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Scott Spedding (centre) of Clermont  celebrates with team-mates Morgan Parra (left) and Fritz Lee after kicking the last -minute  penalty against Saracens  at Stade Marcel-Michelin. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Clermont Auvergne 24 Saracens 21 It is hard to imagine two more contrasting rugby occasions than those involving Clermont and Saracens in the past we(...)

Conor Murray has been named Rugby Writers of Ireland player of the year at the annual awards hosted in the Guinness Storehouse. Photograph: Inpho

Conor Murray’s outstanding displays over last season and the summer earned him the Rugby Writers of Ireland player of the year award on Tuesday night (...)

Alex Goode of Saracens dives to score his team’s third try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Saracens at Murrayfield Stadium. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Everyone talks about winning being a habit. In rugby it is more complicated than that: nothing comes easy and conquering Everest always has to be done(...)

Saracens’ head coach Mark McCall: his side attempt to become the first English side since Leicester in 2002 to successfully defend the title. Photograph:  Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Preview: Clermont Auvergne v Saracens, Murrayfield, 5pm Live on TV: Sky Sports 3, BT Sport 2 It is clear Chris Ashton means business when scoring t(...)

CJ Stander: named in the Lions squad in midweek, the South African is recalled to Munster’s  starting line-up for the visit of Saracens. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

European Champions Cup semi-final: Munster v Saracens   Kick off: 3.15pm. Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin. TV: BT Sport3, 2.3(...)

Peter O’Mahony rises high to steal a crucial late lineout against England’s Maro Itoje at the Aviva. The two Lions will renew rivalry tomorrow at the same venue. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Had Peter O’Mahony not soared highest on 73:19 minutes and, in doing so, stolen England’s lineout and their last chance to win back-to-back Grand Slam(...)

 Morgan Parra:  playing as well as he ever has and steers the ship for  Clermont Auvergne. Photograph: Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

By now, the Leinster and Munster coaches will have shown their players ways in which to navigate around Clermont and Saracens. The onus isn’t on the (...)

Simon Zebo gets swallowed up by Ulster’s Stuart Olding, Paddy Jackson and Andrew Trimble at Thomond Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

No underdogs here. Not even in the face of Saracens. “Listen, whatever I say here we are up against it next week,” said the always composed Rassie Er(...)

George Kruis: Eddie Jones is a big fan of the player describing him as “a super scrummager, the best scrummaging lock in England, so we’re missing him”. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

George Kruis faces a race against time to convince Warren Gatland he warrants a place in the British and Irish Lions squad this summer but the Sarace(...)

Chris Ashton of Saracens received a 13-week ban after being adjudged to have bitten Northampton’s Alex Waller during an English  Premiership match. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

When the Newcastle United defender John Bailey first saw Paul Gascoigne training at the club he made a prediction: “He will either be one of the grea(...)

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