MU Barnhall RFC will host a 50th anniversary gala dinner on Saturday, June 22nd.

Joe Schmidt and Trevor Brennan will be on hand at 50th anniversary gala dinner

Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale scores a try despite Damian McKenzie and Aaron Smith of New Zealand during the Guinness November Series win over the All Blacks. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Rugby correspondent runs the rule over the season for Ireland and the four provinces

Munster’s Jean Kleyn tackles Leinster’s Seán Cronin during the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final at the  RDS. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The inclusion of uncapped Munster duo Kleyn and Haley the most eye-catching

Leinster’s Seán O’Brien in action against Toulouse during the  Heineken Champions Cup semi-final  at the Aviva Stadium. An O’Brien tide lifted all boats. The best captain Ireland never had? Photograph: Inpho

Ireland have been dealt a significant blow in losing Tullow Tank in addition to Dan Leavy

Rob Kearney celebrates Leinster’s Guinness Pro 14 with   James Lowe and brother  Dave after the victory over Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Full back was looking for two-year contract during negotiations

England’s Owen Farrell tackles South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen during the Autumn International match at Twickenham. Photograph:  Adam Davy/PA Wire

Framework allows less leeway for referees to make judgment calls

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien lifts the Pro14 trophy after beating Glasgow at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Champions use all their finals experience in a far from perfect display in Glasgow

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien with the Guinness Pro14 trophy after the final victory over Glasgow Warriors at  Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Another hip operation set to bring down the curtain on the flanker’s international career

Leinster’s James Lowe and Jack Conan celebrate after beating Glasgow in the Pro14 final. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Loss to Saracens in Champions Cup threatened to derail remainder of season

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien celebrates with the Pro14 trophy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. As a forward, I’d say he’s the best’

Seán O’Brien lifts the Guinness Pro 14 trophy after Leinster’s victory over Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leo Cullen’s side take sixth title in front of record final attendance at Celtic Park

Leo Cullen with Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ex-Waikato Chiefs head coach has overseen a marked improvement in Scottish club

Josh Van Der Flier at the Leinster Rugby captain’s run in Celtic Park, Glasgow on Friday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Scene is set at Celtic Park for historic final between high-calibre attacking sides

Leinster’s  Tadhg Furlong reacts as he scores the first try during the Champions Cup final  between Leinster and Saracens at St James’ Park  in Newcastle. Photograph:   Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

John Hayes and Mike Ross were as durable as tree trunks, and Furlong is showing same signs

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen talks to his Glasgow counterpart  Dave Rennie at the Leinster  Captain’s Run at Celtic Park ahead of  Saturday’s Guinness Pro 14 final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster coach had suggested Glasgow Warriors had Rangers fans in their ranks

The Ireland team before their Six Nations defeat to Wales at Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

IRFU performance director says outgoing coach Schmidt very focused on final task

Ireland Sevens celebrate  winning the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier final, Hong Kong Stadium  in April. Photograph: INPHO/Yu Chun Christopher Wong

Basic salary of €18,000 ‘equivalent of a development contract’ says IRFU

Munster head coach Johann van Graan after the defeat to Leinster in  their Pro 14 semi-final at the  RDS. He  has a point when highlighting that Munster won three more games in the Pro 14 this season than last. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

The deeper a team goes in a tournament, the more acute the disappointment of defeat

Leinster’s Leo Cullen with Glasgow coach Dave Rennie. “He’s a good man, Leo, I like him,” said Rennie. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster boss said Celtic fans should turn out to support province in Glasgow Pro 14 final

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen: ‘I would say we don’t get all the selections right, but we try to get them right.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

As Leinster face Glasgow, manager shrugs off criticism of his player selection decisions

Leinster’s James Lowe evades Munster’s Mike Haley on his way to scoring a try in the  Guinness Pro14 semi-final  at the RDS, Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Groundhog day for Van Graan’s men as Leinster show their ability to go up a gear

Munster’s Keith Earls, Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander and Chris Farrell dejected at the final whistle of the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final against Leinster at the  RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘The message is we will come back stronger next year’

Defending champions bounce back from European defeat to make it to Celtic Park

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier completes the latest of his remarkable swift comebacks, this time from a groin operation. Photograph: Lazlo Geczo/Inpho

Despite familiarity this rivalry runs deep and both sides will not be found wanting for effort

Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy celebrates his try as Johnny Sexton and Munster’s Ronan O’Gara exchange words in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster’s current dominance began with memorable semi-final victory in 2009

