Conor O’Shea says he feels protective of Harlequins prop Joe Marler. Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire

Conor O’Shea has backed Joe Marler to emerge stronger and wiser from the second of the two bans imposed on the England prop since the end of the Six(...)

Leinster coach Leo Cullen said his team’s performance against Wasps in the European Champions Cup at the RDS was “pretty awful”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

A week for Leinster ended the way it always seemed to have been heading. As Leo Cullen counted the frontline players that were not available – Rob (...)

Jonathan Sexton with Leinster head coach Leo Cullen at squad training. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Leinster v Wasps, RDS BT Sport Europe, Saturday 1pm Leo Cullen may see Wasps as the first real challenge of his coaching career with Leinster. He kn(...)

 New Zealand-born flanker John Hardie has been named in Scotland’s squad for the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Vern Cotter has confirmed neither Blair Cowan or John Barclay will live out their World Cup dream after controversially axing both from his 31-man squ(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo is tackled during the World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland 28 Scotland 22 Another win then surrounded by more positives than negatives. “The real positive is we can report a clean bill of health,” said(...)

 New Zealand-born flanker Hugh Blake will make his Scotland debut in Saturday’s match against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

Scotland will hand New Zealand-born flanker Hugh Blake his first cap when they kick-off their World Cup preparations against Ireland in Dublin on Satu(...)

Leinster’s Darragh Fanning tries to escape the clutches of Rob Harley of Glasgow: Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster 28 Glasgow Warriors 25 Leinster went top of the Pro 12 leag(...)

Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson tackles Warriors’ Ruaridh Jackson at Scotstoun. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Inpho

Glasgow Warriors 8 Connacht 6 Connacht came desperately close to achieving what would have been their first ever win at Scotstoun but in the end failu(...)

 South Africa fullback Willie Le Roux  dives over for a try during the international against Scotland  at Murrayfield. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Scotland 0 South Africa 28: Scotland suffered a painful shut-out defeat to South Africa as they were utterly outclassed at Murrayfield.The home side l(...)