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 Tiernan O’Halloran original sporting goal was to play Gaelic football for Galway. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Amid Connacht’s band of brothers, homegrown heroes are essential and no one typifies their rise this season, nor their free brand of rugby, better tha(...)

Connacht’s Matt Healy always seeks to get on the ball and influence the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

On Monday I had my second last invasive surgery. The last nitrous oxide experience – I hope – is when my hip gets cleaned in August. The initial repa(...)

Pat Lam: “If we can bring the hunger to the finesse of what we do and marry the both of them, we’ve got a great chance.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Connacht are in familiar territory as the outsiders of the Guinness Pro12’s four play-off contenders in preparing to host the holders Glasgow at a he(...)

Ireland’s Dave Kearney returns to the Leinster team for the first time since sustaining a shoulder injury against France in the Six Nations. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Photograph.

Glasgow v Leinster, Scotstoun, Friday, 7.35pm (Sky Sports 3) This was one of the matches coach Leo Cullen saw coming down the line since its postpo(...)

 John Muldoon will line out for Connacht for the 250th time against Glasgow at Scotstoun. Photograph: Getty Images.

Glasgow have, like Leinster, lost a sizable chunk of playing power to the World Cup and fell in their opening match to Scarlets. Connacht coach Pat L(...)

Munster head coach Anthony Foley in Belfast. “Parts of their off-loading game really killed us at times and they opened up a lot of space for themselves.” Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Hiding their disappointment, it was a stoic face from Munster on Glasgow’s ripping win. Anthony Foley, Denis Hurley, even the fans sucked this one u(...)

Glasgow’s Niko Matawalu takes on Ulster’s Jared Payne.  Ian Keatley must recognise Glasgow’s varied set up and create the opportunity to expose Matawalu. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Last weekend provided lots of talking points for all three provinces and Glasgow’s Fijian right wing Nikola Matawalu was right up there. Yes many will(...)

Ulster Rugby squad training at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, ahead of their Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow at Scotstoun. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho.

What makes Ulster a lesser proposition than last season or when they reached the 2012 European Cup final is the reduction of power forwards. Johann M(...)

Kingspan Stadium, Belfast: would prove an intimidating home venue for Ulster in the final should they overcome Glasgow this weekend. Photograph: William Cherry/Presseye/Inpho

Glasgow eventually tore Ulster asunder last Saturday. The tries needed to secure a home semi-final demanded it. Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell delivered(...)

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend: his team  have won 16 of their 22 Pro12 games in the regular league. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

They coined a name for a pass he gave Gavin Hastings in 1995. Gregor Townsend’s magical reverse for a dramatic last-minute 23-21 victory against Fran(...)

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