Johnny Sexton won’t be in the Leinster team for the Pro14 semi-final meeting with Munster. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Josh van der Flier makes first appearance since February while Joey Carbery starts

Jacob Stockdale during the captain’s run at Kingspan Stadium: the player returns at fullback for the Pro14 semi-final clash against Glasgow. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Coach McFarland expecting ‘potent’ attack from his former club in Pro14 semi-final

Munster’s Joey Carbery in action during their Heineken Champions Cup round 6 match against Exeter Chiefs in Thomond Park, Limerick in January. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Last year at the RDS, he was playing for Leinster. Now the boot is on the other foot

James Ryan (right) with Leinster team-mate Tadgh Furlong following their Champions Cup defeat to Saracens at St James’ Park, Newcastle, last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland

Leinster and Irish lock is youngest player to scoop accolade at Irish Rugby Players Awards

 “To be involved in semi-finals and finals rugby is what you want to be doing at this time of the year.”  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Despite pain of previous semi-final losses, flanker is focussed on beating Leinster

  Conor O’Shea: “I will be continuing with Italy after the World Cup.”

Reports had suggested Italy coach would be replaced after World Cup later this year

Johann van Graan: “In terms of the playing group, the management and the people involved in Munster rugby we’re going to give it everything we’ve got this weekend.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Carbery and Earls in line to face champions Leinster at the RDS

 Saracens’ Billy Vunipola scores their second try. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Leinster talented enough on pitch and smart enough off it to reclaim title next season

Johann van Graan has said Munster did all they could to retain coaches Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘I am very disappointed and sad that they are leaving, two fantastic coaches’

Rugger Leinster v Saracens

Head coach believes ‘we were up against a very good team, heavily resourced’

 Luke McGrath of Leinster clears the ball upfield during their Champions Cup final  match against Saracens  at St James’ Park  in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Saturday. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster made bad half-time decision, but opponents were relentless for 80 minutes

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola scores a try despite the efforts of Leinster’s James Lowe and Luke McGrath in the Heineken Champions Cup final. Photograph: Billy Stickland

Leo Cullen’s men fought the good fight, but couldn’t withstand Saracens’ physicality

Leinster players react to their defeat on the field after the European Rugby Champions Cup final. Photograph:  Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

Johnny Sexton: “It’s not a good decision to box kick it when you cough up a 10-3 lead”

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola scores the crucial try despite James Lowe and Luke McGrath of Leinster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Defending champions overpowered as Saracens secure a third title

Leinster’s James Lowe celebrates his try against Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium in April 2018. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Leinster keen to give Seán O’Brien a winning send-off, but Saracens will also be motivated

Garry Ringrose in action against Toulouse during the  Heineken Champions Cup Semi Final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Leinster centre shows leadership and ‘is now starting to express himself’

Leinster have named their team for Saturday’s final at St James’ Park in Newcastle. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Maro Itoje will play at blindside flanker for Saracens in Saturday’s final at St James’ Park

Tadhg Furlong: “When you look at the two teams it will be up there with international standard rugby with the number of Test players there.”

Prop’s battle with Vunipola likely to prove one of the highlights of gripping encounter

Tadhg Furlong: his return to his best form is highly encouraging for Leinster prior to their final clash with Saracens. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Formidable Lions teammates set for Champions Cup showdown

Leinster and Saracens secondrows look as if they could dominate game for years

Ryan is always looking to improve the quality of his work.

Two young locks already achieving greatness and destined for stellar careers

Robbie Henshaw’s return in time for the Toulouse semi-final, and for the European Champions Cup final against English side Saracens is vital for Leinster. Photograph: Getty Images

Centre very much aware of the level of physicality Leinster face in Champions Cup final

Munster outhalf Bill Johnston is expected to move to Ulster in the summer. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Former Ireland U20 international expected to join up with Dan McFarland’s side

Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery are to leave their coaching roles with Munster after turning down new contract offers. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Former Irish internationals have turned down new contract offers

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton and Saracens’ Owen Farrell in  a scuffle during last year’s  Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva  Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Most consistently dominant forces in Europe have proven their worth repeatedly

Leinster’s James Lowe celebrates after his side’s victory over Toulouse in the Champions Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lancaster optimistic Sean Cronin will be fit for showdown with ‘threatening’ Saracens

 Darren Cave with Rory Best after both playing their final home game in Ulster’s Pro14 quarter-final win over Connacht at at  Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

McFarland’s side seal semi-final spot despte a gutsy effort from Connacht

Ulster’s Rory Best in action against Connacht in the  Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Captain cites form of Carty and signing of Fainga’a as evidence of how players from within and outside can further Connacht’s deve(...)

