Leinster’s Isa Nacewa and head coach Leo Cullen know the Irish provinces cannot compete financially with English and French clubs. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Isa Nacewa is perhaps the perfect pair of eyes to see how the global game is becoming dollar-shaped. The relevance of rugby’s financial evolution is t(...)

 Anthony Foley’s side should pick up a bonus point against Treviso. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Champions Cup opening salvo proves there’s always a new mountain to climb even if the provinces are still paying that heavy World Cup toll. Let’s (...)

 Michael Cheika arrives for the World Cup semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham. Cheika has led Australia to a first World Cup final in 12 years. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Listening to Michael Cheika calmly take all refereeing decisions on the chin, it’s been hard to equate this remodelled man with the coach who once ber(...)

Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland scores a try as he is tackled by Elton Flatley of Australia during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Ireland in 2003. Photograph: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

Ireland’s 2003 World Cup campaign got off to a fairly inconspicuous start, Eddie O’Sullivan’s side racking up 109 points and conceding just 24 as they(...)

Barbarians’ Wynand Oliver and Gerhard Vosloo tackle Ireland’s Colm O’Shea during the friendly match at Thomond Park.

Joe Schmidt admitted any prospective citing against Jack McGrath for his 32nd minute knee into the back of the Barbarians’ Georgian lock Konstantin Mi(...)

Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)

George Smith (right),   celebrates his 100th birthday in John Kavanaghs pub in Glasnevin, commonly known as the Gravediggers, with his children (from left),  Gerard, Freddie and Teresa. George has been frequenting the  pub every week for several decades. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

A pint of plain is still your only man for Ireland’s latest centenarian, George Smith. Mr Smith turned 100 yesterday and went for a celebration pint i(...)

Christoph Kramer of Germany lies injured during the 2014 Fifa World Cup B final against Argentina at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

Heading the ball in soccer has never been such a contentious issue with a legal case in the US threatening to change the way the game is coached an(...)

Toulon’s Steffon Armitage: considering options due	 to England’s refusal to pick anyone who is based overseas. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The International Rugby Board is ready to block exploitation of a loophole in qualifying regulations for Rio 2016 that enables players to switch natio(...)

A rare moss presumed to be extinct in Ireland since the 1960s has been rediscovered at Clara Bog in Co Offaly. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

A rare moss presumed to be extinct in Ireland since the 1960s has been rediscovered at Clara Bog in Co Offaly.The discovery of waved fork-moss (Dicran(...)