Andy Friend

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Andrew Porter carries for Leinster against Montpellier last December. Photograph: Dave Winter/Inpho

While familiarity has long since taken some of the shine off the competition, the draw for the 2021-22 Champions Cup, which was made on Wednesday in L(...)

Tom Daly at Connacht Rugby squad training in the  Sportsground, Galway on June 1st. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The route may have been circuitous by comparison with a more conventional rugby pathway, but Tom Daly certainly won’t grumble as he stands on the thre(...)

James Humphreys of Ireland at the IRFU High Performance Centre, Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/©Inpho

Stuart Lancaster, Gregor Townsend, Trevor Brennan, David Humphreys, Émile Ntamack, Bryan Redpath, and Zinzan Brooke are just some of the famous former(...)

Gavin Coombes has been named as Munster’s men’s player of the year in a season in which he  scored 15 tries in 22 appearances. Photograph: Luca Sighinolfi/Inpho

Gavin Coombes has been named Munster men’s player of the year for 2020/21, thereby becoming the youngest winner of the award at the age of 23. This f(...)

Ulster have pulled out of a deal for former Racing 92 forward Leone Nakarawa. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The timing of Ulster’s decision to call off their proposed signing of Leone Nakarawa is likely to make it difficult for the province to find a replace(...)

Connacht  head coach Andy Friend is very bullish about a squad which he believes can go to a new level. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rugby has major problems if last Friday’s game between Glasgow and Leinster in Scotstoun is any yardstick. Overlong games punctuated by regular recour(...)

Connacht’s Cian Prendergast in action against Benetton during the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup clash at the Stadio Comunale Monigo, Treviso. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Benetton 20 Connacht 12 Connacht left Treviso chastened after a first defeat at the venue since 2016 as Kieran Crowley’s Benetton made it four Rainb(...)

Connacht’s Cian Prendergast in action during his team’s defeat against Benetton in Treviso. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Benetton 20 Connacht 12 Benetton’s impressive Rainbow Cup form continued with a deserved victory over an underwhelming Connacht at Stadio Monigo in T(...)

Connacht’s Bundee Aki celebrates scoring the winning try late in the game against Benetton during the Guinness Pro 14 game at Stadio di Monigo in February. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Benetton v Connacht, Stadio Monigo, Treviso, Saturday, 5.15pm Irish time – Live on Eir Sport 1, Premier Sports 1 Against all expectations when starti(...)

Connacht coach Andy Friend with Gavin Thornbury at the Sportsground, Galway. The   attitude of not to “die wondering” has firmly penetrated his squad. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

At some point in the future when the Irish coaching job comes up, I believe the IRFU would be amiss if they didn’t take a drive to Galway and have a c(...)

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