Ireland scored early and often against a Scots defence of less than Calvinist virtue to win by 30. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images 2:52

First a solar eclipse, then the spring equinox. After that, on a weekend of celestial drama, Irish rugby fans witnessed a spectacle most of them had n(...)

Rory Kockott celebrates after his side are awarded a penalty in the final play of their 20 point defeat to England. Photograph: Inpho

With England hammering away at France at the death of Saturday’s Six Nations decider, needing one more score to pip Ireland to the championship, the p(...)

England  get held up just short of the try line in the dying seconds of the  Six Nations  match against France at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

England 55 France 35England fell short of being crowned Six Nations champions for the first time under Stuart Lancaster despite toppling France 55-35 (...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes shows France lock Pascal Pape a yellow card after he kneed Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip in the back during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium.  Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images 7:17

Philippe Saint-Andre has moved to defend Pascal Pape after the France lock was given a yellow card for kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back in Ireland(...)

Ireland’s Mike Ross holds on to the shorts of French winger Teddy Thomas to make a vital tackle during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

THE BREAKDOWNIreland were outplayed here and had to send extra numbers in to try and hang on to possession. As a result France had a numerical superio(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud is a go-to man for France and Johnny Sexton should expect to see a lot of him on Saturday. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Although the margins between the sides have been wafer thin, sometimes non-existent in recent years, Philippe Saint-André has portrayed his team as un(...)

France’s loose head prop Eddy Ben Arous runs with the ball during a training session - he is the sole change to the French team named to play Ireland on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP

France have named an unchanged team barring the enforced replacement of the injured Alexandre Menini with young loosehead Eddy Ben Arous, for the tri(...)

It is believed the French are considering promoting Morgan Parra at scrumhalf to start against Ireland at The Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images. 3:25

No games seem set to define Ireland’s calendar year, and perhaps even the Joe Schmidt era, more than the meetings with the French. It was in Paris las(...)

Camille Lopez kicked 15 points as France ground out a 15-8 win over Scotland at the Stade De France. (Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland)

France 15 Scotland 8 France looked set for a difficult Six Nations campaign after labouring to a 15-8 home win against Scotland in their openin(...)