France warm up for the game against Canada. “The World Cup is really something special in France.  It’s a competition that works well with the French for some reason.” Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

And so it has come to pass pretty much exactly as expected. France were long ago cast as 18/1 outsiders, incapable of finishing in the top half of the(...)

Eddie O’Sullivan: Foreign coaches tend not to flourish in French club rugby.  Photograph: Alan Betson

News of Eddie O’Sullivan’s apparent dismissal as head coach of Biarritz Olympique will have understandably disappointed the many pundits, coaches a(...)

Robert Kitson names 11 provincial players in his all-time European Cup best XV, including former Munster number eight Anthony Foley. Photograph: Getty

Time-travelling is always a temptation at this time of year. This week sees the 20th showpiece final in European club rugby’s eventful history and, in(...)

Former Ireland head coach  Eddie O’Sullivan faces a daunting task at turning fortunes around at Biarritz.

Without a head coaching job in rugby since leaving the USA Eagles after the 2011 World Cup, it became increasingly evident that Eddie O’Sullivan would(...)

Wales’ George North gets in some golf practice during yesterday’s Lions Down Day at Carton House, Maynooth, yesterday. Photograph: Inpho

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Graham Rowntree insists the first Test match against the Barbarians o(...)

Jamie Heaslip is the leading ball carrier in European rugby with 95 carries.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The season of wounded soldiers continues. Both suffering from dodgy calves, an awfully annoying injury to remedy, the absence of Seán O’Brien an(...)

Imanol Harinordoquy: “It’s the reigning European champions, at their place too, so for us it would be a big achievement, or even a miracle, to win against them.”

They will come face to face at the RDS on Saturday, but in a different world Brian O’Driscoll and Imanol Harinordoquy could have been team-mate(...)

Gordon D’Arcy: The centre knows defence will be important against Biarritz. Photograph: Inpho

It may seem odd that a venerable war horse like Gordon D’Arcy is dipping his toe into the Amlin Challenge for only the second time after a try (...)