Leinster’s Isa Nacewa and head coach Leo Cullen know the Irish provinces cannot compete financially with English and French clubs. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Isa Nacewa is perhaps the perfect pair of eyes to see how the global game is becoming dollar-shaped. The relevance of rugby’s financial evolution is t(...)

Clontarf’s Dermot O’Meara tries to slip the attempted tackle of Galwegians’  Barry Lee during the Ulster Bank League Division 1A match against Galwegians at Castle Avenue. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ulster Bank League round-up: Clontarf maintained their presence at the top of Division 1A, holding off a strong second-half challenge from Galwegians (...)

The University of Limerick has awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science to former Ireland rugby captain Paul O’Connell. He is pictured with his wife Emily, children, Lola (1) and Paddy (5) as he prepared for the conferring ceremony. Photograph: Alan Place/Fusionshooters.

He may give the orders on the rugby pitch but Paul O’Connell insists team-mates will not have to call him ‘Dr Paul’ following his conferring with an h(...)

New Zealand celebrating in Twickenham after winning the World Cup. For all of Dan Carter’s magnificence, Ma’a Nonu was the key figure in delivering tries.Photograph: AFP Photo /Franck Fife

How will this World Cup be remembered? That question must be viewed from two perspectives – the champions and Ireland’s – because each provides vastly(...)

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss: It’s getting tougher with English clubs getting salary cap rises. It’s going to be like a shark pool for talent so we want to have an environment that people want to stay in.” Photograph: Inpho

Les Kiss, just his second day in the job and he still can’t shake off Argentina. As he adjusts from life at international level and the World Cup vall(...)

“The family are incredibly excited,” says France-bound Paul O’Connell. “They don’t care about my injuries. They just want to make sure we go.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

A player who has come to the end of his Irish career is beginning another. Paul O’Connell wants to be with Toulon when European competition shortly co(...)

Paul O’Connell’s hamstring injury could rule him out for the entire rugby season. Photograph: Inpho

Paul O’Connell could miss the entire rugby season due to injury. The Irish lock, who has signed up with French Top 14 side Toulon, will be out of rugb(...)

Japan players celebrate their momentous victory over South Africa in the pool section – the Brave Blossoms missed out on a place in the quarter-finals but won the hearts of the rugby world. Photograph: Getty Images

Gerry Thornley Match of the tournament? Spoilt for choice. Japan provided the best finish, Australia v Argentina was the most breathless, but t(...)

Steve Hansen has been mentoring Canterbury players, and by extension many an All Black, even before Richie McCaw joined the Crusaders. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

After the father came the son. Des Hansen, who passed away the week of the 2012 Bledisloe Cup decider in Brisbane, was one of Christchurch and the Mar(...)

Jonathan Sexton will resume career with Leinster for first time since 2013. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Benetton Treviso v Leinster Sunday, November 1, Stadio di Monigo, 3.0 Sky Sports 3 Leo Cullen has wasted no time in injecting Irish(...)