Jannie de Beer drops his fourth of five goals against England in the 1999 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Photograph: Getty

It would be fair for England to consider themselves world rugby’s drop-goal connoisseurs. In 1991 they beat Scotland by a point to reach the World Cu(...)

Zinzan Brooke scored a stunning drop goal as New Zealand blew England out of the water in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

It seems ridiculous to think now but in the lead up to the 1995 World Cup New Zealand were, for once, not necessarily the favourites. In 1994 the All(...)

Marc Ellis scored six tries in New Zealand’s record 145-17 win over Japan in 1995, a record which still stands today. Photograph: Getty

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will prove a benchmark for the famous tournament as it ventures intoAsia and away from the sport’s top tier nations for the f(...)

Keith Wood dives to score his third of four tries in Ireland’s win over the USA in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana, Chester Williams, Marc Ellis, Chris Latham and Keith Wood - what do they all have in common? Well, they’ve all scored four t(...)

Gary Halpin salutes the All Blacks after scoring the game’s first try in Ireland’s 1995 World Cup opener. Photograph: Inpho

For those who haven’t quite mastered the art of scoring in sport, or simply don’t get the opportunity to do so very often, the rare times they mana(...)

Bryan Habana was the best winger on the planet in 2007 and it showed as he ran in four tries against Samoa in South Africa’s 2007 World Cup opener. Photograph: Getty

Having made his test debut against England in 2004 the 2007 World Cup was the perfect stage for South Africa’s electric winger Bryan Habana. By now f(...)

Waisake Naholo is tackled by Argentina’s Tomas Cubelli during New Zealand’s 39-18 victory Christchurch. Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Waisake Naholo briefly ignited, gliding past four Argentinian bodies before two tacklers hauled the 102kg winger to earth. “You might not think he’s m(...)

Justin Slattery drives Azzam through a wave in the Southern Ocean. Photograph: Matt Knighton/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images

This is it, the legendary Southern Ocean that has been the hallmark of the Volvo Ocean Race and Whitbreads before it. All six boats are now deep and a(...)

Johnny Sexton is returning to the Ireland team after a 12-week absence due to concussion. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There is an unmistakable sense that rugby union, and its century of tradition and pomp, moved towards an unfamiliar and darker place this week. Bernar(...)

The  physicality of the collisions  in international rugby is breathtaking  but so too the athletic prowess,  as demonstrated here by  Australia’s Kurtley Beale, who beats team-mate Israel Folau and Ireland’s Rob Kearney to the ball at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

One truth comes screaming out of this week’s debate about the use of strength-enhancing substances in rugby union: even the insiders are slightly bewi(...)