Frederic Michalak in action for France against England at Stade de France. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

France coach Philippe Saint-André has omitted outhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad in favour of Frederic Michalak. Saint-Andre (...)

Frederic Michalak’s resurgence has seen him earn a place in France’s Rygby World Cup squad with Francois Trinh-Duc missing out. Photograph: Getty

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre left out flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad announced on Sunday, in favour of Frederic Micha(...)

Louis Picamoles  makes a break during the  match between England and France at Twickenham on Saturday. The big-carrying Toulouse number eight was France’s standout player. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The most interesting and revealing case study in these warm-up games from an Irish perspective are undoubtedly France. Ireland’s final pool game again(...)

Connacht’s Mils Muliaina says Australia were his toughest opponents. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

On the first Wednesday of April I had the good fortune to share a stool in Busker Brownes with many legends of our game, including Mils Muliaina. A hu(...)

Steffon Armitage was the difference really. At least three textbook turnovers killed Leinster momentum.

Rob Kearney 7/10Three superb acts of high fielding gave Leinster the briefest glimpses of front foot ball but his long, long range drop goal with seco(...)

Frédéric Michalak in action for Toulon against Wasps in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Just watch his body language, just watch him walking back. This is like your granddad playing outhalf . . . I can’t believe France don’t have a better(...)

 Toulon’s  Mathieu Bastareaud:  “Time and again the Leinster midfield will get him down but if they miss him just once it will be a certain try for Toulon.” Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP.

‘Wherever you go, that’s where you are’ and I’m not referring to Stade Vélodrome, Marseille where I’ll be on Sunday but to the mental journey Leinster(...)

Toulon’s Carl Hayman is tackled by Wasps’ Bradley Davies in their Champions Cup quarter final victory. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Carl Hayman has admitted Toulon “have a lot of work to do” to secure an unprecedented third consecutive European title, despite reaching the Champions(...)

Leinster’s Rob Kearney is challenged in the air by Bath’s Anthony Watson during their European Champions Cup quarter-final at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Watson was sin binned for the tackle. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

It’s a small mercy, but consigned in their own minds to a daunting semi-final against Toulon in the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, Leinster were at lea(...)

Ali Williams goes over for Toulon’s second try late in the Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Wasps at  Stade Félix Mayol. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Toulon 32 Wasps 18Error-strewn Toulon failed to convince but still stepped up their quest for a record-breaking third consecutive European title by ed(...)