Quade Cooper  takes a high ball at Eden Park. Photograph: Getty Images

Casting Quade Cooper as villain of the piece is the easiest gig in Australian sports journalism in the wake of the Wallabies’ 41-13 Bledisloe Cup Test(...)

 Quade Cooper will play against New Zealand at Eden Park. Photograph: Peter Parks/Getty Images

Australia coach Michael Cheika has insisted there is method in the madness of selecting Quade Cooper as his starting outhalf at the All Blacks’ fortre(...)

Australia tighthead prop Sekope Kepu runs in his side’s first try during the Rugby Championship victory over New Zealand  at ANZ Stadium  in Sydney. Photograph:  Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Suddenly, Australia have emerged as a genuine force to be reckoned with at the World Cup. And, for the first time in a very long time, there are now s(...)

Jonathon Sexton in action against Australia. Ireland’s current game is largely based upon the kicking tactics employed by the halfbacks, Sexton and Conor Murray. Photograph:   Ian Walton/Getty Images

Not long after the horror of the Great War, Winston Churchill said ‘battles are won by slaughter and manoeuvre. The greater the general, the more he c(...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney tackles Israel Folau during Saturday’s international rugby match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters 5:39

On Friday I noted the key to Ireland’s success was high-tempo, low-error rugby. This of course was partly true, especially as Ireland rattled up 17 qu(...)

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe runs the length of the Aviva Stadium for an intercept try against Australia in Saturday’s international. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho 5:39

Ultimately, it was a rollercoaster akin to that of the final Saturday of November last year. Perhaps not quite on the same epic scale, but not far fr(...)

Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray during Ireland’s captain’s run at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland-Australia matches don’t tend to do dull, and with a favourable forecast this should be no different. Like all previous match-ups, this will be(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt at  Carton House, yesterday. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho 3:59

There is, perhaps above all, the desire from within the squad to back up the win over South Africa and thus ensure an autumnal clean sweep for the fi(...)

Australia’s exciting talent Israel Folau is tackled by Ireland’s Luke Marshall during last season’s 32-15 defeat at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho i

On one level it might look as if Ireland have missed a trick. Whereas England and Wales will each host four Tests in this last November window before (...)

Michael Cheika answers a question at a news conference where he was announced as the new Australian  coach in Sydney. Photograpgh:  Jason Reed/Reuters

Michael Cheika has been appointed as the new Australia head coach.The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced a three-year contract for the former Le(...)