Carl Hayman

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 Oli Jager lands awkwardly during  Canterbury’s Mitre 10 Cup match against Southland at Orangetheory stadium  in Christchurch in August 2019. Photograph: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

False narrative: Oliver Jager was lured away from the land of his birth to pursue the All Blacks dream. In the summer of 2013, a 17-year-old realised(...)

Irishman Oli Jager has committed himself to becoming an All Blacks player after signing a contract extension with the Canterbury Crusaders. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Oli Jager, the former Blackrock College tighthead prop, has re-signed for the Canterbury Crusaders until 2022. The 24-year-old, who moved to Christc(...)

The French team face up to New Zealand as the latter perform the Haka before the dramatic World Cup quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final: France 20 New Zealand 18 - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff This is tricky. To begin with, to be a fan or no(...)

Andrew Conway takes advantage of Toulon’s lack of defensive discipline to cut through for the crucial try at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Bank balances become irrelevant across the full 80 minutes of knockout rugby in Thomond Park. It used to always be this way and looks like a similar (...)

Munster’s Rhys Marshall scores a try despite the efforts of Luke Hamilton of Leicester Tigers. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rhys Marshall has usually had to punch above his weight. When first called into the New Zealand Under-20 squad he was a little hooker, “90 kilos when (...)

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw with France’s Thierry Dusautoir. “If there wasn’t a certain Richie McCaw running around during the same period, Dusautoir would be seen as the dominant guy who has played rugby in that position over a long period,” says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

A confession: in 2007, embittered after being denied the chance to cover a World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff, I checked out from faux reality to e(...)

Toulon celebrate winning the European Champions Cup after beating Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

So Toulon are entitled to be labelled the European Cup’s greatest ever team? For a club which only competed in one Heineken Cup prior to its current t(...)

Robert Kitson names 11 provincial players in his all-time European Cup best XV, including former Munster number eight Anthony Foley. Photograph: Getty

Time-travelling is always a temptation at this time of year. This week sees the 20th showpiece final in European club rugby’s eventful history and, in(...)

Toulon’s  Matt Giteau runs at Leinster’s   Ian Madigan during the Champions Cup semi final match  at Stade Vélodrome 5 in Marseille. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Matt Giteau echoed Toulon team-mate Bryan Habana’s sentiments that the reigning European champions will need to up their game in next month’s Twickenh(...)

Steffon Armitage was the difference really. At least three textbook turnovers killed Leinster momentum.

Rob Kearney 7/10Three superb acts of high fielding gave Leinster the briefest glimpses of front foot ball but his long, long range drop goal with seco(...)

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