Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock looks dejected after the defeat by Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-final. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster didn’t replicate the shortcomings in performance terms of their Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat to Toulon when they rocked(...)

Keith Earls breaks free to score Munster’s opening try in the  RaboDirect Pro 12 game against Benetton Treviso at Thomond Park in  Limerick. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster 14 Benetton Treviso 3: Munster saw off a strong challenge of Benetton Tre(...)

Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny and Sergio Parisse of Italy challenge for the high ball at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Wales launched their bid for an historic Six Nations title hat-trick in unconvincing fashion as underdogs Italy made them scrap every inch of the way (...)

 Tommaso Allan will start at outhalf for Italy in their  Six Nations opener away to Wales on Saturday. Photograph:  Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Treviso winger Angelo Esposito will make his international debut when Italy begin their Six Nations campaign with a daunting trip to Cardiff to take o(...)

Connacht’s Fetu’u Vainikolo runs with the ball. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Eric Elwood will take his Connacht team abroad for a final time before he steps down as coach at the end of the season. The province’s f(...)