Samoa’s Viliamu Afatia is tackled by South Africa’s Lodewyk De Jager and Frans Malherbe during the Rugby World Cup  Pool B match at  Villa Park in Birmingham. Photograph:  David Jonjes/EPA

Laager – definition: an encampment formed by a circle of wagons; an entrenched position or viewpoint that is defended against opponents. “I see you ar(...)

Australia players celebrate at full time of their 2003 Rugby World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand. Photograph: Getty

The 2003 World Cup progressed in such a way the final was always destined to be contested by the cream of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, wi(...)

Conor Murray is confident going into his second World Cup. “We are in a very good place and I don’t think we should be shying away from that,” he says. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This time four years ago it’s still remarkable to think that Conor Murray went into Ireland’s World Cup preparatory programme as fifth choice scrumhal(...)

Irelands Jared Payne runs in a try during the Six Nations match against Scotland. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Less than five months before the World Cup kicks off in England and Wales, some of rugby’s finest talents are still deciding which country to repre(...)

Eoin Reddan training with the Irish squad at the Universitario Rugby Club in Tucumán as they prepare for today’s second Test.

It was Sunday, November 24th, which absolutely confirmed to Eoin Reddan that he was in a good place. It was the day that Ireland played the All Blacks(...)

Munster’s CJ Stander and Gerhard van den Heever with Tommy Seymour of Glasgow Warriors. Munster face another battle royal against the Scottish side. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This week having finally finished it, I left Cormac McCarthy’s The Road behind and delved into Max Hastings’ Catastrophe where I quickly bumped into M(...)

Something catches Brian O’Driscoll’s eye at the team picture ahead of the Ireland Rugby Captain’s Run at the Aviva Stadium today. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho 3:36

Brian O’Driscoll’s “emotional” final international appearance in Dublin will not hinder Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations title quest, according to Jami(...)

 Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll hands off Danny Care of England at Twickenham last month. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll waved goodbye to anonymity years ago, navigated his way past papped celebrity, dispensed with mere fame on the back of that 20(...)

Brian O’Driscoll will play against England for the 13th and final time when he lines up at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Graham Rowntree has warned England that “exceptional” Brian O’Driscoll will be desperate to mark his 13th and last appearance against them with(...)

Brian O’Driscoll in training in Carton House this week.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho 2:33

Joe Schmidt admits he has no idea how Brian O’Driscoll has dredged up the staying power to equal George Gregan’s all-time Test appearance recor(...)