Heineken Cup

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 A memorial for NFL legend Junior Seau in San Diego, California. File photograph: Getty Images

Cautionary tale Junior Seau was the epitome of an NFL linebacker. A 12-time Pro Bowler for the Chargers, the Dolphins and the Patriots, Seau is the c(...)

Bill Ribbans says the second Lions Test in South Africa in 2009 was the most brutal match he had ever seen. Photograph: Inpho

“It’s incredible that sports medicine has only been recognised the last 15 years,” Bill Ribbans says as he reflects on his four decades of work as an (...)

Finn Russell showed with his performance in the Heineken Cup final that he is a liability the very highest level of the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I relate to Finn Russell. The Scotland outhalf has managed to combine the sublime with the ridiculous so far in his career. Now 28, he is not going t(...)

Ulster skills coach Dan Soper: ‘We thought it was important to draw a line in the sand and actually have a change.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ulster’s annual early season refrain, albeit this year in October, has been that this time it will be different. A stream of young players lining out (...)

Rob Kearney, Brad Thorn and Isa Nacewa celebrate after beating Ulster in the 2012 Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

One of the standout features of this dismembered rugby season was when Damian de Allende and RG Snyman appeared in Munster colours. De Allende, a 28(...)

Saracens’ Maro Itoje celebrates his team’s win over Leinster at the full time whistle. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 17 Saracens 25 Every game is unique and this one certainly had its own storyline, but it also had uncanny echoes of Anglo-Irish matches from(...)

Saracens inflicted Leinster’s last defeat in last year’s Champions Cup final. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster have seemingly forgotten how to lose, having won 25 matches in succession dating back to their last defeat all of 70 weeks ago in May 2019. B(...)

Empty stands at the Aviva Stadium form the strange background as Munster’s JJ Hanrahan takes a kick at goal during the recent Pro14 clash against Leinster.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It’s great to have rugby back, better still that Leinster and Munster have set up a third semi-final in successive years. The players of both teams w(...)

Brian O’Driscoll scores a try in the Six Nations Championship game between Ireland and France on February 7th, 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll had barely turned 20 when he announced himself to the world in his rookie season with that hat-trick in Paris. He was only 21 when he(...)

Nora Stapleton: “By having the Six Nations on a separate weekend where there is no other rugby, so the only thing rugby journalists can talk about are the women’s fixtures then that will help I feel.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

World Rugby and the Six Nations have confirmed that they are exploring separating the men’s and women’s Six Nations tournaments, as part of a planned (...)

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