Captain Richie McCaw with team-mates at a New Zealand training session ahead of their Bledisloe Cup match against Australia on Saturday in Sydney. Photograph: Reuters

At 8.05pm local time in Sydney, or 11.05am Irish time on Saturday morning, New Zealand will attempt to establish the longest winning sequence in the (...)

2014 Women's Rugby World Cup Semi-Final, Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, France 13/8/2014Ireland vs EnglandNiamh Briggs applauds the Ireland fans after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Where to start? Wednesday’s defeat to England made for grim viewing, in stark contrast to the marvellous shock of Canada overcoming France thanks to a(...)

Claire Molloy: “This game, England in a world cup semi-final, this is our dream. We now know we can beat New Zealand, so why not England as well?” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It would be Claire Molloy who caught hypothermia. You might have seen the picture. A bitterly cold, wet and windy day in a town called Parabiagio, (...)

Leinster Rugby Training & Press Briefing, Rosemount, UCD 17/12/2012Brian O'DriscollMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Former Ireland and Leinster captain Brian O’Driscoll was named the fifth most influential person in world rugby. In a list compiled by Rugby World mag(...)

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika: “We made ourselves the opportunity this year and we took it and that was really nice. It does not mean that we’re not going to try and do it again next year, I can guarantee you that.” Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Bernard Foley’s late penalty will go down in the record books as winning New South Waratahs their first Super Rugby title but for coach Michael Cheika(...)

 Conrad Smith of the All Blacks scores a late try against England despite Joe Marler’s best efforts  at Eden Park   in Auckland. Photograph:   Simon Watts/Getty Images

New Zealand 20 England 15 England slipped to a painful late defeat in their first Test against New Zealand knowing that a glorious opportunity (...)

Andrew Coombs and Peter O’Mahony of Ireland grapple for the ball in the lineout during last season’s RBS Six Nations Championship fixture. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A simmering unease exists between Wales and Ireland. Since the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa, the core of both sides are close Lions team-mates and (...)

Dan Tuohy tackles Ryan Wilson during yesterday’s Six Nations Championship match. Photograph: Inpho

Jamie Heaslip of New Plymouth fame in 2010 is so far removed from the 2014 version. The loss of Paul O’Connell the player was covered pretty efficient(...)

Man-of-the-match Brian O’Driscoll during the game in Franklin’s Gardens. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Surely a backlash will follow. Or maybe Northampton will be unable to lift themselves after this 40-7 humiliation that equalled their worst ever defea(...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates show their devastation after the final whistle. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

The one that got away alright. From trepidation, to hope, to excitement, to belief intermingled with continuing doubt, to genuine belief, and then dej(...)