Paul O’Connell and his team-mates show their devastation after the final whistle. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The one that got away alright. From trepidation, to hope, to excitement, to belief intermingled with continuing doubt, to genuine belief, and then dej(...)

 Referee Nigel Owens in discussion with  All Black captain Richie McCaw during Sunday’s Test against  Ireland.  Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images.

Watching it a second time isn’t any easier. Entering the last 10 minutes, the BBC co-commentator Philip Matthews described it as “the biggest 10 minut(...)

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw and number eight Kieran Read during the New Zealand    captain’s run at the  Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rarely can one recall such a feeling of foreboding before an Irish Test match. The almighty Blacks beat them 60-zip last time out and, comfortably the(...)

Kieran Read leads his New Zealand team-mates in the haka before their game against England. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

There’s an episode in the life and times of what is currently the world’s best rugby player which sums up the down-to-earth nature of this humble, har(...)