France’s flanker and captain Thierry Dusautoir catches the ball in a line out against Canada’s lock Jamie Cudmore. Photograph: Getty Images

Canada were a joy to watch on Thursday night - they brought belief, resilience, skill and pure passion to their encounter against France. They also br(...)

Acting Italy captain Leonardo Ghiraldini believes it will be tough to beat Canada. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

Italy v Canada, Elland Rd, Saturday, 2.30 (TV3, ITV) The most pertinent aspect of the build-up to this match from an Irish perspective is that (...)

Martin Castrogiovanni has been dropped as Italy coach Jacques Brunel announced four changes for Saturday’s game against Canada at Elland Road. Photograph: Afp

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made four changes to his team for the Rugby World Cup Pool D game against Canada in Leeds on Saturday. Props Mic(...)

Luke Fitzgerald was impressive for Ireland at 12 against Canada. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

What a start. Twickenham was bursting at the seams on Friday night. Standing pitchside, the Fijians swarmed around taking pictures of the crowd, engag(...)

Luke Fitzgerald challenges for a high ball with Matt Evans during Ireland’s opening World Cup match against Canada. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The odds on Ireland winning Pool D shortened from 4/6 to 4/7 in the aftermath of beating Canada, and while that may seem a little premature, it tak(...)

Iain Henderson, supported by Luke Fitzgerald, run at the Canadian defence during the  Rugby World Cup Group D encounter at the Milennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt caught everyone at unawares with this team selection for Canada. Despite, seemingly, bringing inside centre cover to the World Cup in the (...)

Canada captain Jamie Cudmore: “What we lack in those areas we definitely make up for with a lot of passion and a lot of aggression.” Photograph: Getty Images

After ‘logging’ one day as a 17-year-old, Jamie Cudmore went for a beer with his boss and some fellow loggers, as they did. “My boss played for a loca(...)

Simon Easterby: ‘The defence has to be watertight. That has been a real focus.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

True to the Joe Schmidt script, Simon Easterby is not one to look beyond the next match. Nor is he inclined to look back on the World Cup campaign of (...)

Canada’s lock Jamie Cudmore:  “That’s a key thing, keeping rugby’s ethics. You play hard, you shake hands – there’s a good level of respect.” Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It’s tempting to cast Jamie Cudmore in the role of pantomime villain, but there is nothing cartoonish about the periodic fistic confrontations that ha(...)

Canada’s Jamie Cudmore considered retirement as he was forced to take three months out of rugby following a series of head injuries. Photograph: Afp

A month of mood swings, headaches and insomnia almost forced Canada’s Jamie Cudmore to abandon his World Cup plans and retire this summer. Veteran Cle(...)