Aaron Cruden

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Flyhalf Stephen Donald of the All Blacks kicks a penalty in 2011  Rugby World Cup Final  between France and New Zealand in Auckland. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty

Stephen Donald kicked the winning penalty that secured New Zealand an 8-7 victory over France in the 2011 World Cup final on home soil, bringing to an(...)

 Joe Schmidt:  “I think the great days have been the ones where the players have done something a little bit special, and you’ve seen players grow.”

Today really does mark the end of an era. The Joe Schmidt era at the Aviva Stadium. Previous eras have taken in a detour to Croke Park and the increas(...)

Joey Carbery: he  had been earmarked for this World Cup in part because he also covered full-back and at a push the role of third choice scrum-half

Nobody died, but it sure as hell felt like someone had. Everyone being dressed in black maybe added to the funereal atmosphere. The news had broken ea(...)

Ryan Crotty takes an offload from Dane Coles (not pictured) to score the winning try in the closing moments against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in 2013. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

For year upon year we heard Irish players talk of the motivation that went with the chance to make history, to be part of the first Irish team to beat(...)

 New Zealand’s  Ryan Crotty crosses the line to score the winning try in the last minute of the 2013 clash at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Look at the All Blacks bench from Sunday, November 24th, 2013. Today’s best player in the world, Beauden Barrett, arrived to cause serious damage. I (...)

Mathieu Bastareaud: returns to the Toulon side for the visit to Edinburgh  after serving a five-week suspension. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

CASTRES OLYMPIQUE v EXETER CHIEFS, Stade Pierre Fabre (1.0, Irish time, live on BT Sport) Injuries to Sam Skinner, Dave Dennis and Dave Ewers mean th(...)

Lima Sopoaga: “I do think that things are starting to change and players are starting to wise up. They realise that it’s a business these days.” Photograph: Joe Allison/Inpho/Photosport

When Johnny Sexton looks across the scrum to Lima Sopoaga tonight, he may think to himself ‘yep know how you feel’. Wasps’ marquee summer signing pla(...)

At the Heineken Champions Cup launch in Dublin;  Jarrad Butler (Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Ulster), Callum Gibbins (Glasgow Warriors), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Luke Hamilton (Edinburgh), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster) and Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues). Photograph: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Pool One      Leinster Coach: Leo Cullen. Last season: Champions. How they qualified: EC champions and Pro14 champion(...)

Lima Sopoaga kicks the ball during a Wasps training session in Coventry. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The Wasps outhalf Lima Sopoaga believes the player drain from New Zealand to Europe will increase because the lure of the All Blacks jersey no longer (...)

Rob Kearney and Tadhg Furlong celebrate Ireland’s  dramatic late win over France in Paris. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It’s happened to Ireland often enough for several of the current squad and those before them to feel they were due an Houdinesque-like piece of escapo(...)

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