“The family are incredibly excited,” says France-bound Paul O’Connell. “They don’t care about my injuries. They just want to make sure we go.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

A player who has come to the end of his Irish career is beginning another. Paul O’Connell wants to be with Toulon when European competition shortly co(...)

New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith  passes to his captain Richie McCaw during World Cup final against Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Did you spot all those tricolours in Twickenham? The ultimate triumph of hope over Argentina. In the end our people had to make do with being neutral (...)

“Games against New Zealand can go all over the shop. Sometimes it opens up, sometimes it closes down,” says Australia assistant coach Stephen Larkham. Photograph:  Peter Cziborra/Reuters

World Cup finals in most sports tend to be anti-climactic, taut, low-scoring affairs. Understandably, neither coaches nor players are inclined to be t(...)

Matt Giteau returned to the Wallaby fold when Michael Cheika took command. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/Afp Photo/Getty Images

Until Michael Cheika forced through The Giteau Rule one of rugby’s last little big men saw this World Cup as nothing more than a tidy earner. “I thoug(...)

 Owen Farrell has been chosen to start at outhalf  ahead of team-mate  George Ford for England against Wales. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Stuart Lancaster realised on Thursday that there are no easy rides as England coach, not after a match and now, not even before the match has taken p(...)

Fireworks light up the sky during the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Up and running, just the 47 games to go. It won’t be over until October 31st, so spare a thought for Judge Judy fans who’ll be irked by the sight o(...)

The Webb Ellis Cup with a 2015 rugby ball ahead of this month’s tournament. Photograph: Dave Rogers/Getty Images)

A - Diego Luis ALBANESE.  He was the Argentine wing whose try condemned Ireland to defeat in a World Cup quarter-final playoff match in the 19(...)

Gilbert’s Match XV ball will be used at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

Whether one believes or not in the legend of young William Webb Ellis, the oval shaped object at the heart of proceedings remains an instant identifie(...)

It’s no fun having to tackle someone like Mathieu Bastareaud if he gets a 10-yard run on you. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Every World Cup has its own personality, a style of play that evolves the game of rugby. This year will be no different. We have already seen most of (...)

Mark Cueto’s try in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final against South Africa was disallowed by the TMO. Photograph: Getty

England’s 2007 World Cup campaign couldn’t have started more disastrously. With an aging squad filled with creaking legs and missing talisman Jonny Wi(...)