Owen Farrell during a Saracens training session in St Albans ahead of their European Champions Cup clash against Clermont Auvergne. The outhalf is back in the squad after three months out. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens coach Mark McCall has voiced his admiration for French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne ahead of Saturday’s European Champions Cup semi-final s(...)

George Clancy: part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland’s George Clancy and John Lacey have been chosen as part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. World Rugby also co(...)

Luke Fitzgerald will start on  the wing for Leinster against Scarlets. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

  Scarlets v Leinster Parc y Scarlets, 5.15, Sky Sports 1 Leinster present a more formidable selection from the one that eked out a(...)

Italy’s players celebrate as Irish referee George Clancy awards them a penalty try at the end of their Six Nations  game with Scotland in Murrayfield. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Scotland prop Alasdair Dickinson has criticised George Clancy following the Irish referee’s performance in Murrayfield.Scotland slumped to their third(...)

Coach  Vern Cotter accepted the blame for Scotland’s defeat to Italy in the Six Nations match at Murrayfield. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter concedes his “message” is not getting through to his players after watching them crash to their third Six Nations def(...)

 Giovanbattista Venditti scores Italy’s second try  during the Six Nations match at Murrayfield. Photograph: Giuseppe Fama/Inpho

Scotland 19 Italy 22Scotland are staring at their fourth Wooden Spoon in 11 years after their late collapse handed Italy a dramatic victory at Murrayf(...)

 Pau’s new signing James Coughlan: “We both kind of said ‘if we don’t go now, we’ll never go’.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

The IRFU have succeeded where their Welsh, Scottish and Italian counterparts have largely failed in keeping all their front-line players at home. Even(...)

Alan Quinlan believes referee Alain Rolland was wrong to award a penalty against Paul O’Connell and issue him with a yellow card, and thus deny Munster at least a bonus point, Quinlan believes, in theirRabo Direct Pro 12 29-19 defeat against Ulster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There’s no denying I was a bit frustrated on television the other night after Ulster’s win over Munster. I ended up causing a bit of a stir for what I(...)

Referee George Clancy checks with the TMO before awarding Gordon D’Arcy’s  try against Connacht. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It’s been yet another tough weekend for the men in the middle, particularly for the Irish referees in charge of the derbies at Ravenhill and the Sp(...)

Jordi Murphy: his selection at openside flanker is an intriguing move by Matt O’Connor. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Opportunity knocks for some young, indigenous players out west this evening in an extensive cast list which also features Brian O’Driscoll’s farewell (...)