Danny Cipriani is back in the England set-up after seven years in the international wilderness. (Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

It had been seven long years since Danny Cipriani was last cheered to the Twickenham rafters by an appreciative Six Nations crowd, which made his try-(...)

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre. “He may  be a practical coach but the French media stone him for his inability to settle upon a team.” Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Only place to begin is at the end of Paris. When the Ides of March were overcome.Sexton had been carted off (not an omen just another reason to avoid (...)

Robbie Henshaw says it was a great feeling to get the win, even sitting in the stands, in last year’s Six Nations, but “it’s a new challenge this year”.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The first thing that strikes you about Robbie Henshaw is how grounded and level-headed he is. Aside from a striking physicality which is unusual for a(...)

Johnny Sexton talks Racing Métro, ‘Charlie Hebdo’, fatherhood, goal-kicking and going to the Louvre to “spend 40 quid on two coffees”. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

He’s home and in Ireland camp for three weeks for a targeted comeback in round two at home to France. He’s also coming home with a four-year deal to p(...)

Matt Giteau was voted best player in France last season as Toulon won the Top 14 and Heineken Cup double. Photograph: Remy Gabalda/ AFP/Getty Images

As the cards fell badly this week for Paddy Jackson and his international career, the arrival of Toulon and Matt Giteau to Belfast seems freighted wit(...)

 Munster outhalf Ian Keatley  looks up after kicking the match-winning drop-goal against Sale Sharks during the European  Champions Cup clash at the  AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, England. Photo:  Gareth Copley/Getty Images

A goal-kicker’s lot is different. His job spec affords him even more responsibility than a striker in football. Nor is it quite as unique as, say, a g(...)

Toulon beat both Munster and Leinster on the way to defending their European crown last season. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho 4:58

No less than having the offices in Dublin, there’s little doubt that five Irish Heineken Cup wins in a seven-year period (2006 to 2012) did not go (...)

Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell: “We do want to win it, that’s very much what we talk about”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Officially she has 83 caps, the most decorated Irish woman rugby player. Unofficially, with the uncapped friendly matches and the Sevens games she has(...)

(From left): Frank and Paula Cullen, the parents of Leo  with Brian O’Driscoll’s mother and father Geraldine and Frank at the Westin Hotel, Dublin .Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Tonight at the RDS Leinster will hope to celebrate victory in the RaboDirect Pro12 against the Glasgow Warriors and in doing so provide the appropr(...)

ERC player-of-the-year  Steffon Armitage of Toulon breaks away from Marcelo Bosch during the Heineken Cup final at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

As Alex Payne said in advance of Sky’s closing credits to the Heineken Cup, “thank you for the memories”. Thanks indeed. The Six Nations may be the(...)