Paul O’Connell, having given his all as Lions captain  in 2009, looked like he took about a year to recover. He was far from alone. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The dust had barely settled on New Zealand’s World Cup final triumph over Australia when, just five days later, the Lions Rugby emails began landing i(...)

Luke McGrath’s injury is not as bad as first feared and should be fit for the trip to Toulon. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Whereas Mike McCarthy returned to action last week and Richardt Strauss is expected to be declared fit and available this week, Seán O’Brien – the th(...)

Connacht’s progress is highlighted by their scrumhalf Kieran Marmion signing a new two-year deal with the province. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Week eight of the season and Connacht arrive at Thomond Park in the lofty heights of first place. Early days. They are not suffering from ver(...)

Leinster’s Devin Toner attempts to win the ball from Dan Tuohy and Iain Henderson of Ulster during their Pro12 clash. Photo: Billy Stickland/Ipnho

Leinster 8 Ulster 3 A win is a win is a win, and Leinster will be grateful for that much, all the more so in the midst of their lack of fo(...)

Wasps player  Simon McIntyre tries to tackle Leinster’s Ian Madigan during the European Rugby Champions Cup match  on November 15th. Photograph:  Ian Walton/Getty Images

At first glance, Leo Cullen himself might not appear to provide the greatest antidote to one of his players heading abroad given his own t(...)

Ulster have received a boost with the news that captain Rory Best has signed a new two-year contract to stay with the province. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Guinness Pro12 League Leinster v Ulster RDS, Friday, 7.35pm TG4, BBC NI It’s almost remarkable to think that these two were con(...)

Ian Madigan and Jack McGrath both start for Leinster against Ulster on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho

Leo Cullen has radically revamped his team and replacements for tomorrow’s Guinness Pro12 derby against Ulster at the RDS with the return of (...)

Connacht head coach Pat Lam: “You want a full complement to select from, but the thing that I’m pleased with is the way that we have trained as a squad.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pat Lam yesterday insisted it is just another game, with another four points on the line. But in travelling to Thomond Park on Saturday atop the Guin(...)

John Muldoon: “I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to win in Munster before I retire, it’s one of the places where I have never won at senior level.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

John Muldoon made his senior debut for Connacht in 2002 at Thomond Park in an end-of-season friendly, in what would be a rare enough outing at opensi(...)

Jamie Heaslip dejected after Leinster’s 19-16 defeat away to Bath in the European Rugby Champions Cup second round at weekend. Province is now 33/1 to win pool. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The opening skirmishes do not exactly portray the Guinness Pro12 in a particularly favourable light. Six defeats out of six games against Top 14 and P(...)