Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly celebrates with the Ireland rugby team on there way back to Dublin after winning the Six Nations last season. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Paddy O’Reilly, or ‘Rala’ as the Irish rugby team calls him, has been Ireland’s bagman for the last 20 years and ‘Baggage Master’, an uppity title (...)

Toulon’s Matt Giteau scores a try despite the tackle of Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth during the Heineken Cup Final at the  Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

RC Toulon 23 Saracens 6: The new superpower in the European game duly emulated Leicester (2000-01) and Leinster (2011-12) by retaining the Heineken Cu(...)

 Connacht team look on after conceding another try against Saracens. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Connacht bow out with a whimper
  • Rugby
  • January 18, 2014, 16:18

Saracens 64 Connacht 6: Connacht suffered their worst ever Heineken Cup defeat as Saracens crushed Pat Lam’s side to make sure of their place in the(...)

Sean O’Brien of the Lions dives over for his try against the Melbourne Rebels. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels 0 British and Irish Lions 35: The dirt-trackers, re-enforced by the test bench, duly atoned for last week’s blip in Canberra again(...)

Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen and former British and Irish Lions star Austin Healey at the announcement that Setanta Sports has added BT Sport and ESPN to its line up for the next three seasons. Photograph: David Maher / Sportsfile

Former England international and British Lion Austin Healey was never short of an opinion as a player, a character trait that has accompanied his care(...)

Rory Best (left) and Tom Court of the British and Irish Lions during the captain’s run at AAMI Park, Melbourne, scene of Saturday’s second Test against Australia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Whatever about the last Tuesday game before the first Test, the last midweek game of the tour ahead of the second Test really is a speed bump. Admitte(...)

 Rob Kearney of the Lions is tackled during the  match against the ACT Brumbies and the British & Irish Lions at Canberra Stadium. Photograph:   David Rogers/Getty Images

Brumbies 14 Lions 12: Warren Gatland gambled on sacrificing the Lions’ unbeaten record by picking his non-test team and a makeshift backline four day(...)

British and Irish Lions’ Tommy Bowe has his damaged arm in a sling following the victory over the Queensland Reds at the Suncorp stadium.  Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

QUEENSLAND REDS 12 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 22: The Queensland Reds rolled the dice and came up just short but it was fun watching them try to out(...)

Sam Warburton during a training session. Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire.

Sam Warburton will make his tour bow when he captains the British and Irish Lions against Queensland Reds on Saturday.Flanker Warburton, who missed th(...)

Rob Kearney trains in Perth yesterday despite confirmation of a grade one hamstring tear. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Akin to the Rolling Stones on tour, Brian O’Driscoll tends to revisit big venues for encores. Tomorrow, he begins his fourth tour where he made his Li(...)