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 Munster Head Coach Johann Van Graan: ‘For me personally I never thought that Munster would play the Bulls.’

Up until last Friday Munster had been expected to play the Bulls and the Lions in Italy, with plans at an advanced stage by the United Rugby Champions(...)

Connacht’s Kyle Godwin is tackled by Charlie Matthers and Ambrose Curtis of Wasps in a pre-season friendly at Dubarry Park, Athlone last Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Australian international Kyle Godwin is ready to embrace the challenge of playing rugby in the northern hemisphere and says it was thanks to former co(...)

Pool 1 after the draw for next year’s Heineken Cup in  Lausanne, Switzerland. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

So much for the elevated status of Leinster as this year’s European champions and one of the protected top seeds for next season’s Heineken Cup. Coa(...)

Peter O’Mahony: “We’ve got to go and win at the weekend and it’s going to be massively difficult because they’re  such a good side.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There’s never been a European Champions Cup pool finale quite like it, not even in the competition’s Heineken Cup guise. All told, 50 matches have be(...)

Danny Cipriani converted his own try to seal Wasps’s win over Ulster at the Kingpan Stadium. Photograph: Getty

Ulster 15 Wasps 26 Ulster’s opening pre-season friendly ended in defeat to Wasps as the visitors ran in four tries at the Kingspan Stadium. With bo(...)

Wasps’ Willie Le Roux appears to score a try in Saturday’s clash with Leinster, but  it was disallowed by referee Nigel Owens. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster can thank their sharp-eyed outhalf Johnny Sexton for drawing Wasps disallowed try to the attention of match referee Nigel Owens last Saturday(...)

Leinster’s captain’s run at the  Aviva Stadium ahead of their quarter-final clash with Wasps. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Make-or-break weekend in the European Champions Cup, and it’s good to be back. Last season marked the first time since the 1997-98 campaign when no Ir(...)

Stuart Lancaster:   has helped transform Leinster’s fortunes and is close to agreeing to a further two years with the province. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

It would be fascinating to know how Stuart Lancaster feels when Eddie Jones praises his predecessor’s part in England’s resurgence. Does it open old w(...)

Wasps skipper Joe Launchbury insists revenge for England’s recent defeat in the Aviva is not his team’s primary motivation. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Wasps’ star-studded backline have been urged to show more “belly for the fight” if they intend to transform the club from great entertainers into titl(...)

Bundee Aki is out of action until February. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

As 2016 grinds to a halt I’m full of the warmth of so many rugby experiences but that there is at last a unified ‘ruthless pursuit of excellence’ acro(...)

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