Joe Schmidt with Brian O’Driscoll after Leinster’s 2011 Heineken Cup final win over Northampton. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Google search when Joe Schmidt first landed on these shores in 2010 was clogged by namesakes; a Hall of Fame NFL linebacker, a Ukrainian born teno(...)

Scarlets’ Ken Owens, Ospreys’ Ashley Beck, Ulster’s Rory Best, Munster’s Peter O’Mahony, Glasgow Warriors’ Stuart Hogg, Leinster’s Isa Nacewa and Benetton Treviso’s Dean Budd at the Champions Cup launch in Dublin last week. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The bully boys in the Anglo-French alliance which shredded the old Heineken Cup and ERC would be loathe to admit it, but last season’s revival by the (...)

Saracens’ Alex Goode slips the tackle of Clermont Auvergne’s Peceli Yato on the way to scoring their third try in the Champions Cup final at Murrayfield. Photograph:   Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Saracens 28 Clermont Auvergne 17 Alex Goode’s late try ensured Saracens secured their second straight European Champions Cup triumph as they edged ou(...)

Saracens know the best way to get at Clermont is to disrupt their scrumhalf Moran Parra. Photograph: by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Revolution is exhausting. This, according to Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs, is why the status quo is often left intact. Because making change incurs (...)

Leinster’s Joey Carbery and Isa Nacewa with David Strettle and Aurélien Rougerie of Clermont at the European Rugby Champions Cup Semi-Final at Stade de Gerland, Lyon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

After last weekend’s rugby I’m convinced more than ever that speed will always trump size. Forgive me for returning to an old refrain, but once again(...)

Clermont’s Morgan Parra and Luke McGrath of Leinster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Nobody can say Clermont weren’t due one over Leinster. Camille Lopez’s drop goals balances the scales for all those Brock James misses at the RDS in 2(...)

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton: “The first 15, it cost us really, didn’t it?” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton took this semi-final defeat on the chin, as he does, and sportingly admitted Clermont were the better team after wishing them well in th(...)

Clermont outhalf Camille Lopez kicks the first of his two drop goals in their Champions Cup semi-final semi-final against Leinster at Stade de Gerland in Lyon. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Clermont 27 Leinster 22 Oh, what might have been. Leinster left themselves something of a mountain to climb at a vibrant, throbbing Stadium de Gerlan(...)

Clermont Auvergne’s forwards coach Jono Gibbes, who is set to become Ulster’s new coach

Clermont, a city drenched by ancient warfare, was the starting point for the first Crusade in 1095. The local sports team has threatened to conquer Fr(...)

New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa tackles Simon Zebo of Ireland around the neck during the November international at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Nigel Owens made a call last weekend. It was an incorrect interpretation of the rules but he was decisive. It was instinctive, as Nigel trusted his e(...)

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