George Ford  walks onto the pitch with team mate Owen Farrell during the England training session at Pennyhill Park. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images 6:20

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has denied panicking and insists his selection for Saturday’s World Cup Pool A showdown with Wales has been influe(...)

Sam Burgess has denied that a rugby league return is on the cards. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Sam Burgess has denied reports in Australia that he is planning a swift return to rugby league next year with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The build-up(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell makes his way out for his final captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 2:54

This, at face value, looks more like it. Lions Test starters abound for Ireland’s last home game before the World Cup, with fringe contenders drinking(...)

Sam Burgess has told England coach Stuart Lancaster he is ready to be selected for England’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Getty

Sam Burgess has found moving from rugby league to union harder than proving himself in the 13-a-side code as an Englishman in Australia but, less than(...)

 Toulon’s  Mathieu Bastareaud:  “Time and again the Leinster midfield will get him down but if they miss him just once it will be a certain try for Toulon.” Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP.

‘Wherever you go, that’s where you are’ and I’m not referring to Stade Vélodrome, Marseille where I’ll be on Sunday but to the mental journey Leinster(...)

DUBIan Madigan’s kicks were crucial but can Leinster win without Johnny Sexton. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images 3:19

Nothing Nothing new about Leinster anyway. This season they have been decimated by injury and denied regular access to their many international(...)

Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip and Matt O’Connor are hapy with the performance of their scrum in the win over Bath. Photo: Colm O’Neill/Inpho 3:19

Relief was etched on Matt O'Connor's face after a storming finish from Bath and disciplined defending from Leinster allowed him just the faintest o(...)

Jamie Heaslip during Leinster’s captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s hard not to over-play the importance of this fixture. Leinster’s season looks to be distilled into 80 minutes. Dip into their undoubted European (...)

Jonathan Joseph burst onto the international scene in this season’s Six Nations Championship, finishing it as the top try scorer. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Some sporting cross-pollination as a child is often the genesis for exceptional athletes. Jonathan Joseph sashayed his way through the Six Nations Cha(...)

Mike Ford:  Circuitous Rugby League career took him, by chance, to Ireland in January 2002. Photograph: Getty Images

Russell Crowe wasn’t momentarily speechless collecting an Oscar for Gladiator. Nor did the cinematic hard man well up after the South Sydney Rabbitohs(...)