Ronan O’Gara: The great torpedo punters of the recent past like  O’Gara did not have the 50-22 law to exploit when they played  but could  land their torpedo punts a few metres from the sideline, deep inside the defenders’ 22. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The introduction of the 50-22 kicking law has empowered attacking teams to kick with positive intent from their own side of the 50 metre line with the(...)

South African president Nelson Mandela presents the William Webb Ellis trophy to captain Francois Pienaar after the victory over New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Poisonous coffee. The Friday morning before the World Cup final Frank Bunce gingerly moved off his toilet bowl to track down Dr Mike Bowen. “Doc, I g(...)

Dan Carter returns to Christchurch as a Blues player this weekend. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

Dan Carter is Crusaders royalty, but for a hardcore fan like Graham Paterson, supporting his team on game-day is “business”. So when the Blues visit C(...)

 New Zealand’s  Sonny Bill Williams stretches to score the  All Blacks’ third try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match against  Canada at the Oita Stadium. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

Day 13 of the Rugby World Cup. To which the obvious reaction can only be – hang on, are you certain it’s only Day 13? Wasn’t Ireland’s win over Scotla(...)

Japan lock Luke Thompson has great memories from his time in Ireland in 1999. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

“Arigato gozaimasu.” Joe Schmidt speaks more Japanese than his opposite number Jamie Joseph. After Schmidt’s media masterclass in Yumeria almost spinn(...)

Marc Ellis escapes Tsutomu Matsuda during the pool stage game between Japan and New Zealand at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Photograph:  Phil Cole/Getty

In the 1995 tournament, New Zealand thrashed Japan 145-17 at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein scoring 21 tries in the process. They led 28-0 aft(...)

Japan’s Luke Thompson during the 2015 Rugby World Cup game against the USA at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, England.  Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Brighton 2015: spot the Kiwi on 83 minutes, having milled Adriaan Strauss off Japanese ball, all but leaning on the shoulder of Harumichi Tatekawa yet(...)

Racing 92 supporters cheer during the  Champions Cup final against  Saracens at the Stade de Lyon in  May, 2016. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Beyoncé and Jay Z will put Dan Carter and Racing 92 out of the U Arena on May 5th. Paris can always attract a bigger superstar and Jacky Lorenzetti ha(...)

Munster are given a penalty try after a late tackle by Leicester Tigers’ George Worth on  Jaco Taute at Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: Inpho

Munster 38 Leicester 0 The reconstruction of Munster in the image of bygone eras is impossible. Even if the similarities are everywhere; CJ Stande(...)

Former All Black and Munster winger Dougie Howlett.

As the All Blacks leading try scorer of all time, a record he has held since 2007 with 49 tries to his name, Doug Howlett knows a thing or two about t(...)

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