Adam Jones walks off with a dislocated shoulder  during the second Test  between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions in 2009, after Bakkies Botha hit him with a no-arm clearout. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

“That’s a very interesting one” said a current Test official when shown a video of a 19-stone international prop taking out an opponent with a flying (...)

Rhapsody in blue: Brian O’Driscoll was often the prime exponent of offloads in Schmidt’s teams. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland stand on the brink of history. Victory against England would equal the all-time Irish record of 10 wins in succession achieved in 2002 and 200(...)

Robbie Henshaw in action during Ireland’s open training session with Connacht at the Sportsground  in Galway. Photo: Bily Stickland/Inpho

For Robbie Henshaw this must have been slightly odd. There he was, this modest, grounded 20-year-old, training against his Connacht team-mates on his (...)

Jonathan Joseph scores a try for England against Italy. The centre crossed over twice in a man-of-the-match performance. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Jonathan Joseph’s two-try performance for England against Italy not only earned him the man-of-the-match accolade but prompted a number of headline wr(...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 14/2/2015Ireland vs France Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

It was all we’ve come to expect from modern-day Test rugby, brutally physical, suffocatingly tight, as taut as a wire and absorbing until the very fin(...)

Johnny Sexton was named man of the match in Ireland’s 18-11 Six nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium.  (Photograph: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Ireland player ratingsRob Kearney 7Made nine carries for 53 metres. A jarring, wrap tackle on Scott Spedding earned an important 24th minute penalty a(...)

Ireland’s Mike Ross holds on to the shorts of French winger Teddy Thomas to make a vital tackle during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

THE BREAKDOWNIreland were outplayed here and had to send extra numbers in to try and hang on to possession. As a result France had a numerical superio(...)

Johnny Sexton delivered a man of the match performance on his long awaited return from concussion, orchestrating Ireland’s 18-11 Six Nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium. (Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan) 4:45

Few games ever began with as many eyes watching one player. Johnny Sexton’s road to the Aviva, one that required an IRFU clarification about the concu(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton lands one of his five successful penalty kicks during the Six Nations clash against France   at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 18 France 11If winning is ultimately the only commodity that matters, it also colours the landscape panoramically. Ireland emerged victorious (...)