Saracens celebrate Billy Vunipola’s bonus-point try at the end of the European Champions Cup game at Ravenhill. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ulster 9 Saracens 27 Well beaten by a superior force. Here we witnessed a fate that may continue to befall the provinces in major Champions Cup games (...)

Australian referee Angus Gardner will take charge of Ireland’s Six Nations match at home to Italy on March 12th. Photograph: Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

Former Munster player John Lacey and George Clancy are Ireland’s sole referee representatives in the 2016 Six Nations Championship, which gets underwa(...)

Mike Ross is vital to Ireland’s World Cup hopes despite his international career blooming late. Photograph: Getty

“Whenever the Springboks are under pressure coach Heyneke has got this story about how charcoal under big, big pressure becomes a diamond.” – Victor M(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell gets over for a try during the second half of the World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England 21 Ireland 13 The result may not have been terribly important but while this was the restorative win which was prescribed for England, it was (...)

Connacht’s Eoghan Masterson is shown a yellow card and sinbinned by referee Romain Poite during the European Champions Cup play-off at Kingsholm Stadium. Photograph: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

As one Connacht player put it, when you’re at the bottom of the food chain you get dry bread. It’s often said in team sports that the perceived ‘bigge(...)

George Clancy: part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland’s George Clancy and John Lacey have been chosen as part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. World Rugby also co(...)

Ireland’s Cian Healy is tackled by Aaron Jarvis of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Greg Feek has been stressing that Cian Healy has been “chomping at the bit”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish forwards coach Simon Easterby yesterday dropped the broadest of hints that the Irish starting XV and replacements for the Six Nations’ finale a(...)

England’s Jonathan Joseph dives over for a try during their Six Nations match against Scotland at  Twickenham, London.

England 25 Scotland 13 By Saturday night England could well be Six Nations champions after three successive years as frustrated bridesmaids. They (...)

Dylan Hartley: will be looking to banish memories of the defeat to Ireland when England entertain Scotland at Twickenham. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This has not been a great week for English sporting self-esteem. At least Bangladesh are not going to beat them at rugby union but a first Scotland w(...)

 Jonathan Sexton played 66 minutes of Racing Metro’s 13-13 draw with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Saturday’s Top 14 clash. Photograph:   Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton came through Racing Metro’s 13-13 draw with Clermont Auvergne on Saturday night, playing 66 minutes at the Stade Yves-du(...)