Ulster’s Billy Burns and John Cooney tackle Tom Farrell of Connacht during the quarter-final at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tough assignment awaits Ulster in Glasgow while Munster prepare to lock horns with Leinster again

Ulster’s Darren Cave and Rory Best leave the field after their win over Connacht at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rory Best says goodbye to the Kingspan as a player, but his Ulster days aren’t over yet

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland addresses his players ahead of the province’s Pro14 match against Glasgow at Scotstoun Stadium last month. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster coach’s goal is for province to become a team that can consistently compete for championships

Rory Best: all set for a farewell home appearance at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

Well-matched Ulster and Connacht look set to produce a riveting Pro14 encounter

Angus Lloyd in action for Clontarf against Lansdowne during the All-Ireland League Division 1A semi-final at Castle Avenue. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Busy medical student combines Connacht duty with his Clontarf club commitments

Brian Hayes: “To get to come back to a club like Con, where you have the core that has been there since I joined . . . it makes a big difference.”Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Cork club braced for another All Ireland League final clash with old rivals Clontarf

Peter O’Mahony at Munster Rugby squad training in UL, Limerick on Monday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

All four Irish provinces have qualified for Pro14 playoffs, but no Welsh side in last six

Munster’s Guinness  Stephen Archer and Jean Kleyn tackle Joe Maksymiw of Connacht during the Pro14 clash at Thomond Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Away clash with Leinster looms again if Benetton are overcome in quarter-final

Munster’s Conor Murray left the pitch holding his neck ahead of the Pro14 clash with Connacht. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johann van Graan will also give an update on Joey Carbery and Keith Earls on Monday

Andy Friend: “The mood in the changing room at the end there was, didn’t win, played okay let’s get all eyes on Ulster now.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Connacht coach has used 50 players and is pleased with the growing depth within his squad

Conor Murray missed Munster’s win over Connacht after sustaining an injury during the warm-up. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Van Graan says decision to pull scrum half from Connacht match was safety first

Munster’s Tadhg Beirne scores a try during their Pro14 win over Connacht. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sight of Conor Murray leaving pitch during warm-up with a neck injury will be a worry

Darren Cave: will captain Ulster against Leinster to mark his retirement from the game. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

McFarland’s side seeking to avenge recent Champions Cup defeat at the Aviva

Dan Goggin in action against Saracens at the Ricoh Arena last week. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johann Van Graan’s strong side includes 11 who lined out against Saracens last week

Ross Byrne in action against Toulouse. “I’m not Johnny [Sexton] so I’m not going to try to be Johnny. I just have to try and stamp my own authority on the team when I do play.” Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Dependable outhalf has become a key figure in Leinster set-up over last three seasons

Ireland’s Greg O’Shea  after scoring a try against Australia in 2018. ‘The fitness level required for Sevens is insane.’ Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Short form of game offered Munster man lifeline after suffering severe Achilles injury

Leinster’s Rob Kearney is tackled by Yoann Huget, Pita Ahki and Rynhardt Elstadt of Toulouse in the  Champions Cup semi-final at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster fullback is sure to be tested by Sarries' kicking game during the final in Newcastle

Johnny Sexton during Leinster’s 30-12 win over Saracens in Dublin. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

Cream rises to the top in Europe again as glass ceiling continues to frustrate Munster

Leo Cullen celebrates Leinster’s win over Toulouse: “They [Saracens] are going to be a real handful but what would you expect at this stage of the competition.   . . .They were seeded number one, so they’re in the final for a reason.”   Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA

‘When Saracens get a good start they’re a very tough team to play against’

Leinster’s Rob Kearney   charges upfield  in their 30-12 win over Toulouse at the Aviva. Photograph:   David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster fullback says ‘huge challenge’ awaits as he targets fifth Champions Cup triumph

Leinster’s Scott Fardy celebrates his try against Toulouse during their Heineken Champions Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Emphatic defeat of Toulouse a good omen as province seeks fifth Champions Cup win

James Low dives to score Leinster’s opening try against Toulouse. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

Province to defend Champions Cup crown in Newcastle after fine performance at Aviva

Rhys Ruddock in action against Ulster in the  Champions Cup quarter-final. “When I do finish I want to feel like I’ve given everything I can to make all my dreams and aspirations come true.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Backrow has achieved plenty in his decade with Leinster but has more peaks to scale

