Fourie Du Preez and Schalk Burger embrace after South Africa’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Wales. Photograph: Getty

South Africa 23 Wales 19 Wales fell agonisingly short, a defeat they might haunt them for some time. Not because they didn’t give their all, th(...)

Tyler Morgan will partner Jamie Roberts in the Welsh midfield. Photograph: Getty

POOL A: Wales v Fiji, Millennium stadium, 4.45 (Live on TV3, UTV) “It’s a tough tournament, isn’t it?” Warren Gatland, the ultimate survivor, w(...)

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 (...)

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau shows the England defence a clean pair of heels at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP photo

England 25 Wales 28 Sometimes a game actually lives up the hype, and in this instance that’s really saying something. After nearly two years of(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Munster’s Paul O’Connell scores a try during the  Guinness Pro 12 game against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster 50 Dragons 27 As Super Saturdays go, this wasn’t quite on the scale of the Six Nations finale, although of all the final day games of t(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell is tackled by Luke Charteris of Wales during their Six Nations match at the Millennium StadiCardiff, Wales. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Simply put, the Welsh war room outmanoeuvred their Irish counterparts before this match even got under way. A great victory for Warren Gatland over Jo(...)