Ian Madigan kicks the penalty that put Leinster into a winning lead in  their European Champions Cup match against Castres in France at weekend. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The European Champions Cup hasn’t exactly set the pulses racing just yet, has it? Maybe it was due to the nature of the arm wrestles that the Irish(...)

Leinster prop forward Jack McGrath is tackled by Cedric Garcia during yesterday’s match in the south of France. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Caster 16 Leinster 21 It’s easy in the cheap seats, and they were also a lot cooler than a battleground bathed in 20-degree sunshine, but as (...)

Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip tries to keep possession against Castres Olympique at the Stade Pierre Antoine yesterday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective, and it’s left Leinster sitting pretty. The only away team to win in the Stade Pierre Antoine last season, Lein(...)

Luke Fitzgerald has been picked by Leinster to play against Castres. It is the Irish winger’s first outing since March of this year. Photograph: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

In a bitter sweet selection meeting for Matt O’Connor fullback Rob Kearney and tighthead prop Mike Ross have lost their race to be fit for Leinster(...)

 Leinster’s Michael Bent did an  “outstanding job”  deputising for Mike Ross at short notice against Wasps. Photograph: Billy Stickland /  Inpho

Leinster scrum coach Marco Caputo hailed Michael Bent for the “outstanding job” the much-derided Kiwi did in deputising for Mike Ross at short notice (...)

Leinster’s Ian Madigan clashes with Felix Jones and James Coughlan of Munster during the Pro 12 match at the  Aviva Stadium last March. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster v Munster Aviva Stadium, Saturday 6.30pm, Live Sky Sports 2 It’s disrespectful to all others to say the annual early autumn run-in betwe(...)

Peter O’Mahony has been included in the Munster squad for their Pro12 match against Leinster. The Munster captain has recovered  from shoulder surgery. Photograph: Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Leinster has made three changes to the pack for Saturday’s derby in Aviva Stadium as Munster wheel in their inspirational captain and leader Peter (...)

Bath’s Peter Stringer scores a try against Leicester Tigers. Ireland’s fourth most capped player of all time is not yet interested in winding down his career. Photo: David Davies/PA

In analysing Irish rugby’s rejuvenation in the noughties, a key figure has to be Peter Stringer. Whereas the careers of Irish scrumhalves are not not(...)

 Cian Healy has been ruled out of action for at least three to four weeks with a ‘significant hamstring tear’.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne / Inpho

Leinster’s monopoly of the Ireland number one jersey is under threat.Cian Healy’s hamstring tear is comparable to that suffered by Richardt Strauss, w(...)

Kieran Marmion dives over the line to score a try for Connacht against Leinster last Friday. Photoraph: James Crombie/Inpho.

In front of the watching Joe Schmidt, Friday night’s head-to-head subplots in the Sportsground would have focussed mostly around midfield, and the you(...)