Louis Picamoles  makes a break during the  match between England and France at Twickenham on Saturday. The big-carrying Toulouse number eight was France’s standout player. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The most interesting and revealing case study in these warm-up games from an Irish perspective are undoubtedly France. Ireland’s final pool game again(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes shows Pascal Papé a yellow card for kneeing Jamie Heaslip at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The independent disciplinary panel which handed French lock Pascal Papé a ten week ban yesterday for kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back did so after d(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes shows Pascal Papé a yellow card for kneeing Jamie Heaslip at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The independent disciplinary panel which handed French lock Pascal Papé a ten week ban yesterday for kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back did so after d(...)

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre. “He may  be a practical coach but the French media stone him for his inability to settle upon a team.” Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Only place to begin is at the end of Paris. When the Ides of March were overcome.Sexton had been carted off (not an omen just another reason to avoid (...)

Clermont’s Wesley Fofana puts in a tackle on Munster’s Peter O’Mahony. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Clermont Auvergne 26 Munster 19Regrets they’ll have a few after suffering their first back-to-back defeats but there was no shame in Munster’s defeat (...)

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony in a maul against Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

You don’t know how strong you are until strength is all you have left. After losing at the Stoop on Saturday, Leinster will have to dig deep tomorrow,(...)

Munster’s Paul’Connell will have his own hands full as his side take on Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

To think that we could have missed out on this. The next two weekends of the traditional back-to-back pre-Christmas games could define European Cha(...)

Predicting the likely composition of the Clermont Auvergne team for Saturday’s European Champions Cup against Munster at Thomond Park is a fraught (...)

France’s  Louis Picamoles applauds referee Alain Rolland after the Irish referee showed him a yellow card in the game against Wales in Cardiff. Photograph:   Stu Forster/Getty Images

France coach Phillipe Saint-Andre has made four changes to his starting XV for Saturday evening’s Six Nations clash against Ireland in Paris. T(...)

Outhalf  Jules Plisson will start his fourth straight game against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph:   David Rogers/Getty Images

France manager Philippe Saint-Andre has made seven changes to the team that put in a dismal display against Wales as Les Bleus seek to put thei(...)