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 (...)

Iain Henderson: returns to blindside flanker, where he can hunt and hurt Saracens with greater freedom. Photo: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Reasons to believe? The local factor. Ulster will always be a force at rebranded Ravenhill, this is the first time they go out to deliver for new dir(...)

Leinster backrow forward faces up to 10 weeks of the sidelines after breaking a bone in a  foot. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster coach Leo Cullen must plan without Seán O’Brien, Richard Strauss, Mike McCarthy and now Jack Conan for Saturday’s trip to Bath in round two o(...)

Peter Smyth has been appointed the new coach of Leinster Academy. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Peter Smyth has been named the new head of Leinster’s Academy, taking over from Girvan Dempsey who has been confirmed as Leo Cullen’s backs coach. The(...)

Lindsay Peat during the Women’s Autumn International against England. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It is unlikely that anything surprises anyone who knows Lindsay Peat anymore. This is a story about a rugby player but really it’s about a Dublin(...)

Leinster replacement Garry Ringrose offloads in the tackle against Wasps at the RDS. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Slow, painful season coming. Not in Leo Cullen’s worst nightmare could he have foreseen a record home European defeat, especially considering the far(...)

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton appeals to the referee during the European Champions Cup defeat to Wasps at the RDS. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Leinster 6 Wasps 33 Slow, painful season coming. Not even in Leo Cullen’s worst nightmare could he have foreseen this record home European defe(...)

 Anthony Foley’s side should pick up a bonus point against Treviso. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Champions Cup opening salvo proves there’s always a new mountain to climb even if the provinces are still paying that heavy World Cup toll. Let’s (...)

Niamh Briggs: will captain Ireland against England at the Stoop. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

  This first November international could become a historic one should Niamh Briggs’s Ireland figure a way to win a Test match on English (...)

Japan players celebrate their momentous victory over South Africa in the pool section – the Brave Blossoms missed out on a place in the quarter-finals but won the hearts of the rugby world. Photograph: Getty Images 2:16

Gerry Thornley Match of the tournament? Spoilt for choice. Japan provided the best finish, Australia v Argentina was the most breathless, but t(...)