RC Toulon’s Australian fullback James OConnor  vies with Bath’s Fijian wing Semesa Rokoduguni  during the European Champions Cup rugby union match at the Mayol stadium in Toulon, France. Photograph: Getty Images

Toulon 12 Bath 9 Bath came agonisingly close to a little piece of history beside the Mediterranean but, barring something extraordinary, their Champi(...)

Johnny Sexton tackles Ma’a Nonu during Leinster’s Champions Cup defeat to Toulon at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 16 Toulon 20 The other week Leinster had a bad time. Thrashed about on the French Riviera, a mere six days later they morphed into enforcers(...)

Jack McGrath has been favoured in the Leinster frontrow to Cian Healy, who will be on the bench. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

As dead rubbers go, this is not actually a dud. For starters, technically speaking Leinster’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stages for the 11th t(...)

Toulon centre Ma’a Nonu runs at Leinster outhalf  Jonathan Sexton during the Champions Cup game  at the Stade Felix Mayol. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Toulon 24 Leinster 9 Leinster were brave and obdurate beyond dispute, but they will wonder what might have been had their performance been more acc(...)

New Zealander Maa Nonu in action for Toulon against Agen at the weekend: what Toulon are doing, while amazing to watch, is concocted in Mourad Boudjellal’s office. Photograph: Bertrand langlois/AFP

With the big picture barely sketched by Leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, a trip to Toulon is hardly the time for experimentation. This calls for an accu(...)

New Zealand’s Ma’a Nonu during his debut for Toulon against Agen. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Ma’a Nonu’s debut for Toulon commandeered the headlines in a 53-23 home victory over Agen in the French Top 14 Championship. The double World Cup win(...)

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(...)

Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald: Leinster forwards coach Leo Cullen said “He will certainly be out for the next two weeks. I don’t think it’s a World Cup issue.” Photograph: Inpho

Luke Fitzgerald will miss the final two matches of Leinster’s season after undergoing an operation to repair a tear to the labrum in his shoulder. He (...)

Toulon were crowned champions of Europe for a third successive year after they beat Toulon 24-18 at Twickenham. Photograph: Getty

Clermont Auvergne 18 Toulon 24Toulon made rugby union history at Twickenham as they clinched a hat-trick of European titles by defeating fellow French(...)

Robert Kitson names 11 provincial players in his all-time European Cup best XV, including former Munster number eight Anthony Foley. Photograph: Getty

Time-travelling is always a temptation at this time of year. This week sees the 20th showpiece final in European club rugby’s eventful history and, in(...)