Romain Poite will referee back to back  European Champions Cup games in Ireland in January. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There will be a French flavour to Munster’s closing two Pool One games, with Roman Poite and Pascal Gauzere set to referee their two must-win encounte(...)

The value of Munster’s bonus point courtesy of that repeat 26-19 defeat at Stade Marcel-Michelin now  looks even more pronounced. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The turkeys mightn’t taste so good this Christmas for the Irish provinces, and with two Pro12 derbies on St Stephen’s Day, the travelling away teams, (...)

Israel Folau training with Wallabies in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

These are exciting times. Back-to-back wins against two of the Southern Hemisphere big three happen about as regularly as Roy Keane avoids a press (...)

Munster prop David Kilcoyne after scoring his side’s try in the European Rugby Champions Cup game against Saracens at Thomond Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster 14 Saracens 3New tournament, same old Munster and now same old Thomond Park as well. After a few hiccups hereabouts in the league towards the (...)

Munster coach Anthony Foley: “I don’t think there’s ever been a score between Munster and Saracens, they’ve always between tight encounters.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The impact of Ian Keatley’s dramatic winner against Sale Sharks was felt immediately back home in Munster with almost ten times as many tickets bei(...)

 Toulon’s Bryan Habana is tackled by Munster’s Simon Zebo during the Heineken Cup semi-final. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

For the Irish provinces, April is indeed becoming the cruellest month. Ulster, Leinster and latterly Munster all bade adieu to the Heineken Cup(...)

The ERC press release accompanying the decision to suspend Jared Payne for the tackle against Alex Goode of Saracens that resulted in the Ulster fullback’s red card came with the wording that Payne  had been red-carded for “an alleged dangerous charge (sic)”, rather than tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling. This was, effectively, a new one. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho/Presseye

Here’s a question. Supposing Jared Payne and Alex Goode made the exact same runs as when they collided last Saturday week in Ravenhill, which r(...)

Ulster will decide today whether to appeal the two-week suspension Jared Payne received for the “reckless act” that injured Al(...)

 Ulster’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys, team manager David Millar and Jared Payne walking to the ERC offices. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster fullback, Jared Payne has been suspended for two weeks following an independent disciplinary hearing in Dublin today arising from the He(...)

Referee Jerome Garces shows Jared Payne a red card after just four minutes of the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens at Ravenhill. Photo: Darren Kidd/Inpho

I was coming out of the back of the stand at Ravenhill after the match on Saturday when I ran into Jerome Garces, the referee who had made such(...)