Heineken Cup

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Scott Fardy: “You want to try to win trophies; you shouldn’t be playing if you don’t want to do that.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Scott Fardy exudes a singular focus that is trained squarely on preparing for Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final against the Scarlets at the Aviva St(...)

Ronan’s smoking like an incinerator and it’s obvious that there’s something on his mind. “Rosser,” he goes, “I need some muddy.” I’m like, “Money?” (...)

Jamie Heaslip lifts the Heineken Cup after the win over Leicester at Murrayfield in May 2009. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jamie Heaslip will walk on the pitch before Leinster v Saracens. “Mick Dawson told me this morning they are at just south of 50,000.” Imagine they b(...)

 Leinster’s Jonathan  Sexton  celebrates scoring a try with Shane Horgan during the 2011 Heineken Cup Final victory over Northampton Saints at the Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff, Wales. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton-inspired comeback in the 2011 Heineken Cup final, when the Irish province overturned a 16-point interval deficit against th(...)

 Bundee Aki: played a key role in CJ Stander’s exquisite Irish try which showed the scale of the team’s ambition on the day. Photograph: Paul Harding/PA

Despite the success of scores of Irish people achieving greatness in the arts and business world, there remains an ingrained resistance in Irish socie(...)

Ireland players celebrate the Grand Slam.  It’s important after scaling the mountain top to relax your mind for the way back down because there’s always another peak on the horizon. Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

I remember waking up the morning after the 2009 Grand Slam with an unexpected feeling in my gut. We did it. What’s next? That Sunday was a blur. Co(...)

The Ireland team celebrate with the NatWest Six Nations trophy and the Triple Crown trophy after their match against England at Twickenham. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Winners all right, and now assuredly the most successful Irish team of the professional era – or any other one, for that matter – even allowing for th(...)

 Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn tackled by Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony. I’m confident this Irish group – under the leadership of Rory Best, Johnny Sexton, Rob Kearney, CJ Stander and O’Mahony – understand what needs to be done. Photograph: Óisin Keniry/Inpho

The discussions that will define Saturday have already happened in Carton House and Pennyhill Park. One of the bubbles will burst. My concerns about (...)

Declan Kidney and Les Kiss worked together with Ireland. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam-winning coach Declan Kidney and his former defence coach Les Kiss will take over at London Irish with immediate effect. Kid(...)

 Ulster’s head coach Jono Gibbes: “The decision to leave here is a difficult one professionally because I support the team and the staff, and I am excited for what the future holds for them.”  Photograph: Kevin Barnes/Inpho

It’s been an annus horribilis for Ulster rugby on and off the pitch, and one that shows no sign of abating following the news that head coach Jono Gib(...)

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