Scott Williams leaves England’s Mike Brown and Sam Burgess trailing in his wake at Twickenham. Burgess showed all the attributes of his rugby league background in what was England’s biggest game for eight years. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I only started playing centre in 2004. It took until the 2007 World Cup before I felt properly attuned to the nuances of the position and comfortable (...)

France produced arguably the greatest World Cup comeback when they beat the All Blacks at Twickenham 1999. Photograph: Getty

In 1987 France, weary from their thrilling semi-final win over Australia, were mere participants in the World Cup final, as New Zealand were coronated(...)

Leinster interim head coach Leo Cullen at an open training session at Edenderry RFC yesterday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leo Cullen has a sensible face. Elderly, almost. It’s always been like that. The prospective Leinster head coach is just one of those chaps of whom(...)

The late Jerry Collins in action for New Zealand during the 2007 World Cup. Photograph: William West/Getty Images

Two major stories from the world of sport dominated the headlines all day yesterday. One was genuinely tragic. The other was merely sad – in the small(...)

“Iain Henderson went off his feet but I think it would be harsh to say he launched himself at Ronan O’Mahony.” Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

Iain Henderson paid a very high price on Saturday against Munster. I’m not saying Nigel Owens was wrong to send him off but the reality is that if eve(...)

Mike Ford:  Circuitous Rugby League career took him, by chance, to Ireland in January 2002. Photograph: Getty Images

Russell Crowe wasn’t momentarily speechless collecting an Oscar for Gladiator. Nor did the cinematic hard man well up after the South Sydney Rabbitohs(...)

Sonny Bill Williams may line out for Counties Manukau this weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Dual international Sonny Bill Williams could make his return to New Zealand rugby as early as this weekend with provincial team Counties Manukau roll(...)

Ireland’s Luke Fitzgerald tackles Mils Muliaina of New Zealand during the Autumn International in 2008. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Even Mils Muliaina was blown away by New Zealand’s destruction of the Wallabies in Auckland a fortnight ago, and how the man who replaced him, Israel (...)

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 (...)

England outhalves past and present will meet in form of Saracens’ Owen Farrell, left, and Jonny Wilkinson of Toulon when the two clubs meet in this afternoon’s Heineken cup final in Cardiff. 
Photographs: David Rogers/Getty Images

So this is it then. The last Heineken Cup final does not so much look like a fitting summation of the last 19 years as a foretaste of the new order. T(...)