watched the departure of the man voted the greatest British rugby league player of all t(...)

They are grand times indeed when Ireland can beat France by seven points, extend a winning streak to nine games and still not everybody is entirely(...)

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud  is tackled by Scotland players  during their Six Nations game  at the Stade de France.

Is it any wonder this old Six Nations lark is the envy of the southern hemisphere. The European rugby public annually gather in some of the finest cit(...)

The three Mescalleros: Brent Pope, Tom McGurk and George Hook.

“In the beginning the IRFU had a heart attack. How dare we talk about rugby like this,” said Tom McGurk of the sharp shooting RTÉ rugby panel of Georg(...)

Philips Manager of the Year Joe Schmidt with his award following the ceremony at the Shelbourne Hotel: “It’s humbling because of the competition that is here today.”

Despite the mass influx, Joe Schmidt is the only foreign rugby coach to be named Philips Sports Manager of the Year.Not the first foreigner, mind. Th(...)

Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald tackles Greig Tonks of Edinburgh at the RDS last month. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The No 13 debate, and need to fill that void, has been reignited by Matt O’Connor selecting Luke Fitzgerald at outside centre for Sunday’s arduous yet(...)