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 England manager Gareth Southgate: ‘The World Cup is very special. It’s the pinnacle. It’s still the ultimate prize.’ Photograph: The FA via Getty Images

Just off the Corniche, the waterfront drag that runs along Doha’s bay to the city, stands the countdown clock, a digital hour glass that lets everybod(...)

The All Blacks perform the Haka before their clash with Ireland  at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on November 13th, 2021. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

As a player you sometimes need to be reminded to savour every positive moment on a pitch because you never know when it might be your last. Regrets an(...)

New Ireland captain Nichola Fryday with head coach Greg McWilliams. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

It would be fair to say that 2021 was an annus horribilis for Irish women’s rugby, the nadir that September defeat by Scotland in Parma which ended t(...)

Referee Mathieu Raynal shows a red card to England’s Charlie Ewels. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty

When I saw the tackle from Charlie Ewels, my first concern was for James Ryan. It’s horrible watching an incident like that because as a former player(...)

Rob Herring at Ireland Rugby squad training in Carton House, Co Kildare last week. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Views abound. The scrum isn’t a scrum anymore. It’s a restart, a penalty mechanism, an attacking platform, all of them, a cheaters’ charter. The scrum(...)

Johnny Sexton: ‘There was a couple we looked at that we said we should never have thrown. There’s a couple where we said ‘yeah, good decision’. The guy that doesn’t take it [the pass] needs to take it. We know when we should be doing it and when shouldn’t be doing it..’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA I

The debate about their high-risk, high-reward strategy can rage all it wants, but despite leaving some chances behind against England, Ireland are not(...)

Ireland’s Finlay Bealham celebrates with his mother Andre and father Roy after the Six Nations win over England at Twickenham. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

As the Irish players lapped the ground in a nod of appreciation to the vast number of singing supporters in green, Finlay Bealham went to the touchlin(...)

Scotland’s Ali Price feels his team have yet to show their best form in this year’s Six Nations. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Six Nations Championship: Italy v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, Saturday, 2.15pm (live on Virgin Media One and ITV) Ali Price is relishing the prospect(...)

Italy players react to their heavy defeat in the Six Nations match against Ireland. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Walking down Lansdowne Lane in the aftermath of the Six Nations game at the Aviva stadium, I couldn’t shrug off the feeling of acute disappointment wh(...)

Wales’ fly-half Dan Biggar  kicking upfield during the Six Nation match against  Scotland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff,  Wales. Photograph:   Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Wales 20-17 Scotland An outhalf is the centre of attention at the best of times, but this match – more than most – was a tale of two 10s. We didn’t h(...)

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