Billy Vunipola can offer the Lions destructive ball carrying from number eight. Photograph: Getty

A Kiwi dollar for Warren Gatland’s thoughts as his attention turns to Wales’s tour to New Zealand this June. There is still no better place to judge a(...)

Gareth Davies scores a Wales try during the Pool A game against England at last year’s World Cup. Photograph: AFP

Sometimes the Six Nations feels about as light and airy as a dessert trolley from the 1970s. Treacle sponge, knickerbocker glory, banana fritters: th(...)

Johnny Sexton in action against Wales in their Six Nations opener. “On seeing his demeanour on the field last Sunday it looked to me like he was enjoying his rugby again.” Photograph: Getty Images

The well-worn line about doing the jersey justice resonates in the wake of Paul O’Connell’s retirement from rugby. But a genuine tribute to Paulie’s l(...)

Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, so clearly in agony, only took leave of this Test match after ensuring Ireland regained parity at 16-16. Clearly the success and failu(...)

Michael Kiernan attempts a drop goal over Mark Ring during Ireland-Wales Five Nations match at Cardiff Arms Park in 1987. Ireland won 15-11. Photograph: Simon Bruty/Allsport

Meetings between Ireland and Wales are akin to a two-horse race, but at times over the last two or three decades it’s been easier to pick the winner o(...)

Can Ireland win a third Six Nations in a row? Photograph: Getty Images

GERRY THORNLEY How will Ireland fare? A tall order without either of the twin totems for the first time since 1999, made taller still by having Wal(...)

Exeter Chiefs are through to the Champions Cup quarter-finals after a sensational set of results in Pool Two. Photograph: Inpho

Exeter coach Rob Baxter was left to reflect on “an incredible finale” after his team secured an unlikely place in the Champions Cup quarter-finals aft(...)

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has confidence in his young squad. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Wasps’ rugby director Dai Young insists his squad will not be daunted when they take on Leinster in Dublin in the Champions Cup on Sunday. The Aviva P(...)

Dan Carter (centre) has been named the World Rugby player of the year for 2015. New Zealand won the team award. Photograph:  Glyn Kirk/AFP

New Zealand outhalf Dan Carter has followed up his man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s World Cup final by being crowned World Rugby player of t(...)

Fourie Du Preez and Schalk Burger embrace after South Africa’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Wales. Photograph: Getty

South Africa 23 Wales 19 Wales fell agonisingly short, a defeat they might haunt them for some time. Not because they didn’t give their all, th(...)