France’s Morgan Parra and Brice Dulin try to halt New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Richie McCaw turns and leads with a glance. The other unsmiling giants immediately know the command is rapidity. Seven disciples, led by Kieran Read, (...)

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Yoann Maestri bring Ireland hooker Rory Best crashing to the Millennium Stadium turf. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The risk is to list out all 23 Irish players and wax lyrical about their extraordinary performance. What harm? They were extraordinary and so too were(...)

Ireland’s Sean O’Brien gave a wonderfully bullish performance against France. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leaders fall and others instantly rise up. Three, possibly four men lost, the Millennium became Seán O’Brien’s field, while Rory Best was only phenome(...)

France have vowed to hunt down Johnny Sexton in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup clash at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Afp

The pre-match psychological warfare in advance of Sunday’s Pool D showdown was ratcheted up a notch or two yesterday, with plenty of musings from Raci(...)

France’s Rabah Slimani, Mathieu Bastareaud, Teddy Thomas, Wesley Fofana and Yoann Huget. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

You won’t find Trappes or Sarcelles in any Parisian travel guide. These two suburbs of the French capital, Trappes to the south and Sarcelles to th(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

Dylan Hartley believes England’s Six Nations championship win of 2011 was an anticlimax as they comprehensively lost to Ireland in Dublin in their last game. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Trust an eclipse to come along just when English rugby is hoping to see the light. The big shadow over Twickenham in recent times has been a shortage(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud is a go-to man for France and Johnny Sexton should expect to see a lot of him on Saturday. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Although the margins between the sides have been wafer thin, sometimes non-existent in recent years, Philippe Saint-André has portrayed his team as un(...)

France’s loose head prop Eddy Ben Arous runs with the ball during a training session - he is the sole change to the French team named to play Ireland on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP

France have named an unchanged team barring the enforced replacement of the injured Alexandre Menini with young loosehead Eddy Ben Arous, for the tri(...)

Clermont Auvergne winger Noa Nakaitaci has been picked in France’s preliminary Six Nations squad. (Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Uncapped Clermont Auvergne winger Noa Nakaitaci saw the World Cup door swing invitingly open on Thursday as Philippe Saint-Andre beckoned him into the(...)