 A dejected Johnny Sexton  leads the team off the field following Leinster’s defeat by Toulouse at Stade Ernest-Wallon in Toulouse in October. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

No final permutation would be a surprise given the proven pedigree of the last four

Leinster centre   Robbie Henshaw Henshaw adds so much to their defence, and their go-forward ball. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leo Cullen's side will profit from presence of Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw

Munster’s Niall Scannell and Peter O’Mahony during the captain’s run at  Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Photograph: Inpho

Fate has pitted van Graan's side with away semi-final and perhaps the toughest draw

Toulouse players celebrate their dramatic  Top 14 victory over Clermont  at the Municipal Stadium last week. Sofiane Guitoune scored  a try in the 79th minute to seal a 47-44 win. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty

Top 14 leaders boast an embarrassment of attacking riches redolent of club’s best days

Luke McGrath: “They [Toulouse] have got incredible flair. They’re constantly offloading, so it’s hard to defend.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Scrumhalf has been mightily impressed with the French club’s form and progress this year

Few in the Ireland camp would have felt lower than Seán Cronin after the Six Nations. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Hooker focuses on chasing further glory with Leinster after Six Nations ‘disappointment’

Johnny Sexton: back in full training for Leinster’s showdown with Toulouse at the Aviva. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Availability of of Sexton, Toner, Furlong, Henshaw and O’Brien a major fillip for champions

Johnny Sexton has made only eight appearances for Leinster this season. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Mick Kearney has joined Dan Leavy and Josh van der Flier on the long-term injury list

Israel Folau: The response of the  New South Wales Waratahs and Rugby Australia  seems sure to signal the end of his rugby union career. Photograph: Jan Touzeau/EPA

Player openly espousing values inimical to those of the Wallabies and rugby in general

Mark McCall: “I think it will be a really close contest all the way through.” Photograph:  Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Saracens coach says number eight in squad despite furore over social media remarks

Former Ireland team manager Mick Kearney has replaced Paul McNaughton as an Irish representative on the board of European Professional Club Rugby. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Kearney takes over from Paul McNaughton as an Irish representative

Connacht’s Matt Healy scores a try during the Guinness Pro 14 game against Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘I think also that this is not the ceiling either . . . we’ve got some more growth in us’

 Connacht head coach Andy Friend in the dressingroom after his side’s victory over Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Coach says past wins over Ulster ‘count for nothing’ as provinces to meet in quarter-final

Connacht head coach Andy Friend in the dressing room after the victory over Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Coach says side want to go on and repeat their 2016 success in the Pro 14

Connacht’s Jack Carty scores a try despite the tackle of  Matthew Morgan of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness Pro 14 game  at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Andy Friend’s side get the required result after nervous display at the Sportsground

Robbie Henshaw: returns to the  Leinster starting team for the game against Glasgow at the RDS. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Scottish outfit playing for the substantial prize of a home semi-final

Lansdowne’s Ronan Kelleher: has  been restricted to seven games for Lansdowne, eight for Leinster A and one for Leinster, thus playing 16 games this season.  Photograph: Ben Whitley/INpho

While professional game thrives, even top clubs like Lansdowne feel isolated

Bundee Aki: he returns for Connacht against the Cardiff Blues. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Andy Friend has made two changes with the return of Bundee Aki and flanker Paul Boyle

Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner both return to the Leinster side for Saturday’s meeting with Glasgow at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Seán O’Brien to captain the side against the Conference A leaders

Denis Buckley: 'These are the games that we want to be playing. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we can reach the play-offs.' Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Victory over Cardiff Blues would secure a place in next year’s Champions Cup

 Benetton’s Federico Ruzza. The club arrvies at the RDS tonight in third place in Conference B, having won 10, drawn one and lost seven so far. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Italian side has emerged as viable contender for the Pro14 play-offs in Conference B

Only captain Luke McGrath (above) and Scott Fardy are retained from Leinster’s quarter-final against Ulster. Photograph: Inpho

Guinness Pro14 preview: Leinster v Benetton Rugby (Kick-off 7.45pm – RDS Arena, Dublin; On TV: Eir sport and TG4

Connacht will be relieved to be able to call on Jack Carty  after his injury  in  their European Challenge Cup defeat to   Sale. Photograph: Inpho

Pro14 preview: Zebre v Connacht (Kick-off: 5.30pm) – Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma.On TV: Live on Eir Sport 1, TG4

Leinster celebrate their Pro14 title win against Scarlets on May 26th, 2018. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Leinster secure home semi-final as Glasgow face Munster and Connacht battle Cardiff

More articles