Reece Hodge of Australia celebrates his try during the 2019 Rugby Championship test match between Australia and  New Zealand last Saturday. Photograph:  James Worsfold/Getty Images

Uneasy lies the crown. The feeling that this year’s World Cup is undoubtedly the most openly competitive in yonks, perhaps ever, was strengthened by t(...)

Brodie Retallick looks to offload during New Zealand’s win over Argentina in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will breathe a huge sigh of relief that his final preparations for the Rugby World Cup got off to a winning start, but h(...)

 New Zealand after winning the Rugby Championship last year. Photograph: Getty Images

With the Rugby Championship being seen as little more than a World Cup warmup for the southern hemisphere’s top four nations the abridged tournament c(...)

Even Don King in his element wouldn’t have to resort to much hyperbole to sell each and every one of the 15 match-ups in St James’ Park this Saturday.(...)

CJ Stander of Ireland is tackled by Maro Itoje and George Kruis of England during the Six Nations match at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bad news on CJ Stander. The Ireland number eight is suspected to have suffered a fractured cheekbone and eye socket. He seemingly played 62 minutes wi(...)

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton in training ahead of their Champions Cup meeting with Bath. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Heineken Champions Cup Pool 1: Bath v Leinster Kick off: 3.15pm, Saturday. Venue: Recreation Grounds. How to follow: Full coverage on The Irish Times(...)

  Ireland’s players form a guard of honour for New Zealand at the end of the match. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Warning to offshore Kiwis: return home predicting a New Zealand loss at your peril. Definitely don’t do it on national television. The grief! Before(...)

Tadhg Furlong Jonathan Sexton CJ Stander and Bundee Aki celebrate after Saturday’s result Photograph: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Not the least extraordinary aspect of the revolution under Joe Schmidt’s watch is not so much how the rest of the world views Irish rugby, but more ho(...)

New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick winning a lineout ball against England at Twickenham on November 10th. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire

There’s no doubt that the All Blacks were missing two of the main cogs in the machine two years ago in Chicago. One was Sam Whitelock and the other wa(...)

For Ireland, Saturday’s Test match against the All Blacks will bring about the usual feelings of trepidation, metered with a certain degree of confide(...)

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