Maxime Medard celebrates his try against Ireland with French team-mate Maxime Machenaud during the Six Nations match at  Stade de France. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A Dublin taxi driver from a strong soccer background told me his grandson came home from his first rugby training session with three simple rugby prin(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt:   was without  three front-line props,  Iain Henderson,  Peter O’Mahony, Luke Fitzgerald,  Tommy Bowe, Keith  Earls and Simon Zebo. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA

Most coaches are perfectionists, even though they well realise the perfect performance is beyond any team they will ever oversee. More often than not,(...)

Seán O’Brien lies injured on the Stade de France turf. The flanker’s substitution was a big blow to Ireland. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Statistics, unfortunately, can confuse. I expected to witness very clever Irish actions on Saturday to cause French ‘reaction’, especially from their(...)

France’s Virimi Vakatawa and  Ireland’s Andrew Trimble compete for the ball during their Six Nations clash in Paris. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

It’s hard not to respect Andrew Trimble. We will miss the Ulster winger’s honesty when he eventually stops lacing up boots. “That’s criminal getting (...)

Ireland fans at the France v Ireland match in the RBS Six Nations Championship in Stade de France, Paris, where heads rolled. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

There was supposed to be love in the air of the French capital on Saturday. It was St Valentine’s eve, after all. Instead, what nervous Irish rugby su(...)

Conor Murray tries  to charge down Rhys Priestland’s attempt at  a late drop goal at the Aviva Stadium.Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Bruised, battered but unbeaten, the Irish squad will spend much of the next two days recovering from their exertions against Wales at the outset of a (...)

France’s centre Jonathan Danty (C) is tackled during the Six Nations match between France and Italy at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis Photograph: AFP Photo / Thomas Samson

France 23 Italy 21 New head coach Guy Noves was spared an early embarrassment as France came from eight points behind to beat Italy 23-21 in the open(...)

Virimi Vakatawa will make his first appearance in a side containing four uncapped players. Photograph: Getty Images

New France coach Guy Noves has made a bold choice by picking Sevens stalwart Virimi Vakatawa on the wing in a new-look team to face Italy in their op(...)

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 14: Ireland player Jamie Heaslip gets to grips with Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Super Saturday was indeed beyond superlative, but it does look a rather long time ago now. In glorious mid-March conditions the day rained points (2(...)

Toulouse’s French fullback Maxime Medard  scores a try against Oyonnax in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images

It was left to Ospreys to haul a solitary scrap of pride among Pro12 sides from a weekend in which all seven teams in action in the Champions Cup left(...)