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(...)

Conor Murray is confident going into his second World Cup. “We are in a very good place and I don’t think we should be shying away from that,” he says. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This time four years ago it’s still remarkable to think that Conor Murray went into Ireland’s World Cup preparatory programme as fifth choice scrumhal(...)

 George Ford in action for  England against France at Stade de France. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Watching George Ford go through the horrors in the Stade de France on Saturday, while Freddie Michalak steered the home side to a psychologically i(...)

“Kicking is also part of the game I get confidence from. There’s no doubt if I am kicking well it lifts other parts of my game,” says Ireland’s Ian Madigan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For a part of the game so available to eyes, the kicker’s personality has always been split. Often more important than scoring tries, kicking has beco(...)

England’s 2011 World Cup campaign was unsuccessful both on and off the pitch. Photograph: Getty

After winning it in 2003 and making the final in 2007, the 2011 World Cup proved a bridge too far for England, who were sent packing in the quarter-fi(...)

Elton Flatley’s nerve-jangling late penalty kept Australia in the 2003 World Cup final. Photograph: Getty

The 2003 World Cup final will forever be remembered for THAT moment. The scrambled drop goal which left Jonny Wilkinson’s right boot and sailed over (...)

England give South Africa a guard of honour after the Springboks destroyed them 36-0 in Pool A of the 2007 World Cup. Photograph: Getty

In 2007 England came to the World Cup more in hope of defending their crown than with any real expectation. In the four seasons which had passed sinc(...)

Andrew Sheridan gets to grips with Australia’s Matt Dunning during England’s 2007 quarter-final win. Photograph: Getty

Standing at 6ft 5” and weighing 20 stone Andrew Sheridan was a monster even by the pumped up standards of modern rugby, especially when you consider h(...)

The ambidextrous Major League Baseball player Pat Venditte pitched left-handed before switching his glove from his right to left hand. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Last Friday night 29-year-old pitcher Pat Venditte made his Major League Baseball debut for the Oakland Athletics. Drafted by the New York Yankees in (...)

Paul O’Connell will join Toulon until 2017 when the World Cup finishes after 14 years playing with Munster. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

As has become increasingly apparent, Paul O’Connell is to finish his playing career with a two-year stay at Toulon. French sources have confirmed t(...)