England’s frontrow Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley and Alex Corbisiero celebrate a scrum penalty awarded against Ireland in the 2012 St Patrick’s Day massacre

St Patrick’s Day 2012. Mike Ross departs, broken, by half-time. Six minutes later Philip Matthews, a durable blindside and Ireland captain through so(...)

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 (...)

Leinster outhalf Johnny Sexton gets treatment before leaving the field injured in the Champions Cup game against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wasps 51 Leinster 10 Twelve months since Johnny Sexton was stood down for 12 weeks by neurologist Dr Jean-François Cherman, concussion has revisited (...)

Ulster’s Nick Williams in action against Connacht. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Maybe it’s the relative lack of Irish interest, but the final weekend of what is now the European Champions Cup somehow used to seem more fun. Mathe(...)

 Eoin Reddan on Jimmy Gopperty: “He presents a massive running threat, a massive kicking threat. He’s a good passer, he’s a clever guy. He’ll prove to be a great signing for them (Wasps) yet.”

It wasn’t quite slapstick in the vein of Morecambe and Wise but Eoin Reddan and Jimmy Gopperth enjoyed winding up opposing halfbacks when playing toge(...)

Ulster’s Ian Humphreys: “You have to fight that bit harder for recognition and respect, not in a bad way, but you know you are on your own.” Photograph: Darren Griffiths/Presseye/Inpho

The last decade has shown that club loyalty in rugby is only as strong as the contract. The business of sport has ensured that. Leaving, as Johnny Se(...)

Munster’s Keith Earls battles for possession with Ulster’s Iain Henderson at the Kingspan Stadium last May. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Munster embark upon an unusually lengthy as well as defining three weeks of European Cup rugby this weekend. Saturday brings their re-scheduled fixtur(...)

Rob Kearney is tackled by Tiernan O’Halloran during Leinster’s 13-0 win at a sodden RDS on Friday. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 13 Connacht 0 Leave this as a solid win in atrocious conditions. The relentless wind and sideways downpour demanded a specific approach so(...)

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose in action against Munster at Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The real shame is Robbie Henshaw will not be running this last time for Connacht against Leinster (or just the latest time if you believe in western m(...)

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose makes the break for Isa Nacewa’s early try in the Guinness Pro12 game at Thomond park. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

We will get to the enduring brilliance of Seánie O’Brien but this story must begin at the weaving feet of Garry Ringrose. Andrew Conway might have (...)